Hello everyone, we have reached the half way point of the pool stage in the Rugby World Cup and the event is still attracting lots of attention and, more importantly, large crowds. For example, about 12 000 people turned up in Invercargill on Saturday to cheer on Argentina and Romania. A great crowd for a city of about 50 000 and for a game between two neutrals. By the way, did I mention that I am part Irish on my maternal grandmother’s side? (Ever since the result on Saturday night when the Irish upset the Australians, every New Zealander it seems is claiming some Irish heritage…I’m just jumping on board!)  

However, the news is not so rugby-saturated that this very counter-cultural story has been buried.  Perhaps its very uniqueness has saved it from news oblivion?   Anyway, we learn that Tere and Mii Tangauru have been blessed with a new grandson (Tere and his grandson are pictured above).  Not very newsworthy you say, apart from perhaps the use of the term “blessed” by the New Zealand media?  Well, it is newsworthy, because Anthony Junior Onongauru Manase Witehira (“AJ”) is the Tangaura’s 60th grandchild. 60 little grandchildren! What an amazingly large family! And little AJ, born on 15 June and weighing 6lb 2 oz, will have a constant reminder of his large familial embrace because his middle name – “Onongauru” – means sixty in Cook Islands Maori (Tere and Mii Tangauru are from the Cook Islands).

The Tangauras had twelve children themselves (two of whom were adopted). As the Papakura Courier reports:

“It is a truly international family – their children have married partners from a range of backgrounds including Portuguese, Tuvaluan, Samoan, Tongan, Maori, Australian and British. Keeping up with the names, ages and birthdays of their extra large brood is no easy feat. Mii says she keeps track of everyone’s birthdays in her head but  does have to count on her fingers to work out she’s got 18 grandkids in New Zealand and the rest in Australia. ”It’s all blessings,” she says. ”In the beginning we gave them presents at Christmas and birthdays but it’s too expensive now.”

The family had its first full reunion in 2003 and Tere would like to have them every three years.  With a family this size it really is no surprise that the reunion consists of a barbecue!  Congratulations to Tere and Mii Tangauru, this is a couple that has truly been blessed for their generosity – ten children and also adopting two more is really remarkable! I would like to wish them all the best and may they have many years ahead of them to enjoy watching AJ grow up.

PS I wonder what the wowsers who were complaining about the Beckham’s fourth child would have to say about this family.  Let’s hope that they don’t get the Papakura Courier, their heads might explode from the shock. (At least it will reduce their carbon footprint!)

Marcus Roberts was two years out of law school when he decided that practising law was no longer for him. He therefore went back to university and did his LLM while tutoring. He now teaches contract and...