Kava for victory, first Tongan promoted into higher position in Waitematā police

An important Tongan cultural practice  was performed during the new appointment of a Tongan Sergeant Police officer in New Zealand to the position of Pacific Liason District Coordinator.

The special kava ceremony was normally performed to mark a victory and the first cup of kava was called by the matāpule (herald),  during the event last weekend to be delivered to Sanalio Kaihau to honour his new role in New Zealand Police.

The kava circle was joined by the Waitemata police, family and guests.

As the eldest son of ‘Amelia Tu’ungafasi Kaihau  and Haieti Kaihau it means the celebration had a significant turned out from Sanalio’s Kanokupolu, Tatakamotonga, ‘Eua and Niua relatives and friends.

The growth and increase in the population of the Māori and Pasifika people in West Auckland recently means Police have to open more opportunities in the Force’s offices for the ethnic Police officers.

Sanalio Kaihau and his parents, Haieti and ‘Amelia Kaihau. Photo/Supplied

Kaihau was one of those who were selected to take those opportunities.

“But in terms of Lio personally, and the Tongan community, he’s the first Tongan to be promoted in any rank within our Waitematā district,” said Inspector Fata Willie Fanene.

His appointment also received tributes and gratitude on social media from family and friends overseas.

Kaihau’s aunt Kalausia ‘Otukolo who is living in the United States expressed on Facebook how she was marvelled by the new appointment.

“So proud of you nephew G-pa smiling from the other side.‪#‎dadnamesake#weloveyou#”, ‘Otukolo wrote.

“Good job Sanalio keep up the good work i still remember him when he was little ofa atu kia amelia mo haieti eee”, wrote another.

Kaihau made headlines in 2013 after she helped and prevented a woman from committing suicide. Instead of handling the case with what a Police officer was trained to do in such situation Kaihau invited the woman to pray with her and eventually she was saved.

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