Maria is of Samoan/Chinese decent, born and bred in the Navigator Islands of Samoa. Migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand 34 years ago, at the age 18. Married with 4 children, the youngest is 14 also a nana of 2 granddaughters. Maria currently works for The Fono Health & Social Services, as the Coordinator of Pasifika Healthy Babies Healthy Futures. During her 5 years working with antenatal and post-natal mums, she has cuddled more than 250 babies which makes her role very rewarding. She cannot remember all the names of the mothers who came through the Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures programme, but can remember their smiles when met in the community.