Humans of the Islands






Kia Orana, my name is Johnson Raela and I am a proud New Zealand born Cook Islander from the island of Aitutaki and my village is Amuri (Te Upoko Enua). I’m also proud to be from Mangere, South Auckland.  I find it hard to answer the questions ‘what do you do?’ because I do many things.

I’m passionate about telling Pacific stories. So, on one hand i’m a broadcaster. I’m a reporter for Tagata Pasifika and also a freelance TV director. I was also recently a reporter for Sky Sport News. I have a background in mainstream radio (Flava FM announcer) and television presenting (What Now, Operation Hero, Polyfest). 

I am also the owner of 008 Media, which is a creative communications agency specialising media, digital and communications management. I help to advise organisations on various campaigns.  I’m also the co-owner of Aro A’mor, a Pacific inspired luxury watch brand, that will be launched mid February 2021.…more


The Water Tank Project Samoa - By Brown Girl Woke

The Brown Girl Woke Women initiative empowers young girls in primary schools in rural areas of Samoa by investing in their education, aspirations and success.  

Recently the Samoan humanitarian group started 'The Water Tank Project' after doing surveys during the measles epidemic and realising a lot of children that were affected didn’t have basic needs at home and in particular clean water.

Clean water and sanitation: the keys to breaking free from poverty

Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are vital for health, especially among children. Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many serious consequences: Children die from preventable illnesses like diarrhoea; Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities; Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water; Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness; Health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer.

It's impossible to break the vicious cycle of poverty – and enable sustainable development – without first addressing these issues.…more


Dawn Raid Movie Interview with Brotha D, Andy & Director Oscar Kightley

'Dawn Raids' - two words that mean so much in Pacific history in Aotearoa.

This is also the choice of name for one of New Zealand's most renowned and controversial hip hop record labels, who are famous from bringing the sound of South Auckland to the world. A new doco directed by Oscar Kightley follows their journey from bang to bust.

Here is their extraordinary story of reaching the heights of international fame and the lows of losing everything.

Catch the movie in NZ and Australian theatres from tomorrow, Thursday 21st January.


Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's TV series "Young Rock" Sneak Peek

Samoan superstar Dwayne Johnson has just shared a sneak peek at his new television series "Young Rock" and we also get our first look at Polynesian actors Stacey Leilua and Uli Latukefu in their roles.

Stacey Leilua plays Ata Johnson, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnsons mother and Uli Latukefu plays 'The Rock' from the ages 18 to 20 when he was recruited by the University of Miami.

The actor shared the sneak peek across his social media and said of the preview - 

"Ladies and gents, here’s your first look at @nbcyoungrock.

I really wish my dad was around to see this one. Maaaaan he would’ve been proud.more


Samoan seasonal workers leave for employment in New Zealand this week

Over 700 Samoan Recognized Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme workers will depart for employment in New Zealand starting this week.

New Zealand has offered a total of 2000 employment opportunities for Pacific Island countries and workers will be ready to fly out of the country this month and all necessary preparations for the workers are well set before they depart.

Recruitment preparations includes orientation programmes to brief the workers on the regulations and work conditions, and to remind them that they represent the good image and reputation of Samoa in New Zealand.

The Prime Minister congratulated the bunch but weighed in more on the impression of Samoa while the RSE workers are employed overseas.

“Your attitude is your most important quality. When you are there, do not do anything stupid that it will have you sent back to Samoa and you may never get your chance to work on these opportunities again,” he said.…more


JAWSH 685 - Mini Masterclass with the Grammy Museum Experience

Join the Recording Academy, Grammy Museum Experience for a Q&A with hit producer and our very own Jawsh 685.  He talks having the right "mindset" and some of his favorite current music!

Mini Masterclass is a twice-weekly video series which includes a 10- minute interview with an esteemed roster of guests including, Mario Winans, hip-hop legend, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Estelle, Matthew Ramsey from the ACM Award Old Dominion and GRAMMY-nominated songwriter, Jessie Jo Dillon. The interviews cover an array of topics including musical process and inspiration, tips for young musicians and more.


Oklahoma City Thunder tweet this tribute video to Steven Adams

Steven Adams & his new team the New Orleans Pelicans played his old team, Oklahoma City Thunder on New Years Eve.

Before the teams played, OKC tweeted this tribute video to Adams showing he's still very respected and loved in Oklahoma

Steven Adams & the Pelicans went on to beat the Pelicans 113 - 80. 

Peep some moments of hilarity with him in the vid below 


DEITY Trailer

WARNING: This trailer contains “strong language” - Viewer discretion advised.

It's the final few weeks of school for the year 12 students of Mt Druitt high School & they just want to get through it off the radar.

With big dreams for the big world they are ready to switch classrooms with the hustle of young adulthood - well, that’s the goal anyway.

But something is not right in the corridors of Mt Druitt High & Jacob, a Sāmoan kid with the world against him can feel it.

Literally. Something is coming & whatever it is, its coming for the Pasifika kids of Mt Druitt High School.

DEITY is a nod to being young, brown & Pasifika in Australia & about celebrating the stories of West Sydney's Pasifika Community.

DEITY’s pilot episode premieres on January 4th @ 6pm AEST via the @pelesasapics Facebook page & youtube channel.

Follow, Like, Subscribe. 


March against growing Youth Violence in Melbourne kicks off hopeful New Year

The rising number of youth violence incidents in Melbourne’s West has prompted members of the community to take action to voice their concerns.

 The ‘Youth Violence is not OK’ march will take place next Saturday, January 2nd at 10am and will begin from Tenterfield Park, Caroline Springs and end behind Sunshine Police Station in Brimbank. 

The march, which welcomes all, is being organised by the Samoa Community Advisory Council Victoria Incorporated (SCACVI) with support from the Victoria Police, local government councils and other notable community groups.

It urges people to march in solidarity in an effort to combat youth violence by raising awareness and helping to find solutions.

Incidents involving youth this month alone include a 15-year-old boy who was bashed and stomped on in Caroline Springs.  This week, five teenagers were arrested in Tarneit charged with assault, theft and robbery. Two of the arrested were out on bail.

Earlier this year Brimbank teenager Solomone Taufeulungaki was fatally stabbed by a youth gang while walking home from school.…more


JuJu Pays Off $25,000 of Layaway For Christmas!

Samoan NFL player Juju Smith-Schuster and the Juju foundation paid off over $25,000 worth of layaway gifts earlier this week for families in need.

JuJu and his family teamed up with Pay Away the Layaway volunteers and Burlington Stores in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Compton, California to pay off Christmas gifts and essential products for over 170 families in need.

“I am truly blessed to be able to give back to families in Pittsburgh and California during the holidays,” said Smith-Schuster, about the donation. “We hope paying off these layaway balances will cause a sense of relief and lift the spirit of all of these families.”

Especially during 2020, this donation is a huge weight lifted off the shoulders of people and families in need during a holiday season that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, JuJu was able to help others and give a lot of people a reason to smile as the year is winding down.