Turou-Ava Ceremony for Newly Elected Members of Parliament
1st December 2020
On Tuesday 30 November, 2020 the Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of Diplomatic Corps (HE Leasi Papali’i Scanlan) was invited by the Labour Pacific Caucus to attend its first formal Turou-Ava Ceremony in Parliament. The Ceremony was attended by families, friends, members of the Samoan and Cook Island Communities, and several Cabinet Ministers who celebrated the newly elected Members of Parliament: Anae Dr. Neru Leavasa (Labour MP, Takanini); Tangi Utikere (Labour MP, Palmerston North); Barbara Edmonds (Labour MP, Mana); Teanau Tuiono (Green List MP); and Terisa Ngobi (Labour MP, Otaki).
Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki was the MC at the Ceremony and Pastor Terence Tauira Maka started the ceremony with a prayer, after the Maori Welcome by Matua Kura. The Minister for Pacific Peoples and Minister for Courts, Hon. Aupito William Sio, made a cultural speech reflecting the journey of Pacific people in New Zealand and acknowledging past Pacific MPs. The Ava Ceremony later commenced with each of the 5 new MPs saying a few words. The Samoa High Commissioner in accepting his ava acknowledged the Samoan community present at the ceremony and congratulated the new MPs who have made their families proud and their ancestors dreams come true. All the Reverend Ministers present at the Ceremony were invited to bless the 5 MPs and prayed for their tenure in Parliament.