Dr Joe Williams Public Memorial Service: “Acknowledging great leadership”

A public memorial service for highly respected Pacific leader and the patron for the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), Dr Joseph Williams, MBChB, MPH, QSM, QSO, will be held in Auckland on Thursday 29 October. Dr. Williams passed away at the beginning of September after serving the Cook Islands, the wider Pacific region and his community… Read more »

Baby Loss Awareness Week: A story of heartbreak and healing

It has been a year since Samoan mother Vaioleti Tongi experienced the traumatic stillbirth of her baby son, who died in her womb eight days before she delivered him. Grieving the loss of a child who Vaioleti (28) describes as a “gift from God” is one of the hardest experiences that her and her husband,… Read more »


When Samoan GP, Dr Maryann Heather, lost her father to a sudden heart attack when she was 18 years old, it inspired her to become a doctor so she could honour him and help her community. “At that moment, I felt helpless because there was nothing I could do for my father. That’s when I… Read more »

FIJI LANGUAGE WEEK: “My language sets me apart from other cultures”

Fijian Language Week ends today on a high note as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of Fiji’s independence from British colonial rule. Clinical Nurse Director and senior member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), Abel Smith, says this is the perfect time to not only celebrate the language but to also reflect on how the… Read more »

Pasifika Health Leaders Webinar: “The importance of sharing our successes and failures”

Samoan paediatrician and paediatric intensivist, Dr Fiona Perelini (MBChB, FRACP, FCICM) is passionate about medicine and lives by a simple mantra.  “Each time I’ve made a decision, I ask myself if is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? This has dictated my decisions over the years.  I love what I… Read more »

FIJI LANGUAGE WEEK: “I am one with the language”

Terisa Tagicakibau is a proud Fijian but one of her biggest regrets early in life was to grow up in Fiji and not be able to speak the language because it was discouraged at home and at school. Today, there are no regrets as Terisa is fluent in Fijian and is determined to ensure history… Read more »

FIJI LANGUAGE WEEK: “Saying Bula lets people know where I’m from”

Whenever Hamilton resident, Dr Jitoko Cama FRACS misses his homeland of Fiji, he recites his favourite Fijian proverb. “Au gone susu mai nakoro” which translates to “I was brought up in the village“ Dr Cama, who is a paediatric and general surgeon at Waikato Hospital and senior member of the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), moved… Read more »

TUVALU LANGUAGE WEEK: “Treasuring our language when our Island is threatened”

As we come to the end of celebrating Tuvalu Language Week, a Pacific health professional says it’s important to acknowledge the devastating impact climate change has had on the small island nation and the threat it has on its survival. Malaefono Seve, a Community Health Educator at South Seas Healthcare in Auckland, moved to New… Read more »

Considering the impact of the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill

On Election Day, 17 October 2020, Aotearoa/New Zealand will elect new political leaders for our country.  New Zealanders will also be asked to vote on whether recreational use of cannabis should become legal and the End of Life Choice Act 2019. The proposed Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill sets out a way for the Government… Read more »

TUVALU LANGUAGE WEEK: “Living Tuvaluan culture in Grandfather’s memory”

Just before Alice Uale’s Grandfather passed away, she made a solemn promise to him that she was determined to keep. She assured him that she would speak the Tuvalu language to her seven New Zealand-raised children so their culture and traditions will survive.  Alice moved to New Zealand from Tuvalu in 1989 when she was… Read more »