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Love and Fiji

“At the time we first got together, it wasn’t the norm to be dating someone of the same sex as you, especially in Fiji. We both come from religious backgrounds. There were restrictions and we were questioned a lot". - Lavonne

From the island of Fiji, where religious and cultural restrictions affects how the LGBTQIA community are treated, comes the story of two women who fell in love, left the island, and returned 12 years later to celebrate their marriage.

Lavonne and Petrina, both from Fiji, met on the island 19 years ago. The attraction was instant, and the pair have been inseparable ever since; but the journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The attitude towards gay culture in Fiji, and the wider pacific is still a battle many are fighting.

Same sex marriage has been legally banned in Fiji since 2002, and hate crimes are unfortunately not uncommon. Despite this, Trina and Von, managed to push through the backlash and return to Fiji for a wedding celebration of their own.…more


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Sex & the Sugas - Part 7

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday! 

Part.7

Teuila, 32, Samoan 

"My sex life over the last 3 years has been. . .adventurous and colourful with many lessons. I started the whole dating thing (which is a strange and funny concept in New Zealand in comparison to other countries I have dated in) a year after and to be honest I discovered that as a woman, to get sex was easy, far too easy.…more

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Pasifika Books to Note

Our Pasifika Writers and Illustrators continue to flourish with a notable range of books, from romance novels & academic publications to educational children's stories! 

Check out these authors and their books, as well as and where to buy them! 

Free Love by Sia Figiel 

Set in 1980's Samoa,  'Free Love'  revolves around the first love experiences of a seventeen-year-old girl.

"An intimate and intoxicating tale of love and decolonisation. A star-crossed couple is caught between the bittersweet breaking of social taboo and rebelliously reclaiming the tapu of ancient beliefs, sex, stories and small gods. Sia Figiel will keep you up all night with her sensuous storytelling of sexual awakening and the spilling of secrets. Passionate, poetic and personal, it is set within a larger story; the spark of a Pacific indigenous renaissance, a region reclaiming itself in changing times. 
Dr. Karlo Mila

Sia Figiel is an award winning Samoan author, often referred to as 'Samoa's first female novelist'.…more


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Sex & the Sugas - Part 6

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 8pm every Wednesday! 

Part.6

Kels, 26, Samoan 

"Looking back, do I wish my family had spent more time discussing sex and sexuality with me? Yes, to a certain extent I do. It would have been much easier coming to terms with the fact that I was attracted to both men and women, if religion hadn’t suggested that it was a sin. I had to discover this side of myself alone until I found the courage to tell others."

It took me a long time to realize that my sexuality was mine. That I was in control of my feelings, how I acted on them and who I experienced that with.…more


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Sex & The Suga's - Part 5

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday!

Part 5. 

Kat, 35, Samoan. 

I am of full Samoan heritage, born and raised here in New Zealand & am now a proud single Mother of 3 children.

I grew up in West Auckland only knowing what was normal through the things that surrounded me. This was obeying your parents, staying truthful, doing as you were being told and turning up to all family or church events ready to work. Because I was the only girl and the youngest, I had a lot of expectations to live up to; something I was reminded of, everyday.

My 1st sexual experience was when I was 17 years old.…more


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Samoan Language Apps made by Pre-Schoolers

Two language Apps 'O Luga O Le Motu' and 'Tatou ō ile Maketi' were created with direct help from Tino e Tasi Preschoolers; based in Christchurch and Dunedin.…more


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Sex & The Sugas - Part 4

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday!

Sasha , 44, Cook Islands

As far as my brain would allow me to remember, I would say I was first exposed to sex at the mere age of 7. It was me. Sitting on the red lazy boy in the downstairs lounge, breathing in the smell of my Mum’s freshly moisturised hand that abruptly crossed my eye line when the man aggressively took the ladies dress off. Even when I couldn’t see what was on screen while Mum scrambled for that remote, I knew that whatever was happening, wasn’t violent.

I grew suspicious... fast. 

 My upbringing was fast paced.…more


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Sex & the Sugas - Part 3

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday!

Part 3.

Lose, 28, Tongan.  

“I didn’t have a girlfriend to have sex with. I dated boys who wanted to have sex but I didn’t want to, I said no. It’s one thing to go to your parents as a heterosexual couple (which is accepted), but it’s another thing to ask to have sex and teach me about having sex with girl. So I had to confide in friends and do research.” 

I started having sex when I was 21. I knew I wanted to have sex, but I didn’t have sex until I got to New Zealand, because I couldn’t have sex back home.…more


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Sex & the Sugas - Part 2

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday!

Part 2.

Dione, 32, Samoan 

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Lover and Ex Apparent Paumuku

We talked about nearly all year, at lunchtimes, smoking behind the tuck shop, whispered through maths classes, walking home. When would it happen, who had it happened to, who did we know definitely did it..that most famous of whispered Samoan words..Paumuku. Translated = rubber mouth or broken skin.

Too many fumbled feel ups, sloppy pashes and dangerous situations that could have lead to much worse endings then they did. Pushed onto bathrooms floors, hundreds of party people pulsating to drum n bass on the other side of the door.…more


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Sex & the Sugas - Part 1

Sex & The Suga’s, brought to you by The Coconet, is an after-hours series written exclusively by Pasifika women, talking about all things sex and sexuality. A subject that is usually shied away from in Island culture, five women of various ages, sexual identities and island backgrounds, reveal some of their personal experiences and explore what their sexuality means to them. Stay tuned for a new story each week, after 10pm every Wednesday!

Part 1. 

Ana, 31, Samoan.

“At one point I went through an "A-Sexual Faze" because certain relationships had failed and I just reached a point of MEN ARE TRASH and I don't need one. Then I questioned if I was maybe a Lesbian because I was just so open to embracing other female’s beauty, and speaking up about it openly...gohhh whatever the faze I've probably thought that was the box I belonged in”.

My relationship to sex wasn't always actually a "relationship" so to speak, to be honest. I remember back in intermediate, the thought of sex used to literally terrify me. I kid you not.…more