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Experiences of Tongan Women Migrants at Paid Work in New Zealand

The employment experiences of Tongan women migrants have received little attention in the literature. This study therefore, sought to shed light on the dynamics of their social and economic experiences at paid work in New Zealand. It was guided by the theories of population geographies, feminist geography and postcolonialism. The inter-relationships of these theories provided insights into the influence of migration on these women's identities, ethnicity and gender relations and also how these influence these women's experiences at paid work in New Zealand. The data were drawn from two major sources: i) the New Zealand 2006 population census and ii) in-depth interviews held in Tonga and New Zealand, with greater focus on the interviews. This study revealed that the Tongan women's decisions for migrating to New Zealand were influenced by social rather than economic incentives. Migration has challenged these women's traditional roles and reconstructed their gender relations. Many are breadwinners yet Tongan born men in New Zealand still predominantly engage in the labour force and have higher personal income. Their experiences at paid work also differ from the New Zealand born Tongan women in New Zealand. These differences reflect the availability of their social networks and their familiarity with the socio-economic systems in New Zealand. They experienced successes and failures at paid work on their way to improving their lives in New Zealand.
Type of thesis
Fa’anunu, S. T. (2007). Experiences of Tongan Women Migrants at Paid Work in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2299
The University of Waikato
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