The task of living in modern New Zealand – and especially in modern Auckland – is not just to understand how to live with different peoples, but how to adapt to the future that has already happened.
New Zealand is a nation that exists on Pacific Islands, but does not, will not, perhaps cannot, see itself as a Pacific Island nation. Yet turning to the Pacific, argues Damon Salesa, enables us to grasp a fuller understanding of what life is really like on these shores.
After all, Salesa argues, in many ways New Zealand’s Pacific future has already happened. Setting a course through the ‘islands’ of Pacific life in New Zealand – Ōtara, Tokoroa, Porirua, Ōamaru and beyond – he charts a country becoming ‘even more Pacific by the hour’. What would it mean, this far-sighted book asks, for New Zealand to recognise its Pacific talent and finally act like a Pacific nation?
About the author
Damon Salesa is a scholar of Pacific politics, history, technology, culture and society. His work includes the prizewinning book Racial Crossings, a number of academic chapters and articles, and Tangata o le Moana (co-editor). He is currently completing a Marsden Research Project on technological, social and cultural change in Samoa. A graduate of the University of Auckland and Oxford, he was previously based at the University of Michigan. A Samoan born and raised in Glen Innes, Auckland, he is currently University Director of Pacific Strategy and Engagement and Associate Professor of Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland.
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