Research aims

We ensure our research is both excellent and relevant to our communities — in order that it can best serve Pacific aspirations.

As well as the students we teach, what matters to us in Pacific studies is the Pacific audience for our research. Collectively we research to understand and enhance the mental, cultural, spiritual and social wellbeing of Pacific communities in diaspora and within the Pacific homelands. This includes researching Pacific histories and languages, and ways to prevent Pacific suicide.

In addition to academic work, we advise and inform media and government and non-governmental organizations.

We are pioneers in culturally appropriate research methods that recognise the Pacific concept of the sacred vā — the space that connects with all entities and relationships between people, each other and their contexts and environments — into account. Encouraging and training new researchers is a particular priority for us.

Growing more Pacific researchers is important, so we can research our own, for our own. Increasing our capability and capacity is part of decolonising methodologies, thought and attitudes. It's turning the tides.

Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath Head of School


  • New Zealand Institute of Pacific Research
  • Archive of Māori and Pacific Music
  • Mira Szászy Research Centre for Māori and Pacific Economic Development
  • Pacific Health Section
  • Research Unit into Pacific and International Education