Home » Issues » Volume 8, Issue 1 March 2024

Volume 8, Issue 1 March 2024



(Page 479 – 482)


Davis, Michael

University of Canterbury


This issue of Pacific Dynamics shows the extraordinary inter-disciplinary range of its contributions. While reflecting this diversity, this issue also illustrates the common ground that is often shared by papers. For example, as in most issues of this journal, there is a strong theme that explores methodological and theoretical aspects. In many papers, the topic of discussion itself is underpinned by analysis informed by the application of methodological and theoretical approaches. As well as this, Pacific Dynamics often also includes contributions that have a specific focus on theory and method per se. Indeed, one of the distinctive features of Pacific Dynamics is the emphasis given to discussions on Pacific epistemologies, philosophies, and ontologies.

Reimagining innovation through Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge (IAK): Indigenous innovations and climate crisis resilience in the Pacific

(Page 483 – 502)


Vunibola, Suliasi

Leweniqila, Ilisoni

Raisele, Kolaia


This paper examines Indigenous innovation using self-determination for climate resilience within Indigenous communities in the Pacific. Given the Pacific context, communities are vulnerable to the climate crisis, but have adopted climate-resilient strategies and practices. A Pacific research methodological framing and qualitative ethnographic-case study approach was used for the study, which included discussion of some Indigenous enterprises and communitydriven development projects in Fiji. Talanoa method was used to collect data. Three themes unfolded from the three case studies in Fiji: the adoption of Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge as part of their operating model, practical contributions by the enterprises and community-driven projects in response to climate-induced disasters and aiding collective community resilience and well-being through their operations. Indigenous peoples are intimately and holistically connected to their vanua (resources, people and culture) reflected by their environment-related contributions and practices. The paper contributes toward understanding Indigenous innovation centred on indigenous peoples’ socio-cultural and spiritual value systems. These are reflected in business operations and community-driven development projects that consider ecological limits and build collective resilience to the climate crisis.

Building resilience in a climate crisis: Best practices for mangrove restoration along the Coral Coast, Fiji

(Page 503 – 521)


Devi, Jasma

Holland, Elisabeth


A critical review of existing mangrove restoration practices was conducted to establish mangrove restoration best practices. The primary focus of this study was on four villages along Fiji’s Coral Coast on Viti Levu, namely Yadua, Korotogo, Votua, and Tagaqe. These sites have the highest concentration of mangrove restoration projects in Fiji. This study utilised a ~3 yr mangrove seedling survival index to indicate mangrove restoration success. The study conducted 128 household surveys and seven interviews. The interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved in implementing mangrove conservation and restoration projects: village households, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), organisations in the private sector, and the Department of Environment. Onsite observations of the substrate type, exposure to waves, slope of the restoration site, and input of fresh water to the restoration sites were also assessed to identify biophysical factors that either helped or hindered the establishment of mangrove seedlings at the four sites. Yadua and Korotogo villages achieved an ~80% seedling survival rate, while Tagaqe and Votua had more modest success at ~20% survival. The study identifies four factors: consistent influx of freshwater, reduced exposure to high wave energy, presence of artificial breakwaters, and input of nutrient enhancers, all corresponded with increased mangrove seedling survival.

Moving towards sustainable livestock development in the Pacific Island countries

(Page 522 – 532)


Magiri, Royford

Mocevakaca, Wati

Okello, Walter

Fisher, Andrew D.


Agriculture is a vital industry for Pacific Islanders’ livelihoods, income, and food security. For example, agriculture contributes between 7% to 10.4% of GDP among the Pacific Island States and territories (PICTs). As an example, in Fiji, agriculture supports the livelihoods of 27% of the people and is the primary source of employment for more than 83% of the country’s rural population. Unfortunately, agricultural production has decreased in Fiji in the past decade. Yet, the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 of ” Zero Hunger” indicates that promoting sustainable agriculture systems is critical for any country in achieving food security and improved nutrition. To meet future demand and lessen reliance on imports of livestock products, the livestock sector in the Pacific islands needs to develop at a faster rate than the present 4% per year. For long-term growth, government assistance and private investment are critical. Small livestock, such as chickens, sheep, and goats, can be incorporated into the farming system to provide additional revenue and food security in the face of changing climatic conditions. Livestock sector development in the Pacific Island countries can support a stable, secure, and prosperous Pacific region by addressing regional development and economic growth challenges. Such investments in the livestock sector can increase global and regional trade, raise finance for other business activities, deepen labour markets that are currently shrinking and create better-quality employment opportunities.

Talking about climate change: Veitalanoa in Fijian climate change research

(Page 533 – 550)


Cagivinaka, Vilive

Reynolds, Martyn

Baleisomi, Sereima

Vatuloka, Sera

Sanga, Kabini


Research is currently being conducted in Fiji into climate change resilience and adaption. Among the research strands is work focussed on village and community levels that values customary local knowledge and experience. At the same time, there is a growing corpus of more general research literature from Oceania that illustrates the revelatory potential of Indigenous oralities, customary dialogic practices leveraged for research contexts. Weaving these threads together, this article is a discussion of the potential of veitalanoa, an Indigenous Fijian orality, to contribute to climate change research. Our investigation of the potential of veitalanoa includes the Indigenous Fijian references of vanua, veiwekani, solesolevaki and yalomatua. The inquiry is framed by the Oceania Oralities Framework (Sanga and Reynolds, in press), a tool that points to the embracing nature of oralities-driven research that enables data to be holistically mapped on to a range of universal domains, contextually shaping these in the process. The results suggest that locally focussed research would do well to explore the promise of veitalanoa more deeply than previously when seeking to understand local Fijian responses and adaptions to the global issue of climate change. Looking wider, the Fijian example suggests the potential of Oceania oralities in nuanced climate change research in other contexts.

From an ideology of ‘Place’ to an ontology of ‘Presence’: Towards a new constellation in Pacific thought

(Page 551 – 564)


Rakuita, Tui


The notion of ‘Place’ in discourses on the Pacific or, more specifically, on Oceanic identity has, for a variety of reasons, been imbued with uncertain ethical and ideological provenance. At best it misrecognises the intrinsic nomadic disposition in the Oceanian psyche by mooring it to ‘land’. At worst, it is quite oblivious to contemporary realities in Oceania; realities that are increasingly defined, on the one hand, by an exclusionary form of politics tied to an ideology of place and, on the other, by existential threats such as climate change and sealevel rise. This paper argues that we cannot tie the fate of our pan-oceanic identity to, as it happened, increasingly ephemeral things like ‘place’. The piece, therefore, seeks to shift the semiotic register beyond the current discursive inscriptions associated with ‘an ideology of place’ (and its attendant politics of identity) towards a more honest reassessment of contemporary ‘regimes of truth’ in Oceania – regimes that are firmly premised on the discursive practices as well as ideological articulations of Oceanic histories. The main aim of this essay is to invite Indigenous scholars to start thinking about, and discussing the way forward.

A Nazi in French Oceania: Retracing Louis Burkard from Australia to New Caledonia

(Page 565 – 573)


Ireland, Benjamin Hiramatsu


Louis Burkard, a Nazi agent residing in New Caledonia between 1936 and 1939, facilitated Germany’s procurement of critical wartime nickel resources. Lauded by Hitler and slated to become the Honorary German Consul in Nouméa, New Caledonia, Burkard would represent Krupp Steel Industries in this overseas French collectivity before his arrest, deportation, and subsequent internment in Australia in 1939. This article uncovers Burkard’s presence in New Caledonia and Australia as a Krupp engineer while demonstrating how Burkard, labelled as one of the Commonwealth’s most dangerous men, helped advance the propagation of Nazism in Australia. Burkard’s presence in New Caledonia not only played a role in the Third Reich’s military rearmament campaign, but also evinced his desire to see the French territory as an overseas space where Nazi Germany’s racial purification theories could be further assessed.

A culturally responsive research move to enable Pacific voices to be heard: A research note

(Page 574 – 581)


Edwards, Frances


Researchers in the field of education have increasingly come to value the views and experiences of students, and hearing from the students themselves. This research note explores the challenges a researcher sought to gather student voice from Cook Islands tertiary students. The combination of research design and cultural mores meant Cook Islands participants faced barriers and could not comfortably talk about improvements they would like to see in tertiary assessment practice. On exploration, an adjustment to the research design was made that was culturally accepted and enabled participants to speak their minds openly. The findings are discussed, and recommendations are proposed that may assist future researchers working within cultural worlds in ways that allow the participants to speak openly, enabling their voices to be heard.

The injustice of it all. Book Review: “PRISONER 302: A Fijian prime minister’s story of his life; of military rebellion, national oppression, and a handful of miracles” by Laisenia Qarase.

(Page 582 – 587)


Naidu, Vijay


A review of Laisenia Qarase’s PRISONER 302: A Fijian Prime Minister’s story of his life; of military rebellion, national oppression, and a handful of Miracles 2023.

The status of Indigenous knowledge, environmental issues and climate change in science education: Talanoa from Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary schools

(Page 588 – 609)


Puloka Luey, Emma

Manning, Richard

Ratuva, Steven


This article reviews the doctoral research of Emma Puloka Luey, in order to consider the significance of talanoa (discussions) she conducted with Ha‘apai (Tonga) and Port Vila (Vanuatu) secondary school teachers of science, and their Year 10 students. This research was timely, given that both (case study) communities had recently experienced Category 5 Tropical Cyclones and remain vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, such as the (2022) explosion of the sub marine volcano, Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai. First, this article summarises the research problem, objectives, methodology, and the community contexts central to Puloka Luey’s study. Second, it discusses the ongoing relevance of the following four themes that arise from data collected. These are: (i) Connectedness to place; (ii) Indigenous languages as gateways to learning science; (iii) Marginalisation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge; and (iv) Contextualisation of science education via dialogue. Finally, we call for more research of this nature, and for future science education curricula guidelines to become more localised, and inclusive of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge systems of Indigenous communities.