The Auckland Pacific communities are mourning the death of Sione Tupukauvalu Liava’a, a prominent Tongan community leader.
Liava’a from Ha’avakatolo in Tonga immigrated to New Zealand in the early seventies, after working for Radio Tonga Broadcasting for three years.
He arrived in Auckland and worked for Telecom for thirteen years. He became a radio broadcaster again sending news to Tonga every morning through Radio New Zealand International.
He also helped out with a local Tongan news programme on Access Radio Auckland every morning.
“Sione was a lovely, gentle and kind man who dedicated his life to serving his community. He did not seek positions to satisfy any personal or egotistical pursuit, rather he sought to work in unity with all cultures and ensure Pacific people contributed our fullest potential to the decisions of Aotearoa New Zealand," said Sua William Sio, the Labour Party Spokesperson for the Pacific.
“He was a passionate advocate for education and served on numerous organisations either as the leader of ex-students association from his former home in Tonga, a Pacific parents’ school committee member, or as a trustee on the Board of the Auckland Grammar School.
“He will be remembered by many from the old Manukau City Council days as a strong and sensible advocate who served first as a member of the Manukau City Safer Community Council and then for two terms on the Pacific Islands Advisory Committee.
“Liavaa received a QSM last year for his community work. He fully deserved that recognition.
“More recently he was a paid up member of the Labour party who wanted to encourage his beloved Tongan community to participate fully in elections and fight for social justice for all. My colleagues and I will miss his warm smile and his wonderful kindness.
“Our sincere condolences and sympathies go to his wife Christine and his three adult children, whose education success he was immensely proud of.”
Liava’a died peacefully on Saturday 17 May 2014, at Middlemore Hospital and was buried today May 22 at the Manukau Memorial Gardens Chapel.
News in Tongan
‘Oku lolotonga tengihia ‘e he komiuniti Pasifiki ‘Aokalani ‘a e pekia a Sione Tupukauvalu Liava’a ko ha taki tu’u ki mua ‘i he komiuniti Tonga.
Na’e hiki fonua mai ‘a Liava’a ‘o Ha’avakatolo mei Tonga i he 70 tupu ki Nu’u Sila ni hili ia ‘ene fakahoko fatongia ‘i ha ta’u ‘e tolu ‘i he letio Tonga.
Na’a ne ngaue ai ‘i Nu’u Sila ni ‘i he kautaha fetu’utaki Telecom ‘i ha ta’u ‘e 13. Na’a ne toe foki ai ‘o hoko ko e tokotaha faiongoongo mei Nu’u Sila ni ki Tonga ‘o fakafou atu ‘i he Letio Fakavahaa Pule’anga ‘a Nu’u Sila.
Na’a ne toe tokoni foki ‘o faifakamafola lea ki he kainga Tonga mei he letio Access Radio ‘a ‘Aokalani ‘i he pongipongi kotoa ‘o hoko ai ‘a e tangata ni ko ha le’o ne maheni mo e kainga tokolahi ‘i he nofoo.
Ko e tangata ‘a Liava’a na’e ‘i ai ‘ene fa’ahinga tokanga makehe ki he ako pea na’a ne kau ki he ngaahi kautaha fakakomiuniti kehekehe ‘o tatau pe pe ko e me’a ‘a e kolisi tutuku ‘a e Ako Ma’olunga ‘o Tonga ‘a ia na’a ne ako foki ai, pe ko e ngaahi kautaha ako ‘a e matu’a Pasifiki pe ko e talasiti a e Poate Ako ‘a e Grammar ‘a ‘Aokalani.
E manatua ‘a Liava’a ‘e he Kosilio Motu’a ‘a e Manukau City ko ha tangata poupou mo tu’ufefeka ‘i he’enau ngaahi me’a pea na’a ne hoko ‘o ‘uluaki memipa he Manukau City Safer Community pea hoko mai ai ki ha teemi ‘e ua ‘o ‘ene memipa foki ‘i he Pacific Islands Advisory Committee.
Na’e toki foaki kia Liava’a ‘a e pale makehe ‘a e Kuini ‘o Pilitania ko e Queen’s Service Medal i he ta’u kuo ‘osi. Ko ha foaki pale ia ne taau pe mo ha tangata ngaue mateaki ma’a e kakai pehe ki he famili foki.
Ki mui mai na’a ne totongi ke ne hoko ko e memipa i he Paati Leipa ‘a ia naa ne fiema’u ke fakalotolahii ‘a hono komiuniti Tonga ke nau kau kakato ki he fili Fale Alea mo tau’i ‘a e fakamaau totonu fakasosiale ma’a e katoa, ko e konga ia e ngaahi fakamatala ‘a e Memipa Fale Alea ‘a e Leipa ki he Pasifiki Sua William Sio ‘i hono fakahikihiki’i e lavame’a ‘a Liava’a.
“‘Oku oatu ‘emau fie kaunga ongo’i mo fiekaunga mamahi mo’oni ki he uaifi, Christine mo ‘ena fanau ‘e toko tolu, ‘a ia na’e hoko ‘enau ikuna he ako ko ha me’a ke ne matu’aki polepole ai”.
Na’e malolo ‘a Liava’a ‘i he Tokonaki ko hono 17 ‘o Mee ‘i he Falemahaki Middlemore pea na’e fakahekeheka ‘ene folau ‘i he Manukau Memorial Gardens Chapel he aho ni 22 ‘o Mee.