Pasifika Planning

Papa Pounamu are currently working on shaping the future for Pasifika planning and resource management practise in New Zealand by talking to Pasifika planners to determine current needs. 

While there is no statutory requirement to consult Pacific people in New Zealand, Pacific peoples ethnic group was the fourth-largest major ethnic group (300,000) in 2013, behind the European, Māori, and Asian.  Pacific people have specific characteristics:

  • Youthful - highest proportion of children than any other ethnicity.

  • Large families average 3.5 children compared to 1.5 for European.

  • Are mainly located in the north island.

  • Are highly mobile.

  • Have lower rates of tertiary education in planning, science subjects.


Planning for this population is particularly important in terms of urban design to promote health, affordable housing, targeted social and community development and climate change resilience and sustainability.  A number of Territorial Local Authorities with large Pacifika populations are making provision for Pacific input including Auckland Council and Porirua City Council.

Pacific Perspective


Similar to Māori world views, Pacific environmental perspectives have developed around the importance of family, culture, and spiritual values and beliefs that many Pasifika people hold.  


One example of this is the Fonofale model which incorporates the metaphor of a Samoan house with the foundation or the floor (family), posts (physical, spiritual and mental elements) and roof (culture) encapsulated in a circle to promote the philosophy of holism and  continuity.  The Mod being structured on a fale (house) reinforces the direct relationship and holistic approach the environment and health has in indigenous cultutres.

Papa Pounamu is a Special Interest Group of the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI), to join Papa Pounamu click here.  For information on becoming
a member of NZPI please click here or visit