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New constable wants to bring his Samoan culture to policing in South Auckland

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Constable Lifu Petelo Mua’au leads the challenge at the October police graduation. Photo / Supplied

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“O le ala ile pule o le tautua”, is a Samoan proverb meaning “the pathway to leadership is through service”.

Hailing from the village of Puipa’a in Samoa, and residing in South Auckland since 2012, Constable Lifu Petelo Mua’au has always wanted to join the police force to create a career pathway and legacy for his family.

His dedication to serving others won him the Leadership Award for Wing 359 at the Royal New Zealand Police College graduation in Porirua last month.

Standout moments that contributed to his nomination include his care for another colleague who was hospitalised by Covid-19, taking up the last-minute wero (challenge) to lead a haka for Police Remembrance Day, and serving twice the allocated time as a section manager.

Constable Lifu Petelo Mua'au at his police graduation ceremony last month. Photo / Supplied
Constable Lifu Petelo Mua’au at his police graduation ceremony last month. Photo / Supplied

In a speech to the other 57 graduates, Mua’au said: “We need to be role models in everything we do, inside Police and outside. We have the ability to deliver a service that the public expect and deserve.”

The 27-year-old started work this week at Ormiston Police Station, South Auckland, which also serves the surrounding suburb of Otara, a township where Gagana Samoa is the most commonly spoken language behind English, and the population is youthful.

He believes that his Samoan upbringing and language fluency will be an asset while engaging with the community.

Mua’au is also an active member of the Methodist Church, encouraging and supporting young people – a passion he will carry into his new role.

“I’m aiming to work towards Youth Aid. At this stage I need to gain some experience but I would love to be in that environment in the community,” says the father of two.

It was not an easy road to reach this milestone as Mua’au applied in 2019 but failed the psychometric test.

He tried again after going through a police preparation course through MSL Training, available under the Government’s fees free scheme.

He says if you feel a calling to pursue the same career, do not be deterred by a lack of education and “reach out for help and continue pursuing your goal”.

Mua’au looks forward to serving in Counties Manukau and says he will lead with empathy, helping people to see past their current struggles to a better future.

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