Britomart People / Odessa To’o

By day she’s personal assistant to the head of private wealth at Westpac. By night (well, by afternoon), she’s a fitness instructor at Les Mills. Meet one of Britomart’s most vibrant regulars.

Are you from Auckland? My parents are from Samoa, but I was raised in Wellington, but I’m pretty much a JAFA anyway, as I’ve been here nine years. I really like it up here.

How do you get to Britomart? I drive to Meadowbank train station then I take the train. I live in St Johns.

What is your everyday? I work full-time at Westpac and I hold one fitness class on Wednesday afternoon at Les Mills and then hold two classes in New Lynn.

Busy! How did you get into that? I used to dance full time (American Jazz and hip-hop.) We entered the world hip-hop comp four years ago and we came back with a silver medal, and that was enough for me! But I wanted to keep doing it a bit, so thats why I started the group fitness stuff.

What’s your favourite thing to spend money on? Food and family.

What’s your favourite place to eat around here? I’d say Amano, I go there nearly every day for a hot chocolate and they’re pretty consistent. And I like Fukuko for their tofu bowls.

What’s your idea of a good time? Riding on a bike in Ōrākei along the water with my speaker playing. Not to play everyone my music! I just don’t like to wear headphones for safety reasons.

If you could retire tomorrow what would you do? I would volunteer to help the Māori and Pacific Island boys in the area of mental health and advice.

What would the world be like if it was filled with male and female copies of you? Inbred. Haha. Quite confident, and serious at work. But also quite crazy when I’m not.

Do you have any heroes? My mum. She’s very resilient, very outspoken. Very clear idea of right and wrong. She has given me strength in my own voice, and not being a doormat. All the women in my family are like that. Like if you want to do something just go do it.

Interiew and photograph by Florence Noble