Pacific Dynamics: Journal Articles

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  • ItemOpen Access
    From an ideology of ‘Place’ to an ontology of ‘Presence’: Towards a new constellation in Pacific thought
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Rakuita, Tui
    The notion of ‘Place’ in discourses on the Pacific or, more specifically, on Oceanic identity has, for a variety of reasons, been imbued with uncertain ethical and ideological provenance. At best it misrecognises the intrinsic nomadic disposition in the Oceanian psyche by mooring it to ‘land’. At worst, it is quite oblivious to contemporary realities in Oceania; realities that are increasingly defined, on the one hand, by an exclusionary form of politics tied to an ideology of place and, on the other, by existential threats such as climate change and sealevel rise. This paper argues that we cannot tie the fate of our pan-oceanic identity to, as it happened, increasingly ephemeral things like 'place’. The piece, therefore, seeks to shift the semiotic register beyond the current discursive inscriptions associated with ‘an ideology of place’ (and its attendant politics of identity) towards a more honest reassessment of contemporary ‘regimes of truth’ in Oceania – regimes that are firmly premised on the discursive practices as well as ideological articulations of Oceanic histories. The main aim of this essay is to invite Indigenous scholars to start thinking about, and discussing the way forward.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The status of Indigenous knowledge, environmental issues and climate change in science education: Talanoa from Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary schools
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Puloka Luey, Emma; Manning, Richard; Ratuva, Steven
    This article reviews the doctoral research of Emma Puloka Luey, in order to consider the significance of talanoa (discussions) she conducted with Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary school teachers of science, and their Year 10 students. This research was timely, given that both (case study) communities had recently experienced Category 5 Tropical Cyclones and remain vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, such as the (2022) explosion of the sub marine volcano, Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai. First, this article summarises the research problem, objectives, methodology, and the community contexts central to Puloka Luey’s study. Second, it discusses the ongoing relevance of the following four themes that arise from data collected. These are: (i) Connectedness to place; (ii) Indigenous languages as gateways to learning science; (iii) Marginalisation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge; and (iv) Contextualisation of science education via dialogue. Finally, we call for more research of this nature, and for future science education curricula guidelines to become more localised, and inclusive of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge systems of Indigenous communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The injustice of it all. Book Review: "PRISONER 302: A Fijian prime minister’s story of his life; of military rebellion, national oppression, and a handful of miracles" by Laisenia Qarase.
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Naidu, Vijay
    A review of Laisenia Qarase’s PRISONER 302: A Fijian Prime Minister’s story of his life; of military rebellion, national oppression, and a handful of Miracles 2023.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A culturally responsive research move to enable Pacific voices to be heard: A research note
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Edwards, Frances
    Researchers in the field of education have increasingly come to value the views and experiences of students, and hearing from the students themselves. This research note explores the challenges a researcher sought to gather student voice from Cook Islands tertiary students. The combination of research design and cultural mores meant Cook Islands participants faced barriers and could not comfortably talk about improvements they would like to see in tertiary assessment practice. On exploration, an adjustment to the research design was made that was culturally accepted and enabled participants to speak their minds openly. The findings are discussed, and recommendations are proposed that may assist future researchers working within cultural worlds in ways that allow the participants to speak openly, enabling their voices to be heard.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Nazi in French Oceania: Retracing Louis Burkard from Australia to New Caledonia
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Ireland, Benjamin Hiramatsu
    Louis Burkard, a Nazi agent residing in New Caledonia between 1936 and 1939, facilitated Germany’s procurement of critical wartime nickel resources. Lauded by Hitler and slated to become the Honorary German Consul in Nouméa, New Caledonia, Burkard would represent Krupp Steel Industries in this overseas French collectivity before his arrest, deportation, and subsequent internment in Australia in 1939. This article uncovers Burkard’s presence in New Caledonia and Australia as a Krupp engineer while demonstrating how Burkard, labelled as one of the Commonwealth’s most dangerous men, helped advance the propagation of Nazism in Australia. Burkard’s presence in New Caledonia not only played a role in the Third Reich’s military rearmament campaign, but also evinced his desire to see the French territory as an overseas space where Nazi Germany’s racial purification theories could be further assessed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Moving towards sustainable livestock development in the Pacific Island countries
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Magiri, Royford; Mocevakaca, Wati; Okello, Walter; Fisher, Andrew D.
    Agriculture is a vital industry for Pacific Islanders' livelihoods, income, and food security. For example, agriculture contributes between 7% to 10.4% of GDP among the Pacific Island States and territories (PICTs). As an example, in Fiji, agriculture supports the livelihoods of 27% of the people and is the primary source of employment for more than 83% of the country's rural population. Unfortunately, agricultural production has decreased in Fiji in the past decade. Yet, the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of " Zero Hunger" indicates that promoting sustainable agriculture systems is critical for any country in achieving food security and improved nutrition. To meet future demand and lessen reliance on imports of livestock products, the livestock sector in the Pacific islands needs to develop at a faster rate than the present 4% per year. For long-term growth, government assistance and private investment are critical. Small livestock, such as chickens, sheep, and goats, can be incorporated into the farming system to provide additional revenue and food security in the face of changing climatic conditions. Livestock sector development in the Pacific Island countries can support a stable, secure, and prosperous Pacific region by addressing regional development and economic growth challenges. Such investments in the livestock sector can increase global and regional trade, raise finance for other business activities, deepen labour markets that are currently shrinking and create better-quality employment opportunities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Building resilience in a climate crisis: Best practices for mangrove restoration along the Coral Coast, Fiji
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Devi, Jasma; Holland, Elisabeth
    A critical review of existing mangrove restoration practices was conducted to establish mangrove restoration best practices. The primary focus of this study was on four villages along Fiji’s Coral Coast on Viti Levu, namely Yadua, Korotogo, Votua, and Tagaqe. These sites have the highest concentration of mangrove restoration projects in Fiji. This study utilised a ~3 yr mangrove seedling survival index to indicate mangrove restoration success. The study conducted 128 household surveys and seven interviews. The interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved in implementing mangrove conservation and restoration projects: village households, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), organisations in the private sector, and the Department of Environment. Onsite observations of the substrate type, exposure to waves, slope of the restoration site, and input of fresh water to the restoration sites were also assessed to identify biophysical factors that either helped or hindered the establishment of mangrove seedlings at the four sites. Yadua and Korotogo villages achieved an ~80% seedling survival rate, while Tagaqe and Votua had more modest success at ~20% survival. The study identifies four factors: consistent influx of freshwater, reduced exposure to high wave energy, presence of artificial breakwaters, and input of nutrient enhancers, all corresponded with increased mangrove seedling survival.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Talking about climate change: Veitalanoa in Fijian climate change research
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Cagivinaka, Vilive; Reynolds, Martyn; Baleisomi, Sereima; Vatuloka, Sera; Sanga, Kabini
    Research is currently being conducted in Fiji into climate change resilience and adaption. Among the research strands is work focussed on village and community levels that values customary local knowledge and experience. At the same time, there is a growing corpus of more general research literature from Oceania that illustrates the revelatory potential of Indigenous oralities, customary dialogic practices leveraged for research contexts. Weaving these threads together, this article is a discussion of the potential of veitalanoa, an Indigenous Fijian orality, to contribute to climate change research. Our investigation of the potential of veitalanoa includes the Indigenous Fijian references of vanua, veiwekani, solesolevaki and yalomatua. The inquiry is framed by the Oceania Oralities Framework (Sanga and Reynolds, in press), a tool that points to the embracing nature of oralities-driven research that enables data to be holistically mapped on to a range of universal domains, contextually shaping these in the process. The results suggest that locally focussed research would do well to explore the promise of veitalanoa more deeply than previously when seeking to understand local Fijian responses and adaptions to the global issue of climate change. Looking wider, the Fijian example suggests the potential of Oceania oralities in nuanced climate change research in other contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reimagining innovation through Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK): Indigenous innovations and climate crisis resilience in the Pacific
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Vunibola, Suliasi; Leweniqila, Ilisoni; Raisele, Kolaia
    This paper examines Indigenous innovation using self-determination for climate resilience within Indigenous communities in the Pacific. Given the Pacific context, communities are vulnerable to the climate crisis, but have adopted climate-resilient strategies and practices. A Pacific research methodological framing and qualitative ethnographic-case study approach was used for the study, which included discussion of some Indigenous enterprises and communitydriven development projects in Fiji. Talanoa method was used to collect data. Three themes unfolded from the three case studies in Fiji: the adoption of Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge as part of their operating model, practical contributions by the enterprises and community-driven projects in response to climate-induced disasters and aiding collective community resilience and well-being through their operations. Indigenous peoples are intimately and holistically connected to their vanua (resources, people and culture) reflected by their environment-related contributions and practices. The paper contributes toward understanding Indigenous innovation centred on indigenous peoples' socio-cultural and spiritual value systems. These are reflected in business operations and community-driven development projects that consider ecological limits and build collective resilience to the climate crisis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2024) Davis, Michael
    This issue of Pacific Dynamics shows the extraordinary inter-disciplinary range of its contributions. While reflecting this diversity, this issue also illustrates the common ground that is often shared by papers. For example, as in most issues of this journal, there is a strong theme that explores methodological and theoretical aspects. In many papers, the topic of discussion itself is underpinned by analysis informed by the application of methodological and theoretical approaches. As well as this, Pacific Dynamics often also includes contributions that have a specific focus on theory and method per se. Indeed, one of the distinctive features of Pacific Dynamics is the emphasis given to discussions on Pacific epistemologies, philosophies, and ontologies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An evaluation of a generic course at a university in the Pacific Islands
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Rafiq, Loriza; Dorovolomo, Jeremy
    This study aims to evaluate a generic course at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in order to gather perceived strengths and gaps that may need addressing. A qualitative study, the evaluation was conducted via two methods. The first was through the interviews with four teaching staff of the course. The second involved an email feedback from six academics from different departments of the university. The findings of this study indicate that the course is generally perceived to be achieving its objectives, strong in promoting Pacific consciousness and has very clear and attainable learning outcomes and expectations. Moreover, the use of Pacific terms such as the vaka (canoe) and talanoa (conversation), were seen as strengths of the course. The course being delivered via a variety of mediums by an active, passionate and committed group of staff was viewed as a strength. In terms of areas that may need improvement, there were suggestions that the content and its scope, course description, and the marking rubrics could be re-examined. There was also a suggestion that there needs to be a pool of assignment tasks so that repetition semester after semester does not occur, and to reduce the level of plagiarism. In addition, there is a suggestion to have regular meetings among members of the teaching team, to listen to each other. These suggestions have implications for curriculum decisions regarding the course and its possible revision regarding content and focus, its delivery and assessment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The gift of health : Cuban medical cooperation in Kiribati
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) McLennan, Sharon; Leslie, Helen; Werle, Cristine
    Since 2006, 33 I-Kiribati students have undertaken medical education in Cuba and returned home as doctors, but little is known about how they translate the Cuban preventive model of care to medical practice in the Pacific context. The research addresses this gap through qualitative fieldwork in South Tarawa and reveals that the assimilation of Cuban-trained doctors into medical practice is complicated by challenges related to clinical skills, language and contextual knowledge. These challenges have been successfully addressed with the development of the Kiribati Internship Training Programme but a misalignment between the prevention-focussed medicine taught in Cuba, and the curative orientation of the Kiribati health system and internship programme remains a concern, and the graduates’ knowledge and experience of primary and preventative care is not yet well utilised. This paper argues that the challenge now is to ensure that the knowledge and skills gained by the Cuban graduates at all steps of this journey are utilised in order to bring better health outcomes for the people of Kiribati
  • ItemOpen Access
    Talanoa methodology in Samoa law and gender research : the case for a Samoan critical legal theory and gender methodology
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Fa’amatuainu, Bridget
    The need for more scholarly reflection on alternative ontological voices and indigenous methodology serves to deconstruct the often exclusionary or one-dimensional approach to research on gender and law. The critical review on what the most culturally competent research method to employ in research about indigenous issues, by both indigenous, and non-indigenous researchers is a recent phenomenon. Samoan perspectives in gender and law research may not always be harmonious; and this diversity carries the potential to widen the scope of methodologies that can be employed in order to engage with power relations at the intersection of indigenous voices. This article examines some of the prevailing assumptions underpinning legal and gender methodology, and why such assumptions may either be discarded or used to enrich the design of indigenous methodologies in law and gender research. This article examines the merits of a more inclusive and uniquely Samoan critical theory and gender methodology (for which there is none) underpinned by fa’asamoa principles.
  • ItemOpen Access
    My power is my culture : athletes of color in American Football
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Keung, Sierra; Enari, Dion
    The over representation of people of color in the NFL (National Football League) has resulted in their increased visibility. Many of these athletes are portrayed by their coaches, fans and the media as ‘gifted’ or ‘natural warriors’. Sadly, much of the public discourse surrounding these athletes ignores the positive affect their cultures have on their professional sporting career. This article shows how professional athletes from a migrant group have positively used their cultural values and pride in the sporting arena. It is our aim to increase awareness of the important role their cultures play in their professional success. As members of this community, who actively work in these spaces, we privilege their stories.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Storying Gender-based Violence (GBV) in Niue
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Thomas, Erin; Tukiuha, Charlene; Underhill-Sem, Yvonne; Talagi, Jamal
    The family space is a crucial and under-researched space in published research on Gender-based Violence (GBV) in Niue. The aim of this research is to examine how to work with the family space in Niue to eliminate violence in social relations in Niue and promote healthy relationships. This research applied family-tree mapping as an innovative method to access stories of GBV within families and how dynamics of disclosure, education, accountability, and gossip play out in practice. The research involved two parts: twenty-seven fact-finding interviews with thirty-two participants and fourteen family-tree mapping interviews with a woman from each village. This article shares the output of this sensitive research, as a fictionalised dialogue based on careful analysis of interviews and argues that creative writing can be a rigorous method for writing GBV research which can provide useful policy insights while preserving the privacy of research collaborators.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Talanoa he vā māfana : an indigenous Tongan approach to leadership
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Paea, Mele Katea; Manu‘atu, Linitā; Rohorua, Halahingano; Rohorua, Fred; Fa'avae, David Taufui Mikato; Paea, Sione
    Based on a study of Tongan leadership practices in the New Zealand Public Service, a question was asked as to what could be an appropriate approach to exploring leadership from a Tongan perspective. This paper discusses talanoa he vā māfana as a concept useful in developing an approach upon which to explore the ideas of leadership that are exercised by Kakai Tonga (Tongan people) across given contexts. Drawing upon Tongan language and culture, talanoa he vā māfana is unpacked through three different ways or forms of talanoa – talanoa mo e loto (talking from the heart and soul), pō talanoa (peaceful dialogue), and talatalanoa (ongoing dialogue). Talanoa he vā māfana extends beyond the existing talanoa research approach, enabling conversations that engage with and embrace the loto, heart and soul of the people. It also provides a Tongan perspective on, and new insights into qualities of meaningful leadership within non-indigenous organisations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Colonial political economy, social policy and poverty in Fiji : 1874-1970
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Plange, Nii-K
    Recent analysis of colonial social policy and welfare locates their origin at the period just before and after the WWII. This demonstrates a historical shortsightedness and silences an earlier and racialized and binary Imperial Welfare policy with differential re-distributive structure prior to WW II, which denied services to the colonized. The concepts Metropolitan and Colonial Welfare Regimes are used to capture this binary which also valorized traditional solidarity, of the colonized, as the site for their welfare and absorption social risks. This was in spite of profits which flowed from the colonial economy to imperial coffers under the through the agency of the colonial state. This is held to have contributed to the emergence poverty in post-colonial societies. Fiji is only an example.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Indigenous Knowledge Systems role in addressing Sea Level Rise and Dried Water Source : a Fijian case study
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Raisele, Kolaia; Lagi, Rosiana
    Global responses to the climate crisis continue to focus on Western theoretical perspectives and scientific solutions but overshadow community-based responses by indigenous communities. An effective response to the climate crisis in the Pacific Islands needs the Pacific Islanders' own story and their own response systems. This study will explore the role of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in addressing sea-level rise (SLR) and dried water sources (DWS) drawing from a case study in Vatutavui village, Fiji. Using the methods of focus group discussion and individual interviews, the study will identify how members of Vatutavui village are responding to SLR and DWS using their Indigenous knowledge and practices. The paper will then weave the findings of this study together with contemporary discourses of social ecological resilience to the climate crisis. We discovered that Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) continue to cement their significance in Indigenous Fijian villages, and it is a foundational response to the climate crisis. Placing emphasis on IKS in addressing the climate crisis in Vatutavui had positive ecological and social cultural implications.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Beyond bouncing back : a framework for tourism resilience building in the Pacific
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Movono, Apisalome; Scheyvens, Regina; Ratuva, Steven
    This paper argues that although Covid-19 has had problematic consequences, it must spur a selfdetermined and collective approach to resilience - beyond merely bouncing back to the way things were. It touches on how tourism development and its disruption by Covid-19 can inspire action that enables resilience building to withstand future shocks. The Tourism Resilience Framework is proposed, as offering a Pacific-centred approach that can guide a cohesive multi-stakeholder model grounded in action research. More importantly, this paper accords power and agency to local stakeholders, supporting the notion that resilience building must be part of a self-determined and inclusive process if tourism is to be reimagined sustainably.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production in Fiji : challenges and opportunities for smallholder potato growers in Fiji
    (Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, 2023) Vurebe, Atama; Leweniqila, Ilisoni; Tuivanualevu, Tetalo
    In terms of food consumption, potato is ranked the third most important crop on which many in developing countries depend. The popularity of potatoes in local diets in Fiji has tremendously increased since its introduction in the 1860s by European settlers. Developing the potato industry in Fiji was mainly driven by an increase in local consumption and import reduction. There are increased efforts by the government and various stakeholders to improve potato production, but supply has not been stable to meet the local demand. For this reason, Fiji continues to import potatoes in large quantities and supply them to local markets more efficiently. This paper explores the challenges faced by the potato industry and future opportunities for the socio-economic viability of smallholder potato production in Fiji. A qualitative research approach was used, underpinned by the talanoa methodology of research within the Fijian Vanua Research Framework. Talanoa sessions were conducted with growers and other relevant stakeholders in the major potatogrowing areas in Fiji.