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Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

If the shadow of climate change has hung over previous albums by award-winning Te Vaka -- a pan-Pacific group (leader Opetaia Foa’i was born in Samoa, has family ties to endangered Tuvalu and grew up in Auckland‘s Tokelau community) -- then it is hard to hear some of this, their sixth album, without thinking of last year’s...

Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

Southwest Pacific: The Lonely Sea and the Sky

The day before our Pacific cruise a brief news item caught my attention: a volcano in Vanuatu was spewing ash and thousands of villagers were being evacuated amidst fears of a major explosion. Maybe our restful cruise to Vanuatu would be more dramatic than anticipated? The following day as we cast off from Auckland few other passengers...

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Suva, Fiji: Resolving contradictions?

Give them credit, they were persistent. When the Reverend Thomas Baker, a Methodist minister, unintentionally insulted a chief on the Fijian island of Viti Levu in 1867, he and six of his Fijian followers were hacked to death and eaten. Baker has the dubious honour of being the only European Methodist to be dispatched in such a...

Will Crummer: Shoebox Lovesongs (Ode)

Will Crummer: Shoebox Lovesongs (Ode)

Perhaps because my father-in-law was a member of the short-lived and largely anonymous Sixties band the Samoan Surfriders (one album, a gem, no names on the cover) or maybe because I came to New Zealand from the chillier climes of Scotland, I have always felt a great affection for music of the Pacific. Probably not helped by my dad being in...

Fiji to Vancouver and beyond: My life lovin' friends: Parts One and Deux

Fiji to Vancouver and beyond: My life lovin' friends: Parts One and Deux

Part One: Travel isn't usually conducive to long-term friendships. Any fork in the road can mean you and your new-found companions may part company, paths never to cross again. Which made is such a rare pleasure that I have seen Bob and Mary (from then-Vancouver and now-Victoria BC) a couple of times since we first met on a cruise around...

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