Introducing Leataata Tipi
Where were you born?
Samoa, Sagone, Savai’i
What brought you to NZ?
My boyfriend came here to work, leaving me behind in Samoa with our young daughter and a broken heart. He missed me so much, he gave up smoking and bought me a ticket to be with him in New Zealand. We’ve been married 43 years!
How long have you lived in Massey?
What is your favourite secret thing
The people; friendly, and very loving, like aiga, family.
Tell us what you do in the community?
I began volunteering at Massey High School many years ago. It opened my eyes to what parents being involved at schools can achieve. It was a way for us to walk in both worlds, keeping our culture strong while learning the ways of the Palangi world, the way I identified we could elevate ourselves in our new culture.
I established Leataata O Tupulaga Pre-School in 1995. We opened the centre with the support of the parents, inviting them to become part of our community. We started literacy and numeracy classes for them, then helped them into University to become teachers themselves. We have graduated 30 parents to become teachers! I believe that -
“Good Education is the key to opening any door.”
Qualifications open opportunities to good jobs, and to exploring the world.
We now run a Homework Centre, teach Samoan and Palangi culture, offer counselling and ongoing education.
We provide an aspiration and role model for our community to keep growing and learning in all aspects of their lives. I wear my manager’s hat for the centre, and my mother hat when working with aiga. I afi them to make them stronger together.
What is your favourite thing about working with tamaiti, (children)?
Alofa and logo fiafia malie. Love and fun. They bring me happiness, tears of joys sometimes as we laugh and play together.
What is your aspiration for the tamaiti of Massey?
My wish is that they grow up confident and competent, loving each other. To grow up in a world of happiness and freedom, standing united as one.
My vision is that we build a new Pacifica Learning Center here to educate children and parents.
Any tips for parents who are unsure about how to get their tamaiti started in Early Childhood Education?
Visit different centres and find one you trust. Think about what you want for your tamaiti when they grow up. Look for a center that will help you achieve that.
For some aiga they worry about the fees. At our pre-school fees we accept donations and time from parents to help out in the centre.
If you could give one piece of advice to aiga, whanau, families, what would it be?
Stay cool and calm no stress. Take your children to school. Love them and be happy! They are our hopes and aspirations for the future.
Leataata O Tupulaga Ole Pasefika
91 – 93 Moire Road,
Massey East 0614
Phone: 09 832 3616
We offer the children a self choice developmentally appropriate programme based on educational equipment designed to stimulate children to think, problem-solve, progress physically, emotionally and socially.