Moana Arts

Coco Gallery

Come and browse the beautiful images of Polynesia via our curated exhibitions of Pacific photography!

Watch out for monthly collections by guest photographers and curators as we celebrate the best of our Nesian photographic imagery

Photo for Coco Gallery
Photo for 'Holem strong kalsa blo iumi' - Solomon Islands Cultural Exhibition at Auckland Museum

'Holem strong kalsa blo iumi' - Solomon Islands Cultural Exhibition at Auckland Museum

The 'Holem strong kalsa blo iumi' - Hold on to our culture exhibition opened on the 4th of December at Te Taunga Community Hub in Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. 

The exhibition will be on until the 5th February 2023 and is dedicated to all Solomon Islands children and youth who are born and raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

It showcases the culture, stories and traditions from their perspective, and encourages the youth to be proud of their culture and identity.

The exhibition is entirely curated by the community, and the exhibit takes its name from a motto passed onto the New Zealand-born young generation.

Through film, traditional carved and woven objects, ornaments and instruments from the nine provinces - Choiseul, Isabel, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Western Province, Central, Temotu, Makira, and Rennell & Bellona - members of the Solomon Islands community are invited to reinforce their attachment to their homeland, and visitors to experience the uniqueness of this country.

By Florie Dausabe

Photos from the exhibition opening by Doreen Kwaoga and Juliana Satchell Deo

Photo for TOA SAMOA CELEBRATIONS

TOA SAMOA CELEBRATIONS

In the early hours of Sunday the 13th of November 2022, a drop kick by Toa Samoa winger Stephen Crichton gave his team a clutch win over England, making history for the 2nd time in the Rugby League World Cup.

They are only the sixth nation to ever qualify for a World Cup final. The first ever tier two & Pacific Island nation and the first new nation to play in a final for 34 years.

The parades and celebrations which have ensued leading up to the Samoa vs Tonga Quarter Final & the Samoa vs  England Semi Final, as well as after the wins, have gone off around South Auckland & different places around the world.

Check out these videos from celebrations after the Quarter final win against Tonga in Mangere Town Centre here & the Semi final win against England in Otara here.  

Photos from the Otara celebrations after the England semi final win today and we'll add more over the upcoming week leading up to the final.

Photo for PACIFIC RUNWAY 2022

PACIFIC RUNWAY 2022

Pacific Runway has been an annual event which was launched in 2012 by founder and coordinator Jannike Seiuli. 

The platform was designed to showcase the incredible talent of Maori, Pasifika and Indigenous creatives and has played host to a prestigious fashion event with a distinctive touch of the Pacific celebrating a fusion of fashion over the last decade.

However, in 2022, which is the show's 11th year, Jannike decided that this would be the last and split the show in to two events - a Pacific Runway show at the Powerhouse Museum and then a Pac Gala the following evening celebrating Pacific artistry.

The Pacific Runway show this year also included workshops & talanoa panels, demonstrations by a live Fijian artist and a styling demo, a Pacific marketplace, performances by Sela Vai & Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts and Pacific Short Films.

Peep photos from both the Pacific Runway Event and the Pap Gala celebration here - 

Photo for PROMISELAND 2022

PROMISELAND 2022

Australia’s first music festival blending Afrobeats, Reggae, Hip Hop & RnB hit the Gold Coast on October 1st with a good dose of rain on Day 1 but it didn't dampen the more than 22,000 deep festival revellers.

Day One's lineup featured a number of your fave Pasifika artists including Ardijah, Three Houses Down, Nesian Mystik + some of the newer artists on the rise - Lisi, HP Boyz &  Yungn Lipz 

Day Two's Pasifika lineup featured the likes of Scribe, SammyJ + Common Kings with Dinah Jane and other international acts such as UB40, Wyclef, Central Cee, Blxst & more.

An incredible lineup put on by two young Samoan promoters - Bernard Kumar & Andy Tu'umaga (and their team) - their first time putting together a festival of this scale.

We're already looking forward to what they come up with for Promiseland 2023.

Peep photos of artist performances + fits and behind the scenes from both days of the festival below ...

 - 

Photographers:  Penina Momoiseā & Vanu Savea-Maoate

Photo for PACIFIC MUSIC AWARDS 2022

PACIFIC MUSIC AWARDS 2022

It's the biggest celebration of Pacific Music in Aotearoa and the live event returned for the first time in two years.

There were 26 finalists in total with a mix of new musicians debuting music, established music artists, Pacific industry icons and everything in between.

This year iconic Samoan singer-songwriter Fa'anana Jerome Grey was honoured with the Pacific Music Awards Lifetime Achievement award and there was a new Creative New Zealand award.

We've got all the winners and some of your fave artists on the red carpet for you below - 

Photo for CARLOS ULBERG - Fight Camp

CARLOS ULBERG - Fight Camp

At UFC 271, Samoan/Maori Light Heavyweight fighter Carlos Ulberg, is one of two Samoans on the card.

Carlos started out as a boxer with Lolo Heimuli at City Boxing, transitioning into Kickboxing where he picked up a contract in China with EMC.  

During this time he helped out the likes of Mark Hunt on his fight camps as a sparring partner.

Since being with City Kickboxing he joined the MMA team and was fortunate to land a UFC contract through Dana White's contender series.

He is a two time King in the Ring champion & made his UFC debut on the UFC 259 card.

-

Carlos gives us a a glimpse into his preparation leading into UFC 271.

Photographer - Penina Momoiseā

Photo for SUPER SATURDAY VAXATHON

SUPER SATURDAY VAXATHON

The Pasifika community were out all around Aotearoa today for Super Saturday's Vaxathon.

The vaccine push is the New Zealand's government attempt to get higher vaccination rates across New Zealand and has been dubbed 'a national day for action for vaccination' 

We went to check out a few of the Pasifika community and health provider initiated Drive Thru vaccination events in Onehunga and South Auckland today.

Our friends at Radio New Zealand shared updates from Nelson and Porirua.

As at 7pm today 127,977 people had received the Covid-19 vaccine and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is still hoping to reach 150,000 by 8pm this evening.

You can check out today's live vaccine numbers broken down in this link here 

Photo for TAMARIKI KUKI AIRANI

TAMARIKI KUKI AIRANI

Pacific Islands children are our precious measina.  

These Kuki Airani children in both Aitutaki and Rarotonga captured our hearts.

Growing up island style ... 

The simple life! 

Photo for IKALE TAHI vs MANU SAMOA RWC Qualifier Game 1

IKALE TAHI vs MANU SAMOA RWC Qualifier Game 1

Pacific pride and a 2023 Rugby World Cup spot was on the line over the weekend when Ikale Tahi and Manu Samoa met at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

It was the first of two tests that will decide who will join Fiji^ at the RWC in the Oceania 1 at Rugby World Cup 2023 pool.

Photo for GENAH FABIAN - PRO BOXING DEBUT

GENAH FABIAN - PRO BOXING DEBUT

Genah Fabian  is back to challenge for the Women's Lightweight crown this  PFL MMA 2021 season, which is currently being held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the US of A.

The Samoan/Maori fighter has kept active over the last few years picking up the WWC World Muaythai Champion title along the way and is currently fighting out of City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand.

When she came home at the end of the 2019 season, there was no inkling of the global pandemic that was about to shut the world down, which then resulted in the PFL MMA competition taking a break in 2020.

She was keen to get a fight in before the 2021 PFL season started, so made the switch to Boxing and trained under Doug Viney and his CKB boxing coaching team.  

She then made her Pro Boxing debut in March this year.  Genah's boxing coaching team share a behind the scenes look at getting her ready for her Boxing debut on fight night.

You can watch Genah's first fight of the 2021 PFL MMA season (06 May) here. and catch her second fight live between 10am - 4pm tomorrow (26th June) via the PFL Youtube channel  

Photo for POLYFEST 2021

POLYFEST 2021

Celebrating 45 years of Polyfest! 

The iconic ASB Polyfest, Auckland Secondary Schools Maori & Pacific Islands Cultural Festival, is back in 2021 after taking a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the Christchurch tragedy on March 15, 2019, which affected the last day of performances that year.

The Manukau sports bowl has come back to life again with the colour and culture of Polyfest

Photo for PASIFIKA 2021

PASIFIKA 2021

The iconic Pasifika festival was back this year after a two year absence in a new location at Mt Smart Stadium. 

The event was spread out over two days for people to enjoy the world's largest celebration of Pacific Islands culture to the fullest.

We went through on Day Two to find some of our favourite island food, enjoy the different Pacific Islands markets and catch the live performances including the highlight of the day ... George "FIJI" Veikoso.

Photo for WHITE SUNDAY IN SAMOA

WHITE SUNDAY IN SAMOA

White Sunday or Children's Day in Samoa.

A special day in the children of Samoa's calendar (the 2nd Sunday in October) where they get dressed up in their best white clothes, perform for their parents and get treated with their favourite food for to'ona'i.

We followed the Laumua kids getting ready for their early morning service in Palisi, watched the kids at EFKS Vaivase-Tai gathering in their Sunday school for their big day and caught up with some of the children & their families at the Mulivai cathedral in Apia.

In Tuasivi, Savai'i we spent the morning with the Magele family where they were putting down an umu before the service.  We watched the childrens performance at the EFKS Tuasivi and enjoyed a BBQ with the family after church.

Photo for MOTHERS DAY LOCKDOWN PORTRAITS 2020

MOTHERS DAY LOCKDOWN PORTRAITS 2020

Celebrating our Mamas during lockdown!  

Mothers Day 2020 was celebrated today in New Zealand under Alert Level 3 Covid19 restrictions, which meant that Mamas were at home in their aiga/family bubbles.

Mothers Day church services had to be streamed online, some Mothers Day gifts had to be dropped off or arranged to be delivered and some larger families decided to postpone their Mothers Day to'ona'i until the extended aiga could be all together.

This weekend we took a few Mothers Day snaps of Pasifika Mamas in our community ... from a safe distance of course ;)  What a time to be alive! 

Photo for CHILDREN OF SAMOA

CHILDREN OF SAMOA

Island children are our precious measina.  As we've travelled around Samoa at different times, these children of Samoa captured our hearts.

We love how they didn't need iPads, toys or TVs to keep them occupied and happy. 

The Simple life.  

Growing up island styles ...

Photo for POLYFEST 2018

POLYFEST 2018

Over 100,000 Pacificans celebrated the passion and fervour of the unique flavours of Polynesians again this weekend with over 10,000 secondary school students performing.

The festival is now the largest Polynesian festival in the world AND the largest dance competition in the world! 

After 2 days of competing over 4 Pacific stages, we have the full results for each of the island nations represented.

Photo for MEASINA PASIFIKA - LEI CULTURE in the PACIFIC

MEASINA PASIFIKA - LEI CULTURE in the PACIFIC

In the Pacific, neck garlands may be a symbol of welcome, but are so much more than that -ever present at Pacific gatherings as a sign of celebration, mana, mourning or beauty and always a bestowal of alofa and respect. 

The ‘ula, ‘ei, kahoa, lei, salusalu show both the connections we have as people interlaced in culture across Pasifika, and also our differences with each Island having its own unique incarnations of these famous and most Pacific of adornments.

Ane Tonga - Guest Curator 

Photo for CHURCHES OF SAMOA

CHURCHES OF SAMOA

Churches in Samoa have always stood out to me as you drive through the villages in Samoa and have looked to be in such huge contrast to the simple fales that people live in.  

I jumped at the opportunity to be able to photograph these churches and in the process learned so much about the history of Samoa at the same time.

Photographer:  Penina Momoisea

Photo for POLYFEST

POLYFEST

Polyfest is the biggest Pacific & Māori festival in the world! Showcasing traditional dance, music and speech from 60 Auckland secondary schools, Polyfest is a vibrant display of all things Pasifika.