Dino hopes to catch up with sister after 58 years

By Sonya Bateson

After 58 years, ex-pat Kiwi Dino Rosta hopes to be reunited with his sister at a gathering this weekend.

Mr Rosta, originally from Taranaki, moved to Canada as a young man, where he has lived since. He made his first trip back to New Zealand in 2011 where he reunited with his brother, Rotorua local Hone Tarawhiti, with whom he is staying.

Mr Rosta will be having his 65th birthday celebration at the Holiday Inn this Saturday and hopes his sister Janice Wharepapa, who lives in Nelson, will be able to make it.

"My brother was on the phone to my sister the other day and she said she may not be able to make it here so when I visit the South Island I will try and arrange to meet her there. I haven't seen her for 58 years, now I'm here I'm going to make the effort to see her. Just being home, it's amazing just being for so long and seeing my family all grown up. I hadn't seen my brother for 40 years until I came back here.''

Attending the party will be family members and some friends from  New Zealand and overseas.

"It will just be a small gathering with family and friends, when you have a big group, you don't get the opportunity to talk to one another. It's nice having some of my friends come over from Canada and I've got lots of friends from around the world who will be sending me emails to be read out at the birthday from Canada, the United States, Japan, Africa and Australia.''

Mr Rosta was born in Hawea and raised in Patea. He affiliates to Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao and Ngaruahine. He left New Zealand in the early 1970s to pursue a career in the music industry.

When he arrived in Canada, Mr Rosta began doing club circuits in Quebec. During his 20 years in the area, Mr Rosta said he learned much about the French-Canadian culture and now can speak French fluently _ ``quite an achievement for a Maori boy''.

His next move was to Toronto, where he has lived since. While he is still involved in the music industry and sings at private functions, Mr Rosta now works for Kingsport Clothiers, a label that makes clothing for big and tall men.

"I work with a lot of football players, basketballers, hockey players _ they're all tall, big men.''

Although he has been in Canada for many years, Mr Rosta is still a proud Kiwi and tells everyone he can about his homeland, encouraging them to visit. He said New Zealanders had a "great reputation'' in Canada and other countries.

"All my years of being away I've always promoted New Zealand, always promoted my family and my culture.''


- Rotorua Daily Post

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