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New Director Appointed to Centre for Pacific Studi

For immediate release
New Director Appointed to Centre for Pacific Studies

The University of Auckland has announced the appointment of Dr Melani Anae as Director of its Centre for Pacific Studies.

Announcing the appointment, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Doug Sutton said Dr Anae would make an important contribution to the future of the Centre for Pacific Studies.

"Dr Anae's strong research and teaching experience will be a significant asset to the Centre and her appointment will greatly assist the future of development projects that will enhance the lives of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand," Professor Sutton said.

The Centre for Pacific Studies was established in 1985 and aims to promote greater awareness and understanding of the Pacific region through teaching, research, publications, conferences, workshops and seminars.

It also aims to help Pacific students at the university as well as Pacific communities in New Zealand by carrying out research and training in areas which are seen as crucial to their development as individuals and communities in New Zealand.

Dr Anae obtained both her MA and PhD degrees from The University of Auckland and was Research Fellow for the Pacific Health Research Centre (Department of Maori and Pacific Health, School of Medicine, University of Auckland) in 1987, a lecturer in Anthropology at the University 1998-1999 and in Pacific Studies since 2000.

Her publications are in the areas of ethnicity, health, education, Pacific research methodologies and Pacific approaches to a broad range of social issues. Her research interests include regional processes of migration, urbanization, ethnicity, and the politics of identity. More specifically focusing on more finely nuanced understandings of identity construction of Pacific peoples and communities in New Zealand.

Her specialist areas of interest and teaching include Pacific migration and diaspora, and New Zealand-born Samoans/communities.

Recent research projects she has led include a collaborative project - 'Pacific Peoples and Tertiary Education: Issues of Participation' between the Centre for Pacific Studies, the School of Education and Manukau Institute of Technology. The results of this project will be released in the near future.

Dr Anae has also drawn up the 'Pasifika Education Research Guidelines' and been involved in the 'Literature Review of Pasifika Education Issues' project - a collaboration between the Centre, the School of Education and Wellington College of Education and funded by the Ministry of Education.

She is also involved in the three-year University of Auckland project 'Strengthening Communities Through Local Partnerships' funded by FRST.

Dr Anae is part of a large extended Samoan aiga in inner city, Auckland, and the mother of three children.

Dr Melenaite Taumoefolau has held the role of Acting Director of the Centre since August 1999.


Dr Melani Anae Jenni Austin
The University of Auckland Baldwin
Boyle Group
Phone: 373 7599 ext 7436 (09) 486

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