The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns in Aotearoa New Zealand have been a source of change, of uncertainty and of anxiety. The ways in which we engage with each other as Indigenous people have had to change drastically and suddenly; our ways of being, of sharing space, of being present, have all had to be adjusted. For Indigenous postgraduate students, COVID-19 and lockdowns have meant a re-shaping and re-thinking of how we come together as a community that supports each other within Westernised institutions and along our academic and research journeys.
Pasifika mental health continues to be a growing concern in New Zealand. This article reviews and presents online available research concerning the mental health of Pasifika in New Zealand. A comprehensive online literature search was conducted. In total, 967 online articles were identified, and 58 met the criteria to be included in the final review. The review identified overarching research themes related to Pacific mental health in New Zealand, specifically regarding mental health prevalence, mental health services, mental health perceptions, mental health prevention or intervention, and suicide.
He Vaka Moana is a strengths-based project framed by oceanic principles and methodologies that connect us as Māori and Pasifika to the ocean. The underpinning kaupapa and theoretical framework of He Vaka Moana is the Tongan proverb “pikipiki hama kae vaevae manava”, which refers to our individual vaka coming together to support each other as we navigate the moana. He Vaka Moana operates through tuākana-tēina relationships, with Māori, Pasifika and Pākehā re-search fellows across disciplines working with experienced academics, professional staff and new and emerging re-searchers towards Māori and Pasifika student success.
The notion of “success” for Pasifika students in higher education remains contested given the socio-political agendas of education in New Zealand targeting Pasifika engagement. The motivation to increase academic achievement for Pasifika peoples stems from “tail-end” outcomes, in which Pasifika populations are compared with other demographic populations in the attainment of higher qualifications. Many institutional “success” strategies are initiated essentially from a deficit positioning, to respond to barriers of participation, and ensure academic progression and student completion.
This paper examines the ethnicity of academic scholars employed by New Zealand’s eight universities, with a particular focus on Pasifika academics. The paper discusses how, despite national and university policies to see education serve Pasifika peoples better, there has been no change in the numbers of Pasifika academics employed by the universities between 2012 and 2017, and notes that Pasifika who are in the academy are continually employed in the lower, less secure levels of the academy.
Around the world, favourable social and political circumstances have encouraged the development of academically non-traditional ways of researching. This article explores the recent proliferation of research approaches from Pacific and Pasifika communities which, in some Australian and New Zealand contexts, are attracting increased interest from policymakers and researchers. We present a socio-historical account of how the Pacific research paradigm emerged and some key contemporary Pacific research approaches within this paradigm. We then critique aspects of the paradigm’s development by discussing opportunities and challenges.