This was the first speech in the Address in Reply – a great honour. Extracts below, and the full speech can be viewed on TV3.
In Maungakiekie, there are 149 different ethnic groups represented. Approximately 50% European, 22%
Asian, 19% Pasefika and 11% Maori. Over 1/3 of our resident population are born overseas, and a 1/3 speak foreign languages. 70% have religious faith and our schools range from decile 1 to decile 9.
A hugely diverse electorate.
My personal story is borne of the fabric of the community I represent. Born in Samoa, I migrated to New Zealand when I was a child and lived in Mangere with my family. We lived in a 3 bedroom house with double garage where our custom to care for our extended family sometimes meant that we
had up to 16 people living in our home at any one time.
My father in particular made huge sacrifices. The stories he told of shifting from the warm climes of Apia to the snow and sleet of Bluff moves me. The stories he told having to walk from Ponsonby to Parnell to save the bus fare in order to have lunch money humbles me.
My parents suffered and endured a great deal just so that us children could live better lives.
We were not a wealthy family but we were rich in spirit, resourceful and determined to succeed in this
The sacrifices parents will make for their children, never fails to amaze me.
My family continues to be, the cornerstone of my life. My parents instilled in us strong family values,
Christian principles and a diligent work ethic. They are values of honouring your elders, respecting others’ opinions and treating others as you yourself would like to be treated.
Values, that NZ needs more of.
Education for me was the key to unlocking so many of the opportunities I have enjoyed in life. Education allowed me to travel, meet new people, experience different cultures. They also taught me that the best teachers in the world can and should be your parents who encourage aspiration, and teach core values and an honourable way of life.
Sadly not even the best teachers in the world can usually compensate for not having parents who encourage aspiration.
I was taught my success will not be based on bank balances, assets or looks. Success will be based on the breadth and the depth of relationships and the ability to positively impact and love others.
By that measure, Sam is already hugely successful.
I am also acutely aware of the importance of the private sector in building the future of this country. 70% of the jobs in my electorate are provided by the private sector: It’s health is their lifeline.
Fundamental to the health of the private sector in these difficult times are lower taxes, less bureaucratic red tape, and legislation which encourages fruitful investment into our productive assets and industries.
A nice reminder that the Government does not create wealth.
Finally I would like to mention my personal belief in the notion of public service. We have a Samoan proverb O le ala I le pule o le tautua. Loosely translated, this means the path to leadership is through service. To serve means to listen, respect, engage, and sometimes even to disagree. But it is a verb, and therefore one should always act. I look forward to implementing change in Maungakiekie and within this parliament through service to its people and institutions.
I am hoping that Sam will continue to serve, and in time, lead.Tags: maiden speech, National, Parliament, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga