Tonga-New Zealand 1950:
Pousima Afeaki, a Giant of
Brought back to public
Siu Ki Moana
Reaching Across the Pacific
Tonga-New Zealand Pathways, 1880-1950
New Zealand National Library Exhibition,
and in this Pacific
Citizens online edition
1950 is a story about Pousima Afeaki, father of the first Tongan
I ever knew. Andrew Afeaki was 10 in 1950 and was getting ready to go
overseas for his education, much away from his family.
They are from one of the families who were important in the Tonga-New
Zealand relationship 1870-950 drawn to view in the National Library Exhibition
in Wellington, 19 November 2005-19 March 2006.
1950 was the last year in the Siu Ki Moana
1870-1950 review of Tonga New Zealand Pathways, researched by Lois
Webster, and curated for exhibition in the New Zealand National Library
following an earlier presentation in Auckland - and hopefully to be followed
by its presentation in Tonga and in the publication of educational resources.
In 1950 I was a six year old Kiwi, and had no idea Tonga existed or much
about what was happening in Polynesia, let alone know any Tongans, although
I did have a Maori family neighbour on the Pahiatua, Wairarapa, New Zealand
farm where I grew up.
So if 1950 was the close off for a journey made possible by an exhibition,
it was the jumping off point for a voyage of my generation, the baby boomer
The rest is detail – and in the Being Pa’alagi
programme journey another friend, the historian Dr Michael King sent
me on, the Afeaki and my families affected each others’ lives.
This is the story of a man
who was like a father to me – Pousima Afeaki.
This work is dedicated to
our Tongan Kiwi mokopuna – let them and their worlds know where
they came from, to help them chose where they go to.
Webster’s research provided the basis for the historical milestones
into which I blended milestones about Pousima Afeaki.
Marti Friedlander’s photos, taken during a voyage she and I took
from Auckland to Tonga around 1970, capture what a thousand words cannot,
about how the Afeaki and their people lived in part of Pousima’s
Ken George’s photos, taken during the making of a film based on
the Tongan Wellington family of Okasi Talia'uli, were intended to show
migrants and host ways to live in New Zealand.
Fa'apoi, a Tongan Wellington
teacher, created sketches that show how many families harvest the sea
in Tonga. His own story illustrates Tongan New Zealand interconnections.
Linda Evans’ guidance in the Oral Archives division of the Alexander
Turnbull Library in Wellington assisted me to undertake the oral archiving
about Pousima Afeaki, and other phases of the Afeaki family life, with
Andrew, and Andrew’s son Sima, during August 2004 in Tonga.
New Zealand National Librarian Penny Carnaby and her staff enabled us
to work together to develop this sample of educational publishing which
draws on the intellectual assets and organisation of the library system
to assist the school system.
Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum provided the structure
for presenting the content so that teachers and students may use it to
support the aims of social studies education.
Fellowships at the Stout Research Centre, and the School of Government
at Victoria University, have given additional thrust to my research that
helps the Being Pa’alagi Programme inform future citizenship education,
stimulated by Pousima Afeaki’s life and times.
Journalism, consulting, family life and the realities of the world I live
in gave me the knowledge, skills and motivation to create this addition
to published work.
The 2005 New
Zealand Parliamentary Inquiry into the Tonga New Zealand relationship,
the focus on income redistribution, economic growth and political development
in Tonga each give added point to helping people understand each other.
The New Zealand Social Science
teachers accelerated interest in citizenship education is another stimulant
to encourage us to learn from each other about how to manage cultural
diversity within and between neighbours.
May this educational publication,
the exhibition that stimulated its creation, the people who breathe life
into them and the ideas within continue Reaching Across the Pacific, along
Tonga-New Zealand Pathways.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Pousima Afeaki - Pacific citizen
sound tracks available in the Siu Ki Moana Exhibition in New Zealand's
National Library, Wellington, 19 November 2005 -19 March 2006
Ki Moana: Reaching Across the Pacific, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Kingdom
of Tonga Connections 1880-1950
Pousima Afeaki – A Pacific citizen
Pousima Afeaki, former Leader of the Opposition in Tonga’s Parliament,
headed one of the Tongan families with close Tongan New Zealand relationships.
The oral history represented
here presents aspects of his story, as seen by his son Sitani Afeaki in
extended interviews with DecisionMaker publisher Anthony Haas.
Pousima, a giant of a man
in the broadest sense, was a Tongan trained lawyer, facilitator of economic
and educational development projects and holder of the traditional Afeaki
matapule title which supports the relationship between the Monarchy and
the people of Ha’apai.
Sitani, Pousima’s eldest
son, was one of the first Tongan graduates in accounting from Victoria
University of Wellington, and one of the Afeaki kainga in the Tongan diaspora
with close family ties in New Zealand.
career of a Parliamentarian
Source: Anthony Haas personal collection
Portrait of a journalist as a young man - Anthony Haas on one the many
interview assignments he made to Tonga since the late 1960s, at the international
airport on Tongatapu.
Source: Anthony Haas personal collection. Photo by Marti Friedlander,
in Tonga on an assignment with Anthony Haas, 1978.
The Ma'ulu'ulu is a traditional dance of Tonga, which members of 25 of
the 30 Tongan Catholic families in the Wellington region practised to
present in New Zealand's National Library at the 2005 opening, of the
Siu Ki Moana Exhibition, by the Honourable Angelika Latufuipeka Halaevalu
Mata’aho Napua ‘O-ka-lani Tuku’aho, daughter of HRH
Prince ‘Ulukala Lavaka Ata, Prime Minister, and HRH Princess Nanasipau’u