11 Sep 2013

Research into migration of Pacific women to Asia

1:15 pm on 11 September 2013

A New Zealand-born Pacific Islander has been awarded a Victoria University in Wellington doctoral scholarship to investigate the modern migration of young Pacific women to Asia.

Rachel Yates says her research is inspired by her time teaching English in South Korea, where she was surprised to meet so many New Zealand Pacific Islanders studying, working and succeeding abroad.

She says in the past, Pacific migration studies have focused on Pacific Islanders travelling to New Zealand, not about those who leave New Zealand for other opportunities.

She says her research will focus on women, and will use the experiences of those she met in South Korea as case studies.

"For the women, I was interested in transnationalism, which is looking at how they relate to New Zealand and their Pacific nation being in Asia, you know, what that felt like. And just the whole idea of a Kiwi New Zealand OE, just what a Pacific version of that is."

Ms Yates says she hopes her research will motivate other New Zealand Pacific Islanders to study and travel abroad.