NEWSROOM: 05 August - 11 August 2007

  Asenati Lole-Taylor; Samoa Auckland City Community Fono (SACCF); SACCF with Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Lupesoli’ai Malielegaoi Sailele.
Apia, Samoa (Photos: Asenati Lole-Taylor)


Asenati Lole-Taylor Community Column
11 August 2007 - Source: Asenati Lole-Taylor

Pacific Islands Board Auckland City (PIBAC) agreed at their last night’s meeting that it is time to go back to their respective communities and give them an update on developments so far.

At the same time, PIBAC will also utilise the opportunity to increase participation and involvement of Pacific communities in Council decision making activities through the presentations of various topics. Dates have been confirmed for these Pacific public fono to be held on 27th August, and 17th September with starting time of 6.00pm.

One of PIBAC’s main objectives was to improve the way in which Council communicates with their Pacific peoples. More details on these fono will be confirmed shortly, and the community will be advised of venues and finalised programme accordingly.

There will be opportunity for all Pacific candidates standing for local government election to be invited to speak at these fono in order for our communities to hear their aspiration and strategies if they are elected later this year.

The fono will provide the Pacific community with an opportunity to ask questions to all of our candidates, and to increase the awareness of our people about why they need to enrol in the electoral roll. This will give the opportunity for our Pacific people to get a better understanding on services delivered by the Auckland City Council.

The more that our Pacific communities know about what council does, the better they can be aware of the need for their involvement and participation in influencing the decisions that Council makes.

Samoa Auckland City Community Fono (SACCF) flying visit to Samoa was a great success. Flying Polynesian Blue Airlines means SACCF acknowledges the importance of supporting the national airline of Samoa, and all things that are Samoan. It is crucial that our Samoan people contribute to the economic development of Samoa by supporting Polynesian Blue Airline.

All 14 members of the SACCF fono attended their August monthly fono that was held in Apia and hosted by the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) and their Chief Executive Matatamalii Sonja Hunter on Thursday 2nd August local time.

A presentation by STA on the current plans by the Samoa government which focuses on promoting Samoa as an ideal tourist destination, as well as asking the members of SACCF to assist in raising the profile of Samoa as an ideal destination for holiday makers. Members of SACCF are proud to acknowledge that their homeland of Samoa has led with stability and consistency in the Pacific, due to the astute leadership of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Malielegaoi Sailele and its government.

Members of SACCF were also given the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoli’ai Malielegaoi Sailele, who endorsed the SACCF’s strategic plan and acknowledged the excellent development by the group.

The Samoan Prime Minister encouraged all members of the SACCF to continue with the fantastic work so far, and would like to see more of our Samoan people excel in New Zealand. In his words, where there is “tofa mamao” (sub-conscious) there is long term sustainability of success.

Successful graduation for participation of the Pasefika Legends story telling at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility yesterday, Tuesday 7th August.

The final phase of the pilot for this Pacific programme was completed with a successful graduation of 10 women who participated in this 8 weeks course. Community leaders and families of the participants attended in support of the event and to witness the development of the Pacific women in prison after this programme.

Rev. Leiite Setefano led the event with a sauniga lotu, and words of thanksgiving for the work that went into this programme. According to Rev. Setefano, this programme generates a lot of excitement for all Pacific Islands, because it is an area of great interests to our Pacific peoples. He became so emotional with the presentation by the women in prison which included different legends from Pacific Islands.

The performance presentations included:
• Samoan Legend of Alao and his wife and their children Saveasiuleo, Salevaogogo, and Ulufanuasese’e.
• Tongan legend was Maui and his son Tiitiiatalaga who brought the fire from the underworld of Pulotu to the rest of Tongan Island,
• Niuean legend of the Woman that was swollen by the whale and ended up in Tonga, and ended up sharing her expertise in arts and crafts with the Tongan people,
• Cook Islands legend of Ina and the gift from the Eel god, the coconut.

Facilitators Rev. Ionatana Pouli Lefale and Auomala Epati Lefale delivered the programme in a way that made it so exciting with the inclusion of Pacific dances from the different Pacific Islands to support their respective legends. It was an impressive performance by everyone.

“As the programme catalyst and coordinator, I am pleased to see the success of this programme. We were able to record the graduation, and we had the participants being interviewed to give their own personal accounts of what they have achieved or got out of the programme. The feedback will be used to improve and shaped Pacific Programmes in order for the Department of Corrections to continue to promote the implementation of these programmes throughout the Prison Service.”

Community and residents will have a say on the future of Otahuhu.

An opportunity for the Otahuhu’s community to have a say on a plan that will guide the town’s future development following endorsement of the draft document by Auckland City Council’s USG Committee.

The draft Otahuhu liveable community plan aims to establish the right conditions to promote economic growth, create new jobs, provide for an additional 1000 new homes over the next 15 years to accommodate a growing population, improve access to public transport choices for residents and create a high quality living environment.

This will give the community a unique prospect to shape how the town grows and changes over the next two decades. Key proposals in the draft plan include supporting the upgrade of the rail station and development of a nearby park-and-ride facility, completing the Otahuhu recreation precinct to include a recreation centre, aquatic centre and library.

It is important to protect Otahuhu’s heritage, particularly the portage and the town’s volcanic landscape and support for the gradual transition of Otahuhu’s Station Rd business area into an office activity area, and more.

  Buckwheat performing on stage at Slide in Sydney; Buckwheat has been one of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s most recognised faces and will be sadly missed.
(Photos: Morgan Carpenter / New Zealand AIDS Foundation)


Buckwheat bows out after nine years of service
10 August 2007 - Source: NZ AIDS Foundation Press Release

Edward Cowley, aka internationally-renowned drag diva Buckwheat, is to leave his role at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation on October 5, after nearly nine-and-a-half years of service to the community in Auckland.

One of the Foundation’s most recognisable faces, he says that after nearly ten years in his respective roles working for the Pacific Peoples Project and Gay Men’s Health, it’s time for a change of direction.

Edward began work for NZAF full time in 1998, as one of the first community educators on the then-fledgling Pacific Peoples Project. He was involved in producing several safe sex resources which are seen around the world, and remain in high demand. “I’m also particularly proud of the inroads we made into the churches, talking openly about HIV and sexuality in what can be a difficult environment,” he says.

Working with people has been “the greatest satisfaction” of his time at NZAF, he says, as well as a commitment to changing attitudes and behaviour. “Change can take a long time, particularly in Pacific communities,” he says. “Working in the gay community is a big job too, but if you’re going to succeed you can’t think of it like that. You have to take it in small steps.”

Once finishing up with NZAF, he’ll be expanding his work with Pacific communities with motivational training and projects for the Ministry of Social Development - and of course, continuing to glam up the skies as his alter-ego, Buckwheat. “Last year’s Pink Flight to Sydney Mardi Gras from Auckland was really successful, so there’s now going to be a second one from Vancouver and San Francisco,” he says. “I’ll be making two trips next year!”

Edward says he will continue to be involved in the Foundation’s work, including a key role in helping promote the upcoming Gay Men’s Health Safe Sex Poster Boy campaign, and the Love Life 2 Fono for Pacific “third sex” communities.

NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier says Edward has been “a remarkable asset” during his time at the Foundation. “We have been so appreciative of the groundwork he laid in respect to our relationships with Pacific communities and as community liaison for Gay Men’s Health. He has built great relationships with gay businesses and the broader Auckland gay community.

“He is such a loved member of the Foundation and we will miss him enormously. We are delighted that he will be continuing the strong relationship he has with the Foundation and our safe sex message.”

  The three organisations who joined together to call on all New Zealanders to stand against child abuse; Nia Glassie, the latest abuse victim, who inspired the rally.
(Photos: Family First NZ / For the Sake of Our Children Trust / Sensible Sentencing Trust / TVNZ)


Call for nationwide 'stand' against child abuse
09 August 2007 - Source: Ministry of Social Development Press Release

Family First NZ , For the Sake of Our Children Trust and the Sensible Sentencing Trust joined together to call on all New Zealanders to stand against child abuse this Wednesday.

They asked all New Zealanders to stop whatever they were doing; to come out onto the street, outside the office or classroom, to stop their car or truck and stand outside their vehicle, and make a symbolic 'stand' against child abuse for three minutes at 12:12pm.

The three minutes represents the three short years of little Nia's life, and the number 12 is significant as it represents the months of the year where children are abused, neglected and killed in NZ. The three short minutes was an opportunity for each person to reflect on what each one of us can do to be part of the solution to our unacceptable rate of child abuse. They also requested all radio stations to play Destiny Child's "Stand Up For Love" during these 3 minutes. This song was the Anthem for the World Children's Day 2005. The three Trusts have also released the following statement:

“Each week another New Zealand child's precious life is extinguished or damaged because violent parents or caregivers will not meet or can not cope with their responsibilities. We are sick and tired of doing nothing while our babies and children are being beaten and murdered. We have allowed violent adults the right to silence, bail and parole, while babies' and children's rights go undefended. We have allowed political correctness to get in the way of speaking the truth. We have allowed a succession of policies over the last 30 years to diminish the significance of family structure. We have allowed children to be raised in homes with an unacceptable level of violence, drug abuse, family dysfunction, and emotional and physical harm. We are alarmed that with all the government groups, Inquiries and Commissioners appointed to oversee and intervene, we still have one of the worst rates of child abuse in the world.”

“When our families are messed up, our nation is messed up.”

“We call for implementation of the following 5-point Action Plan:

1. Establishing a non-political Commission of Inquiry comprising community leaders who are already working with at-risk families - to identify effective and achievable solutions to child abuse, and examining specifically the role of drug and alcohol abuse, family structure and breakdown, race-based issues, and poverty and stress.

2. Immediate increase of support and resourcing of grass-root community organisations who are working with at-risk families and those attempting to stop abuse in the first place - for example HIPPY Foundation, Early Start, Plunket Helpline, Family Help Trust and other early childhood home-based programmes.

3. Increased investment and availability of parenting and marriage programmes such as Parents Inc, Triple P and other community based programmes.

4. media-based anti-'child abuse' campaign , in the same way road safety 'shock' campaigns are run, raising the awareness of and encouraging 'positive' parenting and identifying what is abuse.

5. Sentencing for those who abuse and kill our children to be substantially toughened to provide both a deterrent and a clear message of our community's disgust with the actions of people who abuse children.”

  Thanks to the Samoan Kidney Foundation Renal Dialysis Centre, much need space is being freed up in Auckland hospitals.
(Photos: Samoan Ministry of Health / Counties Manukau District Health Board)

Samoa dialysis centre saves New Zealand money
08 August 2007 - Source: Television New Zealand

The Pacific's only dialysis centre is saving New Zealand hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The treatment centre in Samoa is treating patients who would otherwise need care in Auckland.

Meleisea Tuatagaloa Folitau's blood needed to be treated in New Zealand but his heart longed for Samoa.

Diagnosed with kidney failure, the longtime Auckland resident needed dialysis three times a week to survive.

He thought he would be tied to Auckland forever and he would never see his homeland again.

"It is very important. I am the matai of the family, the head of the family, so I have to look after each and every one of the family,” he says.

But then the Samoan government offered a lifeline to its people - a dialysis centre.

"That's why we came back," says Folitau.

It costs New Zealand's health system $50,000 a year for each dialysis patient.

But it's not just about saving money - it has also freed up much needed space in Auckland hospitals.

"We are really busy at the moment anyway. For the Samoan patients to be accessing the dialysis centre in Samoa has been really beneficial," says Manu Sione of Counties Manukau District Health Board.

  The Pinnacle FiteNite show will screen on Maori Television from 11.00 AM on Sunday August 19 (NZT); David ‘Tuaman’ Tua, who will be up against Mexican heavyweight champion Saul ‘La Cobra’ Montana.
(Photos: Maori Television /

Tuaman stages boxing comeback on Maori Television
07 August 2007 - Source: Maori Television Press Release

Maori Television has scored the live and free-to-air broadcast rights to three upcoming fights in the United States by one of boxing’s most feared punchers of all-time, David ‘Tuaman’ Tua, in a deal announced on award-winning sports entertainment show CODE on the 2nd of August.

Tua takes the next step in his comeback when he headlines the Pinnacle FiteNite show against Mexican heavyweight champion Saul ‘La Cobra’ Montana in the 10-round co-main event in Salt Lake City, Utah, later this month (August).

The three-hour sports special will screen on Maori Television from 11.00 AM on Sunday August 19 (NZT). Details of the other two fights will be announced at a later date.

Samoan knockout specialist Tua (47-3-1, 40 KOs) – who went the distance against undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in 2000 – has accomplished just about everything in boxing except for winning a world title. He has beaten world heavyweight champions Oleg Maskaev, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman and Michael Moorer but never worn the coveted title belt himself.

“Every fight is a title fight,” Tua told Pinnacle FiteNite from his Salt Lake City training camp about his new attitude. “That’s my whole approach – mentally, spiritually and physically. This is it! I’m taking a different approach, in my second time around, to the sport I love. Training hard is part of it but I have to be smart, too.

“This time around is different and I look forward to enjoying the sweet science. It’ll be pleasing to get another title shot and winning it, which would seal off my career, and I still have three, four years to do it.”

The battle-tested Montana (48-14, 42 KOs) has fought world champions James Toney, Virgil Hill, and Vassiliy Jirov. “I know Montana is going to try and stop me from fighting and winning a world title,” Tua continues. “He will be well prepared just like everyone who fights me. I’m training very hard for him.”

Get ready to rumble when David ‘Tuaman’ Tua takes on Mexican Saul ‘La Cobra’ Montana – live and free-to-air only on Maori Television at 11.00 AM on Sunday August 19 (NZT).

  Members of the New Zealand navy team; Navy volunteer working on the Red
Cross building in Apia; Samoa Red Cross volunteer workers.

Apia, Samoa (Photos: Salamina Faaifo)


New Zealand Volunteers Share Skills with local Red Cross
06 August 2007 - Source:

A group of volunteers who travelled to Samoa on the RNZ Navy HMS Resolution from New Zealand has pledged their service and time whilst in Samoa, to help the Samoa Red Cross. The HMS Resolution arrived last weekend and left on its goodwill mission to Tokelau, which departed Sunday night 29 July. Meanwhile the volunteers stayed back in Samoa to offer their time to the local Red Cross Society.

Whilst there are many services in the public sector that need assistance, the group has offered to volunteer their time to share work skills and fellowship with the local Red Cross. Their visit was targeting the current local Red Cross Workshop Schedule, which is currently being run around the country. The visit also coincides with the Red Cross workshops in preparation for the South Pacific Games.

The eleven member group of volunteers are all from New Zealand. In an interview with Event Polynesia this week, team leader Lieutenant Commander Bill Spencer said “This first visit to Samoa by the team is not only important for them offering their help but the experience to work side by side with the local Red Cross is an experience to treasure”. He went on to say “During our weeklong engagement in Samoa, the team will at least have some experience of the Samoan way of doing work and get a fair idea of the way of life and the language here”

The main objective of the group’s visit to Samoa is to offer their volunteer service to the Red Cross. The group brings trade skills including electrical, plumbing and carpentry, which they will share with their local counterparts. In addition to their trade skills, the group is also qualified to teach First Aid courses for the on the field and support services for teams and officials during the games.

The volunteers will return to New Zealand on Saturday and hope that before they leave, they will have contributed to the Samoa Red Cross and at the same time learned a thing or two from them.

  Fata Koroseta To'o with Principal of the South Pacific College of Natural Therapies Ms Glynn Lorrigan; Junior Gale a Taulasea; One of the many local medicinal plants used in natural therapy.
Apia, Samoa (Photos: Salamina Faaifo)


South Pacific College of Natural Therapies
05 August 2007 - Source:

The Principal and Executive Members of the South Pacific College of Natural Therapies are in Samoa this week meeting with the local ‘Taulasea’. The SPCNT is in Samoa to hold awareness seminars with the local healers and to share with them what is offered at their course of study in New Zealand.

According to Fata Koroseta To’o, a Samoan senior consultant with Pacific Island Affairs who accompanied SPCNT Principal Ms Glynn Lorrigan; “the college would like to formalise the training of island Taulasea and bring them in to the college for certification and proper training. Whilst the local Taulasea are professionals in their own right and increasingly accepted by western society, we still need to formalise their methods and also the preparation of their medicine”

Fata reiterated, “The school was not looking to cash in on the expertise of the Taulasea and make money on their medicine, but more to offer them an option to formalise their training, get accepted to practice their trade and work at medical facilities and clinics in Australasia”.

“Moreoverly, they will be earning a healthy living plying their trade. Any benefits realised from their natural herbs and medicine should be and will be credited to the Taulasea themselves,” added Fata

Ms Glynn Lorrigan also added that the College of Natural Resources would like to share some of the natural healing knowledge that they now have with the local Taulasea, and in turn, would like to glean knowledge from them. The school includes students and healing methods from Taulasea from all over the Pacific and Asia Region and would love to include the Samoa Taulasea knowledge in their curricula. She further stated; “There is an increasing need in a multiethnic society like New Zealand and Australasia for diverse healing and natural healing methods and it is an opportunity for work and livelihood for local Taulasea”

During a Press Conference at Tuutuu ile Loloto Hall Mulivai, the local media had a barrage of questions to fire at the visitors and most of the queries were concerning Samoa and its Taulasea, for the knowledge and medicine to be taken offshore and benefiting other individuals and societies. Fata reiterated that Pacific Island Affairs were adamant that the local healers would be credited for any knowledge and medicine they share with the college. However, the local Taulasea and the local media who spoke mostly on their behalf wanted a lot more assurance that the talk during the press conference.

In closing, Ms Lorrigan and Fata summed up their press conference by thanking the local media and Taulasea and added that what they were offering was an option for the local Taulasea to consider.


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