2 Aug 2016

Pacific research swayed by funding

1:41 pm on 2 August 2016
Massey University's Malakai Koloamatangi

Massey University's Malakai Koloamatangi Photo: Massey University

A Pacific academic says research is being dictated by its ability to secure funding instead of what the Pacific actually needs.

The Pacific Islands Political Studies Association conference on political change in Oceania was held in Niue last month. (July)

Following the conference, the Pacific director at New Zealand's Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi said it was difficult to say one type of research is better than the other.

But he said the practical dimensions are largely being ignored and research is now more politically driven.

"At the end of the day, the research will follow the funding so what I'm saying is, give Pacific and non-Pacific researchers an opportunity to come together and decide on the agenda and then give it the money to research in those areas where they think it is important."

Dr Koloamatangi said third world diseases such as dengue fever and tuberculosis still affect people in the Pacific and research needs to catch up and offer practical solutions.

"I believe research needs to be practical particularly given the fact that our Pacific communities are in this stage of general development and I see academics and researchers, one of their roles, is to help the communities develop."