When a young Joseph Parker got home from school each day, the school bag would come off - and so too would the English.
"I was born here and grew up here. But as a young boy, there was a rule that when we got home after school, we had to speak Samoan.''
The 26-year-old grew up in South Auckland and counts himself lucky he can speak the language taught to him and his siblings by parents Salavao and Lalogafau Dempsey Parker.
As well as the language, they were taught about Samoan protocol.
"We grew up that way - just doing feaus (chores) around the house and learning about fa'asamoa.
"When I'd go to Samoa, I would hear people talking about me. They didn't think I could speak Samoan - and then I'll respond and shock them.''
This week marks Samoan Language Week; an annual event that highlights the importance of learning and understanding the mother-tongue.
The 2013 Census showed Samoan was the third most commonly spoken language in New Zealand, with 86,403 people indicating they were Samoan speakers.
It is the second most spoken language in Aukilani - Auckland.
Parker acknowledged that knowing the language of their ancestors was something he and his partner valued highly.
As a result, they have made it a goal to teach it and use it in everyday conversations with their 18-month-old daughter Elizabeth.
"Before we eat, I'll say to her: 'Lea la'a fai le lotu'. (We're going to say a prayer now).
"Or I'll ask: 'E avatu sau ipu vai?' (Would you like a drink of water?)
"We think it's important to teach her because we can see how it's changed our lives."
Parker, who holds the matai (chief) titles Lupesoliai La'auliolemalietoa, is now working at learning the more formal language used by Samoan orators and chiefs and which is often heard at special events, familial or village occasions.
Hearing the ring announcer call out his name, including his titles, always brought a sense of pride, and he said it was another unique way of promoting fa'asamoa.
"It's going to make Samoa well known around the world and that makes me proud and happy.''
There were people in his life, particularly youth, who could not hold a conversation in Samoan. But he had a message for them - it is not too late.
"I have mates or cousins who can only wish that they could speak Samoan.
"I encourage them to just try their best to learn. It's never too late to learn and it's well worth learning and understanding."