new zealand electronic poetry centre





Niu Voices Auckland Book Launch
Borders Queen Street, December 7 2006




P A S I F I K A   P O E T S   C O L L E C T I V E

Talofa lava, Kia ora,
Fakaalofa lahi atu, Aloha,
Ni sa bula, Malo e lelei, Kia orana,
Taloha ni, Halo olaketa, Greetings.

Welcome to Pasifika Poets Collective reading poetry written in response to pieces in the Pacific Archives collection. We have been meeting at the museum since November 2005, and have greatly benefited by working together, sharing the process of writing poetry. In a typical session we take turns choosing an exhibit and then take 10 minutes to freely respond to it in poetry. We then read it out to each other, comment, and edit at a later stage. One of the great things about working collaboratively is that you come to appreciate the diversity of styles and perspectives of our Pasifika writers – something which will come through strongly today. The poets have provided a brief introduction of themselves and a poem for you to follow (not to be reproduced without the author’s consent). Fa’afetai tele lava for coming, we appreciate your interest and support. Enjoy the reading!

Poetry-inspiring pieces in the Pacific Collection


  P O E T S


Cherie Barford

Cherie is also known as Serie, and has a German-Samoan mother and a Palagi father.  She is a Community Education worker in West Auckland and is currently working on a poetry manuscript entitled "Tapa Talk".

making starfish

to the untrained eye
starfish have no front or back

but village women know better
these days they cut stencils
from discarded x-ray plates

create whole beds of starfish
on bark cloth and cotton sheets

when you cut x-rays
they utter a peculiar cry

but starfish split silently
make more of themselves
to fill up empty spaces

something the lonely could do

Jacqueline Celia Carter

How shall I sing myself to you? First I shall sing of the dead. I am of Ngati Awa, Ngai Te Rangi, English and Irish descent. Which means my father’s mother’s grandmother was Ngati Awa and my father’s father’s great great grandmother was Ngai Te Rangi, and the rest of his people, like my mother’s people, are English or Irish or somewhere in between. Now I shall sing of the living. I am the youngest daughter of four children, two sons and two daughters, born of my mother, Elisabeth Helena Garrett, and of my father, Norman John Carter. My name is Jacqueline Celia Carter. I am a mother of one son, Te Whaiti-nui-a-Toi Te Reke Uenuku-mai-i-nga-rangi, and sometime poet, singer, songwriter and academic. I am 31 years old and live on Waiheke, where I have been living for several years. I am currently working on a book of poems, which I have also been doing for several years! Ma nga atua tatau e manaaki, e tiaki, mauri ora ki a tatau katoa! May all the gods look after and care for us, and may the breath of life breathe through us all!


To Hotunui1

Old quiet house

You are like any other home

You need people
Who live in you

To laugh
To cry
To be born
To die

To make you feel like one.

DJ Kamali

B ula vinaka. My name is Daren J Kamali. I was born and raised in Fiji and have been residing in New Zealand for 13 years. I’m of Wallis and Futuna/Fijian/ palagi decent and have been involved in the New Zealand/Pacific Poetry and music scene for over 10 years. I released my debut album 'Immigrant Story' in 2000 and an EP album 'Keep it real' in 2002. CDs will be available on the day.




...Was Jesus Christ crucified because he was an Islander?

...Upon his carved cross he is nailed -
among other pacific treasures.
He is the symbol of church Fagani San Cristobal
A Solomon master piece that cries out from other Pacific collectables.
Island Jesus is not crucified to a cross but a carved fallen log.
As I wonder,
I pray
Did your blood flow like flood?
Was it your emotions that created the pacific ocean?
I have never seen an island Jesus until now.
I can relate to you -
because you are an island man,
just like me.
From now on no one will ever wonder
was Jesus Christ crucified because he was an islander?


Selina Tusitala Marsh

Talofa lava. I am the daughter of Lina Vaelei Tusitala Crosbie and James Crosbie. I am of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, Scottish and French descent. I thank my

wonderful husband, David, for his support. We have been blessed with three angel-sons, Javan, Micah, and Davey. I teach New Zealand and Pacific Literature at Auckland University and am currently completing my first collection of poetry, ‘Afakasi’. My latest research project is the development of a Pasifika Poetry web site, which aims to be a comprehensive one-stop shop for anyone interested in viewing and hearing Pasifika poets performing their work and being interviewed. Check it out at ‘’. Enjoy!


Suspended Initiation
(Bonito fishing canoe from Madoa, Ulawa, South Eastern Solomon Islands)

two men
a boy
seven nautilus shells
and Ngorieru
rainbow riding sea spirit
a canoe
suspended above
light and right
for catching
sacred fish

beware deadly garfish arrows seek you wrong-doers

a shallow black silence
spits out a boy from a canoe house
as he climbs on and in to manhood
voyaging seas
of time
of genealogy
of salty memory
to catch his first bonito

an honour feast is given
nourishing a salty stomach

he parades in shell
sharks and bonito nip at his toes
sea birds cry at his head

malaohu malaohu malaohu

as standing boy
sits as man

Rev Mua Strickson-Pua

Rev. Mua Strickson-Pua is a Community work Chaplain Practitioner of P.A.T.H. Pasifika Arts for Therapy and Healing at Tagata Pasifika Resources Development Trust serving Pacific nations communities in Auckland for the last ten years. Graduate of Massey University Social Work and Education programme and Knox Theological College Otago University. Mua describes himself as an Aotearoa born Samoan Chinese. Aiga links to Purcell of Malaela Upolu and Pua from PapaSataua Savaii Samoa. Acknowledging his Laiman Canton China connections. Mua is married to Linda Strickson-Pua 23 years of richness and blessings. She is also a poet, published photographer, and exhibited artist. On their Aiga tours Linda is on site manager. Our children: Ejay - visual artist, Feleti – hip hop muscian, and JP – instrumentalist. Mokopunas Jane Filemu, Che`den Sofi, and Dremayer Liberty also partake. The Art of being family.


PNG Shield

I see

of blood
all in
its way.

us together
for life

our people
needs you
even more so



Mua, Serie, Selina, Jacq and Daren, Auckland Museum, 14/2/06


Fa’afetai lava to Natasha Beckman who caught some of us perform at Strata 3: Pasifika, Auckland University, Betsy Pantazelos, Lisa Hannan, and Genetic Pacific of Auckland Museum for their support; Tim (da Tonga-man) Page for expert archival photos; and the poet’s themselves for their time and commitment to Pasifika Poetry.

If you’re interested in joining us at Pasifika Poets Collective, drop me an email at:

Selina Tusitala Marsh



1. The Ngati Awa house gifted to the people of Thames and currently residing in the Auckland Museum.