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My New Zealand Story



Like many 13-year-old girls, Sofia’s main worries are how to get some groovy go-go boots, and how not to die of embarrassment giving a speech at school! But when her older brother Lenny starts talking about marches and protests and overstayers, and how Pacific Islanders are being bullied by the police for their passports and papers, a shadow is cast over Sofia’s sunny teenage days. Through her heartfelt diary entries, we see her growing awareness of the bias in the media, the prejudice against Polynesian citizens and the bullying in the playground. We also see her determination to get an after-school job, and save up for things she really wants. Once she learns she can put things on lay-by, she starts paying off the cost for her much-wanted go-go boots. Along the way, Sofia makes a wider circle of friends including Charlotte, who started out as her enemy. On a holiday to Auckland to meet their grandparents, Sofia is witness to the terror of being dawn-raided and gains an insight into the courageous and tireless work of the Polynesian Panthers first hand, as they encourage immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights. The dawn raid experience gives her material for her speech and she delivers it with aplomb, winning second place. In her family’s eyes she is a winner!

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