Pacific Blog

OVERJOYED, OVERWHELMED, AND RECOGNISING THE OVER-COLONISED: FESTPAC 2024!

“Our Language and Cultural Identities are not negotiable," Aeau Chris Hazelman, CEO of Samoa Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

Weaving our Moana stories into taonga

All the extraordinary people of the Moana weaving an ocean of indigenous knowledge and creativity in one place at one time. What’s not to love and learn? 

The magnificence of our vaka, visual arts, dance, tatau, tokstory, and some of the most precious taonga are showcased in two of the most special weeks of the decade for Moana people. 

There were lots of slogans under the FestPAC banner of ‘bringing the best of the Pacific together’ but amidst the many extraordinary sights and sounds - it’s the stories of our shared knowledge and the vital talanoa that connect us in this time.

“Celebrating commonalities in all areas of arts, culture and language and the best of our beautiful people on show. Tā tatau, mahi whaikairo, poetry and waiata. Mahi alofa. Discussions on Protecting Oceania, Niu Ola, and the absence of Kanaky people and continued genocide in West Papua.…more


Coco News

How One Pasifika Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing Supermarket Shelves

In a market where products from Pasifika and Maori communities often aren't as visible in big stores, Pasifika-owned business 'Drink Da Milgy' is breaking new ground. Landing a deal with Woolworths (Countdown), making them one of the first Pasifika-owned beverage companies to be sold in a major supermarket. 

Founded by a visionary entrepreneur of Niuean and Tongan heritage, this Pasifika venture is reshaping the dairy industry with a mission to amplify representation and inclusion.

"At the beginning of 2023, I noticed a stark absence of Pasifika and Maori products in supermarkets," shares the founder, Saion Angi. "I realized I needed to be the one to create that change."

The journey commenced with a strategic focus on the milk market, a fiercely competitive domain. "I chose milk because it's a highly competitive space," the founder explains.…more


Pacific Blog

'Keeping It Fresh' at the 2024 Many World Champs 🌊

Celebrate a Kiwi classic past-time, the good ol' Manu! Keep it Fresh with the country's most hardcore manu enthusiasts at this year's Z Manu World Champs

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Keepin It Fresh brings you all the freshness happening in our Moana communities, from Siva Afi Festivals to Fashion Shows.

Credits:
Director: Mario Faumui
Camera: Faanati Mamea
Sound: David Green
Editor: Mario Faumui


Humans of the Islands

WOMEN OF THE ISLANDS - ANAPELA POLATAIVAO

ANAPELA POLATAIVAO ONZM

DIRECTOR / ACTOR / PERFORMING ARTIST

SAMOAN
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Award-winning artist Anapela Polataivao, a celebrated and much-loved figure in the Pacific performing arts scene, recently received the ONZM honours, marking a significant milestone in her illustrious career.

Best known for her vibrant roles in Fresh and Coconet TV productions such as one half of comedic duo 'Pani & Pani', Anapela has captivated audiences for decades with her performances and heartfelt storytelling.

Reflecting on this prestigious recognition, Ana humbly admits to still coming to terms with its wider implications, expressing her deep gratitude for the overwhelming support and alofa from her community. 

Anapela has continuously evolved, contributing significantly to the arts while inspiring a new generation of Pasifika artists. We talk to here here.

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How big a deal is getting this spotlight shone on you, as a Pasifika artist?

I've yet to come to terms with what these things really mean in the wider context. To be honest, I always get a bit of a jolt or a surprise reaction when recognised for the work.more


Pacific Blog

Pasifika Celebrated With NZ Order Of Merit Honours

Amidst the unveiling of the King's Birthday Honours List, the spotlight falls on the remarkable achievements of Pasifika individuals. These honourees exemplify excellence, embodying resilience and innovation in their respective fields. As our Pasifika whanau celebrate those who have contributed excellence to their communities, get to know them here!

Officers of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM)

Anapela Polataivao

For her contributions to the Pacific performing arts - Anapela will be well known to our Coconet audience, having made multiple appearances playinga wide array of characters, most notably one half of the hilarious 'Pani & Pani' duo.

She has directed multiple works, including Sol3 Mio’s original opera Alofagia: Le Opera and Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt’, some of which have toured NZ, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Rev. Taimoanaifakaofo Kaio

For services to the Pacific community - In 2001, Very Reverend Taimoanaifakaofo Kaio assumed the role of Moderator for the North Shore Presbytery in Epsom, and then served as the Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand from 2018 to 2021.…more


Pacific Blog

'Keepin It Fresh' At A Niuean Island Wedding! 💞

Keep it Fresh with Reid and Sky as they take us to Niue for their island wedding. Celebrate family, tradition and love with these newlyweds as they journey home to tie the knot 👰🏽‍♀️🤵🏽‍♂️🌺

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Keepin It Fresh brings you all the freshness happening in our Moana communities, from Siva Afi Festivals to Fashion Shows

Credits
Director: Shimpal Lelisi,
OPC: Damon Fepuleai
Editor: Damon Fepuleai, Laura McBeath
Talent: Sky O'Brien, Reid Fuemana-Elisaia


Entertainment

Pasifika Artists Take To Auckland's 'Ka Mua Ka Muri'

To celebrate NZ Music Month, Auckland Council presents 'Ka Mua Ka Muri'! Ka Mua Ka Muri is a whakataukī/māori proverb that loosely means to walk backwards into the future. This is referencing knowing where you’re from to know where you’re going.

Now in its third year, Ka Mua Ka Muri is a web series of music performances and interviews with Auckland musicians and songwriters working mostly in the underground/ fringes of the Tāmaki Makaurau music community.

Shot in the second-floor basement of the Auckland Central City Library, providing an intimate environment and a juxtaposition to the typical live performance venues.

Four Pasifika artists have been highlighted as part of this year's line-up, and they'll take to the stage at Kāhui St David's Church for a free, live performance for everyone to enjoy!

Sam V

Winner of 2023 Pacific Music Awards - Best Pacific Soul/RnB artist, Sam V is perhaps the finest male RnB voice in Aotearoa.…more


Pacific Blog

Riots, Colonialism and Climate: The Fight for Sovereignty in Kanaky

What do the riots in New Caledonia tell us about green colonialism in the age of climate action?

The recent riots in New Caledonia have brought to light a complex web of historical grievances: the pillaging of Pacific minerals and an unjust transition to renewable energy.

To understand the 2024 unrest in this context it is essential to delve into the island’s colonial history. Namely its valuable nickel resources, and the implications of environmental policies that come at the cost of the community.

The French take Kanaky

Kanaky, now named New Caledonia, is a French territory with a long history of colonial rule and resistance by the indigenous Kanak people of the land. European colonisation began in 1774, and France formally annexed New Caledonia in 1853.

Since then, the Kanak people have often been marginalised economically and politically, leading to numerous conflicts and calls for independence.

The struggle for self-governance has been a persistent theme in New Caledonian history.…more


Entertainment

Jason Momoa Reveals New Main Squeeze In Social Media Post

Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa had previously hinted that he is no longer on the market, but a new Instagram post has revealed his relationship with Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona.

The actor posted pictures from a trip in Japan, where he can be seen embracing his new romantic partner, captioning the Instagram carousel, "Japan, you are a dream come true... sharing another amazing adventure with mi amor"

Momoa's new relationship comes two years after he and ex-wife Lisa Bonet announced their separation after more than 10 years together.

Despite their break-up, the exes have continued to co-parent their two kids: Lola, 16, and Nakoa-Wolf, 15.

#ReFresh But we can't forget when our very own Pani tried to make moves on the Aquaman actor😂

And when Uncle Sam questioned him about his lead role in the DC Studios movie


Sports

Jai Opetaia's Journey from Down Under to the Top of the World

Polynesians and fight fans around the world are celebrating the victory of Samoan-Australian Cruiserweight boxer Jai Opetaia after he defeated Mairis Briedis of Latvia for the vacant IBF World Cruiserweight Title!

He is also the Ring Magazine champion. 

When the two fought previously on the Gold Coast in 2022, Jai was a promising youngster and Briedis admittedly underestimated his skills and abilities. In an epic battle that went twelve rounds, Briedis fought with a broken nose and Jai had his jaw broken in two places.

Jai won the fight but had to go straight to hospital because as he said later, “My jaw wasn’t even attached to my skull.”

For ‘Opetaia v Briedis II’ Jai found it hard to find his rhythm and won the first eight rounds on most people’s score cards but failed to knock down the Latvian. Neither fighter ever really looked in danger of knocking the other out or down.…more