Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kalafi Moala probes Tonga's key issues in new book

Staff Reporter: Pacific Media Centre

Publisher and broadcaster Kalafi Moala's new book on key development and social issues facing the kingdom of Tonga and its diasporic communities in Australia, New Zealand and the United States will be launched in Auckland next week.

The book, In Search of the Friendly Islands, lifts the lid on many contemporary social issues and dilemmas facing South Pacific nations.

The issues that led to the unprecedented explosion of violence on 16 November 2006 that resulted in the deaths of eight people and the destruction of 80 percent of the central business district of the Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa, are among topics explored by the book.

Executive director Ana Currie of the Pasifika Foundation Hawai'i, publisher of the book, describes it as a significant work for Tonga at this time.

Professor Ian Campbell, of the University of the South Pacific, writing in his foreword, says that while reading Moala's book, "one can imagine him seated on the floor in a circle around the tanoa talking the same way as he writes - connecting the big issues to daily life".

He believes the book can go far in teaching international experts about the "grassroots Pacific".

Associate professor David Robie, director of the New Zealand co-publisher Pacific Media Centre at AUT University, says: "For more than a generation, Kalafi Moala has inspired the Pacific region as a newspaper publisher and social conscience.

"This book is another important contribution to debate and reform about the Friendly Islands and journalism's role in a 'challenge for the soul of our very civilisation'."

>> NZ launching: Onehunga Community Centre & Library, Church St, Onehunga, Auckland, 11am-1pm, March 21.

>> Tonga launching: Tongan National Centre, Vuna Rd, 11am-1pm, March 28.

Pasifika Foundation Hawai'i
Pacific Media Centre - AUT, New Zealand
South Pacific Books

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