NEWSROOM: 23 September - 29 September 2007

  Tana Umaga and Roger Ellis at a recent Vodafone Wellington Lions community event in Newtown; Roger feels that renaming Westpac Stadium to “The Westpac Tana Umaga Stadium” would be worthy way to honour him.
(Photos: Huria Anders Limited/Eagle Technology Group)


It’s time Wellington honoured its heroes
29 September 2007 - Source: Roger Ellis Press Release
It’s time for Wellington to honour its home-town heroes says communications specialist Roger Ellis who is standing for the Wellington City Council in the Northern Ward.

“The Wellington City Council should be honouring Wellington’s own heroes – not just paying a fortune to attract overseas stars”.

“In recent years Wellington has produced some exceptional people. The whole world knows what Peter Jackson has almost single-handedly achieved – a major league movie industry right here in the suburbs of Wellington. He has received a theatre-load of awards from the good and the great throughout the world”.

“Yet to date the Wellington City Council has done little to honour this outstanding favourite son. The same could be said for Weta’s Richard Taylor”.

“At the very least, we could rename Courtney Place, Peter Jackson Place – after all, it is the location of his beloved Embassy Theatre, and was the scene of the extraordinary Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King world premier in 2003”.

“We could also have a Peter Jackson Centre. I have no doubt it would become a major international tourism attraction overnight”.

“As New Zealanders, we can do much more to celebrate our success. Honouring our heroes is one practical example”.

“We need to demonstrate the same sort of creativity that Peter Jackson has shown. If I am elected to Council I would explore the setting up of a Peter Jackson Film Academy right here in Wellington city”.

“While I am not suggesting the Council fund it, it could and should be facilitating a tertiary learning institution – perhaps with Victoria University - that provides world-class tuition in movie arts and sciences. Let’s do Wellywood properly”.

“And let’s not forget one of our most loved sportsmen – Tana Umaga. Wellington born and bred, of Samoan heritage, he went on to become one of the great All Blacks, and the first Polynesian All Black captain”.

“Tana’s achievements extend far beyond the rugby field in terms of national identity and Polynesian pride”.

“He’s back in town today to launch his foundation for the young people of our town. Let’s not forget his extraordinary achievements. Renaming the Stadium “The Westpac Tana Umaga Stadium” would be worthy way to honour him”.

  Asenati Lole-Taylor is running in the Auckland City Council elections for the Labour Party in the Tamaki-Maungakiekie Ward this October.
(Photos: Asenati Lole-Taylor/Auckland City Council)


Asenati Lole-Taylor running for local government
28 September 2007 - Source: Asenati Lole-Taylor
Greetings to all our constituents of the Maungakiekie and Tamaki Ward, families, dearest friends and acquaintances who can help make the difference to shaping lives of our people through a successful implementation of the objectives that I seek to achieve for the good of many.

I am married with three children and a step son. I am standing as an Auckland City candidate for Councillor in our area Tamaki/Maungakiekie Ward at the Local Body Elections this year. I am a local resident and a Labour candidate. I have an insight into the culture which Auckland City Council operates in.

I am passionate about ensuring the environmental, social and economic well-being of our local community. To make that possible, solutions have to be found for some major issues within our community; focussing on our youth, crime, transport infrastructure, rubbish collections, graffiti, community safety and more. There has been a spate of home invasions, bullying and assaults, intimidation and deaths on our streets as a result of gang violence.

These occurrences are totally unacceptable and no parent, child, elderly person or resident should have to experience any of them. Not enough is being done to raise our awareness of some of the social problems currently permeating through our local community.

For our Tamaki/Maungakiekie Ward,
• I want to address the current wave of youth violence, gangs and drugs (the drug “P” in particular) before it gets any worse.
• I would like to see the upgrade of our main streets ensuring that people from outside our areas will feel good when visiting our suburbs and town centres. This will assist not only in growing our local businesses, but it will also give a sense of pride back to our communities.
• I want to see an improvement to the transport services / linkages from the CBD to Onehunga, Otahuhu, Glen Innes and Panmure.
• I also want to address the lack of police visibility/enforcement within our area.
• Our local community needs to be made more aware, more inclusive and more proactive of these issues, the waste water charges and rates and other areas of concern.
• And, I want a better reflection of our diversed community inside Council where the decisions are being made on how our rates are being spent.

My strength does not come from me alone, but from many. So with this in mind, I humbly and respectfully seek your support for these issues and more importantly your vote.

Yours sincerely,
Asenati Lole-Taylor

Background on Asenati:
14yrs on School Board of Trustees, Chair of the Auckland City Pacific Islands Board, Regional Advisor of Northern Region Prison Service, Vice-chair of the ADHB Pacific Health Advisory Committee, Executive Committee member of Samoa Auckland City Community Fono, Community representative on local community reference groups, Parish elder and member of the PIPC Newton, has been a manager and coach for school netball and cricket teams, was also a Pasifika Festival Village Coordinator for Samoa.

  The Mind Your Language Tokelau Resources have been developed by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in partnership with the Mind Your Language Tokelau Executive Board.
(Photos: of Pacific Island Affairs)


Young Tokelauans urged to ‘Mind Your Language’
26 September 2007 - Source: MPIA Press Release
Innovative family and community based language learning resources are being made available to young people across New Zealand interested in learning Gagana Tokelau – the Tokelauan Language.

The Mind Your Language Tokelau Resources have been developed by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in partnership with the Mind Your Language Tokelau Executive Board, a group of Tokelauan people passionate about supporting the retention of the language amongst young Tokelauans.

The first phase of the Mind Your Language Tokelau release sees visual aids that will be able to take pride of place in the home and encourage every day discussions amongst family members in the Tokelau language.

Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Chief Executive, Dr. Colin Tukuitonga says Mind Your Language is designed to get more New Zealand born Pacific people speaking the language of their forebears. “Our communities in New Zealand outnumber those living in Tokelau, and sadly our young New Zealand born people can’t speak these languages. Mind Your Language aims to change that.”

Dr. Tukuitonga is calling on communities to collectively support language learners. “Mind Your Language helps our communities to strengthen their sense of cultural identity. We hope every member of the Tokelau community supports the people who make use of this valuable resource.”

  Exhibiting artists Ani O’Neill and Siliga Setoga (and her partner Lou) with Art curator Giles Peterson on opening night at the Longitude Art Show.
(Photos: Cook Islands Herald/The Art Studio)


Opening night at the Longitude Art Show
25 September 2007 - Source: Cook Islands Herald
It was another brilliant night at the opening of the Longitude exhibition held at the Art Studio with many an approving comment throughout the night.

Everyone was in fine form with the Hon. Wilke Rasmussen doing the honours of opening the show, then Ian George taking the floor to proclaim that not everyone realised that Arorangi was the ‘art capital’ of Rarotonga.

The Minister recalled his early days as an artist back in the fledgling years of art in the Cook Islands, when he had been part of an artist group called Aka Tikitiki. Fellow artists in the group were Nga Teariki, Eruera Nia, described as doing all sorts of things’, Michael Tavioni, ‘when he was a painter and not a carver’, Rennie Peyroux and Joan Rolls who was their ‘protégé’.

Since those heady days the Minister changed tack and took up law and is now a Cabinet Minister.

Ian then introduced the redoubtable art curator, Giles Peterson who had curated the Longitude show with a delightful mix of works by established artists and up and coming young artists.
Giles said the show was very diverse which was deliberately so with textiles, hip hop, installations, works on glass and more. It had also been two years in the planning and that the show represented the first ever showing for some of the exhibiting artists, some of whom were only 19 years old.

Incidentally, Giles is well known in art circles and travels the world to curate art exhibitions and perhaps it was owing to his influence, but there did appear to be even more than the usual number of people in attendance. Whatever the case may be, gallery proprietor, Kay George felt it was a great night as well.

Two exhibiting artists were on hand, namely Ani O’Neill and Siliga Setoga, both of whom brought along their respective spouses, however, there were a number of fellow artists who came along to support the cause. These included Mahariki Tangaroa, Eruera Nia, Mereana Hutchinson, Maria File, Loretta Reynolds, Mii Quarter and Michael Tavioni, who claims he was outside with the ‘boys’.

Spotted amongst the visitors were Justice Tom Weston and his wife, Margaret Egan, and Air New Zealand HR manager, Marilyn and her partner, Rob.

As always, Ian George graciously thanked all the sponsors for the generous support of the arts, notably Air New Zealand, Pacific Resort, CITC Liquor and Reef Shipping who shipped in all the art works from New Zealand.

By the end of the night, there were a number of red dots on some works, so if you are in the market for brilliant art works by young artists before their prices reach the stratospheres, you had better call into the Art Studio as soon as possible.

Longitude exhibition is open from 11 to 29 September.

  'Monotheism #2' by Dan Taulapapa, one of the artists whose works will be on display at the Auckland City Council Creative Communities NZ funded art exhibition 'Measina Fa'a fafine' next month.
(Photos: Auckland City Council/Creative New Zealand)


Art exhibition explores Samoan Fa'a Fafine identity
24 September 2007 - Source: Shigeyuki Kihara Press Release
The first visual art exhibition of its kind, the group exhibition entitled 'Measina Fa'a Fafine' explores Samoan Fa'a Fafine or 'third gender' identity by showcasing variety of indigenous interpretations from both Fa'a Fafine and non Fa'a Fafine Samoan artists.

In Polynesia and specifically to Samoa exists a small yet a visible community of peoples known as the 'Fa'a Fafine' literally translated as 'in a manner of a woman' which is a term used to describe Samoan individuals who are known to be gifted with the dual qualities or 'va' (space) between the Men and Women, not fitting into the western gender binary system closely related to the notion of 'third gender' identity. Fa'a Fafine are often known to be working 'behind the scenes' quietly contributing to their families and are accepted part of the Samoan culture and community.

However, in the age of globalisation and being formally colonised people, Samoan Fa'a Fafine today are faced with variety of hegemonic forces which continue to challenge them from moving forward alongside with the rest of the world, due to the lack of resources available to them as well as their lack of presence in decision making process to determine their own destiny.

The exhibition seeks to open up a dialogue between 'insiders' (Fa'a Fafine) and 'outsiders' (non Fa'a fafine) perspectives amongst artists of Samoan decent living outside their homeland, to explore how each artist both relate to the notion of Samoan Fa'a Fafine identity and experience.

The selection of artists has been chosen for their direct engagement with the Samoan Fa'a Fafine community though either or combination of family connections, social, professional or political involvement. The artists includes; Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Reverend Mua Strickson Pua , John Ioane, Nicholas Netzler, Lisa Taouma, Nanette Lelaulu, Lindah Lepou and Shigeyuki Kihara (Curator & Artist). The group exhibition will showcase costume installations, photography, painting, sculpture and video works.

The exhibition is held at Artstation, 1 Ponsonby Road in Auckland between 19th and 30th October 2007. The opening reception is held on the 19th Friday October 2007 at Artstation between 6pm – 8pm, and Member of Parliment Luamanuvao Winnie Laben will be present to officially open the exhibition event. Opening performances include; DJ Leilani, Cindy of Samoa, Hamo Kane and Pacific Expressions Dance Troup.

The exhibition is also part of the extended program of the 'LOVE LIFE 2; Sexual Minority Groups of Pacific Island Origin Fono 2007', a conference organised by the New Zealand Aids Foundation, held between 18th and 21st October 2007, taking place in Auckland. The aim of the conference is to discuss & confront issues relating to Fa'a fafine across the Moana/Pacific at both grass roots and at political level and to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS epidemic currently spreading amongst the Pacific community in Aotearoa New Zealand and throughout the Moana.

The exhibition receives generous funding from Creative Communities Funding Scheme from Auckland City Council.

For more information please contact: Shigeyuki Kihara /

Exhibition title: 'Measina Fa'a fafine'
Date: 19th - 30th October 2007
Venue: Artstation, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland Central
Curator: Shigeyuki Kihara

Opening reception: 19th Friday October 2007 / Artstation / 6pm – 8pm

Free for all to attend!

  Competing in this year’s ‘Na Wahine O Ke Kai’ Moloka’i to O’ahu race, Team Wahoo's is made up of paddlers from Hawaii, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
(Photos: Associated Press / Na Wahine O Ke Kai)


Team Wahoo’s competes at 29th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai
23 September 2007 - Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin
The blueprint is hardly unique in paddling.

Top-flight competitors, all rarely having the chance to practice together and some never having met previously, join together shortly before race day and try to quickly blend their considerable skills and grab the biggest title in the sport.

It's the one Team Wahoo's will use this morning, at the 29th annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai, a 41-mile race from Molokai to Oahu across the Kaiwi Channel that is considered the world championship of women's long-distance outrigger-canoe paddling.

And it's the one that Team Wahoo's hopes can take down another team that's already used the blueprint successfully and will try to do it again; two-time defending champion Team Bradley.

"It's taking the basic paddling mechanics and applying them, even among recent strangers in the crew," said Team Wahoo's steerswoman, Denise Darval-Chang. "It's not strategy like with basketball, where everyone has to know their (particular team's type of) zone, or man-to-man. With paddling, you're doing the same thing over and over. So if you know the basics, and you're in shape, you can do this."

A record, international field of 77 teams is expected for today's race.

Besides Hawaii, other U.S. states and countries to be represented include California and Maine, and Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Canada.

An international mix itself, Team Wahoo's is composed of five elite paddlers from Hawaii -- Darval-Chang, Megan Jones, Donna Kahakui, Malia Kamisugi and Traci Phillips; four from New Zealand -- Corina Gage, Leanne Haronga, Amy Robertson and Sarah Uhl; and one from the Cook Islands -- Serena Hunter.

Without the time to commit to an established club team, Kahakui gathered the other top Hawaii paddlers she could find in similar situations. She then relied on 13-time Na Wahine veteran Gage to rally the best she could find among the Kiwis, which turned out to include a detour to the Cook Islands for Hunter.

"I coach in New Zealand as well, so I'm familiar with who might be of the calibre to come into an exceptional crew and do well," Gage said. Among all Team Wahoo's paddlers, "I think there's a natural blend of personality and character. We're mellow in terms of team and group dynamics, and getting along well together, but once we're on the start line we're all business."

Said Hunter, who will be attempting the Na Wahine for the first time: "The Molokai (race) was always on my hit list. When Corina asked me, I jumped at the chance."

Most of Team Wahoo's Hawaii paddlers had never met their other team-mates before -- much less paddled and executed open-ocean rotations together in the same canoe. All crewmembers were trusted to practice in one-person canoes and cross-train on their own beforehand.
But in their first practice together, the crewmembers surprised even themselves by leading for much of, and finishing a close second at, the E Lau Hoe, a 33-mile race along Oahu's shores that served as one of the final tune-ups before the Na Wahine.

Team Wahoo's was eventually overtaken in the homestretch after a bold course-line shift by Team Bradley, which picked up its only win so far this year after going undefeated the previous two.

Even though the mix-and-match formula is proven in paddling (a Hawaii/New Zealand crew also twice before won the men's Molokai Hoe world championship), the women of Team Wahoo's were surprised by their E Lau Hoe performance. They were also encouraged, knowing they would have at least a shot at winning the Na Wahine title two weeks later.

"Surprised would be an understatement," said Kahakui of the E Lau Hoe. "More like shocked, amazed. As a group, we just went out to have fun. We don't know how to exactly explain it, but hopefully we'll have something similar for Molokai. It's nice to be in the crowd of other great teams, and we're champing at the bit to race."

Darval-Chang steered Team Bradley to last year's Na Wahine victory while its regular and current steerswoman had a child.

Darval-Chang likes her new crew's chances this year, though she doesn't necessarily think Team Bradley -- with a single win going in -- is any more beatable this year, and acknowledges other favourites like Team Mooloolaba of Australia -- the 2003 and 2004 Na Wahine champ returning after a two-year break.

"Everybody's beatable and it's been proven a lot so far this year," Darval-Chang said. The Na Wahine "is going to be a very interesting race. There's no secret (to success). Everyone trains hard and does the best they can to prepare themselves to perform. This year, unlike last year, I don't have any pressure, and that's a great feeling. But I think we have a chance (to win)."


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