Teremoana | Glen Innes

“I enjoy being with elderly people, and also being with children. I love being with children because I’ve seen children and sometimes they play up when they are with their parents, but when I am with these children, they are happy.

Because sometimes our children want things and they get bored with their parents sometimes, but they’d rather be with someone like me. I like being entertaining, I entertain children, and so I also entertain elderly people. 

Sometimes we do learn a lot from children, because I notice when I talk to children, I talk to them at their level. I talk to them in their language. Children have got a different language from us adults. The children can give you ideas, too. The children have got their own minds, their own ideas. For me, I especially learn a lot from children. 

When I first came from the Cook Islands, I went straight to Dunedin. I lived in Dunedin for a while. So, 1989 I moved back to Auckland, and then from Auckland I went to Australia, went back to the Cook Islands, and then came back here. I have been to a lot of places. In 2002 I came back to Auckland, and got married, and spent time in the Glen Innes community. 

What do I value in life?  Family. Family is very important in my life, especially my grandchildren. Not only my grandchildren, but the wider community. I’m happy to be with a wider community, children, mokopuna, family. Family is very important in my life.

For me, I’m a very active person. I usually do exercise. Um, if you can see that stage over there, I used to do exercise on that stage with anybody. So, that’s the kind of person I am, I got energy to spare to anybody.

Well today is Friday. Our Cook Island elderly, we meet Fridays, but today is our first day back to our Cook Island group. The age of people in our group, the oldest person in our group, in July this year, she will be 94. She’s the oldest person in our community, and also in our Cook Island community. It’s supposed to be 60+, but in our Cook Island community it’s both young and old, and it makes me so proud, being with our elderly people, helping our elderly people, entertaining them, talking to them. I think that, that is my gift, that has been given to me, to be with our people. I learn a lot from our elderly people. For me, sometimes I can be a clown. A lot of elderly people always put me on the right track when I’m a bit off. Sometimes I can be naughty. But I respect our elderly people. I learn a lot from them. They teach me a lot.”

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