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 About Us 

Moana Vā was established to identify and address the needs for Pacific Rainbow+ LGBTQIA+ MVPFAFF+ (mahu, vakasalewa, palopa, fa’afafine, akava’ine, fakaleiti (leiti), fakafifine) communities in the Canterbury Region. 


We aim to provide support, advocacy and mentorship of our Pacific Rainbow+ communities, and acknowledge the challenge of living in a region that is systemically conservative, enabling unconscious racial bias and stereotypes of our community members.


Pacific Rainbow+ communities are rebuilding, and Moana Vā is the conduit by which we may connect or reconnect, share aspirations, goals, stories and create narratives to be heard and pass on to our future allies. We will do this not only by being a support group but also a provider of information and access to services addressing the needs of our community.


Outside of the gender binary, there are several ways to think about gender in the Pacific. Some terms for gender identities used in the Pacific include:


for Mahu in Tahiti and Hawai'i.

V for Vaka sa lewa lewa in Fiji.

P for Palopa in Papua New Guinea.

F for Fa'afafine and Fa'afatama in Samoa and American Samoa.

A for Akava'ine in the Cook Islands.

F for Fakaleiti or leiti in the Kingdom of Tonga.

F for Fakafifine in Niue.

-Phylesha Brown-Acton MNZM

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Our short to medium-term vision is to establish and cement our Pacific Rainbow+ communities by socialising, meeting, hosting workshops, creating relationships, building support networks and capabilities to train facilitators to educate communities of Pacific Rainbow+ pedagogies, worldviews and realities.

Our long-term vision is to provide information sessions and events to create meaningful outcomes for our communities to gather, grow and become visibly strong and resilient.


Through fellowship, connectivity, events and workshops we will be able to support our marginalised folks who sometimes feel there is no family (‘aiga / ’ānau / fāmili / magafaoa / matavuvale / whānau) for them.


Tautua Leadership

Acknowledging authentic Tagata Moana
leadership models, frameworks, approaches and terminology that will be used to support the Rainbow and wider Community in Ōtautahi.
Servant leadership in the wider context of Aotearoa and beyond.


Moana Vā acknowledges the importance of the diverse Pacific languages, cultures, sexualities, spirituality and protocols and
will ensure these are incorporated into all of the services and functions.


A ‘Teu le vā’ collective and partnered approach to creating safe spaces, raising awareness and the active education,
advocacy, allyship by, with, for Tagata Moana rainbow communities.



A deep sense of love, manaaki and caring for our Rainbow community and the creation of spaces and places where they are
cared for and looked after.


This recognises that every person belongs to a family and every family belongs to a person. Moana Vā recognises and helps the
Rainbow community navigate the vā around family, identity and belonging. We also recognise Ancestry and safe places involve
connections and kinship with whom and what has gone before us.

What is Moana Vā?


Coconut Wireless 17/11/23

Newletter acknowledgement

Uniting Canterbury Women 11/10/23

Moana Vā - nagivators of Pacific Pride by Jo Bailey


Vui Suli Tuitaupe | Founder of Moana Vā – Navigators of Pacific Pride  5/10/23

Waatea News 

MPP Write Up 11/4/23

Ministry of Pacific Peoples article - Pacific Rainbow+ collective proudly visible and flourishing in Canterbury.



Christchurch Obstetrics and Gynaecology Associates Collaboration



The Spinoff 18/06/22 

A Pasifika rainbow community is making waves in Ōtautahi Christchurch

Pegasus Health 13/06/22

Moana Vā providing safe space for Pacific Rainbow+ community


Stuff 25/2/22

Moana Vā collective launches safe space for Pacific Rainbow community


We welcome any donations. Donations can be made via bank transfer, account number: Moana Vā society account - 12-3149-0370775-00. All donations made to us are tax deductible as we are a registered charity #CC61186. If you would like to donate via bank card you can donate through out Ko-Fi page here

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