Increased Support needed for Pacific students to stay in school

Pacific high school students who are dropping out of school to help with the family income during the Covid-19 crisis should be provided with appropriate support to ensure their education is prioritised, says a leading Pacific psychologist.

Dr Byron Seiuli, a member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) who is based in Hamilton, says leaving school for Pacific students may be the best short-term solution during the pandemic but may not help their families in the long term.

“Research has shown that those who drop out of school to help their families do not overcome the income barrier they initially face. Instead this behaviour perpetuates the cycle and it does not get any better for the student or their families,” he says.

“Many Pacific families have already sacrificed a lot to get their children through higher education so they can be in better paid employment and provide them with improved economic independence.…more

Guest Writer

Asuelu’s cash – is sending money traditional Samoan culture?

By Lefaoali’i Dion Enari

Watching Asuelu, his wife, mum and sisters argue over money on 90 day fiance has sparked much debate. Some believe he did not give enough, while others found the request for one thousand extreme.  

The more I watched the show, the less I judged, and realised how complex the situation was for Asuelu. 

As a Christian husband and father, under the bible, it is his responsibility to protect and provide for his wife and kids. Simultaneously, as a Samoan son and brother, he is also bound by the feagaiga (sacred covenant) between his mother and sisters, with a duty to love, care and protect them. As a Samoan Christian he must consult with his wife and listen to the fautuaga (advice) of his mother and sisters. 

Irrespective of if the show is scripted or not, this is a lived experience for many of us. We face challenges that come with balancing roles as a married partner, parent, son/daughter and sibling, whilst also providing tautua (service) to our extended family.…more


Compliance and awareness critical in keeping Pacific families safe at Alert Level 2

As Auckland adjusted to moving back into Alert Level 2.5 yesterday, a senior Pacific doctor says the Pacific community needs to clearly understand the new restrictions in order to further safeguard their families from Covid-19.

Senior member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Dr Collin Tukuitonga, who also chairs the Pacific Expert Advisory Group to the Associate Minister of Health, says while there’s still community transmission being reported, families should remain alert and embrace the new guidelines.

There are around 132 active cases and more than 127 of which are linked to the Auckland August cluster, which is the largest the country has seen.  
“Three quarters of the cases in the Auckland cluster have been Pasifika people.  It’s important that we continue to adhere to the current guidelines and embrace the new ones,” says Dr Tukuitonga. “Two additional requirements are really important; one is to avoid mass gatherings. People need to understand that there’s a limit of ten people if you want to meet in a group.…more


On the Rise - Bernie King / Kickboxer

Cook Islands/NZ Maori Kickboxer Bernie King is 'On the Rise' and based in Rarotonga where the local Muay Thai & Kickboxing scene is on the come up!


Filmed & edited on location in Rarotonga by Johnny Beasley 


Keepin it Fresh - TIRA (Choir Event in Auckland)

Tira in maori means 'Choir' and at this free public event, everyone came together to gather around some prominent artists (mostly of maori heritage) and sing songs together as a community.

An amazing way to unite people with the reo Hatea Kapa Haka was one of the groups who were invited to come down and share their voices and waiata.

They also back up Hollie Smith on one of her most well known songs - 'Bathe in the River'


TUA | Homecoming - Part 1: Tua Tagovailoa returns to Hawaii for first time since championship game

In 2018, Tua Tagovailoa and his family returned home to Hawaii for the first time since moving to Alabama the year before.

Take a behind-the-scenes look, as the Tagovailoas reunited with family and friends for a celebration-filled week.

Check out the full five-part series, TUA | Homecoming here - you'll be transported to Tua's hometown of Ewa Beach and meet the people who helped raise him.


Being inclusive with our elders during Covid-19 resurgence

The impact of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is deeply affecting our elderly with an increase in anxiety and depression amongst the group, says a leading Pacific old age psychiatrist.

Dr Etuini Ma’u, a member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) who is based at Waikato Hospital, says families need to take extra care to ensure that the Pacific elderly have the right support and reassurance during these uncertain times.

“The impact of lockdown is affecting the elderly deeply. There’s been an increase of anxiety and depression. The longer this drags out, the harder it will be for them.  

It’s about maintaining that social connection and recognising that this is a very disruptive and uncertain time for your parents, for your elderly.  Stay in contact, touch base with them regularly, offer them practical support, given the recommendation is that vulnerable people stay home.…more



Poly entrepreneurs Dave Parker from Parker Films (Samoan) and Martin Coromandel (Maori) who owns & runs eyewear company L Eyes with his wife Allies in Brisbane, have collaborated on the 'Samoan Range' of eyewear to showcase the love for their culture.

L.Eyes is a small family business originally from New Zealand but now residing in Australia. They wanted to bring a product like no other to the eyewear market and have a number of Maori inspired designs in their eyewear catalogue and range.

The Samoan range which Dave has teamed up with them on, officially dropped at midnight/early hours this morning and can be purchased at the L Eyes Website here -

The frames were designed by Martin's brother Jared using the Samoan patterns from Dave's sleeve and each pair is handmade with unique wooden temples by L.EYES.  Dave says it'll be the last time they do these specific designs and there's a limited number of stock so you'll need to get in quick if you'd like to purchase a pair.…more


Funding boost to address inequalities magnified by Covid-19 for Pacific

An injection of $19.5 million has been allocated to frontline Pacific healthcare teams to help combat Covid-19 and to support the Pacific community during this current resurgence.

Although the government funding is needed for urgent medical and practical needs for Pacific families during the Covid-19 resurgence, vice president of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Dr Teuila Percival QSO FRACP says there should also be a focus on improving homes and living conditions.

Appearing on TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning, Dr Percival said the Pacific community cannot afford to take their eye off the ball when it comes to issues like housing.

“The virus doesn’t discriminate, and it can affect everybody. But what we worry about is people’s pre-existing conditions like respiratory and chronic conditions. They are more likely to get severe diseases and more likely to die. When you look at underlying health conditions, we need to look at those big determinates, like housing. For us, this is such a big problem.…more


Support for Pacific high school students during Covid-19 resurgence

Providing food packages and financial help for utility bills has been a top priority for many of the organisations who are supporting Pacific families during the Covid-19 crisis.

But a need that is just as important is support for Pacific secondary school students so they can have the right tools to continue their studies during lockdown.

Dr Glenn Doherty, CEO of the Langimalie Tongan Health Society Incorporated in Onehunga, says the educational needs of students can be overlooked during a health and economic crisis. His organisation, which is a health provider for Tongan families, is determined to help Pacific students so they don’t fall through the cracks.

“When you’re Year 12 or 13, you’re preparing to either study or work. These Pasifika students are our priority because they are going to be the ones in line to financially help out their families during this time.…more