Subscribe News Feed Subscribe Comments

Pride of the Pacific 2009 - Concert for Tonga


Image/Pride of the Pacific

Concert for Tonga

By SARAH MOYES - East And Bays Courier

Family man and music lover Vili Tuitupou wants to do what he can to support the people of Tonga.

Tomorrow Mr Tuitupou, known as DJ Willie, is holding a family concert in Glen Innes as part of his Pride of the Pacific charity tour.

The Mt Wellington man has used his connections within the music industry to get performers for the fundraising gig.

Born in Tonga and raised in Glen Innes, Mr Tuitupou still has strong ties with the islands.

Tonga’s economy is making it difficult for locals to earn money and support their families so he is putting on his third concert in three years to help raise funds for food parcels.

"A survey in 2007 showed only 20 percent of people in Tonga had jobs. My uncle is a builder and earns $50 to $60 a week to support his five kids.

"We have it pretty good over here, so I want to help."

The Pride of the Pacific show will also showcase young musical talent.

There will be performances by New Zealand and Australian artists, as well as local musicians such as Tamaki College’s school band.

"There are some very talented young artists.

"It’s big for them to perform next to guys like Devolo and Mareko from Deceptakonz Dawn Raid," he says.

Artists are performing for free. Some of them travel to Tonga with Mr Tuitupou to put on a free concert and help distribute food parcels.

"We could keep the money for ourselves, but we want to give it away," Mr Tuitupou says.

He is also taking stationery to a school that was badly hit by the September tsunami.

Every year the tour gets bigger and he hopes more people will support the concerts, especially the island community.

The afternoon concert will be held at the Son and Skate Hall next to Pak’nSave in Glen Innes from 2pm with a $5 entry fee.

An R18 evening gig will follow at Finnegans Irish Bar in Royal Oak from 9pm to 2am.

Mr Tuitupou will be travelling to Tonga on December 31 to distribute the food parcels.

For information about Pride of the Pacific 2009 contact Mr Tuitupou/DJ Willie on 027-733-5219.