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South Auckland high schools bond over love for maths

by Mariner Fagaiava-Muller

The South Auckland Maths Challenge or SAMC, celebrates budding mathematicians who don’t have all the flashiest resources, but all the smarts. 

On a wintry Wednesday morning, you’ll find the De La Salle College gymnasium hissing with hyena laughs and fa’aumu.

Inside are Year 9 and 10 students from 12 schools across South Auckland - it’s the fifth time they’ve met this year, to face off against each other in mathematics.

Each school is represented by three or four students, stationed at desks where they’ll receive an equation.

Once they’ve made a calculation, a runner from the team will run a lap around all the others and get their answer marked.

The first school to answer ten equations correctly is crowned the winner.

There’s a strong sense of comradery in these competitions. Winning is the least important part.

“Here everyone cheers for you even if you don’t go to the same school,” one student says.…more

Coco News

What awaits you in Beautiful Samoa

“Beautiful is back” – that is the latest slogan taking social media by storm as Samoa officially opened its borders in the beginning of August. 

The excitement of a nation that has been closed to travelers for almost 3 years due to the pandemic was felt through the wonderful display of welcome at the Faelolo airport earlier this week. Cultural dances and songs filled the airport as each traveler was welcomed with fresh flower garlands, beautiful smiles and a heartfelt “Talofa!”. It was truly a welcoming ceremony that befits this island nation known as ‘Beautiful Samoa’. 

Theres so much new and old things to do on island. You can climb Mt Silisili in Savaii, see turtles on your way to Namua and treat yourself to all the goodies at Sula Bakery in Mota'a. The options on how to spend your time in the 685 are endless.

Whether you are a returning visitor, citizen or a first time-traveler—Samoa is a destination that should be on your “must travel'' list.…more

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Pacific News Headlines: 3rd August 2022

Watch a wrap-up of your week in news from across the Islands, in under a minute.

Samoa wins gold at the Commonwealth Games - the winner hailing from a family of athletes.


Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Support to Samoa’s Climate Change Plan and rebuild of Savalalo Market

Prime Minister Ardern met with members of Samoa’s Cabinet in Apia, today, announcing the launch of a new climate change partnership and confirming support for the rebuild of the capital’s main market, on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa. 

“I am pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Samoa — and the priorities of the Government of Samoa — as we mark this milestone in our countries’ shared history,” said Jacinda Ardern. 

“Through the Samoa–Aotearoa New Zealand Climate Partnership, we are committing NZ$15 million in flexible finance to support the delivery of Samoa’s climate change priorities. This funding will help build Samoa’s resilience to the impacts of climate change and its transition to a low emissions economy. We will work with the Government of Samoa to determine governance arrangements, and opportunities for future investments.

At the request of Samoa, Aotearoa New Zealand will also provide NZ$12 million toward the rebuilding of the historic Savalalo Market, which was destroyed by fire in 2016.…more

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Speech: 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa- “Lifelong Friends – Uō Mamae"

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern gave an impassioned speech to Samoa to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries. She is leading the first international delegation in Samoa since Covid hit the world.

The group has a representative from every party in parliament - including Christopher Luxon, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, and Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. The Prime Minister acknowledged the trauma of NZs colonial governance of Samoa in history, but looked to an exciting future between the two nations.…more

Coco News

Pacific News Headlines: 29th July 2022

Watch a wrap-up of your week in news from across the Islands, in under a minute.

The Manly Sea Eagles pride jersey debacle comes to an end, after players and management reach a compromise.


Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Coco News

52% of lawyers face racial profiling in workplace, survey finds

by Mariner Fagaiava-Muller

After revered barrister Tiana Epati was mistaken for a criminal defendant at court, the Pacific Lawyers Association surveyed how frequently lawyers are being profiled. Mariner Fagaiava-Muller reports.

Outrage ensued when Epati, the former NZ Law Society president, was taken amiss for a defendant.

There are around 1500 Māori and Pacific court lawyers in Aotearoa, and many of them have met similar encounters with court staff.

Those who witnessed others being profiled could recount up to five such instances.

Within the wider legal workplace environment, 52% of lawyers said they’ve been racially profiled at least once during the last seven years.

That’s according to a survey conducted by the Pacific Lawyers Association, in partnership with Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa.

Out of those who have been subject to racial profiling themselves, only 18% reported it.…more

Coco News

Jason Momoa leaves car crash unharmed

Jason Momoa remains completely uninjured after enduring a head-on traffic collision with a motorcyclist.

The California Highway Patrol confirms the actor was hit by a motorcycle while driving his 1970 Oldsmobile on Old Topanga Road in Los Angeles on Sunday.

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Tongan Opera singer Filipe Manu wins Lexus Song Quest

Cover Photo credit: RNZ Hagen Hopkins - Filipe Manu, winner of the Lexus Song Quest 2022  

On Saturday evening the Lexus Song Quest finale was back after a 4 year break and featured five talented young opera singers along with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  This year New Zealand's most prestigious competition took place at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington with up to $95,000 in prizes and the Lexus Song Quest crown.

Each of the finalists had to perform a song with Terence Dennis accompanying them on the piano and two arias with the New Zealand Symphony orchestra.  The five opera hopefuls were judged live on the night but there could be only one ... and that one was three time finalist Filipe Manu.…more

Coco News

Reviving ‘ulu cavu’: the Fijian wig-making custom

iTaukei artist Daren Kamali grew his hair for 25 years and had it made into a wig. But why?

Centuries ago, Fijian men in mourning would cut their hair and use it to make ulu cavu, or wigs. They’d be worn until the hair beneath had grown back to its former length.

The practice was lost with colonisation, but is now on the comeback.

Kamali, along with fellow artist Ole Maiava and revered weaver Joana Monolagi, have formed The Ulumate Project - hoping to bring back ulu cavu into consciousness.

Earlier this week, the trio shared insights in a talanoa at Auckland Museum.

Next to them sat an ulu cavu made of Kamali’s own hair, harvested since 1997.

Before Kamali had his ulu cavu crafted by Monolagi, the pair sought advice from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and Fiji Museum.

They also travelled with Maiava to view ulu cavu held at the University of East Anglea in the UK.

Monolagi completed the creation of the contemporary wig, using magimagi (coconut sennit) and vau (hibiscus stem).…more