Richard Pamatatau

Lecturer, Communication Studies

Phone: +64 9 9219999 extn 6827


Postal Address:
School of Communication Studies
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand
Links to relevant web pages:


Reporting the Pacific - video overview


  • BA, University of Auckland

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Committee Member, Pacific Island Media Association.
  • Member, AUT University Pacific Academic Staff Network
  • Member, AUT University Pacific Staff Network
  • Committee Member, AUT University Communications School Research Committee
  • Organising Member, AUT University Communications School Research Committee Research presentation programme
  • Member, Gothic Association of New Zealand and Australia.
  • Appointed member, Auckland Council’s Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel
  • Appointed member, Auckland Councils Strategic Arts Policy Panel
  • Appointed Member, Auckland Council Mayoral Taskforce on Alcohol


Richard joined AUT University in 2011 as its inaugural Programme Leader for the innovative and challenging Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism. 

Prior to joining AUT Richard spent more than 20 years as a working journalist,  most recently as the Pacific Issues Correspondent at Radio New Zealand for six years. Before that he was a staff member for 12 years on NZ InfoTech Weekly, the specialist information section of The Dominion Post. He was also a contributing columnist the the NZ Herald’s business section but has also written for a wide range of other publications on everything from kitten heels and upmarket housing to sex clubs and recreational travel.

Richard maintains an active interest in journalism practice and can be heard discussing politics, economics and Pacific Issues on 531 PI with morning host Yolande Ah Chong.

He also appears on TVNZ’s Pacific programme Tangata Pasifika and Maori Television’s Native Affairs as a commentator on a range of political, economic, and cultural issues.

Teaching Areas:

  • Maori and Pacific Media Industries
  • Principles of News Journalism
  • News Reporting
  • Journalism, Law and Ethics
  • Public Affairs Reporting
  • Reporting the Pacific Region
  • Pacific Newsroom Practicuum

Research Areas:

Richard’s research interests are the Pacific, social media, class, silence and social elevation.
He is fascinated by the intersection of technology and news and how it both elevates access to content for some while pushing others to be information poor outliers.

His current research projects include an investigation of signage at Bon Accord Harbour, Racism in Twilight, Media Production around the reporting of the funerals of the late Kings of Tonga and how social media tools and mobile devices can be used to enhance student learning.

He is about to begin an MPhil investigating patterns of picture reporting in Weekend newspapers.

Current Research Projects:

  • An Investigation of Signage at Bon Accord Harbour
  • Racism in Twilight
  • Media Production around the reporting of Royal Funerals in Tonga
  • Social Media tools and enhancing Journalism teaching
  • Patterns of Picture Reporting in Weekend Newspapers


  • (2012) “From Festivals to Famine and the Silence in Between. “In Hirst, M., Phelan, S. and Rupar, V. (eds.), Scooped: Politics and power of journalism in Aoteraoa New Zealand. AUT Media, Auckland