Pacific peoples in New Zealand are identified as having the highest risk and prevalence of problem and pathological gambling behaviours. Despite increasing awareness of gambling related harms in New Zealand there is a dearth of research on Pacific gambling, the reasons for problem gambling and the risks gambling poses for these populations. This thesis examines contemporary Samoan gambling and problem gambling through the perceptions and in-depth understandings of thirty-two Samoan participants. Pacific research methodologies premised on Pacific epistemologies, practices and protocols provide the cultural framework that supports the qualitative methods used in this research. These cultural methodologies also provide the context within which data gathered is analysed, interpreted and discussed. The method used within this thesis is an amalgam of Pacific and grounded theory approaches. The research identifies Samoan cultural factors that play a major role in understanding contemporary Samoan gambling. It links the deep-rooted cultural understandings of va/teu le va that are associated with early Samoan games and sports with contemporary Samoan gambling behaviours and practices. The research provides cultural understandings of the complex conditions and processes within which contemporary Samoan gambling and problem gambling are embedded, constituted and differentiated for Samoan people in New Zealand. These understandings are used to explore the extent to which gambling impacts harm Samoan individuals, families and communities. The research also describes cultural factors that are associated with motivations for contemporary Samoan gambling. It demonstrates that concepts such as ‘winning’, ‘fundraising’ and ‘socialising’ act as primary motivations for engagement and explores ways in which these drivers challenge the va and teu le va that are inherent within fa’aSamoa. The potency of these new motivations is illustrated through consideration of cultural practices such as fa’alavelave, status acquisition, religion and hospitality. These factors are not only complex but they also play an important role in the initiation, development and maintenance of Samoan gambling. This thesis articulates a broad knowledge base of cultural factors, practices, influences and understandings that are associated with contemporary Samoan gambling in New Zealand. It highlights how Samoan (problem) gambling while often rationalised in terms of aiga enhancing precepts is in reality most often undermining and eroding of aiga values and practices. In light of these findings, contextually effective Samoan solutions incorporated into Public Health interventions are recommended as a means of addressing the alarming gambling-related issues facing Samoan people in New Zealand. A greater emphasis on aiga/familial interventions rather than focusing on individuals is crucial since aiga and close social networks are identified as playing an important role in the development and maintenance of gambling behaviour and can also be effective catalysts and supports for behavioural change. Further research is indicated to better understand and develop the knowledge-base on contemporary Samoan gambling with specific relevance to Samoan youth and adult populations in New Zealand. / Whole document restricted, but available by request to UoA members, use the feedback form to request access.
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