Considering the impact of the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill

On Election Day, 17 October 2020, Aotearoa/New Zealand will elect new political leaders for our country. New Zealanders will also be asked to vote on whether recreational use of cannabis should become legal and the End of Life Choice Act 2019.

The proposed Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill sets out a way for the Government to control and regulate cannabis. This regulatory model covers how people can produce, supply, or consume cannabis. The Bill's main purpose is to reduce cannabis-related harm to individuals, families/whānau and communities.

Most New Zealanders try cannabis at some point and 15% of adults reported using cannabis at least once in the past year (2018/19 Office of The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor). Young people are the biggest users with 29% reporting past-year use (ages 15-24, 2018/19).

Our current law prohibits the use of cannabis except in certain situations such as medical use for selected conditions. The threat of arrest or conviction is intended to put people off using cannabis, therefore avoiding any associated social or health problems.…more


Multi-award-winning Samoan Production 'Talofa Papa' Goes Digital

After delighting audiences at Measina Festival, NZ Fringe Festival, Kia Mau Festival, FRINGE WORLD Festival in Perth, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Basement Theatre in Auckland, Talofa Papa is returning to Wellington as part of the 2020 New Zealand Improv Festival.

For the first time, Talofa Papa will be hitting the stage and your screens at the same time, by live streaming the one-night-only, already sold out production, straight from BATS Theatre.

Written and performed by Kasiano Mita (Most Outstanding Performer, NZ Fringe 2018), Papa takes you on a journey with your grandparents in the comfort of your jandals. Expertly shaping the audience's story using Samoan culture, audience interaction and mischief, Papa takes you by the hand and transports you to a world of kindness and compassion.

Talofa Papa has been a crowd favourite in many festivals, with multiple sold out seasons, and has managed to scoop up four awards and three other nominations along the way.…more



Story collated and written by Haitelenisia Afemui ‘Uhila Angilau for her 'Ordinary Tongan Lives' facebook page

“In life we expect children to bury their parents, not the other way around. On April 10th, I lost my daughter then I lost my son on May 10th. My daughter gave birth to a child who died at birth. The doctors waited for her to wake up so she could kiss her child goodbye. But she didn’t. I watched her depart on the phone. As soon as her death was confirmed, I was unconscious. Physically, my body couldn’t hold up. I was rushed to the hospital and didn’t wake up until hours later after IV injections. Then I was hospitalized for 2 weeks before I came home.

I was still recovering from that when I was called to the hospital again. This time was for my son Hari. Knowing what happened last time, I didn’t go right away until I felt strong enough. When I saw and kissed him at the hospital on the 9th, I was confident he’ll make it.…more


ELECTION 2020 | RNZ & PMN Pasifika Issues Debate

RNZ's Indira Stewart and PMN's Petrina Hall host the Pasifika Issues debate.

Debate candidates are Aupito William Sio (Labour), Agnes Loheni (National), Luella Linaker (Independent) and Lourdes Vano (Green Party).


Celebrating the winners of the 2020 Pacific Music Awards

Despite delays and challenges created by COVID-19, the Pacific music community celebrated another year of outstanding music at the 16th annual Pacific Music Awards. The event was pre-recorded due to COVID-19 restrictions and aired as an online presentation this evening.

The big winners were Elijah Manu and Albert Purcell – better known as dynamic Auckland hip hop duo Church & AP. 

The two talented rappers won FLAVA Best Pacific Group, Base FM NZ & Island Base Samoa Best Pacific Hip Hop Artist after the release of their debut album Teeth, and NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award for their single “Ready or Not”. Dera Meelan also took out Red Bull Best Producer for his work on the album.…more


Fresh off the Vote 2020 - Joe Daymond

Joe Daymond is a stand-up comedian and podcaster. He is of Fijian and Māori descent and comes from Wainuiomata and Lower Hutt. Joe likes to talk with all of his mates about the election and encourages you to do the same to make sure you're Fresh Off The Vote!

Enrol and find somewhere to vote at





Ifoga helps bridge murder: the power of Samoan culture

By Lefaoali’i Dion Enari

The tragic murder of Geo Sione, allegedly by his girlfriend Naea Moli has sparked much conversation. Many are left asking

How could such a tragedy occur? 

How could we not see the signs?


As someone who wasn’t there, it is not my intention to answer these questions. Instead, I wish to draw attention to how Samoan culture, through ifoga (Samoan practice of seeking forgiveness) was used as a way of healing among the families involved.

Although the origin of ifoga lies within the islands of Samoa, it has moved beyond her shores to countries such as New Zealand, Australia and America. In this instance, ifoga was performed in New Zealand for a murder that occurred in Sydney, Australia.

As Samoans, many of us have either seen ifoga through the eyes of the perpetrators aiga (family), victim’s aiga or externally as an onlooker. Following this story, many are shocked at how a crime as serious as murder could be healed between the victim and perpetrators aiga.…more



While most countries around the world have had to cancel major sporting events, concerts and gatherings due to the spread of Coronavirus, the Cook Islands have pulled off an event that no other country in the world has been able to do, at this scale and at this time.

Earlier today the tiny nation kicked off the first events of the 2020 Cook Islands Games - handball, tennis and lawnbowls with the official opening scheduled for tomorrow night, 6pm local time at the national stadium in Nikao.

The Games have been three months in the making and organised by the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC).

"The idea (for the games) was a collective idea through the CISNOC Executive which came by default from the Manea Games which are held every 4 years amongst the Southern Group Islands of Mangaia, Mitiaro, Mauke, Atiu and Aitutaki" said CISNOC Senior Vice President Romani Katoa.…more



Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson announced the core cast for his upcoming NBC comedy series #YoungRock on his social media today.

The series is based on his childhood and formative years growing up.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, Former 'Fresh off the Boat' showrunner Nahnatchka Khan will oversee the 11 episode series.  She will co-write the comedy with her longtime collaborator Jeff Chiang.  Dwayne Johnson himself will appear in every episode and he is also executive producing the series alongside the writers and his Seven Bucks productions partners Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jennifer Carreras.

The series is expected to debut on NBC sometime in 2021 and will be filmed on the Gold Coast in Australia.  We're looking forward to seeing more of our Pasifika actors from down under announced in this production.…more



The Real Housewives franchise has expanded to Salt Lake City with a brand new cast of women including the first Polynesian 'housewife' to be part of the series.

Her Bravo bio reads: 

"As a Tongan and Hawaiian growing up in Salt Lake City, Jen Shah felt like she often stuck out in her traditionally white, Mormon world.…more