Faculty of Arts


Polynesian Warriors: Sport and Pacific Cultures

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for PACIFIC 311.


Sport has profoundly impacted Pacific peoples and cultures, playing critical roles in everything from colonialism and education in the past, to migration and commercialisation in the present. Sport has changed and has been changed by Pacific people.

The course begins with a discussion of histories of sport in the Pacific, including traditional games and the impact of colonisation on sporting activities and pathways. 

We then examine contemporary youth sports, including the kinds of values and behaviours sports are thought to teach and the role of sport in developing male and female gender identities among young people. We continue with discussion of how sports has become a site for articulating different kinds of cultural, racial, ethnic and gender identities across New Zealand and the Pacific. 

In the last segments of the course we analyse media representations of Pacific people in sport, including the use of Polynesian cultural practices like haka, initiatives that use sport for development in the Pacific region, and sports injuries and mental health and wellbeing.

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 2


Lecturer(s)  Caleb Marsters


PACIFIC 311: 15.0 points


30 points passed at Stage II



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