Their on-screen characters on Shortland Street do not have much to do with each other, but off-screen Pua Magasiva and KJ Apa like to talk ink.

Both proudly wear tattoos inspired by their Samoan roots.

Magasiva, who plays Vinnie, has two tattoos - one done on the spur of the moment while in Rarotonga.

"It was like a mindless thing that just happened when I was 20. I was shooting a film in Raro and I thought it would be cool to get one around my belly button."


He asked the tattooist for something that incorporated Samoan patterns and had a meaning behind it.

"Because it's around the belly button, the meaning was like, that's your birthplace - the people of the sun." He is particularly proud of the piece on his arm.

One of five brothers - including fellow actor Robbie Magasiva - he and his siblings decided to have a family tattoo made up.

They even bought the rights to the design - the tattooist can never use it again.

"When we came from Samoa when I was young, we stayed with my mum's brother and his family.

"There's four boys in that family and we're all very close - so they have the same tattoo as well. It's pretty cool and special to us."

30 Dec, 2014 6:00am
2 minutes to read

For KJ Apa, who plays Kane Jenkins, his tattooing experience came two years ago when the then 17-year-old travelled to Samoa with his family after his grandfather died.

"My dad's father was a high chief ... and the family agreed my dad would take over his chief title: Tupa'i.

"Later, we decided to get a tattoo to commemorate that."

Apa's tattoo has specific designs unique to their village - Moata'a - and symbols representing their family.

KJ Apa

His sister had a design inked on a finger and his mother had one drawn on her back.

"I'd love to get my whole body tatted up. I love Polynesian and Samoan designs.

"The original plan was that this would be the start of a sleeve tattoo, but I think I need to get big arms first," he laughed.