Monday, December 30, 2013

Know your Pacific roots....visually, virtually

back in my day, we had to read thick texts and do actual research and create our own timelines to make sense of the whole 'contested' Polynesian/(some Melanesian) settlement.

Now.....Coconet, an online thingi here in NZ, have come up with a timeline, online - it looks pretty flash. But be warned, this is simply an interpretation by some historian, whilst helpful, it is contested.
I do like it though,..




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Samoa College 60th Celebrations in Auckland last week:...go to the facebook page to see more about the event, pics etc mmf ...





                                      





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The face of courage

Enough is Enough, Samoa Observer front page: click to read. 


Reading Lemalu Sina Retzlaff's story and seeing her face front page is sad but more so, courageous. 
It takes a strong woman to step up and be the face of this 'epidemic'.
I have so much respect for her for doing this.
The more we talk about it, the more we shed light and make us, and others, especially young people know that it is not right. Ever. To be violent. particularly to someone who you are (were - at some point) meant to trust and love.

Sometimes, in anger, I wish there was a site, or a public platform to expose these violent people. But I know that doesn't help anyone. 

What does domestic violence look like? 

It's can be the guy you can trust, who is wonderful with people, who is an ambassador for our country, who is charismatic and social, who is trustworthy, who is passionate about his alma mater, who is an adoring father - and that pretty much describes a lot of people. Because domestic violence does not discriminate.

(Wow....after describing the above, it occurred to me that the 6 men I know who beat their wives/ex wives all went to the same boys school in Samoa, all hang out in their boys group as if they are still at high school, and all need to be shot held accountable).
Lemalu Sina is the face of courage.
Brian Lima is the face of a coward. 

avoiding issues

One can assess how friggin' bored or procrastinating or lazy a person is by the amount of blog entries and bs they post.
as in, the more I blog, the more I am wasting time that should be used on a pressing matter. 
like, NOW.
I have urgents coming out of my nostrils and my reaction today is simply, to shut the door, inhale and go to Blogger.

So while I'm at it, ...SCOPA this weekend - yipeeee, excoiting....until i saw the uniform....nigga please, aint noone makin' me wear that sheeit.
oh look, it's 4:12pm....how how about those urgents.

oookerkomz. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Death in the hands of others.

whenever I hear these words in samoan prayer, it intrigues me:

Uia ala o o loo iai le maliu ma le oti ae faafetai mo lau puipuiga.

We were on the pathways where there is death, and we were spared, thank you for your protection. 

It is such a fatalistic scary yet - true approach, ...Death is everywhere, and we could potentially die any time.
Death in the above prayer is like hazards on a road that we have to walk through, we could die if we fall into a hole, fall over and crack our head, be hit by a car...or we could make it past and get to our destination safely. 
  
It got me thinking of driving, and being a driver gives me the means to kill someone else, or myself. 
 
Then it got me thinking of drunk drivers, and their blatant disregard for human live, theirs and others. 

They are the death traps out on that road, not stationary, but moving fast, moving Hazards - looking for their next person to kill. Unbeknown to you, who is on the road walking to your home. Hit. Killed. 

Morbid thoughts,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MM discovers that her heart beats faster...

video

Yet another hiatus

I'm off Facebook again - in case you're thinking its about you baby, lol

Monday, December 09, 2013

Vao Sa o TuiFiti

I love this image for so so many reasons:
  • I love that it shows my mom in her trademark sei and sulu aoao dress
  • I love that one of her children is in it, in her trademark couture which is shorts, or on a normal day, undies.
  • We used to visit an old relative who lived on the right of the ford - her home faced the ocean and the backyard was this part, the fresh water part that goes right up to the area called Vao sa o Tuifiti, the sacred(or forbidden) forest of Tuifiti., also inland from here is the Swimming with Turtles at Sato'alepai.
  •  Legend has it that if you pee in this water, which belongs to Tuifiti, you will die. So we had to hop out of the water to pee on land. lol.
  • I love that it reminds me of fun days going somewhere in the beat up old van to some faalavelave or some reason that we didn't care about...we were simply on an adventure - in our short/undies.
  • I love that this image was captured by our family friend (well, more family than friend now) Geoff Hoddinot. Thank You!

Today, the place where the old lady lived is a desolate strip of rocks and sand, she has since passed away and the village have moved inland after the cyclones -  the area is no longer inhabitable.
Sad. 

But this photo brings it all back.

Bless! 

Sefulu Ono Aso Storm Campaign



Seeing today's personality on the 16 Days of Activism in Samoa event just made my week.

Jason Hisatake - you are AMAZING!
And I'm not saying that lightly. I have witnessed this young err, diva at work, and has proven that: 
Indeed -  Yes you can - even when there are huge challenges in your way.

 I think we are so very blessed to have inspiring young people who are leading and being positive influences for others. Thank you Jason for being you!


“From my experiences as a fa’afafine growing up in Samoa – violence on a more personal level starts at the heart of the building blocks of our country – our immediate family, or aiga – all forms of violence can be averted if we as adults and parents choose to raise responsible citizens, if we chose to raise our kids the right way. This in turn can avoid the domino effect of children growing up with violent behavior.”

His last words: “Thank you for the question and yes, WORLD PEACE – Menti Lee Mei (Miss Global)”

Click here to view the rest of Jason's perspective 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Still on the issue of rape, incest and violence towards women in Samoa.

While some of us are oohing and aaahing about pageants and rugby over the last few hours, there are bigger problems that do not get enough attention. But reading about the traumatic experiences of young women who have been subjected to rape, incest, violence, hate, fear- particularly this one by Terry Tavita just angered and shocked me. Yet, we know it happens. In our supposedly close knit and loving community.


14-years-old and six-months pregnant
By Terry Tavita 

This week, the Samoa Victim Support Group – in conjunction with UNICEF - launched its 16-day activism programme to rehabilitate young victims of rape, incest, child abuse and neglect. For the first time, a journalist – exclusive to the editor of this publication – was permitted inside the SVSG campus at Tuana’imato and was allowed access to interview some of the young victims of what is becoming a disturbing illness in some sectors of our society.
The Savali is publishing these interviews so our readers can have a first-hand account of the trauma and suffering these victims go through. We also advise our non-Samoan readers that these cases are the exception, and by far, not the norm in peaceful and stable Samoa.
Though all information is factual, as told to us by the victims, we have adopted fictitious names to protect their identities. Some of their stories we warn our readers are quite disturbing.

May,
14-years old,
Savai’i

“It was Sunday, Mother’s Day in May this year.
“My mother, my little brother and I were on our way to church. When we got to the road, I turned back as I wanted use the toilet. So I ran back home. I turned on the light. And as I was sitting there, my stepfather opened the door. He had a knife in his hand. He put the blade of the knife to my forehead and told me to take off my clothes. I refused. He started to strangle me with his other hand while the other one still holding the knife to my head. He then began to rip off my clothes. He then started raping me.
“My mother then came in. She turned on the light and he took off behind the trees. She didn’t say anything. That was the first time.
“The second time was about two weeks later. I was sleeping with my little brother. He is just seven years old. When my step father came to our mosquito net that night, I could smell alcohol in the room. He was obviously drinking. This time, he had a bush knife. He put the knife over my head and pushed my little brother aside. He then began ripping off my clothes and started raping me. My little brother was sobbing with his hand covering his eyes. His face.
The third time, my whole family was there when he came in with a shot gun that night. He began to point the gun at everybody and threatened that he will kill everyone. He then came to me. He put the shotgun to my head. He told me that he will shoot me if I didn’t do what he wanted. He pushed me down. He put the shotgun over my head and began to tear off my clothes. He then began raping me in front of my siblings.
“After. He told me to come with him the next day to the plantation with him.
“In the early hours of that morning, my crippled brother who moves around in wheelchair wheeled all the way to the Police station. It took him five hours.
“The Police came and took my stepfather away. They also brought me here.
“I am now six-months pregnant with my stepfather’s child.
“I am happy at this campus. The food is good and I am being looked after very well by the staff here at Victim Support. They have been very helpful and supportive to me.”

Ed’s note: The stepfather has been tried and convicted by the courts for rape of a minor. He is now serving seven years in prison without a chance of parole.

Miss South Pacific Pageant 2013

is taking place right now at the Pacific Casino in Honiara.

No live streaming and no consistent updates - so there are a lot of Pacific people online at the moment searching for news, updates, whatever.
some are getting their tarpolines in a knot over the lack of news.....hellocious, its the Pacific...relax yourself mate!
Thankfully, I was getting updated by my darling friend Jane - merci mon amie!

Results:
thank you Jane Poloso Miss South Pacific results~
Best Float-Cook Islands, 
Best Sarong-cook islands ,
Best Talent- Solomon Islands, 
Best Trad wear- cook islands, 
Best Interview-Tonga , Miss Photogenic- Samoa, 
Miss Internet- Samoa, 
Miss South Pacific 2013 is Miss Cook Islands!!! 
4th runner up American Samoa 
3rd runner Solomon Islands 
2nd Samoa 
1st runner up Tonga
Winner of the Poor Internet Updates Category: Miss South Pacific 2013 facebook page, lol. jokes.

Miss South Pacific 2013-2014
Teuira Napa
Cook Islands


First Runner Up: Miss Tonga, Best Interview, Miss Personality
Rosemarie Fili
Second Runner Up: Miss Samoa, also Photogenic and most likes (FB)

Third 



Rest of the contestants






Thursday, December 05, 2013

Inexplicable culture



When we celebrate culture - we do so in two ways:  in an expression of pride., deep in our beings/mauli.
The inexplicable emotion that uplifts and exudes good feelings about our affiliation with a place, a history, a people.
We feel it, we emote it, we become it. 
No one can stop me for this sense of being, or pride.

Then, there is the outward celebration, through a lived culture, in what we wear, say, sing, eat, and do.
I wear a fine mat to dance, I eat taro because we associate this with our culture (and because I'm hungry). I sing songs that we learnt as     children. You give money to a loved one because its our way of
express our alofa, love.

Then, change inevitably happens - and we grow up, we marry non-Samoans, non-"our-own-culture", we move abroad, we move into palagi houses and eat steak for dinner (ailoga), we speak another language, we immerse ourselves in a world of difference, a world of many-a-cultures.
Suddenly, our culture evolves, changes, adapts, interpreted, manipulated, effected.

No one, and I reiterate, no one, has the right to tell me, and you that your culture belongs to them, or you.
No one. 
I give you every permission (as your annonymous Goddess) to celebrate culture in your own way, in your own emotion, so long as it does not bring pain and suffering upon another.



My culture today is the way it is because it has been moulded, mashed and used (and abused) by the people that live it.

If you were born outside of your motherland and you are uncertain about your understanding of culture.

Stuff it. You belong. You are Samoan. Tongan. Fijian. Cook islander. French. Japanese. etc. 

You have every right to celebrate your culture, irrespective of what you know about the culture that is practiced at home.

If you want to know your culture, by all means, do so - go to your motherland and immerse yourself in your motherland's lived culture.


But let me leave you with this: 
More important and more empowering than lived culture is that inexplicable emotion, feeling, sense of belonging that is deep within your being.  

"Our culture is unique. Just like every other culture. Word." (Jackson-Becerra)



And in true Goddess fashion, the photos have no direct relation to the above:















Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Lorde - Team (Music Video) - Video - ZM Online - Today's Hit Music, Competitions, Podcasts and Concerts

I love you Lorde!
I just played this on repeat for the last hour.
Legend!


video

Lorde - Team (Music Video) - Video - ZM Online - Today's Hit Music, Competitions, Podcasts and Concerts

Lorde has just released her music video for 'Team' - see it for yourself!

Here's what Lorde has to say about the video:

"WE'RE ON EACH OTHER'S TEAM

this video was borne from a dream i had a few months ago about teenagers in their own world, a world with hierarchies and initiations, where the boy who was second in command had acne on his face, and so did the girl who was queen. i dreamt about this world being so different to anything anyone had ever seen, a dark world full of tropical plants and ruins and sweat. and of this world, i dreamt about tests that didn't need to be passed in order to be allowed in: sometimes the person who loses is stronger. enjoy xx"

Monday, December 02, 2013

Because it happened to her

Sometimes, I do not comment on touchy issues - not because I'm ignoring it, but because it happens too close to home. It hurts.
And I don't want to offend the very person I want to speak for. Also, "E leai sa'u feau" kind of mentality.
But today, I will.
Only because, my loved one has become the survivor of domestic violence.
She is the eldest of us girls, she was first to get the hidings from my uncle, the first to get up and be a mother to us younger useless siblings, the first to look after my granma, the first to get told off, the ONLY one to do the washing when we were too busy being ...useless. And the first to leave home.
As a first daughter, she had so much on her shoulders.
I am proud of you girl, for overcoming all the heartache, the pain, the violence, physical and pshycological, the manipulative hate, the anger.

Because of her, I know not to ask a woman in an abusive marriage this question:

"Why don't you leave him?"

It's not that easy.

It never is and never will be. 

We can only be there to support, help and listen, but no matter what we say, only one person will make the decision to leave:


Love you and proud of you LJ!!!!






Friday, November 29, 2013

"To Walk Under Palm Trees - The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums, PART 2"

Check out the Second Part of this exhibition online now.

I love going through these images of Samoa during the German administration.

Here's a lovely tuiga photo, I have posted these without permission - have copied over the caption and where I shared it from:
In this photo a grey-haired Fatu Frost can be seen standing behind von Luckner and the taupou. Son Frederick Frost stands on the right. Fatu had a plantation, farm and shop in the village. He was given the tulafale title Leofo in the 1940s.
Credit: Riethmaier Family Collection. Visit this at To Walk Under Palm Trees: The Germans in Samoa, Snapshots from Albums




"To Walk Under Palm Trees - The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums, PART 2"


The Museum of Samoa is very pleased to announce the second installment of the online photo exhibition "To Walk Under Palm Trees - The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums". The exhibition is here: http://germansinsamoa.net/ (Part two begins here: http://germansinsamoa.net/part-2-start-here-2/).

Curated by Auckland researcher and writer Tony Brunt the second part presents another impressive collection of photos that tell the stories of German-Samoan families in nineteenth and twentieth century Samoa. The exhibition draws on family albums and photo collections and most images have never been seen before outside family circles.

Photo: The opening of the Apia Rifle Club at Vailele plantation (Vaivase side), Easter 1925. (Credit: McKay Family Collection)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I just read the Samoa Observer article 

Violence stops N.U.S. ball by Joshua Lafoa'i. 


In it is reference to: 
hooligans (malovale).

I love it....but in this context, the hooligans would be more fittingly translated as fia ai kae vale.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Latest tuiga on the way to Samoa




And no....I am not a domestic goddess or a clean freak - so cancel your comment about the mess Coconut Girl.

If you want a tuiga made, please email me well in advance, jtiatia@gmail.com.
or like my fb page which is checked regularly by ummm, my siblings I hope, Tuiga by FotuoSamoa and if you see something you like - PM me. 
Fanks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sefulu Ono Aso. Sixteen Days

Sefulu Ono Aso or Sixteen Days is a short term online campaign of activism against all forms of violence. Sefulu Ono Aso features views of different members of Samoan society on issues related to violence in the community.
This online platform attempts to create better awareness and understanding of issues, and peoples responses and solutions to ending violence, by publicizing a thought a day by different members of our community.
Sefulu Ono Aso is a project by Storms Mom in the hope that Storm will grow up in a safe environment free from violence in any form, verbal or otherwise.
This short campaign will be guided by Storms great grandmothers favourite verse:
“O le alofa e lavatia mea uma.”


Check out the daily profiles here http://16daysofactivismsamoa.wordpress.com/

Samoa Tourist warning.


Image copied without permission off smh.com.au

I am doing this as a service to EVERY tourist that goes to Samoa.

IF you hop on one of our colorful buses and the driver is speeding. 
There is a huge possibility of an accident happening. You will die
So, please - either choose another mode of transport, ask the driver to slow down OR get OFF and start walking.

Far too many people have died in bus accidents. But on every brochure or advert about Samoa - you will be told about this exciting island experience.
 In fact, what really irked me this morning is googling about samoan buses and I came across this article, which is written by a travel writer or a travel agent or anyone like that who gets the trip free and then writes about their 'positive experience'

There's no better way to explore Samoa's big island of Savaii than on a bright green bus with yellow window frames and roof, aptly named Paradise in Heaven.
The buses are such national icons they deserve their own museum... except that the museum pieces are out on the roads carrying people around.

The bus in this article? ....is the same one that was driven onto the ford at Lago and lead to the loss of young lives this year. 

Image copied off the New Zealand Herald article 


I am writing this for tourists only, because a fa'apea o oe o se Samoa, ga e ke iloa le mea e kakau oga fai,

Pake foliga o le ave pasi.

....................................................................................................................


The driver of the bus that was washed off a ford at Lano earlier this year, killing two young girls, has been jailed for 11 years.
The sentence for Moe Iosua, of Fagae’e and Vaitele fou, was handed down by Supreme Court Justice, His Honour Pierre Slicer on Wednesday.
Iosua was represented by lawyer, Alex Sua. Leinafo Taimalelagi and Leone Sua, of the Office of the Attorney General, were the prosecutors. This is Justice Slicer’s ruling in full:
1. Moe Iosua has pleaded guilty to two crimes of manslaughter contrary to the Crimes Act 2013, sections 102 and 108.
Concurrent charges comprised in Informations S1503, S1558, S1562 and S2384 of 2013 were withdrawn and are dismissed.
Information S2191/13 states that: “the defendant... has in charge or under his control a bus which, in the absence of care, may endanger human life has omitted to perform his legal duty to take reasonable precautions against and to use reasonable care to avoid such danger and the omission caused the death of Maria Aiaraisa, female of Avao, thereby commit the crime of manslaughter."
Information S2192/13 is in identical terms except that the victim was Puataunofo Sakaio of Salei’a.
The Crimes Act 2013 section 108 provides a maximum pennitted penalty of life imprisonment for a person convicted of the crime of manslaughter.
On Saturday 6 July 2013. the defendant drove a bus travelling through a number of villages with the intended destination of Salelologa, to connect with the 2 p.m. ferry. The route included the village of Lago which has a ford permitting the crossing of a river.
The passengers included men, women and children from various villages and two tourists. Their ages ranged between 4 and 74 years. The bus was full or nearly filled with passengers.
There had been heavy rain and the river was overflowing. The bus reached the river at 1:10 p.m. The prosecution in its Summary of Facts stated that approximately ten vehicles parked on both sides of the ford. The defence claimed there were only two. The prosecution, in order to facilitate the proceedings, conceded the defence position on this point.
It is of little import. Other vehicles had stopped. Another bus travelling in the opposite direction had stopped on the other side of the ford.
Its driver believed that it was unable to cross the flooded river. The driver had discharged a  passenger and turned around. That passenger saw the defendant’s bus arriving and stood on the bank, waving and signaling the approaching vehicle to stop. The defendant ignored the warning.
The depth of the crossing was above knee level. Passengers on the defendant’s bus cautioned the driver, telling him: ‘that the bus will not make it through the river and  the lives of the people were in his hands’ saying.
“O le ola o tagata o lo’o i lou lima".
Others on the side of the river called out. ‘E le sao" — the bus will not make it.
The defendant edged the vehicle towards the water slowly, reversed, presumably to gain speed and drove into the water. The flow of water took hold of the vehicle, pushing it to the left side. As it reached the middle the bus rolled over at least two times. The passengers were trapped and thrown about inside the bus.
Some fell on top of each other and some hit various internal objects, swallowing water in the process. It was at this time that Filomena’s mother lost hold of her daughter who was swept away. The scene was one of horror.
The bus rolled for a third time removing its roof in the process allowing the passengers to escape. Some were able to swim and the elderly and children were assisted by brave passengers to stay afloat. The group drifted apart. Courageous villagers rescued them, helping them from near the seawall. Some passengers were washed into the ocean but fortunately there was a low tide which probably prevented a greater loss of life.
Mailata Tagi and Kaisarina Mailata searched for their daughter, but were unable to find her.
Police arrived quickly and rescued some of the passengers who had drifted to the Salelologa side of the river. The casualties were taken to the Malietoa Tanumafili hospital. After about thirty minutes. police were able to cross the river and assist the other survivors who were taken to the Tuasivi hospital.
The bus was removed later on the evening. At around 7 p.m. a villager found Maria’s body. On Sunday 9 July at 9 a.m. police, matais and young villagers found and recovered Filomena‘s body.
It is not appropriate to state the details of the injuries suffered by the two children.
The cause of death was drowning.
On 10 July the defendant was interviewed by police but declined to make a statement. He was originally charged with negligent driving causing injury. He was again interviewed on 25 July and again declined to answer any questions. He was then charged with the crimes of manslaughter.
He entered pleas of not guilty on 5 August but changed those pleas to ones of guilty on 21 August.
Victim Impact Statement
Maria was aged eleven at the time of her death and Filomena Puataunofo five years. Both families have been devastated.
Maria‘s family have borne monetary and psychological harm. Maria was an intelligent, happy child. She was the hope and bright jewel of her family. She was the dux of her class and excelled in her religious studies and belief.
No words can describe the effect of the death of a beloved penina, a pearl, deprived of a vibrant life and love. The last words a proud and caring mother heard from her jewel was ‘I love you mum‘; a memory which will live in her heart and mind forever.
The impact will remain with the family and those who knew and loved her.
Filomena was traveling with her mother and father. Both parents were injured.
They suffered the trauma of being present at the time of the death of their daughter. Filomena died six days before her birthday. A life of one with such a future promise of success and a happy life was taken. Her memory is constant in the mind of her father and especially in the thoughts of her mother at bedtime.
Filomena was to them a manumea (the most beautiful bird of Samoa).
Both families have suffered great anguish and ongoing psychological harm. Time might lessen the pain but the sorrow and psychological harm will remain forever.
The parents understandably seek Moe Iosua to be punished as a murderer.
The Court understands and respects their wishes. But the crime of manslaughter is different from that of murder which requires a special state of mind to bring about the death of another. Here a combination of stupidity, arrogance and reckless conduct makes up the crime. The Court will take into account that the conduct is at the high end of the crimes of manslaughter, taking into account the deaths of two children.
Ifoga and Reconciliation
There has been no ifoga by him personally or reconciliation with the defendant.
The Mika family who owns the bus has apologized and the victims have accepted that apology. Mika presented a traditional Samoan apology which has helped the hearts of the families of the victims. Any offer by the defendant has been rejected by the families.
Prosecution Submissions and Authorities
This is not a case where a person risked his own life but the lives of many who were placed in his trust. It was both a public trust and one owed to each passenger.
The prosecution suggests a commencing point of between 7 and 8 years but add aggravating matters which would warrant an actual sentence of between 10 and 12 years. In addition it seeks a licence suspension of a similar period i.e. which might be longer than that actually served if the defendant obtained parole at some stage in the future. It also seeks a permanent disqualification from his holding a public vehicle licence.
Archbold (Ed. 2013) sets out guidelines for causing death by dangerous driving. Here the Court accepts Level l as an appropriate comparison.
Level l provides for:
(i) A deliberate decision to ignore or flagrantly disregard the rules of the road; and
(ii) A disregard for the great danger caused to others.
Here the danger was, not to a few, but a large number of persons entrusted to his care.
The suggested commencing point is 8 years with a sentencing range of 7 to 14 years.
Aggravating factors stated in Archbold include:
(i) More than one death or where there is a likelihood of more deaths;
(ii) Serious injury to others not killed; (m) Disregard of warnings;
(iv) Irresponsible behaviour such as failing to stop.
In Nepa v The Attorney General [2010] WSCA 1, the Court of Appeal accepted the statement made in Whithers v R (1925) 25 SR (N SW) 382 that: “There is no offence in which the permissible degrees of punishment cover so wide a range, and none perhaps in which the exercise of so large a discretion is called for in determining the appropriate penalty."
In Nepa (supra) the Court stated a commencing point of l0 to l2 years for a group or unprovoked attack. The approach was affirmed by the Samoan Court of Appeal in Attorney General v Godinet and Iefata [2011] WSCA 6.
The New Zealand Court of Appeal in R v Powell [2002] 1 NZLR permitted a major departure from ordinary culpable negligence where a driver ran over and killed a person on a picket line. An earlier Court in R v Dawe (1911) 30 NZLR 679 had recognized another relevant factor for ‘departure’ where the death was a driver of a public vehicle, in that case a tram. In this case the prosecution contended that cases such as Gacitua v R [2013] NZCA 234 and R v Barclay (HC NZ 31 May 2007) ought not be regarded as comparable. lt noted that R v Guest [2013] NZHC 2432 involved a private licensed driver with five passengers which resulted in a commencing point of 8 years and 9 months reduced by two years for a first offender and a further 25% reduction for the early plea was not comparable.
In R v McKelvey CA 372/97 (25 November 1997) the Court imposed a licence disqualification indefinitely.
Australian cases such as Jurisic v R (1998) NSWSC 423 and Shipton v R [2003] TASSC 23 are also useful cases providing for factors and principles relevant to motor manslaughter cases and support the prosecution submissions.
The Court accepts the prosecution submission that the higher range of 10 to 14 years or more is appropriate, subject to mitigation.
Defence Submissions and Mitigation
The defendant aged forty-seven is married with two children. He is a first offender. The defence is that there had been a failure of judgment rather than a willful disregard for safety. It claimed that he had been a bus driver for many years and had a good history of responsible driving. He offers ifoga and says he is remorseful. Doubtless he is remorseful for the taking of the lives of two children. But manslaughter in cases such as this warrants penalty for the conduct and the death more so than the subjective characteristics of the offender. Apart from a bad traffic record, a pastor, lawyer or citizen should be considered alike.
The Court accepts the absence of intoxication and early plea but places less importance on good reputation. It does not accept as comparable the Court authorities such as R v Taualupe [2012] TOCA 8. R v Guest [2013] NZHC 2432, Gacitua (supra) and the like referred to by the defence.
Conclusion
This was not a case of a momentary lapse of judgment. The defendant could see that other vehicles had avoided the risk. This was not inadvertence or negligence.
The appropriate sentence is that of a commencing point of l2 years, reduced to 11 because of the early plea. There will be a lesser discount for the plea of guilty since the plea was but a recognition of reality and the acceptance of an overwhelming case against him. A further factor is that there will be concurrent sentences for each of the acts of manslaughter and the injuries suffered by the other passengers. The discount will be that of one year and the actual sentence that of 11 years imprisonment. While intoxication can be a relevant factor there is no tolerance for the use of alcohol by the holder of a public vehicle licence so absence of intoxication as a factor is irrelevant to this assessment of sentence. He was warned by a person outside of the vehicle not to proceed. He approached the river, reversed to pick up speed and deliberately proceeded despite the cries and warnings of his passengers.
He was not responsible just for the lives of one or two passengers as in a motor car. He was the holder of a public not a private licence. He knew that he had children and the elderly in his trust. He was not merely stupid but took a calculated course of conduct imperilling the lives of many.
The penalty of the Court will not bring back the lives of the lives of the children or lessen the grief of their families. But it seeks to provide a general deterrence to those entrusted with public safety and duty to those who are helpless passengers in a public conveyance. Here two lives were betrayed.
Disqualification
40. Archbold (2013 Ed) refers at K-l9l that: “an order disqualifying an offender is usually a mandatory requirement when sentencing for these offences. In principle the minimum period of disqualification should either equate to the length of the custodial sentence imposed or the relevant statutory minimum disqualification period, whichever, results in the longer period of disqualification."
In this case the commencing point was 12 years imprisonment. The discount was for early plea but I see no reason why the commencing point, the discount for early plea and given that the maximum penalty is that of life imprisonment, prevents me from imposing a 12 year period of disqualification.
The Road Traffic Ordinance 1960 ("The Ordinance") section 39A (negligent driving causing death) provides for a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment but makes no specific provision for licence suspension. The Ordinance section 33 does not specify a period of disqualification following conviction nor for any minimum or maximum penalty. Section 33 A does not assist resolution of this question. Section 33 (b) provides for such period as the Court thinks fit, and will be applied. The disqualification will continue during any parole period.
Public Vehicle Licence
The Ordinance section 33 provides for the ‘disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence upon conviction for any offence in connection with the driving of a motor vehicle‘. Motor manslaughter is such an offence. The Proviso to the Act section 33 permits the Court to disqualify a driver, of the same class or description as the vehicle in relation to which the offence was committed.
In McKeZvey (supra) the New Zealand Court upheld an order that the appellant be disqualified indefinitely.
The Court will combine the provisions of section 33 ‘for such period as the Court thinks fit“ with the Proviso and follow McKelvey (supra) in ordering that the defendant be disqualified from driving a road service licence under the Ordinance Part IV indefinitely.

Totality
The two terms of 11 years imprisonment and the licence disqualifications will reflect the principles of totality (Mill v R (1988) 166 CLR 59). The Court pays regard to the principle of totality and will impose concurrent sentences in each case.
The only solace this Court can offer to the families is that they will be reunited with their children in Heaven. They will be remembered in the hearts and minds of all Samoans. They will live on in the memories of all who knew them.
ORDERS:
Moe Iosua is convicted of two crimes of Manslaughter. Moe Iosua is sentenced in relation to Information S2191/13 to a term of imprisonment for a period of 11 years. such sentence to commence as and from 22 October 2013.
Moe Iosua is sentenced in relation to Information S2192/13 to a term of imprisonment for a period of 11 years. such sentence to be concurrent with that imposed in Order (2).
Moe Iosua is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period of 12 years, from 22 October 2013.
Moe Iosua is disqualified from holding or obtaining a Road Service Licence indefinitely.
JUSTICE SLICER