Waikato Journal of Education

How to Cite

Reynolds, M. (2019). Walking the Palagi/Pasifika edge: The va of mediated dialogic research. Waikato Journal of Education, 24(1), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v24i1.537


Like all acts of naming, the term ‘Pasifika’, which is used to refer collectively to persons with connections to Pacific Island nations living in Aotearoa New Zealand, can be used to represent or to misrepresent, to enable or to control. Consequently, the notion of a field of Pasifika educational research is contested. This article provides a discussion of the potential contextual justification and consequent theorisation of Pasifika education. It pays attention to developments in the literature and to the usefulness of theory based on wisdom from the Pacific. It suggests that a relational edge-walking methodology framed through va is one way of making Pasifika educational research catalytically powerful. Located in recent PhD study, this account is by a Palagi (European-origin) teacher- researcher seeking to navigate the intercultural and positional edges of both Pasifika research and education. The aim is to facilitate respectful dialogue and thus enhance understanding and harmony. The article suggests that while power makes a mediated methodology helpful, methods configured to address relationality directly have the potential to achieve these valuable aims.


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