The Problem with White Saviours


Written by Simone Kaho

About the Author

Simone Kaho is a New Zealand writer of Tongan descent. She was born in Auckland and received an MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. Her writing has appeared in various publications including JAAM, Turbine, E Tangata and The Dominion Post.

About the Text

In 2016, Simone Kaho was invited to join a New Zealand charity mission sailing to Tonga to provide medical aid and training in far-flung villages. She leapt at the chance to reconnect with her late father’s homeland, and to do good.

But the experience has led her to reflect on the politics of “helping” — and to question the motives of some of those in the business of doing good.



We will prioritise applications from Pasifika creatives for this title, but welcome applications from anyone who feels a connection to this subject.

Simone’s article, including some photography, is available to read over at E-Tangata.

The entire text is roughly 5,000 words and features fairly short paragraphs. As such, this zine will be relatively expansive.

We anticipate the redesign will include laying out Simone’s writing in an accessible, easy-to-read way, and producing imagery to support her narrative. 


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