Pasifika in the news: the portrayal of Pacific peoples in the New Zealand press

Pacific Islanders have faced discrimination in New Zealand particularly since the 1960s when communities began to be transplanted from their home nations to Aotearoa as cheap immigrant labour. Subsequently, the New Zealand vernacular has contained references to Pacific Islanders as overstayers , coconuts , bungas and fresh off the boat [FOB]. However, the legacy of a domineering relationship between the Palagi[Note 1] majority group and Pacific minorities[Note 2] that is captured by such derogatory terms is still evident in public forums such as the media. Using a quantitative content and qualitative narrative analysis, this paper documents portrayals of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand print media reports (n = 65) published over a 3 month period. Findings reveal that Pacific people are predominantly portrayed as unmotivated, unhealthy and criminal others who are overly dependent on Palagi support. We consider this offered pacific identity formation with that implied for Palagi, which is active, independent, competent and caring. Issues in coverage are discussed in relation to how Pacific Islanders are encouraged to see themselves, and the health and social consequences of dominant practices in press coverage. We offer some suggestions as to how more equitable representations of Pacific people could be fostered in news media.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Loto, R., Hodgetts, D., Nikora, L. W., Chamberlain, K., Karapu, R., & Barnett, A. (2006). Pasifika in the news: the portrayal of pacific peoples in the New Zealand press. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 16(2), 100-118.
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This article is published in the Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
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