POLS442-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Policy and Governance in Small States of New Zealand and the Pacific

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This course provides an advanced introduction to policy making and governance challenges in small states, with a particular focus on New Zealand and the small states of the Pacific. Students will be introduced to Pacific and New Zealand political economy/development/challenges, building on insights into the cultural capital, opportunities and risks (environmental, social and economic) that these communities face. Through regional case studies of policy development and governance and seminars with practitioners and community leaders, students will also have opportunities to gain experience in locally led problem solving.

Course Aims:
This course provides an advanced introduction to policy making and governance challenges in small states, with a particular focus on New Zealand and Fiji amongst the small states of the Pacific.    A key feature of this course is the opportunity to compliment insights into small state governance and policy making challenges with opportunities to develop skills of critical thinking, research, presentation, (oral and written) and practical problem solving to equip future policy makers, professionals, development managers, government officials, civil society organization personnel and community leaders, with skills and knowledge. From time to time speakers from NGOs, national and local leaders and community advocates and case studies, simulations and class debates will reinforce professional learning.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course students will have: a consolidated understanding of the key principles of policy making in small states- including an insight into skills of small cross cultural community policy making and analysis; skills in research writing and analysis of policy challenges in Pacific and New Zealand; oral presentation of policy debates and demonstrated critical thinking for public policy and community governance challenges in non-profit and private sectors.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.



Timetable 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 15:00 Beatrice Tinsley 111
19 Jul - 29 Aug
13 Sep - 24 Oct

Course Coordinators

Bronwyn Hayward and Steven Ratuva


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Research Essay 35% 4,000 words
Final Exam 35%
Critical Reflection 15% 1,200 - 1,500 words (10% written + 5% oral)
Research Seminar 15% 15 minute presentation

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Texts:
We draw initially from these core works by both course co-ordinators

Ratuva, S and Lawson, S (ed). 2015. The People have Spoken: The 2014 Fiji Elections. Canberra: ANU Press. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/pacific-series/people-have-spoken.
Ratuva, S. 2017. Country Review of Tonga. Journal of Contemporary Pacific. 29(1): 181-188. http://muse.jhu.edu/article/683745
Ratuva, S. 2017. Anxiety and Diminished Hope: The Potential Impact of Trump’s Presidency on Pacific Security. Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 107: 165-173. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00358533.2017.1296711

Hayward, B. 2017 Sea Change Climate Politics in NZ BWB Wellington
Salaea Damon, 2017 Island Time; New Zealand’s Pacific Futures BWB Wellington
Hayward, B Rethinking resilience: reflections on the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, 2010 and 2011 Ecology and Society 18(4): 37.
Harris, M 2016 The New Zealand Project BWB Wellington  

General Introductory Texts to the Pacific:

• Chand, Satish (ed). 2005. Pacific Islands Regional Integration and Governance. Canberra: ANU Press. http://press.anu.edu.au/publications/pacific-islands-regional-integration-and-governance.
• Corbett, Jack & Lal, Brij (ed). 2015. Political Life Writing in the Pacific.  Canberra: ANU Press. http://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/state-society-and-governance-melanesia/political-life-writing-pacific.
• Fry, Greg & Tate, Sandra (ed). 2015. The New Pacific Diplomacy. Canberra: ANU Press. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/pacific-series/new-pacific-diplomacy
• Hooper, Anthony. 2005. Culture and Sustainable Development in the Pacific. Canberra: ANU Press. http://press.anu.edu.au/publications/culture-and-sustainable-development-pacific.
• Ratuva, S. 2011. “The Gap between Global Thinking and Local Living: Dilemmas of Constitutional Reform in Nauru,” Journal of Polynesian Society, 120 (3): 241-268.  http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=485272398872447;res=IELIND
• Ratuva, S. 2010. “Back to Basics: Towards Integrated Social Protection for Vulnerable Groups in Vanuatu.” Pacific Economic Bulletin, 25 (3): 40-63. http://www.auckland.ac.nz/webdav/site/central/shared/about/pacific-at-the-university/back-to-basics-towards-integrated-social-protection-for-vulnerable-groups-in-vanuatu.pdf

General Introductory Texts to New Zealand:

• Anderson, Atholl  and Judith Binney, Aroha Harris, 2016. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books
• Godfrey, Morgan, 2016. The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand Wellington: BWB
• Dean, Andrew. 2015. Ruth, Roger and Me: Debts and Legacies  Wellington BWB
• Hager, Nicky 2015. Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand's political environment. Nelson: Craig Potton Publishing
• Hayward, J. 2015 New Zealand Government and Politics. Sixth Edition Melbourne: Oxford
• Miller, R. K. 2015. Democracy in New Zealand  Auckland: Auckland University Press.
• Shaw, Richard and Chris Eichbaum (2011). Public Policy in New Zealand: Institutions, Processes and Outcomes (3e) Wellington: Victoria University Press
• Salesa Damon 2017 Island Time New Zealand's Pacific Futures BWB Wellington
• Harris Max The New Zealand Project BWB Wellington

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,905.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All POLS442 Occurrences

  • POLS442-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021