This research uses a mixed-methods approach to study the Pacific findings from New Zealand’s first national secondary school student health and wellbeing survey and tries to determine the relationship between culture and educational outcomes. Narrative interviews further explored the significant associations from the quantitative analysis. Adapting Bourdieu’s theory of social space, ‘polycultural capital’ is coined as a theoretical construct which describes the potential advantage Pacific second generation (New Zealand-born) may experience from ongoing exposure to culturally distinctive social spaces. It is argued that having Pacific cultural capital as well as capital sourced to dominant social spaces assists in realising cumulative advantage and may be associated with improved education outcomes.

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