The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world to stop. It has halted societal modes of being and operating, and collective responsibility is now premised on a discourse of prevention or fear. These tensions are also relevant to higher education. In this situation report we aim to elucidate such tensions through Pacific Indigenous philosophy that affirms collective and relational ontologies by way of transnational Pasifika engagement in the university. This report is produced by two Pasifika researchers who have never physically met. However, through the digital vä, their voices are connected to tell this story.
“Disruption” and “decolonisation” are terms often associated with Indigenous researchers’ intent to validate traditional cultural knowledge and practice in academia. The challenges and complexities in Indigenous researchers’ positionalities within their doctoral research projects are not always openly discussed (Webber, 2009). In this article, I share my personal reflections and observations of the challenges in my doctoral research with Tongan kāinga (extended families) in Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga.
Research indicates that claiming a contemporary identity as Pākehā is being redefined by those individuals who engage closely with Te Ao Māori. This reopens the discussion of the implications for Pākehā researchers who engage across Māori research spaces. This article reports a reflective study I conducted using the transtheoretical model and its six stages of change (J. O. Prochaska & DiClemente, 1982) to understand my Pākehā cultural identity. I discuss my rationale for engaging in research with Māori, and then outline the approaches that I, as a non-Indigenous researcher, adopted to appropriately engage in Indigenous research.