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