Samoa Asks


A climate activist and poet of Aotearoa, Aigagalefili Fepulea’i Tapua’i, brings to life her words of youthful wisdom and endearment to her family, that are weaved with honour, love, and respect through ‘Samoa speaks’. Her spoken commitment a shelter of protection for her family both past and present and all they represent in land, ocean and spirit that connects Aotearoa with Samoa and Samoa with Aotearoa.

Poetry written & performed by
Aigagalefili Fepulea’i-Tapua’i

Director/Visual Artist by
Regan Balzer

Animation by
Manatoa Productions

“A Pei se vaitafe/Faliu le la”
Traditional Samoan song

Arranged by
Steven Rapana

Sung by
The New Zealand Secondary Students Youth Choir

Music and sound design
Horomona Horo and Jeremy Mayall

Full credits at the end of the video

Artist Bio

Aigagalefili Fepulea'i Tapua'i

Aigagalefili Fepulea’i Tapua’i  is a Samoan-New Zealander award winning published poet/orator, Pacific youth advocate and indigenous environmental activist.  Her work centres around topics such as climate change, educational inequality, Pacific identity and the South Auckland identity. An accomplished spoken word poet and winner of the New Zealand Storytellers competition for her piece Waiting for Water. Her work has appeared in the 2019 Poetry Yearbook New Zealand. During the COVID-19 pandemic she spoke out about racial inequality in education and how the pandemic had forced Pasifika students to leave school to support their families.

Born in South Auckland, she was Head Girl at Aorere College in 2020, co-founded and is Chairman of indigenous youth environmentalist group 4 Tha Kulture and is a member of Pacific Climate Warriors. She has been a guest speaker at the UN General Assembly and the Aotearoa Social Impact Summit New Zealand. In 2020 she was a guest speaker at the UN General Assembly.

In March 2020 she was selected to represent New Zealand at the Global Young Leaders Conference in New York City.  In 2020 she won the New Zealand Women of Influence Young Leader Award, SUNPIX Pacific People Emerging Leadership Award, GirlBoss Leadership Award and the Pacific Corporation Forum Supreme Award for Youth Advocacy, and she was a 2021 finalist for the New Zealander of The Year Local Hero Award.

She is a student of Environmental Sciences and Law at AUT and is currently participating in the WorldStrides Gap Year Program studying sustainability and contemporary environmental issues in Europe.

Regan Balzer

Regan Balzer is a visual artist from the Māori tribal nations of Te Arawa & Ngāti Ranginui in Aotearoa (NZ). Specializing in Paint, her works are motivated by narratives of the land, people and culture. Since attaining a Masters in Māori Visual Arts from Massey University (2011), Regan has continued an expansive career in the arts, developing a colourfully expressive style of painting through a dedicated commitment to her art practice. Regan has exhibited extensively (in group and solo shows) throughout New Zealand as well as internationally (including Italy, America, Australia & Tahiti).


Horomona Horo

Composer, musical artist, practitioner and cross genre collaborator, Horomona Horo (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Porou, Taranaki, English Devon, MacGregor Scotland) has fused the traditional instruments of the Māori, taonga puoro, within a diverse range of cultural, musical and educational forms. Mentored by tohunga (experts), Dr Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns, Horo is one of the international Māori faces of taonga puoro. He has developed his mastery and skill of not only the performance practice of taonga puoro, but, has continued the vision of the renaissance of the traditional Māori musical instruments by his mentors and has extended his knowledge and skills across diverse music and art genres. 


Steven Rapana

A New Zealander of Maori and Samoan extraction, Steven is best known for his arrangements and compositions of Pacific choral music. Tracing his family lineage back to his ancestral lands of the Hokianga in the north of Aotearoa, as well as to the Samoan villages of Sāfune and Sāmauga in Savai’i, and Vailoa (Aleipata) in Upolu, he was greatly influenced by the customs and music of both cultures. In particular his childhood involvement in traditional Samoan church life, through the insistence of his maternal grandparents, meant that music, both religious and cultural, was always a feature of his upbringing.

A graduate of the University of Auckland in vocal performance and choral studies, Steven has arranged and composed music for many notable national choirs including the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir and the New Zealand Youth Choir. He currently works as a singing teacher, choral director, language coach (phonology and languages for singers), a professional singer, arranger, and composer in and around New Zealand. 


Dr. Jeremy Mayall

Dr. Jeremy Mayall is a composer/performer/artist/researcher from Hamilton, NZ.

His work is primarily in music, sound art, installation and multimedia formats, with a focus on exploring his fascination in the interrelationships between sound, time, space, the senses, and the human experience.  Collaboration is at the core of much of his multi-sensory work, and recent projects have included work with musicians, dancers, poets, aerial silks performers, theatre practitioners, scientists, perfumers, bakers, authors, sculptors, filmmakers, pyrotechnicians, lighting designers and visual artists.