Report on housing and retirement among Pacific peoples in Aotearoa

01 Jun 2022


This research forms part of a joint initiative by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission (the Retirement Commission) and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP). Every three years the New Zealand Government conducts a Review of  Retirement Income Policies. 

This report is focused on two important social policy issues relating to Pacific peoples aged 65 and older (Pacific matua) in Aotearoa New Zealand, namely retirement and housing. The research forms part of a joint initiative by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission (the Retirement Commission) and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).

The key objectives are to:

  1. To gain a deeper understanding of what retirement means for Pacific matua.
  2. To identify the key drivers behind intergenerational retirement housing arrangements of Pacific matua.
  1. To examine the extent to which intergenerational retirement housing arrangements relate to Pacific matua’s ideal/intended retirement housing arrangements, and what alternative retirement housing options could be.
  2. To investigate the wellbeing implications of intergenerational housing arrangements for Pacific matua.


Pacific research using Pacific methodologies and frameworks allow researchers to establish a unique perspective that is underpinned by Pacific values, belief systems, and ways of structuring knowledge.

Key Results

From the findings and case studies collated, retirement is not a time to stop working but to continue serving family, church, and community, in a voluntary capacity.

The other key finding is, independence is essential to Pacific matua, that is, to be independent (or interdependent) from the confines of life situations such as workplaces, family, or cultural obligations. What this research has highlighted is that even in retirement, Pacific matua continue to play a significant role within their families, and their communities, and are seen as the anchor for the family unit.

Page last modified: 07 Mar 2024