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!
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
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)
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
The vibrant city of Hamilton is set to come alive with a unique cultural fusion as some of Waikato's top Pasifika performers take center stage at the 2024 Hamilton Arts Festival Toi Ora Ki Kirikiriroa. The spotlight will shine brightly on the all-new show, "Cheehoo! Jandals to Jazzhands," a groundbreaking performance that promises to blend Pasifika cultural traditions with the magic of musical theatre.
Created by internationally touring artists Jessica Ruck-Nu’u and Iosia Tofilau, alongside award-winning creative Benny Marama, "Cheehoo! Jandals to Jazzhands" is not your typical musical theatre showcase. The trio, deeply involved in Waikato's musical theatre scene, sought a fresh perspective on the genre. Co-producer Benny Marama explains, "By viewing the music through a Pasifika lens, we're ensuring this concert isn't just your bog-standard musical theatre showcase."
Fresh from touring the Middle East with the acclaimed "Shrek the Musical," Jessica Ruck-Nu’u and Iosia Tofilau conceived "Cheehoo!" as a way to engage with the diverse Pasifika community in Waikato. Jessica reflects on her journey, stating, "As a Pasifika woman, I felt like I was on the outside.…more
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.
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
SINGER / SONGWRITER
Te Whanganui-a-Tara-based Samoan singer / songwriter MOZIE, recently dropped new RnB-pop single ‘Sonshine’.
With an addictive upbeat groove, catchy hopeful lyrics and stunning vocals, ‘Sonshine’ is a song that effortlessly fills any space with warmth. We talked to MOZIE about her journey in music and her latest work!
Tell us a bit about yourself
O lo’u igoa o Moana Leota, I come from the villages of Vaimoso, Avao and Tanugamanono. I grew up in the beautiful Wairarapa and currently reside in Te Whanganui-a-tara. I am an artist and a Mum!
Have you always wanted to become an artist? What was your journey into music like?
Yes! I’ve always loved music/art and been surrounded by it since i was a dot! My Mum is a singer and a painter, and many of my aiga sing too. My journey into music started with the classic primary school productions. I used to get real bad stage fright but the more I did, the more I enjoyed myself.…more
Samoa comes alive with the sound of soccer as women kick the goals that matter in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament-Oceania Qualifier in Samoa this week!
The tournament features eight teams competing for an Olympic spot with competing teams include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Samoa.
The competition winner will represent Oceania at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Samoa’s squad is dominated by international players with Samoan heritage coming from Utah, California, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.
As the only local player selected to represent her home nation, Repeka Asofa hopes that more local players will be selected for future sporting events.
“I feel blessed that God has gifted me with this talent so I can represent my people in this tournament,” she said.
However, she added that it wasn’t easy to get a spot on the team.
For the 23-year-old from Savaii, her family has been financially supported by her passion for football over the years.…more
In honour of lovers day, we’re celebrating Brown Love! We asked you about your love, here’s what you had to say.
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
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is JJ4K. I was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland. Specifically, I spent
my early years in Boondall and Zillmere (4034), and the other half of my adolescence
in Inala (4077). My ethnicity is Samoan and Tongan, but spent all my years around
my Samoan half. Currently, I’m aspiring to be an artist, trying to become one of the
best lyricists in the Australian/New Zealand scene.
Have you always wanted to become an artist? What was your journey into music like?
From very early, I figured out I wanted to be a performer in music. I was never NOT
dancing. My first mentor was my uncle, he always put me onto any music that was
either new or a must-know classic. The sound eventually took over and younger me
started picking up sticks to hit things and I was hooked from then on. At the age of 8,
the first real instrument was the drums, soon after (while scouring YouTube) I picked
up the guitar.…more
Jason Momoa was spotted today filming stunts in Auckland - it's suspected that today's filming was for the new Minecraft film currently in Production.
Credit: Louisa Tipene Opetaia