2010: Niu locals‎ > ‎


Talanoa panels
  1. Niu locals: Pearl Wymarra, Jenny Te Paa, Dorothy Reid (this panel will entertain various ways for 'second people', 2nd Gens and tomorrow people, to become and be responsible Niu locals)
  2. Niu bodies: Judith Atkinson, Diana Tana, Rex Nathan (this panel will explore the joys and challenges that Niu bodies face, with special attention to domestic violence and homeland connections: Why are we violent? Is it necessary to connect niu generations to their parents' home islands? Why [not]? How?)
  3. Niu longings: Don Ikitoelagi, Toa Williams, Itu Taito (this panel will identify and articulate the longings, visions and possibilities to look for in the niu future) 
Talanoa movie options
  1. No. 2 (Toa Fraser, 2006; 95 mins): “The heart has gone out of Nanna Maria’s family ... they don’t even fight anymore ... that’s when everyone realizes they have to give the crazy old lady what she wants, and what they all need. Infused with the heat and vibrancy of the South Pacific, No.2 is a big-hearted, exuberant story about what it takes to bring family together.”
  2. Bran nue dae (Rachel Perkins, 2009; 82 mins): “Bran nue dae is a coming of age, comedy musical road movie, which celebrates the adventure of finding your way back home.”
  3. Ten Canoes (Rolf de Heer and the People of Ramingining, 2006; 92 mins): “A parable of forbidden love from Australia’s mythical past, Ten Canoes is a ground-breaking glimpse into aboriginal life centuries before European settlement.”
Talanoa presentations

Alexander, Nicole (nicole.alexander@anu.edu.au), Sitela Naimet, Sioana Faupula, Nacanieli Rika, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a strange land? (Psalm 137:4)”

The title is based on the theme of the Fijian Conference of the Uniting Church in Australia held in Darwin earlier in 2010. In the context of Psalm 137, the Jews are saying, “How dare the Babylonians ask us to sing the Lord's song in a land where God is not worshipped? He is only worshipped in Jerusalem and, by the way, we are being oppressed and suffering here in Babylon. No, we cannot sing the Lord's song in a foreign land and certainly not to our oppressors.”

     In today's context, we find ourselves in a new, different and somewhat strange land. And yet, the same God who brought us to Australia from our different Pacific Islands is worshipped here; the same God that we have known from childhood. But the way that God is worshipped in Australia is quite different from the way that we learnt to worship in the Islands. As niu-locals, we struggle with worship-ping in a different language with strange hymns and unfamiliar styles of prayer. These differences create in us a sense of loss and deep yearning for the land of our birth. And yet, as we embrace these differences we find that our lives are truly enriched. We will relate our own experiences of navigating these differences as niu-locals integrating into the church in Australia. We will consider the following questions:

1.       As niu-locals who were born and raised in the Pacific Islands, what have we brought with us that we can contribute/share/teach in our new congregation?

2.       As niu-local members of church congregations in Australia, what have we received/learnt from those who arrived before us?

3.       As niu-locals in a strange land, what are some of the struggles/ conflicts/challenges that we encounter and how have we been able to resolve them?

4.       How can we sing the Lord’s song to those around us in this new land so that they can experience the goodness of God?

5.       What is our testimony to others in this foreign land?


Alexander, Nicole (nicole.alexander @anu.edu.au) & Josifini Baba, “Pasifika Australia: Education and dancing in a new land?”

How might we dance our songs in a foreign land? This presentation will address the joys of growing up and living as PIs in Australia. This is part of the work of Pasifika Australia, which is based at the Australian National Uni (Canberra).


Carroll, Sarah (c/o sefc@bigpond.com), “Finding my place amongst First Peoples”

I am in year 8, and I am of Rotuman and Australian heritage. I was born in Australia.

     In June-July 2010 I was in a group from St Paul’s Grammar school to visit Arnhem Land. The purpose of the trip is to learn about and experience Aboriginal culture. We stayed with the Mumeka community in Arnhem Land.

     In my multimedia presentation I will share my reflections about finding my place amongst First Peoples and how this experience has helped me understand myself as an Australian-Rotuman in Australia.


Carroll, Seforosa (sefc@bigpond.com), “Homemaking in the diaspora: a theological framework for homing a niu local

The notion of home is integral to the migrant experience both in terms of the physical movement of migration and re-creating home in a new context.

     Home is an ambivalent term. It can mean a range of things from a house, a street address, a religion, a race, a country to feelings of security and belonging. Fixed notions of home can prevent the migrant from forming new experiences, symbols, stories that help to ground the migrant in new soil. It is hard to be or feel at home when home is always elsewhere.

     In this paper I consider the notion of home in relation to migration and displacement. This necessitates the exploration and unravelling of the strands, which bind the migrant to the home of origin and home of new settlement (by migration or displacement). It also necessitates the exploration of the complex relationship between the body, identity, home, place, nation and space. The critical link is between body and space where the specific focus is upon the way migrant bodies are situated inside the national imaginary. Exploring the critical link between body and space offers numerous possibilities. It enables one to do several key tasks such as rethinking notions of home for the sake of constructing an embodied diasporic theology of home and homemaking

     Homemaking is a term and a process of creating a habitus for meaningful inhabitation whereby the oikos, the economy or household is founded on the values of hospitality, dialogue, reconciliation, compassion and justice where both human and non-human life is nourished. Homemaking is a process. In a context like Australia, home is a contested term and when considering what it means to be at home in such a context, the displacement of First Peoples, religious and cultural diversity, need to be considered in the hope that new storied places of meaning can be created.

     I propose a theological frame-work for homemaking as a means for (re)creating storied places of meaning at local and public spaces.


Fakamuna Collective, Tevita Po’ese Havea (havea@tpg.com.au), Latai Funaki Taumoepeau (latai.taumoepeau@gmail.com) & Taliu ‘Aloua (taunqako@hotmail.com)

The Fakamuna Collective is the artistic contribution of Tevita Po’ese Havea, Taliu Aloua and Latai Funaki Taumoepeau.

     A specific collaboration for Talanoa Oceania 2010, they will deliver four interdisciplinary presentations over two days pertaining to their perspective of this year’s conference theme “niu local”.

     The collective will demonstrate “fakamunomuna”; the indulgence of make believe, to realise the relevance and value of uninhibited creative self-expression; maintaining the exploration of sovereignty, self-determination and identity in any social landscape.

     Their individual arts disciplines and practices are in visual, fashion and performance arts, informed by their Tongan heritage, Other-ness and the environment.


Sat 28th Aug – 1:30pm Elective 3 (1) RM G3

Fakamuna Collective taha – An interdisciplinary presentation that looks at the universal meaning in symbols - Tevita Havea with Latai Taumoepeau & Taliu Aloua.


Sat 28th Aug – 5:00pm during the break. Atrium

Fakamuna Collective ua – A performance installation that investigates the tension within the liminal space of intercultural existence – Latai Taumoepeau with Taliu Aloua & Tevita Havea.


Sun 29th Aug – 1:30 Elective 7 (1) RM G3

Fakamuna Collective tolu – A self-exploration through physical awareness. Taliu Aloua with Tevita Havea & Latai Taumoepeau.


Sun 29th Aug – 5:00pm during the break. Atrium

Fakamuna Collective fa – A performance installation titled “Matilda Multi Cult Kit” with Latai Taumoepeau with Tevita Havea & Taliu Aloua.



Faupula, Sitiveni (skf27@bigpond.com), “Negotiating the present and future of 2nd Gen Sunday School and Christian Youth for Islanders Abroad”

Toward constructing a new model for Sunday School and Christian Education that embraces values like nonofo 'a kainga -- trinitarian, missional, inclusive models - pea ko 'eku taukave ki he me'a 'e langahake 'aki e negotiation ko eni -- current and future dialogue between all parts involve (i.e. children, youth, parent, leaders, church, society) - ko e fakakaukau 'o e reconcilation and saving aspects 'o e kolosi 'o kalaisi.


Fungalei, Tuku (of2ad8@hotmail.com), “Niu local”

My presentation this year will be based upon my family and ways in which they have had to adapt being a new local in a land like Australia, where we are not Indigenous. There is a lot of differences among the two cultures and countries. Comparing the celebrations of the new land to which we have migrated and the customs will be the main focus of my presentation. This year will be different from previous years as I will not be performing a song.


Ghys, Linda (linda.ghys@unisa.edu.au), “Media representation of Pacific Islander youth gangs in Australia: a space for continual [mis]construction of individual and community diaspora identities”

As more and more people from the Island nations of the South Pacific migrate for one reason or another to countries such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand, the study of the notion of what they construct as their social and cultural ‘space’ and what it means to the social shaping of their identities and that of their diaspora communities is an interesting and continuing field of social research.

     Space has a number of properties, not only physical as in a specific location, but space has vocality, can be politicised, it is culturally relative and historically specific (Rodman, 2004). In other words, space has a multiplicity of social constructions and its specificities are continuously reproduced (Massey, 1994).

     The process of [re]creating a Pacific Islander ‘space’ and their identities in diaspora communities is influenced by a number of factors. Besides being defined and influenced by their own traditions and cultures, a more sinister dimension of this construction is often overtly created by ‘others’.

     This paper provides an analysis of media representations of Pacific Islander ‘youth gangs’ by theAustralian media during 1997-2007. What is of interest to this analysis is the variety of formation and social [mis]constructions of Pacific Islander youths by the Australian media. Of particular interest here is the ‘space’ created by mainstream print and electronic media of Pacific Islander migrant groups in relation to ‘youth gangs’. For instance, there was a clear use of language, intentional or not, to create a specific ‘space’ for Pacific Islander youths dominated by images of dysfunctional youths, families and migrant communities.


Havea, Leitu (Half-cast_fob@hotmail.com), “This is it!”

This is it! Shut up and listen! Stop complaining about our Generation! Your generation raised us! This is what it’s like being a local young person in 2010.

     I will share my research in three areas: Discipline; Technology; Family.

     THIS IS IT! will be interactive, Multi-media, Role play (friends) with facebook surveys.


Havea, Palatasa (Palatasa.Havea@fonterra.com), “The science behind the scene”

The way we relate to each other in a community is governed by certain preapproved set of rules. Those rules ensure that the right and dignity of every individual are harmoniously protected.

     The usefulness of those rules is often limited to the physical world (e.g. protect you from being harmed physically), but life is far more than that. Human has feelings, desires, and emotions that are governed by no rules. No one is going to be jailed for not liking someone or being angry with another. The biblical text teaches much about how we should deal with those (e.g. love your enemies and pray for those who hate you). Pacific islanders often take those commands in a spiritual context but have nothing to do with physical health and wellbeing.

     There are physiological events taking place in our body when we are emotionally high. Interestingly, when we are high with positive feelings (e.g. joy, happy, laughter) the physiological events taking place in our body result in better health and well being. On the other hand, when the feelings are negative (e.g. anger, hatred) the physiological events trigger the release of chemicals that can cause many chronic diseases and poor health.

     This presentation discusses the scientific explanations behind the biblical commandments on human relationship. It challenges us to ponder how the old commands of the biblical texts can be described by today’s scientific findings with pin-point accuracy! Is it a coincidence or is there an intelligent design behind all that we see?

     The statistics on the health of Pacific Islanders in diaspora are among the worst. Does this relate to ignoring the biblical teachings on how we should relate to each other?

Havea, Rosaline Uani (touhuni@hotmail.com), “Maximise the niu in you: a pathway to success”

We all made new homes overseas for different reasons and for most Pacific Islanders we migrated because we had dreams of something better: the educational opportunities for our children, the attraction of economic opportunity for prosperity and primarily to succeed in gaining a better quality of life. Some have become successful in achieving their dreams, enjoying the benefits of mainstream society but for others it has become a nightmare.

     We Pacific Islanders are regarded as an emerging community here in Australia, yet our statistical records make us a subject of interest. Our criminal activities have escalated especially with our youth filling up our corrective institutions at a rapid rate; we are amongst the lowest income earners in the land and in the home front, we struggle to make ends meet.

     I contend that to realise our dreams and become part of the society where we live, we need to maximise the niu in us, maximise who we are, take new paths and explore roads not yet traveled.


Hoponoa, Leonaitasi (lhoponoa@bne.catholic.edu.au), “Talanoa between young Pacific people’s personal values and their behaviours: implications for youth work and community practices”

This paper explores the association between young Pacific people ‘personal values’ and their ways of acting/doing, within the context of Australia. It examines how the subliminal components of their self, and the ‘personal values’ that it creates, influence or drive their ways of behaving.

     The paper argues that how young Pacific people understand, interpret and construct their life-world and self, influences:

a)    how they evaluate themselves

b)    how they judge the worth or importance of their behaviors

c)     how they judge the worth or importance of their inter-actions with other people

d)   how they define their degree of engagement in the activities which they are a part or have chosen to take part and

e)     how they integrate into the broader social context.

     The significance of this paper lies in three areas. Firstly, the paper addresses the lack of research or even I would argue the ‘black spot’ in Youth, Educational, Development and Leadership literatures in respect to the association between personal values and behaviours.

     Secondly, it proposes a general practical instrument that will ‘sufficiently empower’ a young Pacific person to develop an increased knowledge of his or her complex self.

     Lastly, it outlines a general professional development scheme to better prepare youth and community workers in their work with young Pacific people.


Ikitoelagi, Don (Don.Ikitoelagi@victas.uca.org.au), “To be or not to be locals”

How can FOBs ever make the transi-tion to become locals? By naturalisa-tion? By giving birth to Australian born children? By achievement in sports – representing Australia in the different codes of rugby? Does entry into a faith community such as the UCA offer similar pathways?

     I will ground my contribution on the Niu in Victas context and what does becoming local mean for the niu, and whether the object of the exercise is for the niu to be assimilated into local patterns and ministry priorities, or whether the locals be opened for change that would propagate the niu into different flavours.


Kailahi, Semisi (semsay08@hotmail.com), <untitled>

The Pacific Islander youth of today are in a precarious situation. This is a fact that most us, if not all of us are aware of. It is no secret that the young people of our community face serious issues. The wider society is also aware of these issues to a more limited extent. My presentation will bring to forefront these issues and their implications for young people of today. However, it is easy to identify the problems. It is our collective duty to come up with the solutions and to implement these solutions as soon as possible and as effectively as possible.

     I have been lucky enough to enjoy a comfortable upbringing. I may not be the best to speak from experience, for the issues that I have been exposed to are relatively mild. I know young people who have entered a destructive lifestyle. I know people with a distorted and warped sense of values and beliefs. I know people who commit petty crime without guilt regularly. It is sad such ways of thinking overcome our young people. I have spoken with them - people who perpetuate the stereotype that the Australian society places on Pacific Islander youths. The stereotype has some positive aspects. Pacific Islanders otherwise known as “FOBS” are known for their singing, laid-back sense of humour and sporting prowess. Unfortunately, FOBS are also known to be ‘bludgers’, poorly educated and at times criminals. It is sad and it hurts me to see young people with so much potential leading pointless lives – young people who are my associates, friends and family. Typically, the best a FOB youth can aspire to in regards to occupation is a trade. He or she will most likely wind up as a factory worker or a security guard. That is the reality that we currently are in. A future of relative mediocrity confronts these young people if issues such as poor education are not dealt with.

     But it is not just poor education that stimulates destructive lifestyles. For some young people, loss of identity is the stimulus. This is especially the case with Australian-born Pacific Islanders such as myself. What criteria does a young person use to describe him/her as Islander or Australian?

     Can I speak the language?

     Do I eat the food?

     Do I wear the clothes?

     Do I look the part?

     Against these criteria I fall well short. Nevertheless, I still proudly classify myself as a Tongan. There have been times when I have been ashamed to call myself Tongan and I have found myself thinking I am an Australian. It is thinking like this which is particularly dangerous. Once you don’t know who you are, you lose self-esteem. Confidence decreases and the individual feels incomplete and inadequate.


Nakao-Tuita, Luseane Halaevalu (luseane.halaevalu@gmail.com), “Pillars of ‘society’ or Pillars of ‘salt’

A personal observation of myself, my family, and a community in the throes of the repercussions of a dream of a new land and new opportunities.

     As we stop for a breather in our so called journey towards our new/ not so new lives in our new land of ‘milk & honey,’ with all the promises that all would be well; that we will reap riches bountiful; that our children will experience opportunities we never had.

     When we stopped for a backward glance, at where we have journeyed: Has the journey been ‘forward’ as we had hoped? Or have we found ourselves standing with longing, of what we had lost, and dreams that seemed to crumble, and seemingly at the risk, of turning into pillars of salt!


Ravetali, Leviana (laravetali@yahoo.com.au), “Niu local: Reflections of an Australian-Fijian”

I am a 24 yr old young woman, born & bred in Australia (which makes me a 2nd gen) by 'niu local' migrant parents of Fijian origin.

     I consider myself an Australian Fijian - Australian first as that's the reality state of my nature - who I am by birth, & Fijian second as that's my inherited identity. I'm now engaged to a 'niu local' also, and between the different dynamics and influences of my fiancée, my parents, the Fijian community, the Fijian church, and my Fijian identity, I challenge the stresses of migrants and pains of Diaspora from a 2nd Gen perspective.

     Being in constant wrestling with these outside forces into values and ways of living foreign to me, makes me believe that the pain, the stresses, the confusion, etc is the same for younger people if not more! Doesn't that make me a 'niu local' also, rather than just the likes of my parents, the church, & my fiancée?


Riethmuller, David (sdmarieth@yahoo.com), “Stranger in a strange land: the search for self-identity”

Who am I? I look PI but I don't think PI. Am I a refugee with no fixed address, or am I trying to move forward while looking back over my shoulder? The search for self-identity dominates us all. When we cannot identify who we are and where we come from, we struggle to understand where we are going.

     This paper will explore self-identity in the context of diaspora. The western suburbs of Sydney is a melting pot of cultures and identities. Some individuals turn their back on their past, loosing their support network. They adopt an identity that may result in a lifestyle that can be violent, channeling them into the justice system. Others become intensely 'Islander' in an effort to forge an identity based upon culture. Often expatriates identify with their cultural roots to a greater extent than those who remain within the homelands. Threatened by the dominant culture, their identity is shaped by the past, rather than the current, and they embrace the signs of cultural identity to a greater extent than those who are under no such threat.

     As a former missionary I have experienced the search for self-identity. Now, as a minister in Sydney's west with a congregation from a dozen nations and cultures, I assist people to explore their contextual identity which includes culture, faith and future. We all are indeed 'strangers in a strange land'.


Siuhengalu, Netane (n.siuhengalu@gmail.com), “Communicating Tonga's myths to a young contem-porary audience”

The presentation will discuss my Honours research project question: How can Tongan myths and legends be communicated through the graphic novel medium to a young contemporary audience?

     The intention for this project is to linguistically translate (from Tongan) a collection of stories in the book ‘Efinanga (1994) by my late grandfather, Masiu Moala. It tells of the Tonga’s history. The creative outcome will be a graphic novel interpretation of the English translation of the source material. Research will revolve around con-textualising the chosen stories from a social, cultural and historical perspective as well as the develop-ment and practice of sequential art.

     I will discuss the nature of my research project and its significance to the field of Tongan history and culture as well as the graphic novel medium. It will involve explaining the research question, appropriate resources and methodologies for exploring the question and showing current creative work. The link between theory and practice will be established. To conclude, my motives and the potential future of this project will be revealed.


Speizer, ‘Anau ki Hehea (anau.speizer@yahoo.com.au) “An ethno-cultural model for improving cardiovascular disease outcomes among Pacific Islander people”

Centuries of migration, augmented by the forces of globalisation, have led to changes in population profiles globally. Although these changes have enriched many perspectives of nations a number of factors, primarily social, economic and cultural, have led to health inequalities in some migrant groups and Indigenous populations. Among Pacific Islanders and Indigenous populations a history of colonisation is also closely linked to current health status and social outcomes. Pacific Islander peoples are those individuals who identify with or feel they belong to one or more Pacific ethnicities.

     Based on an integrative literature review, this presentation presents an ethno-cultural history of Pacific Islanders in order to inform a contextual basis for health inter-ventions. Factors to be considered in implementing and evaluating primary and secondary cardio-vascular outcomes are identified.


Tahaafe-Williams, Katalina (katalinat@nsw.uca.org.au), “Niu Local as Second People”

Abstract not available


Taito, Itu (itut@nsw.uca.org.au), “My forefathers”

“My Forefathers” (who came from Rotuma to Arnhem Land, then to Sydney) will be a brief history and photo slide show of the spiritual journey of my great great-grand-father (conversion to christianity) to the physical journey of my grand-father and grand-uncle from Rotuma to Australia, and the legacy and influence that has woven into the lives of my extended family living in Australia today.


Talakai, Malia (mtalakai@unitec.ac.nz), “Tongan art in New Zealand: The struggle over ownership and protection of the right to monopolise ideas and creative art forms in the niu locale”

Tongan art in New Zealand provide opportunities to understand Tongan people in this new locale and also about how it sustains trans-national connections and relationships to people, places and histories. Within this, New Zealand artists also face struggles that include the questions over ownership and protection of the rights to monopolise ideas and creative art forms that others may claim as belonging to all Tongans.

     In this presentation, I will discuss some of the struggles over ownership and protection of the rights to monopolise Tongan ideas and art forms in relation to the New Zealand context.


Tangi, Joyce (babyjoycetangi@msn.com), “The Tongan Conservative World, through an Australia Born Mind”

Culture, church, traditions, education and many aspects of life have been a two way street for young Pacific Islands growing up in Australia, and in countries other then our parents' homeland. Being lucky that I grew up in such a dynamic and multicultural atmosphere, in Sydney Australia.

     Some would call it as having "the life" being able to go to major shopping malls, great education, parents paying whatever you need and want, tongan culture being only used when it was "needed" ... but after a trip to the motherland, where survival skills where needed, and where life was like a different world, where only Church & family mattered, Disappointment & regret come across, if only I knew this lifestyle before ....


Taufa, Seini (seinitaufa@hotmail.com), “South-Pacific Teenage Births in New Zealand”

Background: In New Zealand following the mass migration in the 1970’s a young urbanised Pacific population has emerged. New Zealand teenage births (33.4 per 1,000) are second only to the USA (55.6 per 1000) in the OECD. Pacific teenage pregnancy rates are three times higher than for European/ Pakeha teenage pregnancy, however little is known about the differences between Pacific groups.

Aim: To explore the demography of Pacific teenage births using a variety of ethnicity classifications, and to understand the experiences faced by Tongan teenage mothers leading up to, and after the birth of their child.

Method: De-identified birth registration data from 44,768 teenage mothers were analysed for 1996-2006. The outcome of interest was teenage birth, with explanatory variables including maternal ethnicity Prioritised Level One ethnicity (Maori, Pacific Island, Asian, Other, European), and the Level 2 Sole Pacific (belonging solely to one Pacific Group) and Any Pacific (belonging to a Pacific group, alongside other ethnic groups) classification systems) and socioeconomic deprivation (using NZ Deprivation Index). Qualitative analysis was undertaken during 2008. This involved 21 semi-structured face-to-face interviews with Tongan Teenage mothers in New Zealand and Tonga.

Results: When prioritised ethnicity was used, Pacific teenage birth rates were intermediate between those of Maori and European women. When the Sole/Any Pacific classification was used, teenage births were significantly higher for the Any Pacific category, than the Sole Pacific Category. By Island group, teenage birth rates were also significantly higher for Cook Island Maori and Niuean women, than for Samoan or Tongan women. For all Pacific groups, teenage birth rates were higher for those living in the most deprived areas.

     Themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis highlight the importance of family support and the lack of awareness of services available for Teenage mothers.

Conclusions: Pacific women in New Zealand are a heterogeneous group, with significant differences in teenage birth rates being evident for different Pacific groups. Despite this, a unifying theme within the quantitative analysis was exposure to significant socioeconomic deprivation, a finding which has significant policy implications, if the ongoing wellbeing of these young mothers and their babies is to be ensured.

     In addition, the qualitative analysis aspires to understand attitudes towards teenage pregnancy using poetry as a means to highlight different perspectives of Tongan women, in the aim of illustrating what teenage pregnancy means to young Tongan mothers.


Taumoepeau, Venusi & Malia Talakai (mtalakai@unitec.ac.nz), “Engaging Pacific Learners: Training Manual for Teachers Working with Pacific Students”

Abstract not available


Taungapeau, ‘Epeli (epeli.taungapeau@paradise.net.nz), “Biblical and theological response to Niu Migration: Ko e Talafatongia ‘o e Moana – Let the Moana speak”

This paper will look at different ways on what we can do as “Niu people” migrated to New Zealand or overseas to be counted as people of that new land.

     It will look at the positive and negative areas of who we are as “niu people” in that new location. Crossing borders is a major issue for any migrant people but as “niu people” how can we turn this perspective around to become “niu locals.” Will we ever become niu locals in the new land?


Tofua’ipangai, Siosiua Lafitani (slafitani@nuama.org), “Obligation World-wide with Moanan-Tongan Fatongia: Weltanschauung in space, time and the categories”

This paper critically discusses the view of considering obligation, fatongia, as a weltanschauung, in the light of Anderson’s space, time and the categories theory in Western-Australian thoughts, and the related Moanan-Tongan ta (time) and va (space) general theory of reality by Mahina. It is a process whereby the permanence of its multiple, conflictual, changeable and complex nature, behaving in a paradox-dilemma manner, is fundamentally material, as is mirrored in the Andersonian view of perceiving all situations as categorical in space-time interaction. The implication then is that all his 13 categories of relation, universality, particularity and difference to name a few are inherent in space-time interactions.

     Ontologically, Anderson and Mahina consider space, time and the categories, or ta-va interaction, as the mediumfor all situations to interact on one level of reality’ – ‘way of being’ or ‘spatio-temp-orality’ in Anderson’s terms. Contrarily, both thinkers differ in their views on epistemology.

     Anderson interprets epistemolo-gy as a study of how we know the characters of a situation without confusing the knower-known relation and distinction – ‘way of knowing’. Mahina claims that knowing of such characters, including their application for other ‘specific social interests’, is its subject-matter or substance. Furthermore, obligation and fatongia are seen as two different sides of the same coin, because their forms, fuo, are the same, as shown in the ‘deontological’ notion of being obligated to others, whereas the difference falls on their subject-matter, uho – a kind of paradox-dilemma distinction as well.

     Categorically, the uho of obligation, fatongia, is relative (relation), whilst its fuo is universal (universality), which is another paradox-dilemma distinction.

     Generally, the conclusion states that the outlook of identifying, fatongia, as a weltanschauung in space, time and the categories, or ta-va interaction, is logically and categorically valid, within the permanence of its multiple, conflictual, changeable and complex nature, behaving in a paradox-dilemma manner, as in the situation of fuo-uho distinction; and last but not least, obligation, fatongia, space, time and the categories are various fuo and uho within the nature of weltanschauung after all.


Tukutama, Liva (minister@blacktown.unitingchurch.org.au), “Violent behaviours of PIs”

A panel (Liva Tukutama, Maherau Arona and Ruta Tonumaipea) will focus on issues related to violence and parenting.


Tupou-Thomas, Sisilia (sisilia tupou1@gmail.com). “What if? The question asked by a Niu Local in Her Parable of the Prodigal”

Abstract not available


Vaka’uta, Nasili (n.vakauta@auckland.ac.nz), “Fale-ó-Kāinga: Revis[it]ing Oceania, Re[th]inking Locality

This paper will tackle the theme Niu locals in two ways:

     First, it will provide an overall analysis of the Oceanic context with particular reference to the popular (mis)perceptions of the region, the issues that confront the islands, and their impacts on the ‘locals.’

     Second, it will articulate the Tongan concept ‘fale-ó-kāinga’ as a basis for rethinking our place and identity as niu-ly localised islanders.


Williams, Toakase (c/o: matahiliau@bigpond.com), “Abilities and Possibilities”

A collection of Talanoas, Networks & Services, and Images.

     Living with a Physical disability, I am a mother to two sons, one of whom passed away at 15 and the other now 22 years old. I am of Tongan background with many siblings. I believe in Jesus Christ!

     Niu Local: What are my abilities? What are the possibilities?