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Congrats to our Pasifika winners at the 2020 Women of Influence Awards

Coco congrats to all of our Pasifika winners at the 2020 Women of Influence Awards which were held last night here in Auckland.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban

In 1999, Hon. Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban became the first Pacific Island woman to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament. She was Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, and Associate Minister of Social Development, Economic Development and Trade.

Dame Winnie resigned from Parliament in 2010 to take up her current role. She is chair of the Public Services Commission Public Service Pacific Fale Governance Group; patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network and the Cancer Society Relay for Life; a Creative New Zealand Arts Council board member; and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and the Council of the National University of Samoa. She is a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and was bestowed the Samoan chiefly title Luamanuvao.…more


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Pacific Island Xmas Film - "MAMA's MUSIC BOX"

Pacific Island Xmas film – Mama’s Music Box, made from Scratch in 30 Days will go down to the wire with the 15th of November deadline closing in.

Six days out and one quarter of the film is still yet to be shot. If Producer Abba Rose Vaiaoga-Ioasa is nervous, she isn’t showing it. “It was always going to be a challenging production, feature films take a long time to plan and film, but we have to do all that at lightning speed, while maintaining the quality that made our past films successful – every day is stressful and intense but knowing that we’re making an awesome film, keeps me motivated and the team morale high.”

The tight schedule is self-inflicted, as it is part of the "Feature 30 Challenge"; a challenge that Abba Rose and her brother, Writer/Director Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa have set themselves to make a feature film in 30 days from scratch – every part of the creative process is done within the 30 days, from conceiving the story idea, to scriptwriting, casting, filming, editing, music composing ....…more


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US ELECTIONS - BIDEN VS TRUMP & OUR PASIFIKA COMMUNITY IN THE USA

It's been all eyes on the United States of America the last couple of days as vote counting started on Tuesday 3rd (Wednesday 4th in the Southern Hemisphere) ... and is still going two days later in what has become a very close, messy and divisive race between President Donald Trump (Republican) and Joe Biden (Democrat).

As at today (Friday 6th in the Southern Hemisphere) Joe Biden appears to be slowly inching ahead in the race to 270 votes and from what we understand needs either 2 States out of Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada & Georgia OR Pennsylvania on its own to get there.

While the world watches on, there are many of us trying to comprehend the Americans electoral process, popular votes and electoral colleges while I'm sure there are also many of us who have been entertained by the memes, media coverage and by President Donald Trump himself.…more


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PASIFIKA MP's PORTFOLIOS IN THE NEW LOOK GOVERNMENT CABINET

Carmel Sepuloni made some big steps up the rankings of cabinet today to number 6, making her the highest ranking Pacific MP with her new roles as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and also Employment, alongside her portfolios in Social Development, Disability Issues and ACC. 

Christchurch East MP Poto Williams adds a Kuki Airani flavor to cabinet, having been promoted from outside cabinet to number 10. Poto is in charge of the Building and Construction portfolio as well as Minister for Police. Formerly the Minister for Community and Voluntary sector. 

Tokelauan minister Kris Faafoi, has also moved up the ranks from number 17 to 13 holding on to Broadcasting and Media, and Immigration portfolios as well as the new role of Minister for Justice. 

Aupito Su’a William Sio maintains Minister for Pacific Peoples as well Courts. 

Also of note - there is now more tangata whenua in cabinet then ever before and we have our first female Maori Minister of Foreign Affairs - Nanaia Mahuta.

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TAI TUIVASA on the Ariel Helwani MMA show

Tai 'Bambam' Tuivasa talks to ESPN sports commentator Ariel Helwani on his MMA show.

He talks training with Daniel Cormier at AKA in San Jose, Covid interruptions, fighting for his job and what he's done to prepare, Justin Willis beef and much more ... 


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CREATIVE NEW ZEALAND ARTS PASIFIKA AWARDS WINNERS 2020

Congratulations to all of our amazing Creative New Zealand Arts Pasifika awards recipients this year.  These awards recognise innovation and excellence in Pacific Arts and their contribution to the rich diversity of Aotearoa as a multi-cultural Pacific nation.

Eight Pasifika artists have been acknowledged today across seven categories. 

“It’s a great honour for us to celebrate and recognise the amazing work our Pasifika artists continue to achieve in our communities, in Aotearoa and globally,” says Arts Council of New Zealand Deputy Chair Caren Rangi.

“The eight award recipients this year are artistic and cultural experts in their fields, and the high calibre of applicants demonstrates the diversity of Pasifika talent here in our country and their valuable contribution to our national identity.”

This year’s recipients range from award winning interdisciplinary artists who challenge and innovate, an internationally acclaimed visual artist, to an artist reviving the traditional art of Niuean hiapo.

This year there are two recipients of the Pacific Toa Artist Award, Pelenakeke Brown and Lusi Faiva.…more


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ORDINARY TONGAN LIVES - Tofoa, Tonga

Story collated and written by Haitelenisia Afemui ‘Uhila Angilau for her 'Ordinary Tongan Lives' facebook page

“Sometimes my husband would ask me, ‘What’s your childhood memory?’ And you know, the first thing I remember is violence.

I was about 3 or 4 when Mom was attacked by Dad’s brother. My Dad was away for further studies. Mom said to go hide in a bathroom. To this day, I can still hear him attacking my mother while we cried from the bathroom. On another day, my Mom just missed a flying machete by seconds. It was ugly. Then it was just a rough road for my family from there. Mom resigned and worked in the U.S to help repay a family loan. She came back and found Dad had affairs. Then one Sāpate Ako, we came back home and Dad’s clothes were all gone. When they finally divorced, I read the divorce papers.

For years I watched my Mom cry. I don’t know how she managed to get money for us during those years.…more


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New Pasifika MP's in parliament

There are now more Moana MPs in parliament in Aotearoa then ever before! 

The landslide victory of the Labour Party sees the return of four existing Labour MPs, Carmel Sepuloni, Jenny Salesa, Aupito Sua Wlliam Sio and Poto Williams.

Now there are 5 more Labour MPs to add to that list and our first Pasifika Green MP in parliament. 

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Carmel Sepuloni - Labour MP for Kelston

Jenny Salesa - Labour MP for Panmure/Otahuhu 

Aupito Su'a William Sio - Labour MP for Mangere 

Poto Williams - Labour MP for Christchurch East 


Barbara Edmonds - new Labour MP for MANA


Barbara Edmonds is a mother of eight, a specialist tax lawyer, and community fanatic. Titahi Bay, Porirua has been home to Barbara, her husband Chris (Nga Puhi) and their eight children for the last 12 years

Terisa Ngobi- New Labour MP for Otaki

Born, raised and educated in Levin, Terisa Ngobi is a proud Horowhenua local of Samoan and Scottish descent. Terisa’s key focus is for our most needy children, families and elderly to have good access to social services.…more


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Baby Loss Awareness Week: A story of heartbreak and healing

It has been a year since Samoan mother Vaioleti Tongi experienced the  traumatic stillbirth of her baby son, who died in her womb eight days before she delivered him. 

Grieving the loss of a child who Vaioleti (28) describes as a “gift from God” is  one of the hardest experiences that her and her husband, Tom Tongi (28), have  had to endure.  

Although it is painful for Vaioleti to talk about her experience, she opens up  about her pregnancy to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week and to be an  inspiration to other Pacific mothers who are mourning the loss of a baby. 

“This is an opportunity for bereaved parents to commemorate the brief lives of  their babies, knowing that thousands of other families around the world  understand how they feel and will be doing the same.” 

Vaioleti and her Tongan husband met in 2011 when Vaioleti moved to New  Zealand from Samoa.…more


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Surf Life Saving - Rocktober SAVE THE MALES

In the past 10 years, Aotearoa have had record high drowning fatalities. With 320 from 2009-2019, a devastating 89% of these were all Male. 

Surf Life Savers are trying to get the attention of heavy hitter and Samoan BayWatch Actor to help promote beach safety! Labelling this month of saving the males “Roctober” 

To do this they are reaching out to the Samoan Star on social media, to get his attention and hopefully encourage him to endorse the message for Males to brush up on their beach / water safety.

New Zealand’s fatal drownings are a shocking 70% higher per capita than Australias. This is very concerning and they are expected to rise if we don’t practice beach safety. 

In the past 10 years, Pasifika had the highest fatal drowning rate. Our brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and sons are being lost to the harsh oceans. It’s because of these record high numbers that Surf Live Savers have come up with a #SAVETHEMALES initiative.…more