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Patrick Vakaoti imageBA, MA (S Pac) PhD (Qld)

Contact details

Office 2S6, Richardson Building, South Tower
Tel +64 3 479 8955


Patrick is a Fijian sociologist. His initial research interest focused on street-frequenting young people in Fiji. This resulted the in the monograph Street-Frequenting Young People in Fiji: Theory and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). He has since expanded his youth related research to the exploration of youth participation and leadership in the Pacific. He is currently working with colleagues from La Trobe University on an Australian Research Council, Discovery Project on The future of the Pacific: youth leadership and civic engagement. Patrick is a leading scholarly voice on youth in the Pacific and is engaged in research and policy initiatives with collaborators, nationally, in the Pacific and internationally.

Patrick actively shapes the Pacific and interdisciplinary research agenda at Otago. He was the inaugural coordinator of the Pacific Thought Network (PacTNet) and is currently Co-Director of the Otago Global Health Institute (OGHI).


Patrick has a strong emphasis on research-informed teaching and ensuring that all learners have a sense of belonging to the University. In 2022, he was awarded a University of Otago Teaching Award and a Te Whatu Kairangi – Aotearoa Tertiary Educator Award.

Semester 1, 2023:


Patrick has supervised honours, masters' and doctoral students. He currently supervises doctoral students on topics like youth activism, child protection, governance and boyhood. These topics have a strong indigenous and Pacific focus.


  • Priyam Maharaj, PhD, Being Boys in Fiji (with Associate Professor John Shaver and Professor Chris Brickell)
  • Regina Maniam, PhD, Engaging Indigenous Worldview in Doctoral Research (with Associate Professor Mele Taumoepeau).
  • Avelina Rokoduru, PhD, Masculine ideologies of Gendered Violence in/and Health in Fiji (with Associate Professor Melanie Beres and Associate Professor John Shaver).
  • Sandhiya Gounder, PhD, Electoral reforms and its impact on unity in Fiji (with Professor Janine Hayward)
  • Adriu Naduva, PhD, Mandatory reporting of Child Sexual Abuse in Fiji – societal barriers and facilitators (with Professor Philip Hill).
  • Tahere Siisiialafia, PhD, Pacific youth activism (with Associate Professor Marcelle Dawson)

Recent completions (past 5 years)

  • 2023 Supriya Rajappan, PhD, DO YOU SPEAK INDIAN?: The Bullying Experiences of Indian High School Students in Aotearoa New Zealand (with Associate Professor Bryndl Hohmann-Marriot).
  • 2022 Iunisi Finau (Hons in Sociology), Pacific underrepresentation at University
  • 2021 Milovale Tomasi (Hons in Social Work), Pacific Youth Suicide
  • 2019 Anna Hood BA (Hons in Social Work), Transitions between child and youth mental health services in New Zealand
  • 2018 Kayla Goodes BA (Hons in Social Work), Foster Care in New Zealand


Vakaoti, P. (2022). [Review of the book Youth in Fiji and Solomon Islands: Livelihoods, leadership and civic engagement]. Journal of Applied Youth Studies, 5, 343-347. doi: 10.1007/s43151-022-00083-7 Journal - Research Other

Ratuva, S., Crichton-Hill, Y., Ross, T., Basu, A., Vakaoti, P., & Martin-Neuninger, R. (2021). Integrated social protection and COVID-19: Rethinking Pacific community responses in Aotearoa. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 51(S1), S37-S54. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1861033 Journal - Research Article

Vakaoti, P. (2019). Young people's constitutional submission in Fiji: opportunities and challenges. In H. Cuervo & A. Miranda (Eds.), Youth, inequality and social change in the global south. (pp. 239-254). Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-3750-5_16 Chapter in Book - Research

Vakaoti, P. (2018). Street-frequenting young people in Fiji: Theory and practice. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 161p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-63079-3 Authored Book - Research

Vakaoti, P. (2017). Young political aspirants in the Fiji 2014 elections: Motivations and experiences. Pacific Dynamics, 1(1), 103-118. Retrieved from Journal - Research Article

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