Introduction: Charting Provocations and Exploring New Directions for Pacific Research in Aotearoa–New Zealand from Pacific Early Career Academic (PECA) Perspectives


  • Seutaʻafili Patrick Thomsen
  • Lana Lopesi
  • Marcia Leenen-Young



“Uplifting Moana Perspectives: Emerging Pacific Researchers and New Directions in New Zealand-Based Pacific Research” presents a shared vision for the future of Pacific research by Pacific early career academics (PECA) primarily based in Aotearoa–New Zealand. The task of charting new directions in imagining possibilities for Pacific research is a critical one, which speaks to our communities’ long and storied history in Aotearoa: a reality incongruent with the lack of Pacific scholars employed in permanent positions in New Zealand universities.[i] This special issue challenges the idea that there is a dearth of Pacific research, asserting rather that our underrepresentation in academia is a structural issue, not necessarily one of scarcity. As special issue editors, we intentionally draw in a cross-section of emerging Pacific researchers in our country to confidently write with emerging Pacific scholars on the other side of our Moana-Oceania region, writing back to the exclusionary nature of conventional disciplinary norms and divides that we are forced to navigate. In doing so, our contributors challenge and transcend disciplinary boundaries and push against the Eurocentrism of our tertiary education system. This work is crucial, as the ability to build an academy that prioritises and centres our ways of knowing, doing, relating, and being is a key component of addressing cultural safety and inclusiveness in university lecture theatres, curriculums, and epistemological norms for both PECA and Pacific students in Aotearoa–New Zealand.



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