This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity

Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann: [singing]

Anga reo, rau te ruma. Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

And from the voices of the Pacific, specifically to all our visitors from overseas, from the fabulous Cook Islands, Kia orana koutou, katoatoa. From the Kingdom of Tonga, and I know I have acknowledged Joleen, the head of the Fakaleiti Association of Tonga, mahu and leiti, Joleen.

Bula vinaka to our brothers and sisters from the fabulous Fiji.

Audience member: Bula vinaka.

Karl: Well, bula vinaka to you.

Fakalofa lahi atu from the rock of Polynesia otherwise known as Niue, malo ni from Tokelau.

And finally, of course, from Samoa where I come from, I'd really like to pay tribute to my uso fa'afafine from the Samoan Fa'afafine Association, but also fa'afafine from American Samoa, a very special welcome to this country.

Now I've got to work this thing out, because I thought I'd be really special and work this one, but this Samoan boy doesn't really know how to do it, so I'll just – there.


Well, that's the greeting, so I thought I'd start, people, by.... Do you point it up there or do you point it up here or down here?


Kevin: What are you talking about?

Karl:This. How do you point it? Oh. Oh, here you go.

[laughter and applause]

If it was a wand I can tell you it would have gone much better.

I just want to talk about the history and just to show you that this is where we come from. Of course some people would say the largest continent in the world is the AsianPacific, and you can see this is the whole of the Pacific right up to the top to Hawai'i.

I just want to start by saying about the pre-colonization, and when I came to put this up you'll notice the photo of the woman on my left is slightly higher than the gentleman on the right, because pre-Christian is the fact that particularly in Samoa, but also my research shows that in Thai and other Pacific countries, women played a very dominant role.

But in particular in Samoa, of course, we had some very powerful women. Nafanua was a very powerful warrior that was mistaken for a man, and she was the one that united the four corners of Samoa. But it's said that there was a wind that blew up her corset, and indeed she had breasts, and so therefore she was actually a woman. So, you can talk about your Xena, but we in the Pacific had Nafanua.


And also, Salamasina, some of us in the audience are direct descendants of her, because she was the first ruler of Samoa. It was not a man, it was a woman.

And then of course we had the Christians, and they came, and if you notice now that I sort of lightly elevated the man and the woman, of course, became demeaned. And so you can't see it, but the terms – and I thought they were really unusual terms.... The first thing, of course, they did was to dress us from the top to the bottom. And it's really an inappropriate kind of dressing because in Samoa, for instance, the average temperature there is about 32 degrees. But the title they gave for that woman was mamoe fafine. Mamoe means a lamb or sheep, an animal that would be unknown in the Pacific in those periods.


So I have all these Samoans going around as mamoe fafine, and it's really that they don't know what they're talking about.

But can I just say one other thing? It's the attitudes. It's the attitudes. Those sort of go back. If you recognize this, when the missionaries left from Europe, and all their people were dressed. Sex, of course, was not the in thing. You know, you palakeas have got a lot to....


You brought not only the Bible, but you brought your attitude about sexuality to us. And not only that, what they did was the negative attitudes, but can you imagine, the first thing they did, of course, was to dress us. And of course the other thing was the negative things about sexuality.

I just want to say that pre-Christians we see that us people were running around in the darkness. That's an interesting concept. And then since the missionaries with the Bible came we were all running around in the days of the light, which I thought was rather unique because some of us still prefer to be in the dark.


I've done that. All right – I've done that; okay, I've done that, done that.

And if you look at the sexuality, just some of the views they had, perhaps there, about men and women rank at a higher number of partners in this side. This is the European colonizer's view of what.... And of course, the other thing the European brought was the view of heterosexism and the fact that, you know, it was the only way to go.

Fa'afafine, can I just say, for Samoans we existed well before – and I know that also the whakawahine, or the fakaleiti of Tonga, and the mahu of Hawai'i – we existed well before the missionaries came to the Pacific. Ask any whalers or sailors around, because the story is around about the early 1800s one such sailor went with a very comely lass behind the bushes, and found that it was a comely lad. So, it shows that we existed in that era.

I also just want to talk about the Pacific history in the New Zealand context. In 1945, post World War, there was an economic boom and the work was required; hence, there was recruitment in Europe – that horrible term "Ten Pound Pommy" – and coupled with that was to have the urbanization of Maori, but also was the recruitment of Pacific people for the five Fs: forestry, farms, freezing works, factories and fisheries. And some very prominent people in this country, their history comes back, like the very first female judge, Pacific female judge in this country, Ida Malosi comes from Invercargill. Her father was a freezing worker.

At the same time, most New Zealanders, when they turn on their radio for Radio New Zealand News, one of the very well-known news readers is Niva Retimanu. Her father also belonged to the Ocean Beach Freezing Works.

However, after the '70s the boom went down, and then I believe the second boom came on. In 1970 the economic boom was over, and Pacific people, particularly Fijian, Samoan and Tongan, all the overstayers, dawn raids, and that's when I believe the sixth F came up, and basically, to use the French, is "F back where you come from."


Again, just look at the time strand of colonization on Pacific people, and there's some really key people in the audience: my friend Warren Lindberg, for instance. If you recall, Warren, it was in the '80s that you and I went up to the Pasifika Conference up north, and we talked about the formation of issues like the Pacific Island AIDS Trust.

I really wanted just to talk about how people view sexuality, because I think the attitudes that we have inherited, actually in some cases we still have and we need to decolonize our thinking, because indeed the Pacific is colonized by the missionaries. And more latterly, the Pacific was hit by that wave of the moral right in the '80s that New Zealand had with the Homosexual Law Reform. They didn't go back to the west, America, where they came from. They stopped away in the Pacific, and some of the fundamentalism is very much found in the Pacific.

But I just wanted to also talk about the various perspectives of sexuality and why it was not acceptable to us. For instance, if you look at the biophysical model, the medical model of course is very prevalent, particularly in the '70s. As a psychiatric nurse of course it was very, very close to me because it was only up to the 1970s – '73 – when homosexuality was of course taken off the DSN4, or the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, as a sickness. But a lot of that moral.... Also, the works of Master's and Johnson really focuses on the physical aspect of sexuality.

The other one, of course psychological, are Freudian, and we know all the feminists, rightly so, challenge that moral aspect as particularly sexist and particularly also Eurocentric.

The sociological model was the one that we tended to use, but there were still a lot of things that were missing in relation to us, so I came up with this model, and this is the Fonofale Model that Kevin was talking about. This, overall, looks at culture, family and all the determinants that really... and indeed, one of the other posts I put sexuality in it because it's fundamental to us; that Pacific and Maori see sexuality as fundamentally tied to our culture, and also to our families and history. And I just want to run that for you.

The first one of course, without doubt, and I used the model, because being Samoan I used the family as our foundation.

The foundation is our family. Now, that's nothing new. Everybody in this room has a family whether it's extended or whether it's nuclear or whether it's constituted, everyone has a family.

The second post is what I call the physical, and again we need to really address the fact that we do have, in sexuality, physical components to ourselves. The second one is the mental and that's self-explanatory.

The third one is spirituality.

And there's a fourth one called "other," and these "other" concepts are at the roof and the cultural values and beliefs, but I also believe that being in others' environment, time and context, is very important, because we live in the 2000s and the context of human rights fits in very nicely with that.

And that's the Fonofale Model, again, and the Pacific Island AIDS was an adaptation of that particular model.

The concept of the south is very fluid, and I thought I'd just quote this from His Highness Tui Atua, and that is that concept that we're not by ourselves, it's a "we" concept rather than "I," and what are the futures? This is what I believe; my own personal view of fa'afafine, fakaleiti and akava'ine, and one of the first things I think is we need to plan and hold onto that land, because we existed in this part of the Pacific well before, while in Europe they talk about inverts, etcetera.

And the other one is about networking. It's thrilling to be here, challenging our own culture.

And in conclusion I want to do this... I'm going to ask the Samoans to come up here because this is a song called "Look, Say, Hear."

[singing, then applause]

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