The tendency of much research on Pacific communities in New Zealand to gloss multi-ethnic and intra-ethnic complexities limits the possibility of real change for these marginalised communities. In place of the existing proliferation and fragmentation of Pacific research methodologies, frameworks and models, I offer the Samoan cultural reference of ‘teu le va’, a Pacific indigenous methodology for directive action in negotiating research relationships, as a philosophical and methodological turning point in education research praxis. ‘Teu le va’ is aligned with a cultural ecology research approach in its focus on the significance of context in understanding the domains of social relationships for all stakeholders in Pacific education research. Various relational contexts in which ‘teu le va’ should be valued and acted on are identified. By reconciling connections within and between these contexts, the possibility of a transformative education agenda for Pacific communities will be advanced.

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