SAMOAN / SWISS / ITALIAN
Talofa, Bonjour! My name is Kezia Salanoa, I’m 22 years old and I come from Samoa. I was born in Switzerland. My dad is full Samoan from Falefa and my mum is afatasi Swiss and Italian. I am the second of three girls and I am currently living in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Most FAQ is do you wish you grew up in Europe? And honestly, no. Im so thankful to have been raised in the Samoan culture and environment, not neglecting my palagi side (which I love just as much), I just love that I have the fa’a Samoa with me anywhere I go. I guess I can say I have the best of both worlds.
My parents met in Honolulu, Hawaii through YWAM (Youth With a Mission) they were both in missions ministries helping with the Hawaiian community, the homeless and users. After a few months and mango picking, they fell in love.…more
AVI'I FA'ALUPEGA MAGELE
What made you want to be a referee?
First of all cause I love rugby. It’s like a family culture. Ever since when I was young … it’s very funny cause my Dad use to play rugby and I had two older brothers. So when I was in primary school and my two older brothers were in colleges, so that was like Super Rugby before I mean Super 12, before Super Rugby as we call it right now. So back in days, when not every family in the villages had tv. So our family got one, got lucky enough to get one. So we had that culture where we compete, like me and my mother and my other brothers we compete, we watch the games and we had that culture watching Super 12 rugby and compare who’s gonna win.
So that’s where actually where it built up my passion in rugby, I didn’t see that much about women’s rugby during that time.…more
COUNTRY MANAGER, RHIPE NZ (THE CLOUD CHANNEL COMPANY & CHAIRPERSON OF PASIFIKA IN IT
I was born in Sagafili, Samoa and had four siblings but moved with only three of them to NZ because immigration laws back then limited migrant families to no more than four children. We lived in Grey Lynn like most but then moved to Avondale to be closer to dad’s work – hence all the schools we attended were there. My mum is from Falelatai which explains why I have the titles I do and dad came from Lalomalava. Our family has always been in law enforcement and I was preparing to enter but was told by my father and brother that I wasn’t allowed because it would “change” me. And I had already graduated with a Major in Education and realized I wasn’t inspiring enough to be a teacher, so I shifted to technology.
What were the pathways that led you to what you're doing now?
This crazy palagi woman (whom I still love dearly to this day – e.g.…more
THOR LOPINI KATOA
ENTREPRENEUR & BUSINESS OWNER
My name is Thor Katoa. I was born in Guam, but was raised in St.George, Utah. I come from a large family, with 8 brothers and 1 sister. I am full Tongan and am currently on track to earn my Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Communications from Oregon State University. In addition to being enrolled at OSU, my father and I have started our own business.
Can you tell us about the business you own and why it's unique?
Yes, my father and I are business owners of a CBD (Cannibidiol) company, Polynesian CBD, which is based in the U.S. (Oregon). Polynesian CBD focuses on Hemp derived products. However, the difference between us and other CBD companies, is that we’ve chosen a more unique path by adding an “island twist” to our product line (Island “smells” & tastes: ex. Coconut, pineapple, mango etc.)
We're also doing some product development with Kava at the moment too.…more
HEAD GIRL OF ST CUTHBERTS COLLEGE
Talofa lava! My name is Johanna Iutita Talitha Setefano meaning “Gracious Gift of the Lord” and I am the eldest daughter of Rev. Dr Imoa and Amelia Setefano. I was born right here in Aotearoa New Zealand and spent a large amount of my childhood moving back and forth from Malua Theological College in Samoa. My dad is from the villages of Fasito’o Tai, Vaivase Tai and Palauli and my mum is from the villages of Afega and Vailele in Samoa. I come from a strong Christian family with 3 brothers and 1 sister that are devoted to God and a current member of Papatoetoe Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.
I am currently a Year 13 student and also humbling enough the Head Girl of St Cuthberts College for 2019. It’s such a privilege to be able to attend the top secondary school in NZ all thanks to my parents and my Year 7 teacher, Mr Theunisen (Mr T) who shared a vision that I attend the best school available.…more
FAUMUI PENELOPE GINNEN
DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
What does your recent appointment of District Court Judge mean for you?
I am so honoured to have been appointed. I am proud to be following the path that has been trail blazed by inspirational Samoan women like Judge Ida Malosi, the first Samoan woman judge in New Zealand; and Justice Mata Tuatagaloa, the first Samoan woman Judge in Samoa. Both of these women have shown the power of combining a sharp legal mind with a true heart for our people. Our countries will be well served if I am able to successfully model myself on their example.
What will it mean for pacific communities to have another pacific judge?
I feel affirmed, that the work that has been important to me throughout my career has been recognised as important in this role: the wellbeing of children, social justice, indigenous rights and responsibilities, fighting inequity. I have had the loveliest messages celebrating my appointment. I am struck by how connected Pacific people are.…more
SIAKI FEKITOA NA'A JR aka SIAKI SI'I
ACTOR/DANCER/MODEL/SINGER & EVENT HOST
My name is Siaki Fekitoa Na’a Jr. also known as Siaki Sii. I am third generation to my family name Siaki and I am named after my dad. I was born in the Kingdom Island of Tonga and migrated to Los Angeles, CA at the age of 11 months old.
With my culture it is imperative to name which village my parents are from because that’s how islanders determine your family lineage. My dad is from Pokotala/ Uiha and my mom is from Kolovai/Foui therefore, with Tongan culture we claim the village our father comes from which makes me a proud Pokotala from Ha’apai. Although I am from this amazing island I was given an opportunity of a lifetime to live in the land of the free to work towards an AMERICAN DREAM! My mom is a US citizen by birth and my dad is a Tongan citizen by birth. So I am blessed to be both.…more
JOURNALIST / FIRST UP HOST
TONGAN / FIJIAN
I’m Tongan Fijian, born in Tonga and raised in New Zealand. My father’s family is from Tatakamotonga in the village Mu’a. My mother’s fijian side is from Kadavu and the village of Tu’anuku in Vava’u, Tonga. I’m a Journalist working in News and Current Affairs. I spent the last 6 years mainly focusing on news around New Zealand’s Pacific community and the international Pacific region. I feel privileged to have covered the Pacific realm because it’s so rich with stories but there aren’t enough people telling them. The stories I’ve covered have made my work meaningful and have made me a stronger journalist. It’s tough covering Pacific people - many of our people aren’t always open to talking or offending others especially because of the way our communities are built - everyone is connected. But being silent can be dangerous when you’re already among the most vulnerable in western society. We need to be able to speak up to stand against injustice and to hold people accountable when needed.…more
SINGER / SONG WRITER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST
I was born and raised in West Auckland and lived there for the first half of my school life.…more
I grew up in Long Beach, California. My parents were musicians so music has always been a big part of my life. They're both Samoan, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand but they migrated to California in the 80s. I started taking classical piano lessons at 6 until I switched to guitar in high school and taught myself from then on out. I played a lot in LA clubs/jam sessions during and after high school and shortly thereafter got asked to play for Kenny Lattimore + Chante Moore as well as the hip hop artist Nas.…more