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Shedding light on the New Zealand Pacific economy

Shedding light on the New Zealand Pacific economy

  • 01 Feb 2021
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Research on the contribution of Pacific Peoples to the New Zealand economy is largely untouched, and this is something the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) is striving to address with the Pacific Economic Research Project.  

Facilitated by the Ministry’s Director of Research and Evaluation Dr Ana Koloto, the Pacific Economic Research Project aims to gain a deeper understanding of the Pacific economy with a focus on volunteering and unpaid productive work and their contribution to wellbeing and wealth development of Pacific peoples.

“By and large, research on the New Zealand Pacific economy is largely untouched, and the Ministry has adjusted the scope of the project to account for COVID-19 and its impact on Pacific peoples’ unpaid work,” Dr Koloto says.

This research project will produce a published report to be released in mid-2021, which will contribute towards improving the understanding and knowledge of Pacific volunteering, wealth, wellbeing and the characteristics of their contribution to the New Zealand economy before and post-COVID19.

The report will also be used to fill in missing Pacific economic data, provide narratives on Pacific unpaid productive work and volunteering, and inform policy such as around the Volunteer Strategy and Living Standard Framework for example, Dr Koloto adds.

In efforts to gather information, Dr Koloto and her team have recently been engaging with Pacific focus groups from Niue, Cook Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Samoa, and Pacific Youth in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, and they are also asking Pacific communities to contribute their valuable insights to the project through an online survey.

The online survey, launched on February 1, will promote the voices of Pacific peoples from across Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The project has received ethics approval from the New Zealand Ethics Committee, and the survey takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.