Pasifika parents who attend education consultations do not normally challenge the dominant discourses of New Zealand education and the constructions of their identities in those discourses. This article explores some theoretical perspectives on why parents do not speak out, and reveals a Samoan perspective on “the culture of silence” which may be described as ways of knowing when to speak and when not to speak, and its relationship to education. Also explored are the social, political and educational factors in Aotearoa that contribute to the “silencing” of Pasifika peoples. Research into an additive bilingual education programme, structured within a collaborative empowerment process of partnership with parents and communities, enables the paper’s author to employ Pasifika voices in challenging educators to support the unlocking process of their silence and silencing.

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