Pasifika legal education project launched

Pacific people are underrepresented in the legal profession. Although they comprise 7 percent of the general population, they make up only 3 percent of Lawyers. At the same time they are overrepresented in the legal system, comprising 12 percent of the prison population.

The project will explore issues around Equity, Belonging, and Authority and was launched over the weekend at Victoria University - Te Herenga Waka - by Aupito William Sio Minister for Pacific Peoples and Courts and Associate Minister for Justice, Foreign Affairs, Health (Pacific) and Education (Pacific).

Pasifika voices needed for research project on literacy and numeracy skills

The New Zealand Work Research Institute began a 5-year-long study in October 2019 and this month have started to focus in on Pacific people.

AUT University lecturer Dr Betty Ofe-Grant is leading the Pasifika component of the project and she said Pacific people in Aotearoa are over-represented when it comes to low literacy and numeracy skills.

According to Literacy NZ, one in four adults have literacy difficulties in their everyday life.

ASB Polyfest returns to Auckland after two year break

The hoisting of flags at dawn by Maori and Pacific community leaders was especially poignant as it marks the return of the iconic Maori and Pacific schools festival after two years.

The 45-year-old festival was cancelled over the last two years due to the Christchurch shooting in 2019 and last year’s COVID 19 lockdown.

ASB Polyfest Trustee Mama Tupou Manapouri says it is just so important for our students to return to the stage and celebrate who they are.

“After the lengthy COVID 19 lockdowns we all needed to get back to some kind of normalcy and mental wellbeing.”

Tackling Pasifika health challenges head-on

The 26-year-old was running boot-camp style challenges alongside her brother Patrick Hufanga, founder of Beastmode Fitness. 

Over 110 people signed up for the recent six week challenge, all of them Pacific Islanders. 

"It's basically about bettering yourself in's a challenge for people who come from different forms, shapes and sizes, just for us to push them to have a better life, a healthy life," she said.

Just over 63 percent of Pacific adults and around 29 percent of Pacific children in New Zealand were classified obese. 

New initiative to address shortage of Māori and Pasifika midwives

Less than 10 percent of midwives identify as Māori and less than 3 percent as Pasifika. However, figures from the New Zealand College of Midwives showed 25 percent of Aotearoa's birthing population in 2018 identified as Māori, and 10 percent as Pasifika.

The Te Ara ō Hine for Māori and Tapu Ora for Pasifika is to be developed by Māori and Pacific midwifery educators, students, graduates and stakeholders from Auckland University of Technology, Victoria University of Wellington, Otago Polytechnic, Ara Institute of Canterbury and Waikato Institute of Technology.

Hundreds of Pasifika tangled up in money pyramid schemes

Not wanting to be named, this mother joined the Golden Group Kiwiland Refund line twice, investing $1500 overall.

She made her first payment of $750 to ‘Alapasita Tu’ima a representative from the scheme, and was promised she would receive $3000 within ten days.​

"When I went to her house it was her and another guy Tom, they were going on and on about the scheme going good. 

"I went on a Monday and paid my fee, where​ she said to me, ten days from now, on the eleventh day I’ll get paid."

Pasifika urged to take up swimming lessons after drowning stats

Surf Life Saving New Zealand's Beach & Coastal Safety Report show Pasifika, Māori and Asians are over-represented in fatal drowning figures.

The report stated that on average, 36 people drown every year on New Zealand's coastlines.

Most drownings occurred on non-lifeguarded beaches or outside of patrol hours, and 87 percent of victims were male.

SLSNZ Chief Executive, Paul Dalton, said per capita, although not overall, Māori and Pacific people were over-represented in the figures.

Dramatic weight loss journey began after having enough of 'family's negative talk'

Being overweight in a Pacific family often means you're guaranteed to be caught in the crossfire of digs, jokes and comments from family members about your weight.

It's a feeling Samuel Sooupu Nanai​ knew all too well, and started him on a dramatic journey to lose weight.

"Growing up I've always been big, every year when we would meet up for Christmas my cousins would call me and my other cousin, fat.​

"I had enough of negative talk especially from family members," says Nanai.

He believes Pasifika need to be careful with how they use their words.

New research into rheumatic fever treatment for Pasifika

Figures show Pacific and Māori children and young adults have the highest rates of rheumatic fever in New Zealand.

Victoria University's Dianne Sika-Paotonu and her fellow researchers will investigate how penicillin treatment has been working across different populations.

The initial studies were carried out on US soldiers in the 1950s.

Dr Sika-Paotonu has been awarded an extra 170-thousand US dollars to look into the issue.

She said it was clear better information was needed on how the drug works

Hutt Valley Polyfest gives youth identity boost

From just eight primary schools taking part six years ago, 43 primary and early childhood centres as well as seven colleges, took the stage during the 2017 Hutt Valley Polyfest.

Twelve hundred spectators packed out the Walter Nash Stadium on the final night of the Polyfest, where secondary school students showcased their talent.

Up to seven thousand also witnessed children as young as three and four perform over the week.

Polyfest organiser Luana Leuluai was overwhelmed with the turnout of both spectator and participant.