Pacific academic, poet and author mourned

Mourners have taken to social media to pay tribute to widely known and respected Pacific academic, poet and author Dr Teresia Teaiwa following the news of her passing on the 21st of March.



Dr Teaiwa was widely known and respected in the Pacific, for not just her work but her work ethic and keen activism against injustice and inequity.


The director of Va'aomanu Pasifika at Victoria University of Wellington's research was far reaching, covering militarism and gender in the Pacific, contemporary issues in Fiji and feminism, and women's activism in the Pacific.


The Honolulu-born academic was born to Kiribati father and an African-American mother and was described in The Guardian as ‘one of Kiribati’s living national icons’ in 2009.


Teresia arranged for academic contributions to SPASIFIK magazine from 2005-07.


News of Dr Teaiwa’s passing came via sister Katerina Teaiwa’s post on facebook, advising with great sadness the loss that has befallen their family and the wider Pacific. Her funeral will be held in Porirua this weekend.



Tributes have flooded social media since, with many well-known Pacific people paying their respects, from author Lani Wendt Young to Minister of Pacific Peoples Hon. Alfred Ngaro.