A fresh face on the Whau Local Board Labour ticket is NZ-born-Samoan, Fasitua Amosa – son of Presbyterian minister, Asora Amosa, and one of five Amosa siblings who have risen to some prominence in the Avondale traps. Fasitua is an actor, voice artist and stand-up comedian who has featured in a host of theatre roles, film and television including Sione’s Wedding, the Jono & Ben Show, Find me a Maori Bride and the pervasive, Shortland Street:
Why now politics?
“My job involves using my voice and often I have found myself being the mouthpiece for people who don't feel they can speak up. Some things need saying, and I’ll speak up for them - that's how I see I can be useful.
The passion and feeling of identity residents have with Avondale deserves a better representation than what we have had so far. I feel I can bring a fresh energy and a younger perspective to the table, with a different sensibility.
My brother [Marcus Amosa] inspired me when I saw his passion for the community in his work with the Avondale Business Association. It seems a lot of good people are too busy with their lives to put their hands up to sit on these boards. But if the good people don’t, then we may be left with people who don’t share our love for the community and a desire to see it grow and thrive. I see it as a civic duty to have a voice and use it to represent others in the place that makes the decisions. I’m just a person putting my hand up to do that.”
You’re a Matai for your village in Samoa?
“Yes. Although my brothers and I were born in New Zealand, I expressed an interest in the Matai role to my father back when I was 10. When Dad decided to take up a further title, he passed this one on to me – my matai name is Faiumu.”
Does that give you responsibilities in the village?
“To an extent. If someone from the village were to be at a loose end here, I’d likely be expected to put my hand up to help.”
To what extent does your father's influence come through in your decision to stand for the Local Board?
“It comes back to having a heart to serve which goes back to the heart of being a matai. When you put your hand up to be a chief, you're putting your hand up to be “the one that does” … it causes you to ask, ‘What can I do? Where am I best placed to serve?’”
“I'm around, I'm approachable, come holler, and talk to me about what matters to you …”