A group of over 30 young people from the Hakupu PIC Newton church
in Auckland arrived on the island last week as part of a tour to revive
interest in the Niuean culture and the vagahau.
According to the youth leader Leki Jackson Bourke, young people in
New Zealand feel disconnected from their culture and their language and
struggle with their identity.
According to Leki Bourke, this trip to Niue is a way to reconnect
with Niue and showing the youth group the birthplace of the vagahau.
Bourke says that quite often they hear the term “plastic” as a
reference to young Niueans born and raised in New Zealand, which is why the
church provides the strong foundation in which they as a youth group can dispel
Leki Bourke says that the group uses dance performance and singing
as a way to revive the vagahau Niue because in New Zealand, one doesn’t speak
the vagahau everyday so the church is where they get to speak and sing in
This visit to Niue, Leki said reconnects these young people to
their Niuean heritage and building valuable networks with the Niue based youth