Global Research and Innovation Hub on the Pacific

The Global Research and Innovation Hub on the Pacific (GRIPac)

Overview and vision

Established in 2018, the Global Research and Innovation Hub for the Pacific (GRIPac) is the research hub of the Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies, at the University of Canterbury. GRIPac pulls together resources, initiatives and expertise under a unified hub. With its global networks and partnerships as well as its leadership in a number of prestigious global and regional projects, it prides itself in being a world-class research entity. Its vision is to promote and enrich Pacific research, knowledge production and data storage and dissemination through cutting-edge, high impact and innovative research. This is to build on MBC’s current role as leader or part of a number of global, regional and local research projects. MBC has an extensive and well-established network of partnerships and collaborations with a number of universities, organizations and individuals internationally, regionally and nationally.

Aims and objectives of GRIPac

  • Encourage, promote and inspire innovative and cutting edge research on Pacific issues using a variety of methodologies and discourses, especially those relevant to the study of Pacific peoples and cultures;
  • Encourage and facilitate innovative interdisciplinary Pacific research within the university as well as regionally and internationally;
  • Facilitate, encourage and actively pursue new knowledge production and dissemination;
  • Carry our research into Pacific indigenous knowledge and innovation and their relevance to contemporary science, technology and wellbeing;
  • Provide mentoring and intellectual enrichment for young researchers and research students;
  • Carry out and build capacity for applied and policy research for Pacific communities, governments, organizations and industries;
  • Strengthen and expand research collaboration and partnerships internationally, regionally and nationally;
  • Strengthen and enrich publication on Pacific issues by setting up a publication arm and collaborating with leading publishers around the world;
  • Disseminate research, knowledge and innovative ideas through social, physical and digital means;
  • Provide resources for diplomatic and political briefings, consultancies, technical expert advice, socio-economic evaluation and project designs;
  • Engage in Pacific community research, participation and outreach;
  • Seek out and mobilize research resources and funding.

Current projects and networks

Program details Partners and networks Status and output
Global ethnicity project GRIPac is research leader for Global Ethnicity project consisting of 110 experts on ethnicity. Commissioned by Palgrave Springer Publishers. Links with more than 80 universities around the world. Includes contribution by 12 Pacific scholars. Editing completed and chapters published online and hardcopy ready in July 2019. Largest work on ethnicity ever with over 100 chapters of 2 volumes of 1,000 plus pages each. Launch at University of Nagasaki and University of Canterbury in August 2019. Editor in Chief Prof Steven Ratuva.
Global security project GRIPac is the project leader for the International Political Science Association research project on global security. Partnership with the International Political Science Association and more than 400 scholars around the world. Six conferences in the last 5 years and book, Guns and roses: Civil-military relations in a changing security environment (Palgrave 2019).
Marsden Pacific regional security project GRIPac leads this Marsden funded project. Collaboration with International Political Science Association (IPSA), ANU, UNDP, Massey University, University of New Caledonia, University of French Polynesia and University of the South Pacific (USP). Two international and regional conferences (2015 and 2017), series of Policy Brief papers and book,
Pacific regional governance, power and security Network with Pacific Political Studies Association and Australian National University Staff exchange, workshops, conferences, joint publications
Global Moral Economy project Hosted by Duke University. GRIPac to provide Pacific moral economy resources and presentations. GRIPac is the focal point for the Pacific. Ongoing networking, exchanges and internet discussions
Global Varieties of Democracy project GRIPac provides the annual data update and analysis of political systems in the Pacific Global database on Varieties of Democracy
Border and security project GRIPac leads global team put together by the International Political Science Association Book to be published by Palgrave
Pacific seabed mining project GRIPac is part of the research team led by Dr Pascale Hatcher. Marsden research funding
Social protection and health wellbeing for Pacific people GRIPac leads an inter-university Canterbury-Otago research team on social protection and health wellbeing of Pacific people. Health Research Council funded grant
Indigenous knowledge, artefacts and museum Collaboration with Pacific Museum Association and Canterbury Museum Long-term research, conferences and projects
Pacific peace, security and conflict project Collaboration with Massey University, ANU, UNDP and UN Department of Political Affairs Two international conferences since 2016 and continuing collaboration
Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) project GRIPac now hosts the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific research hub in collaboration with the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Disarmament NFIP library in Fiji to be relocated to GRIPac. Discussions are underway.
West Papua autonomy research project Collaboration with Free West Papua movements in Christchurch Hosted seminars on West Papua and provide scholarship for a West Papua PhD student
Pacific climate change hub GRIPac hosts a climate change research cluster with 7 affiliated PhD students A PhD student has graduated and more are expected to graduate soon and more are also expected to join the CC cluster soon.
Oceanic memory project For Pacific peoples in NZ to write or record their stories about their experiences to be added to the digital database. Conference on Oceanic memory in 2018 and collection of stories continuing.
Canterbury development network GRIPac is part of the University of Canterbury development network—related to DevNet NZ. Part of hosting team for 2018 DevNet conference in Canterbury. Inter-disciplinary development collaboration with other researchers.
Fulbright Pacific ethnic minority affirmative action project GRIPac leads research funded by Fulbright on Pacific ethnic minorities and affirmative action in NZ and the US. Collaboration with UCLA and Duke University. Book proposal being developed.
Indigenous innovation Proposed collaboration with SPC, USP Oceania Centre; Canterbury Museum; Pacific Islands Museum Association. Major symposium in 2020 in Fiji.
Indigenous intellectual property Collaboration with Maori scholars and a number of Pacific entrepreneurs such as Talo Mai, dealing with patents. Symposium planned in 2020/2021
Ethnomedicine and indigenous healing Collaboration with School of Physical and Biological Sciences and School of Health Science, University of Canterbury; Pacific indigenous medicine researchers and healers. Workshop 2020/21. Publication of a book on traditional healing plants by a biologist, Suliana Siwatibau.
Pacific constitutional reform Collaboration with USP, University of Canterbury Law School and Pacific Constitution Research Network. Conferences and other projects
Pacific electoral engineering Collaboration with ANU, USP, Pacific Islands Political Studies Association. Conferences, books published with ANU Press.
Pacific sustainability energy projects Collaboration with Eco-Care for provision of water, solar energy and other alternative energy sources in the Pacific. Ongoing with projects in Tonga.
Pacific art and creativity through MBC Artist in Residence program Collaboration with and funded by Creative NZ and Physics Room. Extend collaboration to Canterbury Arts Centre. Continuing residency, exhibition, etc.
Pacific border disputes and indigenous cultural diplomacy A proposed project for Marsden funding. Proposed collaboration with ANU, USP and a number of Pacific NGOs. Continuing research and workshop in 2021.

GRIPac publications

GRIPac runs the Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, a biannual online journal, which has published 40 journal articles since it started in 2017. It also runs the online Pacific Policy Briefs. In the last three years, GRIPac affiliated researchers have published four books.

Resource database: Digital Pacific

GRIPac is currently building a global Pacific digital database for inter-disciplinary research, the Digital Pacific.


GRIPac has partnerships or networks with the institutions below. Note that this list is not complete.


GRIPac Partners