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Keywords:

  • development;
  • migration;
  • Pacific;
  • Polynesian;
  • post-national

Abstract

For many Polynesians migration is still framed within a particular spatial context, although on an enlarged scale – one that we have termed the New Polynesian Triangle. With its apexes in the North American continent to the east, Australia in the west and New Zealand in the south, this New Polynesian Triangle encompasses a particular field through which ongoing Polynesian migration and movement continues to occur. Movement within this New Polynesian Triangle is both multidimensional and multidirectional. While it is the movement of economic resources, particularly remittances, that has captured the interest of many agencies operating in the region, we argue that such economic flows are integrally linked with other flows – of goods, ideas, skills and culture – to form a single dynamic system of movement. Importantly, such flows are not uni-directional (from ‘rich’ to ‘poor’ countries) as was assumed in times past. In developing ideas on the New Polynesian Triangle, we wish to move away from the dominant Western discourse of the Pacific Ocean as a barrier to development and movement and towards the reclamation of the ocean as a conduit and source of connection and movement for Pacific peoples.