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‘Inoke ‘Afeaki

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Nice to see you too. I was in Salt Lake City for about almost 3 weeks. Oh, wow. It is so hot. I just came home on Wednesday. Okay, let’s start. We’ll start. Okay. Good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon, good evening, wherever you’re coming from. ladies and gentlemen, to and pro athletes of today’s and yesterday. Welcome to our conversation with our to and pro athletes. We are honored to bring to you some of our athletes to have a conversation, get to know them, and to find out what it takes to become a pro athlete. Their commitment, their sacrifice, the preparation, mental toughness, hard work, and determination in hopes that we learn from them about their journey and what it takes to become the athlete. they are but before we start, I want to ask every member of the To and pro athletes of today and yesterday, to please invite two to three people. That’s all we ask. If you like what we are doing, please invite you to three people to our page. Um also, you can go to YouTube and type in to and pro athletes uh and you will find all of our conversation there with all our pro athletes. Our guest today is Inoke Afeaki. He’s a rugby union footballer In this position is a lot. I feel like he played uh for the Wellington Lions, the Hurricanes, the sitcoms, Rico, and Japan and the Scarlett in in Wales. Um he captain uh the at at the uh 2003 Rugby World Cup internationally. He made his debut for Tonga in 1995 against France uh in the in the Rugby World Cup. Uh he also played in 2000 2001. Oh, and oh three. uh since retired. He’s uh he’s been coaching and he’s also coached the Um I want to just you know, um welcome you to our conversation. Um just wanted to uh we’re we’re honored to have you tonight. today, this morning. uh to come on and have a conversation with us. Oh, this is just a conversation just to get to know you, see where you’re at with your life today and what you are doing uh in the rugby world and uh just want to ask if you can uh come on in and introduce yourself, Let us know uh about you a little bit and uh introduce you or your parents where they’re from our village. They’re from and uh after that, we’ll we’ll we’ll continue from there but uh welcome to our conversation. you. thank you Bill for that warm welcome. Um you know, I couldn’t I couldn’t sort of sort of feel some emotion that you’re describing me but you’re describing my parents and uh all those qualities that you just rattled off is um it’s uh it’s because of the people around you, right? Yes. So Yeah. Um my life I can get today, I’ve met the catalog in Auckland a few times with rugby and uh academia. So, she’s been an inspiration for many of us. Uh yes, uh in New Zealand um and still at the forefront. So, uh I’ve been I think I’ve got it on my Facebook profile. Uh I’m I’m just a product of amazing people around me. so I I’m very average in everything. Uh so, I’m in an environment that people take time. uh talk to me and ask me what I want to do and they they jump in and and and take me through a bit of an introduction on how how things are done. So, that’s um we go you know help me help you So, mom’s family. Go ahead. Go ahead. So, um I’m married to me. So, I’ve got um so we’ve got some family here in New Zealand. um is over in uh in uh America. So, we’ve got they whispered up on that side of the family between America and New Zealand and Hawaii. Uh that’s that um family uh Afeaki uh are quite well renowned for their academia and the lawyers and and uh high achievers Um so, uh you know, I get you know, when you grow up in a group that uh high achievers you it’s not that you’re scared by it but you it becomes more normal. So you for for a young kid to see people that are that are lawyers, accountants, uh in parliament. Um you think, oh it’s just another job that was a plumber and you know II spent time with him uh uh on his jobs on the holidays and and that to me was a job and a worthy job and I’m back in the construction industry right now. So, I I’ve done full circle uh that is smiling that I think that I’m on a construction site. Um so I’m uh I don’t pretend that I know the work I’m going to do. I’m doing a bit of admin and looking after the health and safety of of the workers on site. So to me that that more than the rugby skills that I have there. I’m watching out for people. I want the best for them. I want to go home safe. um and just giving them the environment so they can work. okay, So that that uh that side of it is um that’s from just working hard and being being open to to work wherever you need to work and again, that’s the story of my dad uh coming out to New Zealand as a as a plumber helping to build my uncle Andrew Afeaki was a student here at Victoria University back in the 70s 60s 60s. So, he married a um uh a Maui Guild. Um so he’s the he’s the head of the family. Yeah. So, he’s uh the chief of uh and so they came out to help build a few other cousins to build his house in Wellington and that’s how our Wellington uh journey started. Uh we have a year after that so that’s you know so that’s that’s a little bit of a backdrop of of what of uh how it started but if anything, I just want to, yeah, if we just make this talk about all the similarities that all us kids are having in different countries, right? Uh and basically, you surround yourself with good people that are supportive and then on the flip side of that, you’ve gotta try and figure out ways to remove yourself from environments that are not good for you. So, those are probably the two talking points that that I’d I’d like to chat about today. Okay, we can do that. Can you do that. Yes. were you, were you born in Tonga or were you? Yeah. Uh it’s okay. So it’s um it’s so we are we’re all fluent in to and then a fluency when it comes out is a is is a hard one for me. It’s uh I’m a native languages so even when I came to New Zealand. I couldn’t speak English for a long long time. So, I’m I’m one of those people that’s good at one language at a time. Uh oh. no, they’re going to be it’s it’s uh it’s it’s just going to loosen up there so I can understand. I can reply if I really want to here. So, can you just go over um give us a little bit of history about you how you started in rugby Uh again, that’s that’s awesome story. So yeah, Dad. Dad played for the he would have toured uh New Zealand and Australia back in the early 70s. The 7172. uh groups that were coming over. So, in the in the that you have uh uh is there I thought I was dead and and amongst their group. Um Wow and then that continues over the years that they were that bad this early 70s and this is the period when they they were beating the New Zealand Maui etcetera. So, they will link up with people on networks here that uh obviously one of the guys that got good players to come back and settle uh and then that they’ve got an option to come over here and and build a house in Wellington for his uh his first his first cousin. um and and then a year later uh we were flying over uh as a family so that’s that that happened pretty quick. So, the rugby started because there was a Mi before they call it be dad’s footsteps. Oh yeah. Yeah. And anyone’s world is at that. So, uh and of course, so I had who’s uh the the father uh of uh Who is it? Um and um my block. Um uh a little cousin and and in Australia. Oh, he’s going to kill me for not remembering his name this early in the morning. Uh uh Rodney Blake, um Ben Afeaki who played for the All Blacks so that there’s there’s a there’s a there’s a rugby pedigree um Adam Adam Coleman, Adam Coleman’s um um we are uh Heritage So, that’s the one thing Rugby Rugby is just in our blood. um in our culture, it’s it’s uh it’s it’s fast hopping over to Rugby League uh and I’m I’m I’m I’m a look I love rugby but I love Rugby League and League looks after our people better. Let’s go to Rugby League So it’s whatever is best for our people. Uh huh. So, um what do you, what do you think about what’s going on with the uh with the tone and team now? It’s uh in the union Uh let’s just jump to that. So. Oh yeah, we’re it’s a big jump in. Let’s go back to my family. I think a lot of people, I think a lot of people Yeah. Uh hey, um that that’s behaving like a family as well. You know, so we have we have what I see and II spent 3 years back in time is uh the political. I’ll I’ll say the political game because it’s just a game and if you learn it, you know why people are doing things So the political game uh so the family Everyone has their family and everyone has 5050 split of some some being pro uh royals, some being pro democratic, some being uh just really sort of a calm and wise and saying, look, why don’t we just do what’s the best for the country? Let’s listen to both. Let’s sit down. Let’s see it. All the similarities about what we want and let’s put that down. Let’s aim for that. So, I thought, you know, if if more of those people in the middle can calm people down and say, hey, hey, we hear you. We hear you pain. Just let’s put black and white. What are what are the things you want to work on? Um so, all the problems always happen on the edges, right? Those are the noisy ones. So, the noisy ones on the edges are causing trouble. They tend to come from if you notice that all the troublemakers come from So, uh so we’re good at that maybe because we are in between the two islands, the two main islands we cause all this mischief. Yeah, we you know, we can sell there. So here and of course caused division or called unity. So, we have to, we have to be on the second part. We have to cause unity. Um that’s why I love the sport because we all come together and we have one product and that’s that product in day is making our people happy and uh guys did this so well. Um so that’s that’s that should be their priority and we should remind them that’s the priority priority is to work together. stay in the middle, look after the people that are that are really doing the hard work. The ones that are lazy. Let’s give them on the bottom. The ones that are are doing really successful. Let’s congratulate them and remind them that they have to give back to the community. So, that’s you know, there’s there’s all those dynamics and and we just have to appreciate what is the end game for each one of them. Let’s let’s jump jump to maybe something that people probably don’t like me for is that IIII was trying to hold um um I’ve been accountable when he was being a really bad CEO slash vice president slash chairman for to Rugby Union uh and I grew up with foul here in Wellington. He was here for for over 1015 years maybe before he left. Um my older cousins are really good friends with him. Best friends with them and so again, uh the dynamics there just ended up being politics Um his end game that that I saw clearly is that he wants to be in politics later. He’s okay with um kicking me uh when when I was telling him that he needed to stop doing what he was doing uh but he didn’t care Um at the end of the day, politics is going to put money in his pocket later on and my job like I’ve done in sport all the time is just call out people for bad behavior and that includes people calling me out for bad behavior. So, I we’re calling each other out of bad behavior. You eventually come somewhere where you actually look back and say, I’m happy where I am but we still still got some things to work on. So that’s where I think rugby and and the society just needs to keep keep listening to people that can call people out and how can we, how can we be better? Um don’t stop calling people out and I think that that’s a maybe that’s the one thing that time and culture don’t like uh that we’ve picked up overseas. We know we we’re the guys that are overseas and the girls are overseas have picked up a culture that it’s okay to question. okay to call people out for that behavior and okay. okay to say, okay, I’ve made a mistake. I’m going to fix it. Um you give me a, you know, you watch me closely and tell me I’m heading in the right direction. Um so, that’s that’s the one beautiful thing that we’ve got from the other cultures that we’ve uh which I started hard coming back to time is that I’m always told to you if I made it, I was was like, well, why not? Why can’t we? Why can’t we stop hitting our ladies? Why can’t we stop doing stuff that’s really bad? You know, there’s no, it’s uh so that’s that’s that’s the message that I got for anyone that that uh is doing what they’re doing to to that hurts is that I know you’re in game or I’m going to find out about your end game but let’s talk about it. We can still get there. You can still do well in politics but what we have to try and do is change the culture of how we do things. So we make things better for the guys that are doing the real hard work So it’s the conversation. Um I’m still, I’m still not blocked on this Facebook friends list. So, it’s uh Um it’s yeah, it’s okay. It’s okay. I think you have to to to move forward. You’ve got to ask tough questions. You’ve got to make people upset. Um let’s just keep coming back to the table when we can. um and just just seeing how far we’ve moved. Yeah. Okay. what point that you’ve brought up, you know, because you know that we’re obedient culture especially when we look at uh sports history. they used to only come from one source under one leader the king and so you know, it it seems like if we were going to look at history that we seem to be better at sports when there’s only one leader and one voice when we have a democratic and many voices to like you say the edges are making a lot of noise. No supporting the people in the middle and we we just haven’t mastered it yet. you know, so yeah but I think that’s agree. I agree. Lots of countries have mastered the democratic process and even the democratic process is is flawed and we, you know, we don’t want to say it’s a bad thing because if if you if you get the right people involved, oh, it’s good but if you get the wrong people involved, it’s just, it’s broken already. So, it’s um so I think we’ve got to make our own version of democracy. Um we’re and I think uh we’ve got yeah it’s just it’s for us and we’ve got to be the one You know, we can’t listen to the village idiot telling us what to do. We just can’t. He’s like, hey, shh. Get back to the point and it’s uh another important thing that you see is that understanding the political game because you’ve got that running alongside the game as the sport Um you know, it’s holding people accountable and you know, people like yourself um you know, you’re a voice for many people that can’t speak up against our leaders that can’t they don’t have chance to hold people accountable and then we have people like you that um well, you are the sacrificial lamb. So, you know, I don’t mind. I don’t mind. It’s um if there’s probably a character in the Bible that I don’t, you know, don’t mind being and I’ve I find a champion. It’s just it’s John the Baptist. You know, I’m I’m I’m not I’m not saying of the Messiah. I’m not but if I can help identify the right people. That’s that’s my role and if I get killed in the process, That’s my dog. It’s uh I think that that’s it. It’s uh I think uh we’re going to require a lot more Mars to to to point out our people in the right direction not to be corrupted um and that’s a horrible word, man. I think even the corrupt the people that’s when we call out for being corrupt. If you’re like oh you can’t call me that and well, you’re behaving in. Yes, we can. We just did. Huh? If you’re that’s you know we’ve um we’ve we’ve we’ve you know it on their toes and for one one thing that I did pick up and I’ve and I almost feel for them A lot of the everyone. I’ll say everyone, everyone in the system at the moment have gotten to where they are through a corrupt system and to call them out to stare it down from those positions. uh then then the whole system falls down. So, so uh there’s only one way to fix it and that’s from the top and that’s when we had one leader who who fixed everything from the top down. so it does require the king. It doesn’t require the PM to sit down with the king and draft up a whole new way of doing things and bring your best minds. just you know II. Don’t I don’t know everything. I just can’t talk to my best mates and there’s no stuff and they tell me, oh show me, show me what you got. So, yeah, get your best minds involved and do it it from the top down because it doesn’t matter how many people like me and yourself that they pop up and say, guys fix it and we go in there and fix it for them. Also within 1 year or back to where it was so they’re afraid they’re afraid of of best minds when they when you guys when you’re saying that they’re afraid of bringing people that know what they’re talking about. and and and what I mean, it’s I don’t know if it’s afraid. I think it’s protecting their turf. It’s uh but we all our best people are overseas. There’s no doubt about that. All of them are um but you you you say you’re coming back from overseas and you have knowledge on how the best overseas do it and you meet you meet your person on the island that does your job. You’re not going to listen to you. They’re going to just smile and think you’re on my turf now. I don’t my way. You just Be quiet. and that’s why they’re still there. We’re going to, we’re going to flip that and say, no, no, no. I’m here to help. If that means to me bringing you over overseas and that’s what I think we have to do more of. Let’s just let’s just what they do for sports. Our best people are that are overseas and they become the best in the world. We’re going to keep doing that. Get out, get our coaches, get our people and the government are doing it but when they recycle back into the government works, they get shut down, they get sold. This is how we do it until I stop by and see if you’re not going to, it’s not going to work here but I think over time, We will eventually uh and and how it does it, how it goes about what process is it uses and I’m not saying get rid of everything. Um it’s just uh this this processes that you need to be competitive at world level. um and if we want to win it at sports or anything, we have to do it at a standard that is much higher which we’re capable of. We just gotta put the right people around the guys that need to go and do the job. So it’s um and the reality of where we’re at in rugby is not all on us. It’s it’s it’s the it’s the world players as well that are that are not letting us have our people Um we’ve collectively uh the guys like me are making noise to to world Rugby is saying stop being unfair. Let us have our people um and so yeah and so those guys are meant to be calling out our best sports administrators on the island but they don’t they just sit there and let us know I want to ask you a question on that. I saw you Uh we’re talking about the eligibility rules. I want you to tell us more about that. Uh your point because uh you and former players from the All Blacks in Samoa are talking about the eligibility. What can we do as a country or as a team to to make this you know for New Zealand and the bigger tier one or countries to listen to us and allow our players to come in and represent our, you know, our yeah, that’s uh that’s a very good question. Uh basically, what I can tell what’s not going to work if we if we if we set quiet on the matter. Yes. If we if we don’t make any noise, uh we wait for an initiative to be pushed through to the to um uh meeting uh executive board we meet three or four times a year. Um so Their agenda is usually just a very few things but it’s uh if we put something on the table for them to consider about eligibility, somehow, it just gets harder to be eligible to play for to every time they see um but it’s not going in our direction. It’s it’s uh so there might be a subconscious uh um thought pattern and and the northern hemisphere is that they don’t want us to beat them. Um and I understand that fear because because you know, if we did have our best players, we would beat them and they know that Yes. Um but we’re we’re just saying look well it’s a game that you guys invented and we happen to be good at it and we do contribute to the club professional scene really well. It’s it’s uh we just keep making noise. We still keep calling them out for being very unfair and at one stage, slavery was unfair. So, a lot of people it’s in the old testament having slaves is okay. It’s in the Old Testament, South Africa. we’ve got a page open in Pretoria and uh in a in a monument they took us to the 2000 995 World Cup to show us the temple and how the sun shines straight down to the Bible page that shows them that the slaves and the ruling race So that that was okay at one time um and the whole world called out South Africa saying, stop it. Slaves are not good treating. you know, apartheid is not good. Uh um change. So and we’re just asking all our friends uh of rugby around the world just to keep making that statement That’s not fair to have our people of heritage to the to Fiji or wherever they come from. They’ve got heritage. They they’ve got bloodlines that they can trace back thousands of years. uh that The first language I learned was this language that they they you know, they want to play for their parents and their grandparents speak it. their uncles and aunties speak it um and you’re telling me that they can only play for one country that they’ve been adopted to So, but that’s not fair. That’s not fair. So and that everyone on the planet understands what fear is. So we keep telling those guys that are afraid of losing to the Pacific Islanders afraid of not having access to our best players is that it’s okay they’re going to have to do that work on their own bed with their own kids and if you got, you know, if our kids want to play for your country, cool but At the end of the day, there’s still time. There’s still some more stuff and and they’re entitled. They’ve got one entitlement on this planet is to be close to their people who who, you know, are the reason they exist. Yes. So that’s uh that’s everyone that gets it in a comment in that tape. you use the word slavery it’s you know, it’s yeah. that’s exactly. Can you go into more details on that please? So, it’s it’s it’s the mindset of slavery that that that that’s you can put your finger on. So, uh let’s say country uh takes you out of Tonga and gives you 4 years of good coaching Uh now that now you play for the national team and they tell you you’re stuck, you’re with your you are now that new nationality except for the rest life. Um so, every I mean the example I give to people as well. You go to school in a country Um does it stop you from working in another country? No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. You don’t own the person. You don’t own the people and the and the kid has given you back all those learnings and the performances he’s given to you already. You know, the kids played really well for your club and your country already anything after that. if you’re not paying a kid, let him go back to help his family. It’s uh right. So the attitude that you that you that you are owned by a country There’s no, it’s it’s it’s the other way around. You choose to be part of the country. That’s it’s it’s your choice to become a citizen of the country Doesn’t you know, you can’t be, it can’t be the other way around um and that poaching of of citizens don’t start that up poaching that um and it happened and it happened at one time. It was okay one time it was okay to sell over the other and steal people from other and take them to Australia and South America. Yeah. But now It’s not. Okay. So, we’re we’re calling him out on that mentality that it’s it’s pretty much the same mentality that treats people as nonhuman commodities and they need to stop there. I would like to welcome uh today is her debut with us today. Uh uh also coach uh has joined us so I know Luciana, you probably have something to say according to what uh coach Becky here has been talking about. So, we’ll give you that chance and then coach Okay. Um Yeah, I’m I’m I’m thinking about that slavery thing. that you play for their whatever team but then they try to have you stay with them and not play for your country. II. Think I kind of read uh not your tape but II. Read somebody who had, you know, talked about it and you know, it got me to thinking uh why why are they doing that? You know, but then it’s true what you’re saying about slavery. and I and I think a lot of them are stuck on that mentality that you know, they own their own people once they play for them and get paid by them that they own those people. I think basically, that’s what it it comes down to. You know what coach Afeaki here is saying is, you know, yes, we’re giving you our kids to to teach and you know, give them the the learning, right? experiences that you can teach them but that does not give you ownership. our kids. you know, they’re there for you to teach, teach them, and allow them to make that choice. You know, whether they want to play for New Zealand, England, wherever, so be it but if they so choose to come back and play for at least allow them that because you do not own our kids is what he’s basically saying. So, am I right? Yeah, you’re right. I’ll just add to that Is that the the wall and they’re playing at school level and winning the the school championships or play at club level on those championships. Yeah, they’re teaching is is returned in in in service during that time that they’re playing quality sport and winning championships for those clubs and schools, Right? So, to be to make the boys feel that they they owe more is it is a small action going wrong. You can’t keep blaming on a worker when he’s not it for you. You know, coach are you there? I would like you to bring coach on because he does some of the same things that you’re talking about here in a different level. Uh I see y’all. coach here brings kids from. Oh my here to America and have families host them and at the same time, they’re giving the the students are to give the schools their talent, you know, because they we bring them here for football and and other sports So, Levi, can you can you please enlighten uh a coach? uh Afeaki on this and it’s a nice thing for us to talk about Um Thank you, Bill. Before we go on uh just for your information for you and Tim. uh coach and I have been working together for years in Tonga. So, I was in the community and uh we did the uh you know the the the the sports council and uh I’m I’m glad that uh Afeaki is here ever since I came back. Um you know, I’ve been trying to tell people that the the great setup that we had with icon and you and uh you know, so many people are just so you know, just to know uh as a lot of people don’t know what we’ve been doing in tonga Inoke that’s you know, really where the last training that we had uh where we you know, talk about good leadership, you know, and uh and all the administrative um uh training uh and and and team and that’s what Inoke brought to Tonga You know, we had a week of training every single day. How to become uh you know, the the management of uh of of sports from coaches to administration and those things. Uh I don’t think uh most people know uh that’s what Afeaki had brought in to to you know and uh and uh you know I just wanted to update you guys on on the great things that and the one on the team that we had that with all those is uh going forward and um I was saddened that they cancelled the whole thing of course. uh with all that but I just wanted to say hello. It was nice to to see you again and hear your voice but um you know, of course you are well aware already of what Bill is talking about. what I’ve been trying to do in Tonga, you know, bringing it here now that I’m retired uh you know, okay, I’m doing this 100% full on full full time so I’m already set up. uh uh scholarships here. Uh just a matter of when Tonga opens up so that I can come and uh start picking up where we left off. Uh you know, I um we developed a four team American football games that was going on in Tonga. Um So, um you know, uh it’s so nice. I’m not sure if you are going to ever return in it but I’m going to be working with you but I’ll just so you know, I’m still trying, you know, and of course, we’re fighting against the whole world. you know, trying to make something going but uh too bad we we don’t have the any say but uh you know, that’s uh but I’m continuing like uh now that I’m happy you and Tim and Carol you and Carlos and so many people now that I’ve been recruiting here in the states. you know, I think uh whether we have the blessing of the government or not, I think we’re going to move on, you know, and work with people what we can and what we’re capable of doing a strong now having the back up and uh uh from everybody else. uh and then also I’m retired you know I’m I’m returning with Do not uh to go for a lot of guys that we came for. Kingdom Bowl 2002 uh 20 year reunion is coming up. So, I’m hoping that team Manoa and and all of us will be there when they if they allow us next year to do a 20 year reunion of the Gridiron but uh but regardless of what we’re going to do it you know, like I said, we have a team now Inoke and uh whether they approve us and we’ll find a way, right? and we’ll find a way to get the ball here. you know, for football and rugby, you know, for you all the sports Yes. Yeah. I love it. I love it. I love my time. Whenever he came to his uh we we me we sat down and told me what he did. It was simply amazing. His level of organization is again at another level. We um and for him now that he’s retired but more important, the networking that we’ve got here, it’s something that I think there’s some real potential where you’ve you’ve touched base with with a big portion of of the minds in sport not just on the field but off the field. I think that there’s a They’re just what I was trying to make it into is that I need a competent people to look after our sports people that needed to go and train and and you know, have to have the right environment to to get better and be close to winning We’re we’ve got that. We’ve got that for the forum is here. We’re sitting here. We have actually so much more to to give and that’s in the practical side which is Si si is 100% about doing all the talk is one thing doing it is is is the real thing. Yeah, I think that’s probably the next step for for this forum is is is you know, put down what your skill sets are uh put down your availability uh of where and when uh the coaches say like what I get my my role as a manager. I wasn’t the coach for the manager. Yeah. so am I capacity as a manager. So, there’s three other managers that we had operational at any one time. So, so that was that was the build capacity because we we we’re volunteers. We can’t give all you, you know, because you don’t want to get paid. uh but the border capacity uh across good people who know the job they can come in and make sure that our athletes have got what they need to be Competitive is is the real issue. Um our our sports associations on the island aren’t doing that. Uh the wrong people are in charge. They somehow got there somehow. um and if I jump back to uh the mission of um yeah really a big political player for the Uh we set them and we we went through what’s important to make our athletes have the right environment So, we put all the politics to the side and we got we got some seriously good work done. Uh we upset people are both both sides. We are quick to give us the kick out as they beat it. You’re you’re not listening to the political game. We love your work and we’re going to claim that for ourselves but you too can beat it. So that that that that was sad. They look, we’re doing this for the country not for you guys and you can use it as a political tool if you want but our job and we’ve known for a long time is to make our people happy and that should be your job as well. Um so that’s that uh that’s that was a beauty of getting down with with like-minded sport. It’s not it’s not the politics to the side. We’re about making amazing people and they are our youth. It’s not about us uh and we we just want to get that back so they can do the same thing when it’s their turn. We’ve not yet. So, that’s the fact that you brought up. Uh he’s my cousin. and you know, to me, II too was unhappy with some of the things that he did. My question is, our new CEO. Peter Hardy, Do you think he’s the right man for this job? Oh, he knows. He knows the game inside out. Um he’s spent a lot of time and time. Uh yes, so to get to get the the paperwork done and get the the ticks in the box that will rugby will finally give us uh uh AA seat inside the executive committee to vote. Uh it’ll be through that guy my my and yeah, that’s you know, so my opinions on the type of person he is. He’s he’s the right person for the job now. Uh what I like is someone that that uh that that is to uh that has had that knows as much as he does to do the job. Yes. yes there are plenty of us that other that know as much as he does if not more to have a job but he’s he’s um he he’ll he’ll get the job done Um uh he’s he’s really supportive of what sport didn’t happen in the foul be different now. Um so that uh so that that’ll be helpful. Um maybe maybe when we had for being really really not helpful, maybe it made us perform better. Who knows? You know, there might have been a dynamic But yeah, it’s just uh yeah, II. Just think that um we use the right people at the at the right times uh but if we can use our own who’d actually know or really want to give back. Um it’s great. Uh if there’s anything else I’ll throw in that is that I don’t really care who you are. It’s the accountability side that needs to be done and if you’re not doing the work, you know a warning or two then there’s a door uh and that’s I say me if I, you know, there’s a lot of things that I’ve done by just saying yes III know how to do it. So, you just wing it. You gotta wing it to get in and do a job but if you’re not performing to one of the things that you’ve been asked of you, then someone needs to ask him and say, hey, bro, you’re not doing your work. Um show me what you’ve done. So, that’s the question I was always asking for and it’s always shrugging your shoulders and I said, mate, just find someone else to get the job. You just be the vice president but get someone to go to work, right? Um but It never came to that. It was uh it was a political football that he knew that he could he could uh I thought they thought they could win more votes with that. You’re not you’re not going to win more votes when you’re not doing your job, right. Um yeah so that’s that’s uh so those are my comments on on anyone that’s in in rugby is is the is the other people that that are better probably but let’s just let’s let’s check your work. Let’s and it’s not the winning and losing it’s it’s it’s How many guys have you got? Have you got on the books? What’s your development plan? It’s a list of many things that we need to measure them on and agree to and and whoever’s measuring needs to get in there and keep these people accountable. Um That’s right. I think at the end of the day, you know, around November, you know, quarterly reports has come in and if your performance ain’t there, you ain’t going to cut it. So, I agree and I mean that’s going to get me into trouble anyway but is the PM the right guy to be measuring that those those calls? No, not so just to find the right guy to to that knows the industry sold out and get them to the job. Um they’re not a lot of guys out there that that know what needs to be done. Yeah. right. Yeah. Help them uh in your thoughts on something I wanted to follow. Uh Follow one from uh coach Levi’s comments and you know, in his experience of bringing, you know, bringing our children and scholarships through from and getting them opportunities. Yes. Yeah. Uh you know, we can do that. The truth is we are not short of providing scholarships and opportunities in the out of it. It’s so easy. We have, we’re actually bringing out kids out of to through high school, high schools, you know, uh so it’s it’s very quick and it’s easy and my issue with that is that we are contributing to the slavery pool because when we bring the children over, uh for you know, scholarships at schools and scholarships and academies, we tend to track our children. to to to uh in a sense lose the ownership of them because their choices not change from national to become an economical choice and so they can just stay there and so we lose our kids So like there’s what do you think? How can we use these pathways to the best of our ability by the way, most of our children I think that that uh um it was it was one of our players on the players on that um Ocean’s video that that nailed it really well. Um so I did uh we’re we’re we’re we’re from a country that doesn’t have much money. We’re in a world that operates some money uh to get anything. We’re we’re you know we’re we’re we’re driven by um uh a need for money so that that that being pushed to work and when he offered money to play for our country, um and you get a bit more. Yeah. You’re you’re going to, you’ll stick with that as your allegiance because you’re going to get more money so you can help your people. So, that’s uh I think that that there’s um there’s there’s that that that dynamic is understood because we see it and that’s what that’s our actions probably the the longer term gain or midterm gain from that is that If we can make sure that our kids not only just on the sports field but in any industry once they realize that they can, they can get to the top of that industry quite quickly and they are, they are financially secured Um then from that position, they can help. So, uh so I think uh not many people know that my older brother Luciano Luciano might be watching this. Uh he’s he’s way more successful than me. You know, he he owns lots of stuff. You know, he’s and uh so he’s partners of god. Who is it? Um if UFC um franchises that to do, do that stuff and gyms, etcetera and there’s so many other people that are so successful uh and they’re in a position now to give back because they’ve hit the top of the industry and they they know how the world works. So, we we have to go our babies to hit the top of the industry. Yeah. encourage them to get there. encourage them to to to manage how you know, manage their money really well so that they didn’t come in a position to give back a lot better Uh so that there’s there’s probably hundreds of times that are in that in that situation. Now, they they want an avenue to give back. Um so, I had people asking me how do I get back? And I said, well, careful. careful. Careful when you get back. Um so again, this is the forum. This is the forum. We have the networks. We have the right people with the right path to to get that back to where it needs to be. I did that in their way, you know, Um so they they are Pretty. pretty strong at saying we’ve actually got them Everything that you need to make a national team We don’t actually need the time. Football League Rugby Union uh in there to control it and and and um and make it difficult so that uh so on that side, Bully Edwards um is still the issue. It’s that guy that one guy it’s still an issue. The players won’t come back. They won’t if he’s going to push through that the the the TNR L is is the sole boss of Rugby and he’s still the chairman. all our best will say. Oh, that guy. No, not coming back. Um it’s it’s uh and you you gotta ask the question why? Yeah. Um and some people know but but William just needs to realize that he he’s stuffed up. The the job is beyond him. It doesn’t need to be him and it’s him that’s causing the issue and he’s going to get so upset when he hears about it but William now let someone else do it if someone else to do I support you. I like that. I like that. You know II. See a lot of uh posts that people just champs it down. You know, as soon as it comes up, it’s their negativity that comes out first. rather than sit back and analyze the message that’s being brought out like some of your things that II look at and I love it because our people They claimed that they have been with this uh democracy thing for over 30 years Really. You you guys can’t implement it into our country. You have 5 years to do it and never did it. So, there we are. still brand new to this thing and yet they claim to be experts at being a Democrat. You know, we live here in America. This is a democratic country and we still don’t know how to live and and the way we think and want. Yeah. Yeah. But the the the issue that I’m having here is like I said, you know, some of the things that people say like what you’re saying, you know, I support it wholeheartedly, you know, but for me to get it out there, you are the only one that can do it. Uh coach um okay. tell me a way that I can get the messages out just speaking and we also keep speaking those those talking points and when people call us out on those talking points that we’ve got the detail to break down and we’ve just say, look, these are the steps we have to do and if you have trouble understanding it, just let us let someone come over or just whatever. say basketball basketball is going through a bit of an issue with it’s National Federation of Time. We’ve got some serious talent. Um so it’s it’s um they need a hand. Um there’s a lot of kids on the on the island that uh just have got exceptional skill and they deserve the chance to to go overseas and do well. Um You know, if if if uh somehow through help uh we’re going to be uh it’s yeah, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not going to give you any answers today because I know my phone is not working but it’s uh it’s a collective. It’s a it’s a it’s a think tank. Um you you try that that that little plan out and if it fails, you know, not take note again, the learning process take note it’s failing and keep working at it because you know, give it a few years time. you’ve got something really good. Uh so I just find that the whole process and time they actually have really good um constitutions and amongst each sport, they just don’t listen to them. They don’t they don’t fully read them. They don’t fully execute them. So, again, with the democracy thing, they don’t fully understand how bureaucracy can work. Yeah. And what to be careful with um and uh the the guys that are out of the microphone, you know, talking to the public Uh I just saying Soundbites. Just saying. What you want to hear uh and they don’t tell you how they’re going to do it. So, I’m all for you. I like what you say but but tell me what you’re going to fix and I want to know how you’re going to fix it. I’m not but I just want to know you know, that the things you’re going to work on and I want to be able to measure you if you don’t do half the stuff you said you would do, then guess what? You’re going to have to move and I think that that’s the democracy that I want to see. That’s that’s the democracy that happens in work. You turn out to work and if the boss gives you a list to do and you agree to do it, that’s what you do. If you don’t do it, you might find that you know, you don’t have a job. So, that’s that’s the that they want to force on all our politicians. You can say whatever you want to say. that I’m you fifty 50% and we’ll keep you. What what’s wrong with that? That’s how work is meant to be done. So, our politicians floating around that and say, oh, that’s not how politics works, you know? Yes, it does because we decide we the people decide how politics works. So they’re going to turn around and say, oh no, you can’t that. Yes, we can. We can tell you how it’s meant to be and that’s that’s how the next politician we vote in. Give us a list of what they’re going to do, how they’re doing, and if they don’t reach your target, they’re out. So, I think that that’s the end, you know, to to can do that. Why do we have to wait for other countries to do that? Let’s show the world what we can measure our people and say, no, you haven’t done your job, beat it. I think the the king is still a good thing to have. He’s got he’s got friends all around the world that will come and help us having that friendship club uh at his level at their level is is amazing. It’s it’s it’ll be like saying something that’s really really important for a country that’s just get rid of it. We don’t need it anymore. It’ll be like saying that the villain I’ll just get rid of the all blacks. You don’t need them anymore. What about the all Blacks? New Zealand is just on the end of the world. You know, we’ve had a we don’t have that membership to so many things so keep it it’s use it for what It’s what it can be used for. Yeah, it’s it’s the people under under the families. uh involvement and and um following of sport. they’re really are followers of sport. You know, some of the study that overseas, you know, including the current university. So, of course we’ve got the so they’re they’re very you know big follows of sport People don’t realize how much they know about sports. Yeah. And it’s not just for me, not just about sports is everything that our kids are good at and we, I’ve got a soccer playing 12 year old. Oh my gosh. So, that’s okay. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about your family. Uh so, if you need to play sports or what what’s your attitude as a professional athlete? You know, I’ve got the old 15 year old six foot three. Wow. That’s all. uh I told him about the uh my my cousin Paul they played for Utah, Utah. He was pretty well, he’s got two aunties that play for Australia and basketball. So, there’s a there’s a there’s already a basketball pedigree. Yeah. So he’s uh so he’s he’s uh he’s living that dream uh and we’re going to be back for about a year 2 years now. Um so the the little ones soccer uh Yeah, he’s good. He’s good. I enjoy. I enjoy watching his game. He’s uh he’s a striker. He scores usually AA goal a game. So, you know, he talks about and talks about so he’s definitely be a soccer player There’s a big money in soccer so let’s try and get him into the big league. Yeah. well, exactly what I’ve been uh if I grew up, I grew up in America, man. I want to play basketball, you know, something different. I mean, Rugby. Yeah, Rugby is okay but it’s yeah Where we were pushed to, you know, for those that that’s what I was here I don’t know how tall you are. Paul is. What about 611? 610. 611. Yeah. I mean, he he made an impact here. Yeah, He made an impact here in Utah. So. yeah. No, we are we can. I was lucky I had my first dent in Japan was the same time Paul was there but uh so he was playing for uh some sparks uh sort of electrical company on our banking company so he was there. I was about half an hour away from I used to go watch this game. He said, man, he can play and he you know he had a knee injury. you know, he couldn’t go further. He could still slam dunk that you and it was nice having you in my games and uh so just a big loud booming voice just cheering all nonstop and the rest of the crowd very quiet uh collecting nice. It was uh it was. yeah. just and again. II. like most of the island boys and most of the kids we’re just surrounded by other amazing people. So, we. yeah, we’re going to be successful because we’ve got a cousin that’s successful. We’re an auntie that’s successful. So we’re we’re we’re we’re keep it. I mean this is our job is to inspire the rest but we’ve got lots of inspiration Again, this forum uh I’ve been wanting to be part of it but I’ve I’ve I’m working in a new industry industry and I’m I’m I’m still getting used to that. I have to work every day. Yeah and it’s lovely. enjoying it. This this is this car industry. The the uh construction industry is an amazing industry. we have a lot of people involved with but not at all levels. So, this is AI told him and you know, I’ve been trying for months now to get you on but you better uh get issues with work. So, I’m just glad that you finally gave us the opportunity. Uh yeah, yeah and on that note, uh uh Inoke, how are we going for a good time boys? I’m sorry to be the one. No, that’s good. That’s um but now enjoy the chat. Um it hasn’t really been much on anything But we we’ve touched on a few touchy subjects which is okay. Thank you. That’s what people want to hear. though. I only see it’s grandson. Uh no grandson. Um he’s uh awesome. is uh his his sister I’m her grandson. We’re we’re in school together. Oh dear. Oh dear. You know, she’s she’s now the life of the party. She’s the one Yeah. yeah. I know all your aunties. Yeah. Let us let us be. Yeah. Okay. Coach Levi, would you like to say some closing? Uh comments? Uh Yeah, I’m just uh glad that she uh you know, again, You know, he has done a lot. He he made a sacrifice. Uh some of the insights that you know, people may not know when he left his previous job and what he had because he won’t of his love to Tonga uh to return to to try to make a difference. So, as many of us who’s been in to, you know, there’s a lot of people who talk about uh about Tonga but uh there are many of us that have returned you know and many many you try to make it. It’s more difficult than it sounds and some people from over here and uh make protection. you know, uh make make assumptions but uh it’s it’s uh it’s a country that is very political Uh it’s very difficult to get anything across So it’s not uh I think we got enough good people with ideas with great things with love but uh there’s some hope that we have to overcome and uh you know, I have to learn it the hard way, you know, and uh and and gain a lot of experience. you know, you know, a little bit of how to do things and uh and I just appreciate it. I learned a lot from my Inoke and uh and some of the great names that I don’t want to mention every name right now. I guess people start to get categorized them whether they you know put it aside you know so I’m holding on to many of the the names that we we work together in Tonga and we can help you know, and some people are very humble and quiet. They’re not vocal so they’re not being heard but we know of and I’m sure he knows what I’m talking about. There’s a lot of good quality people with the right purpose and uh and the knowledge and and and and the passion you know to do things and uh and uh and that’s what I intend to find. because uh um anyway, but you know it. Thank you so much for uh joining us. Uh your input is very very um everything good and uh and thank you for uh for sharing and I will call I’ll I’ll call you, you know, uh where I just need to update a few things because after I left and you know, then you live now, you know, don’t know where that whole team is at at the moment but as I was saying, uh the success that I find the boys that we brought over and New Zealand and Australia. Um you know, I think if we continue that and with the more people, you know, jumping in, helping out in many different ways. I think share a lot of talent like Carlo was saying when we start bringing people to New Zealand, to that in that whole thing with New Zealand will pick the best of the best and give them a two and lock them up. So uh I just wish We’re at the uh organization uh and team would have the mentality of the NFL where they want to grow, you know, instead of you know, kind of keeping it in control where we already know the top three teams pretty much every year. You know, it’s either way uh the format that NFL has to draft uh team is unique but uh the worst team get the best choice it’s going to be, you know, we do, you know, to improve themselves, you know, and those are the things that uh that we wish that uh New Zealand and could use those guys in their prime and when they let them go, that means they’re not the best anymore. You know, I really don’t see how they can allow them to build the other teams but uh you know that’s the concern of all of us and uh not sure how it’s going to you know ever turn but uh in the meantime, we’re going to, you know, do what we can but uh yeah, this is uh yeah, you do it but anyway, thank you thank you. I’ll go before and uh bills for the shop with you. Uh you know, just quickly for me. Um for me it’s always good to see and hear you. Thank you so much for imparting your your knowledge. Uh we’ve had such important. this morning. and hopefully we can get you back into toddler. I do know personally of the amazing work that you did uh and it was it was crucial for Tonga that you know, your work that you did in there and um also acknowledging uh you know, he’s politically charged but uh you and him were a good team and you some really amazing work, some really necessary changes in. So I just want to acknowledge all that important work and and hopefully we do 360 and end up in with with coach Levi and maybe all of us the continent of maybe, I don’t know, 5 years or something or it’s forever. Yeah. And I think that that’s really important that we somehow get these good people involved in some sort of consortium. Yeah. And put the big blocks of what and what needs to be done and I’m happy to share what I know and I’m happy to do so. We got a lot of good minds on board and that’s what we left in time. the guys that implemented that um and as you mentioned earlier, we we we we like being led somehow. Yeah. Uh but but uh we’re finding all our people across that are that are being leaders overseas have this leadership skills when we go back to Tonga. We’re not allowed to eat Yeah, we’ll be leaders and then when we come back here, and uh we we get asked for information and but we’re not allowed to lead like you said, we we can we can impart um information but uh we can’t we can’t do that. That’s right. People like yourself don’t really care. You’re not really there to meet. You’re just there to help. No. and and push forward. So, thank you for today. It was great. Hopefully, we’ll see you in person again Yeah. I thank you for bringing me on. Sorry for being. Thank you so much time, man. Uh I don’t know that no problem at all. Thank you. High five. and go. No, go ahead. Go ahead. Finish it up. Do you want to say something? Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. I think today, I was just like a bystander just listening on the conversation so I know what’s going on because this is my friend. So, um yeah, maybe next time I’ll be more of a participant than just like that. It’ll be mucho next week, Thursday. So, you’ll have a lot of time to prepare about a lot of about the same time Uh 7 o’clock Thursday night, Utah time. 7 o’clock. that would be like 3 o’clock here in Hawaii of course, Oh, lucky. I’m so school hasn’t started. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Well, again, it’s been a pleasure to to have you on this little program. you know, with people like you giving us the chance. You know, it opens up the doors for us, you know, uh the standard that you’re in. We encourage you to continue what you do You You know, who cares if people don’t like it? This is a critical world and we’re always going to be judged by everything we do and say, I personally want to encourage you to keep on doing what you’re doing brother because uh you’re you’re an inspiration to all of us and to all our people and we hope that they do listen, you know, because if we do take the time like you say, and listen. and instead of being a professional that we all think we are, you know, be an amateur sometime and listen, be the outsider sometimes, you know, and this is to all of us to people Anyways, brother, keep on what you’re doing and we hope that you’ll find some more time to to come on with us and we can do this and help us and uh this is our little page. Uh it’s been on since July last year. So, it’s almost a year on the 22nd. Since then, we have been struggling to to keep it on but you know, like I said, people like you, when you guys say yes, you guys don’t know how much it means to us. So, if you can help us, you know, get some of your former players and even the current players to come on our show you we’d appreciate it. Best of luck to you and your family. I’ll let you finish and then we’ll close I don’t know. It’s uh you guys are doing a wonderful job Uh giving us a forum to just talk openly. Um I’ve mention a few names that uh that you know might get them in trouble or get me into trouble but um I love the mind that you just gotta be open at times just to um just say it how you see it um and then open it up to someone else and say hey, no are you sure about that? So that’s it’s um it’s it’s the way I see the world and that’s my perspective. you know um I’m happy for people to call my bad behavior out and I’m I want and that’s the culture I grew up here in New Zealand. People keep telling me what I was doing wrong and and it was the other way around. I can can call people out as well. I’m pretty sure that’s that’s the one thing that I picked up overseas that’s really helped me Uh just love what you’re doing. Um I think the next challenge is is that we got this forum. A lot of a lot of good ideas are shared. Um the next step is to to follow the lead of and get get get the sporting teams surrounded by good people and regardless what’s happening on the island we do the work for that group for those kids that are wanting to play for time and we we give them the chances to compete at the highest level because my my three I’m uh you need a good group on the island to get that done and the reality is not it’s not going to happen. Uh there’s too much destruction. Um this is the let’s go uh let’s continue getting some of the good babies off the island as fast as possible. Put them through the machine overseas So, um so I feel sorry for the kids on the island until they sort out the mess uh immensely dumped out of time uh and I think guys, I just I just want you guys twenty-nine medals. You guys haven’t done this in a ever uh why are you getting rid of it? Uh but it was all political. It’s just you know, okay, I’ll go one promise from you guys if you can not you guys, the the politicians in time if they if they can beat the record of 29 medals that we did in 3 months work and and careful planning. Yeah, good It’s not. Get out. Believe it’s the people that know. So, that’s the challenge I put on them. If they’re going to close down. Uh it wasn’t a perfect sports council. Uh it didn’t work. Um I believe so I’m going to try this a little bit longer. There’s a bill proposed right now um that they’re passing through uh parliament um II believe William uh it was drafted that up. Look at it carefully because I believe that’s what he’s posture is that each National Federation owns that sport regardless what the world body says who that spot on the island and it’ll be like the Catholic church Diocese and Rome Vatican. Shut up. We’re doing it our way because we’re the Catholic church in Tonga and I’m thinking, no, that’s not how you behave. You listen to your bosses overseas and if they tell you to behave badly, they might ask you to move and get someone else that can do the job. So, I think that that’s a good one to look through that. I I think uh is flying under the radar and to call out bad behavior when you see it. That’s all. Yeah. Go ahead and wrap us up before I close it down please. You’re you’re a mutant. I’m mute. You’re you’re mutant. You know, I’m not into politics and I’m not in the rugby. Don’t know much about the rugby but um you know, thank you for coming on here and giving us some some information on what’s going on in the rugby world. Uh you know, I’m a football uh American football guy so but uh thank you very much for taking the time to come on here and and have a conversation like Bill said You know, it’s just our platform is just to to have you guys come on and talk about issues and talk about good things, bad things, whatever it needs to be talked about. and uh hopefully there’s people listening to what we have to say in in our conversation and um hopefully there’s you know, the future Uh it’s um it’s bright for for our town and kids and that’s all we wish for. It’s for them to to do well and for our country to back uh some of the the the minds, the good the you know, the dems that knows a lot about what we talk about, you know, but um hopefully things will work out for everybody. So, thank you for coming on. Appreciate it a lot of Okay. Bye.


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