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Philip Garside Books

Culture Crossroads - Print.

Culture Crossroads - Print.

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Culture Crossroads: Dealing with the Pressures and Demands on Pacific Islanders Living in Aotearoa

By Rubinstine Manukia

Published:  30 June 2021
Language: English
Words: 20,310
B/W text, 64 pp, 6″ x 9″ 
Soft cover
ISBN: 9781988572710

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Pasifika people are at a crossroads and need to decide whether to retain their traditional cultural values and practices, to adopt those of the majority of New Zealanders or to find a middle pathway to the future. They feel under pressure in their lives in Aotearoa.

In response, many older Pasifika people and those raised in the Pacific Islands, choose to run their Aotearoa churches and take part in the life of their church in the same way they did in the Islands. This brings them comfort and a feeling of security.

 Younger Pasifika people and those born or raised mainly in New Zealand are caught between the expectations of their parents and wider family to adhere to island culture and traditions and wanting to live a freer Kiwi lifestyle. They must learn to put the needs of their immediate family and children first and be disciplined in how they handle their finances, and their giving to their churches and extended family.

Successful Pasifika sports people, and professionals in other fields, are expected to give money to their extended family in New Zealand and the Islands. In some extreme cases this pressure has caused sports people to suicide.

Ruby suggests that churches in New Zealand generally, and Pasifika members as a sub-group within their national bodies, should have the right to decide for themselves their response to theological and ethical issues.

These issues feed into an argument that Aotearoa should have a written constitution that acknowledges the tenets of all faiths, religions, cultures and ethnicities.

About the author

Rubinstine Manukia is a Tongan author, who has English and Chinese descent.

Ruby has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Auckland, a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University of Wellington, Legal Professionals from Canterbury University of Christchurch and a Masters of Law (Honors) from the USA. Ruby is completing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree specialising in Health Law.

She ran a restaurant, the Foghorn Bar & Grill, in San Francisco and also worked in Washington DC.

She is a community enabler and is the President’s Legal Advisor for the Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Haahi Weteriana O Aotearoa.

Ruby enjoys sports, spending time with her family and enabling communities to thrive.




1– The Pasifika Concept of Giving

  • Challenging the Concept of Giving – A New Generation
  • Balancing the Concept of Giving – Old vs New Generations
  • The View of Polynesian Professionals
  • The View of Clergy and Pacific Presbyters
  • Misinale – Celebrates Tongan Financial Giving
  • Public Perception of Giving

2 – Change Starts in the Home

  • The Neuroscience of Learning Starts at Home
  • Youth Today

3 – Christian Faith in the Workplace

  • Christian Faith at Work
  • The Art of Communication

4 – The intersection of Church and State

  • United States Constitution vs New Zealand Law
  • Pasifika Concerns About Recent Social Legislation
  • Further Pasifika Concerns About the End Of Life Choice Act 2019

5 – Life beyond the Family

  • Church as a village
  • New Structures
  • A legal framework in New Zealand

6 – Can we learn from a comparison with other systems of Church?

  • Tikanga Māori

7 – The direction of the Church for Pasifika peoples

  • Pasifika faith lore
  • Acculturation
  • Further understanding
  • Cultural Competence
  • Diversity at Work
  • Enablement through Community Led Development Principles (CLDP)
  • Māori community development

8 – The current context

  • Community development practice in Aotearoa today
  • Social Justice
  • Individual and collective human rights
  • Equity
  • Self-determination and empowerment
  • Participation and democracy
  • Cooperation/collective action
  • Sustainability (including, but not exclusively, environmental sustainability)
  • Bi-cultural community development practice in Aotearoa
  • Enabling and Building Capacity

9 – Reflection – Lessons learned

  • Learning from our situations
  • Finding your own voice and pathway in life
  • Epistemology of Pasifika People – Native Common Sense
  • Hidden Meaning and Interpretation – Pasifika use of Sarcasm
  • Unbroken – To know we belong
  • Placemaking For Redemption – Making something better and more acceptable
  • Learning by Doing and Empowerment



  • Sermon delivered by Rubinstine Manukia  on Sunday 20 January 2019 at Pulela’a New Lynn Tongan Methodist Church
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