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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



Social Studies Level 1, Social Organisation:



Perspective of reporter Haas on Pousima

DecisionMaker sound:

Click here to listen to this oral archive


Anthony Haas says:
Maybe I can be permitted the historical footnote of my own perception of him. You introduced me to him and gave me the honour of inviting me (in the 1960s) to be able to stay with him and your mother Lisia, at their place at Wharf Faua in Nuku’alofa. When I stayed with them after various journeys on journalism or consulting assignments in the Pacific Islands, I would emerge at your parent’s house in Tinopai farm, and relax and be stimulated.

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.

Your father could see through a situation, quite quickly. He could command access. He enabled me to build my understanding of Tonga, and to report dissenting perspectives, conservative perspectives, from people who were perhaps in the root of the democracy movement, and His Majesty himself. And I was able to write about those perspectives, and get the commendation of both sides, made possible by your father.

That’s why I characterize myself as having been given the access that he had to all levels in the society and that your family granted to me.

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.

Next, Andrew Afeaki, hopes for his time on the return home



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.

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