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Harnessing resilience and sustainability in a world of increasing disorder

The Marsden-funded research (2022-2025) is led by Dr Apisalome Movono, who has extensive experience examining issues of tourism, adaptation and community development in the Pacific. Other team members include Prof. Regina Scheyvens (Massey University) and Distinguished Prof. Steven Ratuva (Canterbury University).


About this project

This research explores how the South Pacific tourism system can be reimagined to harness resilience and sustainability in a world of increasing disorder. It will use a hopeful post-development approach to examine Pacific tourism exchanges, policy design and adaptation, while identifying innovative opportunities for improved tourism practice. Currently, the identified opportunities include regenerative tourism, regional integration, and grassroots resilience building, and these will guide the inquiry and act as a means for extending tourism beyond the current ‘war on tourism’. It is anticipated that this research will make a significant contribution to re-interpreting resilience theory from the perspective of Indigenous people in the Pacific, and provide the necessary empirical basis for the rejuvenation of Pacific tourism.

This research has four key objectives:

1.  Analyse government and private sector responses to the crisis in tourism

2.  Explore adaptive patterns and signs of community resilience in Fiji and Vanuatu

3.  Investigate emergent leadership and its potential to further radical innovation in resilience building.

4. Identify pathways for transforming tourism practice in the Pacific.


Beyond Bouncing Back: A Framework for Tourism Resilience Building in the Pacific

(Movono, Scheyvens and Ratuva, 2023)


Mana of the Pacific

We reached out to Pacific peoples by creating a competition where they could win a prize in exchange for sharing a Pacific proverb with us. Even though our proverbs contest has now closed, Dr Apisalome Movono and Prof Regina Scheyvens have culminated these Pacific proverbs in a new book called ‘Mana of the Pacific’. All profits from the book are going into supporting community-based resilience programmes in the Pacific. The first lot of funding has gone to Caritas for community resilience building after the Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami in Tonga, and the second lot of funding is going to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for food security work in Timorese communities.


Many Pacific proverbs highlight the wisdom of Pacific islanders: this book is an attempt to share an appreciation of Pacific peoples through the mana of their ways, often embedded within their philosophies and stored in their proverbs or sayings. This is us sharing with the world proverbs encapsulating the mana of our Pacific.

For more information on the book see the interview with RNZ below, and:

Vinaka vaka levu/meitaki/fa'afetai lava/tanggio tumas!


We have a winner!

Congratulations to Samola Andrew, a sixteen year old student from Motufoua Secondary School in Tuvalu, for having her name pulled out in the draw for the proverbs contest! Thanks to all of those who entered; in total 154 submissions were received! Samola will be receiving her iPhone 12 pro very soon.

This was her winning quote:

"Toku fenua ko toku tofi"

"My land is my birthright"

This quote reflects how important culture, tradition and customs are for Pacific people, and the connections to their land. Even if Pacific people have to migrate because of climate change or for other reasons, no one can take away their land or culture. 

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