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Church Minister honoured for service

A Samoan church minister attended his investiture ceremony last Wednesday and was presented with the New Zealand Order of Merit by New Zealand Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy. 

Reverend Nove Vailaau, who has been a church minister for 22 years with the Porirua Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, was presented the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the Samoan community.

His role in establishing the Atamu Porirua E.F.K.S Incorporated and the Aoga Amata Porirua, which are two community-driven organisations that were set up to help young Samoans, were acknowledged during the investiture.

In a church service on 23 October to celebrate his recognition by the New Zealand government, Rev. Vailaau said when he was young he wanted to become a doctor, but as he grew older he decided to become a minister as he was brought up in the church. 

"Later I decided I wanted to become a minister so instead of becoming a doctor I decided to become a minister,” he said.

He explained that during his training as a church minister, he became interested in an area called “liberation theology”, which his life training and theological studies later revolved around.

Rev. Vailaau then thanked the church, his wife and the Porirua Congregational Christian Church of Samoa for their support.

He has been a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for the Minister for Pacific Peoples, the Ministry of Education's Pasifika Talanoa Group, and the Ministry of Health's Pacific Advisory group.

He was also the Chair of the Porirua Pacific Church Ministers Group and is a member of the Wellington Samoan Faifeau (Church Ministers) Group, on top of his involvement with Taula I Fanua Trust and the Central Pacific Collective.

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