May 6, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

AUT and USP students publish on fieldwork in Pacific communities

2 min read

What do sevenPacificIslanders descended from Samoa,Tonga, and Fiji have in common?

For a start, their shared passion for researching in their own communities. Students from AUT University and USP Fiji enrolled in Masters and Doctoral degrees met inAucklandat the AUT Manukau campus. They were participants in a writing workshop over the week of 29 April 3 May. The events purpose was for the students to publish together in an e-journal on why and how Pacific researchers do fieldwork with their own communities.

aut_uspProfessor Richard Bedford, the Pro Vice Chancellor Research at AUT, addressed the students on Pacific research as an academic career.

The research has to make a difference. If the local community cant see relevance, youre not going to get anywhere. A big challenge now is what will your research do that will make a contribution.

Professor Bedford noted the significance of social obligation in Pacific communities. He said Pacific scholars were not exempt from this, in the sense that research done in their own communities is a method of giving back knowledge and expertise to ones people.

Pacific scholars whether theyre from the islands or whether theyre fromNew Zealandand going back to their communities, all are constantly living lives of obligation.

The e-journalTe Kaharoawhich focuses on indigenous Pacific issues will publish the seven student essays as a special edition. Fieldwork topics range fromremittancesto Samoa and Tonga, road engineering in Tonga, afakasi (half-cast) spoken word poets, Tongan kava clubs in Auckland, Fijian women vendors, and Samoanchurchyouth. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Asenati Liki Chan Tung of USP Fiji in collaboration with AUT lecturers, Dr Teena Brown Pulu and Richard Pamatatau. Two senior academics of Pacific research, Professor Richard Bedford and Professor Murray Chapman, were part of the proceedings providing writing advice to the students. The e-journal will go online in the next few weeks and is free-access to the public.

Dr Teena Brown Pulu
AUT University
[email protected]

Online Source:

Photograph:Left to right: Masters and Doctoral student researchers from AUT and USP, Meiolandre Tima, Grace Taylor, Losalini Nailevu, Winston Hiliau, Tolu Muliaina, Iani Nemani, and Edmond Fehoko.

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