Pacific Blog


The Auckland mayoral race has entered its last week and Pasifika councillor Efeso Collins is one of the front runners in a tight race with businessman and former Far North mayor Wayne Brown.

We asked Efeso a few questions about his vision and key issues affecting Pacific Islanders living in Auckland and most importantly, why Pasifika should give him their vote. 

Check out his answers below.


Tell us a bit about your background and what has driven your passion for politics as a Pacific person?  

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has been my home all my life. From growing up in a state house in Ōtara to graduating from Auckland university with a Master’s degree in education, this city has been wonderful to my family. Dad drove taxis and Mum worked on a factory floor to support us through school and uni.…more

Pacific Blog

Finding Fogalepolo

Over a decade ago, Fogalepolo Lepou (Paul) and wife Joan decided to pack up and move from New Zealand to Samoa, driven by a duty to his mother, Su’a Siapo Suisui Faiga Ripley Lepou, and her restless dreams of making something her family land in Fasito’o-uta, Samoa.

What started off as an exercise in honouring a parents’ wish eventually evolved into a journey of self discovery for Paul, who found himself re-connecting with his culture, family and the land. Paul and Joan built and developed the Ifiele'ele Plantation, a stunning organic farm retreat offering accommodation.

Today it is a living tribute to an inherited dream and a celebration of the inextricable bonds between family, land and traditions in Samoan culture.


Film credits:
Created with funding support from World Bank Pacific for the SAFPROM Project
Film maker/Editor: Denisa Manaskova
Producer: Liz Ah Hi/ Fine Mat Creative

Pacific Blog

OPINION: To be who we are or not to be who we are

By Angelica S. Eke 

We, as Pasifika people, are born into this world unknowingly pushed into a place of old and new cultural expectations. We come from a world of rich culture; however, due to economic crisis or the necessity of preserving family life, at times it is necessary for us to depart from our motherland. Often, during these types of transitions, we find ourselves with varying decisions to make. One of those decisions may represent whether we choose to follow the norms of the community we settle in or choose to keep the traditions, mindsets, and rituals that have been ingrained into our very DNA. Let’s not forget the transition that our elders might experience. As life moves quickly, we forget that our elders may also experience a suspension in time being suddenly thrust into a new setting that is unknown to them. The change can be overwhelming; traumatic even. We all have some experience in understanding how it feels to be somewhere unfamiliar and it can make one feel unseen or unheard.…more

Pacific Blog

Kuki Airani architect on the importance of local knowledge in award winning project

The first-ever town plan for Avarua - the capital of the Cook Islands - has won an International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) award for its response to the climate crisis at a Gala Awardsd Ceremony in South Korea recently.

The honour was awarded to Auckland/Wānaka based practise Reset Urban Design in association with traffic engineers Stantec and Rarotonga based architect Romani Katoa.  It was one of two prizes presented to Reset Urban Design.

Te Tau Papa o Avarua - The Avarua Town Plan, which was praised by judges for its climate change mitigation and positive contribution to the wider Cook Islands community, was commissioned by the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cook Islands Government and controls the country’s property and public works.

The second IFLA award presented to Reset Urban Design who again worked with local architect Romani Katoa on the project, was for the development of Aitutaki's first-ever spatial plan: Te Papa Tau o Araura.…more

Pacific Blog

'White Sunday' debut book release by Litea Fuata

"I wanted to write a story that focused on the experiences of Pasifika kids like me. Growing up, there weren’t any books about Pasifika children. Even on TV or in the movies, there weren’t any stories about kids who looked like me." - Litea Fuata 

She's about to start work as a cook in a childcare centre and has worked in youth work, aged care and for Oz Harvest rescuing food for charities.  Now Litea Fuata can add published author to her resume after her debut childrens book 'White Sunday' was released today (Wednesday 7th Sep 22).

Litea who was born in New Zealand and now lives in Meanjin, Brisbane with her partner and cat says that she's really proud of her first book 'White Sunday' and hopes that young Pasifika readers will walk away with a feeling of being seen and of joy after reading her book.…more

Pacific Blog

'Muru' - Why its a must watch for brown audiences.

"It is time to shine light into the valley and reclaim the narrative and move beyond the errors and misjudgments of a system that has become accustomed to keeping its boot on our neck."

‘Muru’ was released nationwide to cinemas on the 1st of September and is a breathtaking action packed rollercoaster that takes you on an emotional journey through the trauma of the Uruwera raids and other events that the Tuhoe people suffered at the hands of the NZ government. 

It's a fictionalization of some these moments into one epic story - featuring a cast of some of Aotearoa’s stellar Māori actors, lead by Cliff Curtis and Tame Iti who plays himself. 

We spoke to the film’s lead producer, who is of Cook Island descent, Reikura Kahi (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hine, Waikato, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Cook Island).  Reikura has been working in the screen industry for 25 years in various capacities, including Te Reo Māori consultant, actor, producer and Māori TV programme commissioner.…more

Pacific Blog

Celebrating 20 years of Niu FM with Lui Vilisoni-Oliver

Lui Vilisoni-Oliver Niu FM & 531 PI Program Director at the PMN offices in Manukau vs Lui back in the day on air at Niu FMs Brown Street studio.

31st of August 2022 marks twenty years since 'Niu FM, the Beat of the Pacific' hit the airwaves around Aotearoa. 

From the early days on Brown Street in Ponsonby to more recent times under the Pacific Media Network umbrella in Manukau, the proudly Pacific station has amassed a loyal following and has been the launching pad for not only many of your favourite Pacific artists but for many of the people on-air & behind the scenes.   

As the station celebrates 20 years of Niu, we stopped in to chat with one of the last men standing ...…more

Pacific Blog

Dawnraids Play through the lens of the female characters

“I love that this is a story that isn’t centered around the raids, but around a family who went through the raids. There’s a clear distinction” Gaby Solomona ‘Fuarosa’ in the Dawn Raids play. 

It’s no secret that we as Polynesian peoples are very Patriarchal. From how the feaus are done, to who get’s to speak at family functions, who stays home to look after the kids, who gets the titles. Even our storytelling is very male dominated.

In the past most stories, shows, films I have watched, including the one I, myself made, have all been very male dominated. So I was so excited to see that the 3 women who hold the story and family together in Dawn Raids are such integral parts of this show. Gaby Solomona (plays Fuarosa) speaks to the importance of the 3 women. Stating that while the show still has male voices, there are equally if not more important female voices that come through too.

Gaby shares “You’ve got the mum who is the glue of the family, the matriarch.…more

Pacific Blog

Savai'i farmer Logoi Malaeulu Mariner

Meet Logoi Malaeulu Mariner and his family from Salelavalu, Savaii. The 69 year old has been farming for almost 50 years and is one of the oldest commercial farmers on the big island.

As a beneficiary of the World Bank Pacific funded SAFPROM Matching Grant Program, Logoi and his family have been able to improve productivity on the farm and increase production of their vegetable and root crops supply to the local market.

Watch the heartwarming story of Logoi Mariner to see how this humble farmer and grandfather is building a legacy of agricultural sustainability and financial literacy to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for his grandchildren.

Video credit & Thank You to:  World Bank Pacific and the Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity and Marketing Project

Pacific Blog

Pacific Music Awards 2022 - Meet the first time finalists

The biggest celebration of Pacific Music in New Zealand returns with crowds again for the live Pacific Music Awards event on Thursday 4th of August.

There are 26 finalists in total with a mix of new musicians debuting music, established music artists, Pacific industry icons and everything in between.

This year iconic Samoan singer-songwriter Fa'anana Jerome Grey will be honoured with the Pacific Music Awards Lifetime Achievement award and there will be a new Creative New Zealand award - the recipient will be announced on the night.…more