Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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New Zealand's 'overstaying Islander' : a construct of the ideology of 'race' and immigration

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posted on 2021-11-15, 12:10 authored by Ross, Tamara Brigid

This thesis examines the development of a 'race'/immigration ideology within New Zealand and attempts to explore the processes through which this ideology has expressed and reproduced itself in New Zealand's past. In order to determine this process, this thesis analyses, as a case study, the causes, patterns and consequences of the politicisation of Pacific Island immigrants in New Zealand during the 1970s. Pacific Island immigrants were negatively categorised according to traditional New Zealand beliefs about 'race' and the immigration of 'alien' peoples, and the stereotypes that arose out of this process justified racist immigration campaigns in the 1970s. The targeting of Pacific Island migrants through these immigration campaigns, and the deliberate scapegoating of Pacific Islanders in the 1975 general election, compounded and entrenched existing negative stereotypes thereby justifying the further politicisation of Islanders in the 1980s. It is argued that this historical process needs to be understood as the outcome, among other things, of the 'race'/immigration ideology. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the politicisation of Pacific Islanders during this period was but part of a cycle in a larger process of the generation and reproduction of racism. While the 'race'/immigration ideology is analysed here with Pacific Islanders The historical campaigns against Pacific Islanders are examined in detail so as to illuminate the broader process of racialisation in New Zealand's past, and to explore the possible form that the 'race'/immigration ideology may assume both in the present and in the future.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Herda, Phyllis