Migration and culture : the role of Samoan churches in contemporary Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This thesis examines the dilemmas that the church faces today when dealing with the Samoan and New Zeala.nd born components of the New Zealand Samoan population. The generation gap between these two groups is a source of concern for both the church and the Samoan community as a whole. The thesis attempts to assess the processes of acculturation, assimilation, and ethnic segregation that mayor may not be occurring among the Samoan people in New Zealand, and assesses the growth and emergence of a new culture of Samoans in New Zealand , The New Zealand born Samoan generation " who seek to find their cultural identity with Samoans and as New Zealanders. Its purposes are threefold: Firstly, to make readers aware of the diversity of New Zealand's Multicultural Society, and highlight the importance of the church for the Samoan migrant community in maintaining and retaining Samoan language and culture in New Zealand. Secondly, to provide the Samoan Community, both Samoan born and New Zealand born Samoans, with an understanding on the development of churches of various denominations that exist to serve them in New Zealand. And thirdly, to promote the development of the New Zealand born Samoan generation who, unlike their Samoan-born parents, find themselves influenced by both their Samoan heritage and the New Zealand's multicultural society, and are thus at times caught between two cultures that can often contradict each other. It also examines the future implications in the survival of Samoan language and culture among the New Zealand born Samoan generation, who are presently already giving birth to the second generation of New Zealand born Samoans. 11 This study draws primarily on information obtained from survey research conducted within five different churches that serve the Samoan community in New Zealand's Capital City of Wellington (which, after Auckland, holds the second highest Samoan population in New Zealand). It also draws from less structured interviews with Samoans and a handful of other Pacific Islanders within the Wellington area. Through these interviews a sense of the history and growth of Samoan orientated churches in Wellington, and their contemporary activities was established. Together with survey material, these interviews enable the changes in attitudes, concerns, and views of the Samoan people who attend (and are loosely associated) with these churches to be assessed. This thesis hopes to encourage and stimulate further research and discussion on the role of Samoan and other Pacific Island Churches in AotearoafNew Zealand with regards to migration and culture, as well as provide a basis for future research to make necessary improvements on this particular study.