John Patolo

Doctor of Philosophy candidate

John Patolo

John Patolo, also known as Uia and Ioane, is a second generation migrant from Samoa, the son of Figota Sui Lino of Faleapuna and Safune, and Lealasalanoa Kalala of Lauli'i, Lufilufi, Vailele and Matautu-Lefaga, who migrated to New Zealand in the early 1960’s.

John worked with Statistics New Zealand for 15 years and occupied several roles over this time. From a data analyst to the Pacific Manager of the census, John worked with agencies like the Ministry of Pacific Island and Affairs and community groups.

John came to AUT as a mature student and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences & Conflict Resolution (2008) and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences & Conflict Resolution in 2014.

John master's thesis took a quantitative approach to his study and looked at secondary data from the New Zealand Social Survey 2008 to analyse the well-being of Pacific people.

Through this research, John discovered many of the questions asked in national surveys were developed around the dominant culture, and may not answer questions about the well-being of a subgroup, such as Pacific people.

John then went on to begin a Doctor of Philosophy, and says there was a personal motivation behind this decision.

"As my parents migrated here their Samoan language is very strong. They kept it alive and passed it to me and my language is not too bad. My children have very little of the Samoan language because they speak English at home. They understand it, but can barely speak it.

"As the generations move on, the language will slowly decline, from my personal experience. I wanted to find out, is this something that is happening in all Samoan homes?"

John is looking at the extent of how Samoan language is used in New Zealand and the different socioeconomic factors that contribute to this. His quantitative study will analyse data linkages from the Statistics New Zealand National Census and other national secondary data sets.

John has multiple other research projects: Google Analytics - a quantitative case study of the online version of Te Aka Māori-English Dictionary, and is involved in the online Cook Islands Dictionary project.

“I want our culture and language to live on for our future generations, to share what it is to be a Samoan."

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