“Faapea lava a’u e lē ola se vao i Niu Sila”
Sa tu’ua Samoa e Aliota (Harry) Tauafiafi mo Niu Sila i le 1966. Sa malaga mai i le va’a o le MV Tofua ma sa mafai ona maua taumafa mai le umukuka ao malaga le va’a. O le fia fesoasoani i aiga i Samoa na mafua ai ona malaga mai i Niu Sila. O se tagata finafinau ma galue malosi ma sa avea’i lava faapea lona soifua galue ina ua taunu’u mai i Niu Sila ma na i’u ai lava ina faia lana lava pisinisi.
O le galuega muamua a Harry i lenei atunu’u na maua i le fale e faatau ai vaega sipea i Aukilani. O le totogi i nā vaitaimi, pe ā ma le 13 seleni (shillings) ae lē o ni Talā e pei ona tatou iai nei.
Mulimuli ane ona ia tu’ua lea o Aukilani ae malaga i Ueligitone i le nofoa-afi ma faigaluega ai i le kamupani e faga ai le vali ona sifi lea i leisi kamupani taavale ma galue ai faa-Panel Beater (e toe faalelei ai ‘omo’omo o ‘apa o taaavale). Ona ‘uma lea faigaluega fo’i i le faletupe ma le Puleganuu a Ueligitone, mo le 20 tausaga.
O le naunau o Harry ina ia faamautū loa sona āiga na faaipoipo ai loa ma faatau lo la falemotu. Sa amata ai loa fo’i ona aumai tagata a o la āiga mai Samoa ina ia su’e fo’i so latou lumana’i i Niu Sila. E to’alua ona alo tama. E toa’tasi e fai lana ia lava pisinisi ae o le isi, e faigaluega i le ofisa o le Defence.
Ua 73 nei le matua o Harry ma o le 53 o ia tausaga o iai i Niu Sila. E tele suafa matai na faae’e iā Harry e aofia ai: Muāgututi’a, Seve, Poualae ma Tafililupetiamalie.
“I thought grass did not grow in New Zealand”
Aliota Tauafiafi, known as “Harry”, left Samoa for New Zealand in 1966. Harry made his way to New Zealand over the sea, onboard the MV Tofau, where he managed to secured work in the kitchen during the journey. He wanted to come to New Zealand to help his family back in Samoa. He was ambitious and a hard worker and came to New Zealand with a strong work ethic which led him to running his own business, work at a bank, and then the Wellington City Council.
Harry’s first job in this country was in Auckland, at an automotive parts company. Back then his pay was about 13 seleni (shillings), this was before New Zealand adopted the dollar as its currency.
He eventually made his way to Wellington on the train where he landed work as a spray painter and then at another automotive shop. He picked up panel beating as a trade and worked for 5 years before going into business for himself doing spray painting and panel beating. Among other jobs Harry worked at a bank and for the Wellington City Council, for 20 years.
Keen to settle down, Harry got married and within a year had bought a house. He soon began helping family members from Samoa make a new life in New Zealand. Harry has 2 sons, one who runs his own business and the other who works for the Defence Force.
He is now 73 years-old, and 53 of those years have been spent in New Zealand. Harry has had several matai titles conferred upon him including: Muāgututi’a, Seve, Poualae and Tafililupetiamalie.
Sa’ili Mālō is a series of stories recorded by Samoa Capital Radio for RNZ in the Samoan language told by early settlers who came to Aoteaora to seek opportunities and a better life for their families.
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