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Profile image for Ramona Papali'i

Ramona Papali'i

Writer, Presenter

Ramona Papali'i — who has roots on the Western Samoan island of Savai'i — was one of the first Pasifika women to present on Kiwi television. In the late 1970s she became the first non-Pākehā staff member on weekly show Pacific Viewpoint. "They wanted someone who had a degree, could speak fluent Samoan and could drive ... I bull******d my way through." Thanks to her talent, by 1980 she was presenting See Here, a short slot for Māori and Pacific Islanders. Papali'i stayed on for the full six-year run. In 1993 she presented and co-wrote pioneering series Tagata Tangata, which examined Polynesia's past, present and future.

When I joined TV my family were so proud, my mother was beaming. I also got a good response from all Polynesians. Suddenly we were all one. Ramona Papali'i in Broadsheet 133, October 1985, page 14