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Pacific News Briefs

Paul Fa’apo, the man behind Waitangirua's Fa’apo Style Cutz.  [Photo: Chev Hassett/The Wireless]
compiled by Samoa News staff


(New Zealand) — July 25 2017 — Last year Tua Peniamina won the award for Wellington’s top barber, which sits proudly on his desk, according to Chev Hassett, a visual journalist born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand.

In Hassett’s Photo essay: “From the garage to the salon” he looks at four young men, who have found themselves through their work, their art — as barbers. 

Samoa News was fascinated with two of the barbers — both of Samoan heritage — who have made a name for themselves in New Zealand, in their communities.

Hassett writes that he met up with Tua a few times over a week and every time he was there he was so busy, he was the kinda guy you needed to book for in advance.

We chatted for a bit and Tua talked about his humble beginnings, coming to NZ from Samoa and how barbering was something that lived in his family.

His client base first started from self-promotion, cutting all the neighborhood kids' hair and using his brother as a walking advertisement for style. He never thought he would be a barber, let alone one of the best-known barbers in Wellington.

He told me this as he sat on a nice leather chair in a hair studio full of hairdressers, old ladies and Louis Vuitton bags. He was complete contrast to the other barbers, but he never saw that; he was focused on his craft and making sure everyone he meets leaves happy.

One customer said Tua gives the best fades; he just laughed it off and kept cutting away.

Tua was extremely grateful to be where he was, having jumped heaps of hurdles to get there. Even though barbering was never in his vision, it ended up being a tool that shaped his life. That’s fate.



(New Zealand) — July 25 2017 — The second Samoan of Chev Hassett’s Photo essay: “From the garage to the salon” is Paul Fa’apo.

Fa'apo had recently just opened his own shop in Waitangirua, a neighborhood in Porirua, according to Hassett, who said, “When I looked out the window on the drive there, a lot of state houses blurred past. It resembled my home.

The barbershop was filled with people hanging out. I walked inside to be met by a big man called Paul. He was cool and genuine — he was real. 

Paul gave me the wassup and the whole shop were cracking jokes at one another and I immediately felt back at home.

He said to me: ‘How you wanna do this?”

“However, up to you man,” I replied.

He started getting his groove on. While shaving away he told me that a few years ago he was at a point where he was not doing much with himself. He hadn't had a job for a few years and he needed a change. He threw away the bandana and picked up the clippers.

He saw a barber wanted advertisement in a window and thought he would give it a try. As he reflected on his past you could feel this larger than life energy. Everyone who came in was saying: ‘this is the guy’.

He convinced the people who advertised the job that he was the guy they needed, even though he had no experience at the time. He ended up getting it and the rest was history. 

Now he's opened his own shop, Fa’apo Style Cutz.  

Barbering had given the man a second chance and he knew it too. The dude said some things and I could tell he has seen a lot.  He was a man who'd turned a situation from a negative to a positive; created an opportunity out of thin air and ran with it.



Avocado growers are warning store owners not to accept stolen fruit, as thieves take to social media and sell them on Facebook.

Police say people have been pinching avocados from orchards and shops in eastern parts of the North Island and selling them on social media.

They have warned that those responsible could be charged with burglary and face up to 10 years in prison - and people who knowingly buy the stolen avocados could also be locked behind bars.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular told Morning Report the thefts were "devastating" for growers.

She said people should be careful selling avocados.

"You don't get $1 avocados and if someone comes in with a crate of avocados and says 'they're a dollar each', the storeowner can't assume other than the fact that they've come from a source that is not reputable."

Ms. Scoular said police had been visiting fruit stores and warning them not to stock stolen avocados.

 (Source: RNZ)


A Māori biosecurity network has been awarded a top prize at the country's inaugural biosecurity awards.

Te Tira Whakamātaki - which translates to 'the Watchful Ones' - is a iwi-oriented biosecurity group established last year.

It helps to provide information to iwi about biosecurity risks like myrtle rust, kauri dieback, and the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis - to iwi throughout the country.

Following the awards ceremony on Thursday, Te Tira Whakamātaki co-founder Melanie Mark-Shadbolt said the award vindicated the work the group had done over the past year.

"The award shows that our work is being noticed, and highlights the vital role of an inclusive biosecurity system that is robust, resilient and representative of the country as a whole."

"I would really like to thank iwi and Māori katoa for supporting the kaupapa, and Haami Piripi for supporting our mahi."

The group's chair, Glenice Paine, said it was important to harness the skills and knowledge of Māori.

"A biosecurity system that can better reflect Māori knowledge, culture and perspectives is what we are ultimately aiming for."

(Source: RNZ)