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Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki is a Labour Party list MP in the 2017 General Election Featured

Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki is a Labour Party list MP in the 2017 General Election. Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki is a Labour Party list MP in the 2017 General Election.

23 August, 2017. Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, 48, Labour Party List candidate, lives in Manurewa.

How long have you lived here and where are you originally from?

I migrated from a place called Hofoa​ in Tonga.

I arrived in Aotearoa in 1980 joining my parents in Onehunga.

In 2007 Fiu [her husband] and I purchased our home in Manurewa, where we continue to raise our children.

Give me three words that come to mind when I say 'South Auckland'?

Kainga (family), kakai (people) and me'a tokoni (food).

Family is important to me. Although we're spread across Aotearoa, more than half of kainga have chosen south Auckland as our home, our place of work and place to celebrate our successes.

South Auckland has been the place where I've grown my understanding and respect of Maori as Tangata Whenua.

I love the richness of cultures, whether it's attending a hui at a marae, reflecting in church services, cheering at a sports event, counting steps at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, or cultural celebrations.

Two things are always present, the south Auckland sense of humour and delicious food.

Where's the best place to buy dinner in your electorate?

We love the lu sipi​ (steamed lamb in coconut cream and taro leaves) from NayNay Fast Food and Takeaway on Great South Rd, Manurewa. When in Otahuhu the fresh rolls at Vietnam Cafe on Atkinson Ave always makes my plate.

My go to place for snacks is the Auckland Indian Sweets and Snacks on Avenue Rd, Otahuhu.

When catching up with colleagues, we love the Tupu'anga​ coffee at the Community Cafe at the Mangere Arts Centre. With my sisters, we always enjoy late night laughter over taro shakes at Momo Tea at Botany Downs North.

What's one piece of wisdom you'd like to pass on to others, particularly young people?

Your family and their cultures is the foundation of your identity.

What's one trial or struggle that you've overcome?

I have been smokefree for over 10 years.

Who is the Kiwi you admire most, and why?

My mother Ailine Kanongata'a Likiliki​, armed with her Christian belief, love and sense of responsibility her kainga inspired her to successfully navigate as a first generation migrant.

She has paved a pathway for our kainga to settle and contribute positively as citizens of Aotearoa. Thanks mum.

When I've got a few free hours I like to …

Relax and share a meal with loved ones.

Tells us what your party's policies will do for people in this community?

I believe a warm place to call home is a fundamental kick-start in fulfilling one's hopes and dreams. Labour understands that a different solution is required to suit a variety of situations.

Through Labour's KiwiBuild​ [policy], Labour will build more affordable homes.

Labour will make Housing NZ into a public service rather than a state-owned enterprise, and will substantially increase the number of state houses thus providing this fundamental service for all.

- Stuff

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