Island Time

Island Time

New Zealand's Pacific Futures

The task of living in modern New Zealand – and especially in modern Auckland – is not just to understand how to live with different peoples, but how to adapt to the future that has already happened.

New Zealand is a nation that exists on Pacific Islands, but does not, will not, perhaps cannot, see itself as a Pacific Island nation. Yet turning to the Pacific, argues Damon Salesa, enables us to grasp a fuller understanding of what life is really like on these shores.

After all, Salesa argues, in many ways New Zealand’s Pacific future has already happened. Setting a course through the ‘islands’ of Pacific life in New Zealand – Ōtara, Tokoroa, Porirua, Ōamaru and beyond – he charts a country becoming ‘even more Pacific by the hour’. What would it mean, this far-sighted book asks, for New Zealand to recognise its Pacific talent and finally act like a Pacific nation?

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Damon Salesa talking about his research (video 1'11'')


Damon Salesa giving the 2018 Michael King Lecture at the Auckland Writers Festival (audio, 54'30'')
Ebook publication:
Pages: 256
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781988533537
DOI: 10.7810/9781988533537

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One of 10 books on NZIER's Summer Reading List for the Prime Minister 2019!

'Educate Yourself: An Essential Anti-Racism Reading Guide', Viva, 2 June 2020.

'Decolonising the Pacific', e-Tangata, 2 June 2019 (book extract).

Philip Cass, 'New Zealand's Future is Pacific', Pacific Journalism Review, 24, 2 (2018), pp.263-4.

Giovanni Tiso, 'Urgent Challenges', Landfall, 1 November 2018.

Book Review, Tui Motu, September 2018, issue 230, p.30.

'Book on Samoan accomplishments' Ivamere Nataro, Samoa Observer, 2 August 2018.

'Island Time: how Pacific people and cultures are changing NZ', RNZ, 18 July 2018.

Listen to Damon Salesa's Michael King Lecture at the Auckland Writers Festival.

'AWF18: Michael King Memorial Lecture – Ready or Not – Damon Salesa', Elizabeth Heritage, Booksellers NZ, 21 May 2018.

''We didn't get here by accident' - Professor says property websites offering ethnicity data are just catering to demand', Breakfast, TVNZ, 26 April 2018.

'Get used to it: it's island time', Dale Husband, e-Tangata, 28 January 2018.

'Damon Salesa and New Zealand’s Pacific Futures', 95bFM, 12 December 2017.

'Pacific support for league could outstrip that for rugby', RNZ, 10 December 2017.

'Rugby could become 'weaker code' among Pacific players if league opens up eligibility', Stuff, 10 December 2017.

'Damon Salesa: Our Pacific future is already here', e-Tangata, 10 December 2017.

'Damon Salesa: our Pacific future', Sunday Mornings, RNZ, 10 December 2017.

'Why writer Damon Salesa says Auckland’s future is Pacific', Finlay Macdonald, Paperboy, 8 December 2017.

Damon Salesa on Radio 531pi, 5 December 2017.

'League: Polynesian stars just 'labourers'', Kirsty Wynn, New Zealand Herald, 3 December 2017.


'Island Time: New Zealand's Pacific Futures is a farsighted examination into how New Zealand's future will be shaped by its past and present.'
 Masami Tsujita Levi, Project Muse

'Salesa’s book is a short read but it will challenge you to think about New Zealand’s – and perhaps your own – place in the Pacific.'
– NZIER's Summer Reading List for the Prime Minister 2019.

'This book by Damon Salesa is one all Kiwis should read. It made me laugh and cry and taught me more about Pacific people in Aotearoa than anything else.'
– Lisa Taouma, NZ Herald Viva magazine, May 2019.

'His writing provides an accessible and highly evocative account based on meticulous research. It has a manifesto-like vision that recalls the prose of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, and Epeli Hau‘ofa’s ‘Our Sea of Islands’, the latter a text so crucial to reframing optics of Pacific people.'
 Kalissa Alexeyeff, Australian Historical Studies, 50:2, 276-278, 12 January 2019

'There are many deep-seated truths in Island Time, an honest and bold account with the resounding echo that Pacific peoples “walk a unique path” and reaffirms that Pacific peoples have a rightful place at the table....Island Time is a treasure, a piecing together of invaluable teachings and insight.'
- Jemaima Tiatia-Seath, 'Book review: Damon Salesa, Island Time: New Zealand’s Pacific Futures', AlterNative, March 2018, pp.1-2.

'Island time is a sociological overview of Pacific Islanders in Aotearoa by historian Damon Salesa. Known for debunking myths and stereotypes of the Pacific experience in the land of milk and honey, ‘Island Time’ is one of the few academic works that peels back the layers of modern Pacific living.'
Pasifika Books to Note, The Coconet