Completed PhD theses at Waikato Management School

Jessica Pasisi: Research aims to shed light on health and wellbeing of Niuean people

January 2020

Name: Jessica Pasisi (Niuean/NZ European)

Qualifications: PhD in Management Communication, MMS in Strategic Management, BMS(Hons) in Strategic Management and Public Relations

PhD topic: Kitiaga mo fakamahani e hikihikiaga matagi he tau fifine Niue: Tau puhala he tau hiapo – Niue women’s perspectives and experiences of climate change: A hiapo approach.

Supervisors: Prof Debashish Munshi (Waikato Management School); Prof Priya Kurian (School of Social Sciences); and Assoc. Prof. Alice Te Punga Somerville (Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies)

Description: Jess’s path-breaking work centres indigenous Pacific cultures and knowledges and builds connections among communication studies, political studies, anthropology, Pacific studies, and indigenous studies.

Jess is now all set to take up a prestigious $360,000 post-doctoral fellowship awarded to her by the Health Research Council (HRC) to work on a research project to better understand the mental health and wellbeing of Niuean people in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

For Ms Pasisi, the research will provide a path to deepen the connection with her culture and people.

“I grew up in Melville, Hamilton, feeling quite a long way from my cultural heritage, so getting the chance to partner with Niuean people in culturally relevant ways is a great privilege and paves the way for more Niueans to enter into these spaces.”

Tolotea Lanumata, manager of Pacific research investment at the Health Research Council, says: “This research should help us understand the benefits of identity-based interventions for holistic wellbeing in Niuean elders and youth – areas where knowledge is currently lacking in the New Zealand context,” she says.

Read more about Jess' research here.