Health & Well Being


Jope’s experience of growing up in a household facing domestic violence sparked an interest in gender and politics. His academic research is driven by first hand knowledge of how these social structures affect people’s lives every day.

His experience led him to rethink what it means to be a Fijian man in today’s society and to question the role and power that he has as a man in Fiji.  Jope’s talk invites us all to re-think the Fijian man.  Jope Tarai is a research student and teaching assistant at the University of the South Pacific (USP) who spent his early years growing up in the interior parts of Fiji before moving to Suva.

He is dedicated to research in areas of diplomacy, Pacific politics, youth development, social media and gender where he challenges the traditional structure and asks people to question the status quo. Jope attended Assemblies of God Primary School (A.O.G) and Stella Maris before moving to Marist Brothers High School (MBHS) before completing his tertiary studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP).

Health & Well Being


The pawpaw or papaya is reputed to carry the most health benefits of any fruit and grows in abundance around the Pacific Islands.

With a lot of hidden benefits for skin, health and hair, coupled with its deliciousness, pawpaw now ranks as one of the most beneficial gifts nature has blessed us with.

So what are the health benefits of Pawpaw? 

It contains dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, C and E. It also contains small amount of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin.  Pawpaw is also very rich in antioxidant nutrients flavonoids and carotenes; very high in vitamin C plus A, and low in calories and sodium.

Pawpaw or Papaya is also used in the manufacturing of several cosmetic, skin, and beauty products, as well as certain chewing gums. They are available for consumption throughout the year.

The whole fruit, including the leaves & other parts of the tree, are beneficial to health in several ways. 


Papayas are rich in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants that prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries.…more

Health & Well Being


At the age of six, Sala Tiatia experienced domestic violence for the first time. It was the verbal abuse however, that bought the most darkness to Sala’s internal world⁠—until one particular English class, with one particular English teacher, turned Sala’s dark world around.

In this compelling and emotional talk, Sala shares the words that bought light to his world and how he speaks light into the world of some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable young people. Sala Tiatia is a local youth educator who has been involved in youth work for the last 30 years; his roles have varied from church ministry, community work and running youth work workshops about youth work for youth workers, right through to running leadership programmes in mainstream schools and alternative education.

He is still working with youth and their whānau today, and is a huge advocate for everyone, especially men, to seek help in counselling, have a greater sense of self care and be intentional with their holistic health.…more

Health & Well Being


Matt Brown started his barbershop in a tin shed in his backyard in New Zealand, but he always wanted it to be more than just a place where you go to get a haircut. Having grown up in a violent household, he knew firsthand how important it was for men to have a place where they could be heard, a place where they could be truly seen.

In this raw, emotional and unflinching talk, Matt shares what he learned from more than 25,000 hours of talking to men—and letting them be their true selves. Watch all the way to the end for a powerful tribute from some of the people whose lives he's touched. Matt Brown is an internationally acclaimed barber and hair artist, author, husband, and father of three known for ‘giving great cuts’ and ‘inspiring great men.’

He is a survivor of family and childhood sexual abuse and shares his story with the men who frequent his busy Christchurch-based shop, My Fathers Barbers, as a way to foster vulnerability, healing, and connection.…more

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