Story: Samoans

Melegalenuu Ah Sam

Coloured photograph of Melegalenuu Ah Sam in a red dress.

In 1990 Melegalenuu Ah Sam began teaching at Mangere College, where she fostered a pan-Pacific cultural environment. She established Gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language) teaching at the college, and later prompted the addition of classes in te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani (Cook Islands Māori) and Lea Faka-Tonga (the Tongan language). In 2012 she led the establishment of a special languages block as a hub for Māori and Pacific learning at the college.

Since 1993 she has also been the lead coordinator of the Samoan stage at ASB Auckland Polyfest, a very important event on the Pacific community’s calendar.

In 2022 Melegalenuu Ah Sam was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific language education. 

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How to cite this page:

Lupematasila Melani Anae, 'Samoans - Culture and identity', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 12 December 2023)

Story by Lupematasila Melani Anae, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 7 Sep 2022 with assistance from  Lupematasila Melani Anae