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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

Faculty:

Study Pacific and Indigenous Studies in these qualifications

Pacific and Indigenous Studies as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

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

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY102New Zealand and the Pacific19B (Hamilton)
Social and cultural change in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, with special emphasis on national identities, regional relations and global forces.
MAORI103Introduction to Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies19B (Hamilton), 19B (Online) & 19B (Tauranga)
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 Cultures19A (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 Policy19A (Tauranga) & 19B (Hamilton)
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 Moana19A (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 Communities19B (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.
LINGS203Language, Society and Culture19B (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 Peoples19A (Hamilton), 19A (Online) & 19A (Tauranga)
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 Wellbeing19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
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.
PACIS200Pacific Migration, Diaspora and Identity19B (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.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY300Cultures and Environments in the Pacific19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores anthropological approaches to human environment relations with a particular focus on the Pacific.
ANTHY308Melanesian Ethnography19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the anthropological work undertaken within Melanesia and demonstrates its centrality to the discipline as a whole.
MAORI303Critical Indigenous Theory19B (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 Contexts19A (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 Pacific19A (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 Law19A (Hamilton)
A critical study and comparision of legal systems and issues within the Pacific region.

Scholarships and prizes

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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