A professor in New Zealand has received a prestigious grant to research into Samoan matai who are born and living overseas.
Dr Melani Anae at the University of Auckland's Centre for Pacific Studies has over 550,000 US dollars from the Marsden Fund to study Samoans with titles living in Australia, Hawai'i and Utah, and to visit six villages in Samoa to discuss her findings.
The convenor of the The Marsden Fund's Social Sciences division, Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, says the application stood out among many worthwhile projects.
"We just thought this was a really good, fantastic kind of piece of research to fund, that addressed issues that, really there are not that many people who can get access to matai as Dr Anae can but who would be concerned as much as she is about cultural change in Samoa."
Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.