Coco News

Maui family recounts experience evacuating their home

Fitu and Una Taukeiaho have lived on Maui for over 20 years and join ABC News to recall their experience evacuating Lahaina and returning to visit their destroyed home.

At time of writing (15th Aug), the death toll of the Maui wildfires have reached 99 with Hawaii Governor Josh Green telling local media the death toll is likely to increase “very significantly” and could double over the next 10 days. This makes the Maui wildfires the deadliest in the United States in over 100 years.

As the number of casualties continues to increase, authorities are confronting inquiries regarding their readiness for an event of this magnitude and their response to the situation:

  • Despite the rapid expansion of the lethal fires into residential areas, the world's largest siren system remained inactive. Communication with residents in times of emergency was predominantly reliant on mobile phones and broadcasting, a period during which most power and cellular services were already disrupted.…more

Coco News

9 incredible Pasifika Wāhine make the Y25 this year

There are nine Pasifika wāhine in the 2023 Y25 (25 young wāhine and irarere under 25 yrs who are fighting for better systems, communities, and worlds).

The Y25 celebrates 25 wāhine & irarere aged 25 years or younger, who are leaders in their fields. Developed by the YWCA (the Y), the nation-wide search and nomination process produces a rich list of community leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, poets, environmentalists, activists and changemakers working well above their years and peers. 
In its fourth year, the Y25 programme highlights trailblazers from all over Aotearoa, and brings them together to connect with each other, and have access to support and networking opportunities from YWCA Tāmaki Makaurau.


Allyssa Verner Pula (22)

Researcher, Podcast Host & MVPFAFF+ Champion
Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland
When you come across a blog called ‘Mayor of Manurewa’ you know the person behind it is going to be a community-minded person. That’s Allyssa.…more

Coco News

Pacific media can be leading the digital content revolution.

Auckland came alive today with some active talanoa from all our Pacific media sectors, with the first cross sector Pacific media fono in 10 years.

Recognising the stalwarts of the past and looking to the digital opportunities of the future framed much of the talanoa, which brought together Pacific Media Network, RNZ Pacific, Tikilounge Productions, Sunpix, amidst a range of broadcasters from across the sectors.

How do we build on the PIJF journalism fund and how we build capacity and sustainability for all the young Pasifika media people coming through were key issues, alongside exploring the finding pathways for content that are now available via NZ on Air.

Much was made of the importance of story sovereignty and being able to serve our big diverse Pasifika audiences in a variety of ways.…more

Coco News

Sacred symbols cement the New Zealand Deputy Prime Ministers Samoan identity

“It’s the only tatau I have ever wanted - I’ve never had any other tattoos because I’ve wanted the malu first. I’ve waited my whole life for this, and for the right time for this.” - New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

They are over 60% of the Pacific population in Aotearoa, it’s the second most commonly spoken language in Auckland and Samoan's have one of the fastest growing youth populations in the country.

Now our Samoan leader at the highest level of government, has committed to a personal and public dedication of her fa'asamoa, her cultural identity.

Carmel Sepuloni now wears Samoa on her skin, as well as in her heart.…more

Coco News

2023 Pacific Music Awards finalists announced - meet the first time finalists.

On the 28th of June, the 2023 Pacific Music Awards finalists were announced at Big Fan in Morningside, Auckland.

Among the 24 finalists, 11 are first time finalists alongside 13 previous award winners.  This year, MELODOWNZ, Olivia Foa'i and Sam V lead the nomination count with 4 nominations each in various award categories.  

Alongside the 13 award categories, there will be eight additional awards presented on the night including the Phillip Fuemana Most Promising Pacific Artist, NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award, NZ On Air Streaming Award, SunPix People’s Choice Award – Best Pacific Artist, Creative New Zealand Award, Arch Angel Independent Artist Award, Ministry for Pacific Peoples Special Recognition Award, and Manukau Institute of Technology Te Pukenga Lifetime Achievement Award.

The winner of the Best Pacific Music Album category is presented with an official Tui and will be recognised at the next Aotearoa Music Awards.  The APRA Best Pacific Song Award recipient will also be recognised at the APRA Silver Scroll Awards.…more

Coco News

Iam Tongi performs at Homecoming concert at Turtle Bay Resort

It's been a whirl wind week for American Idol contestant Iam Tongi.  

On Sunday evening (US time), Iam made the Final 3 in this season of American Idol, he travelled back to Hawai'i where he grew up and received an honourary diploma and a special haka from his former high school on the North Shore - Kahuku High School - then was given a homecoming parade the next day with a homecoming concert at Turtle Bay Resort.

Watc Iam's perforrmances of popular Tongan song 'Efiafi, peau ongo'i vale' by Sione Niupalavu Tatu, Spawn Breezies 'Don't Let Go', Jack Johnson's 'Pancakes' and then a special rendition of his break out Idol performance 'Monsters' by James Blunt in the video above.…more

Coco News

Sky News Commentators poke fun at Tuvalu Drowning

Sky News commentators covering King Charles’ coronation are under fire after making fun of Tuvalu's climate reality during their coverage.

The Sky News discussion about countries becoming republics took a sour turn when presenter Anna Botting mentions Tuvalu. One of the three panelists Kathy Lette, interrupts Anna saying “Tuvalu. Yeah well, they’re about to go underwater,” she laughs. Botting replies “Well let’s hope not.” 

Lette continues while acting out putting on a snorkel saying “So snorkels on.” The whole panel then continues to laugh. 

These comments were followed by growing backlash. The joke not only offending Tuvalu people but other Pacific Islanders who face the very serious impacts of the climate crisis. 

Minister Simon Kofe of Tuvalu took to Twitter to express his disappointment. The Minister for Justice, Communication & Foreign Affairs said "How can anyone find humor in the potential loss of entire countries and cultures due to climate change? It's beyond comprehension and completely unacceptable".

More people expressed their shock and disappointment online.…more

Coco News

Samoa getting ready for an epic week of Independence Day Celebrations

Samoa is due to close out its 60th Independence celebrations and bring in their 61st year of Independence with an epic program which starts on Friday 26th of May. 

So if you're heading back to the Motherland we've outlined some of the events during the week, wrapping up with the 'Motherland Samoa' festival on Saturday the 3rd of June below ...


The legendary fautasi races are back this year with five long boats confirmed to compete including a crew from the island of Manono Tai.  

The five long boats are Tolotolo o Tamauli from Salelologa, Don Bosco, Segavao, Toamua & Telefoni o le Vainu'u (Manono Tai's entry) and the regatta is scheduled for the morning of the 26th of May.

Watch this piece below on the first woman to ever skipper a Samoan fautasi - Zita Martel - breaking with years of tradition for this ancient Samoan sport, and facing insurmountable odds in doing so.more

Coco News

Native Hawaiian Sasha Colby wins RuPaul's Drag Race Season 15

Your favourite drag queen's favourite drag queen Sasha Kekauoha aka Sasha Colby was crowned the winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race on Friday.

The native Hawaiian from Waimanalo, Hawai'i was already considered a drag and pageant legend having won the Miss Continental drag queen pageantry title in 2012 & when she made the final two in Drag Race, she ultimately came out on top once again after one of the fiercest lip sync battles in the franchise's recent history.  

She's now ready and prepared for the next 20 years of uplifting the queer community.

“Sasha Colby is the kind of talent that comes around once in a generation,” said RuPaul. “She embodies all the qualities of America’s Next Drag Superstar and so much more."

 Watch her final lip sync battle -

In an interview with Vogue magazine she shares about finding her queerness while growing up a Jehovah’s Witness, developing her artistry, and the many fashion references that have informed her looks.…more

Coco News

Pacific Students Reach The World's Highest Court

The world's top court will for the first time advise on countries' legal obligations to fight climate change, thanks to an idea that started in a classroom at the University of the South Pacific.

The idea to use Internation Law to catalyze more action began as a class exercise by environmental law students at the University of the South Pacific. Students who turned an assignment into a global campaign with the goal to refer the world’s biggest problem to the world’s highest court (International Court of Justice, The Hague) by seeking an Advisory Opinion from the court on the issue of climate change and human rights.

This Pasifika youth-built campaign was then taken up by Vanuatu who led the appeal from a governmental level. What began in a classroom in the Pacific islands reached the offices of more than 105 nations that have formed a coalition of support behind Vanuatu.

On Wednesday 29th of March after four years of campaigning the United Nations approved the resolution put forward by Vanuatu from a seed planted by students.…more