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Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies

What is Pacific Studies and Samoan studies?

  • Is there anything new about migration and cultural change in the Pacific region?
  • What can coconuts tell us about the spread of Pacific languages?
  • How do artists and activists contribute to our understanding of Pacific cultures and societies?
  • "Teu le vafealoai" means looking after relationships in Samoan; how can all peoples living in the Pacific benefit from understanding this?

Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies (Fa'asāmoa) enable people to answer questions such as these and many more by building students’ understanding of the people and issues shaping the Pacific. Drawing on history, politics, language, literature, contemporary media, music, art, and relationship building with Pacific communities, Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies explore issues that are crucial to modern life in New Zealand and other countries of the Pacific.

Why Study Pacific Studies and Samoan studies?

People from Pacific countries make up a significant part of the New Zealand labour force. They are influential in local and national government, and a growing element in the economy and in the national profile of New Zealand. Graduates become knowledgeable about the complexities of Pacific history; they understand the effects of colonisation and the issues that can arise when different cultures live and work together. As employees and possible future employers, having a Pacific perspective is an advantage that graduates can use to market themselves throughout the Pacific. Through their work they will be able to make a contribution to the development of Pasifika communities in New Zealand, within the Pacific region, and internationally

What Skills Do Pacific Studies and Samoan studies Develop?

  • Critical thinking and research
  • Creative thinking
  • Communication
  • Cultural awareness
  • Leadership

Where do Pacific Studies and Samoan studies Graduates Work?

  • National Government
  • Local Government
  • Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Education
  • Human Resources
  • Business/Legal/Financial
  • Creative Industries
  • Museums and Art Galleries
  • Library and Information Management
  • Publishing
  • Social Services and Health
  • Translation and Interpreting
  • Tourism
  • Journalism/Professional Writing

Job Titles

A sample of job titles. Some roles may require additional qualifications and training.

  • Administration officer/assistant
  • Adviser (curriculum and others)
  • Assistant
  • policy analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Communications officer/advisor
  • Coordinator
  • Customer services officer
  • Education officer/advisor
  • Facilitator/trainer
  • Health promoter
  • Human resources adviser
  • Information officer
  • Interpreter
  • Learning adviser
  • Lecturer
  • Library assistant
  • Market researcher
  • Marketing assistant
  • Ministerial writer
  • Pacific liaison officer
  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • Programme advisor
  • Policy advisor/analyst
  • Research assistant
  • Research analyst
  • Social worker
  • Teacher
  • Teaching fellow
  • Television/radio presenter/producer
  • Tutor
  • Writer

Further information on this topic can be found in Pacific Studies and Samoan Studies from our popular Career View Series.

To learn more about Pacific Studies and/or Samoan Studies at Victoria University of Wellington visit the Va'aomanū Pasifika website (Va'aomanū Pasifika is comprised of the Pacific Studies and the Samoan Studies Programmes)