Pacific Blog


By Leki Jackson-Bourke, edited by Tupe Lualua 

On Friday the 10th of March 2023, the ASB Polyfest Samoan section was in full swing. Schools came well prepared with intricate choreography, dynamic formations and soulful harmonies bringing the Manukau velodrome to life.

It was beautiful to see students working collaboratively with tutors, teachers and parents and to see entire communities rallying behind their schools. If you grew up in Tāmaki Makaurau, you would know that school pride is high and in term one, the Auckland school calendar is all about Polyfest! 


For the co-ed section, Manurewa High School came away with a clean sweep taking out first place overall. Not too far behind them in second place was Avondale College and third place saw the return of past champions Ōtāhuhu College. Other schools also made their way up onto the podium this year: Papatoetoe High School, Māngere College, Hillary College and Tamaki College.

But one school in particular has become the talk of TikTok leaving everyone confused and asking questions.…more

Pacific Blog

Hawkes Bay & Tairawhiti: Cyclone Gabrielle update

On the 14th of February 2023, the NZ government declared a national State of Emergency in New Zealand to assist in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle.

This is only the third time in New Zealand history that a national State of Emergency has been declared.  

Tairawhiti, Napier and parts of Hawkes Bay have been among the worst affected towns with Transpower saying it has declared a grid emergency given the loss of power in both regions.

"People should be prepared to be without power for days to weeks, rather than hours" 

Visuals of the widespread devastation have been heartbreaking with 4 deaths confirmed and up to at least 9,000 people displaced in Hawkes Bay alone (10,500 country wide) with those numbers expected to rise as rescues are ongoing.  

RNZ has reported a dozen helicopters from the Defence Force, rescue services and private operators plucked up to 400 people to safety.…more

Pacific Blog

PacifiCast answers Samoa's urgent need for wheelchairs & crutches

“Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much” - Helen Keller

Last week during the Miss Pacific Islands pre pageant events, former Miss Pacific Islands Seumanu Fonoifafo Seumanu visited the elderly community of Mapuifagalele - Polynesia's first aged care home - together with this years Miss Pacific Islands contestants, PacifiCast and Samoa Tourism representatives.

As brand ambassador for PacifiCast this was Seumanu's final act as the reigning Miss Pacific Islands and during the visit she was able to gift a number of wheelchairs and crutches on behalf of the agency in partnership with Samoa Tourism, the Ministry of Health and Samoa government. 

PacifiCast is an agency that supports and connects the Pasifika community to global markets, opening a new lens to the Pacific through an intrinsic understanding of the region and serving the people in the region.…more

Pacific Blog

WE ARE STILL HERE ANTHOLOGY - Pacific Directors: Mario Gaoa & Miki Magasiva

In order to move forward, we must first look back.

'We Are Still Here' is a unique Indigenous film that interweaves eight powerful tales to tell a sweeping story of hope and survival.  Through the eyes of eight protagonists, 'We Are Still Here' traverses 1000 years from past, present, and future to explore stories of kinship, loss, grief, and resilience.  But ultimately, it shows the strength of love and hope to overcome shared traumas that Indigenous people from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific have continued to face.

'We are Still Here' is out now in select NZ cinemas and will be released in Australia on the 16th of Feb.

We talk to two of the Pasifika directors involved with the project about their short film 'Uniform' that was part of the anthology.



What is WE ARE STILL HERE about?

WASH is a collective of 8 indigenous films.…more

Pacific Blog

The Unseen Part of a Malu Journey

I was 14 when I first dreamed of one day receiving a Malu but I never imagined the difficult journey that I would embark on.

As a teenager I told my parents and they said one day I’d be ready. 10 years later that day finally came, and I was joined by my older sister who would be my soa.

When the day came, I felt ready. Mentally I felt prepared and logistically I ticked everything off of my list. I had the ies, lega, fagu’u, falas, antiseptic cream, protex, ilis and everything I could ever imagine needing.

My sister went first and I waited for her to finish. Her Malu was beautiful and I got a preview of what was instore for me. When it was my turn I was surrounded by all my friends and family, so I felt all their love strengthen me. When I finished being ka’d (tattoed) I got up looked at my legs and it was like a dream come true. I felt relief, comfort and joy rush over me all at once.…more

Pacific Blog

Beyond Honey: The Future of Beekeeping in Samoa

WATCH 📽️ the inspiring story of R&J Honey Producer and Beekeeping Trainer, I'umalo Clayton Simamao who is going the extra mile to help create a thriving honey bee industry in Samoa.

Having trained under the most experienced Beekeepers in Samoa, the humble 31 year old continues to grow his beekeeping operation while sharing his knowledge and time with aspiring and current beekeepers.

I'umalo Clayton will be accessing grant assistance through the World Bank Pacific funded SAFPROM Matching Grant Program for a beeswax extractor and large honey extractor to help boost the production and productivity of his agri-business.



Film maker: Denisa Maňásková Photography

Writer/Producer: Liz Ah-Hi, Fine Mat Creative for the World Bank Pacific funded Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity and Marketing (SAFPROM) Project

Pacific Blog

Deceptikonz - One Time | FRISKO Interview

The Deceptikonz - Savage, Mareko, Frisko & Devolo are back and will be dropping a brand new album on Friday the 16th of December.

It will be 20 years since they first came on the scene with their debut album 'Elimination' which featured the P-Money produced classic 'Fallen Angels'. 

This video takes us behind the scenes with Daniel Maoate aka Frisko where he shares the background on his verse on their latest single 'One Time'.


Shot and edited by Dave Parker (PARKER FILMS

Pacific Blog

Pasifika Garage Stories

From our most famous artists to sports people and thriving businesses, the humble South Auckland garage has been the heartland for creating some of our biggest success stories.  Here are some of the flavours of the Pacific born and bred from the four walls of a garage ...

"We’re a tinker society with limited access to resources, our Garages become the incubation space from where we build our dreams and hatch our ideas.

They’re also transitional spaces which changes with the context, be it a meeting house for family gatherings and funerals, where we plan our weddings, it becomes a hall for a 21st.  Sleeping quarters noho Marae styles when Family pop in. It was our corporate box for the Tua fights, Manu, MMT and TOA games.

It’s where Popohardwear started in my Sister’s humble garage in Papatoetoe. Luxon ...…more

Pacific Blog

In Her Hands - Feeding the Future

Grace Malama Maselusi of Vaovai, Falealili is living proof that empowering rural women with access to finance and resources, they can help improve the livelihoods of their families and entire communities by reducing poverty, malnutrition and hunger.

📽 Watch Grace's story "In Her Hands: Feeding the Future" to see how she secured a better future for her family through farming while contributing to the increase and sustainability of nutritious vegetables in her village and district.


Film maker: Denisa Maňásková Photography 
Writer/Producer: Liz Ah-Hi, Fine Mat Creative for the World Bank Pacific funded Samoa Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity and Marketing (SAFPROM) Project

Pacific Blog

Local Hero of the Year Dave Letele needs 3,500 people for a good cause!

Dave Letele aka Brown Buttabean aka the 'New Zealand Local Hero of the Year' is teaming up with PERSOLKELLY recruitment to help drive the 3,500 'boots on the ground' needed for the 2023 Census.  

Thousands of workers are needed to help deliver the 2023 census and Dave is putting the call out to people of all ages, stages, backgrounds and ethnicities to get involved and help ensure everyone taks part, is counted and represented in the data collected.  It's particularly important our Maori and Pasifika communities are accounted for.

As someone who sees the power of community in action daily at his BBM Motivation programme, Dave Letele was compelled to get involved, encouraging New Zealanders to do their bit and apply to be a census collector.

“If we want change in our communities we first have to be seen and heard – and helping deliver the census is a great way to make sure your friends, whānau and neighbours are all counted,” says Dave.…more