An empowering new podcast celebrating Pasifika youth culture in Aotearoa New Zealand has been launched by New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s Flava radio station today.
Hosted by charismatic Flava Drive host Mariner (Maz) Fagaiava and talented emerging academic and creative, Allyssa Verner-Pula, Island Roots Auckland Ways will explore issues that resonate with youth in Aotearoa, with a distinctly Pasifika lens.
Across 12 episodes, Fagaiava and Verner-Pula, who grew up together in South Auckland, will share their insights and sense of self as they unpack raw conversations, on topics like body image, love, and mental health, interviewing some of the stories of their lives and the trials of two Pasifika kids finding their way in Auckland.
Along the way Fagaiava and Verner-Pula will be joined by a variety of Pasifika movers and shakers, including talented comedians Joe Daymond and Courtney Dawson, and stylist to the stars Sammy Salsa.
Marty Hehewerth, Flava Content Director, says listeners can expect to be taken on a thoughtful but hilarious journey through Fagaiava and Verner-Pula’s lives.
“Maz and Allyssa’s energy is palpable and throughout the series they share personal insights and experiences, offering raw and genuine discussions about their lives and the challenges they faced as Pasifika youth growing up in Auckland.”
For Fagaiava, the podcast represents the realisation of a dream, and he’s pleased to be contributing Pasifika- related content for listeners to enjoy.
"I grew up a bit disgruntled at the fact there wasn’t much Pacific representation within the media, but I’m proud to now be part of that change - both through my show on Flava but also through the introduction of this new podcast.
I'm all about celebrating Pasifika content and giving it the spotlight, it truly deserves! It's not just about representation, it's all about celebrating unique perspectives and I’m proud to be sharing the culture I love through our podcast "
Verner-Pula echoes the sentiment: “Island Roots, Auckland Ways aims to take a different approach by embracing joy and positivity. The podcast serves as a genuine celebration of being young and Pasifika in Auckland today, showcasing the vibrant culture and diverse perspectives of New Zealand's Pacific community with plenty of laughter along the way.”
Sam Collins, iHeartRadio Content Director is excited to expand Flava's voice with this podcast.
“We love bringing more local content, and local voices to New Zealand audiences, Island Roots, Auckland Ways is a great example of the richness and depth of content that podcasting is allowing.”
New episodes of Island Roots, Auckland Ways will be available every Tuesday on iHeartRadio or wherever you get your podcasts.