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Young pacific reporter honoured
January 10, 2010, 4:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Journo mover and shaker Vaimoana Tapaleao, 23, has had a busy year reporting pacific and general news for the Herald. Her excellent coverage of the Pacific tsunami showed up a few oldies. With a keen sense for news and an ability to treat stories with great integrity it is not surprising that Vaimoana has been honoured for highlighting Aotearoa’s close relationship with the Pacific.


Herald reporter honoured

December 3, 2009

Vaimoana Tapaleao has been honoured by the Human Rights Commission for her feature on NZ families affected by the Tongan ferry tragedy. Photo / Greg Bowker

Herald reporter Vaimoana Tapaleao has been recognised by the Human Rights Commission for her piece on New Zealand families grieving for lives lost in the sinking of Tongan ferry Princess Ashika.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said the 23-year-old’s four-page feature “highlighted the strong familial ties between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and the way the pain of this Pacific tragedy directly impacted on New Zealand”.

The feature ran in the Weekend Herald on November 7.

Tongan ferry disaster: Farewell to loved ones lost at sea

Nov 7, 2009

Mourners at a memorial church service held at the Mangere Tongan Methodist Church. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Three months ago, the ferry Princess Ashika sank in heavy seas on an overnight sailing in Tonga.

Seventy-four of those on board died. Two bodies were recovered – the rest went down with the vessel, which remains beneath 110m of water, beyond recovery. Five weeks ago the Samoan tsunami disaster pushed the Tongan ferry tragedy out of the headlines. For this special report Vaimoana Tapaleao talked to the families of ferry victims with ties to New Zealand, so that they would not be forgotten.

Read rest of the feature online <HERE>


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