The words ‘Pacific Hibiscus’ has a special meaning to me. I remember in the 1990s when I started thinking about seriously writing and publishing my writing that these two words featured in my thinking and at the time I didn’t know quite why.

I call it divine inspiration in that since self publishing 2 years ago, I launched my small company with the name the same name in 2015 and then last year named my first poetry collection of it.

This year, I’ll be launching and hosting a week long art exhibition with writing and art workshops named after it and next year I’ll launch the company, marketing and branding logo of it.

It has special meaning for me as all the Pacific Islands have various colours of the hibiscus flower and I remember as a teenage choosing the flower in my fabric painting designs for pillows etc.

I remember in Samoa that I noticed at a young age that young girls would often bring fresh flowers into the house to decorate it with and still in hotels all over the Pacific, this practice is continued.

It also has special significance for me in that as a SamoaNZ (New Zealand) writer, poet, artist, educator etc. I see the hibiscus as representing women in often seeing women and girls wearing ‘sei’ or a single hibiscus flower adorning hair. Sometimes even men can be seen wearing it.