A Waka Odyssey

Meet Pala Molisa

20 February 2018

Pala is an academic, and passionate about the effects of climate change on the Pacific – and how to change it. Hear him speak about the upcoming Pacific Climate Change conference, part of A Waka Odyssey.

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Pala Molisa is passionate about the effects of climate change on the Pacific Ocean. His homeland of Vanuatu lies within its wide expanse, and he has watched the effects of climate change affect the islands of the Pacific first. “We're really the canary in the coal mine, in terms of feeling these effects of sea level rise, mega droughts and super storms that our children are going to inherit.”

Pala is an academic at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Accounting and Commercial Law. He is also a co-organiser of the upcoming Pacific Climate Change Conference, hosted by Victoria University of Wellington at Te Papa, 21 – 23 February and part of A Waka Odyssey.

Conversations are what need to happen, Pala believes. “Individually amongst ourselves, but also collectively up to the national level, about the sorts of things we can do together to address this climate crisis. And one of the most important things we need to do is simply to start talking about it, and to start honestly confronting how bad things actually are. And to start talking about what the underlying causes might be.” 

He knows that by bringing together leading thinkers on climate change with climate scientists, artists, and critical intellectuals to connect to the consequences of climate change.


Each day, starting  1 February 2018, we will share new videos and stories online so you too can join the journey in the lead up to the start of A Waka Odyssey, 23 Feb – 4 March 2018. Be part of the story via our website festival.co.nz/waka, on the New Zealand Festival's Facebook and Instagram pages, or using the hashtags #NZWaka and #NZFestival. 


Join in A Waka Odyssey celebrations at the spectacular theatrical extravaganza KupeFestival opening night set on Wellington's waterfront; the Kupe Landing: Petone Family Day – a fun beach party for all the whānau; and the Kupe Dreaming series of waka-themed community events and activities. 

Haere mai – Come on board. 

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