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What is Pacific Research?

garland making

Pacific Research by means of definition:

As contained in the University of Otago Research Protocols 2011. (PDF format, 398KB)

“The term ‘Pacific research’ can encompass various approaches to research. The primary role of Pacific research is to generate knowledge and understanding about, and for, Pacific peoples and their environments.

Pacific research requires the active involvement of Pacific peoples.  This may be as researchers, community leaders, advisors, participants and stakeholders. This active relationship demonstrates that Pacific peoples are much more than just subjects for research.  Research into Pacific topics may be initiated by Pacific researchers themselves, or non-Pacific researchers.

As well as contributing to the Pacific knowledge base, Pacific research at the University of Otago will build the capacity and capability of Pacific peoples in research.

Pacific peoples and their environments can be those of New Zealand, a particular island state, or the wider Pacific region.

The source material for Pacific research will usually be derived from the Pacific peoples and their environment, and from within Pacific realities, whether these be in the past, the present, the future.

Pacific research design, methods and approaches will be informed by a range of Pacific world-views.  Pacific approaches to research will aim to be responsive to changing Pacific contexts, whether social or environmental.  Pacific cultural values and beliefs will underpin Pacific research.  Such research will be conducted in accordance with Pacific ethical standards, values and aspirations (Health Research Council 2005:  11, Solomon Islands College of Higher Educations, Human Research Ethics 2009: 1) - (University of Otago Pacific Research Protocols 2011, p. 9)(PDF format, 398KB).


stylised pacific imagePacific Research Protocols

The purpose of this document is to outline suggested protocols for University researchers in relation to research involving Pacific peoples in the Otago-Southland region, the rest of New Zealand, and, more generally, in the islands of Oceania.

University of Otago Pacific Research Protocols (PDF, 402 KB) (latest version uploaded on 25 March 2015)

Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) Pacific Health Research Guidelines (PDF, 1,814KB)



Univeristy of Otago clocktower_ahPacific-related expertise at Otago

If you are interested in viewing some of the Pacific-related research coming out of our University please see the  Otago Pacific-related research expertise list (PDF, 328 KB) (latest version uploaded on 07 November 2016).


To all current staff members please feel free to email research details to ana.hoseit@otago.ac.nz if you, or someone you know of, is conducting or has conducted Pacific-related research at the University of Otago.


Pacific Weave from recylced materials_thumbCurrent and Past Pacific Postgraduate Research

Our Archive

From 2010 it became a requirement for University of Otago postgraduate students to deposit an electronic thesis copy to the Otago University Research Archive (Our Archive).  Please see below the results for a data base search of the University of Otago Our Research Website for Pacific-related theses. 

N.B. The first inventory list is very specific in terms of a Pacific focus.  The second inventory list includes theses that are not specific to Pacific but include research findings or implications that are Pacific-related.

  1. Inventory of Postgraduate Theses with a specific Pacific focus (PDF, 443 KB)
  2. Inventory of Postgraduate Theses that are Pacific-related (PDF, 541 KB)

pacific voices 2015 v2Pacific Voices Postgraduate Symposium

The Pacific Voices symposium is an annual event that showcases the research being conducted by Pacific postgraduate students at the University of Otago.

Pacific students from the northern campus who would like to present at the annual Pacific Voices symposium, held at the Dunedin campus, should consider applying for this conference funding.

More information conference funding.

Please see below abstract publications from the annual Pacific Voices Postgraduate Symposium held at the University of Otago: