Ko e Fanā Fotu´: Success in motion, transforming Pasifika education in Aotearoa New Zealand 1993-2009
Thesis DisciplinePacific Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis is a retrospective review and analysis of the processes and information gathered and used by the Ministry of Education in its development of Pasifika education strategic plans from 1993 to 2009. This is a high level strategic analysis, adopting interdisciplinary approaches from across the social sciences particularly from education, public policy and management, and Pacific studies. It draws on information gathered by the Ministry of Education through talanoa ako (consultation), ngaahi fekumi (literature review) and ngaahi ngāue (policy stocktake), to review whether Pasifika strategic plan development met Pasifika and non-Pasifika requirements; fulfilled authorising environments’ expectations; created public value and leadership across the education sector; and, identified what worked and why. The thesis draws upon Tongan and Pasifika values and methodologies and demonstrates how these integrate and create value across Pasifika and non-Pasifika worlds, using tools specifically created to address the methodological challenges in this thesis. The thesis finds that it is important to formulate Pasifika strategic plans with Pasifika communities, and that the Pasifika Education Plans worked in focusing the Ministry of Education and consequently the education sector on Pasifika students, parents, families and communities’ education expectations and aspirations. Keys to successful Pasifika education plan formulation included engaging Pasifika students, parents, families and communities in education discourses; improving the education workforce’s responses to Pasifika peoples; placing Pasifika learners at the centre of pedagogy and epistemology; faster scaling up of what worked in raising participation, engagement and achievement; and, having more choice for Pasifika communities to realise their education potential and exercise their voice at all levels of education governance and decision making. It identifies the successful coordinating factor to be the growing of champions and leaders within the Ministry of Education, Pasifika communities and in the education sector to lead and sustain change through ownership, responsibility, accountability and monitoring for Pasifika success.