30 October 2008

Pacific Interactions - October 2008

Pasifika in NZ - NZ in Pasifika

Pacific interactions: Pasifika in New Zealand, New Zealand in Pasifika (edited by Alastair Bisley)


I am grateful to many people and institutions for helping with the Pasifika Project, and with its publication. Andrew Ladley, then Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, invited me to develop a topic for what became the Public Service Chief Executives Emerging Issues Programme, and endorsed the topic I suggested. Nicola White, then on the staff of the Institute of Policy Studies, helped me to get the project under way. Gary Hawke, as Head of the School of Government, and Jonathan Boston, the current Director of the Institute, have both in different ways supported the project. Chief executives of the New Zealand public service allocated funding to the project through their Emerging Issues Programme, and several government
departments offered additional and specific help. The Department of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Development, The Treasury, and the Ministry of Social Development all gave financial support to particular papers, as did the Pacific Security Fund. Statistics New Zealand offered technical advice and free access to its data, and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs also assisted. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research contributed funding from its annual budget for public good projects.

The authors of the papers of which this book consists – Paul Callister, Robert Didham, Jean-Pierre de Raad, Mark Walton, Richard Bedford, Bob Warner, John Gibson, Karen Nero, and Michael Moriarty – have given life to the project, and remained engaged through what turned out to be a lengthy process. They undertook with panache the additional task of presenting their material to the Thought Leaders Dialogue in Auckland. I owe a special debt to Paul Callister and Robert Didham who perceived the need for a demographic survey of the Pacific population in New Zealand, and provided the project with one as an unrequited gift. Some others made special contributions to various papers: Geua Boe-Gibson prepared the GIS maps for the chapter on the Pacific economies and Viliami Tupou Futuna Liava’a contributed field research to the chapter on mobility. Leni Hunter, Cluny Macpherson, Caren Rangi, Tofilau Kerupi Tavita, and Josephine Tiro met as a group to offer advice for the chapter on Pacific peoples’ participation in the New Zealand economy.

The members of the Project Steering Group were David Bartle, Ministry of Economic Development; Paul Callister, Institute of Policy Studies; Gareth Chaplin, The Treasury; Vincent Galvin, Statistics New Zealand; Arthur Grimes, Motu; Leni Hunter, Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Sai Lealea, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs; Cluny Macpherson, Massey University; Brian Smythe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Tofilau Kerupi Tavita, Department of Labour; and John Yeabsley, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. They brought knowledge and expertise to the project, and gave generous amounts of their time. Several members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade helped me with appointments, hospitality, and advice when I visited Samoa, Fiji, and New Caledonia in the course of the project – especially John Adank, Mike Green, and Belinda Brown. I am grateful to them for their insights and to the various people I met during my Pacific Interactions visits, including in particular Greg Urwin, then Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, who discussed the project with me on more than one occasion, and opened the Thought Leaders Dialogue in Auckland. A large number of people, some of whom travelled to New Zealand for the purpose, commented on the papers and joined in panels to discuss them at the Wellington Symposium and the Thought Leaders Dialogue: Brenda Heather-Latu, Wadan Narsey, Brian Easton, Geoff Bertram and Dennis Rose in Wellington; and in Auckland Linda Aumua, Sefita Haouli, Chris Sola, Paul Muller, Sai Lealea, Viliamu Sio, Hon Lisiate ‘Akolo, Manjula Luthria, Andrew Stoler, Chris Cocker,. Mary Anne Thompson, Brenda Heather-Latu, Graham Fortune, Geoff Dangerfield, Colin Tukuitonga, and Alan Williams. Around 300 representatives of the Pacific community in Auckland also attended and offered their views on the papers and the issues that they dealt with. Barbara Gillespie and Maureen Revell have both at different times helped with the administration of the project, including by arranging a symposium in Wellington and the Thought Leaders Dialogue in Auckland at which its results were presented. Belinda Hill has edited the text of the book. The Department of Labour funded and organised the Thought Leaders Dialogue.

There are three people to whom I owe particular thanks. The first is Cluny Macpherson, who was kind enough to let me show him an early version of the project proposal from which this book has emerged. From then on, he has contributed more of his time and his extensive knowledge than I could reasonably have expected. The second is Tofilau Kerupi Tavita, who not only assisted as a member of the Steering Group but also suggested, masterminded and, with his team, sustained the Thought Leaders Dialogue. The third is John Yeabsley, that fountain of intellectual and practical advice, who encouraged me when I flagged and re-framed my ideas when they wandered into vacuity.

Alastair Bisley

Wellington, October 2008

October 2008 publication

The growth of the Pacific communities in New Zealand has fundamentally changed its relations with the island countries of the Pacific. This project studies the shift in the nature of New Zealand's relationship with Pasifika that more than 50 years of immigration has brought about. At the end of the Second World War the Pacific community in New Zealand was around 2,000. By the 2006 census, it numbered just under 266,000, or around 7 per cent of the population – large enough to be significant in New Zealand's economy, politics and culture.

This book derives from a series of papers written for the Pasifika Project, which was conducted under the auspices of what is now called the Emerging Issues Programme, a programme public service chief executives set up to fund research into complex and cross-cutting issues of key importance to the state services.

The book consists of six chapters, which fall into four rough groupings. Two discuss the Pacific peoples in New Zealand; two analyse the flows of people, money, and goods between New Zealand and Pasifika and the regimes under which these occur; one (written by TheCIE's Bob Warner) is about ways of considering economic growth in the Pacific Island countries; and the last reflects on the borders across which money, goods, people and ideas all flow, and the way these borders are managed. 

Mr Warner's chapter assesses the priority that Pacific Island economies should give to alternative approaches to economic integration, including regional amd multilateral trade agreements and presents a framework for thinking about temporary labour migration schemes.

No comments: