Pania Newton’s path through life has led her to find her purpose, her kaupapa: protecting Ihumātao. Home to the earliest inhabitants of New Zealand, Ihumātao is a landscape of cultural, historical, and environmental significance. Despite this, the Crown has failed to recognise its heritage values for New Zealand, allowing it to be sold for a proposed housing development.

Realising that the plan meant 480 high-cost houses on the confiscated land, Pania and her cousins created the SOUL Campaign to resist the development. Later with family members and other supporters, she has occupied the land to protect it. Looking deeply into why Ihumātao has not been recognised as heritage worthy of protection in New Zealand, SOUL has uncovered the extent of the bias toward protecting colonial built heritage over sites of indigenous significance - an issue that is seen across the world.

Here Pania tells the story of the fight to #ProtectIhumatao. From a childhood of struggle Pania never focused on the negative, but was fortunate to stay true to her Maoritanga.…more



Samoan actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has shown his support for the protectors of Mauna Kea, heading up there today to meet with Kaho‘okahi Kanuha, a leader in the Thirty Meter Telescope opposition group and other Hawai'ian elders.

Video above & Cover image via Star Advertiser Hawaii.  Photo credit:  Jamm Aquino 

Video above via Hawaii News Now 

He’s the highest-profile celebrity to visit the protector's camp, though other big names have weighed in on the conflict.  Johnson spent much of his childhood in the islands, visits Hawaii frequently and has also shot several of his movies in Hawai'i.

At Mauna Kea, he was greeted with lei, chanting and hula performances. He also spoke to several protest leaders and kupuna.…more



Malo lava to Samoan screenwriter Sima Urale who is the recipient of the New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC’s) 2019 Gender Scholarship.  She will receive a grant of $50,000 to help progress her filmmaking career.

Application assessors said of Urale, “The sample script from her feature film, Solo, is breathtaking in its fine detail and slow build-up of nuanced tension. The work of an expert screenwriter at the height of her powers. The voice is original and authentic with detail that can only come from lived experience.”

Congratulations also go to Matasila Freshwater who was awarded a special grant of $15,000.

The NZFC’s annual gender scholarship award is a way of recognising and celebrating women in the filmmaking community who have displayed a high level of achievement and aims to support their career progression.…more



Hawaiʻi Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard issued a video statement on Friday, urging Governor Ige to delay construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea and withdraw his emergency declaration.

Acclaimed award winning Director Ava Duvernay and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Congresswoman for NY - The Bronx and Queens) also tweeted their support with a link to the Hawaii Community Bail Fund for the 30+ elders and other protesters who have been arrested.

Read Tulsi's full statement below 

"While the legal process has determined that TMT may proceed, there are spiritual and cultural issues that have not been addressed. This is about something much greater than the TMT project — it has to do with longstanding history on Mauna Kea, broken promises, desecration of sacred land and disrespect for native culture.

To many Native Hawaiians, kamaʻāina, and malihini alike, Mauna Kea is so much more than a mountain.…more



Yesterday a heavily armed police force arrested over 20 Native Hawaiian elders who were peacefully protesting the Thirty Metre Telescope being built on Mauna Kea.

Film-maker & political organizer Mikey Inouye captured this footage.

Prime Footage has also documented the protests and shared this video which captured the faces of the Kupuna, the faces of the Opi’o, the faces of the Maka’i and the faces of pure aloha for each other. 


LILIU - A Short Film - 5 minutes with Director Jeremiah Tauamiti

Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Short Film Programme has been screened all over Aotearoa as part of the NZ International Film Festival. They have some amazing short films playing as part of their line up this year including the Pasifika Short film 'Liliu' directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti and produced by Ngaire Fuata.  Jeremiah is also the only New Zealand director with TWO films in NZIFF this year.  

What is the story about and why were you compelled to make it?
Liliu is a short film about a young Samoan court interpreter named Solo, who works for the native courts that took place in colonial Samoa post WWI. Solo does what he thinks is best for his people, but when an older Woman chief is charged, Solo finds out what really speaking up, and having a voice means. 
I really wanted to make this film, because historically our people are still feeling the effects cinematically of stereotypical narratives and mindsets.…more


Creative New Zealand Sāmoa Artist in Residence to explore important role young men play in traditional Sāmoan society

Wellington Pacific dancer and choreographer Tupe Lualua will embark on a journey exploring the traditional role of the taule'ale'a (untitled man) within the village community as the 2019 Creative New Zealand Sāmoa Artist in Residence.

The three month residency is offered in partnership with the National University of Sāmoa with support from the New Zealand High Commission in Apia. It offers a chance for mid-career or established New Zealand artists of Pacific heritage to develop their skills and practice.

Tupe has travelled to Sāmoa over the last few years with her dance company Le Moana for community outreach programmes at local schools and special performances. She will research the role of the taule’ale’a and the aumaga (the social class of untitled men) acknowledging how vital their indigenous knowledge is for the ecology of Sāmoan culture and society.

“The aumaga are responsible for the labour intensive duties, including working the ma’umaga (plantation), fishing, building, cooking, attending to the everyday needs of the elders and continuous service to the wider village community,” says Tupe.…more



It's Fathers Day in the USA today and Jason Momoa has shared this beautiful video.

He writes: - 

For me, it started off so simple. A boy on a motorcycle for the first time tearing through the backyard. It was only a moment in time,  but the ride changed something in me, it was the moment where the wild stomped in.

I saved an old rusty motor to build a bike one day, and it’s taken three decades to fulfill the dream. Over the years the dream evolved and now all I wanted was to build a bike with my children, to give them the same experience I had as a child, to give them the wind, and the freedom of the ride.

A broken motor inspired a dream, and taught me it’s better to share those moments with my babies, the moment where the wild stomped in.

What started out as a visit to Harley-Davidson to pay my respects turned into a new partnership. I wanted to honor their legacy, too ride is in my blood.…more



Pua Magasiva beloved father, brother, son and actor lit up our screens and our lives with his joy and light.

He has been put to rest by the hundreds who loved him from around the country in a beautiful outpouring of alofa.

Manuia lau malaga from the huge community of people who loved you.



By  Moemoana Schwenke 

So this year Siva Afi teine Toa from all around the world were blessed with a women’s open division for the World Fireknife Championships held in Hawaii at the Polynesian Cultural Centre.Stars aligned and 7 strong and fierce women met in one place to go head to head in a tough competition.

It was an empowering moment for myself just to be apart of it, history in the making. Besides being just a siva Afi competition it really was also celebrating the fact that women can do anything. It was definitely nerve racking but when I was fortunate enough to forward onto the finals I really just felt so proud to be a woman and to be a Samoan, and knowing that made me feel like a winner already.

Before a show hands get sweaty, you may start doing yourself or fear dropping or losing control of the stick, but nerves disappear when you believe in yourself and believe that you know your stuff. Being a female Fireknife dancer is very special.…more