A deputy vice chancellor at New Zealand's Otago University says the need to better understand Pacific commmunities prompted its new Pacific research protocol.
The new document lays out guidelines to ensure researchers are sensitive to the cultural ways and protocols of individual Pacific communities.
Professor Vernon Squire, who also chairs the Pacific People's Reference Group, says they saw a need for the protocol for a variety of reasons.
But he says one of the most important is that there is a range of cultural norms and the diversity of peoples, islands and cultures in the Pacific.
"In order to carry out Pacific research in its broadest sense, and by that I mean it might be environmental research or it might be concerned with people, it might be sociological type of research, it might be archeological research. We have seen the need to really understand how Pacific communities work in order to really form a partnership in doing that."
Professor Vernon Squire from Otago university.