What was life like for a Tongan migrant in New Zealand in the 1970s and onwards? In this tribute to Sione Tavo Manukia, his daughter Ruby tells of his early life in Tonga and his experiences in New Zealand, as he sought a prosperous life and further education for his children. He helped to found the Pulela’a New Lynn Tongan Methodist Church.
What was life like for a Tongan migrant in New Zealand in the 1970s and onwards?
In this tribute to Sione Tavo Manukia (1936–2008), his daughter Ruby tells of his early life in Tonga and his experiences in New Zealand, as he sought a prosperous life and further education for his children. He settled in West Auckland and gained a job at Crown Lynn Pottery’s New Lynn brickworks. He then helped other migrants gain employment at the brickworks, which enabled them to assist their families back home by sending remittances.
As more migrants arrived, Sione Tavo realised that a church group base was required to host and assist them on a daily basis. This was the beginning of Pulela’a New Lynn Tongan Methodist Church, founded in 1975, where Sione Tavo served as the head church steward for 30 years.
There are valuable lessons in this book for other migrants seeking work and opportunities in New Zealand. Sione Tavo’s story demonstrates how through hard work, and moral and ethical determination, you can be successful in whatever you set out to achieve.
Introduction — The Birth of a Pioneer
The Tindall Era —Tin Can Mail History
Niua Fo’ou — Tin Can Mail Island
The Island of ’Eua
Tupou College — Toloa
Manukia Family Business
Immediate Family (Fanau)
Strength and Character
A New Era — New Zealand
Crown Lynn Brickworks and Pottery
Haukinima Motel — Futu ’Eua
Kelston — Archibald Road
Akoteu Vaevae Manava — Tongan Preschool
Establishment of Pulela’a New Lynn Tongan Methodist Church
Margan Avenue, New Lynn
New Zealand Methodist Journey
Profound Love and Passion for Music
A New Home
Tofoa and Houmakelikao
Fakanofo Matapule — Ko Kiva
Time Spent in the United States
Coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V
Final Visit to Australia
Lapse of Time
Esteem — Respect, Honour and Admiration
About the Author
Tongan born author Rubinstine Manukia migrated to Auckland with her family in 1974. Ruby has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Education from Auckland University, a Law degree from Victoria University and a Masters of Law (Honors) degree from the USA. At one time she ran a restaurant, the Foghorn Bar & Grill in San Francisco.
She currently serves her community on the Whau Local Board of the Auckland Council, and is the President’s Legal Advisor for the Methodist Church of New Zealand. Ruby enjoys sports, recreation and travelling.