Sandra Kailahi is of Tongan and NZ European ancestry. Her father is from Kolonga and Neiafu in Tonga and her mother is from Warkworth. Sandra was born in Auckland but has lived in Porirua, Hamilton and now Auckland. She worked as a journalist for many years starting with Radio New Zealand and then helped to set up the first semi-commercial Pacific station, Radio 531 PI before moving to television with Tagata Pasifika, Fair Go, TVNZ 7, Te Karere and One News. She has also worked as a communications specialist and film producer.
While working as a journalist, Sandra was always impacted by stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The stories that really resonated with her where about people helping others or those living their passion. After living in New Caledonia doing work for an international NGO, she had a chance opportunity to do some contract work with Healthy Families South Auckland and The Cause Collective for three months. She is still working there.
What inspires you?
“I am a storyteller and I love being able to use my skills and experience to tell amazing stories. I love those who live life with passion and who seize the day and making connections with people. I also really love travelling and teaching my son the joys of travelling. “
“I am the Chief Storyteller for Healthy Families South Auckland and I love it!”
What is your vision for health and wellbeing in South Auckland?
“My vision is to play a part in helping Maori, Pacific and South Asian communities in South Auckland live great lives.”
What is one funny/quirky/interesting thing that no-one knows about you?
“I used to do ballroom dancing and sat my gold medals in Latin American dancing. My favourite dance is the Cha Cha.”