Social Studies Level 1, Social Organisation:
TONGA NEW ZEALAND 1950
THE DIFFERENT ROLES PEOPLE FULFILL WITHIN GROUPS
Perspective of reporter Haas on Pousima
Anthony Haas says:
I support your analysis of your father and remember how perceptive he could be.
I remember an incident: I came very nervous. I had been told in Wellington by officials that Tonga was on the lip of a social explosion, and I would find this, and I was to be warned, that, as one of the few journalists covering Tonga I would find this social explosion. I came with articles I had written about Tonga from the Auckland Star and other New Zealand media, and by way of introduction, showed your father, and said I had come to learn about the oil discovery story. His Majesty at that stage was encouraging oil exploration.
I knew that was a false front.
But he knew that also. As he looked at these articles he said “you
are really interested in politics". Come. We will go tomorrow and
knock on the doors of Ministers like Dr. Langi Kavaliku, the Minister
of Education. We will talk about politics.
That is the significance of
that man, a significance that New Zealanders and others may not appreciate.
It gave me the lens through which I looked at Tonga. We looked in many
directions, and now, I still want others to look in many directions, as
they look at modern Tonga. But that was your father, who gave me the chance
to interpret the society.
Source: Anthony Haas personal collection
Afeaki, holder of the traditional matapule title that gave rights and obligations to discharge between the people of Ha'apai and Tonga's Monarchs, was able to open many doors in Nuku'alofa's Government and other buildings for a visiting journalist.