Health & Well Being

Mai Body Mai Future - Ft Ma'a Nonu

The Pacific Rugby Players website has new content encouraging steps to better health - Mai Body Mai Future.

It's an initiative that aims to start a dialogue around the biggest health problems facing most of the island nations today – heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, (Being overweight or obese increases the chances of having these diseases) and then providing practical advice from some of the rugby players themselves and access to the best resources to help you on your journey towards better health.

You can check out the Pacific Rugby Players website here  and the Mai Body Mai Future health 'Steps Towards Better Health' here.

Former All Black Ma'a Nonu shares some of his own health tips in the video above and you can look out for others players tips coming from Nemani Nadolo, Alesana Tuilagi, Hosea Gear and more here.

Health & Well Being

Pacific Touch NYC

Nestled in the towering city of Manhattan lies a Polynesian paradise. Founder Nichola Weir brings the islands to New York with Pacific Touch NYC; an acclaimed day spa dedicated to holistic skin healing.

While in New York I was fortunate enough to visit Pacific Touch and receive an incredible skin treatment from Nichola who also shared her experiences and knowledge with me.

“Pacific Touch is about bringing the islands back to Manhattan. It’s about conveying everything that is comforting to me about being Polynesian into a service over here.” - Weir. 

Having previously suffered from bad acne for 15 years, as well as her mum working in beauty therapy, Nichola has always been passionate about skin and healing. Her holistic approach with Pacific Touch has been a life changing experience for many of her clients.

“I have a client who was in a really bad accident and she nearly died. She had a huge amount of facial reconstruction and she came to me for a really long time and we did massage and facial work.…more

Health & Well Being


Taija Kerr is the first Afro-Hawaiian woman to star in a major beauty campaign EVER and she shows us how to create a sunset smoky eye look! Follow along to hear her tips and tricks.

Following in the footsteps of Fenty Beauty's extensive foundation shade range, Glossier's candid naked body product pictures and Illamasqua's work with transgender model Munroe Bergdorf, among others, Sephora's inclusion of the New York-based make-up artist is another win for 2017's long overdue diversity efforts.

Speaking on the importance of being involved, Kerr said:

'Most [Hawaiians] don't have curly 'Afro' curly hair and I have the softer Hawaiian features. My father is Hawaiian. My mother is black, so I'm considered Afro-Hawaiian to put them together'

And people are into it.

Health & Well Being


By Hanalei Temese

Approximately 38.5 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer of any site at some point during their lifetime.

For Elisapeta and Shannon Skews, it was a double hit.

Born and bred in Samoa, Elisapeta (commonly known as Mousie) and her husband Robert, live in the tropical paradise of Rarotonga; their home of 27 years. With 5 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, the fight to jump this hurdle, is a fight she is determined to win.

 “They’re why I want to live forever” Mousie says proudly.

With a natural drive to be active and involved with her community, Mousie was just that. She represented the Cook Island’s in squash, became manager of the team as she retired from playing and joined forces with her husband in 1990 as entrepreneurs of their very own tourism company, Turama - Pacific travel group.

“Everything was fine.…more

Health & Well Being


By Hanalei Temese

Cancer. One of the heaviest words known to mankind.

New Zealand born Fijian and solo mother of 7, Ruve Peterson, wasn’t ready to hear it.

Having already been through the loss of a father and not long after, twin grandsons; Ruve wasn’t prepared for more bad news.

On September 29th, Ruve’s only daughter, Kuila Tuivoavoa, was diagnosed with T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; a type of blood cancer that grows progressively quicker than most.

The nineteen year old was rushed to Waitakere Hospital with severe chest pain the Monday after she had finished 4 weeks of an acting production with PIPA (Pacific Institute of Performing Art’s). “They said it was just a muscular thing, but if I hadn’t of told them about the little bits of bruising I found scattered on my body, I wouldn’t of had to do any blood tests, so that was lucky.” Kuila said.

After several tests and a CT scan over her chest, doctors found a 7-millimeter tumor situated only inches away from her lung.…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.

Health & Well Being


While it seems the gap between the rich and the poor in New Zealand has widened over the years with an increase in homelessness and families struggling to meet the cost of living from week to week, there are church groups in West Auckland who have been reaching out to meet those in need on the regular for the last 3 years.

Naylar Uisa, her husband Flava (pictured above) and their 2 young sons started off driving around Auckland with pots of food for people they could see in need.  

"We basically started off by cooking two big pots and driving around feeding anyone. We did that for a while then took it to the city, and then once our church found out they came on board.  We may have started it, but it takes a family to move it and to grow it, and this is an amazing family" says Naylar.…more

Health & Well Being

Cooking on a Budget

As part of 'Money Week' 2017, Ignite College in South Auckland partnered with the Commission for Financial Capability as part of a community collaboration with the hospitality students, to come up with a menu on a budget for occasions that Pacific island families often have to cater for.

Students not only learned about budgeting but were then able to incorporate the skills that they'd learned in their hospitality programme, combining the two and then the end result was putting on a meal for invited guests from the community and doing a full meal service.  The students came up with the menus, creating everything from the shopping to the budgeting to the cooking.  

Student Support Advisor Romana Fetu said that it's crucial for people to be aware of the importance of knowing about money and staying away from things like debts and loans and getting more into education to get into employment.…more

Health & Well Being

WORLD HEALTH DAY - Focus on Depression

The World Health organisation has been leading a one year global campaign focusing on depression & are again highlighting this issue today on World Health Day (07 April 2017)

A couple of years ago, Samoan musician and artist Johnny Angel appeared in the Like Mine campaign (video above) which was aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of mental illness.

He also shares his journey with Mike King – the heartbreaks and triumphs of living with mental health issues – and overcoming them ....

Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide and a lack of support for peope with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Our friends at Le Va Pasika have some great resources for our Pacific Island communities around recognising the signs of depression, causes of depression, how to get help, and tips on getting well and keeping well.

Click here to access the Pacific Island resources for Depression.


Health & Well Being

Health Benefits of Taro Leaves

We all know Pacific Islanders love cooking & eating both taro and taro leaves but are you aware of all the amazing health benefits for the body?  Both taro's root and leaves have many health benefits because it is rich in nutrients.

You can check out all the health benefits of the root here and we've listed the health benefits of the taro leaf for you below ...

From its nutrient contents, the Top 10 taro leaves benefits are as follows:

  1. Acts as an antioxidant to prevent cancer.

Taro leaves are rich in vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant. This helps prevent many diseases and fight against free radicals that cause cancer.

  1. Boosts your immune system.

Vitamin C in 1 cup of taro leaves gives you at least 86% of the daily value that your body needs. You can boost your immune system effectively with eating taro leaves.

  1. Keeps your eyes healthy.

Besides Vitamin C, taro leaves are rich in vitamin A. It reaches an amazing daily value of 123%.…more