WANTOK Exhibition

WANTOK -'One Talk' is a gathering of Melanesian artists, who explore the spiritual and symbolic nature of hair

"We are taking ownership over ourselves, our bodies, our stories, and telling them ourselves." – Reina Sutton. 

Curated by Luisa Tora, the show acts as a voice to empower and amplify the artists’ stories. “This conversation about hair is one we've all had at some point, with family, with friends, with complete strangers. I think people with curly hair stand on the front line in the battle against othering and attempts to control brown bodies.” – Luisa Tora.

Nine female artists from Australia, Fiji and Aotearoa contributed the high impact works, commenting on the power and the colonisation of Pacifica women's hair in different ways.

‘Black Birds’ members Emele Ugavule and Ayeesha Ash opened the morning with a performance in the gallery space. “It was important for us to be a voice for those who’ve lived outside of Fiji because that’s our lived experience and it’s a valid one, just as valid as those who do live back in Fiji.…more


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson raps his Maui verse

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson was on the Graham Norton show recently promoting his latest movie 'Rampage'.

He talks about his grandfather High Chief Peter Maivia being the inspiration behind his character Maui in the Moana movie, Samoan tatau and then raps one of his Maui verses!  

Humans of the Islands


Joey "Q" Quenga 

Owner/Creative Director of Island Block Radio 



Tell us a bit about yourself 

My name is Joey Quenga but most people know me as “Q”.  I am co-owner of Island Block Radio where I have many hats, producer, creative director, on-air personality as well as program director.  

I grew up in Long Beach, CA., which is a city in Los Angeles County.  

My family is from the village of Talofofo on Guam.more


One Love Festival 2018

We're keepin it Fresh at One Love Festival with Charlie Pome'e from Three Houses Down! 

Guest Writer

Odette's Kitchen: A local resident's review

By Leone Samu 

'After so many requests to view what’s on offer here it is: Odette’s Kitchen Pacific Fusion Dinner Menu’…

A little over a month ago it was this opening sentence of a Facebook post that caught my eye while scrolling through my newsfeed late one night. It accompanied a picture of a dinner menu that I had to zoom in to read but when I did, I found myself taking multiple screenshots of because of the attention-grabbing descriptions under items like ‘taro gazpacho salad’, ‘surf and turf island style’, and ‘palusami ravioli’.

I made a mental note to visit Odette’s Kitchen ‘someday’ until stuff got real and fast when I clicked through to their Facebook page and discovered this promising new spot for Polynesian food was about to open not somewhere in central or south Auckland but in my own hood: Papakura. As in, WAY deep south Auckland. As in, the last motorway off ramp along State Highway 1 before you start seeing farms sheep and dairy cows.…more

Guest Writer

Reflections from the Intersections

By Patrick Thomsen 

When your job literally is to question the ways in which society portrays groups of people through various representations, being positioned at the margins gives you unique insights into the ways in which words shape and form people’s positions in this world. But it also condemns you to a life where you’re pummeled by relentless attacks on social and mainstream media.

Some people would say that I’m a victim of my own inability to overcome the “Oppression Olympics.” That all the hate speech that I encounter against minorities is because I seek it out myself.

I can assure you that they’re most certainly wrong.

No one in their right mind would ever choose this life. To sit in the shadows of intersections, where multiple forms of social exclusion conspire to drain you of not only your self-confidence, but on particularly bad days, your will to live.…more


Keepin it Fresh at the NZ BOMB COMP 2018!

We're keepin it fresh at the NZ  Bomb Comp 2018 at Lake Tikitapu in Rotorua!

Guest Writer

I'm Tongan - My Mother: “Girls DON’T Box, Respect Yourself and Your Body…."

By Joanna Bourke 

Yes – Im 100% Tongan, born and raised here in Aotearoa. As the eldest of 5 siblings – I had a somewhat strict upbringing – and only has been in the last 10 years have I come to understand that it has a lot to do with being a female – and being Tongan.

Today I spend most my time living in Tonga – immersing myself in the culture and the community to help make a difference – and on the face of it – looks straightforward.

Yeah right!

It gets frustrating at times – but you develop a resilience to just push through despite the challenges.

The Challenge

Being a woman – one who is educated and experienced – it doesn’t mean shit in Tonga. People get by and succeed by who you know – and not necessarily what you know – but over time (a long time) people get you – they get you – but yet they are still dubious – eventually – the penny drops.…more

Humans of the Islands





My name is Sepelini Pati Mua’au and I am a New Zealand born Samoan. I am the youngest of 4, my mother is from the village of Falelatai and my father from Levi-Saleimoa. I was raised in Wainuiomata, completed my Secondary schooling at St. Bernard’s College in Lower Hutt and tertiary education at Victoria University of Wellington. I currently work at Victoria Univeristy in the School of English, Film, Theatre & Media Studies as a support tutor for 100-level Maori and Pasifika students, I also tutor for the theatre programme and write plays on the side.

You have a Master of Arts in Theatre - What did that degree entail and why do you think you were drawn to theatre?

Theatre definitely started off as an interest, like many Samoan parents, ideally they wanted me to be a lawyer or doctor. In 2010, my last year of College, I was fortunate enough to travel to London to perform on the Globe Theatre stage, so my family knew there was something there for me.…more

Guest Writer

JOSEPH PARKER - Despite Loss Still a Champion

By Malama T-Pole 

I’ve been reflecting tonight on Joseph Parker’s fight against Anthony Joshua this morning.  He held the weight of his Samoan and New Zealand fans on his shoulders.  Easter Sunday church services, were pushed late at some Pacific Island churches to accommodate the fight. 

Even my dad, a retired church minister who hates to be late to anything, declared he will be arriving late to church because of the fight.  In Samoa, high schools and workplaces have been competing in a fun Parker cheer contest that have rallied the nation behind their hero.  But, I wondered, how do our community feel about Parker now that he has lost? 

Tonight, I was standing on my veranda watching the neighbourhood kids who gather to play on my front yard.  Every evening, this group of boys come and ride their bikes or play tag or hide and go seek with each other.  But tonight was different.…more