Fresh Impressions on the Third ILGA OCEANIA regional conference in Samoa.

What to expect at a LGBTQI conference in Samoa?
How about having the opening ceremony and key note speaker from Deputy Prime minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa,  four days of laying fa’afafine issues on the table and a kick ass Fa’afafine pageant that is one of the most popular events in Samoa? Yes! Everything that our Queer warriors before us worked so hard for, and a safe space for all LGBTQI in the Pacific.

“Having the conference here in Samoa will allow us to speak about the issues for LGBTI community in the region" says Tuisina Ymania Brown-Gabriel, the Executive director of the Pacific Human Rights Initiative and Global Ambassador of the Samoan Fa’afafine Association.

One of the many main problems  she wants to highlight are how pastors use religion against the Fa’afafine community.

 “Prosecute all other people that are sinners in the Bible. For example, the Bible specially talks abut no working on Sunday by our tourism industry will fail if they shut down on Sunday.…more


TAKURUA - Food and Feasts of the Cook Islands

“ We want to raise the awareness of our food as up there with the best in the world” - Rangi Mitaera- Johnson 

“It’s more than just having food in restaurants it's about a way of life and value of our planting, our farming, our fishing as part of the story of our food”

Wild goat from Atiu, pearl oyster meat from Manihiki, the Utu king of bananas and the prized purple swamp taro, just some of the extraordinary ingredients on the plate at a recent Takurua - the ancient way of feasting in the Cook Islands!

Chefs from around the Pacific gathered in Rarotonga to create the best of Cook Islands cuisine on an epic scale, with traditional foods sourced from all over the Cook Islands.

“We want to develop a culture of healthy food and healthy exercise lifestyles around food” says Metua Vai'imene from Cook Islands tourism.

The purpose of the spectacular event was to showcase the importance of returning to our indigenous diets, and eating from the earth rather then processed imported food.…more


BROWN & BEAUTIFUL - Sisters United NZ

The Goebel sisters (Kendal, Narelle & Parris) & their organisation Sisters United NZ  officially launched their 'Brown and Beautiful' campaign on Friday night and was attended by beautiful, brown sistas from all walks of life and from all over Auckland city to support a great cause.

Seafarers on Tyler Street was transformed for the 'Brown and Beautiful' launch thanks to the skills of Omgness - you can follow her on Instagram here & support our brown sistas business! 

Everything on the night including the food on the grazing table, drinks and decorations, lighting, the photo booth, Fijian cake maker Bertrand Jangs 'Sweet & Me'  'Brown and Beautiful' cakes and more were all donated and sponsored by different businesses and vendors for the launch.

Part way through the night, the 3 Goebel sisters Kendal, Parris and Narelle along with their team Sau and Punipuao talked through the 'Young Queens' programme and introduced a few of the 120 girls who are a part of it.…more



The Vodafone Pacific Music Awards 2018 winners were announced last night at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau honouring Pacific Island musicians contributions to NZ music throughout the years as well as up and coming artists.

Here is the full list of winners as well as performance, red carpet and behind the scenes pics from the night.

On the red carpet - 



Phillip Fuemana Award - Most Promising Pacific Artist 



NZ on Air Radio Airplay Award 



NZ on Air Streaming Award 



Sam Kiles who was nominated for 'Best International Artist' performing at the Pacific Music Awards 


NZ on Air Best Pacific Music Video Award 



SIT/MAINZ Best Producer 



FLAVA Best International Artist 



Raze (Ezra Williams) who was nominated for Best Female Pacific Artist performing at the Pacific Music Awards 



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 Melanesian female artists based in Australia 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


One Love Festival 2018

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


Keepin it Fresh at East Coast Vibes

Keepin it Fresh down in Gisborne at East Coast Vibes! 


Keepin it Fresh at the RLWC MMT vs Toa Samoa Game

Tofiga and Nua got amongst it with the supporters at the Mate Ma'a Tonga vs Toa Samoa game at the Rugby League World Cup last year.




Director - Shimpal Lelisi 

Camera Operator - Darry Laumua 

Sound Operator - Marcus Lawson 

Talent - Tofiga Fepulea'i & Nua Finau 



There’s parades, performances, films and fashion but some of the specific Pacific  flavors of this years Pride Fest include: 
The legendary Cindy of Samoa headlines ‘Queens of Skycity’ - a FREE event with Kita Mean & Victoria Secretzz on:
Saturday 3rd Feb, 8pm
Saturday 10th Feb, 12am (Midnight)
Saturday 17th Feb, 8pm
She'll also be seen rocking the stage at the Big Gay Out along with super diva Lavina Williams - free event at Coyle Park Sunday Feb 11th from midday.

FAF SWAG host a Vogue Ball to kick off a new online Interactive Documentary that features stories of the collective, at the Auckland Art Gallery on Weds Feb 7th. 
FREE event!

Divas of stage and screen ‘Fine Fatale’ premiere their show ‘Geish/Tuiga’ on Feb 9th and 10th at the Q Theatre, promising a mix of unique dance, theatre, vocals and visuals in this expression of the young fa’afafine experience.
'Pasifika Superstars of Tomorow’ features writers Gina Cole, Courtney Sina Meredith and Tulia Thompson who jam on their work and ideas on Feb 10th at AUT.…more



New York, London, Paris, Ōtara, Milan - High fashion lives here.

The Otara Town Centre was transformed to fashion central for the Pacific Fusion Fashion Showcase and created the perfect stage in the heart of South Auckland for emerging Pacific and Maori designers to showcase their fabulous designs.

Event Director Nora Swann said of the event "Some people found it hard to picture a sold-out high-end fashion event in Ōtara, let alone it being a runway down the middle of the Town Centre. We were always confident that we could do it and that we would find designers and an audience who would want to attend. We know the talent is out there and we hoped our community would support it. This just goes to show that yes, high fashion lives here".

Hosted by former Miss Samoa Latafale Auva'a, the showcase included entertainment from Ura Tabu/PIPA and Otara's own Giant Killa with other Groovehouse artists, Exit Four 44, Pascal Roggen and Aleisha Wallabh Smith.…more