Welcome Back to all Residences and Visitors from abroad. Koe tau tagata ha “Fineone Hakupu Atua” kua liliu mai ke evaeva moe nonofo

26/04/2013 Niuean Expat Teacher and Music Celebrity Attends the 2013Niue  Cultural Festival

mrs sheelagh cooper – pic by jack feleti

TeacherSenior Teacher, devoted Niuean Cultural and Vahagau Niue advocate and co-leader for the Favona Primary School from Auckland for the festival and celebrity Niuean music composer and singer, Sheelagh Cooper, accompanied by her youngest daughter Teuila Tuibenau and partner Eddie Viliua feels the Niue Cultural Festival has been really successful for her group. Sheelagh has been a regular visitor and strong advocate for the Niue Cultural Festival program since it was launched some six years ago.

Their visit has certainly brought joy to the village and festival.

Sheelagh is the twin daughter of the late Uani Hoyte and Punapa Erick Veteaga of Matavao District and is no stranger to the village. She has been teaching at Favona Primary School for almost 20 years and still keen to teach and promote the Niuean culture and language to her pupils and own children.

During this visit, Sheelagh and her family have stayed at the Fine One Fales (motel) near theTuateaPark. Together with her cousins, Palema and Betsy Lui and their children they are the stronghold of the Favona Primary School Cultural group.

After the end of the one week festival, the group will have private time to do freely what they planned for the second week. But nothing can match the quality time to be spent with the families and assist with real cultural and home chores. It has been a hectic week of diverse events, sleepless nights and diverse events to treasure when they return.

Recently, Sheelagh launched her latest CD album of ‘Fuluola’ ( Beautiful) produced by Eddie Viliua and serenaded by her daughters Winnie, Tina and none other Teuila Tuibenau at Primary School level.

Well done Sheelagh Cooper for all the good work you are doing for the family, village and country!


Fapoi Akesi and her great-grand twins who made the special trip to the land of their natural parents Lianne Rex and Genaro Jacques Akesi may be in their juvenile age to understand the deep meaning of the Niue Cutural Festival but the sweet memories will remain forever. They were officially part of the big Niuean delegation from Aotearoa who came for the week long exciting festival that ended at the Commercial Square in central Alofi on Thursday 25 April. One day soon, they will grow up to appreciate the brief time spent on Niue with grandparents Linda (nee Makaola) and Motusefua Leslie Rex, parents of the twins mother, Lianne Rex and Genaro’s dad, Fapoi Akesi.

Mr Akesi admits it was a memorable, joyous but moving moment to hold and embrace them on Niue. A delighted grandfather was lost for words to express his gratitude, and who also lost his iron strength as dedicated local village and country cultural idol.

 ‘With a few hours to feel and admire the beautiful twins company while on Niue, the moment was fabulous’ he said.

‘I wish they could spend time with me in the Pokofutu fortress. Well one day they will come back again to spend some time with me and the family’ Fapoi mentioned caringly.

‘I will bring them back myself, one day soon’ he laughed.

An idea worth said of the special fond relationship between a devoted grandfather, Fapoi Akesi and his great grand twins, definitely deserving centre space.


A month has gone into the New Year the village received Moira (nee Talagi) and Ramona Jackson and family from Dunedin, New Zealand who have returned home to their Lalovi base after a successful academic study leave. The charming family have everything to gain for their decision to come back home and live.

Last year was hectic, busy and fiercely cold. Now, putting behind the cold weather, the family has to face the drowsy humid condition with brave hearts. A bright future awaits them after being away in Aotearoa. Slowly adapting to the droll conditions will be tricky for the young ones.

Their focus is on the kid’s education and backing for healthy lives. Ramona vowed a local lifestyle after a long spell of family love and support. How to adjust back to reality will take time. The challenge warmly greet them a new beginning.

Start up would be interesting though. The bush task and working for income are vital. How to survive would be like getting back to eating the usual local pudding, not Dunedin pizza, according to Ramona. He starts on his former job of Police Constable last week while trying to figure out how to deal with the outdoor duties and on top his young family.

“So nice to return to the homeland again after sometime” Ramona says with an onerous Osmond and Ricky Martell wrestling smile.

Moira took up her teaching job at Niue High School happily early this week.

Adjusting back to a developing life of trying and reality must be respected by the village to allow them probation period to settle down well and plan their future.

Blessings to Moira, Ramona and FAMILY!


Steven Erick, wife Mali and their daughters Stephanie, husband Dan , daughter Faith and son Elijah, and Wylma and her son Stevenson are presently on the island on a short break.

Steven was raised in Matavao, Hakupu and attended Tuatea Primary school with Nuka Tauevihi who later became a Pastor, Oluolu Siohane now a secondary school teacher, Timothy Magaoa now teaching crafts at Paliati, Pita Fale Nua later shifted to Hikutavake then New Zealand, Patilete Kulatea and Tuleniu Vaimapa migrated to New Zealand and Phillip Tasmania has retired from his long dental career at the Niue Hospital. He has fond memories of the Niuean everyday life of uga baiting and hunting, taro planting, reef fishing and climbing coconuts among many other chores. Steven was a natural athlete and stood out in rugby, 100 meters sprint and 110 meters hurdles. He works with New Zealand rail and plans to retire in the near future.

Those were the good old days, of struggles and challenges, in order to survive but life which makes me who I am today, Steven says.

His lovely wife, Mali Erick was a former Librarian of the Education Department and used to spend inspection time of the Tuatea school library. She currently works as consulting mediator in health and social services in Auckand. Mali is a regular visitor to Niue and has renovated her home in Makaheheke, Alofi North.

Stephanie and family booked into the big motel unit at Tuatea. They wanted to be far away as possible from the main town and busy lifestyle and to relax in the village laid back environment. Stephanie and Dan are qualified academicians taking sabbatical leave from their teaching jobs at Massey University, Albany in Auckland.

We really love it here, apart from the warm weather and raving mosquitoes, Stephanie remarks.

The Erick family are returning to Auckland at the end of the week.

Safe travel and do return again and again!


Green pastures in New Zealand pulled the Tavalu clan from their homestead at Fumei many years ago. But thinking twice carefully Samisoni Sionetali decided to return home on a ‘seek your roots tour’. Hakupu will remain a vital part of me and my family, Samisoni said at the farewell function on Wednesday night at the Tuatea Community Centre.

He led a group of his former wife’s family, his children and spouses, grand children and his partner from Namukulu camping at Tuatea for two weeks. The Ekalesia Hakupu and Village Council provided dinner to farewell the troupe and invited guests. Strengthening ties with the Hakupu community in New Zealand was the theme for the get together. Ties between the two parties are expected to improve in future by the tone and warmth of the speeches.

 Maline and Diana Lukitau joint the celebration with dignity and humbled by the friendship though a bit sad their Dad Lukitau passed away in 2010 and wished he was alive to share the joy of fellowship. Leon Tomailuga and family were also present to experience the fun. Margret Folau and granddaughter Malina felt the sadness of leaving behind fond memories of the village and its new profile. Young Togia Akesi and grandmother Ruth Akesi were cheerful and emotional altogether. Most of the tupunas had gone with time. The bond that has kept the village together is through mutual friendship and dialogue.

To seal that closeness, the drizzle of rain confirmed the heavenly guards were around to approve the occasion. It goes without saying a roast pig anchors the dinner tables of assorted food.

The visitors sang a striking song of appreciation for the village. Having come from as far as Kaitaia a town in the far north region of New Zealand, at the base of the Aupouri Peninsula, they marvelled the culture and kind hospitality. In return, they presented mattresses and sheets to the village council, and frozen chicken left behind in the new freezer for the lodge.

Elders Isaia Talagi and Young Vivian, and Chair Itzy Tukuitoga spoke on behalf of the village. The group had kept the place lively lodging at Tuatea with ease while celebrating the peace of Niue. But time for departure has come until we all meet again.

Nice travel everyone!


When loving ones return or are about to return offshore after spending quality time with the extended family and friends in the homestead, the feeling can be depressing, withdrawn and lonely. They too feel the sting and share the pain of parting from the parents once again. Only this time, the babies they were many years gone by, have transformed into adolescent and adult status. The children have grown up to face the world on their own. Face the reality.

Why is it sometimes that we struggle to understand the truth of life? It’s not as simple as one can easily write, think or experience about the situation. Neither the selfish mentality assumption any expert may offer to describe or diagnose the condition. If we think about the prospect of a final good bye, not that we want to feel superstitious, no!

It’s not denying the truth that kids need their freedom to learn and grow into adulthood. Neither defying their choice to develop and feel the world far away as it may, from us. They could be the parents, grandparents, siblings, grand children leaving, it doesn’t matter, and the feeling is exactly the same.

The moment of truth is the parting pause, the physical appearance, the tone of voice, the cheeky hidden smile, the kindness, the nuisance, the laughter, eating together, doing things together, waiting for them past mid night to come back home and sleep, family talk and jokes, all good things suddenly come to end. Filled bedrooms would be vacant and lifeless, less washing load, perhaps, saving in electricity cost. They are people most important in our lives, cherished, loving and caring for in life.

Their past lives, memories of family rejoice times are left behind and while preparing to depart, for now, and hoping to meet again soon, we cannot hide reality.

We must make the most of the time that we have now because it is what we experience now that we shape tomorrow, with them again. Our presence together is exceptional in physical and spiritual being. We must enjoy the moments now with them. When they depart the experience shall be with them forever and their faith in us. The bond of relationship keeps stronger and everlasting. Except we need to accept sadness of parting with the loving once we dare to have.

Bon Voyage!


31 degrees Celsius of temperature and tropical heat didn’t budge the Tavalu family and entourage on their arrival at the Hanan International airport in the capital Alofi on Friday 11th January. Air New Zealand flight landed on time straight to the local entertaining band at the terminal building. Soon after their luggage was cleared, the fleet of vehicles headed to Hakupu. Confusion about the delegation list and visiting tour details was quickly shoved aside as greetings beset the women council foyer. Several members of the visiting group were born here and familiar with the village environment and culture.

Fortunate for the group, the Halafualagi gentle wind was kind enough to welcome their arrival at the Tuatea Community Centre on a fine day. Village Council Chairlady Itzy Tukuitoga and Vice-Chair Pacific Enterprise Mautama greeted them in the traditional manner. The group was brought together by the grace of their fatherland link and heritage. They also brought the same energy of cooperation to the people of the village who have prepared well and appear immune to hosting visitors in spite of the many community functions during the season.

Reverend Igatiatama Mokole blessed the camp ground and facilities where the group will spend the fortnight. The council and relatives contributed food and drinks for the guests. And lunch was served to greet and launch their short stay in the village. It would take time to adapt to the humid weather and local food.

No fizzy drink can beat the coconut juice, says Samisoni Tavalu.

Just delighted to be here with my friends%

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