Phil Gifford

Sports Columnist


Phil Gifford is a New Zealand sports writer and broadcaster with an impressive list of achievements, and is a Sports Contributor for Oceania Media. Phil is the first person to be twice judged New Zealand sports journalist of the year and was awarded the 2010 SPARC lifetime achievement award for services to sports journalism. He is the only New Zealand journalist to have reported from every Rugby World Cup since 1987. He has also won 12 New Zealand and two Australasian radio awards and in print created satirical rugby character ‘Loosehead Len’ that ran for 32 years from 1973. His recent biography of Valerie Adams is his 19th book and has become the best-selling book ever about a New Zealand sportswoman.

Campbell Burnes

Sports Columnist / Feature Writer


Campbell Burnes has spent 12 years in journalism, after deciding that his days as a rugby professional were numbered. Following a career that included 18 first-class games for Manu Samoa and Thames Valley and two seasons in France, he spent two and a half years as the Western Leader sports editor before eight years as news and features editor of Rugby News. He left that position in late 2012 and is now a freelance writer, and regularly contributes for Oceania Media.


Sarah Cowley

Fitness Health Columnist


Sarah Cowley is a New Zealand track and field athelete who has competed at an international level in heptathlon and high jump for New Zealand, and is a regular health and fitness columnist. In 1992 Sarah watched the Barcelona Olympics and was mesmerised by the track and field athletes. The speed of the sprinters, the power of the jumpers and the strength of the throwers had her hooked. As her interest in sport grew her burning desire to compete at the Olympics was firmly established. 20 years after Barcelona her Olympic dream came true competing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Following the London Olympics she switched her focus from competing in the heptathlon to concentrating solely on high jump. Sarah is also a qualified physiotherapist and is currently doing some part time study around training and competition commitments in communications.

Gladys Hartson-Shingles

Feature Writer / Contributor


Gladys is a journalist and is of Samoan heritage. She has worked in Pacific media for over 10 years. After completing her Diploma in Commercial Broadcasting in 2002, Gladys headed to Auckland to begin a career in radio as one of the week day announcers with community station Radio 531pi. In 2007 she moved to the news room as news reader for Pacific Radio news Niu Fm/Radio 531pi. After deciding to take a break from broadcasting, Gladys turned her attention to politics working as the electorate secretary for Mangere MP Labour’s Su’a William Sio. The pull back to broadcasting was too strong for Gladys to resist and she returned to school completing a Graduate Diploma of Journalism at AUT University. In 2011 Gladys took up the role of producer for the daytime programming at Radio 531pi. She has also done communications advisory work for National List MP Alfred Ngaro and South Seas Healthcare Ltd in Otara. Gladys sat on the boards of Hamilton Pacific Island Women’s Council, NZ National Body University Samoan Students' Association and Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA). 

Qiane Matata-Sipu

Feature Writer / Photographer / Past Deputy Editor


Qiane Matata-Sipu is a journalist and photographer, and worked for Oceania Media for three years from 2008. She was the Deputy-Editor of SPASIFIK Magazine for a period before going on to start Qiane Media + Photography, and still regularly works with Oceania Media on editorial and photo assignments. She has a Bachelor of Communication studies from Auckland University of Technology.

Vaimoana Tapaleao

Columnist / Past Employee / Intern


Vaimoana is a Samoan journalist and NZ Herald reporter, and during her last year at university she was an intern at SPASIFIK Magazine in 2007, before joining the New Zealand Herald team in 2008 as a South Auckland reporter. She won the Junior Reporter of the Year at the Qantas Media Awards in 2010, and later won the Maori Television prize as well as the Storyboard award for excellence in diversity journalism. Vaimoana graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) in 2008.

Paea Wolfgramm



Paea Wolfgramm is a former Tongan boxer and a regular contributor for Oceania Media. Nicknamed "The Tongan Warrior", Wolfgramm won the Super Heavyweight silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, making him the first athlete from Tonga to win an Olympic medal. After the Olympics Wolfgramm turned pro until he announced his retirement from professional boxing in 2001. In both 2006 and 2008 Paea won the Qantas Media Award for Best Pacific Issues Columnist while writing for SPASIFIK.

Joe Lam

Food Columnist


Joe Lam is a Samoan born chef, and has been a food columnist for Oceania Media, as a regular contributor to the food column in SPASIFIK Magazine from 2006 – 2008. Joe and his wife currently own their Apia restaurant Scalini’s of Samoa and previously owned two restaurants in Auckland’s waterfront suburb Saint Heliers called Scalinis and Pastavino. Joe won the 2005 Pacific Enterprise Award at the Pacific Business Awards.

Click here for Joe's columns in SPASIFIK

Kennedee Jeffs

Columnist / Feature Writer / Past Employee


Graduating with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Journalism) at AUT University Kennedee Jeffs worked for SPASIFIK magazine in 2006. At the Qantas Media Awards Kennedee was named Junior Magazine Feature Writer – Pacific Issues and was one of three finalists for Junior Magazine Feature Writer. Kennedee graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Career Development and works as a Careers Adviser since relocating to Brisbane in 2012. She continues to write as a freelancer to ensure her dream to write stays alive. She is inspired by Lani Wendt Young and Sandra Kailahi who have shown that Pasifika women have stories to tell that are worth listening to. Kennedee is a third generation Kiwi on her mother’s side with links to Fagamalo, Samoa and Maufanga, Tonga. On her father’s side she is a second generation Kiwi with her grandmother hailing from Vaimoso and her grandfather from Poutasi in Samoa.

Seru Mar

Food and Nutrition Columnist


Of Fijian heritage, Seru’s columns often took favourite island recipes and substituted ingredients for healthy alternatives, such as palusami, kokoda and chop suey.

CLICK HERE for Seru's columns in SPASIFIK

Hannah Spkysma



Hannah is a qualified journalist with an interest in social and cultural issues, community building, the environment and the Pacific region. She holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies and has worked on both sides of the media divide - as a journalist and in communications.

Nathan Kake

Beauty Columnist 


Nathan Kake was a beauty columnist for SPASIFIK in 2007-2008, and has almost 30 years of experience working in the hair and beauty industry, following his sister, former Miss New Zealand Andrea Kake, into make-up and styling and hairdressing. He has been a stylist and makeup artist for clients in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Monaco and Switzerland, and is a former winner of the Schwarzkopf Newcomer hairdressing award. He has worked on models at New Zealand Fashion Week and backstage on New Zealand Idol as a makeup artist.  Nathan was unable to continue working with SPASIFIK when he moved overseas.

Natasha Guttenbeil

Community / Family / Parenting Columnist


Natasha Guttenbeil has been a columnist for SPASIFIK writing about family and community issues, and as parents to two children, she and her husband Awen Guttenbeil (former Vodafone Warrior and New Zealand rugby league player) are ambassadors for Mana Ririki violence-free whanau. Natasha has been involved in television behind the scenes in sales, is a former presenter for Maori Television’s Marae DIY and for advice show "Ask your Auntie", and has also worked as a radio promotions manager. She now works as a fashion stylist, and has been involved in shoots for some of New Zealand’s top women’s magazines and TV shows such as It’s in The Bag and NZ’s Next Top Model.

Faumuina Felolini

Pacific Region Columnist / Feature Writer


Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'I is a Samoan based contributor for Oceania Media. She is also the current media officer for Women in Business Development Inc. and has held previous media, editor and journalist positions at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Protection (SPREP), Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Samoa Observer, the Guardian Group in London, and the Waikato Times. She also co-compiled FIKA - Christchurch Pasifika Writers Collective which is a collection of stories and poems from the Christchurch Pasifika Writers Collective. She holds a Bachelor of Communication Studies, Communication and Media Studies from Auckland Univertisty of Technology and grew up in Christchurch.

Robert Oliver

Food Columnist


Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef who was raised in Fiji and Samoa, and is a regular food columnist for Oceania Media. Robert is chef ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, brand ambassador for “True Pacific,” a consortium of high-value Pacific Island food producers. In 2008 Robert returned to the South Pacific to write his first book, Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific. Written with a mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the region’s tourism sector, Me’a Kai stunned the food world by winning the top prize of “Best Cookbook in the  World 2010" at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, considered to be the “Pulitzer” of cookbooks, beating the books from NOMA and the New York Times. Robert’s career has covered the full spectrum of being a chef. He has developed restaurants in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney, ‘farm to table” resorts in the Caribbean, food programs feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City.
Click here for Robert's columns in SPASIFIK. 

Leilani Tamu



Leilani Tamu is a poet, social commentator, Pacific historian and former New Zealand diplomat. In 2013 she was the Fulbright / Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence at the University of Hawai’i in Mānoa. Leilani previously worked as a freelance writer with regular contributions appearing in Auckland’s Metro Magazine tackling diverse issues. Born in New Zealand to a Samoan mother and Pakeha father, Leilani’s Pacific heritage has played an important role in shaping both her creative and professional career. She has a Niuean husband, and daughter Kalei. Her work has appeared in a range of anthologies, including Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English; Niu Voices: Contemporary Pacific Fiction 1; Landfall; JAAM; Blackmail Press; Hawai’i Review; Griffith Review and Snorkel. She also blogs regularly and her first book of poetry The Art of Excavation is due out in August 2014.

We work with many contributors depending on the story at hand. They're experts in their fields and have loads of experience in developing the stories you love. 

Ken Laban

Sports Columnist


Ken is a SKY Sport TV rugby commentator and a sports columnist for Oceania Media’s SPASIFIK magazine. Ken’s parents migrated to New Zealand from Samoa in the 1950s. He has an extensive background in rugby union, rugby league – where he led Wainuiomata to national league titles and several other sports, including the 2015 South Pacific Games with a broadcasting career spanning 20 years. A councillor and businessman, Ken dedicates much of his time to charitable endeavours and is a member, trustee or board member of several charities and community programmes.

Aaron Freeman 

Food Columnist


Aaron is a My Kitchen Rules New Zealand 2014 finalist along with his wife Heather, owner of Tātou Ltd Pacific Cuisine and is a food columnist for SPASIFIK magazine, published by Oceania Media. Palmerston North-based Aaron is of Cook Islands and Tahitian descent. His passion for Pacific cuisine is inherited from his roots. His grandmother ran a catering business on the Cook Islands of Aitutaki. 

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