Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith (1963-) is an author and educationalist of Samoan, Tuvaluan, Scottish and Irish descent.
She spent her first five years at Mataura and then her family moved, with a short stop at Titahi Bay, before settling in Porirua for the next five years. The family then returned to Southland and settled in Invercargill. Pauline now lives in the seaside town of Aparima-Riverton with her husband Geoff.
Smith was educated at seven primary schools throughout the country which gave her great empathy for children who are also transient. Smith found that this was the driving force to her becoming a teacher.
In 1997 Smith completed a Diploma in Teaching at Dunedin College of Education, Southland Campus. After teaching for a number of years she trained further to achieve a Bachelor of Education and became a lecturer at the University of Otago, College of Education. Specialising in Pacific Studies, she developed a passion for Pacifica histories with a special interest in the Dawn Raids and the work of the Polynesian Panthers which was to become the backdrop for her first book My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, (Scholastic New Zealand, 2018).
Currently, Smith is the director of the Murihiku Māori and Pasifika Cultural Trust, based in Invercargill. She is a founding member of the Trust which delivers a week long Polyfest in Murihiku/Southland and a Polyfest in Queenstown for the Central Lake district. The Trust also facilitates a full year programme of events that uplifts youth, arts, culture and education bringing leading artists, innovators and educators to the region.
Smith became a published author in March 2018 with her first book My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, which became a finalist at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young People in the Esther Glen, Junior Fiction and Best First Book categories. It was the winner of the Best First Book for 2018. Dawn Raid was also selected as the #NZreadaloud 2018 text for year 5-6 students. She then also wrote a piece for the School Journal in November 2018, titled 'Rise Up.'
Smith is active in public speaking about her career. She was invited to be the key note speaker at the Southland, Dan Davin Literary Foundation awards ceremony, 31 August 2018. Smith was also invited to be guest presenter and discussion panelist at the Ignition Children’s Writing Festival, Dunedin, November 2018.
Smith has also been invited to give presentations and workshops at many schools and library conferences ranging from Halfmoon Bay School on Rakiura/Stewart Island to Mangere Bridge School in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland. Being able to pass on her knowledge of writing to students has been a rewarding aspect of her literary career.
Other works by Smith include an exhibition also titled 'Dawn Raid' which opened at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, March 2018. The exhibition was confirmed to tour New Zealand in 2019.
MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS
Pauline Smith interview on The Sapling
Sample of Dawn Raid on The Sapling
Review of Dawn Raid on Coconet
Pauline Smith interview on RNZ Afternoons, March 2018
Pauline Smith interview at Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Pauline answers some questions from Lynfield Kāhui Ako staff and students