Pacific Youth MP thirsty for positive change

posted: 9:30 am - 26th April 2019
L R Geniqua Samupo Talagi a member of the Youth Advisory Group for the MOE Dazhonavah Faaumu and Valerie Cokanasiga.

(Picture caption: L-R Geniqua Samupo Talagi a member of the Youth Advisory Group for the Ministry of Education, Youth MP Dazhonavah Fa’aumu and Valerie Cokanasiga.) 

Meet 16-year-old Dazhonavah Siaifoi Fa’aumu, the Auckland-born and raised “child of the migrant’s dream”.

This year, Dazhonavah of Samoan descent, has been selected to take part in Youth Parliament, representing Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, the Member of Parliament for the West Auckland suburb of Kelston.

Kelston is the only home the Year 12 Avondale College student has known, having grown up there with his mum and sister.

Dazhonavah applied to be part of Youth Parliament, which runs from March to the end of August, for many reasons.

“But primarily because Youth Parliament is about how we serve one another,” he adds.

The Youth Parliament programme provides opportunities for young people from around Aotearoa to actively work and be heard on topics and issues they are passionate about – something Dazhonavah is excited about.

“I applied for this position for everyone past, present and future - for those who thirst for positive change and those who seek a worthy cause in our community.

“My community and family have always been a driving force within my life and one day hope to serve them both with strength and love.”

On July 16-17, Dazhonavah and the other 119 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members will attend the two-day Youth Parliament event in Wellington.

Dazhonavah is looking forward to meeting many other like-minded individuals as well as visiting the capital, a city he has never been to.

His family left Wellington before he was born to pursue a better future for him.

“Now I want to go back to Wellington to determine it,” he says.

Having an appreciation of politics is fairly new to Dazhonavah.

He recalls the 2011 New Zealand Election and his family chatting about the different parties, and says it was overwhelming and a little annoying.

However, over the next few years, he grew to understand the vital role Parliament plays in peoples’ lives and most importantly how Electoral MP’s influence those decisions.

“It wasn’t until I reached Kelston Intermediate when teachers encouraged us to speak our truth and challenge the status quo.

“I give credit to my amazing class teachers Ms Hickmer and Mrs Laing who equipped us all with great faith to believe in ourselves.”

Inspired by every person of Pacific descent who achieves their life goals, Dazhonavah hopes to make a positive significant difference in his lifetime.

“Whatever field of employment I may find myself in, I hope to embody kindness, love and determination.”

While he is unsure what career path he will take, he says he wants to serve his Pacific community with a humble heart and pure mind.

“The dream one day is to become a Member of Parliament to represent all Pacific communities.

“Until than only hard work, compassion, kindness, tenacity and love of my ‘aiga can push me to be a better person.”