E25 Diversity, Equality and Inclusion: A Pasifika Perspective - With Dr Mele Vaitohi
On today’s episode of the Law Down Under Podcast, we are joined by Dr Mele Vaitohi, a leading legal scholar on Tongan constitutional law. Mele has had an extensive career in law and Government, and is the Manager of New Zealand Parliament’s Parliamentary Law and Practice Team. She recently completed her PhD in Law at Otago University, where she focused on the effects of the 2010 constitutional reform in Tonga.
In December 2022, Dr Vaitohi collaboratively published a groundbreaking research report on Improving Pasifika Legal Education in Aotearoa. We talk with Mele about the findings of the report, particularly the barriers affecting access to legal education for Pasifika students, as well as how schools, universities and the wider profession can improve the experience of Pasifika peoples. We also briefly discuss the complex issue of intersectionality being the interconnected relationship of social categorisations (such as race and social-economic status) as applied to Pasifika as a group. I hope you enjoy this episode with Dr Mele Vaitohi.
Suggested further reading:
Brooks, Jeffrey S. and Theoharis, George (2018) "Whiteucation: Privilege, Power and Prejudice in School and Society". Routledge. (Link)
Melville, Angela (2014) "Barriers to Entry into Law School: An Examination of Socio-Economic and Indigenous Disadvantage". Legal Education Review, Vol. 24 : Iss. 1 , Article 4. (Link)
Pease, Bob (2022) "Undoing Privilege: Unearned Advantage and Systemic Injustice in an Unequal World". Bloomsbury Publishing.
Rivera, Lauren A (2015) "Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs". Princeton University Press. (Link)
Tharp, D. Scott (2021) "Decoding Privilege: Exploring White College Students' Views on Social Inequality". Routledge. (Link)
Verkaik, Robert (2018) "Posh Boys (How English Public Schools Ruin Britain)". Oneworld.