Pacific short films - Doc Edge Film Fest 202

As part of the Documentary Edge International Film Festival amazing line-up, there are two incredible Pacific short films that you can now watch from the comfort of your home FREE!  Check out more information on both the films below and click here for access to the full 2020 Doc Edge Film fest online. 

All short films in the festival are free thanks to Chorus and are available from 12 June – 5 July.

'Ofeina'o Lesieli

'Ofeina'o Lesieli (trailer above) is a documentary short film set in the capital city of Nuku'alofa which takes place in the Kingdom of Tonga - A tropical country situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This idyllic, tropical country is often coined ‘The Friendly Islands’ due to the hospitality and charm of its residents. Here we spend a day in the life of Lesieli, a bright and loveable young Tongan woman living with Down Syndrome.

After having discovered a passion for table tennis, Lesielis’ life has become blessed in new and exciting ways.…more


PMA Scholar: Caring for grandmother, the inspiration for nursing career

As a 13-year-old, Simione Tagicakibau helped care for his fragile and ill grandmother in his homeland of Fiji. Now at 35, that experience as a teenager continues to inspire Simione in his nursing career and fuels his passion to care for the Pasifika community.

“During my experience with my grandmother, I saw how the nurses did their jobs and had a passion for caring for others. This is why I pursued nursing and had the motivation to work in health.”

A recipient of a Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) medical scholarship, Simione initially studied nursing in Fiji and worked as a nurse in his home country and the Cook Islands. He moved to New Zealand in 2015 and settled in Christchurch for better opportunities.

“New Zealand provided me with greener pastures and has allowed me to further develop my nursing knowledge and skills.”

Simione had been working in the Pacific Islands for five years.…more


Keepin it Fresh at the Milk and Honey Festival

Samoan artists Disciple Pati and her sister Nari Keep It Fresh at the Milk and Honey Festival in Auckland.

They were part of a female led festival for International Women's Day ... check out the summer vibes here! 




Director - Shimpal Lelisi 

Editor - Sapati Apa 

Camera Operators - Fa'anati Mamea & Adrian Mcbirney 

Sound Operator - Marcus Lawson 

Talent - Sapati & Henauri Apa-Fepulea'i 

Guest Writer

Racism from the view of a young teine uli - half Samoan half black American living in Savai’i

By Datia Wilson 

It is so weird when the term racism comes to my attention. As I gather my thoughts, I don’t even know where to start. I come from African/Native American, Samoan and Welsh descent. There is nobody I know who hasn’t experienced some sort of racism - including myself.

Growing up my father would try to educate me about slavery, Black history, and some of the struggles they had to experience due to the colour of their skin. Privileges and opportunities that were taken away or fought harder for because their complexion was darker.

My grandfather came 3rd out of 100 applicants for a role at NASA (his dream job) but was passed over because he was black. I also remember a time where my father and I waited for over an hour to be served by a European lady, but there was no line.

This discrimination needs to stop. The thought and the feeling of your worth being inferior to others is not nice at all.…more

Guest Writer

OPINION: Pasifika NRL (mis)pronunciation – don’t (dis)respect my name

By Lefaoali’i Dion Enari

Channel 9’s rugby league personality Erin Molan’s recent ‘hooka looka mooka’ comments when referring to Pasifika rugby league players was nothing short of racism.

To purposefully (mis)pronounce (with an accent) Pasifika names is not only poor taste, but mirrors how much race relations work that still needs to be done. 

Although Pasifika people’s presence and cultures are interwoven in the Australian fabric, we still face many race issues.

What is concerning is people like her continue to portray us to mainstream society as exotic savages, brown entertainers and primitive immigrants. 

This is not the first racial incident involving Pasifika people in Australian rugby league, as former Pasifika players have spoken out on the racial vilification they received both on and off the field (Lakisa, 2019). 

The Australian government has a well-documented history of prejudice against Pasifika people. The White Australia Policy discouraged migration from the islands between 1901-1973 (Lee, 2009). Upon arrival many were labelled unqualified, unexperienced and only able to work as unskilled labour (Vasta, 2004).…more



The killing by police of unarmed black man George Floyd in the US has galvanised activism around the world including an outpouring of support from the Pasifika community in New Zealand and around the world.  

Advocates say Pacific people can relate to the targeting and harassment by police that the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted.  Past protests by Pacific people, including Samoa's independence movement The Mau and The Polynesian Panthers against the Dawn Raids of the 1970's have also inspired many of today's Pasifika generation. 

Pacific Islanders from New Zealand, Australia and the US who attended Black Lives Matter marches last week and more recently over this weekend share why it was important for them as Pasifika to support our black aiga both in the USA and here in our own communities.



Anonymouz aka Faiumu Matthew Salapu 

I love to create art & content that documents events and causes that spotlight where our society currently is, and more importantly, could be.…more


Free period products in schools to combat poverty

Pasifika young women in New Zealand will benefit from the latest government initiative which will see girls and young women from the ages of 9 - 18yrs old have access to free period products in schools.

"Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

 During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the Government’s $2.6 million investment. The roll-out will begin at 15 Waikato schools and be expanded to all state and state-integrated schools on an opt-in basis in 2021.

 “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds may stay at home during their periods due to not being able to afford period products. By making them freely available, we support these young people to continue learning at school,” Jacinda Ardern said.…more


New Training and Apprenticeship Programs Available to aid Covid-19 Recovery

The Government has released a list of training and apprenticeship programs that they intend to fund, in order to aid in Covid-19 recovery. 

• The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training
• The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19
• Apprentices working in all industries will have costs paid
• High demand areas, including in regional New Zealand, targeted
• In many cases apprentices, trainees and learners at tertiary providers will save between $2500 and $6500 per year.

The Government has made it easier for New Zealanders who want to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from COVID-19.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the fund, announced as part of Budget 2020, will encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in these high-demand industries.…more


Artist call-out for new Moana activation; TAUTAI FALE-SHIP Home Residencies.

Set to feature 20 Moana artists over five months via Tautai’s upgraded digital platforms, Tautai has put the call out to creatives of the Moana based in Aotearoa to apply

Each TAUTAI FALE–SHIP Home Residency will take a week long deep-dive into the sacred space of an artist – their fale. Selected artists will share insights around maintaining creative wellbeing, the inspiration behind their work and knowledge they have gathered along their journey. 

“Now is the time, more than ever, to celebrate and support artists in our own back yard.”
Courtney Sina Meredith – Director, Tautai. 

This opportunity is open to arts practitioners from visual arts, music, sculpture, dance, design, poetry, prose, performing arts, film and fashion through to emerging art forms. Each successful applicant will receive $1000 NZD koha. 

Applications are due by Friday 5th June 2020 at midday - you can apply here: APPLICATION FORM


The Unique Samoan La'au Selu

Ruby Satele tells Coconet TV about how these two samoan Selu are particularly unique. 

What is so unique about Samoan selu? 

These particular sets of selu are tall and elongated in form, making it visible even from front view. Each of the combs are significantly decorated and no two combs are the exact same. They are unique from other Samoan selu as these are purely decorative hair adornments and perhaps the only practical element it may have is to secure a hair style in place. The selu la’au (wooden comb) is a special one and also unique, even in the Pacific, for its level of detail and intricacies embedded in a thin, wooden comb.


Can you describe the dfiferent types of selu that are in the collection? Did they have different ornamental uses and what are each one made of? 

There are two types of selu in the collection; selu tuāniu and selu la’au. The selu tuāniu is made from multiple midribs of the coconut leaflet and held together by lashings, often sennit lashings.…more