Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

New Pasifika 80’s comedy pays tribute to the hit movie Sione’s Wedding

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Soana Aholelei | Reporter / Director

Fans of the 2006 hit movie “Sione’s Wedding” are in for a treat, it’s highly-anticipated prequel “Duckrockers”.

Associate Producer and original cast member Teuila Blakley joined the team of writers, and says the time was right to continue the Duckrockers story.

“We always thought if we do a second it makes sense to do a third but then we lost our beloved Pua Magasiva.  We were so affected in so many different ways that we just thought we’ll leave Sione’s where it is for now.”

Fast-forward three years later, writers Oscar Kightley and James Griffin were approached by South Pacific Pictures to do a prequel.

Reporter Soana Aholelei (back left) pictured with the Duckrockers cast.
Tiare Savea (left) plays the younger version of Leilani and Lilo Vaigafa (right) plays a new character, Lupe.

“Thankfully James and Oscar felt that it was timely that I come on as a writer initially to help create the entire world and especially because I was a brown girl in the 80s.”

A decade on with a new network on board, one of the challenges was to find the right young actors to play the iconic roles

“We not only had to find the essence, they had to obviously look like them, they had to be believable.  I can honestly say every single person we cast in the role was meant to be at the role that they are playing and that’s something very special,” beams Teuila.

The cast introduces some new fresh first-time actors. Albert and Sefa are played by brothers Augstino and Levi Nansen Ieremia-Seulu. The role of Stanley is played by Dallas Halavaka, Dave Fane’s role “Bolo” (aka Paul) is reprised by actor Rocky Manusaute and Duane Wichman Evans Jr plays Michael, the role made famous by Robbie Magasiva.

The role of Leilani is played by Tiare Savea and the series has introduced a new character to the gang, “Lupe” played by Lilo Vaigafa.

Rocky Manusaute (centre) plays cousin Paul, better knwon as Bolo.
(L-R) Duane Wichman Evans Jr plays Michael, Augstino Nansen Ieremia-Seulu as Albert, Stanley played by Dallas Halavaka and Levi Nansen Ieremia-Seulu plays Sefa.

“I think what’s very special about this show is that there’s a lot of Pacific islanders, there’s a lot of brown faces that we finally get to see on tv and also because it’s real it is a comedy but there’s still truth.” Says Lilo

The series promises to make you laugh your way back to what you loved about being you in the 80’s, from the iconic 80’s tracksuits, hairstyles, eyeliner to breakdancing where Duckrocker-4-life began.

“Many productions offer new perspectives like what the 1980s were like 1980s in the us and places in Europe, now you have a perspective of what the 1980s were like in Aotearoa New Zealand especially the Polynesian lens,” says Rocky.

Proud of what they have produced, Teuila say’s it’s a tribute to the original Duckrockers. 

“I just wanted to show how amazing the characters were, how amazing their families were, what each individual character went through and how they end up being where they are when we meet them in the movie.” 


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