State care abuse even resulted in hatred of his culture, Samoan tells inquiry in NZ

Fa'amoana Luafutu, 69, has shared his story at the inquiry into historical abuse in care sitting in South Auckland.

The Royal Commission has opened a two-week hearing into the harm and impacts on Pasifika peoples of abuse in state or faith-based care.

The hearing opened on Monday with a traditional Pacific welcome at the Fale o Samoa in Māngere.

Fa'amoana Luafutu came out from Samoa at the age of eight in 1960.

On his first day at school, the teachers said they could not pronounce his name and immediately changed it to John.

Auckland's Polyfest allows students to take 'first step' in their cultural journey

For many students, this year’s ASB Polyfest was their first chance to embrace their heritage on the grandest stage of them all.

With the Samoan and Tongan stages kicking off, it was natural some had butterflies.

"It feels good but I’m nervous at the same time," says a Year 7 St Peter's College Samoan student.

While for others, their competitive side was on show.

A Tongan student at Sacred Heart College says he joined the group to "make history, take home the dub and rep the culture".

Polyfest 2021 day two: 'It's all about language'

While cultural dance performances are usually the spectacle of the show, some students opt for a much smaller component of the festival.

One of the Samoan stage coordinators Melegalenu'u Ah Sam said the idea of running a speech competition was initiated well over a decade ago and had been going strong since.

"The teachers of the Samoan language were looking at it and thought, 'how can we use the language, besides singing and dancing?' so we decided to give it a go," she said.

Samoan in NZ prison for murder to be deported on release

Esau Vailagilala was 19 when he tackled John Li'a to the ground after a birthday party in Mt Roskill in 2011.

He was joined two other men and they used weapons to attack and stab the victim, who bled to death.

RNZ reports Vailagilala, now aged 28, arrived in New Zealand in 2009 through adoption by his aunt.

Among family he will leave behind in New Zealand when he is released from his 13-year sentence for murder in 2026 and deported, is his twin brother.

Husband and wife write children's books to help keep Pacific languages alive

Deborah Sanerivi says she started writing the books with her husband Oka to help her own family, as well as others.

“I wrote the books simply so I could learn. I couldn’t find resources that were structured in a way that helped me to say the sentences that I wanted to say to my new little girl.

“As she got older and we started to incorporate more sentences and more of the language into her life, we realised there are more families like ours that don’t necessarily have the language base to help them speak our language or their language to their children.”

Aigagalefili Fepulea'i-Tapua'i speaks up for South Auckland students

She is of Samoan descent, and has spoken out against the continuing negative media portrayal of her community, who were often on the front line as essential workers. She spoke to Kim Hill on Saturday Morning.

In the first leaders debate on TVNZ Aigagalefili asked the leaders of the Labour and National parties, Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, what the next government would do to support low decile students forced to drop out of school to support their families through Covid-19 - a topic she's been vocal about this year.

Three Pasifika female writers shortlisted for NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Former New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh is a finalist for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction for her graphic memoir Mophead.

For Marsh, being shortlisted for an award is something she would never have imagined.

“I didn’t even think that Mophead would be nominated because I’m a first-time children’s author and as a poet, I’ve always just told my story because it’s other people’s stories.”

Marsh says the title of the book refers to a name she was called in school by one of her frenemies.

Mother of 4 in Samoa found guilty on drug charges

Christina Schuster, 42, was found guilty yesterday of possession of marijuana for the purpose of sale.

Her husband, who pleaded guilty to the same charges, is already serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence.

The charges relate to a police raid last December on the couple's home in Nu'u-fou, where over 1.7kg of marijuana were seized.

Police evidence heard during the trial revealed the couple was involved with another suspect implicated in a separate police raid this month in the village of Faleatiu, where more than 10,000 marijuana plants were seized.


Samoan professional attains key position in new Skycity Hotels Group Management

Set up to deliver on SkyCity’s hotel growth strategy and manage on-going projects including the Horizon Hotel in Auckland and the Adelaide Casino

Hotel, the group will be lead by Brad Burnett as Group General Manager of Hotels, with the support of Colin McClean, General Manager of New Zealand Hotel Operations.

“The new centralised SkyCity Hotels Group function will allow us to not only synergise operations across our sites, but also encourage a group focus to ensure

Fepulea'i Margie Apa first Samoan to lead a District Health Board in New Zealand

Fepulea'i Margie Apa's new role at the Counties Manukau DHB started last week and she said she is keen to make a difference for all patients, including those of Pacific islands heritage.

"Smoking and alcohol is quite important for Pacific and we are also quite thoughtful about the kinds of risk factors that leads to diabetes heart disease and obesity. And healthy living and making healthy lifestyle choices in ways that are relevant for Pacific people," Fepulea'i Margie Apa said.