Whose voice is heard?

The potential of small-scale institutes to influence the policy of Aotearoa New Zealand on Pacific education





Pacific, education aid, policy, rethinking, place-based, national agendas


Aotearoa New Zealand has had a long association with other states in the Pacific, notably with Pacific Island countries generally grouped as Polynesia and Melanesia. Donor-aid and the introduced ideas of consultants have been currencies in many of these well-appreciated relationships. However, more collaborative arrangements have also born significant fruit. These include the collaborative publications of the now dis-established He Pārekereke Institute for Research and Development in Māori and Pacific Education. This article offers a sketch of the potential of He Pārekereke as an example of a small-scale unit associated with a university to influence policy development. What emerges is the significance of such ventures to affect New Zealand Pacific policy in the field of education through privileging the strengths, priorities, understandings and ideas of Pacific Island peoples to balance those introduced to the region.


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Author Biographies

Kabini Sanga, Victoria University of Wellington

Kabini Sanga is a mentor, educator and Solomon Islands public intellectual and has been in Pacific region thought leadership circles for a few decades. He is lecturing at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Martyn Reynolds, Victoria University of Wellington

Martyn Reynolds has 35 years of teaching experience in four countries – England, PNG, Tonga and New Zealand. A straddler of worlds, Martyn is a Pacific Education Research Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington and mentor in wider Pacific circles.


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