High­honour for humble rev­erend


Alofa atu nei. Alofa mai taeao.

Kind­ness given. Kind­ness gained. It was the theme of Samoan Lan­guage Week, which just fin­ished, and set a fit­ting tone for Porirua’s Rev­erend Perema Leasi who earned a Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the Pa­cific Com­mu­nity as part of the Queen’s Birthday Hon­ours list an­nounced on June 4.

Leasi is the solo min­is­ter at Christ the King Pa­cific Is­lands Pres­by­te­rian Church in Can­nons Creek.

He has been in­volved in the Porirua com­mu­nity since 2001, af­ter be­ing a min­is­ter for St An­drews Pres­by­te­rian Church in Te Awa­mutu where he worked to re­ha­bil­i­tate pris­on­ers and help for­mer pris­on­ers rein­te­grate into the com­mu­nity.

Leasi con­tin­ued this line of work af­ter com­ing to Porirua, and in 2015 was recog­nised as one of Porirua’s 50 most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple at the city’s fifti­eth an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford de­scribed Leasi as ‘‘a strong ad­vo­cate for so­cial jus­tice’’.

‘‘[He] has an on­go­ing com­mit­ment to our youth and their as­pi­ra­tions from all walks of life.

‘‘He is one of the many he­roes of our com­mu­nity that con­trib­ute to the unique fab­ric of our city.’’

Leasi has or­gan­ised com­mu­nity events in­clud­ing com­bined church ser­vices, youth sports days, and the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of Samoa In­de­pen­dence Day.

He is the chair­main of the Porirua Samoan Com­bined Churches and serves as sec­re­tary for the Samoa Min­is­ters’ Fel­low­ship of the Welling­ton Re­gion. He is also pa­tron of the Lavalava Samoan Lan­guage Class 101.

Mana MP Kris Faafoi de­scribed Leasi as a mild- man­nered, humble man who speaks ‘‘with real mana’’.

‘‘From my per­spec­tive the work he does beyond his con­gre­ga­tion has been out­stand­ing.

‘‘He’s multi-lin­gual and can con­nect with dif­fer­ent Pa­cific causes around the city.

‘‘I’ve en­joyed his wise coun­sel on where is­sues are in Porirua East.’’

In March, the Govern­ment an­nounced that 53 new state homes would be built on Hous­ing NZ land that has stood empty for nearly a decade.

‘‘He was out­spo­ken about the Cas­tor Loop land,’’ Faafoi said. ‘‘He al­ways wants to make sure there’s af­ford­able hous­ing in the com­mu­nity.’’

Leasi has been chair­man of the Welling­ton Pa­cific Bible Col­lege since 2002, and is a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Welling­ton Pa­cific Health Ser­vices.


Rev­erend Perema Leasi long ar­gued for homes on Hous­ing NZ land that stood empty for nearly a decade. (File photo)

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