10 questions with . . . Jenny Bryant-Tolalau
Last week we featured Lyn Carter’s new book on Indigenous Pacific responses to Climate Change and her 10-question interview with the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Jenny Bryant-Tokalau has researched collaboratively with Lyn, and until her recent retirement, was a member of Te Tumu’s Pacific Islands Studies programme. Jenny has published Indigenous Pacific Approaches to Climate Change, as a companion volume to Lyn’s as part of the Palgrave Studies in Disaster Anthropology series. Click here to download Jenny’s book. ASAA/NZ also asked Jenny the 10 questions. Click here to see.
Rieko Hayakawa PhD in Pacific Islands Studies
A celebration was held in Te Tumu today for Rieko Hayakawa, who will be graduating tomorrow with her PhD. She started her doctorate in Media and Communications with Vijay Devadas and completed in Pacific Islands Studies where she was supervised by Jenny Bryant-Tokalau.
Her topic, ‘Possibility of Telecommunication Universal Service in the Pacific Islands’ with case Studies of Vanuatu, PEACESAT and USPNet came out of Rieko’s work in the Pacific Islands for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation for whom she worked for 26 years. One of her important projects for Sasakawa was the establishment of USPNet funded by Japan which enabled the University of the South Pacific to continue its successful distance teaching programme across the Pacific islands.
Rieko has published several articles, book chapters and reports on her thesis topic and most recently presented her findings to a parliamentary committee in Japan. She will be making another presentation in Japan later this month, this time on maritime boundaries (which will be the subject of her second PhD, to be undertaken in Japan).
Rieko is the wife of Professor Glenn Summerhayes of Archaeology and Anthropology, and mother of 14 year old Kyuka.
This thesis is about the meaning of telecommunication for the remote islands and rural areas in the Pacific Islands through the application and assessment of the ‘Capability Approach’, developed and used by Amartya Sen in his book of “Development as Freedom”. This research also makes a major contribution to the study of ICT4D (Information and Communications Technology for Development) and development of telecommunication of the Pacific Islands, through an examination of the historical background of communication, through case studies of Vanuatu, and PEACESAT with USPNet. In the Pacific thousands of small islands are scattered in the vast Ocean that occupies a third of surface of the Earth. Each small island is distant from the major economic centres and has a small population. Due to the economical scale of them and western colonization policy many islands did not have telecommunication service for a century after telecommunication was developed in the 19th century. In the 1970s during the cold war period, those islands had an opportunity to use free second-hand satellite from the United States and could provide higher education services and Fisheries management. In the 2000s deregulation and competition was introduced to the Pacific Islands Countries and finally Universal Service (which provided telecommunication service to the whole population) was achieved in some of PICs, such as Vanuatu.
What has been the impact of Universal Service in these countries? This study presents the result of my research in measuring the capability of ICT users, policymakers and providers, by undertaking interviews in Vanuatu using the ‘storytelling approach’. Results of this field research tell us about the dynamism of development relevance and people using ICT to magnify their Capability. Other case studies tell us that Capability does not belong to technology but to people and their will.
Semester 2 has been busy on the research front for Te Tumu staff and postgrads.
Te Tumu is still progressing with Te Kōparapara, a book on Māori culture, history and contemporary society, which is designed as a textbook for MAOR102 as well as for a general audience. Prof Michael Reilly is the main driver of this project, and has been ably assisted by Dr Gianna Leoni. This book, with an array of essays mainly written by Te Tumu staff, is under contract with Auckland University Press and should appear sometime in 2017.
Associate Prof Jenny Bryant-Tokalau has been having a busy Research and Study Leave. She has given two presentations in the USA in the last semester: ‘Food security and other risks in a time of climate change: traditional and contemporary forms of resilience’, to the Department of Anthropology, and ‘Small Island Pacific States: Dealing with Climate Change’ to the Department of Geology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. In December she presented ‘Working in Context: The Commercial Potential of Customary Pacific Land’ at the Aotearoa New Zealand International Development Studies Network Ninth Biennial Conference ‘Pacific Currents, Global Tides’ Wellington, and ‘Dealing with disasters and social change’ to the Asia Pacific Biocultural Health ‘Big Ideas’ Workshop, in Dunedin, December.
Jenny has also had one chapter in an edited collection appear during this period: ‘Community responses to floods in Fiji: lessons learned’ In Calabrese, John (ed.) Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response: Rising to the Challenge. MAP Series, Middle East Institute, Washington. August (2016) issue. Click here to access it. She also has two book reviews published in New Zealand and Pacific Studies November, 2016; and Journal of the Polynesian Society 125 (1), 2016.
Jenny is planning to return to the Solomon Islands to carry out in-depth interviews on small and medium businesses on Kastom land, as well as to finalise book edits for Palgrave MacMillan Anthropology of Disaster Series: What the Pacific Islands can teach New Zealand about Climate Change.
As previous posted, Prof Paul Tapsell spoke at the Indigenous Plenary at the WAC-8 Conference in September. Paul and Associate Prof Merata Kawharu are also part of the large three-year Mauri-Whenua-Ora project within the National Science Challenge Land and Water: Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai. This project is the only fully Māori-led and Māori-integrated research programmes of all NSCs nationally, and is looking at Maori land and water based innovation including: (1) micro economy development “Pa to Plate”, (2) Shared iwi innovation for Taitokerau as a model for other iwi and (3) a regional (Te Hiku) study looking at Maori land suitable use and value chains. Merata also has a forthcoming publication, “Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Cultural Coding and the Transformation of Ngāti Whātua in New Zealand” in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, 125, 4 (2016): 385-408.
Associate Prof Lachy Paterson gave a presentation entitled ‘U.S. Slave “Humor” in New Zealand Newspapers’ at the 109th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association at Waikoloa, Hawai’i. He is currently writing up this paper, which looked at how imported racist discourses permeated New Zealand’s English-language newspapers. Lachy returned to his ongoing obsession with Māori-language newspapers, with “The New Zealand Government’s Niupepa and their Demise” published in the New Zealand Journal of History, 50, 2 (2016): 44-67.
Together with Associate Prof Angela Wanhalla (Dept of History and Art History), he has also sent off their manuscript “He Reo Wahine: Māori Women’s Voices from the Nineteenth Century” to Auckland University Press, and it should appear sometime in 2017.
Over summer Prof Michael Reilly hopes to write a paper concerning the research relationship between William Wyatt Gill of the London Missionary Society, and Mamae of Ngāti Vara, a church minister, on Mangaia during the 19th century. In the longer run, he wants to begin writing chapters for an introduction to Māori tribal history, drawing from the draft text used as a ‘course reader’ in MAOR 207 Ngā Kōrero Nehe – Tribal Histories. Michael is passionate about this project but acknowledges that it may take several years to finish. He has also completed the final editorial corrections for a paper to be published this December, “Narrative Features and Cultural Motifs in a Cautionary Tradition from Mangaia (Cook Islands)”, in the Journal of the Polynesian Society 125, 4 (2016): 357-384.
Dr Jim Williams has a forthcoming article in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, entitled “Seafood Gardens”. Jim has a busy summer planned, fininishing off an essay for Ethnohistory, entitled “Layers of History” explaining how certain activities are repeated at powerful places, giving rise to notions of circularity of time, but layered, like whakapapa; he will also be giving a presentation in January at the American Historical Association conference in Denver. One of Jim’s students, Katrina Bryant, has just completed her Master of Physiotherapy.
In October newly graduated Dr Gianna Leoni gained a new position based in Te Tumu, that of a Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga postdoctoral fellow, with the research project “Te Ōhanga o te Pīpīwharauroa – Expressing our Economic Aspirations”. Click here for more details.
In June, Megan Pōtiki presented on her doctoral research on language loss at Ōtākou, at He Rau Tumu Kōrero IX at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff. This event was run by Te Pouhere Kōrero, the national Māori historians organisation. Megan has also published two journal articles, “The Otago Peninsula: A unique identity” in Shima, 10, 1 (2016): 67-84 [Potiki-Shima-v10n1-3]; and ‘Te Haka Nā Ngā Herehere’ in Te Pouhere Kōrero 8 (2016): 6 –25, and is currently working on another article, “Māori song composition and reclamation of traditional tribal borders” based on a mōteatea she composed for the Te Tumu Kapa Haka group.
As part of Māori language week this year Tangiwai Rewi was asked to give a Library research floor talk on Wednesday 13 July on the Ngāruawāhia Turangawaewae regatta, which comes out of her doctoral research and an article last year in the Journal of the Polynesian Society. A display themed around the article was shown in the Hocken Collections for seven weeks as part of Māori language Week. Click here for more details and pictures.
Tangiwai has participated in the Ahi Pepe Resource launch 27 October and Wānanga 26-28 October. She was a collaborator in this project which created an immersion te reo Māori Moths resource depicting the 600+ species endemic to the South Island. Twelve schools were invited to the Wānanga, to participate, learn how to trap, kill and present moths for identification and preservation. Also launched that night were the bilingual and total immersion resource covering the four areas of the South Island.
Tangiwai also attended the SCANZ (Science Communicators Association NZ) conference on 14 November as part of the panel who discussed the resource and preservation of moths.
Tangiwai went north to attend the Te Awamārahi poukai on 24 November. (Poukai are ceremonial gatherings held on Kīngitanga marae.) This was an opportunity to take the photo display back to her marae especially as some of people featured in the photos come from that marae. The photo boards were put on display along with other harakeke resources found along the riverbanks. Needless to say, Tangiwai also vigorously promoted Te Tumu and the University of Otago to all the people who came to view the display.
Congratulations to Matangi Schaaf who graduates in December with a PhD; and also to Nikki Walden (Taranaki, Te Āti Awa) and Nurul Sultan with Master of Indigenous Studies degrees. Click here for more details.
Two of our PhD students are submitting in December: John Birnie and Taomi Qiliho-Tapu, and Tāwini White (Ngāi Tahu, Te Rarawa) is making the final amendments to her MA thesis. Rieko Hayakawa‘s PhD thesis ‘Possibility of Telecommunication Universal Service in the Pacific Islands; Case studies of Vanuatu, PEACESAT and USPNet’ has just passed examination. We look forward to these students graduating in the near future.
We have a new PhD student who has just started, Raaniera Te Whata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, te Whānau a Apanui), researching communities-based Māori land development in the Bay of Islands. Raaniera comes into doctoral studies after completing an LLB in Auckland and a Master of Indigenous Studies in Te Tumu.
In August Erica Newman who is undertaking PhD research on Fijian Orphanages (1874-1970) presented at the Anthropology and Archaeology Postgraduate Symposium held here in Dunedin.
Matiu Payne (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga), who is researching the impact of government agencies on tikanga whāngai for his doctoral studies, has just been to the Australia New Zealand Law and History Society conference at Curtin University in Perth presenting on his PhD research.
Kelli Te Maihāroa (Waitaha) who is researching Māori peace traditions and their relevance to whānau today, has co-edited an edited collection: H. Devere, K. Te Maihāroa, & J.P. Synott (eds.) Peacebuilding and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Experiences and Strategies for the 21st Century, (Springer: Cham, Switzerland, 2016), which includes two co-written and one sole-authored articles by Kelli. She also has an article forthcoming, “Whanaungatanga: Relationships in a One Day Te Reo Māori School of Excellence” in Theobald, M. (Ed.) Friendships in Multilingual Settings (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol 21 (2016)). Emerald. Kelli, who is a lecturer in the College of Education, also presented at the Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand, in June/July in Dunedin, and at International Indigenous Research Conference in November in Auckland.
Te Tumu scholar in successful Research Theme bid
Associate Professor Jenny Bryant-Tokalau of Te Tumu is one of 14 Principal Investigators in the recently awarded University Theme, Asia-Pacific Biocultural Health: Past and Present.
The theme, which is coordinated by Haille Buckley, Tuari Potiki, Tony Merriman and Sian Halcrow and has attracted academics from various Otago divisions, is funded for five years. It will investigate fundamental questions of the human past that have pressing implications for human society today in Aotearoa, the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Questions of the origins of people, non-communicable disease, and social inequality, and major subsistence and cultural change will be assessed drawing on a range of cross- and multi-disciplinary approaches mobilising research expertise in the University.
Jenny’s role in the theme is her work on adaptation to climate change and hardships and inequality in the Pacific.
The Puke Ariki Trust Scholarship, valued at $5000, supports the studies of a postgraduate student whose research relates to Taranaki’s social history. Puke Ariki is Taranaki’s Museum, Library, Archive Centre based in New Plymouth, renowned for its extensive heritage collections. If you are interested in this scholarship, check out the Puke Ariki Trust Scholarship Terms and Conditions.
Associate Professor Jenny Bryant-Tokalau presented a paper to the conference ‘Islands and Oceans: Navigating Pacific Futures’ held at Auckland University, November 12-13th 2015. Jenny’s paper, entitled ‘Reforming Land Tenure in the Pacific: requirements and implications, the case of Fiji’, was chaired by former Oxfam director Barry Coates, and was part of an intensive two day workshop between University of Auckland (Pacific Studies), Auckland University of Technology, Australian National University and the University of Otago to look at areas of collaborative Pacific research.
Te Tumu PhD student Nathan Albury recently was awarded the Griffith University School of Language and Linguistics Outstanding Alumnus Award in recognition of his PhD research into folk linguistics for Te Reo Maori and Sami language. Nathan is completing his PhD at the Centre for Multilingualism in Society Across the lifespan – MultiLing (CoE), Department of Linguistics and Scandavian Studies, University of Oslo,with Dr Lyn Carter (Te Tumu) as one of the supervisors.
Profiling: Jenny Bryant-Tokalau
It is an occassional feature of Te Tumu’s Research Blog that we profile members of our staff. This post features Associate Professor Jenny Bryant-Tokalau, who, amongst her many other activities, is currently Programme Coordinator for Pacific Islands Studies and Chair of the Postgraduate Committee in Te Tumu.
Jenny Bryant-Tokalau (or Jenny Bryant as she was then known) was born in Dunedin and is descended from a mixture of British migrants who landed on the Otago coast between Moeraki and Surat Bay in the nineteenth century. Jenny’s mother grew up in North East Valley and was a secretary and later a teacher, and her Dad was a migrant rabbiter, saddler then electric linesman from Central Otago. Jenny is the eldest of three sisters and their Mum had hopes for them to be ‘like the Bronte sisters’. Fortunately this did not (quite) happen.
Jenny first visited the Pacific as a high school student when she was lucky enough to go on a school French trip to Noumea, New Caledonia. Later as an undergraduate Geography student, here at Otago, she went on a student exchange trip to Fiji for three months to carry out voluntary work at the National Archives in Suva. After a whole row of very old and decaying files about the island of Rotuma fell on top of her, Jenny decided to return the following year to gather material for her Post graduate dissertation. Three months of visiting Rotuman island families in the low cost housing settlements in Suva, the gold mine in Vatukoula and in the first Fiji capital of Levuka led to a successful dissertation outcome, and Jenny was on her way to a life of interesting research.
In 1975 Jenny was employed as an assistant lecturer in Geography at the University of Papua New Guinea. Her classes were large, and across the spectrum of environment, human geography and cartography. During her three years there Jenny travelled widely taking students on both biogeography and urban geography in the Highlands, visiting archaeological sites and carrying out her own MA research work on low-income housing and squatting in Port Moresby, Madang and Rabaul. Jenny also worked closely with the Lae City Council and the PNG Housing Authority. Although she loved PNG where life was very exciting and varied, a PhD and job beckoned at Monash University in Melbourne. There she tutored and lectured in Geography whilst working on her PhD on Aboriginal Housing with two years of assistance from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Again, there was much fieldwork involved with long hours driving around Victoria from the northwest corner where the small town of Robinvale is located (where Jenny picked grapes and lived in a tent in the summer to fund her research), to the south west to the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust community, to Melbourne where she worked with the Aboriginal Housing, Health and Legal boards. Part-time consultancies with the Ministry of Housing and representations to the House of Representatives on Aboriginal housing filled in her spare time when not writing the PhD dissertation.
But the Pacific beckoned again. With the PhD almost completed Jenny took a job in Geography at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji where apart from teaching, consultancies, and running an environmental NGO she carried on with her research. At first, continuing from her by now major interest in housing for the poor, she became involved with assessing the size and conditions of squatter settlements across the country, and training students in such assessments. This lead to an involvement in growing poverty and inequalities, an appointment to the Fiji government’s committee on poverty, and then to more research on land and encroaching coastal environmental issues around the squatter settlements. All through the years at USP Jenny carried out work for various UN and regional agencies, especially the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Eventually she was kidnapped by UNDP and spent the next six years travelling around the Pacific and Asia working as a Sustainable Development Adviser and Head of Global Environment Facility programmes. In 2002 Jenny and family decided to return to NZ, to enable her husband Filipo to complete his PhD and for Jenny to take care of her mother. On Tino joined George St Normal School and Jenny worked firstly in Anthropology before joining Te Tumu. Her research continues in the Pacific, especially her other home of Fiji where she works largely around coastal urban land (the qoliqoli) and the urban poor, as well as on artificial islands as a response to climate change. Jenny has recently been appointed as an adjunct professor at USP where she maintains very close ties.
Click here to see Jenny’s research outputs, grants & distinctions, and supervisions on her official staff page.
Congratulations to Assoc Prof Jenny Bryant-Tokalau
Great News: Te Tumu’s Assoc Prof Jenny Bryant-Tokalau has just been appointed as Adjunct Professor in the School of Government, Development and International Affairs, Faculty of Business and Economics, at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. Even better news…This doesn’t mean that Te Tumu will be losing Jenny, who is the Coordinator of our Pacific Islands Studies programme, and Chair of our Postgraduate Committee. The USP position is an honorary one in recognition of her research on Fijian topics.
Click here for the Otago Bulletin story.