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Research Report on the Contribution of (Pacific people) to New Zealand’s Contemporary Business Environment. 

Significant Historical Event in New Zealand and its Impact on the Economy

The report aims to present the contributions made by the Pacific people in shaping and developing New Zealand as a prosperous country. The Pacific people of New Zealand represent one of the largest ethnic groups in the world, fourth largest to be specific, comprising the Tongan, Samoan, Niuean, Tokelauan and the Cook Islands Maori. The contribution of this community in the development of the country in economic terms is evident from their rapid growth in both proportion in population and number. With such an increase, the Pacific people contribute largely towards increasing the economic strength of the country. The report focuses specifically on happenings that took place during the 20th century, the Foreshore and Seabed Act in particular and its consequences. The Act was introduced after the Maori filed a court case in 1997 in the Marlborough Sounds resulting in the enactment of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004. The report also highlights the contributions of specific Pacific community individuals who have made great contributions in different fields and brought good name to the country. In addition to that, the report discusses the contribution of the Pacific community in globalizing New Zealand’s contemporary business sector. The report then discusses a specific change that is likely to occur within the New Zealand society in future. The change that the paper discusses is within the technology sector that has witnessed immense growth in the past decade and continues to grow.

Many historical events have contributed to the development of the country since the 15th and 16th century. However, it is worth mentioning that the foundation of the country was laid by its original inhabitants – the Polynesians – who established a distinct Maori culture in the country that stressed on the values of kinship and land ownership. Several important events in the country’s history could be pointed out that have contributed to its present form like early European settlement during the 1600s, the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the right to vote for women and so on. The report however, highlights a recent event that took place during the late years of the 1990s and the yearly 2000s, which is the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004.
 


The seabed in New Zealand is the underwater land around the coast where the Maori people used to perform recreation activities, do fishing and bring canoes amongst other things. Foreshore, on the other hand, is the land frequently covered by tide. The British introduced the customary law in New Zealand with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, which curbed the natural rights of the Maori people in the seabed and foreshore. The Crown imposed ownership on the seabed and foreshore restricting the Pacific people to use those for their activities. The Waitangi Treaty stated that the Crown was the owner of the riverbeds, the coastal waters and the foreshore. It granted limited access to the people to use the regions for fishing and using boats. Observing the disadvantages of the Treaty, the Maori people realized that they needed to oppose the new law. In 1997, the Marlborough Sounds Maori residents approached the Maori Land Court and appealed for declaring the foreshore and seabed as a customary land for Maoris. The High Court then intervened and before the Maori Land Court could hear the case, it ruled that the customary rights of the Maoris in the foreshore are no longer present. Further, ruling by the court stated that the Maoris could not claim rights of the seabed as well because its ownership has been with the Crown from the beginning. When the case reached the Court of Appeal, the government then introduced the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 making sure that the Crown’s ownership stays intact. However, the act granted rights to perform customary activities to the people.

The Significant Individual from Pacific Community and Their Contribution to New Zealand Society


The event had crucial economic, social and cultural significance in New Zealand history. First, the act paved the way for Pacific people to improve their economic condition by using the ports, fishing, mining and tourism. Second, the act gave due respect and recognition to the mana, the ancestral rights and values of the Pacific people (Treasury.govt.nz, 2018). Third, allowing the people to carry out diving and fishing activities demonstrated the acknowledgment of their social values. Dorsett and Godden (2005) viewed that the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 reduced the apparently inequality of the previous law that governed the foreshore and seabed. Bargh (2006) on the other hand, argued that the act is filled with loopholes as it does not give complete rights to the Maori people as the Crown still had ownership. With all being said and debated, the act did have a strong influence in New Zealand’s economy and the formulation of a new law governing the coastal areas. The economy although witnessed minor boost, it remained average. The prime contribution of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 is however the formulation of the 2011 Marine and Coastal Area Act. The new act completely ended the Crown ownership and granted more rights to the iwi or the Pacific community (Treasury.govt.nz, 2018).

When it comes to the Pacific community individuals of New Zealand, many prominent names come to the fore. Amongst those, the two significant names that can be identified as contributing to New Zealand society include Russell Crowe, an established actor and Te Rangi Hiroa also known as Sir Peter Henry Buck, a prominent doctor, politician, military leader and health administrator of the past.


Russell Crowe, born on April 7, 1964 in Strathmore, a small suburb in Wellington, New Zealand has his descendants from the Maori community as his great-great-grandmother was of Maori origin. He spent most of his life in Australia after moving there at the age of four with his family. Crowe began his career as a musician but that did not yield good results for him. His career bloomed after he turned to America during the 1990s starring in films like Virtuosity alongside Denzel Washington, The Quick and the Dead opposite Sharon stone and several others. However, his major break came with the film Gladiator that won him his first Academy Award in 2000. Apart from that, Crowe also received back-to-back nominations for film such as The Insider and A Beautiful Mind. He has been involved in many philanthropic activities as well including donations made to revive struggling schools in rural Australia. His contribution to the rich and varied art of New Zealand is undeniable although he had spent most of his life in Australia. He is one of the best exports of New Zealand earning great name amongst the already established stars. He has also been vocal about certain myths about the history of the country.


Te Rangi Hiroa was another prominent New Zealander belonging to the Ngati Mutunga Maori iwi. Known also as Sir Peter Henry Buck, Hiroa was amongst the first medical doctors to graduate in the country. Apart from holding this degree, Hiroa also held several other posts and degrees throughout his lifetime. He made significant contributions to the field of anthropology specifically of the Maori and other Pacific peoples. His contributions to the” understanding of the physical and medical anthropology of Maori” are significant because these led other anthropologists to understand the community in a better light. Further, he also worked relentlessly for the advancement of the Pacific community as an able administrator, political leader and a community leader as well. He was also a First World War veteran. He had developed keen interest in Pacific Islander people after working closely with and for them as a Native Affairs Committee during the early 1900s. He indulged in serving them as a medical officer in Niue and Cook Islands particularly. McConville et al. (2017) note that Hiroa was an international figure at that time and knowing this, he still preferred to uplift his own people rather than leaving for a better life. He also helped in recruiting Maori contingent during the First World War. The contributions made by Te Rangi Hiroa to New Zealand society could also be fathomed from the fact that after he deceased, the Royal Society of New Zealand initiated the Te Rangi Hiroa Medalfor achievements in the field of social sciences.

New Zealand is currently one of the fastest growing economies of the world owing to the government’s efforts to boost the different industries. Acceptance and acknowledgement of the Pacific people has been one of the major reasons for the boon. New Zealand business environment has been able to globalize due to the contributions made by the Pacific people. The arts and literature of the Pacific people in particular has been instrumental in globalizing the New Zealand business sector in the contemporary era. The Pacific community has produced numerous talented artists with the likes of Fatu Feu’u, Andy Leleisi’uao, John Ioane and Lily Laita amongst others whose works have been appreciated globally (Teara.govt.nz, 2018). Their works have also helped put New Zealand in the world map more prominently and in fact, has helped develop its tourism industry. Their works of art have attracted worldwide attention and growing interest in New Zealand traditions and history. The collections of these artists have been exhibited in countries across the globe including the United States, United Kingdom and other European nations as well. These artists have been able to bring forth the Pacific tradition of New Zealand in pictures vibrantly. Their success has helped promote New Zealand’s culture and bloom the tourism industry. The tourism sector has received great impetus through the artistic demonstrations of New Zealand culture and tradition.


Apart from creative arts, literature has also been an area where Pacific peoples of New Zealand have made a mark and helped the country become renowned globally. Albert Wendt and Sia Figiel are the two names that have made prominent mark in the history of New Zealand literature (Teara.govt.nz, 2018). In addition, the Pacific people have made great contributions to the music industry of the country. The pop and jazz music produced by the Samoan people in New Zealand have become international and received much accolades. Artists like Mavis Rivers, Freddy Keil and Daphne Collins and the younger generation musicians have been able to globalize the contemporary environment of New Zealand. In terms of core business, many young and budding entrepreneurs from the Pacific community have emerged in the recent past. Marriott and Sim (2015) give a clear picture of the entrepreneurial strength of the Pacific people and explains the way it is going to boost New Zealand’s business sector. According to the authors, the New Zealand government needs to transform the policies and actions to distribute evenly the economic benefits and opportunities. Cameron and McCarthy (2015) however, argue that the business traditions unique to the Pacific people have made it possible for the New Zealand business sector to stand apart from other countries. The authors comment the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs has resulted in increased studies and researches on Indigenous entrepreneurship. It indicates that the Pacific people have largely contributed towards the recognition of New Zealand in terms of globalization of business sector in the contemporary setting.

The emerging trends visible within the technology sector in New Zealand indicate that the next decade will bring some radical changes within the New Zealand society (Newzealandnow.govt.nz, 2018). The sector’s growth has been remarkable in the past few years with a rapid increase in the number of Pacific workforce in the sector. As Stewart et al. (2014) note, technology in the country has become a focal point and is most likely to top the list of the most rapidly emerging trends in the coming years. One of the major reasons for this is the strengthening workforce of New Zealand. The drops in unemployment rate in the last decade demonstrate that the country is moving a better path. Further, the diversity within the workforce has also ensured that the economy keeps moving on the upper trajectory. The changing dynamics within the New Zealand society could be identified as one of the reasons for the diverse workforce.


Whittaker, Fath and Fiedler (2016) have noticed that the Pacific people’s growing participation in the technological sector has resulted in the establishment of numerous tech companies in the country. The creation of tech companies like Whanau Tahi Ltd. gives a clear indication of the emerging role of Pacific people in New Zealand business and society. Stephen Keung, the Chief of Whanau Tahi hails from the Pacific community and focuses on improving the wellbeing of at-risk communities through technology (Nzherald.co.nz, 2018). It has also been observed that the Pacific youth is showing much interest in the technology industry. Tech summits are held at different places inviting interested pacific people to participate and learn more about the industry. The Kiwa Nuanua Pacific Tech Summit held earlier this year is an example of the changing trends within the tech sector of New Zealand. The summit on the one hand, witnessed a large gathering of young and enthusiastic Pacific students while on the other saw the elderly Pacific individuals attending. It was a successful venture as the Pacific people were able to learn about the tech industry from experts of the field.


These facts are evidences of the changing scenario of the New Zealand society. Further, these also show that the changes within the tech industry and growing participation of the Pacific people is likely to bring about major changes within the New Zealand society as well. In the views of Henry, Dana and Murphy (2018), the major transformations within the technology sector would benefit the small and medium enterprises as well. This is the reason why managers and owners “marshal both internal and external capabilities to improve innovation outcomes”.

Conclusion

Highlighting the growth in the tech industry, the report discussed the contribution of the Pacific community in the development of the New Zealand society. The report has successfully brought forward, the gradual emergence of the Pacific people in the past few decades within different sectors. The report has also discussed elaborately the historical events that changed the face of its economy and society. The one event in specific, the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 has been highlighted as a significant historical event that helped shape New Zealand’s economy. Further, the report has highlighted the contributions of two significant Pacific individuals – Russell Crowe (actor) and Te Ranga Hiroa known also as Sir Peter Henry Buck – to the New Zealand society. The report then emphasized the contribution of the Pacific community in globalizing the contemporary business sector of the country. In addition to that, it also discussed the significant social changes that are most likely to bring about major transformations within the New Zealand society. The analysis revealed that the most important change is in the tech industry where Pacific people are increasingly participating in entrepreneurial ventures. In the end, the analysis revealed that the growing participation of the Pacific community would bring about significant changes in the next few decades within the New Zealand society.
 

References:

Bargh, M. (2006). Changing the game plan: the Foreshore and Seabed Act and constitutional change. K?tuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 1(1), 13-24.
Cameron, F., & McCarthy, C. (2015). Two anthropological assemblages: Maori'culture areas' and'adaptation'in New Zealand museums and government policy. Museum and Society, 13(1), 88-106.


Dorsett, S., & Godden, L. (2005). Interpreting Customary Rights Orders under the Foreshore and Seabed Act: The New Jurisdiction of the Maori Land Court. Victoria U. Wellington L. Rev., 36, 229.


Henry, E. Y., Dana, L. P., & Murphy, P. J. (2018). Telling their own stories: M?ori entrepreneurship in the mainstream screen industry. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 30(1-2), 118-145.


Marriott, L., & Sim, D. (2015). Indicators of inequality for Maori and Pacific people. Journal of New Zealand Studies, (20), 24.


McConville, A., McCreanor, T., Wetherell, M., & Moewaka Barnes, H. (2017). Imagining an emotional nation: the print media and Anzac Day commemorations in Aotearoa New Zealand. Media, Culture & Society, 39(1), 94-110.


Newzealandnow.govt.nz. (2018). Key Industries | Work in New Zealand | New Zealand Now. Retrieved from https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/work-in-nz/nz-jobs-industries


Nzherald.co.nz. (2018). Executive Success: Indigenous touch for technology. Retrieved from https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11654031


Stewart, M., Olsen, G., Hickey, C. W., Ferreira, B., Jeli?, A., Petrovi?, M., & Barcelo, D. (2014). A survey of emerging contaminants in the estuarine receiving environment around Auckland, New Zealand. Science of the Total Environment, 468, 202-210.


Teara.govt.nz. (2018). 5. – Samoans – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved from https://teara.govt.nz/en/samoans/page-5


Teara.govt.nz. (2018). Law of the foreshore and seabed – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved from https://teara.govt.nz/en/law-of-the-foreshore-and-seabed
Treasury.govt.nz. (2018). Regulatory Impact Statement Review of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004: Post Consultation Decisions. Retrieved from https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2010-09/ris-justice-rfsap-sep10.pdf


Whittaker, D. H., Fath, B. P., & Fiedler, A. (2016). Assembling capabilities for innovation: Evidence from new zealand SMEs. International small business journal, 34(1), 123-143.

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