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Kai Pasifika -The Pacific on a Plate

Finally, an Auckland restaurant 100% dedicated to Pacific Island food.

Kai Pasifika opened its doors this month and has set itself apart as New Zealand's first ever Pacific foods restaurant. Every dish on the menu has Pasifika origins or incorporates ingredients directly from the islands. 

The venture led by renowned chef Robert Oliver offers a menu that includes our favourite to'ona'i dishes, including pua'a Samoa pork, ika vakalolo, sapasui, taro and more (see the full menu here). Lunch dining will start on May 24th, and To'ona'i Sunday's are to come - how much better can that get?

 

Aside from iconic island flavours that will prompt family to'ona'i nostalgia , what makes Kai Pasifika so special is the team behind the food. Head Chef Bertrand Jang, originally from Fiji, says the restaurant is a living dream. 

"Everyday I am excited to come to work and share the experience with my friends.…more


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Where are our Pasifika/Indigenous models at?

TAMED NATIVES AND WHITEWASHED BEAUTY – WHERE ARE OUR BROWN SKINNED BROTHERS AND SISTERS AT IN THE MODELLING WORLD?

The lack of Pasifika and Indigenous faces in fashion and media is nothing new, and though we are slowly seeing a shift in representation and diversity, we're still a long way from where we need to be. 

Looking back, some of the first Pasifika faces to surface in the New Zealand modelling scene include Rosanna Raymond, Sarah Leo, Monique Rana, Stan Wolfgramm and Marama Nicholas (to mention a few). During the 80's and 90's these models brought a fresh energy to a scene that was European dominant in representation. A handful of New Zealand brands and platforms like Workshop and Planet Magazine took the lead in presenting and celebrating Pasifika faces to their audiences. 

Now a leader and innovator within the contemporary Pacific art scene, Rosanna Raymond spoke to us about her time as a model in the 80’s.…more


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REVIEW: ONE THOUSAND ROPES

One Thousand Ropes brings a beautiful Samoan sensibility to the big screen for the second time.

In the same way that the Orator delved into the interior of Samoa - rainforests, taro leaves and torments, One Thousand ropes looks to the interior minds of its characters - again focusing on the most vulnerable in Samoan societies - the young women.
It's a quiet meditative film that has some deep issues at its heart which are bought out in unexpected ways - the dynamic of four bakery workers, the truly terrifying aiku spirit, and the intimate skill and trust in a fofo.

There are so many nuances that speak to a Pasifika audience through the skill of the language and the symbolism of the design. But mostly because it's funny, in that way that only Samoan language and behaviors can sometimes be.
It's a movie that will give you the feels the funnies and the frights all in one.more


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A Tribute to Teresia Teaiwa

A Pasifika warrior who fought many battles for the region with the strength of her words and her infinite wisdoms has walked ahead of us.

They say that some people are larger then life, and for Teresia Teaiwa, teacher and warrior woman, the largess of her legacy will transcend her life for generations to come.

You can't paint the Pacific with one brush stroke” 

Teresia saw an interconnected Oceania and spoke much of our diversity yet the oneness of our essential vision as Pasifika people.

Described as one of Kiribati’s ‘living national icons’ Teresia was a truly cosmopolitan citizen of Oceania.  Her mixed cultural roots and with her many lived experiences in the region, contributed to a wide vision of the issues, the identities and the taonga of Pasifika peoples.  Of Banaban, Kiribati and African American heritage, Tere was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i and raised in Fiji.…more


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CELEBRATING POLYFEST

"Brutal Street fight filmed outside Polyfest"

"Video emerges of teenage girls fighting at Polyfest"

"Girl dragged by hair in shocking Polyfest Brawl"

The coverage of Polyfest by mainstream media has always been minimal. Despite the fact that this is one of the most populated events on the annual Auckland events landscape, Polyfest the biggest festival of its kind in the WORLD is rarely mentioned in the news, in any print or online coverage. 

But this year Polyfest did feature - it featured through the lens of violence and Pacific stereotyping that has always managed to characterise stories set in South Auckland.

While 100,000 Pacificans were celebrating the passion and fervour of the unique flavours of Polynesians, the media stories were fixated on 2 skirmishes outside the gates of Polyfest. 

Without going into the event itself, without mention of the purpose and context of the event, but instead mention of a bunch of kids throwing punches at the traffic lights.…more


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The Tragic Death of Ruby-Anne Laufa

A few days shy of her 25th birthday, Ruby-Anne Laufa lost her life in a violent and highly suspicious traffic incident. 

Ruby-Anne was Miss South Pacific PNG 2012 – 2013, and campaigned passionately against gender-based violence. She passed away at Port Moresby General Hospital in PNG on the 11th February. The circumstances surrounding her death remain undisclosed, however speculation suggests Ruby-Anne may have been thrown from a moving car.

Ruby was born on February 13, 1992 in Port Moresby. She studied law at UPNG and was the owner of SKYLAR; a modelling agency and events management company.  She leaves behind her father Maurice from Gulf province; her mother, Hane Sepi Nouairi-Schaaf, of Central province and Tongan-German blood, and her younger sisters, Sherridan and Rhani Villie-Maina.

 

Police investigations remain ongoing and no charges have been made. The lack of urgency by police has Pacific communities outraged, family and friends of Ruby are demanding answers.…more


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Womens Abuse Stories - Overcoming Sexual Abuse

My mother passed away when I was eleven and my Dad was left with five of us to look after.
I have two brothers and two sisters.  
Everything had been perfect with us all growing up together in Samoa.
 
After my Mum died we went for a family vacation to my Dads families village.  It was only meant to be two weeks.
However our plans changed and my dad had to rush back to where our family had been living.  
I was supposed to spend Christmas with our family so my Dads uncles wife told my Dad that I could stay and go to school near where they lived. I had told my Dad I wanted to stay as well - it was my first time visiting his family and I actually liked it.
 
During my stay with my Dads family I noticed a change with my Uncles wife.  She was usually the one to drop me to school but instead she started sending her eldest son to drop me off and pick me up from school.more

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Women's Abuse Stories - Abuse of Power

The woman I am today would have reacted with white knuckles and bared teeth. I would not have sat idle, silent and too shy/shocked/scared to speak up. I would have told him to go F*** himself. 

Unfortunately, “I would have” is futile. The reality is, I was young, impressionable, unrealized and 100% at the mercy of a man who I was deceived into trusting. We all were. We all are.

Power: the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others.

The Abuse of Power: when selfish desire takes priority over the hauora of others. It can be subtle, passive or obvious.

Those with positions of status are entrusted with this power. We rely on them to be honorable, honest and trustworthy. Yet, time and time again, women are taken advantage of by these people. So how do we go about ending a cycle that is damaging the hauora of vulnerable women within our community?

 

My own experience with abuse of power involved classes I attended a few years ago.…more


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Women's Abuse Stories - Escaping Abuse

International Women's Day is not only a celebration of women, but also an acknowledgement of their struggles and how they get through them. The following is one woman's story of abuse in the home and how church and culture played a role in preventing her escape. 

"I found myself in a lawyer’s office the morning after a brutal beating. I couldn’t walk properly due to the bruising all over my legs and back. The swelling on my head was covered by a beanie. I sat there staunchly asking for help to get the abuser out of our home. The lawyer and his assistant were kind and gentle beyond all expectation and that’s where my defences crumbled and the tears flowed freely. They started the legal process that would hopefully keep me and my children safe and keep the abusive person away from our home.

A couple of days later, an Uncle and Aunty came to visit. They were Faife’au and Faletua in their church.…more


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BEN MIKHA & The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Ben Mikha has been selected out of 50,000 applicants to proceed to a 3 round process based off a public voting system in order to make his dreams a reality.  If successful he will be the FIRST Pacific Islander to land an internship with Discovery Channel.

He is currently pursuing a dream through Discovery Channel to travel to over 5 new countries and film/photograph and blog his experiences - something that he is naturally passionate about.  He hopes to have this opportunity to use his gifts further to inspire and encourage others to view the world through their own eyes.

The video above of Samoa is his entry to the final public round of Discovery Channel.   

We asked him to share a bit about himself and also share some of his favourite photographs he has taken so you can get to know him and ultimately help him reach his goal by VOTING for him!  

Eiffel Tower 

BEN MIKHA:  
I grew up in the streets of South Auckland.…more