Friday, October 30, 2009

[pima.nius] Re: TS09 Report # 10: The small acts of kindness but big impact for tsunami children

12:06 AM |

Please give generously to the Samoa Tsunami 2009 Appeal!

There are two ways of donating money to the Samoa Tsunami 2009 Appeal:

(a) If you ring the 0900 number (0900 75633), and follow the steps, a
$20 donation will be added to your next monthly phone bill. Your $20
donation will go directly to the Samoa Tsunami 2009 Appeal and this
amount will appear on your next phone bill. (Please seek permission
from the person who owns the telephone account).

(b) If you wish to donate a different amount or prefer to go through a
bank, you are welcome to use the following:

Name: Samoa Tsunami 2009 Appeal

Account Number: 03-0219-0593779-000

Address: c/- Samoa House

283 Karangahape Road

Auckland Central
Auckland 1010
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[pima.nius] Re: Pacific Islands get $40m a year, Greytown doesn’t

12:04 AM |

Millions confirmed for Wairarapa in regional 10-year plan

Posted on 3 July 2009 -

Millions of dollars for new projects in Wairarapa has been approved in
Greater Wellington's new Long Term Council Community Plan (10 year
plan) says GW Chair Fran Wilde. Councillors approved the plan at a
meeting on 30 June.

$3.6 million for possum control
"The council has earmarked $3.6 million of new money to spend on
possum and predator control over the next 10 years, to pick up where
the Animal Health Board (AHB) will be finishing as it gets Bovine Tb
under control in Wairarapa.

"While the AHB possum control has targeted Bovine Tb, there have been
substantial economic spin-offs for farming, forestry and horticulture
with possums at low numbers in Wairarapa, and our native bush and
birds have made a big comeback.

"Farmers and landowners have asked Greater Wellington to put in a
replacement possum control programme to maintain the economic and
biodiversity gains already made. This is part of our commitment to
maintain a profitable agriculture sector and healthy native
biodiversity in the region."

Cr Wilde says the new possum control programme will start in part of
northern Wairarapa that is scheduled to be declared free of Bovine Tb.
AHB-funded possum control will soon finish in these areas.

Spending will start modestly at $30,000 in 2010/11 and gradually move
up to $765,000 a year in 2017/18 and 2018/19 as the programme moves

"Farmers have been telling us for several years that they are
delighted with the increased productivity and native birdlife that low
possum numbers bring. They made it very clear through submissions that
they didn't want to go back to the bad old days when possums were
chewing on everything, including their bottom line."

GW will be spending a further $330,000 in rural Otaki where AHB possum
control is due to finish in two years.

The government and industry-funded Animal Health Board began possum
control in Wairarapa in the early 1990s to curb Bovine Tb.

GW funds an extra $2.1 million for erosion control
Greater Wellington will be spending an extra $2.1 million in the next
10 years focusing on Wairarapa's erosion prone eastern hill country in
the Wellington Regional Erosion Control Initiative (WRECI), says
Wairarapa Councillor Ian Buchanan

"This is a partnership initiative proposed by the Government, where
the Crown, Greater Wellington and landowners each contribute a third
share for new soil conservation initiatives. The Government plans to
put in another $2.1 million over ten years, bringing the increase to
$4.2 million. Landowners contribute a further $2.1million to the

"The prospect of securing central government money for soil
conservation was too good an opportunity to miss. It makes sense for
the sustainability of the region's economy and environment to invest
in this."

In the next 10 years GW estimates 2000 hectares will be planted with
145,000 poplar and willow poles, a practice which stabilises land
while grazing continues. Another 1000 hectares are planned to be
fenced and retired from grazing under the initiative.

The initiative is expected to half the amount of time it will take to
treat the remaining erosion prone hill country in Wairarapa – from 60
years to 30 years.

Other initiatives
Greater Wellington is also planning a major upgrade of the flood
protection works for the Waiohine Floodplain and Greytown, and ongoing
work in the lower Ruamahanga River.

Councillors have ear-marked $100,000 a year to go towards the
development of a wetland park for Lake Wairarapa, Lake Onoke and their
surrounding wetlands.

Plans will be drawn and priced for a new building for the Masterton
office that will be an alternative Civil Defence Emergency Operating
Centre for Wellington in the case of a major natural disaster.
Councillors will then decide in 2010 whether to proceed.

The proposed 10-year plan outlining council projects and spending was
released for consultation on March 23, and closed for public
submissions on 24 April. A summary of the plan was sent to every
household in the Wellington region. There were 464 submissions and 90
oral submissions.

Comment from the Wairarapa Hill Country Advisory Committee
Wairarapa Hill Country Advisory Committee chairman Peter Gawith says
farmers will be very happy with the extra spending on possum control
and soil conservation.

"This is the first opportunity in 20 years to take advantage of
Government funding for soil conservation. Farmers were pretty excited
to hear about this and we had a strong delegation go down to
Wellington to present our submission in support of the initiative.

"It is very encouraging to hear Greater Wellington will continue
possum control as the Animal Health Board finishes their Bovine TB
programme in parts of Wairarapa. Farmers, foresters, fruit growers,
anyone who gardens in a rural area or enjoys our native birds and
forests will benefit from this."
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

[pima.nius] TS09 Report # 10: The small acts of kindness but big impact for tsunami children

12:24 PM |

29 October 2009





While we were getting ready to drive to the most affected locations by the tsunami, on the south eastern side of Upolu, a gentleman by the name of Steve Davies approached us and asked if we could please take a bag of donated bed sheets, toddlers shoes, and clothing from their family and friends in New Zealand and give them to the people affected by the tsunami. We thanked him and took the bag with us.


As we arrived at our base for Tsunami Samoa 09 Funds appeal at Matatufu, we were also handed additional items including clothes, toys, and  soft toys that an anonymous family dropped off at our base to be passed on to the tsunami victims and their families.


We then headed into the new settlement of the now inland village of Saleapaga. It was raining and the temperature was dropping an indication of a wet and tough night for the survivors of the tsunami in the bush. The road was very slippery and muddy. As we were driving along, we could see rows of make-shift shelters, tarpaulin shelters, tents, and people working to build a bit more secured shelters for their families. We could see children and their families making do with what little they now have.


If there was anxiety in the new bush settlement, it was hard to see. The survivors are calm in their disposition and determined to start again.


We called the children and their families and they came. We handed out the clothes, the toys, soft toys, toddler's clothes and bed sheets from the bag that Steve gave us, as well as the toys and clothing items from the anonymous family. We also had a supply of little treats including chocolate bars, muesli bars, and lollies to cheer the children up.


There were smiles on the children and their parents' faces as they received whatever were given them.


The visit and giving away of the small donated items and little treats caused laughter, activities and commotion among the children. The 'gifts' were received with much appreciation and thankful hearts.


Before we left, we asked a group of children to raise their hands if they wish to say thank you to all the kind people who donated to them little gift items, toys and clothing. Eagerly, the children raised their hands.


As I looked at the photo afterwards, I noticed that even the children who did not receive any clothing or toy or treat because we were short of items to give away had their hands firmly up to say 'Thank You' ………. (see attachment with photos)


·       Steve and Joanne Davies who while on holiday in Samoa brought donations of bed sheets, toddlers' shoes and clothing from their family and friends in New Zealand, thank you.


·       To the anonymous family who dropped off toys and clothing, thank you.


·       To Tsunami Samoa 09 Group and all its donors and sponsors, thank you,


·       To MedCen Hospital our Samoa partner and TS09 volunteer team at Matatufu, thank you.


·       To all the international relief agencies working in Samoa, thank you.


·       To the people of Samoa who are helping their country and their families, thank you.


·       To the Government of Samoa for their leadership, thank you.


·       To the New Zealand, Australian and USA Governments and other nations including neighbouring Pacific Islands for all their help in so many ways, thank you.


·       To all those who are donating and helping Samoa in their own special way, thank you.


Your acts of kindness have had a profound positive impact in brightening the lives and lightening the burden of those who have lost so much in the tsunami.


TSUNAMI SAMOA 09 FUNDS (TS09) Appeal will be sharing many stories of heroism and acts of kindness during and after the tsunami in Samoa. The stories are told by the survivors of the tsunami and volunteer helpers and written by Olo Elise Puni during his visits to the affected locations.


Today four weeks after the tsunami hit Samoa, TS09 is launching its Christmas in Samoa – Children's Presents & School Stationery Collection appeal.


The appeal is an opportunity for the expression of the heart in free giving and true Chritmas spirit – for the children led by rugby legend and popular former Manu Samoa captain Papaliitele Peter Fatialofa.


Papaliitele flew to Samoa immediately after the tsunami to attend funeral of family members and to help with the relief work.


Papaliitele 'Fats' said, "This is our collective commitment to ensure every child affected by the tsunami in Samoa will have a special Christmas this year."


"We are asking donors to consider school stationery as Christmas presents for the tsunami children to be included in the shoe box packs," said Papaliitele.


TS09 volunteers will be delivering the Christmas presents to tsunami children at TTM Hospital in Apia and the affected villages starting with Manono Island on Tuesday 1st December, Falealii District Wednesday 2nd December and Aleipata 3rd December.


We welcome all and anyone to support and partner with the 'TSUNAMI SAMOA 09 FUNDS' appeal.


ACCOUNT NAME:                  Tsunami Samoa 09 Funds

ACCOUNT NUMBER:             01-1837-0026899-02

BANK AND BRANCH:             ANZ Sylvia Park Branch




pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

[pima.nius] Pacific Islands get $40m a year, Greytown doesn’t

5:30 PM |

 Pacific Islands get $40m a year, Greytown doesn't

10:53 am GMT+12, 28/10/2009, New Zealand

New Zealand MP John Hayes

New Zealand MP John Hayes has defended drawing comparisons between the needs of his Wairarapa electorate and Pacific island communities, which Labour claims may have soured relationships with the territories.

Mr Hayes, who is head of Parliament's Foreign Affairs select committee, last week told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report that self-government in Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands should be scrapped.

All three claim New Zealand citizenship, are provided with economic assistance and have their external affairs and defence matters handled by New Zealand.

In a speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs last week, Mr Hayes said the regions' public servants had for too long used aid funds to "build bureaucracy".

"They spend too much time and resource on activities of little or no direct benefit to the people they are meant to serve. Instead, they spend time and funding servicing the needs of international organisations," he said.

"The self-government model provides instutionalised incentives which encourage the political and bureaucratic elite to enjoy the status and trappings of sovereignty abroad rather than addressing the real issues concerning their citizens at home.

"New Zealand is providing almost $40 million each year in aid to less than 3000 people living in Tokelau and Niue which is absorbed by dysfunctional systems.

It is essential that we take a fresh look at these arrangements because the people adversely affected are the very people we provide aid to.

"Some leaders have taken actions which come close to corruption and do not reflect the behaviour expected from those travelling under the protection of New Zealand Diplomatic Passports."

Labour has hit out at what it called an "attack" on the territories and said Mr Hayes' comments on Morning Report, which the party said could have caused the country considerable diplomatic harm and "must be condemned by John Key".

"To have Government MP John Hayes, chair of Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, with responsibilities for new foreign relations issues, essentially condemning the political leadership and democracy of the Cooks, Tokelau and Niue, sends a very bad message to Pacific communities both in New Zealand in the home islands," Labour's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Chris Carter said.

"John Hayes' attempt to compare costs between his Wairarapa electorate and the challenges faced by small communities in the Pacific is unrealistic and misleading.

"Such a simplistic approach is astonishing coming from a man who has served as a senior diplomat in the Pacific."

But Mr Hayes is sticking by his argument, and yesterday told the Times-Age people who have New Zealand passports deserve the same rights and services.

"The reality is that Labour has had nine years to get stuff right.

"It doesn't matter if you're living in Eketahuna or in Penrhyn in the Cook Islands, you've got the same rights. My argument is that we've got to treat all New Zealand citizens in the same way. You don't build group of New Zealanders who have substandard levels of education and health."

Mr Hayes said New Zealand was providing almost $40 million in aid each year to 3000 people living in Tokelau and Niue, which was being absorbed by "dysfunctional systems."

He said that population was "not a lot bigger than Greytown - and there's not $40 million flowing into Greytown each year."


pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

[pima.nius] TS09 Report # 9: Leiataua of Manono Island Tsunami Story - What Love! What Loyalty! What Honour!

1:13 PM |

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Edwin Puni <>
Date: 2009/10/27
Subject: TS09 Report # 9: Leiataua of Manono Island Tsunami Story - What Love! What Loyalty! What Honour!
To: EP - Event Polynesia <>

26 October 2009





The church bells broke the early morning promise of a new day on the Island of Manono as the tsunami warning alerted the villagers to run inland to higher grounds.


It became apparent to the primary care givers for Chief Leiataua Unaite, who is a stroke patient at his own home on the island of Manono, that they will not be able to shift Leiataua out of their house and relocate him to higher ground for safety in time. So Leiataua Unaite's wife and their daughter Sema decided to forego their own safety and to stay by Leiataua's side, whatever happens to fight the approaching tsunami waves.


Within a few minutes tsunami waves broke through the doors, windows and walls of their house. Both Sema and her mother lifted Leiataua up so that he will not drown. When the waves retreated they fought the waves to keep Leiataua and themselves from being sucked out to sea.


Chief Leiataua Unaite, his devoted wife and loyal daughter all survived the tsunami and the fierce waves. What love! What loyalty! What honour! Even in the face of the killer tsunami waves!


Dr Joe Williams of Auckland and members of TS09 from New Zealand came across Leiataua Unaite when visited Manono Island two weeks after the tsunami. Dr. Williams was able to carry out medical checks for many of the elderly and disable and provide medications.


Chief Leiataua Unaite is in real need to see a doctor and to receive medications. However, his difficulty as a stroke patient like many others with disability on Manono, with transportation via a small boat to Upolu would mean they cannot travel to see a doctor in the main island of Upolu.


Tsunami Samoa 09 Funds appeal and associates are committed to paying for a doctor and nurse from MedCen Hospital to visit Leiataua Unaite on the island of Manono. In addition, Tsunami Samoa 09 Funds appeal will pay for all the medications Leiataua would need at this stage. TS09 is also encouraging Samoa's Ministry of Health for better medical support for the residents of Manono Island………. (See attachment with photos)


TSUNAMI SAMOA 09 FUNDS (TS09) Appeal will be sharing many stories of heroism and acts of kindness during and after the tsunami in Samoa. The stories are told by the survivors of the tsunami and volunteer helpers and written by Olo Elise Puni during his visits to the affected locations.


We welcome all and anyone to support and partner with the 'TSUNAMI SAMOA 09 FUNDS' appeal.


ACCOUNT NAME:                  Tsunami Samoa 09 Funds

ACCOUNT NUMBER:             01-1837-0026899-000

BANK AND BRANCH:             ANZ Sylvia Park Branch



Contact: Mr. Olo Elise Puni (+6427) 2285-004; Email:


pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand

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[pima.nius] [pacific-journos] Flat-footed, I began to swim: Poetry and the margins exposed during the University of Otago Te Tumu tribute for Epeli Hau'ofa.

12:32 PM |

Hi all, food for thinkers.
please find below the full text of a presentation by
performance poet Karlo Mila-Schaaf during the Wed 21 Oct tribute for
Hauofa led by Te Tumu with keynote speaker Ropate Qalo from USP. I
couldnt open his speech, but here is food aplenty from Karlo, who was
at the Oceania centre in Suva not long before coming to Dunedin for
this event.  I hope you find it as challenging and inspiring as I did.

 Epeli Hau'ofa: The Magical Metaphor Man
By Karlo Mila-Schaaf

is her name

goddess of water
the blue taupou

smile, serene green
budda beautiful

her energy flies
peacock butterflies

resting bright on black
winged days

she is the dream
of slate blue clean

sea turtles for memory
sea horses for change

on grey washing days
I dream her
                                  (Mila, 2008, p. 70).

Unlike many of the people gathered here today to remember the man, I
only ever met 'Epeli Hau'ofa on the page.  I have no personal
anecdotes, no human touches, just the experience of meeting someone's
mind on paper.  I have engaged only with the quality of his thoughts.
It is a testament, perhaps, to the power of the written word and the
impact of ideas; that 'Epeli has come to mean so much to me.
After the recent Tsunami, the shock of the loss and devastation, it
was in 'Epeli's words I sought comfort.  He wrote that the ocean is
what we have in common, that it has always shaped and continues to
shape our cultures (Hau'ofa, 2008).  He writes:
"We draw inspiration from the diverse patterns that have emerged from
the successes and failures in our adaptation to the influence of the
sea…  We may even together make new sounds, new rhythms, new
choreographies, and new songs and verses about how wonderful and
terrible the sea is, and how we cannot live without it." (Hau'ofa,
2008, p. 57)
Inspired by 'Epeli, his thoughts and thinking, I wrote the following poem.
We are reminded
in the most brutal way
that we are all connected.

We are reminded
in the most brutal way,
that our relationship
with the ocean
is never
on our
own terms.

We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why dominion over nature
was never a part
of our epistemology.

We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why we know ourselves to be
simply a part
of a sacred continuum
of sacred relationships
where even
the ocean is alive,
where even
the night birds feel,
where even
the rocks have spirit,
where even
the blood red waves
know why they are red.

We are reminded
in the most brutal way
the balance of life between
is sacred, va tapuia,
endlessly interconnected
across distance, space, time, species, life, death.

We are reminded
in the most brutal way
why long before
Christ arrived
on these shores
we have always been
a people of spirit
a people of faith.

As a writer, as a young Tongan woman of commoner descent, of dubious
"hafe kasi" heritage, who grew up in Palmerston North, far from Tonga,
language-less and uprooted – both privileged and disadvantaged by the
same set of circumstances – 'Epeli's greatest gift to me was an
expansive mind and an inclusive metaphor.
For 'Epeli realised - long before it was fashionable - long before we
had regional conferences on epistemology and long before Benedict
Anderson (1991) coined the term "imagined communities" that "human
reality is a human creation: And that if we fail to create our own,
someone else will do it for us" (Hau'ofa 1993, p. 128-9).
Growing up in Aotearoa, being born and bred here, I have become
attuned to the 'small violence' of being imagined through mainstream
New Zealand's eyes.  I have become overly familiar with the narrow
range of ways that Pacific peoples are imagined here over and over
again using the same depleted stock of metaphors.  It is such a slim
and limited repertoire of images (rugby players, overstayers, street
kids, hip-hop dancers – and you only have to look at the recent
National Party government delegation to the Pacific to get a sense of
how we are imagined).  We are churchgoing.  We are fat.  We are fat
women in colourful island dresses that make jokes about our private
parts and unmentionables and avoid smear testing and laugh too loud.
We are young men in hoodies with strong, muscular, dangerous bodies
who fit Crimewatch profiles.  We are good at sport and singing and on
the rugby filed we contribute speed and brawn and natural flair and
talent rather than brain or discipline.
How we are imagined, inevitably can become the cage in which we become
captured.  How we are imagined, as well as how we imagine counts.  The
way that we imagine ourselves, as Pacific peoples, and who is in and
who is out, and whose behaviour exceeds the limits of our comfortable
criteria and ideas about "who" and "what we are".  This is contested
and political.   Do you happen to be too white, too feminist or too
liberal, too gay, too self-mutilating, too outrageous, too much of a
stickler for time or too upwardly mobile to comfortably fit within the
boundaries of the Pacific social imaginary?
The power to impose your vision of the world upon others is what
Bourdieu (1985) calls "symbolic struggle" over the cultural production
of meaning.  It is a struggle over the way that we imagine ourselves,
include and exclude, it is about the power to produce human reality
and to "determine, delimit, and define the always open meaning of the
present (Bourdieu, 1985, p. 728).
According to Bourdieu, "To change the world, one has to change the
ways of world-making" (1989, p. 23).  'Epeli Hau'ofa understood how
important our social imaginary was to us.  When other smart minds and
bright young stars in the Pacific turned themselves to law and
medicine, economics and politics; 'Epeli devoted himself to the way
that we imagine ourselves.  He battled.  He was a lone warrior for a
long time, upon the contested terrain of social reproduction and the
social imaginary.  He saw that it was worth fighting for.  He thought
that the way we imagine ourselves counted.  He believed that this has
political and practical, as well as deeply spiritual, implications.
His enduring legacy will be the ocean as a transformative metaphor.
For here was a man that understood the power of metaphor! Milan
Kundera writes in his book "The Unbearable Lightness of Being":
"Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give
birth to love." (Kundera, 1984, p. 11)  'Epeli hoped a single metaphor
could give birth to a regional identity that changed the way we
imagined ourselves.  As a Tongan, perhaps it is no surprise that he
did not trifle with metaphors, but rather understood the magic of
their power.  A Tongan word close in meaning to metaphor is heliaki.
The anthropologist Adrienne Kaeppler (1993) writes of heliaki and
Tongan society:
"The important aesthetic concept here is heliaki, indirectness (to say
one thing but mean another), which requires special knowledge and
skill to compose and understand. The composer manifests heliaki in
metaphor and layered meaning, skirting a subject and approaching it
repeatedly from different angles.  Hidden meanings must be unraveled
layer by layer until they can be understood, for one cannot apprehend
the poetry by simply examining it.  The most important Tongan arts are
verbal, incorporating social and political philosophy and
encapsulating the ideal of indirectness" (Kaeppler 1993, p. 497)
Metaphor, like the ocean, is something we Pacific peoples share.  As
in many other societies whereby relationships between people are
pivotal to survival and sustenance, to use Augsberger's words:
"A rich and elaborate code system of metaphor and simile may
communicate arguments with complex and colourful rhetorical content
that serves profound social purposes." (Augsberger, 1992, p. 31)
Comparative research shows a preference for "indirect verbal
interaction" among collectively oriented cultures, in contrast with
the preference among individualistic cultures for "straight talk"
(Ting Toomey, 1988).
I am someone who grew up exposed to both influences: highly
individualistic as well as having a deeply collective inheritance.  I
am someone who is, and who has always been, committed to speaking and
writing and telling a truth - of sorts - committed to finding and
articulating my own awkward and sometimes painful truth.  'Epeli
models a way of speaking truth safely, a way of speaking truth through
metaphor; by taking the long, colourful way, the scenic version, but
never being afraid to pull a heliaki punch.  He was never afraid of
salting his work and peppering his words with insights that flavour
somewhat dangerously what is being spoken, served and swallowed.  The
loud message of 'what cannot be said' booming with muscle behind the
rhetorical dancing and ducking of 'what can be said': the fist of his
truth connecting, every time.
Although 'Epeli, more than most, sought to explain how there were many
truths, preferred truths, flexible truths, different versions of
reality that existed for different purposes in Pacific cultures.  And
despite recognising the multi-dimensionality of truth, still more than
anyone, it is 'Epeli who models the magic of metaphor, the speaking of
the unspeakable through multi-layered, elusive and murmuring words and
images (often somewhere near the Nederends).  He was a master of arts
and farts.  But he helps us to learn to make our beasts beautiful
enough, camouflaged enough, and well-armored enough to speak them out
loud.  Our beasts become chameleon-like and clever, so that we can
speak those bull-rushing words, those bleeding words, in a context of
intense interconnection, of needing to save face, not only yours, but
those whom you are relationally and genealogically connected to.
How do we speak our awkward truths, so raw that they glimmer and
glisten, so painful that we cannot carry them inside us silent?  We do
this through metaphor.  Fellow poet, Fijian and Tongan writer Tagi
Qolouvaki describes this ultimately liberating but also dangerous
creative process in the following poem:
I release
These secrets
This one
And this one

About my mothers
About myself

I will peel the skin off this secret
Spoon out its soft
Feed them
To you

This one I will crack open
Like a coconut
Under the blunt edge of a machete
I will pour out its juice
And bathe you in it
So you awaken
And I heal

I will re-seed
My center
Fill my
With sweetness
Grow new skin
Soft and brown

I will retrieve
My soul from
Stained glass
Of childhood

And peace will leak
Through my pores
Like sweat
The scent of guava
               (Courtesy of Tagi Qolouvaki)
I think it is no accident that Pacific women, in particular,
proliferate in poetry.  Queen Salote, Konai Helu-Thaman, Momoe Von
Reiche, Grace Molisa, Sia Figiel, Tusiata Avia, Teresia Teiawa, Selina
Tusitala Marsh, Serie Barford, Caroline Sinavaiana-Gabard, and a
growing thicket of young emerging voices: Leilani Tamu, Grace Taylor,
Helen Tionisio and Courtney Meredith.  You'll find us in the narrow
lines of poetry.  That's where the girls are.  Here we are saying the
things that can't be laid bare, cloaked in the suggestive shimmy of
simile.  We are mobilising the metaphoric ambivalence of the maybe.
We are veiled in allusion.  We dance, move, mimic with our words,
suggestive and sensuous.  We say nothing straight, but we say
everything that needs to be said.  Everybody hears us, which version
they feel is dependent and multi-possible in the wonderful fluidity
between fiction and truth-telling.  This is where we speak ourselves.
This is where we find each other.  As Sia Figiel writes in her poem,
for young artists:
"To a Young Artist in Contemplation"
Y(our) anguish
is a flame
only the night
a journey
with no beginning
no middle
no end

y(our) pain
a child of the salt
in the sea
that surrounds you
a journey
with no beginning
no middle
no end

listen to the stars
for like the night
they too know of
your loneliness
and to the waves
in the distance
for they alone
hear you cry
in silence
the moon will
touch the part of you
-       no one else sees
the one that cries
in the day
between your smiles
your laugh
birds will bring joy
from far away
you will hear it
on the tongues of leaves
-eternal joy of
the free spirit that you are
press it gently
to your heart
it is y(our) only possession
the one that will
carry you
carry you
carry you
throughout y(our) journey

and when no one else listens
and when no one else understands you
go back to the sea
and scream
(in silence)
And the mana of salt
will heal
over and over
as you begin y(our) journey
and again
and again
                       (Figiel, 1998, pp. 1-2)

It is no surprise that Sia turns to the metaphor of ocean, to the
healing power of salt, to the ever-flowing source of all of y(our)
journeys.  The alternative to speaking and writing ourselves and our
secrets, the anguish of silenced tongues is captured in a poem I wrote
called "Paper Mulberry Secrets".  This describes for me the violence
and internal wounds of collusions of silences and the appeal instead
for the thin veneer of appearances.

Paper Mulberry Secrets (where the real stories are)

Women sit
among each other
and beat heartwood
into the finest veils
of ngatu.

Stories stripped, sun-dried
soaked, scraped clean.
bark beaten lean.

Fragile layers
so thin
the tapa is barely connected
to its own self.

If you sit quietly in a village long enough
you hear this silence in the distance
mallet on anvil
like the beat of a headache.

paper promises
drying on dyed wooden blocks
like second skins
draped over the midribs
of leaves
in backyards.

Pages pasted
like hands clasped in prayer
to be decorated
with natural dyes
and elaborate strokes
suggesting symmetry
and perfect painted order.

You see,
you cannot peel this back
to the heart
without breaking it.
                                       (Mila, 2008, p. 29)
But there is something much worse than silence.  And this is something
'Epeli understood very well.  That is someone else imagining you 'for
you'.  Someone else imposing their vision of the worlds over
everything you do.  Someone else telling your stories and dreaming
words coming out of our mouths.  Someone else writing us, dreaming us,
small, insignificant, backwards, native, simple, loud, poor,
history-less, savage.  Someone else dreaming us with their own limited
repertoire of metaphors, stereotypes, grass skirts, and what Shigeyuki
Kihara so appropriately encapsulated in the word: "ooga booga".  As
'Epeli said and I repeat it: "Human reality is human creation.  If we
fail to create our own someone else will do it for us by default."
(Hau'ofa 1993, p. 128-9)
'Epeli's enduring legacy, for me, was purposively taking charge of our
social imaginary, caring for it, investing in it with the magical
power of metaphor.  His inclusive metaphor, aimed to transcend the
territorial ways we imagine our identities, rooted in land, vested in
fonua / whenua / vanua.  'Epeli, in conflict ridden Fiji, understood
that a vision of unity could not be found in a land-based metaphor.
He understood that an inclusive identity had to move beyond our
existing and ancient metaphors often rooted in associative rights to
land and land tenure.  And although we are attached to the magic and
power of our land-derived identity metaphors and although they will
endure, the less attractive practices – such as strategic burying of
the dead to settle land claims and disputes and so on, do come to
'Epeli looked to the vast, expansive and inclusive ever-movement of
the ocean.  He did this also in a context of being familiar with how
the Pacific region was perceived on a global stage.  He had enough
international experience to see how it was constructed and imagined on
the level of the global economy, as speaks of atolls, resource poor,
scattered, tiny islands; mere specks on a global stage.  He drew on
the power and vastness of the ocean.  He writes:
"It is shared by all…  It is the inescapable fact of our lives.  What
we lack is the conscious awareness of it, its implications, and what
we could do with it.  (Hau'ofa, 2008, p.54).
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean in the world.  It
covers more than a third of the earth's surface and provides more than
half of its free water. 'Epeli was clear that he was not merely
talking about the sea as an economic development resource but also as
an imaginative one.  He wrote:
"The sea is not merely our omnipresent, empirical reality, equally
important it is our most wonderful metaphor for just about anything we
can think of." (Hau'ofa, 2000, p. 51).
As a writer, as a young Tongan woman, of commoner descent, of dubious
"hafe kasi" heritage, who grew up in Palmerston North, far from Tonga,
language-less and uprooted, the ocean is also my metaphor.  Epeli's
metaphor is vast enough, wide enough; open enough, to include even me.
Far from the soil of Tonga, my fonua burned in a hospital furnace (as
was the practice here).  Born in Aotearoa and trying to learn the
trick of standing upright here, in a land where I have no ancestral
claim or connection to.  As New Zealand poets before me, such as Allen
Curnow wrote:
Not I, some child, born in a marvellous year
Will learn the trick of standing upright here.

(Curnow, 1997, p. 220).
And as Glenn Colquhoun (1999) expressed so well in his book, "The Art
of Walking Upright", the challenge of belonging to the land in a
context of not being tangata whenua or Maori is a defining issue for
most thinking / feeling people who came here as immigrants and feel
the ache of the land, who feel the injustice of the history which has
bequeathed the land to us, in quarter acre buyable blocks.
But 'Epeli offers us the fluid hope of the ocean.  The ocean is
another source of sustenance, connection and identity for those of us
in the Pacific.  It is the all encompassing and inclusive metaphor of
the sea.  No matter how much we try to divide her up and mark her
territory, she eludes us with her ever-moving expansiveness.  The
ocean is what we have in common.
I will end with a final poem called: "A Place to Stand" and hope to
honour 'Epeli in my own choice of metaphors.
A place to stand
it was on the marae atea
in the blue-veined moonlight
somewhere near Halcolm
I learned

i felt the earth
beneath me tremor

a wiri
a wero
a haka

it was
sure of itself
to awa

rich red mud

in the soil

landscape entire
into urupa

could not
stand upright

'ka mate ka mate'
beating eardrum
in the earth

her blue body
distant shores

a blue taupou

follow that star


speak alien tongues

follow the bloodlines
to the terra incognita
of your own body

i began to swim
                              (Mila, 2008, p.9)

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[pima.nius] Invite: Fred Hollows Foundation okai Gift Card Launch 11 Nov

12:11 PM |

okaioceanikart in association with

the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

invites you to the launch of a

range of Gift Cards

Featuring the works of artists

Abraham Lagi, Elisabet Kauage,

Ellie Fa'amauri and Sylvia Marsters.

We would love you to join us

with the Foundation's NZ team

and supporters on

Wednesday 11 November

5.30 to 7.30pm

At the Waitemata Ballroom
(near the gallery) Langham Hotel

Parking in Tournament Parking Bldg
Liverpool Street

RSVP by 31 October to

okaioceanikart gallery
Langham Hotel Mall 65 Karangahape Road Auckland City
PO Box 67-153 Mt Eden Auckland
Phone (09) 379 9051 Mobile 027 285 4350



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Monday, October 26, 2009

[pima.nius] Statement: PIMA announces the appointment of a new chair

12:50 PM |

PIMA Press Release

Tuesday 27 October 2009


PIMA announces the appointment of a new chair and committee.


Iulia Leilua, experienced senior Pacific journalist and director of media company Silk Associates has taken up the role of PIMA Chair.


Following on from its Annual General Meeting last week, a new PIMA committee is in place and ready to forward PIMA directives.


At the meeting, a new structure for PIMA was proposed and a PIMA Advisory Group of "Matua" PIMA members set up.


The roles of PIMA committee members streamlined and the committee itself consists only of an administrative body, which co-opts or succonds other members as needed.


This is quite a different formation of the PIMA committee and means that PIMA members can feel free to come aboard the committee for short project specific periods.


Former Chair Aaron Taouma says he's very pleased with the appointment of such an experienced and competent Pacific media practitioner as Leilua and the sentiments are followed by media stalwart and also former chair John Utanga (both at the meeting).


The new PIMA committee also sees the return of former PIMA secretary Sandra Kailahi.


Kailahi says that she is looking forward to getting involved again.


The new committee is formed by the core administrative group -

Chair: Iulia Leilua

Vice Chair: Chris Lakatani

Secretary: Sandra Kailahi

Treasurer: Angelina Weir


Other members of the committee are further co-opted for specific duties. Last week saw an initial group put up their hands:

Marama Papau

Eleanor Ikinofo 

Dominika White

Aaron Taouma will also be involved in the initial handover and setup period.


Other PIMA members are also encouraged to come to the committee with specific projects it may help to facilitate or support.




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[pima.nius] [pacific-journos] Tsunami toll on Samoan pre-school children the ‘forgotten chapter’

12:36 PM |

There are various fundraising activities in Brisbane by the Samoan community to send assistance to the affected communities back home.
Its quite moving to see school children invoved in such activities to assist their relatives back home. When children are involved, it makes us adults dig deeper into our pockets to contribute and bring a smile on the face of those devastated children in Samoa.

On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 7:12 AM, Donna Hoerder <> wrote:

Tsunami toll on Samoan pre-school children the 'forgotten chapter'

APIA, 25 October, 2009 – The UN Children's Fund is urgently supporting the
return of tsunami-affected children to pre-school in what may be a
forgotten chapter of Samoa's recent disaster.

The devastating tsunami that struck Samoa on 29 September damaged or
destroyed as many as 16 pre-schools, leaving young children with few
options for their continued early childhood education.

UNICEF is providing technical and logistics support to the National Council
on Early Childhood Education in Samoa (NCECES) – a non-governmental
organisation with membership of groups and organisations such as church
groups and private charities who run pre-schools – to undertake a rapid
needs assessment.  The assessment will determine the level of destruction
to pre-schools and what assistance is required to get affected children
back to pre-schools as quickly as possible.

UNICEF Emergency Education Specialist, Phuong T. Nguyen, says that
preliminary results from the assessment indicate the tsunami completely
destroyed 11 pre-schools and badly damaged a further five. An estimated 600
children are directly affected.

"The destruction of pre-school infrastructure that I have seen is
heartbreaking," says Ms Nguyen.

"In some cases the classrooms and other facilities have been totally washed
away, leaving just the crumbled concrete foundation behind. At other times
buildings are so damaged as to be completely unusable.

"The typical preschool in Samoa has one classroom, with a water tank and
toilet facility, with two teachers serving 35-40 children aged
two-and-a-half to 5 years-of-age.

"One school I visited had just installed playground equipment three months
before the tsunami, but all of this is now gone. Picture books and art work
crafted by young children lay amidst the rubble of their former classroom."

Ms. Nguyen says the tsunami not only destroyed classrooms and other
facilities, but also took away the right of hundreds of young children to
an early childhood education.

"Early childhood education is vital for young children.  It supports the
overall development and well-being of children so they can fully develop
their thinking, language, motor, emotional and social skills. Children
deserve the chance to get the best start in life and to develop to their
full potential."

"It is well established that children who have successfully participated in
early childhood education are able to transition well into primary school,
where they are better adjusted, attend school regularly and do not repeat

"The effects of not being able to go to pre-school reach far beyond the
individual lives of children and affect families, communities and the
development of the country as a whole."

Ms. Nguyen says that in the face of the overwhelming needs such as shelter,
water and sanitation generated by the tsunami, early childhood education
needs were given a lower priority. However, this should not be the case.
Similar to the importance of education for older children in the aftermath
of a disaster, early childhood education provides young children with a
sense of normalcy, psychosocial support and protection against harm.
Education, be it for older or younger children should be an integral part
of any humanitarian response.

"But now that the emergency response is starting to move into the early
recovery phase, it is essential that the needs of young children for
education and development do not continue to be overlooked."

Ms. Nguyen says the pre-school assessment report is expected early this
week, after which UNICEF will work with partner agencies to mobilise the
resources needed to begin the urgent work required to get young children
back in school, where they may again be supported with their social,
cognitive, emotionally and physical development.

In the longer term, UNICEF will advocate for the Samoan authorities to take
a more active leadership role in early childhood education. Preschools are
currently run at the community level, often in conjunction with
communities, churches and other charitable organisations.

For more information, please contact:

David Youngmeyer
Media Officer
Cell: +64 21 851 263
Cell: +685 772 1749

Phuong T. Nguyen
Emergency Education Specialist
Cell: +685 772 1753

(See attached file: Tsunami toll on Samoan pre-sch children.doc)


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[pima.nius] [Pacific_media_watch] 6506 REGION: Trauma, environmental journalism, health reporting and te reo Maori in new PJR

12:29 PM |

Title – 6506 REGION: Trauma, environmental journalism, health reporting and te reo Maori in new PJR

Date – 24 October 2009

Byline – None

Origin – Pacific Media Watch

Source – Pacific Scoop/Pacific Media Centre, 24/10/09

Copyright – PS/PMC

Status – Unabridged


* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:


* Post a comment on this story at PMW Right of Reply:




By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

AUCKLAND (Pacific Scoop/Pacific Media Watch): Trauma and exiled writers, the challenge of environmental journalism in Delta land, issues of editorial "slant" in health reporting and use of te reo Maori in newspapers are some of the topics featured in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review.


The October edition is a special "Public right to know" joint issue published by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and AUT University's Pacific Media Centre.


A selection of eight peer-refereed papers, mostly drawn from the PR2K7 conference with the theme "Giving them what they want", has been published in this edition co-edited by professor Wendy Bacon, director of the ACIJ.


The PR2K conferences, which have been held regularly since 2000, have mostly focused on how the right of people to know what is happening has been frustrated by legal, political and social constraints on the media in the Asia-Pacific region.


"While these key concerns remain, in 2007 and 2008 the conference organisers challenged participants to present papers which explored how contemporary media developments are shaping and being shaped by new relations with the public," Bacon writes in the editorial.


Bacon herself contributed a major role in one of the key research articles, along with two Bangladeshi colleagues, about the urgency of environmental coverage of Delta land, showing up the "neglect" of reporting ecological devastation by Australia and New Zealand media in some parts of the region and why change is needed.


This year is the Year of Climate Change in the South Pacific and several small island nations have stretched their resources to provide better environmental reporting.


John Carr focuses on journalism as storytelling and argues that a "viable public sphere" needs narrative templates for critical social, political and environmental issues that need to engender a sense of shared participation.


John Roberts and Chris Nash examine the reporting by two Sydney newspapers of the controversial issues of a safe injecting room in the face of complaints of bias.


Investigative journalism

Marni Cordell presents a pilot study on the state of investigative journalism in Australia with a focus on the ABC's flagship Four Corners programme. PMC director associate professor David Robie provides a comparative case study on the controversial Fiji news media "review" in the lead up to the regime imposing martial law and censorship at Easter.


Other articles outside the main PR2K theme include a study of the "intentional use" of te reo Maori in New Zealand newspapers in 2007 by the Kupu Taea project at Massey University, a comparative study of teenage views on journalism as a career in Australia and NZ by professor Mark Pearson of Bond University, and a New Caledonian mediascape from aid analyst Nic Maclellan.


The review section includes a feature essay on the book Shooting Balibo written by Tony Maniaty about the murders of the "Balibo Five" television reporters and journalist Roger East by invading Indonesian troops in East Timor in 1975.


This edition, co-edited by Jan McClelland and Dr Robie, has been dedicated to AUT research administrator Jillian Green, who had been a strong colleague, friend and supporter of PJR and this month lost her struggle with a long illness.


The next edition of PJR has the theme "reporting conflict" in association with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It will be published in May 2010.


• Pacific Journalism Review can be ordered on the PJR website:

or through the ACIJ:


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