Guest Writer


By Liz Ah-Hi 

Cover photo credit:  Nadya Va'a

The Palolo moon made me do it.

At 2.30am this morning I woke up with an unusual amount of alertness considering I had only accepted a random invitation just a few hours earlier from my neighbour to go ‘ka palolo’ in Lefaga.

It was the moment I had been waiting for and weeks of dropping hints into social conversations had finally paid off at the eleventh hour bearing in mind there was only days left of the palolo rising.

Though my Dad dispels it, I could have sworn I had a childhood memory of waking up to a dark but moonlit beach in Asau filled with shadow people carrying torches, hunting for palolo in silence. Whether it was just a dream or an actual event that took place, I was looking forward to having a new experience.…more

Guest Writer


By Michael Field 

Attended the launching of Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing, at the Fale Pasifika at Auckland University. Te Papa Press have produced a remarkable work which must surely be in line for a major book award.
It is more the likely going to be the only major cultural study of Sāmoan tattooing for generations - an important fact to consider when faced with British Museum hostility toward the project.
What was sad came in the seminar at the launching conducted by authors Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot.

Mallon discussed the various influences that were affecting the design of tatau. I was interested in his comment that the Mau had little effect on design and that so far as the authors could tell , the Mau had focused on song and its uniform, rather than on tattoo.
He said the US occupation of New Zealand Sāmoa did have a striking impact. To prove it he showed a page from their book which showed a line drawing of a male tattoo featuring an obvious American eagle.…more

Guest Writer

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pawa: Why we Rise

By Brianna Fruean 

Last month I received a package in the mail. I opened it and was extremely excited to see that it was a “Rise for Pacific Pawa” tshirt. #RiseForClimate and #PacificPawa is a Climate campaign that I’m so proud to be apart of! It is a campaign pushing for our local communities to rise up and truly be the change.

It is no secret that Climate Change is real and that now more than ever we need to take action. I will admit it’s easy to be discouraged when thinking about climate change. In the face of intense heat waves, roaring wildfires, frequent cyclones and rising sea levels it’s easy to lose hope… but this is exactly when WE SHOULD RISE! Now is time we should come together and make a change. This is why, this week people everywhere are campaigning to ‘Rise for Climate”. On the 8th of September in cities, town squares, capital buildings and islands around the world, people rose up to demand that politicians stand with their communities and deliver more than just words.…more

Guest Writer


By Vanessa Trethewey

An exciting new initiative was launched earlier this week, giving hope, confidence and empowerment to South Auckland females.

Local tertiary provider Ignite Colleges teamed up with Dress for Success Auckland, a charity which provides free professional clothing, support, skills and mentoring to help women land jobs and build careers. Together they hosted a unique fashion show and pop-up clothing sale on July 31, attended by more than 200 people.

This is Dress for Success Auckland’s first foray into the South Auckland region, and according to its Executive Manager Margot Minett Earwaker it is just the beginning.

“We are delighted because this is the first event and pop-up sale we have ever had in South Auckland and we are just ecstatic about the response,” she said. “People were lining up before the doors even opened, and many of them have told me how fantastic they think it is. Dress for Success has been looking to come to South Auckland for some time and this is the start of things to come.…more

Guest Writer


By: kristian Fanene Schmidt aka Krit




Krit, early 30s [but the curls is popping so he looks early 20s OOP] sits on his bed in his one bedroom apartment, handwriting the last of three letters. He signs off the final letter and folds it up into thirds before placing them all into a small box together with three small softcover books. He places the small box on the dresser and walks over to the bathroom to take a good look in the mirror. He’s not really sure what he’s staring at but after a few beats he gives a smile anyway. He runs the faucet and splashes water on his face to wash away the dry tears. He pats his face with a towel and returns to his bedroom. He sits cross legged with his back up straight in the center of his bed.  He closes his eyes and takes a moment before he pulls his phone out of his pocket and dials ‘Mum’.more

Guest Writer

Odette's Kitchen: A local resident's review

By Leone Samu 

'After so many requests to view what’s on offer here it is: Odette’s Kitchen Pacific Fusion Dinner Menu’…

A little over a month ago it was this opening sentence of a Facebook post that caught my eye while scrolling through my newsfeed late one night. It accompanied a picture of a dinner menu that I had to zoom in to read but when I did, I found myself taking multiple screenshots of because of the attention-grabbing descriptions under items like ‘taro gazpacho salad’, ‘surf and turf island style’, and ‘palusami ravioli’.

I made a mental note to visit Odette’s Kitchen ‘someday’ until stuff got real and fast when I clicked through to their Facebook page and discovered this promising new spot for Polynesian food was about to open not somewhere in central or south Auckland but in my own hood: Papakura. As in, WAY deep south Auckland. As in, the last motorway off ramp along State Highway 1 before you start seeing farms sheep and dairy cows.…more

Guest Writer

Reflections from the Intersections

By Patrick Thomsen 

When your job literally is to question the ways in which society portrays groups of people through various representations, being positioned at the margins gives you unique insights into the ways in which words shape and form people’s positions in this world. But it also condemns you to a life where you’re pummeled by relentless attacks on social and mainstream media.

Some people would say that I’m a victim of my own inability to overcome the “Oppression Olympics.” That all the hate speech that I encounter against minorities is because I seek it out myself.

I can assure you that they’re most certainly wrong.

No one in their right mind would ever choose this life. To sit in the shadows of intersections, where multiple forms of social exclusion conspire to drain you of not only your self-confidence, but on particularly bad days, your will to live.…more

Guest Writer

I'm Tongan - My Mother: “Girls DON’T Box, Respect Yourself and Your Body…."

By Joanna Bourke 

Yes – Im 100% Tongan, born and raised here in Aotearoa. As the eldest of 5 siblings – I had a somewhat strict upbringing – and only has been in the last 10 years have I come to understand that it has a lot to do with being a female – and being Tongan.

Today I spend most my time living in Tonga – immersing myself in the culture and the community to help make a difference – and on the face of it – looks straightforward.

Yeah right!

It gets frustrating at times – but you develop a resilience to just push through despite the challenges.

The Challenge

Being a woman – one who is educated and experienced – it doesn’t mean shit in Tonga. People get by and succeed by who you know – and not necessarily what you know – but over time (a long time) people get you – they get you – but yet they are still dubious – eventually – the penny drops.…more

Guest Writer

JOSEPH PARKER - Despite Loss Still a Champion

By Malama T-Pole 

I’ve been reflecting tonight on Joseph Parker’s fight against Anthony Joshua this morning.  He held the weight of his Samoan and New Zealand fans on his shoulders.  Easter Sunday church services, were pushed late at some Pacific Island churches to accommodate the fight. 

Even my dad, a retired church minister who hates to be late to anything, declared he will be arriving late to church because of the fight.  In Samoa, high schools and workplaces have been competing in a fun Parker cheer contest that have rallied the nation behind their hero.  But, I wondered, how do our community feel about Parker now that he has lost? 

Tonight, I was standing on my veranda watching the neighbourhood kids who gather to play on my front yard.  Every evening, this group of boys come and ride their bikes or play tag or hide and go seek with each other.  But tonight was different.…more

Guest Writer

Containing Multitudes

By Courtney Sina Meredith

In a rare interview on a Skype call from New York, award-winning writer and filmmaker Toa Fraser chats with Courtney Sina Meredith about the 20 year odyssey that’s taken him from a small car park in Auckland to the world stage.  Fraser, the creative alchemist behind films No. 2, Dean Spanley, The Dead Lands, Giselle, Six Days, The Free Man, River Queen, myriad of television projects like ‘Penny Dreadful’ ‘Into the Badlands’, the latest Marvel series of ‘Daredevil’ the ‘IronFist’ and a new Australian series ‘Tidelands’.  Not to mention plays and he's just made history in 2017 by being the first director to have two films in the New Zealand International Film Festival.   

 Courtney SM: How is it that you have the most varied directing portfolio of any Kiwi director?  Is that a representation of you essentially?

Toa Fraser: I do feel it is a representation of me.…more