Tongan mum

Role model mum wins scholarship and sets sights on Bachelor of Nursing

After several years juggling studies, work and family life, the Oamaru mum-of-five will commute to Timaru this year to begin her Bachelor of Nursing studies full time – with the first year covered by a Ministry for Pacific Peoples funding grant.

Tapa’atoutai says her early life experiences caring for her grandmother in Tonga and her more recent community and healthcare work have shaped her nursing aspirations – but her determination to be a role model for her children is what really inspires her.

Tongan mum closer to reuniting with her kids after she's finally granted access to NZ

Three weeks ago, Louena Tupa shared her story of how she and her husband, who live in Japan, decided in February to fly their then four-year-old daughter and five-month-old son to Tonga to keep them safe after a Covid-19 cluster broke out in their neighbourhood.

Tupa had planned to join her children a week later but flight after flight she booked got cancelled — and then the borders closed.

After speaking to Breakfast, she was put on a repatriation list by the Tongan government — but was still declined by Immigration NZ.

Tongan-US survivor of COVID-19 says “great courage” saved her; husband returned to ventilator

Lotomo’ua Tu’akalau was isolated in her house along with three of her children while her husband Lelea Tu’akalau was fighting for his life in a hospital isolation ward.

Lotomo’ua said she understood there were a number of Tongans infected with Covid-19 in the US and she urged them to be strong.

She said while her husband was struggling with the disease she kept on telling him to keep fighting as he would be fine.

She said while in isolation, she lost appetite, was nauseous and frequently become unconscious.

Tongan mum of COVID-19 victim in US calls for people to take virus seriously

Finau’s daughter and partner are ill.

“If any of you are feeling unwell, go and get tested,” she said.

“There is no shame in it.”

Kaniva News reports Finau, who is currently in Auckland, said she is concerned that people in the United States are travelling from state to state.

They were not facing the same strict restrictions as New Zealanders.

“I ask Americans to take it seriously,” she said.

“I wish I was home so I could do something for her.”