Aiono Iosefa, Sarona Meataa

Aiono Iosefa, Sarona Meataa

Information

residence
Canterbury

In Brief

Sarona Meata’a Aiono-Iosefa writes fiction predominantly for children. She has published short stories, and several books for the Learning Media ‘Tupu’ series, published in English and six different Pacific languages. Her creative writing often reflects the distinct view of growing up as a Pacific Islander in the South Island. In 2007, Aiono-Iosefa was the recipient of the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence at the Centre of Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i in Manoa.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Aiono-Iosefa, Sarona Meata’a (1962 - ) is a Christchurch-born Samoan. She gained a Certificate of Journalism from Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University’s Wellington campus), and in 1984 completed a Bachelor of English Literature at the University of Canterbury. She has worked in many communications roles, and was a founding member of the National Pacific Radio Trust. She is currently a senior writer for Health Education Trust.

Aiono-Iosefa's writing reflects the distinct view of growing up as a Pacific Islander in the South Island. Her parents emigrated from Samoa to start a new life and continually tried to instill in her family the importance of being Samoan in a foreign land. In 'Blackcurrant Jam' – a story she contributed to the Out of the Deep anthology of New Zealand children’s writers in 2007 – she revisits part of her own childhood. In Two Cans of Corned Beef and a Manulele in a Mango Tree, illustrated by Steven Dunn, Aiono-Iosefa writes a Pacific picture book version of the much-loved song, Twelve Days of Christmas. She has written several books for the Learning Media ‘Tupu’ series, published in English and six different Pacific languages.

In 2007, Aiono-Iosefa was the recipient of the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence at the Centre of Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai’i in Manoa.

She is currently living in Christchurch, completing her first novel based on a family in Samoa.

List of publications:
Tupu Series (2000 -, Learning Media): O le Pese Mo Tina: Grandma’s Song; O se Mea Fa’alilolilo a Pese: Grandpa’s Secret; White Sunday.
Samoa – Pacific Way (Reed Publishing, 2001); Two Cans of Corned Beef and a Manulele in a Mango Tree (Reed Publishing, 2004); The Pipi Swing (Reed Publishing, 2007); Out of the Deep – 'Blackcurrant Jam' (Reed, 2007); Tala’s Place (Reed, 2007).

MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS

  • Interview of Sarona Meata’a on Christchurch City Library site

  • Updated January 2017.