Posts Tagged New Zealand
China has become the most favoured nation for the independent nation of Samoa. The Prime Minister of Samoa has considered the political and economic climatic change to the nascent economic superpower China as Samoa’s natural protector and most importantly an economic viable partner.
In terms of Australian perception this announcement has become not too surprising but more to the point of illustrating the changing attitudes by the Samoans towards Australian and New Zealand paternalism. The Australian perception to this attitude is one of indifference and apathy with a view that Samoan geo-political sphere of influence within the Pacific region whilst being important is not considered as an ideological obstruction to Australian and New Zealand geo-political interests.
It is highly probable that the Chinese will consider Samoa as merely a regional geo-political ally from now and well into the future. In general China will consider Samoa in reciprocal terms as a trusted ally more so than Australia.
Australian intelligence agencies however will not look too favourably of Samoan foregin policy and will consider Samoa as a likely anti-Australian influence within regional politics.
Dr Stephen Henningham a regional intelligence specialist within the Office of National Assessments (ONA) has been the High Commissioner to Samoa for the past few years and would have considered the Samoan situation with some regional authority, understanding moreover the peculiarity of the Samoan character. Unlike the Samoan intelligence services whom seem less astute in profiling their counterparts within the region they have become less subtle in their regional positioning announcing a pro-Chinese position.
In general, Australians will consider this announcement by the Samoan government has acceptable from an AUSAID level in sofaras, the recent announcements of foreign aid reductions to the Pacific Island region will be considered as timely convenient. The passing of the paternalism buck so to speak to China is acceptable to Australia’s AUSAID. It will not burden the Australian taxpayer in the least and hopefully in the near future the Samoans will consider migrating their people to China as well and not to New Zealand, Australia and America.
Brisbane Australia. 4th June 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15th January, 2012
The Samoan troop numbers within the respective United States military units currently serving within Iraq have officially been given their recall orders from their commander in chief President Barak Obama. The current Samoan troop numbers are not fully disclosed due to ethnicity classifications of US military servicemen are subsumed to Nationality of servicemen, therefore, Samoan military servicemen included within the United States Armed forces are not disclosed according to ethnicity to the public.
However, the respective companies within the 100Bn, 442nd Regiment within the US Army Reserve, has been dominated by Samoan military personnel and have been in active duty within Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Samoans as an ethnic military culture have proffered military assets to the respective military forces globally including the New Zealand Army units, including the elite SAS, The US military services including Delta Force, US Navy, including the notorious or the famous Navy SEALS, US Air force as front line fighter pilots, including colonel Snow an F15 Eagle pilot etc.
The Samoan military culture is very entrenched and a proud culture of fighting men that has been embedded within the Toa culture of most Polynesian cultures, this cultural tradition has been bestowed to the Samoan serving within the Australian Armed forces as well as the French Foreign Legion.
The fighting Samoan Toa is indeed a creature of habit, a bellicose weapon, and a ruthless menace to his enemies, if utilised effectively.
Within an indifferent and myopic society the Samoan is stereotyped as either a rugby player, a menial semi skilled worker, an expected pub brawler (also known as a “Lout” according to the Queensland justice stigma), a staunch christian, and is purportedly expected to be a lethargic obese diabetic. Often the warrior stereotype is considered as atypical and is more associated with a distant Toa culture of yesteryear.
In an age known, disdainfully by the Allan Duff school of thought, as the “Once were Warriors” dying race Eugenic myth. The Eugenic paradigm which has been inculcated by the Allan Duff school of thought has besmirched and tarnished the cultural reputation of many Polynesian cultures as well as the Maori culture. The bigotted stereotype has become the ideal for the stereotypical stigma that has denied many sporting, employment and career opportunities for many Polynesian groups within New Zealand society rippling outwardly to Australia and America. The antiheroism of the bellicose Samoan or the Jake Heke (Maori version) of the “Once were Warrior” has become a twisted truism that has left many Samoans, Tongans and Maori with very little breathing space to arise from the burden of stereotype and stigma.
Closer to home. The Australian Samoan, nowadays, is indeed a person whom is keen to reaffrim the “Once were Warrior” tradition, particularly viewed in their interest in contact sport, ie, rugby martial arts and pugilism, and would wish to continue to live this truism of their cultural trait within their adopted host society.
The Australian Samoan is integrating with the indigenous and mainstream Australian society and is subsumed by the overwhleming tyranny of the masses and competing pluralism of a multicultural Australian soceity which may be carbon copied anywhere within American society and New Zealand.
The global internet has created a bridge network through which all Samoans are proffered an opportunity to connect with each other and to share notonly their particular cultural origins but also their daily lives inspite and despite their diaspora.
Fa’afetai lava i le faitau.
27th October, 2011