Radio531 PI Flower Talanoa

Radio531 PI Flowers

Biography of Samoan pioneer to launch in Auckland

24 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

The life of one of Samoa's pioneers has been brought to life in writing and will launch tonight in Auckland.

Ta'isi Olaf Frederick Nelson. Photo/ Auckland City Library.

The book Tautai, written by Australia Research Council academic Dr. Patricia O'Brien, honours the legacy of Mau warrior and businessman Ta'isi Olaf Nelson.

Dr. O'Brien says Ta'isi is the foundation of the Samoan community in New Zealand today. 

"He was a person who had enormous conviction and he never walked away from his convictions no matter the price he had to pay," she says. "He believed in his country and in his people."

Ta'isi's family allowed Dr. O'Brien to go through historical documents and private archive to help put together the biography and she says it's a huge honour.

Auckland academic Toeolesulusulu Dr. Damon Salesa adds Ta'isi ignited the spirit of self-determination that led to Samoa's independence.

"He worked to improve New Zealand rule and when he realised it wasn't a message they were going to hear, he began working with Samoan leaders to establish what we now know as the Mau."

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will be at the launch to offer her insights on Ta'isi's legacy.

Tautai will be launched in Auckland's Maleola Community Centre this evening. 

Tags: Samoa,