World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

New Flags Flying: Online Initiative For Pacific Audiences

New Flags Flying: New Online Initiative For Pacific Audiences

On Tuesday 9 August Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) will launch a new online feature called “New Flags Flying” (www.rnzi.com/newflagsflying) The online service will feature extensive archival audio and transcripts of 16 former Pacific leaders as they remember the move to independence and self government in the Pacific.

From 1960 onwards, first in Polynesia, then in Melanesia and Micronesia, colonies became nations and millions of “subjects” became citizens. The interviews on the website provide a unique record of Pacific history and reflect the views and memories of the most influential decision makers of their time.

The project is the work of veteran New Zealand broadcaster/writer Ian Johnstone and former New Zealand diplomat Michael Powles who have both spent considerable time in the Pacific and have personal memories of many of the leaders. Michael Powles spent part of his childhood in Samoa and well remembers “the giants of Samoan politics who led that country into independence, particularly the late Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole who always treated a small boy with kindness”.

Ian Johnstone recorded the majority of the interviews and has drawn upon his own memories of the time. “In the 1970s, I was based in Suva and travelling round the region just as independence was coming to many Pacific countries. I remember it as a time of hope and celebration; everybody excited by the possibilities facing their new nations, led by famous men like Samoa's Tamasese, Fiji's Ratu Mara, Walter Lini in Vanuatu, Michael Somare....and all those other founding fathers. As young Pacific people listen to those leaders' voices and stories today , I hope they're reminded of their proud heritage – and get just as excited about building their future as we did forty years ago when New Flags were Flying all across our ocean.”

Project support has come from Radio New Zealand and UNESCO’s Office for the Pacific States in Samoa.

Interviews include those with Sir Robert Rex and Young Vivian (Niue); Sir Tom Davis and JH Webb (Cook Islands); Tofilau Eti Alesana and Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Efi (Samoa); Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (Fiji);H.M.King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (Tonga); Sir Michael Somare (Papua New Guinea); Sir Peter Kenilorea and Hon. Solomon Mamaloni (Solomon Islands); Father Walter Lini (Vanuatu); Sir Ieremia Tabai (Kiribati); Hon. Bikenibeu Paeniu (Tuvalu); Hon. Kessai Note (Marshall Islands) and Dr. Ludwig Keke (Nauru).

The interviews reflect not only the political stories of independence, but the personal stories of the men involved. Ian Johnstone says “Tonga's late king made me laugh describing a most unusual piece of Pacific co-operation...and so did Samoa's late PM, Tofilau Eti Alesana, with his story about the rumoured Independence Day attack. Ratu Mara was very moving, telling me he'd wished, every day, that he'd been allowed to do what he wanted and be a doctor”.

The long form archival interviews (both audio and text transcripts) are accompanied by written commentary, background information and photos. The overall project also has a CD of highlights, an accompanying brochure and will next year include a book.

It is expected that the project will be a useful resource for all those with an interest in the region. “I hope that it can help the preservation of vital history relevant to all the present countries of our Pacific region’ says Michael Powles.

Other project supporters are the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Pacific Co- operation Foundation, the Pacific Islands Forum and the NZ Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA).

Ian Johnstone and Michael Powles will launch the website, CD and brochure at an NZIIA function in the presence of His Excellency the NZGovernor General the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand on Tuesday 9 August.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


World Vision: A Year On From Beirut Blast, Thousands Suffer Under Economic Collapse
In the year since the Beirut blast, a worsening economic crisis has vastly increased the numbers living in poverty, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis for Lebanon’s children, warns World Vision... More>>



UN: Conflict, COVID, Climate Crisis, Likely To Fuel Acute Food Insecurity In 23 ‘Hunger Hotspots’

Life-saving aid to families on the brink of famine is being cut off in several countries by fighting and blockades, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in a new report issued on Friday... More>>


Oxfam: Vaccine Monopolies Make Cost Of Vaccinating The World Against Covid At Least Five Times More Expensive Than It Could Be

The cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 could be at least five times cheaper if pharmaceutical companies weren’t profiteering from their monopolies on COVID-19 vaccines, campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance said today...
More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN Africa Renewal: Energy Will Play A Critical Role In The Success Of Africa’s Free Trade Area

As a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, what three key things do African countries need to do to end energy poverty..? More>>



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>