This 1982 Lookout documentary charts Samoan novelist and poet Albert Wendt’s personal view of Samoans in Auckland. Set mainly in what was then predominantly Samoan Grey Lynn, Wendt looks at how New Zealand-born Samoans maintain the traditions of their homeland. He also examines the close ties between those in New Zealand and the wider ainga, or extended family, back home. The church’s role in the community is highlighted, along with sports. Wendt also addresses what he sees as the double edged sword of remittance: sending money back to islands.
It was 1953 and I was only 13. I’d come straight from Samoa here to New Plymouth Boys’ High School to grow up with the sons of Taranaki farmers. Their friendship made this school and this country a special place for me. So this is the New Zealand I knew first. But a generation later it’s no longer the New Zealand I know best.– Albert Wendt