Sonny gets sat­is­fac­tion from a tidy street

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Sonny Malaulau has been with Porirua City Coun­cil 35 years.

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