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Perspective of reporter Haas on Pousima Afeaki
Historical milestones
Pacific Citizens:
Lifting our game
List of oral archives
Career of a Parliamentarian
Coping with the depression
Putting things together in Ha’apai
Gifting fish in Ha’apai
Export bananas to NZ through the Produce board
Organising people to produce bananas
Respecting commoners
Respecting Queen Salote
Expanding secondary education options
Expanding education options
Andrew Afeaki arrives for education in NZ
Early Tongans at Victoria University of Wellington
King Dick, the British and Tonga
Closeness of annexation
Queen Salote and New Zealand
Maori and Tongan leaders contact
Lawyer into Parliament
Previous generation also in Parliament
Leader of the opposition, Pousima Afeaki
Working through government marketing then and private sector now
Son's perspective on a giant of a man Pousima Afeaki
Andrew Afeaki’ s hopes for his time
Lifiting our game - 2003



Tonga-New Zealand 1950:

Pousima Afeaki, a Giant of a man

Brought back to public view by
Siu Ki Moana
Reaching Across the Pacific
Tonga-New Zealand Pathways, 1880-1950
New Zealand National Library Exhibition,
Wellington, 2005-06

and in this Pacific Citizens online edition

ISBN 0-908842-41-4


Tonga-New Zealand 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 generation.

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.


Lois 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 life.

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.

Anthony Haas
Saturday, September 17, 2005

Introduction to the
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

Siu Ki Moana: Reaching Across the Pacific, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga Connections 1880-1950

Beyond the 1950s
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.

Next, 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 Tuku’aho.

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