Daisy Lavea-Timo is a New Zealand born Sāmoan poet whose work is deeply rooted in her ancestry and her role as a tulafale (orator chief). Growing up in a Sāmoan church community, Lavea-Timo spent long hours of her childhood memorising scriptures and chapters of poetry which developed her dedication to her poetic practice. Lavea-Timo explores what it means to sustain and construct her identity as a product of the Sāmoan diaspora. Her poetry is the dynamic and indigenous response of her Sāmoan-ness and her work strives to communicate ideas about the complex societal issues connected with culture and leadership.
Lavea-Timo grew up in South Auckland and attended Epsom Girls Grammar. She then moved to Christchurch to study at the University of Canterbury. In 2006 she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Linguistics.
In 2007 Lavea-Timo and her husband Seta moved to Japan as a part of the JET Programme. There, in a rural high-school reciting lyrics with Japanese students, her love of poetry was re-ignited.
Lavea-Timo returned to New Zealand in 2010 and completed her postgraduate teaching degree in English and Drama. Lavea-Timo went on to teach at Cashmere High School for six years. During this time, she co-founded the Cashmere High School Spoken Word Poets Collective with some keen students. This programme still continues and is now fully student led.
In 2017 Lavea-Timo entered the Canterbury Regional Poetry Slam, to honour a gifted poet and artist who passed away suddenly. Later that year Daisy Speaks won the National Poetry Slam and is the first poet from Christchurch, and second female poet to claim the national trophy.
In 2018, she completed her Masters of Business Administration with a thesis that focused on Regenerate Christchurch’s youth engagement on the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor, the 602Ha of red-zoned land in Christchurch. This is largest regeneration project in New Zealand’s history. Currently, Lavea-Timo is the Southern Regional Manager for the Ministry of Youth Development. From her vantage point at the intersections of the many worlds she navigates, Lavea-Timo is able to utilise her artistic skills to pen poems about youth engagement, group dynamics and collective impact.
Lavea-Timo specialises in speaking with, inspiring groups, and performing for people of all ages. She has travelled around New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii to perform and run spoken word poetry workshops. Lavea-Timo also conducts goal setting and leadership workshops as well as professional development on how to engage Pasifika learners.
In 2018 Lavea-Timo was invited to speak at 2018 TEDx Christchurch, the Christchurch Word Festival, Christchurch Pecha Kucha, the Queensland Poetry Festival, the Cairns Arts Festival and the Dunedin Young Writers Festival.
Lavea-Timo produced the Alternative Education Multi-media exhibition sponsored by the Vodafone Innovation fund and the Leadership in Communities Activator speaker series event on Artistic Leadership.
Lavea-Timo’s work was published in the 2018 Catalyst Vol.15 and she is currently working on her first collection of poems for print.
MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS
Daisy's Pecha Kucha talk on traditional tattoo