Health & Well Being


Sasalapa or Soursop is a tropical fruit that you can find in Samoa and other Pacific Islands, parts of South America and even in Florida.

The taste of soursop fruit is a delicious combo of strawberry and pineapple and is most commonly eaten by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh.  The soft pulp and flesh of the fruit can be used in drinks, desserts, smoothies and even candy.

Actually the entire tree including the leaves, the bark and even the root has been used to cure a number of ailments.

Along with the yummy flavour making this a popular fruit, the rich vitamin and nutrient content of the fruit makes it really beneficial to your health.  Check out the health benefits below - 


Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize harmful compounds called free radicals, which can cause damage to cells.  Studies show that soursop is high in antioxidants, which may help prevent cell damage and could lower the risk of chronic disease.


Health & Well Being

Unique anti-cancer properties found in Tongan marine sponges, sea cucumber & sea squirts

Research by Victoria University of Wellington PhD graduate Taitusi Taufa has found new medicinal properties in marine sponges collected from Tongan waters, including several unique anti-cancer compounds.

“Through my research I isolated several new natural products with unique and interesting anti-cancer properties, which could help us in the future to synthesize and design new anti-cancer drugs.” 

He says his interest in the medicinal properties of natural marine products can be traced back to his childhood on Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga.   When he was 8 years old growing up in Tonga he accidentally poked a stick into his cousins eye and doctors there had told them there was nothing they could do and he would never see out of that eye.  However, a traditional healer in a neighbouring village applied drops from a local plant and within a month his cousin could see again.

“As a child, my grandparents and mother often used plants and herbal remedies to treat us when we were sick.…more

Health & Well Being

Fresh out Da Box - Mailelani Skincare

Tailani Salanoa shares why her family run business 'Mailelani' is Fresh Out Da Box & why buying Mailelani also helps an entire community in Samoa!

Their entire skincare range is made from organic coconut oil straight outta Savai'i & is hand made in Samoa.

Health & Well Being


Bongos, shasta, instant noodles and tinned food are fast becoming the staple diets of the Pacific.

On the small Island of Niue non communicable diseases like diabetes are the number one killer of this small population. But hope is at hand with some awesum locals who are pushing people to return to the delicious local diets and organic Island produce.




Directed & Edited by Shimpal Lelisi

Camera Operators - Jack Tarrant, Glen Jackson & Shimpal Lelisi 

Sound Operators - Glen Jackson & Shimpal Lelisi 

Health & Well Being


Singer Logovi'i Tupa'i aka Viiz from Adeaze shares his extraordinary story on his early musician tour life of fast food, partying and addiction at almost 160kg.

A life changing turnaround has seen him drop 60kgs and find happiness in himself. Find out about the new eating patterns and road to fitness that’s made him a new man, along with many other Pacific friends!

For more of our Weight loss Warrior stories click here:




Director & Editor - Sapati Apa 

Camera Operators - Fa'anati Mamea & Penina Momoisea

Sound Operator - David Green 

Made with the Support of NZOA

Health & Well Being

Safe travel tips - Pacific Islands edition

Visiting friends or family in the Pacific Islands this holidays?  Don't ruin the reunion by getting sick! 

Your body's resistance changes when you move or leave your country of origin.

This means travellers visiting friends and relatives in the Pacific Islands should be extra careful when heading back.  When you return home to the islands for a holiday, you may be more at risk of certain illnesses than you were in the past. 

Prevention is best when it comes to infectious diseases.


Here are some safe travel tips:

Mosquitos that commonly spread dengue fever bite in the day.  Make sure you use insect repellant containing DEET* 

Water should be bottled or boiled even for brushing teeth.

Wash fruit in safe water and remember peeled fruit is best.

Freshly cooked hot food is best.  Be aware of raw seafood as this can be unsafe to eat.

Get vaccinated.  Find out from your doctor what you might need before your trip.


Information above from the Auckland Public Health Service 

For more information search

Health & Well Being

The importance of Breast Cancer checks - Samoa campaign

Well known former Miss South Pacific, Mary Jane Mckibben-Schwenke returned to the motherland earlier this month with some of the children & youth from her cultural arts school 'Matavai'.  They were there to help kick off an awareness campaign around the importance of Breast Cancer checks in Samoa.

Dedicated to Manamea Schwalger who passed away earlier this year from the disease, Mary Jane has vowed to continue her campaigning for better breast cancer awareness and help for women with the disease in Samoa.

"I promised Manamea that I would help continue her legacy of spreading awareness about breast cancer and cancer itself. Currently there is no registry for cancer in Samoa however last year alone 140 or so people in samoa were diagnosed with this disease. Manamea believed that in order to fight cancer in our islands it takes the collective efforts of many, from government to private sectors to villages and Samoan people everywhere.

Prevention is better than cure, when there are more spreading the message of being vigilant with health checks etc them more lives could be saved.…more

Health & Well Being

Weight Loss Warriors - Ben Tangatakino & Nancy Kora

Cook Islanders Ben Tangatakino & Nancy Kora share their weight loss journeys with us and the turning points for them in terms of realising they were overweight and needing to do something about it.

Health & Well Being


Coconut oil is, as everyone surely knows by now, an extremely healthy oil to add to your diet, but did you know that this inexpensive oil can also do wonders for your skin – whatever your skin type?

Pacific Islanders have used coconut oil for years, but now the mainstream is catching on.  

Check out our Top 5 skin care benefits picks of using Coconut oil from our friends at 'Balance Me Beautiful' and you can check out their full list here


Coconut Oil Softens & Moisturizes Dry Skin

Finding an effective moisturizer when you have dry skin can be difficult. Many products hydrate the skin upon application, but after a few hours, skin reverts back to its dry and uncomfortable state once more.

The saturated fats in coconut oil are able to penetrate skin on a much deeper level than other moisturizers you may be using, and because of this ability, they provide lasting hydration beyond the surface layer.

With regular use, coconut oil will banish dry, flakey skin, and leave your skin healthy and smooth.


Health & Well Being

NRL & Mate Ma'a Tonga star Andrew Fifita shares the moment he tried to take his own life

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and this year alone in New Zealand, the suicide rates are at a record high of 668 over the last year which means that every 13 hours someone in NZ takes their own life.

NRL & Mate Ma'a Tonga star Andrew Fifita shares the moment he tried to take his own life and his journey with Mental Health and depression.  His story is a reminder that Mental Health is an issue for everyone.  As friends and family we too need to be brave enough to ask the simple question:  Are you OK?  

A few years ago 'The Footy Show' gave an exclusive insight into one of the biggest issues facing Rugby League and society today – Depression.  Preston Campbell and Reni Maitua share their battles with depression and Shanice Alaiasa shares the pain of being the one left behind after her partner Mosese Fotuaika took his life.…more