Republicanism the model of best fit. The minority perspective. By Tim Tufuga

Senator Matt Thistlewaite introduces David Morris

Australian republicanism was written about at length by academics, jurists and political commentators from here in Australia and afar with some multifaceted perspectives all of which has revealed a comprehensive understanding of  the various forms of republican models. No absolute full proof algorithmic formula is considered perfect as such in proposing an Australian republican model of best fit. For a simplified formula for an Australian republic model there has considered a minimalist model or a direct popularly elected President republic model on the offing. In the meantime, in 1999, some 54.4% of Australians have answered on the republicanism question, in the attitude of,  if it is still working well why change it, which meant that the status quo remained firm. Which means that Australians are, firstly, still apathetically ignorant of their history, their place on the planet, and in their consideration towards the path of the nationhood is still at its infancy. Secondly, in the fundamental principle question of citizenry sovereignty rights versus Imperial subjectivity and subjugation, the latter was reaffirmed and Australians choose to remain British subjectivity and subsuming their sovereign citizenry rights to this subjectivity in the process.

 The Australian minority record, thus far, the Australian citizenry rights that was proffered to the indigenous persons of Australia was finally, historically considered ignominiously and shameful for the white imperial rulers and Australian citizens, had been granted to the indigenous people through a 1967 referenda. If this example was not embarrassing enough for white Australia then, once again, Australian citizens have had to ask another question about their sovereignty status with the question of whether Australians should become an independent sovereign nation or to continue to be an imperial subject to a Eurocentric ruler in a far off distant European nation.

The mainstream political agenda setters have been from the intellectual elites, politicians, academics, jurists and working class intellects. The views of the indigenous people have hitherto been ignored until the Keating administration proffered a chair on the consultation table for the representatives of the indigenous people in 1993. As for the multicultural groups they have been considered as outsiders and residual recipients of mainstream political  decision making processes. The overarching value added debate of a democratic inclusive Australian citizenry is amongst the fundamental principles of republicanism. It behoves all true republicans anywhere to ensure that citizenry democracy is valued more so than imperial subjectivity.

The following two major Republican models have been considered by constitutional law jurists and academics was proffered to the Australian people to consider and to decide upon in the failed  referenda of November 6th, 1999. The first and most accepted model was the ‘minimalist’ republican model. A democratic transition towards an Australian Republic by changing only some of the wording of the constitution and to repeal amend where necessary constitutional principles, above ensuring that the current parliamentary system remains with non-executive powers for the President. The most favoured minimalist model was then proposed to the Australian people.

However, the proposed law: “To alter the constitution to establish the commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and the Governor General being replaced by a President appointed by two thirds majority of the members of the commonwealth Parliament

The Keating model proposed an inclusion to the minimalist model specifically so as to avoid political collusion of a politically ‘neutral’ President, which was to include a five year rest period, for a former serving politician, before he or she may be eligible for nomination, and eventually, be selected as an incumbent President. However, this addition to the minimalist model was not included in the referenda question in 1999.

The outcome of the republican referenda of 1999: 44.7% said yes and 54.4% said no, 1%informal votes.

In Glenn Patmore’s book, “Choosing the Republic” NSW press, 2009, he simplifies the considered alternative republican models for the people of Australia to consider more seriously.

I will discuss Glenn Patmore’s republican models he has explain so succinctly at length later, firstly, a brief history of the road to republicanism thus far.

The Australian republicanism has been on the minds of many Australians since Australians had seriously thought about their national self identity. The most significant paths towards self-determination for Australians had initially been marked with the creation of the federation of Australia, in 1901.

But, perhaps, the most significant momentous act towards Australian self-determination had begun with Her majesty Queen Victoria assenting to the letters patent for the establishment of the separate states of Australian, then known as New South Wales, within the New South Wales Constitutional Act, of 1842 (UK). (1)

The eventual separation of the states through the authorisation of the letters patent for the States of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and South Australia would be preserved in the NSW Constitutional Act, in 1855 and the letters patent authorised on June 6th, 1859.

The passage towards representative democratic governments of the separate colonial states would make sure that a federation of the Australian states would be the inadvertent process towards nationhood, through the Australian Constitution Act of 1900 (UK).

 When Henry Parkes and his colleagues were congratulating themselves and patting themselves on the back with the constitutional convention of 1891, there were some 15 republican groups listed within Australia during the 1880s. (4) 

Perhaps, amongst the most famous of these journals was penned by the mother of the famous writer Henry Lawson. The republican debate was already a hot topic for the Lawson household. Louisa Lawson and her son Henry Lawson had already printed their circular  ” The Republican in 1887. She and son Henry edited the Republican in 1887-88, which was printed on an old press in Louisa’s cottage. The Republican called for an Australian republic uniting under ‘the flag of a Federated Australia, the Great Republic of the Southern Seas’. The Republican was replaced by the Nationalist, but it lasted two issues.

Glenn Patmore had highlighted 1999 referenda question which had proposed the minimalist model for an Australian model and had contrasted it with the direct election model and the varings methodologies for nomination, selection process, prescribed powers, and the tenure of a proposed Australian President. However, I will not discuss the finer points at length since those are the considerations of the constitutional jurists experts to expand at length and not for this brief discussion.

The minimalist model:

1. The nominations are provided to the Prime Minister by the Presidential nomination committee

2. In the House of Representatives the Prime Minister moves and the leader of the Opposition seconds a motion that named Australian be chosen as the President.

3. The motion is affirmed by two thirds of the total number of the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(Patmore 2009:119)

The Direct Election:

Popular Elections of a President will result in a politically captured (biassed) President, similar to the United States of America, model. Secondly, the likelihood of an ill qualified and unsuited celebrity may be popularly elected into the Presidency.

Most Australians tend to be sceptical of political appointments since this will remove the democratic rights of most people to choose their President. Most Australians will consider the role of the President as exercising only the prescribed reserve powers which are presently imbedded within the present constitutional conventions of Australian parliamentary procedures.

The unique character of the Australian cultural identity has been shaped by its unique politics of proximity and the obvious Blainey’s tyranny of distance from the imperial ruler of Australia.(6)

In the context, of a hitherto considered , White monocultural and purportedly homogenous Australian history, the road towards a republic had been discussed at length through these mainstream Anglo-Celtic political power elites, as the aforementioned jurists,  academics and politicians, and to some lesser extent, have included the egalitarian working class intellects. The later group of republican intellects  had primarily come from the Labour left and the socialist movements. The influence of the Hibernian and Catholic church whom indeed become firm advocates and instrumental in instilling the Jacobite thoughtlines.

The multicultural perspective has been viewed as relatively apathy and insignificance in the debate. More particularly is the lack of active engagement by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australian political history that was until the consultation process during the Keating administration, which had established the Republican Consultation Committee in 1993.

Up until then, the overwhelming Anglo-Saxon Protestant Australian population had considered the republicanism advocates as part of the alternative politics and only a fickle marginal intellectual elite challenge to the status quo.

Apart from the most apathetic attitudes and an indifference to political idea and notions to seemingly complex political movements, the lack of education made for a less receptive citizenry in appreciating the gravity of the momentous decision to becoming a republic. From the multicultural perspective, this apathy was even more obvious. Most minority groups considered that they were already considered as second class citizens and excluded from mainstream political issues. However, it would only natural for indigenous people to advocate for an Australian Republic more the obvious path to reconciliation for the citizens of Autralia and the indigenous people.

Conversely, moreover, the psychological barriers to accepting an Australian republic was for the obvious oxytosine linkages of many Anglo-Celtic people to their English, Scottish, Welsh, or Irish families and homes whence they had emigrated from. Australia was historically speaking for many white Australians, and regional neighbours, always considered as a White Australian island of tranquility within a region full of Black and Brrown skinned Aboriginals, Asiatics and Pacific Islanders, and the thought of becoming a republic would be too much to handle, and would be a feather to break the back of a White Australian society.

The South East regional perspective had also chimed into the Australian republican debate with the most obvious multicultural distinctiveness of White Australians from their immediate neighbours Indonesians, Philipinos, Malaysians, Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians to add colour to the already Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander neighbourhood. Ethnically speaking most Australians are white Anglo-Celtic and of European ancestry. Yet, regionally speaking, Oceania and South East Asia region are populated by brown and black skinned Pacific Islanders and Aboriginal indigenous cultures. In the past two hundred years of white settlement has ushered in an overwhelming Eurocentrism of the Australian sociopolitical cultural  landscape. This has brought into question two major mass migration movements, the first being the pre-world war two era of the white Australia policy and the Ben Chifley post World War Two white Australia policy re-visited, until it finally was ended by the mid 1960s with last ship loads of Ten Pound Poms had disembarked at various ports throughout Australia.

The influx of the initial non-European migrants begun with the post Vietnam war boat people which has established a tradition of boat people refugees in Australian detention centres ever since.

The Hanson era had begun in the mid-1990s with the acute resentment and xenophobia of many white Australians of the purported backdoor immigration of Asiatics and non-Europeans into Australia which would further add weight to the anti-Republicism by the ultra xenophobic white Australian nationalists, whom would seek international social network links with similar groups such as the British National Party (BNP), ultra right racially bigoted groups whom would inadvertently would support and become firm monarchists primarily within New Zealand, and Canada. Racism has chimed in with the regionalised splendid isolation attitudes brought about by the Geoffrey Blainey ‘Tyranny of distance’ fear mongering amongst many white Australians which would result in the firm resentment to any inkling of change, and certainly, the fear of a republic would imply the fear of the Asianisation of Australian society.

The Australian Constitutional Monarchists (ACM), naturally then, had found an unlikely ally amongst the rabble rouser of the mould of the White Australian supremacist of the mould of the Rompa Stompa misfit nihilist, the example of these persons have been evident with Australian flags draped around bodies with a visualised union jack highlighted by White racists. Conversely, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have their own flags already indicating to many multicultural groups that Australian society is quickly inculcating a culture of separate development, an Apartheid attitude, which may have also be a cultural legacy from varying influences such as disaffected migrating South African Afrikaners, post 1995, whom have arrived in Australia in the hundreds and thousands. ( (In the 2006 census most migrants into Australia, some 105,000 were from South Africa )(5)

 All the while the mainstream media have been focusing their attention upon a handful of boat people arriving in dilapidated boats and shipped onto Christmas Island for detention. 

In many respects the multicultural variable has factored a significant influence in the predominant ‘No’ vote by most White Australians. As for the minority ethnic groups, particularly ethnic groups indigenous to the region whom would overwhelmingly view the Australian path towards a republic as not only significant in terms of showing Australian sovereignty is absolute terms and demonstrably as a natural hegemonic leader of Oceania and, perhaps, in the not too distant future Australia will be considered as a regional hegemonic power within the South East region, and not as surrogate European lovechild discarded amongst the Black and Brown indigenous people, as perceived, by ASEAN member nations, and the multicultural ethnic groups of the South East Asian and Pacific region.

 1 http://foundingdocs.gov.au/item-did-44.html

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisa_Lawson

3http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/republic/glenn-patmores-choosing-the-republic-a-review/

4 The Essential Australian Republic Handbook, ARM, 2011 pg. 3

5 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3416.0Main+Features32008

6 http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2960626

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Commemoration of the tenth anniversary since the passing of the late Ms. Tumema S Tufuga.

Asau Airstrip 1981 (Nive Tufuga’s land, before govt acquired in circa 1953)

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the passing of the late Mema Tufuga

It has been ten years today, the 4th March, 2002, when my late mother, Ms. Tumema Siala Tufuga, had died from a belated diagnosed Cervical Cancer, at the Logan Hospital, Loganlea, Queensland, Australia.

It has been an interesting journey for my mother whom had initially migrated to New Zealand, at the age of 18, soon after the declaration of Independence of Samoa, just over a year or so earlier, from New Zealand, which was in 1962. My mother Mema Tufuga as a somewhat naive 18 year old had journeyed alone to New Zealand, in 1964.

My late mother was born in a village which had a large inlet harbour, called Matavi Harbour, and the village was called Asau, in Savai’i, Samoa. Specifically, my late mother Mema Tufuga was born in a place called Utuloa, Asau. Utuloa itself, is the part of Asau in which has situated a deep sea wharf, an airstrip, and a saw mill, all on my late mother’s grandmother’s, or Nive Tufuga’s, land. My great grandmother le Susuga Nive Tufuga, whom had died in 1954. The Beach Fo’a, to the northeast of Asau, is also part of her land as well. 

My mother’s mother, Fuifui Tufuga, also interned in the Beenleigh cemetery, May 19th, 2009, whose parentage was from Matavai, Asau, hence, the title of Tufuga, which has been assumed by all of her offprings, is from Matavai, Asau, instead of Utuloa, whence my late mother is said to have been born (1).

My mother, Mema Tufuga, (born as Mema Tauvae (2)) had been a product of the bilateral migration treaty between New Zealand and Samoa then known as the Friendship Treaty, in which, as a teenager of 18 years of age, she had travelled to New Zealand without any requirements of a visa or a working visa to live and work in New Zealand.

During this time of initial settlement in New Zealand my mother had connected with her Samoan peers within the Christchurch community including scholars from Samoa, whom had included my father. My father was a scholar from Samoa attending school at a prestiged Saint Bedes College, then obtaining a scholarship to the Canterbury University, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Having completed his studies he was bonded to his government and was instructed to return to Samoa. His legacy was, of course, my sister and I. My father went to a Catholic school in New Zealand, but, in Samoa, he was a Congregationalist and still is today.

From a religious point of view, my mother was a devout christian, as many Samoans are. She was born in a village which were predominately Weslyan Methodists, but, having moved to Apia, she had adoped her aunty’s Catholic religion in Tuloto, Apia. She then migrates to New Zealand as a converted Papist, which is only short term only, since she is a protestant from Asau to begin with, and also with the fact that her  biological father, Tauvae Tuiletufuga, was a member of the Lotu Poesi Congregational Church, in Apia, Samoa.

During the mid 1960s, primarily due to her love of singing and the soulful music of the Evangelical churches my mother quickly embraces the Charismatic faiths of the  Assemblies of God Church, in Christchurch, New Zealand, she converts to the AOG movement until she arrives in Brisbane, in 1981, with the Samoan version of the AOG missionary zeal. In the early 1990s, after having a period of religious isolation living in Beenleigh, from the Samoan AOG s support networks, my late mother converts to the Seventh Day Adventists, but this is for only a couple of years, or until, I had returned from my educational travels abroad, in New Zealand and Samoa, and I had reminded her of her religious origins within the AOG. She quickly returns to the fold and tried to initiate a localised Pentacostal church until she becomes ill and bedridden.

In the meantime, in 1981, having worked and being a mother throughout the 1970s, my mother decided to travel to Australia with her relatives and fellow church colleagues, this was in June 1981. With her came her religious zeal.

She was a qualified seamstress/dressmaker amongst many of her talents, and she was employed, tentatively, at that moment, as a textile worker, in Brisbane, and was considered a valued worker by the Lee Cooper clothing company, in that she was asked to become a permanent employee. Hence, the decision made by mother to remain in Brisbane from 1981 permanently.

My sister and I arrived, initially, only for a holiday in December 1981. Mum refused to repatriate to New Zealand. Begrdugingly, my sister and I, feeling very out of our cultural comfort zones accepted our fate of having to migrate to live in Australia until Mum changes her mind at least it was hoped so then. It was not until my late mother’s death did I reluctantly decide to remain in Australia permanently and to initiate naturalisation proceedings.

As time went by mum worked tirelessly and then during the 1990s she was made redundant and at the time she had received a miniscule severence payment during the infamous Keating’s gibe as the period in which it was the Recession we had to have, then the Lee Cooper clothing textile company was forced to move operations to New South Wales. My mother refused to leave sunny Queensland primarily due to her devotion to her church committments, and, the fact that she had gotten used to Brisbane. In 1986, we moved to Beenleigh, in 2000, we moved to Crestmead. We have remained here ever since. In 2002, after an inexplicable medical prognosis of her condition, my mother is finally diagnosed as having advanced cervical cancer, and succombs to this disease, and three weeks after this revelation she died.

 A very annoying and a seemingly unfulfilled journey. 

What a journey it has been, indeed.

Tofa soifua

Tim Tufuga

Logan City Qld.

4th March 2012.

1 .Most modernday births in Asau are now in the Sataua hospital, but, during the early 20th century, most births were home births including my mothers.

2. The late Tauvae Tuiletufuga, from Apia village, in Apia, Samoa, was the father of late mother. Tauvae Tuiletufuga is the son of Le Afioga Tuiletufuga Liu, the High Chief of Apia, and a Samoan Police Officer.

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Australian Labor Party members gather for the True Believers dinner function on Friday evening, the 17th Feb, 2012.

I, Tim Brian Tufuga, had attended the Australian Labor Party Queensland branch members dinner function on Friday evening the 17th February, 2012.

On the guest list were former Prime Minister Paul Keating, whom was the gueat of honour. Other distinguished guests included former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd; former Premiers of Queensland, Peter Beattie and Wayne Goss; former Lord Mayor of Brisbane Jim Soorley. As well as current cabinet and backbencher MPs and local Government Councillors and the ALP branch members invited to attend the function.

Hosting the evening’s proceedings was the Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh and the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

The event was a precursor launch of the state election campaign for the ALP Qld, as well as acknowledging ALP members of past and present.

The evenings proceeding was a festive occassion with people enjoying the atmosphere and the occassion. It had allowed me to gather a glimpse of the true inner circle of the seat of power within the Queensland version of the oldest political party in the world. The origins of the Australian Labor Party had started right here in Queensland in a remote inner Queensland township called Barcaldine. The Australian Labor Party has been in power within Queensland for most of the past decade and a half of Queensland politics. The recent debacle with the federal leadership challenge has only been considered as a factional party feud between very influential and powerful political characters which invariably seems to be focused upon state focused loyalties pitted against non-Queenslander rivals south of the Tweed Heads.

Tim Tufuga

22nd February  2012

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcaldine,_Queensland
http://members.optushome.com.au/spainter/Conrick.html

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Treaty of Waitangi reaffirming imperial alliegence by the Tangata Whenua by Tim Tufuga

The 6th February commemorates the signing of the founding document of New Zealand, Te Tiriti O Waitangi, on the 6th February, 1840. This day, paradoxically, commemorates the purported equal partnership between the indigenous people of New Zealand and their foreign superpower friend and protector, and more importantly, it is a day reaffirming the imperial allegiance of the indigenous people of New Zealand, the New Zealand Maori, with their Imperial partners and guardians (misinterpretation of the word ‘governance’, (or Kawanatanga) for the English definition being the absolute surrendering of the respective Iwi chieftain’s sovereignty rights to an imperial ruler, being that of the British Crown). Moreover, within the three articles of the treaty stipulate the covenant conditions between the Aboriginal people of New Zealand and Her Majesty the Queen of the British Empire, then, in 1840, Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The paradox, it seems, in modern-day debate, has been the demands by the indigenous people, Te Tangata Whenua, for the government, and the citizens of New Zealand, to having to honour the terms and conditions of the treaty, vis-à-vis, with a specific reference tothe  Article Two of the treaty, regarding the pre-emptive selling of indigenous lands and resources, by the government, in the name of the Crown, to private industries and agencies. Moreover, under article two of the Treaty the pre-emptive clause prevents asset sales without prior consultation with the specific land owners of a particular purported or actual Crown owned asset. Controversy over asset sales has ignited much bellicose contention between respective Maori Iwi and government agencies over the years. What seems to be displaced from the pursuit of the soveriegnty rights for the indigenous people has been the adherence to the terms of the Treaty which is in thus reaffirms their loss of soveriegnty rights to a foreign ruler. Therefore, the Treaty of Waitangi enshrines the constitutional monarchy of the British rulership over the indigneous people of New Zealand.

Peter Dunne‘s United Future political party, seemed the only political party within New Zealand with a firm party manifesto inclusion for a republic of New Zealand, although, the two major political parties of New Zealand have acknowledged the seemingly inevitable transition towards a New Zealand republic, in the short-term  at least this debate is held on hiatus.

What does seem to be emphasised by the modern political climate of New Zealand society is the commercial value of the Treaty of Waitangi for the respective Iwi Trusts and their respective Iwis, rather than the fundamental concern over the constitutional ramification of the view of honouring the term of  Te Tiriti by the advocates for Te Tino Rangitiratanga, which has loss their passion once their firm activists were elected into office has presentday members of parliament.  What seems to be accusatory of the Tino Rangitiratanga movement is the affirmation of the Maori alliegence to the Crown and not in the pursuit of self determination through a Republic of New Zealand. This goal displacement seems to make the Treaty of Waitangi anti-self determination and against the interest of an independence of New Zealand from an imperial ruler.

The most prevalent concern is the insipid referral by the indigenous people for an imperial document in order for them to acquire ancient land rights and asset claims. In so doing, facilitating the imperial British courts, such as the Privy Council, in order to attain confiscated land rights and the purported stolen assets and the prevention of asset sales without a royalty or stipend for the loss of assets. The Privy Council was the last court of appeal for the indigenous people in order to have their treaty right honoured. This last resort has been repealed by the creation of the Supreme Court of New Zealand, as being the highest court of the land in 2004.  There are no longer any  appeals to the Privy Council since inception of the New Zealand Supreme Court Act, in 2004.

The lessons of history seems to be very salient for the indigenous people of New Zealand which is, indeed, to undo the damage of imperial entrapment with James Busby‘s connivance in preying upon the gullibility of semantics of the English language by a non English Speaking indigenous culture, and by convincing the Maori chiefs to sign away their sovereignty rights as scribed under the English version of the Treaty of Waitangi. In truth, the seemingly tardiness of the Maori  would be revealed within the old communication adage,’ lost in translation’. Comparaively speaking, the lessons of the American war of independence had taught valuable lessons to the indignant English ruler, in that, a response to good colonial rule was contrived with a particular ingenious diplomatic formula which was emphasised most strikingly perfect with the documentation of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

To this day, the irony of history would reveal that the indigenous people of New Zealand would become the most vehement defender of the Crown so long as their demands are honoured, in so doing, in that everyone would  honour the Treaty. Why? it is, indeed, the thirty pieces of silver for their sovereignty, as contained within article two of the treaty. The Monarchy League of New Zealand will find no other loyal subjects as the indigenous people of New Zealand.

Conversely, you will find that it is the Pakeha  (White  or non-Maori New Zealand Citizen) whom have already put into motion the process for a New Zealand Republic inadvertently through such actions as the repeal of the Privy Council and the creation of the New Zealand Supreme Court system. By denying outside interference in Treaty settlement matters, New Zealanders are able to solve their own disputes amongst themselves.

Tim Tufuga

Brisbane, Australia

sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Waitangi

http://www.republic.org.nz/
http://www.republic.org.nz/constitutionalreview
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Movement_of_Aotearoa_New_Zealand#Head_of_state_Referenda_Bill

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A Samoan Australian Pugilist, a junior world champion, for 2011.

Samoan cultural tradition in the sport of pugilism seems to have become cemented within Australian sporting culture with young 16 year old Jai Opetaia, demonstrating a genetic pedigree from his Samoan heritage which has become most evident in late July, 2011, Junior world championship, in Kazakhstan.

As a sixteen year old, young master Jai Opetaia, has given himself a great psychological boost in his Olympic dreams if not in London, but, certainly for the Rio De Janiero Olympic games in 2016.

On the flipside, a bucket list pugilist such as I, at a tender age of 43, I have vowed to enter the boxing ring within Queensland to do some long awaited venting.

Pugilism is something in which most, if not all, Samoan young lads have had an occssion to have experienced in their youth either at village level, or in the rough and tumble working class suburbia, within New Zealand, United States, or Australia.

It seems genetically predetermined as much as rugby union and rugby league is considered as the divinely inspired contact sport for many Toa Samoans, Tongans, Maori etc. However, as a Samoan, it behoves all other enthused and eager Pugilist in the making within the humble villages and or the heckling Suburbs to feel inspired, compelled, and impelled, to take up the challenge and to become a modernday warrior.

In 2012, the year of the Olympics, many young aspirant eyes will be hoping upon hope to become an Olympian and to pursue glory in London, or,  if not, then in Rio De Janiero within the foreseeale future.

From a Samoan perspective, the year 2012, will mark the 50th year of Samoan independence from the imperial military occupation and colonial rule from New Zealand in 1962.

Moreover, the diaspora of many Samoans throughout the globe will be a time of cultural reflection and a self  appraisal and assessment of our achievements and self development  and particularly as a unique global cultural identity. We have become citizens of the world within our respective nations and have only our ethnicity to bind our race as an expression of our particularity to the world.

2012, is a year to be proud of being a Samoan no matter where you live and who the master you serve.

Fa’afetai lava.

Tim Tufuga
Brisbane, Australia

15th January, 2012
http://www.boxing.org.au/documents/2011-aiba-junior-results.pdf

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The Nifo Oti, The Samoan Kukri. By Tim Tufuga

The Samoan Kukri, le Nifo Oti

The Samoan Kukri, le Nifo Oti

The Samoan ‘Kukri’, le ‘Nifo Oti’, is, perhaps, the most lethal hand to hand combat weapon ever devised within the Pacific bellicose cultures.

The weapon is unique in design and is particular to the Samoan warrior culture. The history of the origins of the weapon has its mythical origins like a Shaka Zulu mini series whereby a warrior Prince forges a weapon from some mythical diety. However, Samoans are less superstitious but will nevertheless attribute the origins of the weapon to two brothers Tunu ma Fata in a time when the Samoans were struggling with their war for independence against the imperial rule of the Vava’uan Tongans.

The liberation of the Samoans from Tongan colonisation would, inadvertantly, be attributed to two factors. Firstly, the Tunu ma Fata twins, whom would later on become the first Malietoa royal line of Samoa, and, secondly, the weapon they had invented, Le Nifo Oti.

The functionality of the weapon is ingenius and it is unique to Samoan military history. The weapon’s primary advantage was the particularity of the design. A blade like weapon which had two sides with primarily opposite functions. On the one side, there is a serrated edge with a hook and on the other a smooth edged blade. The hilt is designed as a fulcrum, to give balance to the blade, and the ability for the warrior to either use the weapon singlehandedly or to grip the handle with both hands. The movement of engagement is primarily to approach the enemy in squarely in a frontal close quarter assault, with the initial movement to ‘parry’ with the initial strike by the enemy’s weapon, and to effect a lethal counter offensive technique. This primary engagement requires the actual contact of combat weapons, either a Club or a Staff, before the Nifo Oti becomes lethally effective. Initially, the parry movement is to allow the Nifo Oti to make actual contact then to ‘catch’ the enemy’s weapon, by latching the weapon on the serrated side with the final movement, whence once the enemy’s weapon slides the weapon through to the hooklike latch, the hook, in turn catches the enemy’s weapon, and in the process, disengages the weapon with a swift deft movement by the Samoan warrior. The enemy’s weapon will be flung assunder renderring the enemy weaponless and defenseless. Once disarmed the enemy is without a weapon and is vulnerable to the smooth edged blade of the weapon which is then initiated will lacerate and dismember the fallen enemy. The opposite side of the weapon is then utilised which will lacerate the enemy and will severe limbs and in particular to decapitate the fallen disarmed foe.

Hypothetically, when initiated by a Nifo Oti specialist of the highest order, the Samoan warrior, may in fact be able to disarm a person armed with a sword, a Katana, with the same close counter technique as aforementioned with equal lethal potency.

Tim Tufuga

source: http://www.ashokaarts.com/shop/antique-samoan-nifo-oti-chopper-or-axe-type-weapon

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