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Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff


Hawaiian Airlines has ordered 10 next-generation Boeing 787 aircraft, and cancelled an order for a new version of their Airbus A330.

Hawaiian joins Pacific carriers Air Niugini, Air Tahiti-Nui and Air New Zealand in selecting the long-range wide-body.

The increased range of the new plane will give Hawaiian the opportunity to introduce new non-stop flights to Europe from its Honolulu base, as well as new destinations in Asia.

Hawaiian has options for a further 10 787s, the first is due in 2021.

The deal is said to be worth US$1.5-billion after standard discounts.

In other HAL news, the airline announced last week that it has rewarded its more than 6,700 employees with $23.8 million in profit sharing  – the company’s largest annual payment in its history – in celebration of a record-setting operational and financial year.

The employees also received bonuses based on the achievement of a range of business, consumer and community objectives. Combined, the profit sharing and bonus payments amounted to more than 5 percent of employees’ 2017 wages.

(Source: RNZI & Hawaiian Airlines)


President Mary Tori Keegan, and the Pan Pacific Southeast Asian Women’s Association of Hawaii Inc (PPSEAWAH), announces its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony honoring Melveen Leed, to be held on March 24, 2018.

Leed, a multi-Na Hoku and Hawaiian Music Award winner is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second recipient from Hawaii in PPSEAWAH’s 90 years of service in the Pacific.

PPSEAWA-Hawaii’s Lifetime Award honoree is selected from a list of distinguished Pacific iconic figures. Melveen has made her marks in myriad ways in education, television, entertainment, indigenous issues, her philanthropic charity work in the past 50 years, as well as a positive role model for young people in the Pacific and the USA. 

Born in Honolulu in 1943, raised in Moloka’i, she is a multi-talented and versatile vocalist and musician who plays the ukulele, guitar, piano, congas, mandolin, accordion, marimba, and many other ethnic instruments. Her music genres cross from Hawaiian, Polynesian to Jazz, country, gospel, Latin, Pop, Reggae, Folk, Blues, remarkably, she also sings in 18 languages.  

“I’m very humbled to receive such honor” said Melveen when she was notified of the award.  According to PPSEAWAH president Keegan, “Melveen epitomizes the spirit of Aloha and the ultimate ambassador of Hawaii to the world.”

(Source: PPSEAWAH media release)


Fashion Designer, Cecilia Keil, has called out the practice of mass production and cultural appropriation of Samoa’s cultural art prints and designs by overseas commercial interests.

Recently the designer came across a duplicate design by a company in the U.S. of an original piece of active wear she designed in 2015.

“I feel robbed,” said Ms. Keil during an interview with the Sunday Samoan.

“Last week I posted something up on Facebook because I feel I’ve been robbed with leggings I designed in 2007. 

“They were recreated again in 2015 for the Pacific International Runway and then I saw it two weeks ago, someone shared a page, it’s selling in the U.S. and it’s been mass produced and selling at US$50 (T$128) and it’s a duplicate of the same design, they tweaked a few things but it’s the same thing. I contacted that company and I said to them ‘do you even know the significance and the meaning of the print?’ Because that’s our art and it belongs to our people and you are mass producing it.”

The overseas company responded to Ms. Keil saying that their designers came up with the concept of designs by their own merit. 

Ms. Keil is a partner for the Pacific International Runway representing Samoa and last year at the event held in Australia, she raised the ethical complications around bigger clothing apparel companies profiting off the intellectual and cultural property of Samoa without crediting the source.

(Source: Samoa Observer)