Guest Writer

CONVERSATIONS WITH TEEN MUMS - KAEL

Auckland filmmaker Juliette Veber began her just-launched website documentary project Conversations with Teen Mums with the aim of challenging the stereotypes of young mums. 

The project began in 2013, when Veber noticed a New York City advertising campaign shaming teen mums. It included slogans like, ‘Because of you mommy, I’m less likely to get a college degree’.

Veber recalls, ‘I found it offensive. I wondered what it would be like to be a pregnant teen or a young mum reading a campaign filled with negative stereotypes and lacking in any kind of hope or encouragement’.

Over four years Veber documented the lives of 16 young mums, sharing their stories, perspectives and experiences in photos, text and film on the website.

‘I looked for subjects who aimed to get off the benefit and into work. Young mums with hopes and dreams, who wanted to offer their children opportunities and choices in life.’

‘The project is not about glamorising teen pregnancy.…more


Health & Well Being

SAMOA OBESITY - Activists launch campaign to change locals' diet habits

The island nation of Samoa in the Pacific has one of the world's highest rates of obesity.

Imported fast food is favoured over natural, local produce but a campaign's underway to change that.

Al Jazeera's Yaara Bou Melhem reports from Apia, Samoa.


Blog

MAILELANI - Organic Samoan Skincare taking over!

Mailelani – Organic Samoan Skincare taking over!

By now we’re all aware of the endless benefits received from the coconut, so it’s no surprise that one of Samoa’s leading skincare and natural beauty companies, has put Samoa on the map using organic coconut oil magic. Mailelani, meaning ‘a gift from heaven’, was established in 2005 by Kitiona and Sylvie Salanoa.

Using organic suau’u popo (coconut oil) in their products, sourcing local ingredients and employing local villagers, Mailelani is providing not only work opportunities, but also superior natural skincare with those unmistakable island fragrances.

“What makes Mailelani unique is that it’s the peoples business; it’s not just us. We have people who make the coconut oil, koko samoa and sell esi, so everything we do and put in, is made by the people, Mailelani just makes the finished product. That’s why I always say without the people, Mailelani wouldn’t exist.” – Kitiona Salanoa.

The first product created was a handmade scentless soap, which eventually developed into a range with seven various fragrances.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - Spencer Papali'i

SPENCER PAPALI'I 
PIPA Student 
Samoan/Fijian 
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I'm currently a 3rd year degree student at PIPA (The Pacific Institute of Performing Arts)  I grew up in west Auckland and went to local primary and intermediate then attended Avondale College. I'm the eldest of 5 boys. My father is of Samoan descent and my mother is of Fijian descent. Both were born in their mother land and moved to New Zealand at a young age. 
.
You're currently preparing for your solo show O A'u - can you tell us a bit about it?
O A'u is all about me. It explores the ideas of culture, religion, and even sexuality. 
You said in another interview that you created your drag persona to help deal with past struggles - can you tell us some of the struggles you've experienced? 
One of the few things that I experienced and struggled with growing up was bullying.  It wasn't that I got beaten up or physically harmed, it was the words that hit me the most.…more

Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - Lila Taulapiu

Lila Taulapiu

Founder of TAMĀ - Pacific Scripter Word Art Business 

Samoan 

 .

My name is Lila Taulapiu, I am married with 4 children and I’m a grandmother of 1, soon to be 3. I worked in tertiary education holding various roles for 12 years and made a transition into HR, which I'm currently doing on a contract basis alongside my own business, TAMĀ. My mother is from the village of Savaia Lefagā and my father is from Samatau - my Samoan heritage I am very proud of.

TAMĀ, what inspired you to start it? 

I've always enjoyed the idea of business. I think one of the things that intrigued me about it was the possibility of a role that allows me to be balance family needs as a mother and invest in something I’m passionate about. For myself as a Christian, I really feel the drive for this is a faith calling from my heavenly dad hence the name TAMĀ, which also inspired my Dad, Mutimuti, who was very much an entrepreneur and determined soul.…more


Humans of the Islands

HUMANS OF THE ISLANDS - Charlize Leo

CHARLIZE LEO 

Miss Fa'afafine 2017 & Marketing Executive at Digicel 

Samoan 

My name is Charlize Leo. I am the youngest out of 8 children, I’m 27, I grew up in To’omatagi, I’m a marketing executive at Digicel, and I love watching movies. Everything that I like has something to do with Hollywood. My favourite movie overall is ‘The Hours’ with Nicole Kidman and Merryl Streep, Julianne Moore. Yeah, I just love that movie.

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Congratulations of winning the Miss Fa’afafine Pageant 2017!  What was that whole experience like for you?

Well, it really took 7 years in the making of course.  Last time I competed was 7 years ago and the experience was umm, I guess my focus was on winning. But not to forget that at the end of the day we’re human beings so, the thing about the contestants is that you know I’m always available to help out and they were much younger than me, and some were older but a lot more experienced.…more


Blog

CONVERSATIONS WITH TEEN MUMS - SALOTE

Auckland filmmaker Juliette Veber began her just-launched website documentary project Conversations with Teen Mums with the aim of challenging the stereotypes of young mums. 

The project began in 2013, when Veber noticed a New York City advertising campaign shaming teen mums. It included slogans like, ‘Because of you mommy, I’m less likely to get a college degree’.

Veber recalls, ‘I found it offensive. I wondered what it would be like to be a pregnant teen or a young mum reading a campaign filled with negative stereotypes and lacking in any kind of hope or encouragement’.

Over four years Veber documented the lives of 16 young mums, sharing their stories, perspectives and experiences in photos, text and film on the website.

‘I looked for subjects who aimed to get off the benefit and into work. Young mums with hopes and dreams, who wanted to offer their children opportunities and choices in life.’

‘The project is not about glamorising teen pregnancy.…more


Blog

I'M A PROUD PACIFIC ISLANDER

The video “I’m a Proud Pacific Islander” is one of two videos created by the Pacific UN Free & Equal campaign for equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

It features the faces and voices of LGBTI people and their allies from across the Pacific, calling for everyone to take a stand for LGBTI equality.


Sports

VAEA FIFITA

Check out highlights of Vaea Fifitas incredible performance in his test starting debut against Argentina.


What's Niu

New connections in the Pacific

Families in Niue and the Cook Islands will have much to celebrate soon as the new cable network will finally make a dent in the huge overseas roaming charges and local data. 

One of the highlight outcomes of the PLF2017 was to get the Manatua Cable (an inter island submarine cable) contract for the construction and maintenance agreed to by the consortium, which will be put out to tender this month.  A successful bid is to be announced within the next few months. 

Honourable Mark Brown, Minister of Finance & Economic Management in the Cook Islands says the Manatua Cable is a cable project with four countries; Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Niue and connects the four islands together with fiber optic submarine cable.  It will transform the connectivity particularly for the Cook Islands & Niue who have previously had to rely on satellite.

"The cable is a good example of how countries working together are able to get a better product at a cheaper price by sharing the cost of the cable across the four countries.…more