Tua | Manurewa

“Okay, my name is Tua, and my home is in Manurewa, Auckland at this time. I’m actually from up North, but I made this my home, as my family, my children are down here.

Wow, that’s a good question. I suppose it’ll be with my grandchildren, and give them an understanding of what it is to be able to enjoy what we have today at this present time, what life’s got to offer in the way of the community. We have a lot of good things in the community, that we can enjoy.

I grew up, up North, in the Bay of Islands, close to Russell on the East Coast, and I schooled in Whangārei. I’m a man of leisure and peace. I enjoy the lifestyle of the country, and also family and community. Then I moved down to Auckland here, where I started to enjoy the very good comforts of what Auckland has to offer, in the way of restaurants and things like that, which I haven’t experienced up North, because our restaurant was in the sea. So, we were in that sort of environment, but to come down and experience where all that food is prepared, and nice, in cafes and that it’s great to see. But I still love the Bay of Islands, because that’s where I grew up, and I got to have a good understanding of cultural identity, be it my own culture, or other cultures, because I interacted with the different cultures from overseas, visiting the Bay of Islands. So, it’s really great.

The most important thing to me, I suppose I reckon it’s all about people, and I’d like to pass that on to my grandchildren and my own children as well. To know we’ve come together as a diverse group of people, and that we can all learn from each other. What I’ve seen is a multi-cultural environment, where the people can come together and learn from each other, of their different cultures and identity of who they are, through that multi-culturalism. It’s a great place in Auckland to have that, and I like to see my children, grand-children have a background in that diversity and married into a different culture. It’s great to see that Auckland has got those opportunities to offer them the understanding of what diversity is within the cultures that are out there, and that’s what I’d like to leave them, to share the beauty and love of their culture to other people. I suppose what I’m passionate about is people enjoying what other people have to offer, in the way of their culture or identity of who they are. 

The message that I share with my grandchildren is to know that you can never go hungry, you can always go back to the natural environment, or the country, and learn how to learn to live off the land, through gardening. We used to go out and go into the bush and find things that we could, that we learned from our grandparents, but for our children today, it’s learning about gardening and the cultural side of it. Knowing their family has come from a good background of knowing that there are beaches out there that have seafood in and knowing that if you respect the sea, then it’ll respect you, and knowing that it can nurture and help you as well as the land itself. So, I suppose it’s learning if you look after the land, the land and the sea will look after you, and that’s what I leave with them. I’m just a man of simple means of words, but that’s what I put across, is saying, just being human, just knowing that if we pass on something that can be passed on to be shared with others, then it’s a great thing.”

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