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.”

Body found on a beach identified as Auckland-based Tongan man Micheal Finekifolau

He was Auckland-based Tongan, Michael Joseph Finekifolau, aged 22.       

Western Bay of Plenty Area Response Manager Senior Sergeant Shannon Clifford said Finekifolau had not returned from a swim at Mt Maunganui on Saturday 7 November.

“Our thoughts are with his whanau at this time and Police continue to provide them with support.”

NZ Police still searching for killer of Samiuela Tupou

Samiuela Anania Tupou, 21, died at Seaside Park in Ōtāhuhu in the early hours of May 25.

He was found in critical condition and later died at the scene despite medical attention. reports Tupou had just recently returned from the United States to live with his family in Mangere before he died.

No arrests have been made, police said. 

Counties Manukau CIB detective senior Sergeant Malcolm Hassall said Tupou had no criminal history and they believed the offender was not known to him.

He said investigations were ongoing.

Police search for Tongan man’s killer in south Auckland

Samiuela Anania Tupou was shot in Seaside Park in Otahuhu shortly after 4.30 on Saturday morning.

Newstalk ZB reports the 21-year-old suffered critical injuries and died at the scene.

Police are appealing for any sightings of a light or gold-coloured people mover, similar to a Honda Odyssey, in the area on Friday night or Saturday morning.

They're also wanting anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any information to come forward to police.


Photo supplied 



US court to rehear Tongan death row case decision

A Nevada news media report said another hearing was scheduled for this month.

Siaosi Vanisi was convicted in the beating death of police officer George Sullivan while in his patrol car at a parking lot near an information kiosk between UNR’s Morrill Hall and Manzanita Lake.

Sullivan had 10 blows to his face, seven to his scalp area, two on the upper part of his body and another to the left hand that nearly severed two fingers, an autopsy report said.

This was not the first time Vanisi’s death case had been challenged in court.

Tongan accused of child rape to be extradited to US from Pago Pago

Paul Harman is wanted in Washington alleged rape of an underage girl 13 years ago, but he fled the US.

He was arrested in American Samoa last month, and has been held in custody without bail while his attorney fought an extradition order.

According to American Samoa's High Court filings, an extradition request was filed from the US in October.

The governor of Washington state sent a written demand to his American Samoa counterpart to have Mr Harman sent back to the US to stand trial for the alleged crime.

Tongan immigrant goes from NFL player to opera star

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Ta'u Pupu'a played football and studied music at Weber State University, the Deseret News reported.

"I heard him singing in one of the practice rooms at Weber. I was walking down the hall and heard him sing and I thought, 'My, what a wonderful voice' and (I) knocked on the door," said Evelyn Harris, Pupu'a's college voice teacher. "We became acquainted and he became my student."

Pupu'a was known for playing football, Harris remembered, "but he also loved to sing."

Alo Ngata’s friends speak highly of him

Alo Ngata, 29, died in Auckland Hospital three days after a fracas with police as they tried to arrest him following an incident on Sunday afternoon in Freemans Bay.

Police allege Ngata violently attacked a 76-year-old, kicking him five or six times in the head and rendering him unconscious.

He then blocked police from getting to the injured pensioner and advanced on officers in a threatening manner.

Police Tasered Ngata several times but he continued to resist them.

It took four officers to restrain him.

Tongan man denies forcibly raping teenager

Viliami Tuakoi, 59, entered his pleas to three felonies in Natrona County District Court through an interpreter who participated in the hearing by phone.

When Judge Thomas Sullins asked Tuakoi how he pleaded, he spoke in Tongan before the interpreter’s voice was heard through a courtroom speaker.

“Not guilty.”

New Tongan theatre show set to inspire

Albert Mateni not only wrote but also plays the lead role in the show Hearts of Men which opens this week in Auckland.

The show follows a young Tongan's dream to win gold for his country at the Olympics and the adversity in his journey leading up to the event.

The production earned Mr Mateni the 2018 Tongan Youth Trust for Music and Art Award.

Albert Mateni said there were not many Tongan playwrights or theatre productions in New Zealand and he hoped to pave the way for more.