The first Pacific language commentary of international rugby matches on New Zealand television has been hailed as a big success, with hopes it will become a regular occurrence.
Sky TV offered alternative commentary in Samoan, Tongan and Fijian language during the Pasifika Challenge double header at Eden Park last month, with play-by-play broadcasters paired with a former international from each country who provided expert comments during the games.
Sky TV's director of sport, broadcasting and entertainment, Tex Teixeira, suggested the Pacific language trial after supervising producer Marcus Kennedy initiated Te Reo commentary of All Blacks test matches.
Ken Ah Kuoi was the play-by-play commentator for Manu Samoa's match against the New Zealand Heartland XV, with former international To'o Vaega providing expert comments.
A lawyer by day, Mr Ah Kuoi says the commentary is a way for New Zealand's Pacific community to maintain the connection with their culture and keep the language alive.
"I think the more opportunities we have the better and New Zealand's a multi-cultural society and keeping language and being proud and celebrating the differences is the way to go. We can't change who we are so we might as well celebrate and live harmoniously in New Zealand," Ken Ah Kuoi said.
Mr Ah Kuoi, who is also President of the Wellington Samoa Rugby Union, remembers listening to the radio commentary of test matches growing up in Samoa.
"When I grew up in Samoa that's all we listened to is the commentary on radio and then we used to go to school and at lunchtimes we used to imitate/mimic, do our own commentary under the trees at lunchtime at school," Mr Ah Kuoi said.
"An 85 year old rang me and said: 'I listened to your commentary' and he said he really enjoyed it and that's what made me happy is these are the older people who understand English but hearing from their own mother tongue made them happy, not only watching the game and listening to your own language."
Longtime Sky commentator, Fauono Ken Laban, who helped to organise the commentary teams says the initiative is a great step forward.
"The very strong Pasifika representation in the All Blacks team, very strong Pasifika representation in the Wallaby team - if we look at the way our society has changed over the years that's reflected in a lot of our sides, particularly in rugby union. Even from a commentary, from a sports coverage point of view to do something that reflects the changing nature of New Zealand society I think is a real statement about who we are as a country," Fauono Ken Laban said.
Fauono was involved in commentating at the Pacific Games in Samoa in July and says there's a lot of broadcasting talent in the region.
"There was a crew there from Fiji, there was a crew from Papua New Guinea, a couple from Samoa, some from New Caledonia and they were offering commentary and production back to their own audiences back in their home countries. I would like to think that what we're doing here today is a reflection of where Sky is heading in the future: relevant, inclusive and diverse," he said.
Tongan language commentary was also offered last weekend for the All Blacks test against the 'Ikale Tahi in Hamilton but Ken Ah Kuoi says it's a shame there won't be a Pacific language option during the Rugby World Cup, which is being broadcast in New Zealand via Spark Sport.