Your Feedback

Boat people
The New Zealand government’s proposed hard-line stance against boatpeople seeking asylum has been met with an online campaign featuring Oscar Kightley against the move. KARL SAMUEL believes caution is necessary.


Those of us living in NZ & Australia (as I do now) who haven’t been beyond the Pacific don’t realise how lucky we are. But that’s all the more reason we need to take a tough line. We saw with the rioting that took place in Sydney about the movie that mocked Islam. Hey people, it was an American movie not Australian! Middle Eastern communities are taking over Sydney suburbs like Auburn and they’ve become ghettos. What has this got to do with refugees? There is growing evidence of criminals buying their way onto boats heading for Australia and once they’re here its too late.


Lucky countries



The National government is simply using this issue as a campaign tool. It’s simply to risky for these boats to travel all the way to New Zealand. The Tasman crossing is often a treacherous journey and most of these boats aren’t particularly seaworthy. The article is right - they’re simply scaremongering. They’re trying to generate support by comparing our situation to Australia where it’s become a massive problem. In reality though, the situation in Australia and New Zealand is poles apart.



Why wasn’t Valerie Adams the main photo on your last cover? The story was right when it said she is the most successful female in New Zealand athletics history, except it should have said ALL sport.


The welcome and official presentation of her medal at The Cloud in Auckland shows just how popular Val is. She’s a superstar and I was there!!!! Val has been there, done that year after year.


I’m not taking anything away from Lisa Carrington, but I didn’t even know who she was until she won the Olympic gold.


Amanaki, Proud Tongan-Kiwi, Auckland


Reply: The news that Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus was stripped of the shot put gold medal awarded to her in London, elevating Valerie to her rightful place, came days after the Games had finished and was extremely close to our deadline. We scrambled to rewrite Valerie’s journey to gold, but re-doing the cover was pushing it too much (although we did change Val’s heading).


The decision to feature Lisa Carrington as the main cover shot was justified for the fact she did win the first Olympic gold for Maori, which surprised many of our readers judging by the feedback received – ED

Talofa Innes,


I just wanted to say what a truly fantastic edition this latest one (Sept/Oct) is. They all are of course! But this one has our people excelling in all sorts of field: opera, fatherhood, fashion, history writing, poetry, governance, sports, running marathons….. and on and on. And then there are the stories of relocation, biking and walking for cancer and health, medals, the Festival of Pacific Arts, books, even the ads triumph Pacific. A great read. Very uplifting. Thank you.


Pele Walker



We are a small secondary school on the outer eastern edge of Christchurch, in the worst of the quake hit areas of the city. But Pasifika (20% of our school roll) flourish here, with many high flying Maori as well. We’ve done well at Smokefree Pasifika Beats. Last year Aranui was the only South Island representative, we had our own Shea Kokaua (Cook Islands) on Tagata Pasifika – as winner of one of the NZ Young Shakespeare Company places to the Globe Theatre in London recently. That’s two years in a row for us, as Teone Kahu also won a place last year. In addition we have a lot of top sportsmen and women, as programmes like the Aranui Rugby League academy are very attractive to other high flyers.


We love reading SPASIFIK magazine and, as a frequent visitor to the Pacific, it helps me to keep in touch with that great Pacific world out there.


Nga mihi mahana - manuia le aso


John Rohs,
Principal, Aranui High School, Christchurch



Love the new Niu Tube on At times it makes me feel homesick for … until family remind me of the weather back in Aotearoa. How about showing more content from Australia? We now have the fastest growing Pacific population in the world and watching the recent Bledisloe Cup tests had me thinking there are more of us playing for the Wallabies now than the All Blacks (who I still go for). There’s a ton of stuff happening here, but it’s fair to say that the enormous size of this land makes us in sunny Queensland seem further apart from the PI communities in Sydney, Melbourne (definitely) and Perth (most definitely) than we do with Auckland.


Sonny Days
Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia



Gay marriage
Gay marriage was the most heated ONSIDE topic for July/August with Jared Mackley-Crump’s column supporting Labour MP and former SPASIFIK columnist Louisa Wall’s bill which was passed to be debated in Parliament in September.


“It is with great respect to the writer of this article and I agree with you and commend you for a well thought out writing. However, if I may, As a fa'afafine I grew up with my Samoan family with the full understanding of who I was and who I am to be. I was raised as a girl to help my one sister with chores round and about. I grew up with my family understanding scriptures and pinned in my soul the greater respect for my family. I left Samoa when I was still a teenager and I attended college and university outside of Samoa. We learned that being a GAY man/woman in the outside world is way different from being raised as a fa'afafine in Samoa. I do not support GAY marriage nor do I encourage my fa’afafine community to be married.”





“Christianity in itself is about acceptance and not encroaching on others happiness, all gay couples are doing is loving each other, there is nothing wrong with that. I still find it difficult to comprehend many religions difficulty with accepting gay marriage, especially since it does not overtly affect anyone besides the couple themselves. Jared is right, there are so many failed and dysfunctional marriages today among heterosexual couples that it is pretty obvious the sanctity of marriage is hardly relevant as an argument against same sex couples sharing the same rights. There are many cases of marriage being abused (marrying to immigrate into a county for example). It makes no sense to stop two individuals who actually love each other from getting married.”





Water ownership
Innes Logan asked if Maori seeking ownership of the water as “guardians” was primarily motivated by a care for the environment.


“As a Green Party member and supporter I am sorry to say I agree with you. Metiria Turei is an excellent co-leader of the party but the number of Maori associated with us is pathetic. Considering we stand for the protection of the environment first and foremost the claim that Maori should be guardians of the water is weak. Many of my fellow Greens will not like me stating this because we have advocated for the rights of Maori as tangata whenua but I believe their claims are more to do with money and having a business stake rather than protecting the environment for all.”


Green Gene

Junior Seau Tribute


I was grateful to online that a Junior Seau tribute was available for readers. It’s so important Maori and Pasifika media honour one of our sporting greats. Junior Seau was a very special person, so my words here seek to uphold the dignity and mana of an uso who made the world a better place.


Junior lived a full and rich life in his all-too-short 43 years. But his life, example, and community service will live on in the lives of many he touched, including his children, and the many children of San Diego he assisted through his Seau Foundation.


He was most concerned about the wellbeing of children from poorer backgrounds and also gave freely of his time to support other NFL players’ community charity events.


Junior’s restaurants in San Diego provided healthy, nutritious meals for people at a reasonable price. His Sushi Bar in his restaurant was voted the best in San Diego one year. Junior was not interested in developing an up market restaurant to cater for upper class people. His restaurant catered for ordinary, San Diego working folks.


He was a fine younger generation leader in the Samoan and Pacific communities in the United States. His No 55 San Diego Chargers jumper was a popular clothing item for young PI folks in the early 1990s in Aotearoa, the same way Troy Polamalu’s No 45 Steelers’ jersey is popular today.


Junior Seau was the first NFL superstar of Pacific heritage. He was intensity personified on the football fields of USC, then later in the NFL. He was Mr Perpetual Motion as an ILB and OLB- ferocious, dynamic, possessing power and tenacity against the run, a great dancer’s style, grace, artistry, and force against the pass.


It is important for our people to know that one of our own ranks with the greatest players to ever play the linebacker position in the history of the NFL. NFL careers last an average of 3 ½ years. Junior played through the physical pain, and injuries, for 20 seasons.


Junior had to navigate his way through great wealth, privilege, and fame and he did that, serving those in the community with the least. He will continue to live on in the lives of all the children he supported through his Seau Foundation. Rest easy uso.


Tony Fala, Auckland



JARED MACKLEY-CRUMP was irritated by a Herald on Sunday column titled The delights of ethnic eateries, describing it as condescending and colonial. It generated plenty of response both for and against his views.


Mary: “I agree with your points and was horrified to read Diana Clements’ article. But the paper’s editorial team should shoulder part of the blame! It doesn’t delve deep enough into any of its stories and takes a sensationalistic approach to journalism. They also wouldn’t know what the term ‘ethnic’ actually means, unless it applied in a sporting context!”


Neville: “I don’t mind the article, it is what it is, written by the view of the journalist in an editorial about differing cultural food places in Auckland. Yeah, maybe little condescending to begin with, but it’s effective ... I would like to discover those places I didn’t know existed in Auckland. There may even be an uplift of patrons ready to embrace differing cultures. The article was not written in malice to the detriment of culture – it’s about food for heaven’s sake... just read the article, and take the PC hat off and, as a good mate always says, CHILL!”



Johnson Jeffson was on the 12th hole at the Grange with other drunk teachers, drinking a can of beer each on every hole.


He got the big bertha to T off on the par 4 fairway, but he sliced his shot and the ball flew off into the nearby tall trees and disappeared.


Johnson got another ball and drove a beautiful T shot down the fairway and the ball landed just short of the green. He 2 putted, won the hole and they all drank another.


A few minutes later they all started on the 13th fairway which was a dogleg.


It was only when they came around the right bend at 150m, they saw a Polynesian man lying on the ground a few metres away from his golf clubs.


They all hurried to him and they saw there was a very large lump on his temple and Johnson’s ball from the last hole was nearby. It must have struck the Samoan golfer. He did not stand a chance of surviving. They all stood around in panic and anger. WTF how could this happen?! We are all pissed as! We are in trouble!


Johnson and mates put their clubs away, and waited for the ambulance to come. Johnson called his wife and asked her to meet him at the Police station.


Johnson’s wife said don’t, but he felt compelled to go to the hospital to pass on his regrets. But when he got there he felt the heavy weight on his body double when he saw the Samoan man’s family. He also saw Andrew Filimoni, the head boy at Johnson’s school, a nephew of the dead man. They looked discreetly at each other but kept their distance. Then Johnson left, shattered.


The following week Andrew was in Samoa burying his uncle and Johnson spent it in despair, disgusted with himself and obliterating his pain on the Jamiesons.


Johnson never played golf again. Andrew went to another school soon after. The years slowly passed.


Many years later they met at the Nosh in Greenlane. After a nervous hello they agreed to keep in touch.


They did meet again and Andrew said, “You were the best teacher I ever had. Sorry for what happened”.


Johnson said he would always be sorry and the court case nearly destroyed him.


Johnson was a now teetotaller headmaster of a co-ed school and Andrew was a Presbyterian minister in Manurewa.


They remained secret friends and Andrew even spoke at a careers evening at Johnson school.


2 years later, Johnson died of a heart attack and Andrew attended the funeral.


Johnson willed all his possessions to Andrew. Mrs Jeffson and the kids did not say a thing.


Fuimaono Tuiasau

Leaders Not Followers


My son got into trouble at his school in Mangere by hanging out with the wrong crowd. He had to write an explanation for his actions. I had a copy of SPASIFIK which he began to read. When he wrote what he had learned, my son quoted the story about the NFL star (Pual Soliai March/April 2012 Issue 49) who got into trouble for breaking a team curfew because he saw others doing it. The lesson my son had learned was the same as the footballer said. That was to be a 'leader, not a follower". I was proud of my son and the school obtained a copy of the magazine so they could use it to promote role models. Thank you.


Mangere, Auckland

One Foot Island


Please can you give credit where credit is due! In your story on Rarotonga (March/April 2012 Issue 49) you have a stunning photo of One Foot Island... in AITUTAKI! Aitutaki is a spectacular destination in its own right. It struggles to attract tourists because of the expensive domestic flights. Articles containing photos giving Rarotonga the kudos of this beautiful spot do nothing but make the battle of drawing tourists there greater. How about you do a story on this and the other stunning outer islands that make up the Cook Islands? Support these islands that are struggling to retain their people. Don't get me wrong, Rarotonga is a beautiful island and deserves the publicity it gets, but please, for the sake of the beautiful outer island people and their land, represent these locations accuratly and evenly.


avid Spasifik reader

On The Pacific Highway


Your persona a glittering gem stone of sparkling,
bold colours, the scent of oceanic hubris, liquid IQ, the works.
Like a porche relies on polishing,
buffing and tuning for the road, where you hum and purr
smoothly overtaking the ignorant, dim witted and cheerless
seared faces in closed rooms and cloistered tracks,
the overheated and over-thinking,
cruising past in 3rd gear with quick riposte, like Lear's clown,
a real grand pretender, alleged wine connoiseur, the all-nighter,
the all-dayer, the day-nighter, unstoppable with an expanding boom,
the audacious Pasifika conundrum,
speedily ruminating the past into its future
Ah, but you are the fragile taro head.
Our watch is for all pretenders, but you
you are the unique result of some bold estimates of migrant warriors,
and now dazzling in the skytower shadow,
on new pathways to highways.
Do not cry because a journey is over,
Uso it isn't, it never is.
Just smile because it happened, is still happening.
Drive fast for us.


Fuimaono Tuiasau

Issue 40 Special Feature - Organ Donation and Transplantation

Dear Qiane,

I am sure Melanie has emailed… but thank you for sending a copy of the magazine. The article is excellent and covers the important issues very well. It is one of the better articles that has been written about donation and transplantation.

Thank you,

Janice Langlands
Organ Donation New Zealand

VIP members click here to read article

Want to become a VIP member?

Hi Spasifik

Great to see the Sports section returned.. If there is one element of our Pacific culture that we are outstandingly successful at, it is sport! And it is important for our people to see achievement resplendant month on month.. Through your profiling efforts, you are normalising achievement..!!

Despite the predicaments that some of our achievers find themselves in - overall our Pacific sports stars really do profile our people in good light. And through the efforts of Spasifik staff, we finally have our own stars (existing or rising, in minor or major sports) highlighted month on month rather than once or twice a year as happens in mainstream media when new All Blacks are named..(?)

Congratulations my friend.. your message feeds our people hope.. Can't wait to read the next issue.. Keep up the good work... and know that Heavenly Father will continue to bless you with all you need so that you can achieve.. for when you achieve, we all achieve.. and so it shall always be..!!

Alofa tele

by Fuimaono Tuiasau


When Sione returned from his hunting trip with his half a horse, his family greeted him with excitement. Others came for a share. After he split the carcass and distributed the portions, he sat down satisfied at his efforts.

A day later Siones daughter Laketa said Dad, the Prime Minister is visiting us tomorrow because he wants to meet a Pacific island family and we got chosen.

First there was a stunned silence and then the usual island chaos where a thousand processes were activated. There was no project or event planner.

So the family worked out what they could do, from their meagre resources. Thanks goodness, they had the meat covered. They would also make a big succulent umu and there would be other cooked dishes for the guests. They worked throughout the night to prepare everything. It all was happening without raised voices or obvious angst. Their lives were meant for moments like this. Things got done. The faifeau would also take part.

When the PM and entourage arrived, the family elders addressed them and presented them with special gifts of ngatu and fine mats to the PM and guests. Laketa was their host and she proudly introduce the PM to family members.

After grace the feasting began.They all enjoyed the meal so much, the visitors kept commenting on the meat. The PM said that he was so pleased to be there with the family. He also said 'you know i think different food like travel broadens the mind'.

Everyone agreed. Siones brother proposed a toast to the Queen. Everyone was very pleased. Upon leaving, the visitors were given large tin foiled wrapped packages of food to take with them as well.

The PMs secretary wrote afterwards to thank them and asked for the recipe for the roast.

But there was no reply from Sione.

Then the secretary called and said

Thank you again for the delicious meal, would we be able to have that great recipe used for the roast?

Sione thought quickly and said

First, you get any lean meat, any meat.


Dear USO

Well, it’s the day after sentencing. My first official day as a prisoner. I think I’m still a bit shocked, actually. I’m not sure! I guess I still feel the same as before sentencing. ‘Numb’ I wasn’t feeling anything. Moments before sentencing, I wasn’t scared. My heart wasn’t beating out of control like it usually does when s**t’s about to hit the fan. The many thoughts that race through my mind weren’t there. I’ve been going to court so many times throughout this year that maybe I just didn’t care anymore. Maybe I did care because, honestly uso, I wasn’t expecting 11 years. I was expecting less but, oh well. You do the crime, you do the time. It still hasn’t quite kicked in yet. I can say I’m in an actual jail now (nothing to be proud of).

Mt Eden prison, on the third storey of the south wing. It’s old, like some sort of a medieval castle, a dirty old s**t hole. I can certainly feel the history of this place. The evil, the bad and the ugly, it’s creepy. I’m all good uso. I appreciated you and the boys being in court yesterday, showing the support for your uso. I felt the love despite the loneliness of standing in that dock feeling the weight of the law crashing down on me. I held my head up high, hearing the judge hand down that 11 years for aggravated robbery. I tried not to show weakness as I looked back at my mum in tears, as well as my partner. The pain I’ve caused so many people as I walked off the dock and away from freedom. What I did was f**ked up! For so little I’ve paid a heavy price. My good boy image had everybody in disbelief eh?

Big scene, we just carry, we just carry on as if nothing’s happening. After the showers, the call was made for breakfast. The warder called out a few names. Those prisoners were to pack their belongings after breakfast and ready for the bus to ‘Pare’ Paremoremo prison. My name wasn’t called out but I’m hoping to head there in the coming days or hopefully the new prison, Spring Hill, south just before Meremere. I’d go crazy if they sent me down the line somewhere. This is one of the consequences. You really don’t have a say in where they send you. This really sucks now; it’s starting to hit me now. What if they send me to Rimutaka or Christchurch? I’ll never see my precious little daughters for ages. They say ‘harden up’ but it’s hard when you have little kids. Damn, I miss them so much. I miss everybody and everything, even the littlest of things we take for granted out there that never cross our minds, I think of and miss as I sit in my jail cell. Even opening a window, now my window to the outside world for the next decade is a 14 inch TV screen. Uso, do not come into prison!! Don’t do anything stupid that may land you in here for the year I was in remand. I heard so many of these criminals stories and I’ve found that it always seems to end with Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve. Anyhow, I’ll end this letter here bro. this has been a brief in the events and thoughts of the last 24 hours. All my love to the family and the boys. I’ll write some more in the coming weeks.

ALL I REALLY WANT…… is to make the most of my time in jail.

My new year’s resolution is to give up smoking, write a children’s book and have a regular work-out/training schedule, so I can have a Sonny Bill Williams body. The main goal is the ‘stop smoking’. I realize I’m in here and missing out important years with my kids, and I have to make up for it when I get out. Having my health and living long enough to watch them grow, and so far so good. I’m not very good at writing but I have a lot of thoughts and to save myself from being seen as that guy who talks to himself, or to the wall, I write it down. I’ve written a little story, needs work but it’s a start. The third is really ambitious, but I’ve got plenty of time for it. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen!

The letter I wrote is to the uso’s that jail is not the place you want to be. I just thought after reading your article on “GANGS, a family affair?” I could share my experience as a first time offender/prisoner as I see it. Maybe, it would help deter our boys away from here. Your magazine is not the type of mag’ I get into, but since we prisoners are not allowed ‘BOYS’ MAGAZINES anymore, my girlfriend has brought me the last 2 editions.

Yours faithfully

(full name withheld)
tulou, tulouna lava Poutasi, Falealili’s blood lines
mingle in Aotearoa’s heartland carrying
beating primeval mantras dancing to lively pulsing rhythms
chants, blazing colours and hip hop raps
undercurrents running deep in the strong Polynesian arterials
the dead and new firmly embrace our senses
Your cooling fret, is for our futures, past and new
Friend you navigate us again, to a new Hawai’iki
from these weather beaten ‘burbs.
As the pantheon follows, I climb like Emmaus,
the kauri to glimpse at you tufuga.
Coloured leaves sparkle the air,
falling and twinkling in your wake.
Teine and tama Niu Sila siva siva mai,
Sau’ ia ta o, ma fa'afoga mai e
luga o le au’ala e o’o i ai tatou,
mau’ai se fa’amanui'aga o aiga tasi
here our futures, past and new
we lightly slip in and out, in and out

Fuimaono Tuiasau, Auckland 2009

Grubby fingers and coffee stains


I like reading my favourite mags in hardcopy and whilst overseas, I used to wait for a few weeks until my mum sent me her copy of SPASIFIK - after it did the rounds of the family in Glen Innes, her workmates at the hospital and then on her coffee table! But since being home, it’s always a treat to pick up the latest edition and slowly go through every page taking in all the great stories of successful PIs - without the grubby fingerprints, yellow marker ink, and coffee stains. Very inspirational! I'm writing this email slowly reading the latest edition, having a cuppa waiting for Tagata Pasifika. Well done guys and keep up the superb work.

Ia manuia, Peter.


Dear SPASIFIK team

I have just returned from Samoa with my family. My husband, Charles, arranged for a longawaited family holiday with our two boys – Keanu and Joshua – to see where my father, grandmother and other family members all come from.

The day before the tsunami we planned to take a trip on the ferry over to Savaii. My uncle is buried there together with his father. We had to get up very early in the morning to catch the first ferry.

We left home after 4am and arrived in time to queue for the ferry. Everyone just drives on to the boat and then you sleep on the trip.

We were travelling along and then the chap in the van parked next to us received a phone call on his mobile. He jumped out of his seat wide-eyed and climbed out of his van window to stand on top, all the while looking around in every which way. We just thought he must be looking out for his family on the wharf at Savaii.

The next thing, an older gentleman came to the window of the car and told my husband: “Tsunami coming”. We noticed the boat was turning around... I checked my phone and there were three missed calls and two urgent texts about an earthquake in American Samoa since we’d left the mainland.

The crew came and got everyone out of their cars and asked everyone to go to the back of the boat. We were handed out life jackets and told to put them on. The captain was headed to deep water – we couldn’t berth at Savaii and we couldn’t return to Apia.

The waves were too rough. All we could do was hope to ride the wave when it came. We are members of Pt Lookout SLSC (QLD, Australia), our boys are nippers and we can all swim, so my husband just talked calmly
and reminded them they had trained for this.

People started to pray and the boat went very quiet. There were some big waves and we were buffeted from side to side, but after three hours the captain spoke to the crew and decided to make a run for Savaii. We landed safely at Savaii only to receive another SMS that the sirens were sounding again and it was time to head for higher ground.

I wrote this feedback because when we were in Sa’ my sister introduced me to SPASIFIK and it just blew me away. All these stories about these different aspects of P.I. life, and with all the people I’d looked up to for years but had never seen stories about in such depth.

I wanted to write once we got home to say a big thank you for the work that the SPASIFIK team does producing such a great magazine.

Melissa Wong, Brisbane, Australia

Hi Innes and Spasifik team,

Thanks for keeping me updated with vip mail. Just catching up with so many emails tonight and came across your email below. To be quite honest I was pretty disappointed in your choice of 'cover shot' for your latest issue. Totally inappropriate - especially given that your featured article is about 'skin art' and the fact that a tiny percentage of the pic is the 'art' and roughly 90% of the cover is bare skin. Not sure if you've already recieved other feedback from the general public, but I wouldn't be surprised if they felt the same photo could also be used for an adult-rated magazine.

Please receive me in the right way. I'm not saying that nudity is not part of Pasifika art or history, but the very size and isolated placement of that particular model's tattoo nowhere near resembles the beautiful malu or other Pasifika tattoos gifted to women. There are so many images that could've have been used to provide the reader with the flipside focus - 90% art/culture and less on skin (such as Issue 11's Style pasifika cover).

I plea with you to please keep Spasifik's visual media modest and honouring to our Pasifika families as I do believe a huge part of Spasifik's success over the years is due to a strong foundation of God values and principles that are widely upheld by our people, including your team of contributors.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Would welcome your thoughts as this makes for a very interesting discussion topic/s. I really love you guys and want others of all ages to continue to enjoy your ministry.

Huge fan,
Helen Oge, 30

P.S This is my own personal view and not the view of my family, colleagues or networks....just me:-)

Wednesday 29th April 2009

Hi just writng to say thank-you so much for the 'return to Witch Mountain' Prize pack.

Im looking forward to taking my children to see the movie, was very pleased to recieve the pack today.

Kind regards
Brenda Sherman
Friday 24th April 2009

HI Spacific I love reading your magazine! I just got back from the Lapita voyage as the expeditions traditional Pacific navigator. I was asked to join not only because of my knowledge in traditional navigation (Tokelau) but also of the theory which encompasses navigation and which was confirmed on Tikopia and Anuta. Our entire voyage was filmed. I believe there is a need to justify the significance of small Islands in relation to Pacific migration especially concerning central Polynesia. The factors involved in Navigation is not highlighted by Hawaiian Polynesian Society so I hope to express more of this. Also there will be a planned single outrigger expedition to further elaborate these ideas. Thanks and even if i dont hear from you I still love your magazine!

Tofa, Tulano
Porirua, Wellington