PIMA fundraising event
A former Polynesian Panther and now Pacific Islands Media Associations Interim chairperson says it is time for Maori and Pacific Islanders to start working together.
A PIMA fundraising event titled ‘are Maori and Pacific Peoples Really ‘bros’?’ will focus on Pacific and Maori relations in the media. PIMA Interim chair, Will IIolahia, says there is a need to discuss Maori and Pasifika relations, especially when both are fighting for the same cause.
“The media being the fourth estate has a really strong influence on the people which is why Pacific Islanders and Maori need to get on the same page. We both have one thing in common; we are both portrayed in a negative light by mainstream media and yet we have a great impact globally,” IIolahia says.
IIolahia also wants to get the message across that Maori and Pacific Islanders belong to the same Polynesian race.
“Being a New Zealand born Tongan, I have been a strong supporter for Maori especially in helping fight for the rights of the treaty and instrumental in fighting to save te reo. In the end, we are all the same race and Pacific Islanders cannot solve their problems until Maori solve their issues, ” he says.
Controversial Mana Party MP Hone Harawira will be the keynote speaker and IIolahia says this will give all those attending a chance to see where he, as a strong Maori leader, stands. Yolande Ah Chong, morning show host for Pacific Media Network’s Radio 531 PI, will be asking Harawira the tough questions.
“Is he really our Polynesian bro? That’s what we will find out. Yolande’s very infamous on putting people on the spot. She’s good at her gig- that’s why we chose her,” Ilolahia says.
The Pacific Islands Media Association was established in 2001 as an advocacy group to encourage more Pacific people to join the media industry and support those already working in the industry.
The event will be held early November at the Manhattan Function Centre in Mt Roskill. More than two hundred and fifty Pasifika and Maori media and members of the public are expected to attend.