Pacific Island people are generally underrepresented in senior roles across the various tertiary institutions in New Zealand. This observation is apparent for Pacific Island people employed in either an allied or academic pathway. The purpose of this research is to investigate why Pacific allied staff at a tertiary educational institution do not progress into senior roles in New Zealand.
A qualitative research method was adopted using semi-structured interviews with integration of talanoa to explore the career progression of Pacific staff at a tertiary institution. The study was conducted in Auckland where the majority of the Pacific population resides.
The study found that organisational support, family upbringing and values, skills and competencies, and personal characteristics have been discovered to be the main contributing factors to career progression. It also found that organisation culture and practices, Pacific culture, personal choices, lack of skills and competencies and lack of confidence are key factors that hinder staff from career advancement. A long career pathway for progression for Pacific people was also discovered.
Organisations play a significant role in the career progression of Pacific allied staff as they rely on the organisational support and culture to progress. To facilitate the progression of Pacific allied staff into senior roles at tertiary institutions, organisations need to value Pacific culture and incorporate it into institutional policy and procedures.