Guest Writer

Cook Islands Mama's lose their Taonga and their trust...

The Kuki Airani Mama’s who were left high and dry in Europe, had to sell one of their treasured Tivaevae to buy food to feed the group on their 3 week ordeal.

People have come together to rally behind the Mama’s who travelled to Europe only to be left in the lurch by an organiser who they say had “promised them so much, and yet failed to deliver on almost every aspect.”

After a shock announcement midway through their journey to Europe that costs for their accommodation and food wouldn’t be covered as promised, the Mamas say they were forced to put together their small pool of funds to come up with a budget solution.

Part of this solution was one of the mama’s selling her personal tivaevae which was to be used for display during one of the organised workshops in order to help with food expenses for her friends, most of whom are in retirement and living off their meagre pensions.…more


Shortland Street 25 Year Anniversary

For 48 hours, TVNZ have unlocked the geo block on Shortland Streets 25 year anniversary so their global fans can watch and enjoy!

Check it out now .....

Humans of the Islands

Humans of the Islands - Sam Manuela

Sam Manuela 

Psychology Lecturer at The University of Auckland

Cook Islands 

My name is Sam Manuela. I am of both Cook Island (Rarotonga, Manihiki, Atiu) and European (Scottish, Danish) descent. I currently live in Papakura, Auckland and I am a lecturer in the School of Psychology at The University of Auckland.

You recently graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology, how/why did you decided to pursue Psychology? 

As kids, we are often asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always said something like ‘a fireman’ or ‘a doctor’ or whatever occupation seemed aspirational for someone of my age and naivety. The truth was, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was more concerned about having fun with my family and friends.

I figured out that if I gave an answer that was expected of me, I wouldn’t have to sit through their life advice and I could continue playing with my friends.…more


Kai Pasifika -The Pacific on a Plate

Finally, an Auckland restaurant 100% dedicated to Pacific Island food.

Kai Pasifika opened its doors this month and has set itself apart as New Zealand's first ever Pacific foods restaurant. Every dish on the menu has Pasifika origins or incorporates ingredients directly from the islands. 

The venture led by renowned chef Robert Oliver offers a menu that includes our favourite to'ona'i dishes, including pua'a Samoa pork, ika vakalolo, sapasui, taro and more (see the full menu here). Lunch dining will start on May 24th, and To'ona'i Sunday's are to come - how much better can that get?


Aside from iconic island flavours that will prompt family to'ona'i nostalgia , what makes Kai Pasifika so special is the team behind the food. Head Chef Bertrand Jang, originally from Fiji, says the restaurant is a living dream. 

"Everyday I am excited to come to work and share the experience with my friends.…more


RUGBY: Imagine a different Manu World

What do Pat Lam, Kevin Senio, Filo Tiatia and Francis Saili all have in common?

You got it.

They were all very good rugby players who could have played for Manu Samoa, but instead opted to play for New Zealand and played less than 3 matches for the All Blacks.Francis Saili in action for the All Blacks 

Then there are Ofisa Tonu'u - 5 matches, and Dylan Mika - 7 matches.

It wasn't long ago that Lima Sopoaga and Jordan Taufua were about to declare their availability for Manu Samoa.

Both then received notice of All Black "interest" and the "story" was over before it had begun.

Sopoaga has since gone on to play the grand total of 6 matches for the ABs, while Taufua still lives in hope.Lima Sopoaga playing for the All Blacks against South Africa.more



What a week for sport! Last weekend the NRL treated us to a stellar showcase of Pasifika talent within the code by hosting the Pasifika test in Bankstown, Sydney following the Anzac test (Poor Kiwis). They incorporated more than just the on field talent but employed genuine Pacific performers from each nation involved to perform in between the games. This is such a great way to acknowledge the contribution of Pacific players in the game and pay homage to their roots and share a little taste of their vibrant island nations through song and dance. Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea proudly donned their nations jerseys as they stepped out onto the fields. They even served Vailima and Fiji Bitter at the stadium bars! The NRL happily include the Poly players because, why wouldn't you with all the skill and to be honest, natural talent.…more


COMMON KINGS in Auckland

The Common Kings were back in town for their "Lost in Paradise" NZ/Aus tour on Saturday night where they played to a full house at the Power Station.

Earlier in the day they were also presented with their Best International Pacific Artist Award from the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards which they'd won at last years VPMAs.

We've got a few highlights from the night below and look out for them hosting Fresh some time this season.

And check out their latest music video for 'Mary Wanna' here ...

The boys are currently in Rarotonga where they'll be playing at Rehab before continuing on with the rest of the tour in Australia.

Guest Writer


This is for any parent, aunty, uncle, big brother or sister.

It has come to my attention that young kids have been playing a game called “BLUE WHALE” which is an online game where children are told to complete one self harm challenge per day for 50 days ..... where to win the game you must commit suicide.

It’s easy to just read this and dismiss it thinking 'my kid knows better’ but please, please take precaution anyway.
Over 100 children in Russia fell victim to this game, and the game is now going global.
There are also videos on youtube which tell young children that to become a “fairy”  they must turn their oven on at night while everyone is sleeping and let the ‘magical gas” fill the house.  They are told not to tell any adults or the magic won’t work.
There are paedophiles who make fake pages online to groom younger children not to mention the horrible cyber bullying that happens everyday.…more


Fijian Singer-Actress Paulini Curuenavuli in The Bodyguard Musical

Go Behind The Scenes with The Star of 'The Bodyguard Musical' on now in Australia

With her incredible voice, stunning looks and engaging personality, Paulini is one of Australia’s most uniquely talented performers. The Fijian-born singer songwriter first enthralled the nation on the inaugural series of Australian Idol. Audiences instantly fell in love with Paulini’s impressive five octave range – a voice still unrivalled and like no other in this country. Since then Paulini has forged a hugely successful career. Her debut album ‘One Determined Heart’ and smash single ‘Angel Eyes’ achieved double platinum status, both hitting the #1 spot. She is still one of only 10 Australian female solo artists to have a #1 album on the Australian ARIA Charts.

More on Paulini


Return to Shortland Street

Shimpal Lelisi on performing in the Shortland Street musical, being a Poly in the industry, and how theatre has shaped his life. 

Recently I took part in workshopping Shortland St – the musical, for the Auckland Arts festival RAW season. The fact I would be playing four separate characters, have to learn five full musical numbers with choreography, with only eight days rehearsal for two showings to an already sold out audience, didn’t faze me in the slightest! I love this sh*t!

This year marks Shortland Streets 25 birthday and most people under the age of 30 will not know a New Zealand without Shortland St on its TV screens. The musical I would be workshopping was hoping to cash in on this familiarity and its birthday commemorations to realise a fully staged production. The fact the director of the workshop would be Simon Bennet, one of the tv series original directors and producers; encouraged not only me but the many involved, that this would be a work of merit.…more