Vaimaila, aka Maila was born in the village of Fagamalo, Savai’i, Samoa in 1972, and moved to Aotearoa with her whānau in 1974. Her father Fatu, could read the sky for rain and loved working in his plantation. Her mother Pusi, is a prolific painter and radical. As Island rebels her parents helped to shape Maila’s worldview and that of her 5 siblings. She has two daughters, Manamea and Anivanuanua and lives in Avondale, Tāmaki Makaurau.

As the co-founder of Moana Fresh, she is a fierce advocate for artists indigenous to the Moana Nui a Kiwa. She is also passionate about growing the community of indigenous art buyers, as means to creating a more equitable art ecosystem. Over the past 30 years, she has worked in many spaces advocating for Pacific and Maori arts including, Taki Ru Theatre, Contemporary Tapa Art Course and Tautai. As a practising artist, Maila has exhibited locally and internationally, including, Australia, USA, China, Hong Kong and Morocco. She is also a member of the art collective d.a.n.c.e. Art Club. She has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from AUT.

“My fave mea ai is taufolo..look it up if you don’t know what it is”!