Skip to content
Va'afusuaga, Jane
Writer's File

Jane Va'afusuaga

Va'afusuaga, Jane
In brief
Jane Va’afusuaga trained as a primary school teacher and is now an author of children’s books. Through her writing, Jane hopes to engage children from NZ and the Pacific Islands through stories, characters and settings they can identify with.
  • Primary publisher
    Little Island Press
  • Rights enquiries
  • Publicity enquiries

Va’afusuaga, Jane (1965-) is from Eastbourne, Wellington. In 1985 she gained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics from Victoria University, before going on to receive a Diploma of Education from Wellington College of Education in 1987. It was during her time at teacher’s college that Jane visited Sāmoa for the first time, fell in love with the Sāmoan way of life, and vowed to return one day.

In 1999, Jane did go back to Sāmoa, planning to teach for two years. Instead, she met her husband, further intertwining her life within the culture she felt resonant with. Since 2006, Jane has lived in Sāmoa, working in ecotourism. From 2019 to 2021 she worked for the Sāmoa Conservation Society as a project coordinator for the ‘Save the Manumea’ campaign.

Jane first dabbled in writing through contributions to the School Journal, beginning in 2005. In March 2017, she was announced as a recipient in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ Mentorship Programme. A month later, Little Island Press published her first children’s picture book, A Gift for Ana. Available in both English and Sāmoan, A Gift for Ana retells what might not be an unusual experience for Sāmoan children, where a young girl visits Sāmoa to meet her grandmother for the first time.

Uncle Tino and Visiting Grandma, similarly describe the way children may experience the space between cultures. Mose and the Manumea meanwhile focuses on the conservation of the Manumea, where Mose and his cousin Niko venture into the forest in search of this endangered bird. Cushla Foe writes in a review of Mose and the Manumea that picture books such as these play a “critical role” in the education of Pasifika children, ensuring that their “strengths, interests, needs, identities, languages and cultures” are reflected within their educational environment. Indeed, this is something that Jane has recognised and sought to help fulfill with her work.

October 2023
October 2023