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Pacific and Indigenous Studies

This subject explores the knowledge, language, culture, politics, methods and theory of Pacific and Indigenous Studies, while teaching students how to interpret new ways of understanding the world.

Pacific and Indigenous Studies focuses on the diverse Pacific region – which covers a third of the earth’s surface and is home to over 1200 languages – as well as on the histories, experiences and perspectives of Pacific people in New Zealand.

Students of Pacific and Indigenous Studies bring a wide range of background knowledge to their studies: from Pacific students who will find their own perspectives are valued and expanded through academic study in this area, all the way through to students who might have little knowledge about the region but bring a desire to learn about where we are.

All students of Pacific and Indigenous Studies learn a lot about the region and where we are, and also practice and develop skills of critical thinking, communication, and analysis of diverse perspectives.

This learning of specific content and skills is underpinned by questions which relate to the people of the Pacific region and the big questions of the 21st century: what does it mean to be human? What is the relationship between knowledge and power? What are the real costs and opportunities related to development, cultural change, and migration? What is the difference between equality and sameness? How do we learn from histories (of greatness and of genocide) in order to shape a better future? What legacy do we want to leave for the 22nd century?

Unlike other New Zealand or regional universities, Pacific Studies at Waikato is paired with Indigenous Studies – because this reflects our approach to the study of the region: Pacific-centred; and guided by the ideas about culture, politics, history, arts, migration and sustainability that underpin Pacific Studies and Indigenous Studies.

Students who major in Pacific and Indigenous Studies at Waikato explore key regional and local issues related to the Pacific through a series of core papers, and also have a chance to focus on areas of their own interest through papers offered by academics working in a wide range of disciplines.

Ever wondered why the 21st century has been described as ‘the Pacific century’?

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Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Faculty:

Study Pacific and Indigenous Studies in these qualifications

Study Pacific and Indigenous Studies as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

  • Broadcasting and Journalism
  • Educationalist
  • Government Policy Analyst
  • International Development Practitioner
  • Research Consultant

Prescriptions for the GradCert(P&ISt) and GradDip(P&ISt)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Pacific and Indigenous Studies at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY102New Zealand and the Pacific20B (Hamilton)
Social and cultural change in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, with special emphasis on national identities, regional relations and global forces.
HISTY117Global Histories20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to global history, focusing on social, economic and political encounters between peoples across the Pacific Ocean from the Spanish Galleon trade to Cook's voyages of 'discovery'.
MAORI103Introduction to Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Online)
This course examines Maori, Pacific and Indigenous peoples' philosophies and relationships with land, language, culture, resources, development and political frameworks within settler-colonial states and Pacific nations and others.
PACIS100Introduction to Pacific Histories, Languages and Cultures20A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to foundational elements of Pacific Studies, including various histories, languages and cultures and their importance to contemporary societies, surveying a number of Pacific Nations.
POLSC102New Zealand Politics and Policy20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper provides a foundation for the study of political science and public policy, with a particular focus on the study of government, politics and policy in New Zealand.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY202The Polynesians: Tangata o Te Moana20A (Hamilton)
An anthropological overview of the indigenous cultures of the vast 'Polynesian triangle', from their ancient explorations and settlements, through their engagements with christianity, colonialism and capitalism, to their contemporary societies and diasporas.
GEOGY219Māori Lands and Communities20B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to Maori geographical perspectives and examines key events that shape Maori communities and their relationships to land, water and other taonga.
HISTY200Pacific History20A (Hamilton)
This course introduces students to the history of the Pacific from the middle of the sixteenth century through to World War II. The course will examine cross-cultural encounters and the development of the major imperial systems that were established in the region, with a focus on exploring the ways in which different Pacific commun...
LINGS203Language, Society and Culture20B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the relationship between language and culture, particularly in the context of changing Pacific cultures, and relates topics to the main themes of modern linguistics and anthropology.
MAORI203Decolonising Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples20A (Hamilton) & 20A (Online)
The paper looks at the detrimental effects that research has historically had on Indigenous peoples and the relatively recent creation of research methodologies by Indigenous peoples to counteract Imperial research, and to empower and decolonise.
MAORI204Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Health and Wellbeing20A (Hamilton)
This paper looks at health and wellbeing from Maori and Indigenous perspectives, including models and frameworks in relation to Health, Sport, Human Performance and Indigenous communities.
MAORI261He Taonga Tuku Iho: Evolving Māori and Pacific Art20B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the artistic traditions and contemporary expressions of Maori and Pacific peoples and the relevance of those traditions today.
PACIS200Pacific Migration, Diaspora and Identity20B (Hamilton)
This paper looks at the various socio-historic influences on migration in the Pacific and the relationship between Indigenous cultures of origin and diasporic cultures and identities formed in countries such as Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia and the US.
PACIS201Pacific Texts20A (Hamilton)
This paper explores the diverse written, film, media and online texts of the Pacific region. The main focus is on contemporary texts; these will be contextualised by an examination of traditional Pacific textual forms and the histories of textual production in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY300Power in the Pacific20A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the cultural logics of different systems of political action, leadership and ideology in Pacific Island societies.
ANTHY308Melanesian Ethnography20A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the anthropological work undertaken within Melanesia and demonstrates its centrality to the discipline as a whole.
MAORI303Critical Indigenous Theory20B (Hamilton)
This paper looks at the key theoretical influences, from Marxism to post-structuralism, upon critical Indigenous studies and the most significant writings by those Indigenous scholars who have chosen to engage with critical theory.
MAORI304Sustainability in Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Contexts20A (Hamilton)
This paper looks at Indigenous epistemological formations of sustainability as one of the most pressing issues for Indigenous peoples particularly in the Pacific, and also as a concept where Indigenous peoples can be prominent in influencing discourses.
PACIS300Contemporary Critical Issues in the Pacific20B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an in-depth examination of a number of contemporary critical issues in the Pacific as identified by leading Pacific scholars, writers, artists, auteurs and activists.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LEGAL440Special Topic: Pacific Peoples and the Law20B (Hamilton)
A critical study and comparison of legal systems and issues within the Pacific region.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MAORI570Te Mahi Rangahau: Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Research Methods and Issues20A (Online) & 20B (Online)
This paper introduces students to a range of research issues, helps students identify and apply the most effective methodology, understand, review and apply various research methods including kaupapa Maori and indigenous epistemologies.

Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Contacts

Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
Phone: 0800 924 528 ext: 4737 or + 64 7 838 4737
Email: fmis@waikato.ac.nz