Pacific Blog

Tributes to Fa'anānā Efeso Collins

Proud Father, Loving husband and South Auckland's staunchest advocate - the loss of Fa'anānā has been felt far and wide. Hundreds of tributes have poured in from those who knew him in life and are mourning the loss of one of our pillars in the Pasifika Communities. Here are some of the beautiful thoughts expressed by people from all different sectors of society, as we honour Fa’anānā’s legacy to us:

Mariner Fagaiava

Aigagalefili Fepulea'i-Tupa'i

Falaniko Tomoniko II - Samoan Educator

Fa'anānā Efeso Collins, you always made time for everyone. Everyone who knew you felt like you were their best friend in the world, myself included! The only thing bigger than your smile, your personality, your intelligence and your star was your love for Fia Collins and your girls, your family and your Pacific people. My love and prayers go out to all of you at this time.…more


Pacific Blog

Pacific Kids' Learning Launches Pacific Digital Library: A Cultural Oasis for Pasifika Youth

In a move to preserve and share Pacific cultures with the younger generation, Pacific Kids' Learning (PKL) has introduced the Pacific Digital Library, a streaming platform dedicated to Pacific-inspired content for children.

The ad-free platform, accessible in nine Pacific languages and English, aims to bridge cultural knowledge gaps and revitalise endangered Pacific languages.

The Pacific Digital Library houses a large collection of cultural songs, dances, stories, and educational animations.

The platform's co-founder and Education Director, Theresa Tupuola-Sorenson, stresses the importance of preserving Pacific cultures in a rapidly changing world. With the launch of this platform, PKL strives to provide a cultural oasis for Pasifika families, allowing them to share traditions and stories with their children conveniently.

Theresa highlighted the platform's significance, stating, "By marrying technology with tradition, we can help bridge the cultural knowledge gap while creating entertaining and mana-enhancing content for our kids."

The platform features Pacific music and dance with motion-capture technology and animation.…more


Pacific Blog

Honoring Excellence: Polynesian Finalists Shine in Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards 2024

In a nation filled with exceptional individuals, we proudly spotlight the outstanding Polynesian Finalists for the 2024 Ngā Tohu Pou Kōhure o Aotearoa, presented by the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards team. Selected from thousands of nominations, these remarkable individuals have been recognized for embodying the spirit and essence of being a New Zealander.

A huge Coco-Congrats to this year's Polynesian Finalists leading the way in our communities!

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Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year 2024 Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa

Sarai Bareman: Sarai Bareman (Samoan) is one of the most powerful figures in international football. In 2023, she delivered the Womens' World Cup in Aotearoa New Zealand, capturing the hearts and minds of a nation.

Kiri Nathan: Kiri Nathan (Māori) is an internationally renowned fashion designer. In 2023, she made history as the first Māori designer to open New Zealand Fashion Week since its inception.…more


Pacific Blog

Auckland Pride March To Celebrate Diversity with Pacific Beats

Right in the middle of Auckland CBD, the beats of Pacific artists are set to echo through the city streets as the Auckland Pride March and Party returns for another spectacular year on 25th February, 2024!

A celebration of everything Queer, the event promises to be a powerful testament to reclamation, strength, and the sheer joy of the LGBTQIA+ community.

March to the Rhythm of Diversity:

The festivities kick off at 2 pm at Aotea Square, with formalities and fun activities commencing at 3 pm. The march, a symbol of Queer activism, begins at 3:30 pm, weaving its way through the city streets, a testament to the diversity and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community.

At the heart of the march are three incredible Pacific artists who will set the soundtrack for the day - Brown Boy Magik, Vercetti, and the headlining force, PATI AF.

Meet the Maestros:

Pati AF (formerly known as Disciple Pati)

Hailing from South Auckland, Pati AF has been a professional force in the music industry for the past two years.…more


Pacific Blog

Manioro Festival 2024 Is Celebrating Diversity, Resilience, and Creativity at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre

The Manioro Festival is back in 2024 at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre. Last year, it drew over 1000 people, and this time, get ready for more exciting workshops, events, and panels.

"Manioro" means making noise or causing a disturbance, brought to Hastings by Nevertheless, a non-profit organization focusing on Māori, Pasifika, and Takatāpui communities. Founded by Shaqaila Uelese and Maia Wati-Cooper, the organization aims to create a safe space for education, not just for Māori and Pasifika Rainbow+ communities but also for their whanau and communities.

Kicking off the festival is the Tūrama exhibition, a meaningful project in suicide prevention, showcasing 24 powerful stories of resilience from takatāpui/rainbow+ individuals. Explore other cool activities like relaxed workplace sessions, a cozy evening of storytelling, and hands-on creative workshops – from tapa cloth making to kapa haka and ei katu crafting.

Closing the festivities is a fiafia night, featuring talents from Pacific and Māori rainbow+ cultural and contemporary arts groups. End the night with an awesome after-function, enjoying a live performance by White Chapel Jak.…more


Pacific Blog

Professor Jioji Ravulo: “How will you make a difference, through your difference?”

By Lefaoali’i Dr Dion Enari

When Jioji Ravulo was a case worker involved in the criminal justice system, he wanted to know why Pacific youth were overrepresented in the system, this curiosity sparked his PhD. Today, he stands as the first Pasifika Professor in Australia.

Here he talks to Lefaoali’i Dr Dion Enari about his academic journey and his vision for Pacific people.

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Malo lava le soifua, please tell us a bit about yourself, your village, family?
Ni sa bula vinaka and G’day – I’m Jioji Ravulo, my father is iTaukei Fijian from the village of Nayavuira, in Ra, which is 2.5 hours north of Suva in Fiji. My mother is Anglo Australian from Sydney, Australia.

What motivated you to be in academia and become a professor?
To be honest – I never wanted to be an academic! I initially said no to an initial 12-month lecturer role because at the time I was working as a manger of a youth accommodation service for homeless young people in western Sydney.…more


Pacific Blog

Celebrating Brown Love

In honour of lovers day, we’re celebrating Brown Love! We asked you about your love, here’s what you had to say.

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Single Mother: Sofia 

What does love look like in your home?

I highly value love that is shown by actions. Love in our home is: Love is a book of beautiful poetry, Love is my girl making me a cuppa tea. Love is my son watering my pot plants especially my frangipani. Love is my girl bringing me a beautiful flower she'd picked on her walk home. Love is my son bringing home some fabric, a rock, a stone or bits of Italian marble he'd rescued from a skip because he knows I will be overjoyed and will use it in a future art project. Love is knowing that my children understand they are most beloved but that i expect accountability from them. Love is allowing each of us in our fale to live our lives with freedom, satisfaction and authenticity.…more


Pacific Blog

Tāmaki Regeneration's OWN IT Initiative Redefining Community Living

In the midst of Auckland's pressing housing crisis, the OWN IT initiative by Tāmaki Regeneration is emerging as a transformative force, specifically designed to uplift Māori and Pasifika families facing unprecedented challenges in the city's housing market.

Afoa Tevita Malolo, spokesperson for Tāmaki Regeneration, sheds light on how this program aims not only to provide homes but also to reshape the narrative for marginalised communities.

Auckland's housing crisis has escalated to alarming levels, making headlines globally for its soaring property prices and diminishing affordability.

According to The Demographia International Housing Affordability Report, Auckland currently ranks as one of the least affordable housing markets globally, placing 88th out of 94 markets surveyed worldwide. This crisis disproportionately affects Māori and Pasifika families, pushing homeownership further out of reach.

The challenges faced by Māori and Pasifika families in Auckland's housing market are deeply rooted in historical and systemic issues. As highlighted by various studies, these communities often find themselves at the margins, facing biases in traditional mortgage environments and struggling with the increasing unaffordability of homes.…more


Pacific Blog

Sir Collin Tukuitonga appointed as a Fellow for the International Science Council

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) congratulates PMA Board Director, Sir Collin Tukuitonga, on his appointment as a Fellow for the International Science Council (ISC). Recognised for his contributions to Pacific health in his capacity as a Public Health and Policy expert, Sir Tukuitonga joins over 100 new fellows to support the ISC in their mission of promoting science as a global public good.     

Reflecting on the appointment, Sir Tukuitonga is honoured to be acknowledged for his contributions on a global platform.  

"The International Science Council is the premier organisation globally that promotes the use of science.…more


Pacific Blog

Celebrating 45 Years Of The Iconic Maota Samoa on K' Road

By FotuoSamoa Jody Jackson

If the Maota Samoa fale (house) on Karangahape Road could talk, it would gush about the Pacific people that gathered, contributed to and celebrated within it since 1978.

There were many 21st's and wedding cakes cut while island families cheered on. There would also be mention of church fundraisers, exhibitions, talent shows, company events, PIC meetings, St Mary’s Old girls gatherings and business networking events. There’s memories of Auckland Girls Grammar students and children who frequented this place or accompanied their parents as they went to visit the dentist across the hallway run by the late Papali’i Dr Taouma. Others turned up to pay airfares at Polynesian Airlines or renewed a passport with the Consul General’s office on Level 2. Then there were the learners who turned up to attend classes on culture, hospitality, cooking, social sciences, languages and more. Artists like Fatu Feu’u ONZM, Iosua Toafa and Momoe Malietoa Von Reiche exhibited in this iconic building.…more