Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Ko e talanoa fekau’aki pea moe mo’ui kakato ‘o e mātu’a Tonga nofo Nu’usila

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posted on 2021-12-07, 00:37 authored by Mafi, Siaosi

New Zealand’s older adult population is gradually increasing, in line with global increases in the number of older people. Pacific populations living in New Zealand currently have the least number of people aged 65 years and older in New Zealand (2.4% or 13,944 people), however; this is projected to increase in the next 20 years by 160%. After controlling for multiple health risks, socio-economic and demographic variables, ethnicity has been shown to have an independent role as a predictor of health and wellbeing. Research on the wellbeing of older Pacific peoples in New Zealand is limited, with none having been published that involves or relates to older Tongan people. Therefore, research exploring the perspectives and experiences of the psychosocial factors of wellbeing of older Pacific peoples in New Zealand is required.   This thesis describes the perspectives and experiences of nine older Tongan people from the Wellington region, and their consideration of what contributes to their wellbeing. The research aimed to describe wellbeing based on the participants’ own concepts of wellbeing, and also identify factors that either enabled or inhibited their wellbeing. A qualitative research design guided by Pacific models of the Talanoa methodology and the Kakala research framework was utilised. Talanoa were conducted with all participants, with the talanoa transcripts qualitatively analysed using content and thematic analysis.   The study found that wellbeing for older Tongan people is centred upon the quality of their mo’ui kakato (life in its entirety). It is multi-dimensional, interrelated and broader than just physical and mental health aspects. God was the overarching component, and their belief in God greatly influenced their views of wellbeing or their life as a whole. These findings will assist family members, churches, communities, health professionals and others to improve their practices and therefore support the improvement of older Pacific peoples’ wellbeing.   


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Health Research

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Health Care

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Health Services Research Centre

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Alternative Title

The perspectives of wellbeing of Older Tongan people living in New Zealand: A qualitative study

Victoria University of Wellington School

Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health


Nelson, Dr. Kathy; Paotonu, Dr. Dianne Sika