We moved around a lot when I was a kid. We lived in Manurewa first that I remember, then Warkworth running a family business selling fresh seafood, fish and chips. It was fun but was my family’s toughest year…we lost everything. Then my Dad got a job in Remuera and we lived there throughout the last of my primary years through to high school.
I felt lost all through high school trying to figure out my identity. I didn’t know my Samoan side or Māori side for ages. I was either too white for things or too brown for things. I joined different cultural groups as a way of searching for where I belonged. I went to Samoa when I was 14 and was the first of my entire family to visit. It was a huge culture shock, but I loved it, and the penny dropped. I knew this was a big part of me and I started the journey to uncover that.