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

Coco News

Maoriland Film Festival 2023 X Pasifika Film Makers

Last week and over the weekend, Maoriland Film Festival in the small seaside town of Ōtaki celebrated its 10 year anniversary - an annual event which is now the largest of its kind in the world.

Over 140 films were screened over five days made by film-makers from 150 indigenous nations.  Amongst these nations were a number of Pasifika film makers from as far away as Hawai'i as well as NZ based Pacific islanders who were showing their films and connecting with other indigenous creatives.

'A Boy Called Piano, the powerful story of state abuse and the Luafutu family won the hearts of the festival, winning the 'Rimu' People's Choice for Best Feature Documentary' Award.

Tane Luafutu who is of Samoan/Maori heritage was there screening the critically acclaimed documentary in which he plays his grandfather - Fa'amoana John Luafutu - in his younger years.…more

Coco News

Polyfest 2023 - Full Results

Cover image Thomas Wandstraat 

Polyfest 2023 was back live and in full effect at the Manukau Sports Bowl again after 4 years of disruption and absence.

We're bringing you as many of the full Polyfest performances from the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa & Tonga stages as we can right here - check in over the next week or two to see if we caught your school in action.…more

Coco News

The islands devastated by Climate Change while leading it's Charge on Justice

2023 so far has been another year our global climate reality has hit us hard.

The Auckland floods, Cyclone Gabrielle, snow in California, the storm in Brazil and climate disasters popping up around the world. Average citizens are coming to the reality that climate change is not only threat to peoples futures but a crisis of the present. 

Vanuatu in a span of a week experienced two cyclones and a magnitude 6.6 earthquake. Cyclones that would normally occur once every few years has now devastated the islands twice, only days apart. Villages left without power, homes completely destroyed, roads ripped up and people left displaced. This is not a new occurrence for a nation like Vanuatu. They have been fighting climate change for the past decade, including restoring the island after 2015's Cyclone Pam.

Former Prime Minister of Vanuatu Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakausaid said in an interview, “Vanuatu is out of time. We are doing all we can, yet losing this battle for which we are not responsible.…more

Coco News

Hawkes Bay RSE workers - How to Help/Donate

Now that accommodation and evacuation centres have been set up, we have an update on where the displaced Pasifika RSE workers are staying in the aftermath of the Cyclone Gabrielle floods.

We've also included details of organisations you can donate to who are providing care and assistance as well as distributing donations, food, clothing and other basic necessities to these workers and others in Hawkes Bay who have lost everything.…more