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Late Tongan Queen contribution to Pacific Music recognised

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is proud to sponsor the MIT Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2019 Pacific Music Awards.

This year’s award honours the late Queen Salote III of Tonga who is well known for her contributions to Pacific music through compositions of both song and poetry which celebrated the preservation and revitalisation of Tongan culture, language and customary traditions.

Today, many Tongan performing groups, string bands and Kava circles still continue to celebrate Queen Salote’s compositions and last year’s ASB Polyfest was dedicated to showcasing works only from Her Majesty’s collection.

Event organiser and trustee, Petrina Togia-Sa’ena MNZM, who has been involved with the awards for the past 15 years says that recognising Queen Salote’s work was indeed an important milestone in the history of the event and the trust.

“It is fitting in our 15th year of the awards to honour the creative work of Her Majesty. Her knowledge of genealogies, Tongan tradition, custom and her duty and love for the people of Tonga are all things that we want to celebrate,” she says.

Accepting the posthumous award will be the late Queen’s granddaughter, Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Ofeina ‘e he Langi Fakafānua.

MIT is committed to the preservation of Pacific languages and is the only tertiary provider in the country offering a formal qualification entirely dedicated to Pacific language with the NZ Certificate in Pacific Languages (Levels 3 & 4) in Samoan, Tongan and more recently Cook Islands Māori.

MIT Pasifika Academic Partner, Edmond Fehoko is a proud Tongan and has enjoyed Queen Salote’s music throughout his life.

“What I enjoy most about Queen Salote is how in-depth her lyrics are. She used a level of language that is not common today and we have begun attempts to bring that back. I am also amazed at the journey she went through from earlier tragedies in her life to the regal celebrations of her successful reign,” he says.

The Pacific Music Awards will be held tomorrow (Thursday 23rd May 2019) at the Vodafone Events Centre. MIT is proud to sponsor the Lifetime Achievement Award. Tickets to the event are still available via

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