Role of the Fale Pasifika

The Fale Pasifika is an iconic building on campus. We are part of the University's Pacific community and the Fale is our spiritual home.

The floor pattern of the courtyard of the Fale Pasifika
The Malae, Fale Pasifika

Our Fale Pasifika plays an important role as the touch-point between the University and Pacific communities.

In most Pacific communities, the role that a central structure, such as our Fale Pasifika, has in the setting of a ‘village green’ or malae (marae), is to be the centre of focus for communal activities.

In parts of Polynesia for example, over the course of any given day, the village fale will serve a number of purposes. In the mornings, it is likely to be the venue for women’s committees to meet on issues to do with family and communal health or to work together on various forms of heritage arts (weaving fine mats, making tapa, etc.) for important upcoming events.

Fale Pasifika pictured from the front
Our Fale Pasifika

In the later part of the afternoon, the fale will be the venue for meetings of the village elders and in the evenings, it is likely to be the venue for village social events. On special occasions, such as the bestowal of chiefly titles, the fale will be the focal point for the formalities and communal celebrations.

For most Pacific communities, such a fale is more than just a physical structure: it is their point of reference for activities that are central to their cultural expression and it gives them a sense of place and community. Equally, the University’s Fale Pasifika, plays a similar role in our outreach and relationship with Pacific communities.