Blog

PACIFIC SISTERS

“We have challenged ourselves to think about how we reflect Aotearoa, and our place in the Pacific, as well as the way in which we reflect the Pacific to the world.     I think that this kaupapa is embodied in the exhibition "Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists" and acknowledges how the Pacific Sisters have been doing this for over 25 years.

I think it also honours the sisters’ bravery in being unapologetically political and pushing beyond the white cube of the gallery to incorporate indigenous art forms of dress, music, oratory and performance.…more


Blog

PENINA DAVIDSON: CALI LOVE & BASKETBALL

From suburban Lynfield to big time Berkeley, Penina Davidson isn’t your cookie cutter 21 year old Kiwi. Breaking the mould of New Zealand Women’s Basketball, her perseverance to overcome trials of mental illness and societal changes in her new home of California State, is definitely one for the history books.

Standing at 6 ft 3, it was inevitable. The Missy Peregrym - ‘Stick it’ look alike, was born to be an athlete.  Like many basketball athletes, Penina grew up with a ball glued to her hand and knew no different.

“Mum seems to think I went to a YMCA camp when I was 4 but my first memory was around age 8 - so we’ll stick with that number”

Coming through the New Zealand development ranks for basketball was no foreign feat for her. Repping in all the highest teams of every school she attended, Penina took out top-scoring games at regional and national representative levels.…more


Blog

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


Blog

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


Blog

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


Blog

HELP for the PACIFIC ISLANDS

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


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HIBISCUS & RUTHLESS - Review

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


Blog

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


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Celebrating our Pasifika Female Filmmakers - #FemaleFilmmakerFriday

In celebration of #FemaleFilmMakerFriday we're joining with Female filmmakers around the world and sharing these BTS shots of our Pasifika Female Directors! 

SIMA URALE 

Sima Urale, Samoa’s first female filmmaker, has brought touching stories of Pacific peoples to the screen, often from an NZ outsider’s point of view. Urale credits her film success to determination and dealing with social issues close to her heart. Her lauded shorts (O Tamaiti, Still Life) were followed by her 2008 feature debut Apron Strings. Urale has also spent time as head tutor at Wellington's NZ Film and Television School.

NIKKI SI'ULEPA 

Alongside reporting, filming and directing for Pacific show Tagata Pasifika, she wrote Pacific fallout tale Snow in Paradise, co-directing it with Justine Simei-Barton. The short film was invited to 11 festivals, including Tribeca and Berlin. She also helmed shorts Ma and Aroha, and hosted a 2017 episode of Neighbourhood.  Last year Nikki was invited to join 250 other delegates at the Berlinale Talents  - a summit for up & coming film makers.…more


Blog

A Kiwi-Poly in the Big Apu

I always knew I would find myself in New York at some point in my life, and here I am amidst the hustle and bustle, soaking up everything this magnificent city has to offer.

Being from Aotearoa with Samoan blood, I find myself among the very small percentage of Pasifika people in New York. Though the Big Apple is undoubtedly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, the island presence is somewhat scarce. 

When confronted with the questions I'm so frequently asked; “Where are you from?” and “What are you?”, I’m no longer surprised at the lack of familiarity with our corner of the world. Many people are still under the impression New Zealand is a part of Australia, and the majority have no perception of the pacific islands at all, unless I use Hawai’i as a reference.

  

Explaining Aotearoa, the islands and my mixed ethnicity is always something I have to go into depth with, and usually people are interested enough to keep listening.…more