I never thought I’d live in Māngere. When we lived in Remuera, we picked up the idea that living south was a step backwards in life, but I’ve been here for 8 years now and love it. When my family expanded, we needed a bigger home and had access to a rental out here. I love that living in Māngere is filling in the missing part of my life–my Polynesian culture. I love being able to know my neighbours. I love the colour and vibrancy everywhere. So many people searching for their identity are missing out on that. I feel like I belong here.
It’s filled that side of what my brown side is, and connected me to my roots. I feel like it’s home in my heart or at least the closest I’ve gotten to my Polynesian roots. The plants, the colours, the buildings, the people. It’s a little pocket of Polynesia.