A Tongan academic says he hopes to see kava more commonly used to combat mental illness among Pacific people in the future.
Massey University lecturer, Dr Sione Vaka presented a paper at a kava conference on how kava use was hugely beneficial for people in a number of health areas, including mental illness.
His previous doctorate research on the topic focused on Tongan men.
He says while kava drinking is already used widely in many social and formal Pacific culture and traditions.
Dr Sione Vaka began by telling Sara Vui-Talitu that the crop containts relaxant properties and the setting makes people reconnect with others around the kava circle and they get to share their views on life.