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Kapasa – The Pacific Policy Analysis Tool

Issue date: 
Friday, 27 May 2022
Issue status: 

Kapasa is a tool for policy makers to incorporate the needs, values, aspirations, and experiences of Pacific peoples in the generic policy development process. Policies, programmes and services will be more effective if the worldviews and values of the groups they affect are considered in the policy process.

‘Kapasa’ is the Tongan (pronounced Kāpasa) and Samoan (pronounced ‘Tapasā” or colloquially “Kapasā”) translation for compass. Compass is called Kabasi in Fiji and Kamapasi in Niue. Kapasa echoes how our Pacific ancestors successfully navigated their way across the Pacific Ocean. Kapasa is used as a metaphor to represent policy navigation in a diverse society like New Zealand.

Kapasa is a practical tool that challenges and helps us all to think about how to include data and information about Pacific peoples in our analysis. It highlights ways to take account of Pacific values, experiences, diversity and strengths, and also to ensure effective engagement of Pacific people in policy development and implementation. 

The Kapasa launch

On 29 June 2017, Andrew Kibblewhite joined the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro and the Deputy Chief Executive Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) , Catherine Neill in launching MPP’s KAPASA – the Pacific Policy Analysis Tool.

At the launch, Minister Ngaro noted that policies and services will be more effective if the perspectives, strengths and values of the groups they affect are considered in the process. He encouraged policy advisors to draw on the strengths of the Pacifica communities. Minister Ngaro cited their success in achieving the highest rate of child immunisation across all of NZ’s population groups as an example of playing to strengths. 

Andrew highlighted one of the data insights that you will read in Kapasa - that twenty years from now 30% of Auckland’s work force will be Pacifica. What skills sets does NZ need Pacifica-Aucklanders to have?  What are the ongoing opportunities that we can forge from such a strong NZ- Pacifica connection? These are not sidebar conversations, nor are they for MPP alone. 

With his Head of Policy Profession hat on, Andrew endorsed Kapasa as a good practice tool, not just for policy analysis for Pacific Peoples, but as exemplifying good practice for all people-focus policy. 

See the Ministry for Pacific Peoples' web page Kapasa for further information.

Last updated: 
Friday, 27 May 2022

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