Nicholas Tearii

My dad told this story about his past in Mangaia.  This story helps me remember his life, so I never forget him.


My dad’s name is Teina Tearii. He was born and raised in Mangaia. He lived in a very small village called Kaumata. He has three brothers and two sisters, he is an active young man and loves playing sports. My dad grew up in a poor family. His family did not have any vehicle, they walked to work and school.

He told me that his childhood upbringing was one of the greatest and joyful moments that he would never forget.  From his primary school years, he learnt a lot of the good, the bad and the ugly, but he believed that it all contributed to making him the person he is today.

Going to school was one of those good experiences where children from his village walked to school together in a small group like brothers and sisters.  They talked a lot about school and teachers and they laughed.  They bullied each other but have still remained good friends today.

There were many kids and people on the island during that time.  He remembered this because he used to go everywhere when he was a kid.  He was a playful, friendly and sociable person.  He used to go into people’s home and eat, work and sleep with them.  He said that he had a great life during that time and learnt lots of things and that he missed a lot of those times, but that he would always treasure those memories.

Christmas season was the happiest time of the year for most kids, shopping and working on the plantation.  He said that he would never forget how they were given five dollars to go shopping and that all he could afford during that time was a small water gun.  They were given five dollars every year for Christmas.  They didn’t complain because they learnt to take what was given to them and enjoy it.

My dad said that all the young boys in his village loved fishing and that they learnt from their elders.  They learnt different kinds of fishing such as takoekoe, upenga, titamu, pa and pata.  He could remember going fishing after school, as being the most popular activity, especially when it was low tide.  They would rather go fishing than play rugby games, pa poro kini and other ball game activities.

My dad said that life goes on and that there have been lots of changes on his island.  He is sad to see that there are only a few people left in his village.  The roads are covered with weeds and the land looks so dull.

He says the whole island has totally changed and is worse than before.  My dad says that we need to work to find a solution to make it a better place now.


My shape represents my dream of going to the Olympics. The three flowers represent the Tiare Maori and the birds represent all the birds in Rarotonga.  The “s” represents the last letter of the Olympics word; the other patterns show that even if family are far away we all are connected.