And, ironically, English is the shared language when groups of mixed Pacific Islanders need to communicate—in whatever medium.
The demographics of the population figures also hold print culture messages for New Zealand in the future: while Pacific Islanders are 3.8% of the total population (mostly in Auckland (67%) and Wellington (16%)), they comprise 7.05% of the primary/secondary school population.
This field has been little explored before, and the content of the section is original research which provides a framework for further investigation.
It covers language, religious and educational publishing, together with overviews of other publishing activity in this century; a summary of sources and resources for identifying and locating copies of material is appended.
Possibly even more significant than administrative responsibility, another special relationship developed—immigration to New Zealand from the 1960s onwards in search of education, employment—and even survival, where island resources could not support growing populations (such as Niue).
Today (apart from Western Samoa) by far the majority of nationals from these territories are actually resident in New Zealand; comparative 1991-92 figures are: On the basis of these statistics, New Zealanders arguably now have an even greater print culture responsibility (language and literacy support, education, publication) towards the people of these countries than during their time of dependency, apart perhaps from Western Samoa.
The London Missionary Society (LMS) provided the first missionaries, establishing stations in the territories as follows: Cook Islands (1820s), Western Samoa (1830), Niue (1846), Tokelau (1860s).
Since then there have been many missionaries and churches of other religions, and differences between the religions practised by nationals in the islands and those in New Zealand.
For example, the Mormon Church printed hundreds of items in Pacific Island languages (especially Tongan and Samoan) in Auckland between 1968 and the mid 1980s.Any atlas clearly shows New Zealand is a Pacific Island nation, and it is well known that Māori, the tangata whenua, are a Polynesian people.Generally speaking, however, New Zealanders are not very aware of the wider Polynesian, and still wider Pacific Island economic and cultural context into which New Zealand fits.But, for most of this century, New Zealand has had a very special relationship with and responsibility for four Pacific Island (and also Polynesian) countries—Niue, Tokelau, Western Samoa and the Cook Islands—and therefore their people and cultures.It is the print culture connection between these four countries and New Zealand which is the main focus of this section.