Our librarians have put together fun and free activities, resources and giveaways aimed for people of all ages and interests to support this year’s Wellington Pasifika Festival.
Visit other countries or new worlds through our free virtual reality experience! From climbing El Capitan to diving down into the Mariana Trench, or flying a car through a dystopian city and more, there is a virtual experience for everyone to try.
Delve into the stories, history and songs of our Pasifika communities by browsing the diverse range of library resources which will be on display.
Say hi to our roving Librarian with their trolley of withdrawn items which they will be giving away to lucky people throughout the afternoon.
Come down to see the library team in the Odlin’s Plaza on the waterfront between 12noon – 6pm this Saturday 23 January 2021. We’re on the grass area outside St John’s bar, near the pedestrian crossing from the Michael Fowler Centre car park.
This summer event includes performance groups from across the Pacific including Mafutaga Tagata Matutua Senior Exercise Group, Israel Star, and opera legend Ben Makisi. The free, whānau friendly event will be hosted by award-winning comedian James Nokise. The full programme is available online.
Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!
This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.
Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!
The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.
You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.
Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff
Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!
Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.
You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.
Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.
A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.
The Rain of the Children
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward
I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.
You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser
Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!
My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.
The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.
This collection of recent books has a little bit of everything for the keen reader; a diary, a sports star, a witch doctor and more. From Captain Cook’s voyages across the Pacific Ocean, to the 1970s dawn raids in New Zealand, this booklist is not one to miss if you’re wanting to brush up on a little bit of Pasifika history.
Miss Ulysses from Puka-Puka : the autobiography of a South Sea trader’s daughter / by Florence (Johnny) Frisbie ; edited and translated by her father, Robert Dean Frisbie.
“Miss Ulysses from Puka-Puka (2nd ed) by Florence (Johnny) Frisbie is the first book written by a Polynesian woman. It tells the amazing story of a young girl growing up on a remote island in the Cook Islands group. Written when Johnny was between the ages of 12 and 14, and published in 1948 when she was 15, Johnny likens her travels through South Pacific islands to those of Ulysses in the Odyssey. Her grandmother’s extended family, the trading station operated by her father, the local witch doctor, a native missionary, her father’s mistress after the death of her mother, and her first boyfriend are among the characters she describes with unflinching honesty. Out of print for more than sixty years, Johnny has added two new chapters to this classic and compelling book and illustrated it with family photos and three maps.” (Syndetics summary)
The Pacific : in the wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill / Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios.
“Captain James Cook first set sail to the Pacific in 1768 – 250 years ago. These vast waters, one third of the earth’s surface, were uncharted – but not unknown. A rich diversity of people and cultures navigated, traded, lived and fought here for thousands of years. Before Cook, the Pacific was disconnected from the power and ideas of Europe, Asia and America. In the wake of Cook, everything changed. Voyaging on a wide variety on vessels, from container ships to fishing trawlers and sailing boats, Sam crosses the length and breadth of the largest ocean in the world to experience for himself a contemporary journey in Cook’s footsteps, engaging the past and present in both modern and ancient cultural practice and peoples. Fascinating, engaging, fresh and vital – this is history – but not as you know it.” (Syndetics summary)
Dawn Raid / Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith.
“Like many 13-year-old girls, Sofias main worries are how to get some groovy go-go boots, and how not to die of embarrassment giving a speech at school! But when her older brother Lenny starts talking about marches and protests and overstayers, and how Pacific Islanders are being bullied by the police for their passports and papers, a shadow is cast over Sofias sunny teenage days. Through her heartfelt diary entries, we witness the terror of being dawn-raided and gain an insight into the courageous and tireless work of the Polynesian Panthers in the 1970s as they encourage immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their rights.” (Syndetics summary)
Tatau : a history of Sāmoan tattooing / Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot.
“The Sāmoan Islands are virtually unique in that tattooing has been continuously practised with indigenous techniques: the design of the full male tattoo, the pe’a, has evolved in subtle ways since the nineteenth century, but remains as elaborate, meaningful and powerful as it ever was. This richly illustrated cultural history is the first publication to examine 3000 years of Sāmoan tatau. Through a chronology vivid with people, encounters and events, it describes how Sāmoan tattooing has been shaped by local and external forces over many centuries. It argues that Sāmoan tatau has a long history of relevance both within and beyond Sāmoa, and a more complicated history than is currently presented in the literature.” (Syndetics summary)
My life, my fight / Steven Adams, with Madeleine Chapman.
“For the first time, Steven Adams shares the story behind his meteoric rise from the streets of Rotorua to his emerging stardom in the NBA.
Adams overcame the odds to become a top prospect in the 2013 NBA draft. From there he went on to secure a four-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder – making him New Zealand’s highest-paid sportsperson ever – and forge a reputation for his intense, physical style of basketball. In this intimate account of his life story so far, the seven-foot centre reflects on his humble upbringing, the impact of his father’s death when he was just 13, the multiple challenges and setbacks he has faced, early career-defining moments, and what basketball means to him.” (Syndetics summary)
Pathway of the birds : the voyaging achievements of Maori and their Polynesian ancestors / Andrew Crowe.
“This book tells of one of the most expansive and rapid phases of human migration in prehistory, a period during which Polynesians reached and settled nearly every archipelago scattered across some 28 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, an area now known as East Polynesia. Through an engaging narrative and over 400 maps, diagrams, photographs, and illustrations, Crowe conveys some of the skills, innovation, resourcefulness, and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion. In this masterful work, Andrew Crowe integrates a diversity of research and viewpoints in a format that is both accessible to the lay reader and required reading for any serious scholar of this fascinating region.” (Syndetics summary)
It’s a bumper weekend of events this Anniversary Weekend, and today sees the Positively Pasifika 2014 festival at Waitangi Park.
There’ll be traditional Pacific food, crafts, cultural groups and contemporary dance performances, film screenings, a dance and costume competition, children’s activities and even a hula class. The event is being MC’d by The Laughing Samoans.
Of course there’ll be great music to listen to all day: if you’re keen to hear more of Bella Kotolo‘s or Rosita Vai’s music after hearing them, we have their CDs for you to borrow and of courseLaughing Samoans‘ movies.