GAUALOFA & The Waka Odyssey at New Zealand Festival 2018

Our Vaka Culture is alive and well on the sea's of Aotearoa! This evening a first fleet of four of our extraordinary Pasifika vakas sail into Wellington harbour to open the New Zealand Festival 2018. Inspired by the arrival in Aotearoa of great navigator and explorer Kupe, the 'Waka Odyssey' event shines a spotlight on all the best of our ancient maritime culture and craft.…more


When the Kukis met Kate

Island royalty met with British royalty yesterday as one of the most esteemed queens of Kuki Airani tivaevae told the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton about this unique Pacifica art form. 

Yesterday Buckingham palace was host to some unique Pasifika flavour and flair as mamas from the Tuvalu Artists collective and traditional Kuki Airani artists took their creations to the big house along with other Pacific designers from Samoa, Tonga and Melanesia. 

The innovative new Commonwealth Fashion Exchange project saw indigenous artists around the world pair up with some of the most famous creatives in the business. 

Its aim of the project was to promote cross-cultural exchange and raise the profile of “devalued and vulnerable” handwork skills, something that has been the perfect kaupapa for the Kuki Airani mamas and the Tuvaluan Arts collective alike.

73 year old Tukua Turia, a renowned tivaevae artist made her co-pro gown creation with noted kiwi designer Karen Walker, which was on show at the Buckingham Palace event yesterday.…more

Humans of the Islands



Arts & Culture Programmer 

Solomon Islander 


Tell us a bit about yourself ...

My name is Reina Sutton. I belong to the people of Malaita and Tikopia in the Solomon Islands and when I moved to Te Ika-a-Māui, I settled in Manurewa, Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland.

I hold down a 9 – 5 job as an Arts and Culture Programmer with the arts, community and events team at Auckland Council. The rest of the time I’m a practicing artist, curator and collaborator.

How does your upbringing + culture help you with the job you're doing today?

Great question!  My mum taught me patience and to have love for all beings.  You might recognise these sentiments having a biblical feel to them and you’d be correct.  These are just two of the many values that I take with me to help me do my job.…more


Coco Review - Fear of a panther planet

The latest addition to the Marvel Universe is out... and it is lit!! Black Panther (even the name is cool) is in cinemas now and is a must see for any one over the age of 5. Besides the fact that this Marvel superhero has the baddest name in town, everything about this movie is.... Black. And it’s glorious!! 

Black Panther is King of Wakanda, a land somewhere in Africa that is hidden from outside eyes by technology. So advanced, it makes Tony Starks Iron Man look like a Hologram from Red Dwarf. Wakanda is like Charlie’s Chocolate Factory... for blacks only. A place untouched since time began by the meddlesome white hands of James Cook or Christopher Columbus. Everyone in Wakanda looks like they could walk onto a catwalk or a vogue cover, even the fashion design is light-years ahead.…more



With Cyclone Gita leaving a trail of destruction through the Pacific Islands and still on it's way to Vanuatu & New Caledonia, many Pacific Islanders living here in New Zealand are asking what they can do to help ...

Many aid workers say that the most effective way that you can help is to donate to New Zealand Red Cross’ Pacific Disaster Fund. This Fund allows the Red Cross to respond quickly and effectively to the most urgent needs when a disaster hits anywhere in the Pacific.

100% of the money donated to this ongoing special appeal goes towards supporting communities in the Pacific affected by a disaster. New Zealand Red Cross has already released NZ$10,000 from our Pacific Disaster Fund to support Samoa Red Cross in its response.…more

Guest Writer

FA'ALAVELAVE - Building resilience, strengthening family ties and losing your penti in one single phone call

By FotuoSamoa Jackson

I feel like sharing with you all a fagogo about this fascinating topic this week, thoughtfully entitled; Fa'alavelave – Building resilience, strengthening family ties and losing your penti in one single phone call.

Aue! (That is the word you’ll utter in agreement as you read this life changing story that you never really knew you needed in your life).

But first of all, before we get to the losing penti part (which I know is what you’re looking forward to, you creep) let’s set some context, so you can ease yourself into this fagogo. Let’s picture you, a woman or man of Samoan descent, living in a modern world, minding your own business. You have families all over the world, US, Australia, NZ, Samoa and wherever. Yipeeee, “Samoan Pride” is etched onto your uneven chest tattoo. Good for you Sione/Sina/ insert your name here!

But every now and then, you get told that someone has died, or that you need to contribute to a church/village/family event. And so in response, you do, or don’t – because everyone is different.…more

Humans of the Islands





Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Jordan Gavet and I'm a Musician, Singer/Songwriter.  My parents both hail from Samoa. Dad's full Samoan and Mum's Samoan/English, but also has a bit of a Portuguese and Tokelauan heritage. My parents are both NZ born and even though my Dad is full Samoan, our surname is French so my nationality has been a FAQ my whole life lol. When asked though, I'll always identify as Samoan. When asked if I speak Samoan, well that's a different story hah! 

My parents moved to Sydney Australia where they got married before I came along, so I was born and bred in Aus. They moved us home when I was 3 months old to Avondale, West Auckland where I was raised around a lot of family. We then moved back to Sydney where I attended high school and I’ve kind of been living between Sydney and Auckland ever since.…more



Directing a second film is like writing a second album for musicians. No one forgets the first film or first album, like no one forgets the first time they bit into a keke pua’a...

And so it is with this latest installment from director Stallone Vaiaoasa. Hibiscus and Ruthless (Suivai Pilisipi Autagavaia and Anna-Maree Thomas) deliver compelling performances as two young woman in their final year at university. Hibiscus plays the obedient daughter whose familiar life is go to uni, go to church, eat, prayer, sleep, repeat. Add in to that progression “Boys” and suddenly the whole world goes crazy coconuts for Hibiscus. With guys hitting on her from everywhere but Tinder and Craigs list, Hibiscus relies on her good palagi friend Ruth (Ruthless) with the straight hair and all the jokes to keep tanked up, lynx deoderant boys at bay.

The film itself does feel a little more slick than 3WC but none of the whizz bangs mean anything without a good script. And besides a few speed bumps, the story gets a pass mark.…more


Two Weddings, One Love

Jona and Henrietta Nabalarua knew very early on that they would spend forever together. They celebrated their love with family and friends not once, but twice, at a ceremony in Auckland and then in Suva, Fiji. Both ceremonies, vastly different in protocols, brought two beautiful cultures and families together. 

Jona was considered a bachelor at 26 and his parents Diba and Roko were very excited to start planning the wedding in Suva, Fiji. For Henrietta’s parents, their engagement after three months came as a surprise, but ultimately both families were extremely happy and supportive of the couple.

Hosted by Jona’s family, the ceremony in Fiji took place over three days. For the Adams family, this would be their first ever authentic experience in Fiji, seeing first hand how a traditional Fijian ceremony is carried out. The first day saw Jona’s family bring food and gifts to his parents’ home.…more

Health & Well Being

Pacific Touch NYC

Nestled in the towering city of Manhattan lies a Polynesian paradise. Founder Nichola Weir brings the islands to New York with Pacific Touch NYC; an acclaimed day spa dedicated to holistic skin healing.

While in New York I was fortunate enough to visit Pacific Touch and receive an incredible skin treatment from Nichola who also shared her experiences and knowledge with me.

“Pacific Touch is about bringing the islands back to Manhattan. It’s about conveying everything that is comforting to me about being Polynesian into a service over here.” - Weir. 

Having previously suffered from bad acne for 15 years, as well as her mum working in beauty therapy, Nichola has always been passionate about skin and healing. Her holistic approach with Pacific Touch has been a life changing experience for many of her clients.

“I have a client who was in a really bad accident and she nearly died. She had a huge amount of facial reconstruction and she came to me for a really long time and we did massage and facial work.…more