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  • Writer's pictureRuth Wong

A new journey and a time to share

Updated: May 3, 2020

Kia ora whānau, my name is Ruth Wong. I am the daughter of Asovale Tuimaseve and Huia Tunua. I was born and raised in Hastings. The first house I went home to when I was born was on Highway 50 Royshill Road. My nanny pop Timoti Paraire Tunua and our Nanny Ma, Martha Tita Pahemata Hirini lived up the hill. My cousins Steven and Rewa have vivid memories of living up there and Nanny and Pop. My mother and her sister Christine were born and raised up there, so mum was born in April 1943, so I am guessing they lived up there all that time.

It is quite funny how my parents met. Although Pop Timoti didnt like the Mormons, his own Aunty is the one who made a connection between the Mormons in Auckland and Mum, then mum attended church and met Dad. Cute aye. My parents built their first home on whānau land and just recently I learned that it is called Ngatarawa Block 2A3B1B2. It sounds like something out of Star Wars right, but really it's where I was born and raised for a short time in my life before mum and dad sold up to Aunty Christine and Uncle Kaupa Teariki, and our family - mum, dad my older siblings Traci and Alieta and I moved to Samoa. Long story some (nearly 50) years later I'm reflecting...….. both mum and Aunty Christine have now passed on, Uncle Kau, cousin Juanita and niece Zsantalea still live at Royshill on the Ngatarawa Block 2A3B1B2. I'm not sure how it goes for ownership, but the five houses are still shown in the MLC blocks. Anyway, I married my sweetheart Jimmy Quino Wong in 1992 and we have two beautiful children Hemi and Leilani Wong. My darling battled with Liver Cancer for 2 years and we took the children to his hometown in the Philippines for a family holiday Christmas 1998. He died in his hometown on his 41st birthday 17 March 1999. So life revolves around the family. Our children are 26 and 24 years old and are both studying for life ahead. For the past few years Hemi has received a scholarship through the Ngatarawa Ohiti Ahu Whenua Trust to assist him in his Bachelor of Science majoring in Neuroscience, and each year I have gone along to the AGM's to acknowledge the trust for their support. At this years meeting held on the 8th December 2018, the trust held an election process and Uncle Boy Kemp resigned as long time Chair/ Trustee. I was nominated by my two Aunty's Lorraine and Sheryle Allen, to be a Ngatarawa Lands Trustee. I am very humbled to be entrusted this opportunity.

Since that meeting I have found myself remembering, gathering, searching and trying to understand the Ngatarawa - Ohiti land. It's only been two weeks, but already the journey has been amazing. Before this appointment however, at this same meeting I had committed myself to gather stories from the whānau to share on this site so that all of our whānau could learn and understand. So, here we are, I have started by briefly introducing myself. There is a lot to share and I hope that whānau will be happy to share their stories, our stories. There should be one thing made clear from this point forward - All stories are to be respected. I will attribute all information to the author of the stories as I share. We can expect to hear different stories to what we remember, but at the same time we should respect that these are someones personal or whānau views and their perspective. All stories are good, and we invite you to share. I personally think that this form of sharing will bring smiles and memories to our minds and perhaps heal some wounds and reconnect us as whānau.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui

Arohanui, Ruth

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