Media release: 15 May 2018                                     


Celebrating five decades of Pacific influence with Punialava’a

Punialava’a to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 2018 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards


The Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to - Punialava’a at the 2018 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards on 24 May.

The group has been creating music for more than 50 years and was formed in the Samoan village Vailele in 1968 by former school teacher Rev. Iosefa Lale Peteru – or Lale as he’s known. Together with some friends, he produced hits in the 1970s, finding recognition and support from the Samoan National Broadcasting Service Radio.

In 1980 Lale met his wife Vini nee Sofara, who became the lead singer of the band. Together they won a song writing competition run by the Samoa Health Department about awareness for the disabled.

The two continued to create more music with accomplished musicians such as the late Harry Miller, Danny Lankilde, Paul Pouesi, Agaiotupu Pouesi, Aliimau Jr Scanlan, Bernard Scanlan, Jr Hall, Sam Samia, the Katina Brothers and Rev. Falevi Jr Petana. They produced hit after hit throughout the 1980s. Later in the 2000’s session musicians like Ben Vaai, Hemi Solomona, Tua Kaisara, Josh Mase, Masi Ropati and Ueli Soolefai recorded several successful albums with the group.

Lale and Vini have four children, who all created music careers by picking up the mantle of the band. Viellani is the eldest and started singing for the band in the mid-1990s. Soon after, his younger siblings, Vania and Punialava’a joined the family band. The youngest, Miss Melody, recently became the latest addition to the group.

The sounds of Punialava’a has been established for 50 years so far and inspired many Pacific artists in the music industry – with many well known artists recording and performing their songs. With songs celebrated and appreciated by all age groups, the Punialava’a’s music, lyrics and metaphorical messages are authentic and true to the heart of Samoa and Pacific culture.

To celebrate their achievement, the full band will be performing live at the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau, Auckland on 24 May. Tickets are available through eventfinda


2018 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards finalists:

Best Pacific Female Artist Award:

·         La CocoLove & Other Things Part II

·         Ladi 6 – Royal Blue 3000 EP

·         Razé4Seasons

NZ Music Commission Best Pacific Male Artist Award:

·         General Fiyah – ‘Here To Stay’

·         KingsChapter One

·         Noah SleeOtherland

Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Urban Artist Award:

·         9-5ersClose To Home

·         Noah SleeOtherland

·         SWIDTStoneyhunga

Pacific Media Network Best Pacific Group Award:

·         Sol3 MioA Very Merry Christmas

·         Three Houses Down – ‘Smile’

·         Tomorrow People – ‘Lock Me Up’

NZ On Air Best Pacific Music Video Award:

·         Samson Rambo – ‘Here To Stay’ (General Fiyah)

·         Noah Slee & Si Jay Gould – ‘Radar’ (Noah Slee)

·         Olivia Foa’i – ‘Lakalaka’ (Te Vaka)

APRA Best Pacific Song Award:

·         General Fiyah – ‘Here To Stay’ (Written by : Charlie Pome'e & Nicholas Pome'e)

·         Tomorrow People – ‘Sa’ili Le Alofa’ (Written by Kenape Saupese, Naomi Alatipi, Honiara Salanoa, Helen Tupai, Avina Kelekolio, Daniel Sugrue, Tana Tupai)

·         Te Vaka – ‘Lakalaka’ (Written by Opetaia Foa'i/Matatia Foa'i)

SunPix Best Pacific Language Award:

·         EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth Fa'afetai Le Atua

·         Te Vaka – ‘Lakalaka’

·         Tomorrow People – ‘Sa’ili Le Alofa’

Auckland Council Best Pacific Gospel Artist Award:

·         TJ Taotua – 'Special Place'

·         EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth Fa'afetai Le Atua

·         Niue Youth NetworkNYN Niue Gospel Album

Flava Best International Pacific Artist Award:

·         Junior Maile – 'When I'm Gone'/'Golden Touch'

·         Tenelle For the Lovers

·         Sam Kiles ‘Delay’

Recorded Music NZ Best Pacific Music Album Award:

·         EFKS Te Atatu Junior YouthFa'afetai Le Atua

·         Ladi 6 Royal Blue 3000 EP

·         Noah Slee Otherland

·         Sol3 Mio – A Very Merry Christmas

·         SWIDT – Stoneyhunga

SIT/MAINZ Best Producer Award:

·         AnonymouzThe Undisciplined Son EP (Tha Movement)

·         KingsChapter One (Kings)

·         Parks, Brandan Haru & Julien DyneRoyal Blue 3000 EP (Ladi 6)


All the finalists


1.     9-5ers – Close To Home

2.     Anonymouz – The Undisciplined Son EP (Tha Movement)

3.     EFKS Te Atatu Junior Youth – Fa'afetai Le Atua

4.     General Fiyah – ‘Here To Stay’

5.     Junior Maile – 'When I'm Gone'/'Golden Touch'

6.     Kings – Chapter One (Kings)

7.     La Coco – Love & Other Things Part II

8.     Ladi 6 – Royal Blue 3000 EP

9.     Niue Youth Network – NYN Niue Gospel Album

10.   Noah Slee – Otherland

11.   Olivia Foa’i – ‘Lakalaka’ (Te Vaka)

12.   Parks, Brandan Haru & Julien Dyne – Royal Blue 3000 EP (Ladi 6)

13.   Raze – 4Seasons

14.   Sam Kiles – ‘Delay’

15.   Samson Rambo – ‘Here To Stay’ (General Fiyah)

16.   Si Jay Gould – ‘Radar’ (Noah Slee)

17.   Sol3 Mio – A Very Merry Christmas

18.   SWIDT – Stoneyhunga

19.   Te Vaka – ‘Lakalaka’

20.   Tenelle – For the Lovers

21.   Three Houses Down – ‘Smile’

22.   TJ Taotua – 'Special Place'

23.   Tomorrow People – ‘Sa’ili Le Alofa’ / ‘Lock Me Up’



For more information:

Issued for the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards by Pead PR

About the Vodafone Pacific Music Awards:
In 2004 the Pacific Music Awards Committee (PMAC) was formed to realise a vision and the inaugural Pacific Music Awards debuted at Pasifika Festival in March 2005. Encouraged by the success of the awards the PMAC set about developing an annual event as a significant highlight of the New Zealand music industry calendar. The awards committee formed a Charitable Trust to organise and host the awards, and are driven by a simple core objective: to create and manage an event that acknowledges the success of Pacific artists, celebrates and promotes excellence in Pacific music and encourages young Pacific musicians to aspire to a higher level of achievement.


Adam Warin, Pead PR | P. 09 551 2375 | M. 021 029 01388 | E. adam(at)

Jack Wheeler, Pead PR | P. 09 918 5581 | M. 021 0233 5803 | E. jack(at)