What's in A'a name?

Kalina A'a, pictured with daughter Kiscera.
Kalina A'a, pictured with daughter Kiscera.

Being first in the Auckland phone book is a mixed blessing for Kalina A'a.

"We get people ringing up to speak to the AA," the 28-year-old New Zealand-born Samoan mother says.

"As soon as we answer the phone, people know they haven't got the AA."

Auckland's new phone book has a new first and a new last.

Long time last Stanislaw Zyza is no longer the wooden spooner, according to the book.

But ring Jonathan Zyzalo and Telecom provides a recording saying "this number is not in service".

Zyzalo, who has a PhD in mechatronics and wants to design a robot that can do the haka, has moved back to Gisborne where his Maori family has long lived.

Packaging technician A'a, from south Auckland suburb Otara, has raced to the top thanks to a move to publish the directory in two volumes: residential and company.

In the business book, top honours went to A AAAA Enterprises. But the rental-car operation is closing.

Reflecting Auckland's multi-cultural nature, the residential book comes with an assortment of two-letter surnames: Im, Ip, Qi, Qu, Xi, Xu and Yu. Sri Lankan Kiwis provide the heavyweight names: Wickramarachchi (15), Wickremasinghe and Wickremesekera (14).

Smith is the most common surname – a 446mm column of roughly 1338 names.

Wilsons are next with 735 followed by the Joneses with about 628 but the Punjabi name Singh is just a couple of entries behind them.

The Gujarati name Patel scores 507 followed by the Wongs on 265.

Also showing up are the Korean Kims, Pakistani Khans, Indian Sharmas and Chinese Zhangs.

Sunday News