South Auckland's newest art gallery, community & consultancy space Vunilagi Vou opened in Otahuhu a week and a half ago with a large group exhibition WWJD:2 featuring predominantly local, South Auckland based artists.  We talked to Director & Artist-Curator Ema Tavola about the exhibition as well as her hopes & dreams for the gallery.


I’m a Fijian-New Zealander with maternal heritage connecting me to England and Ireland, and paternally to the island of Dravuni, Kadavu in Fiji, and Suva, where I was born. I was brought up in England and Belgium, and finished secondary school in Wellington. I bounced around between Fiji and New Zealand until I started tertiary studies and settled in South Auckland; I’ve been here for almost 18 years now.

For the past 15 years I’ve worked as a curator, arts project manager, advisor and advocate for Pacific art and South Auckland. I started my career formally as Pacific Arts Coordinator for what was then Manukau City Council, and in that capacity was able to establish Fresh Gallery Ōtara, an exhibitions gallery in the Ōtara Town Centre.…more



Ahead of their upcoming foray into the world of cabaret we talk to Fine Fatale Co-Director & Choreographer Mario Faumui about their new show 'The Heels are Alive' 


Who is Fine Fatale and how/why did the group form and can you also talk about the role you have in the group etc?

Fine Fatale was a springboard off of PIPA & LIMA DANCE. 

It was about creating our own space and not so much relying on other industry folks to do it for us when we can create a space to tell our stories ourselves.  I’m the Co-Director and Choreographer alongside my Kelly Rowland Amanaki Prescott-Faletau. 

Your show 'The Heels are Alive' premieres this Thursday - can you tell us about the show and why it's unique?

The Heels Are Alive is a celebration of people from all walks of life. Whether you is a little kitty kat heel, a construction boot heel, a church stomping heel, a 6 inch business woman heel stomping K Road, or even barefoot on the earth vibes.…more



Highlights from FIFO 2019 film festival in Tahiti.
Pacific film makers across Oceania show their work at the FIFO Film Festival - Check out some of the amazing new docos you can check out here on the CoconetTV and some that are coming out soon.



Our Fresh reporter Shimpal Lelisi checks out the highlights at One Love Festival in New Zealand & investigates why our Pacific Islands people love & connect with reggae music so much.



Onion Squad are a team of 6 young men in Tonga who were part of a youth project known as ICON TONGA.

They've decided that they want to take dance seriously and have been training since 2015 for the opportunity to compete in Tongan competitions. Tonga no longer has competitions that cater to dancers so Onion Squad have taken the chance to compete internationally!

They have the opportunity to get their top team in Tonga to represent and compete at the biggest international competition!

Their goal is to come back with experience and knowledge so they can grow the dance scene in Tonga through the next generation! To get there they need to compete and place top 3 in NZ this month!  

If you'd like to contribute to help Team Tonga get there to compete against their Pacific brothers and sisters from Fiji, Samoa and of course the NZ teams click on the link below.



The Guerrilla Collection are taking over the waterfront!

Black Grace have come together with some of Auckland’s most treasured Maori & Pasifika artists, to bring you “The Guerrilla Collection”

The brainchild of Arts Laureate Neil Ieremia, partnered with artists Anapela Polataivao, Victor Rodger, Courtney Sina-Meredith, Justin Haiu, Paul Fagamalo, Sean Macdonald and youngun Leki Jackson-Bourke, the 3 Day Festival is set to start this coming Friday, 2nd November at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.

Guerrilla Collection explores the daunting idea of “What will Auckland look like in 30 years, what will it look like, smell like, feel like, taste like”

For Curator Neil Ieremia, it was important for Pasifika People to be involved in this conversation.  

“We are the largest Pacific City in the world ... It’s so important that we have a voice and a seat at the table, so give us one!  And if you don’t give us one, we’ll take one” he said.…more


Creative NZ Pacific Artist Awards 2018

By Mario Gaoa 

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t been or heard of these awards, it doesn’t make you an art snob nor does it suggest that you are out of touch with your creative islandness. Everyone has awards, academy awards, Bafta awards, Grammy awards, NZ plumming awards and the list goes on.

The Creative NZ Pacific artist awards are held every year and hosted by Creative New Zealand and recognise the contributions to art by some of our most talented and respected Pacific artists, of which there are many.  Going down the list of previous recipients of these awards is eye-watering stuff.  Albert Wendt, Nathaniel Lees, Jonny Penisula, Lemi Ponifasio, Annie Crummer, Jim Vivieaere ... it’s like an All Blacks team of Pacific Artists, so it is little wonder that these awards are a big deal to our budding arts industry.

This years awards are being held in Parliament. A structurally sound but very ugly building ..... or so I thought.…more


Fresh Impressions on the Third ILGA OCEANIA regional conference in Samoa.

What to expect at a LGBTQI conference in Samoa?
How about having the opening ceremony and key note speaker from Deputy Prime minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa,  four days of laying fa’afafine issues on the table and a kick ass Fa’afafine pageant that is one of the most popular events in Samoa? Yes! Everything that our Queer warriors before us worked so hard for, and a safe space for all LGBTQI in the Pacific.

“Having the conference here in Samoa will allow us to speak about the issues for LGBTI community in the region" says Tuisina Ymania Brown-Gabriel, the Executive director of the Pacific Human Rights Initiative and Global Ambassador of the Samoan Fa’afafine Association.

One of the many main problems  she wants to highlight are how pastors use religion against the Fa’afafine community.

 “Prosecute all other people that are sinners in the Bible. For example, the Bible specially talks abut no working on Sunday by our tourism industry will fail if they shut down on Sunday.…more


TAKURUA - Food and Feasts of the Cook Islands

“ We want to raise the awareness of our food as up there with the best in the world” - Rangi Mitaera- Johnson 

“It’s more than just having food in restaurants it's about a way of life and value of our planting, our farming, our fishing as part of the story of our food”

Wild goat from Atiu, pearl oyster meat from Manihiki, the Utu king of bananas and the prized purple swamp taro, just some of the extraordinary ingredients on the plate at a recent Takurua - the ancient way of feasting in the Cook Islands!

Chefs from around the Pacific gathered in Rarotonga to create the best of Cook Islands cuisine on an epic scale, with traditional foods sourced from all over the Cook Islands.

“We want to develop a culture of healthy food and healthy exercise lifestyles around food” says Metua Vai'imene from Cook Islands tourism.

The purpose of the spectacular event was to showcase the importance of returning to our indigenous diets, and eating from the earth rather then processed imported food.…more


BROWN & BEAUTIFUL - Sisters United NZ

The Goebel sisters (Kendal, Narelle & Parris) & their organisation Sisters United NZ  officially launched their 'Brown and Beautiful' campaign on Friday night and was attended by beautiful, brown sistas from all walks of life and from all over Auckland city to support a great cause.

Seafarers on Tyler Street was transformed for the 'Brown and Beautiful' launch thanks to the skills of Omgness - you can follow her on Instagram here & support our brown sistas business! 

Everything on the night including the food on the grazing table, drinks and decorations, lighting, the photo booth, Fijian cake maker Bertrand Jangs 'Sweet & Me'  'Brown and Beautiful' cakes and more were all donated and sponsored by different businesses and vendors for the launch.

Part way through the night, the 3 Goebel sisters Kendal, Parris and Narelle along with their team Sau and Punipuao talked through the 'Young Queens' programme and introduced a few of the 120 girls who are a part of it.…more