Pacific Economy Research Report on Unpaid Work and Volunteering in Aotearoa

Pacific Economy Research Report on Unpaid Work a…
01 Jul 2021


This report captures Pacific peoples’ insights on volunteering and unpaid productive work. Guided by Pacific research principles and methodologies, data was collected through focus groups, talanoa – discussion – and a survey.


To produce the most accurate illustration of Pacific perspectives on unpaid work and volunteering contributions, data for the report was collected and woven together from four diverse methods:

  • Literature review of available sources on Pacific perspectives and international definitions of unpaid work and volunteering
  • Quantitative data analysis of Pacific peoples’ unpaid work and volunteering from Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI)
  • Qualitative focus groups and individual talanoa involving 27 focus groups and a total of 186 diverse Pacific participants conducted by nine ethnic specific community researchers.
  • Online survey of 2,000 participants stratified by age, gender, region, and nine Pacific ethnic communities around Aotearoa.

Key Results

The findings indicate that current data on Pacific peoples’ involvement in unpaid work and volunteering do not capture the full extent of their involvement in these activities and therefore underestimate the contributions Pacific peoples make to the Aotearoa economy.

Consistent with previous research, the findings show the importance of understanding the diversity of Pacific perspectives given that ‘Pacific’ is an umbrella term for nearly 20 different ethnic communities, each with differing languages, cultures, and worldviews. While there are underlying shared values held across all the ethnic communities involved in this research, a one-size-fits-all approach to Pacific data does not provide an accurate understanding of the realities of Pacific peoples’ lives in Aotearoa.

This has implications for future national data collection.

Page last modified: 12 Oct 2023