Celebrating five decades of Pacific influence with Punialavaa at the VMPAs

The Manukau Institute of Technology Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to one of the Pacific’s most well-known bands Punialava’a, at the 2018 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards on 24 May. Learn more about the band and listen a classic song from them in celebration of their lasting success.



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, Tanuvasa Fa’amanatu Solomona and Liston Taefu.


They produced hit after hit throughout the 1980s. Later in the 2000’s session musicians like Sauluitoga Feausina Mose, Ben Vaai, Hemi Solomona, Tua Kaisara, Josh Mase, Masi Ropati, Joseph Senioli 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.co.nz


And jam out to this classic Punialava’a track