31 Dec 2010

Samoan doctor receives honour

11:32 am on 31 December 2010

A Samoan New Zealander who's worked as a medical doctor in Auckland for more than 40 years has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours.

Papa'ali'i Dr Semisi Ma'ia'i is one of seven Pacific Islanders recognised for their contributions to the community.

Earlier this year Papa'ali'i Dr Semisi Ma'ia'i published a comprehensive Samoan dictionary, Tusi'upu Samoa, which came nearly thirty years after he'd first produced a Samoa Medical Glossary.

He says he was inspired in this work by the Samoans who'd travel from Auckland to his practice in Kumeu because they needed a medical professional who understood the language.

"It was a kind of help for the Samoans really, although I saw some other Islanders coming to Kumeu, at the time. And that's when it started to see quite a lot of work done, on the understanding of Samoans with the medicine and the English language."