New Zealand’s first Tongan swimming champion battles self-doubt and setbacks as she fights for a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

A traumatic childhood accident left Tupou Neiufi with a permanent disability. But in the water, she feels invincible. Already a world champion Paralympian, Tupou has the Commonwealth Games podium firmly in her sights when self-doubt and some unexpected hurdles make her contemplate quitting the sport for good.

“Swimming’s pretty much given me everything. It just gives me that raw drive to better myself each and every day.”
Tupou Neiufi


Director: Gill Higgins

Gill Higgins is an Auckland-based journalist who has worked for over 25 years for TVNZ and the BBC. She cut her teeth in radio in the UK, then moved to daily TV news, finally switching to longer-form current affairs. She relishes the opportunity this gives her to tell stories that empower people who otherwise wouldn’t be heard. This is her first documentary.

Producer: Vea Mafile’o

Producer Vea Mafile’o is a mother of 3 boys based in South Auckland. A freelance award-winning Director/Producer, she has filmed extensively throughout the Pacific and worked in the Film & TV industry for over 20 years. Founding member of PISA (Pacific Island Screen Artists), she is passionate about Moana Pasifika storytelling and the arts, nurturing Pasifika digital creators and empowering the marginalised voices in her community, seeking systemic change and equality.

Producer: Sarah Stewart

Producer Sarah Stewart is happiest telling ‘people stories’ that open a door to a different world and allow you to walk in someone else’s shoes. She is the media advisor for the charity KidsCan, where the stories she unearths shine a light on inequality in society, and inspire people to support children in hardship. She has two decades’ experience as a TV reporter and producer in New Zealand and the UK.