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Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff


While most of the South Island of New Zealand is out of the woods when it comes to the wild weather, a heavy rain warning remains in place for Dunedin and North Otago.

Ex-tropical cyclone Gita had moved away from the country and was currently sitting off the east coast of the South Island.

MetService meteorologist Peter Little said the impact of the storm was slowly easing.

"Gita now lies east of Banks Peninsula and continues to move slowly away to the south-east, so we are seeing most of the rainfall now from south Canterbury down towards Otago."

However MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn said Gita still had a sting in its tail for those in the deep south where 30 to 50 millimetres of rain could fall until 6pm.

(Source: RNZI)


The Government has given the Tauvalaau family of Satapuala an ultimatum. They have a week, Wednesday 28 February 2018, to move. 

The order was confirmed by Tuaato Tauvalau Salausa of Satapuala.

But the family is not moving. She said that unless the Government pays them — $1million —they are not going anywhere.

She also called on Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to reconsider the Government’s decision. 

“We will not leave our family land; this is where my father and our family members are buried,” she said. “I will not leave this land. This is my father’s (Tauvalaau Fasio) land.” 

She claims the Government intends to extend the Faleolo International Airport runway across their family land. 

“This is where I was born and grew up and I cannot fathom how the Samoan Government can just hand out only $34,000 to my daughter, yet our family land is worth far more than the lousy money they gave us."

“I live in American Samoa and prior to moving back in 2005, I had my daughter stay here on our land."

“I was only informed that my daughter accepted the $34,000. That is not enough to compensate the value of our land. How can the Samoa Government pay us peanuts?” 

Asked whether the family will move come 28 February 2018, the mother is determined that will not happen. “I am not moving out of my family land and I don’t care who will come, I will not move,” she said. 

Salausa also has a message for Prime Minister Tuilaepa. 

“Lands and chiefly titles are treasured by families and being that you Tuilaepa are a Chief, a leader of this country, you should know what we are fighting for." 

(Source: Samoa Observer)


A Samoan three-year-old child is thought to have suffocated in a car last Friday and police are investigating.

The Samoa Observer reported the police spokesperson, Superintendent Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo, had confirmed the investigation, but could not give any details.

But a source told the paper that the incident occurred in Vaitoloa which is on the outskirts of Apia.

(Source: RNZI)


The Ministry of Police in Samoa has launched an investigation into the death of a 29-year-old mother of three, who was buried two weeks ago. 

This was confirmed by the Media Spokesperson and Police Superintendent, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo. 

“There is an investigation ongoing right,” he said.

 Pressed whether the Police will seek a Court Order for an autopsy and dig up the corpse, Auapa’au declined to comment.

Police sources say the investigation started last week when investigating officers started interviewing family members of the deceased. 

“The mother gave birth to her daughter and a week later she died,” the Samoa Observer was told. 

“The investigation followed a complaint filed by the family of the deceased although they have already had the funeral. "

(Source: Samoa Observer)


It's not every day that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton runs her royal fingers down the seams of a traditional Pacific Islands patchwork.

Yet she and other celebrities, such as Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour, have been admiring tivaivai in the hallowed halls of Buckingham Palace, thousands of kilometres from where these traditionally made patchwork quilts are made.

Top New Zealand fashion designer Karen Walker combined her chic, eccentric style with the traditional tivaivai motifs made by the Cook Island Māmās to make a red carpet dress for the first Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.

The Duchess hosted the event, which showcased designs from across the 53 countries in the Commonwealth.

Ms. Walker said she had always loved the look of tivaivai.

"I've always loved the graphics, the scale, the colors and the detail of the stitching.

"I've always been very drawn to how tivaivai look, what they stand for and their history and I've never had the opportunity to work with tivaivai or to create any sort of project around the artwork.

"It was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in their culture and there was also the benefit of being in the same city that has a strong Cook Islands presence," she said.

She laughed as she remembered the process of tracking down the Māmās.

"Typical New Zealand story of everybody knows somebody — our sample room manager's boyfriend's mother's friend knew Māmā Tukua Tukia.

"So a week later, we were connected with them, and we had heard about Māmā Tukua being so talented in both craft and stitching, and that is rare," she said.

It took over 1000 hours for the Karen Walker and Kuki 'Airani Creative Māmās tivaivai dress to be formed.

Seventy-three-year-old Māmā Tukua Tukia, who was born in Aitutaki, said it was a team effort by six women who all found the experience empowering.

"Making a tivaivai is not as hard as making this gown with Karen Walker. It was hard, but such a good project to do.

"It was a team effort where one has to thread the needle for us and the other one has to do the cuppa tea for us. That's how it works.

"We had one māmā, she's 91 years old this year, and she was really awesome. We didn't ask her to come because we want to take care of her, but she wanted to help," she said.

The Cook Islands Development Agency of New Zealand is one of the groups supporting the project.

(Source: RNZI)