Sonny gets satisfaction from a tidy street
Sonny Malaulau’s reward for the work he does is a smile and a few nice words – he doesn’t covet anything else.
A member of Porirua City Council’s streetworks team for 35 years, the quietly-spoken 60-yearold was floored when he got the letter telling him he was to be awarded a special Porirua 50th medal last year as part of the city’s milestone birthday.
‘‘I could not believe it,’’ he said. ‘‘There are many people who deserve something like this more than me – I have a job to do and get on and do it.’’
Malaulau’s job is to keep the streets in and around Porirua’s CBD clean. He’s easy to spot in his hi-viz jacket – he and his workmates are out, rain or shine, doing their best to keep the streets and footpaths tidy.
He said he liked having the responsibility for cleaning the streets of the city he arrived in as a young boy from Samoa.
‘‘I have lived in this community for a long time, so I take pride in what I do.
‘‘These are my streets, too. Sometimes it’s a challenge, and the days get cold, but you get used to it. ’’
Malaulau has held several roles in council cleaning crews – he kept beach areas tidy along with different streets of Porirua before landing in the CBD team.
He said people were tidier than they used to be.
‘‘Back in the day we would get 60 rubbish bags in one street. It was shocking. Not so much now.’’
Receiving the Porirua 50th medal was a proud moment for Malaulau and his family.
He said the gala dinner last October was easily the most glamorous occasion he had attended.
He was full of nerves before taking the walk up to the stage.
He said he hoped to keep work- ing as long as he was able.
‘‘I don’t do this for awards or medals. When people tell you they appreciate what you’re doing for Porirua – that’s enough.
‘‘I love this city. It’s an awesome place where people know each other and look after each other.’’
Sonny Malaulau has been with Porirua City Council 35 years.