Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop

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Professor of Pacific Studies



  • PhD (Macquarie)
  • MA (VUW)
  • BA (Hons 1) VUW
  • BA (VUW)
  • TTC (Teachers Certificate).


For more than 30 years Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, AUT University's inaugural Professor of Pacific Studies, has been teaching, researching and publishing on Pacific development issues — from issues of national sustainable development through to gender and youth equity. Her teaching experience ranges from ECE through primary to tertiary level in the Pacific and in New Zealand.

Tagaloatele brings a blend of theoretical and practical hands on community based approaches to her teaching, research and advocacy and always with the aim of informing policy level action. Her research mainly involves critiquing the appropriateness of global models to Pacific peoples' aspirations and lives today, including the impact of globalisation on family security.

Tagaloatele taught at the University of the South Pacific Alafua School of Agriculture for over 15 years and then for 10 years held posts with UNDP, UNIFEM and UNESCO. She worked with national planning offices and NGOs in most Pacific countries before her return to NZ in 2006. Tagaloatele joined AUT's Institute of Public Policy in 2009. Her priority has now turned to supporting and mentoring the next generation of Pacific researchers and, researchers of the Pacific:

"It is an exciting time at AUT: I am privileged to have this chance of contributing to empowering our post graduate students as they research and critique culturally secure solutions to addressing challenges Pacific communities face today."

Research Areas:

  • Sustainable development, Pacific Small Island States
  • Gender, youth and development issues
  • Family security (domestic violence and Child abuse and neglect issues)
  • Education.

Current Research Projects:

  • Youth connectedness, Pacific youth in New Zealand
  • Pacific males and educational outcomes
  • Pacific epistemologies, pedagogies and methodologies
  • Gender and equity issues Pacific
  • Police and domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.



  • Response to Domestic Violence – Pathways to recovery, V Kingi and J Jordan, with T Moeke-Maxwell and Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop (2009)/li>
  • Vanuatu Domestic Violence Report,; Pacific Police Prevention of Domestic Violence (PPDVP) August 2009 (PPDVP, NZAID).

Conferences, seminars and presentations

  • APPCAN, Perth (Nov 2009 Plenary Session — Invited member of 4 member panel Indigenous Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN).
  • APPCAN, Perth (2009) Bringing Police into Domestic Violence/CAN strategies: Pacific, Paper presented.
  • Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC) 18th Biennial General Conference, Bangkok August 2009 Biculturalism, Cultural Identities and Globalisation: Issues for Aotearoa New Zealand (with professor David Thorns, and Associate Professor, Rosemay Du PLessis (University of Canterbury).
  • Association of Social Scientists (NZ) Pacific students and the Talanoa access grid (Jan 2009) (ASSR website).
  • BRCSS Conference (Aug 2009) The Pacific Post Graduate Talanoa Network, Wellington (with Salainaoloa Wilson p/g).
  • BRCSS Conference (Aug 2009) Coordinated and chaired the Pacific Sessions (x2).
  • NZFUW Keynote, Pacific Women Graduates: Learning to Say 'no' and 'help' Auckland (Sep 2009).
  • Pacific Bible College Conference, Family based strategies for child abuse and neglect, Wellington (2009).
  • Samoan Teachers National Refresher Course (2009) Growing Samoan researchers at VUW, (October 2009).
  • Climate change and migration in the South Pacific region: Policy perspectives, Institute of Policy Studies, VUW (9-10 July 2009) If I plant a tree, will my children be here to see it group. (Climate Change, Migratoin and the Community.
  • UNESCO Biculturalism, multiculturalism and globatlisation; Pacific, paper presented at UNESCo, Royal Society, ASSR forum, Wellington Cultural identifies in a globalizing workd, (17 April 2009).
  • Wellington City Council Forum (2009) Creating Pacific learning communities, Wellington
Invited chair
  • Pacific Island Family Study Workshop, From Research to Policy (Dec 2009), AUT University.
  • PIPSA Conference, (Dec 2009) Women and Politics Session,Auckland University.