Lesieli Tonga

Nothing speaks of celebrating a moment in life quite like the spitting and eating of a pig, let alone 300 of them with three cray fish on each back.


Lesieli Tonga is a conduit for the whole New Zealand Tongan community to celebrate what it is to be Polynesian and what it means to be Polynesian living in a foreign country under English Crown law.

The Kingdom of Tonga is strong in its faith and none more so than the Free Wesleyan Methodist faith. The congregation in Mangere required an Auditorium that could cater for festivities and rituals that are unfamiliar to Anglo Saxon New Zealand.

A metaphoric blanket ceiling of frangipani flowers has been laid over the walls of the space, symbolising the nurturing and warmth of humanity required to get on with life in a foreign land.

The congregation voted to build it themselves with imported labour from the Islands and direction from the Architects on procedure and compliance.

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