Dr Patrick Saulmatino Thomsen

BA: University of Auckland, MA: Seoul National University, PhD: University of Washington - Seattle


Born and raised in South Auckland, Seuta'afili Dr Patrick Thomsen is of Samoan descent and received his doctorate from the University of Washington in Seattle. His dissertation work was the first to use Pacific research methodologies to explore the complexities of coming-out for Korean gay men in a transnational setting. His research interests include gender, sexuality, racism, intersectionality, identity politics, Pacific research methodologies, queer theory and development studies. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the Manalagi Project, funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand as our country's first such initiative that seeks to examine how intersecting forms of stigma impact the health and wellbeing of Pacific Rainbow LGBTIQA+ MVPFAFF communities. He is also the Pacific Data Co-Lead for the Human Rights Measurement Initiative.  

Research | Current

  • Manalagi: Aotearoa Pasifika Rainbow LGBTIQA+ MVPFAFF Health and Wellbeing Project.
  • Pacific Data Co-Lead Human Rights Measurement Initiative.
  • Transnational, Queer, Pacific and Moana Mobilities.

Teaching | Current

  • GLOBAL 200 - Global Challenges   (Semester 2 2021)
  • GLOBAL 300 - Research Project    (Semester 1 2022)

Postgraduate supervision

PhD in Progress

Peyton Wolfgramm - Leiti in Red: Exploring the Experiences of Identity and Wellbeing of Tongan Trans Women in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Co-supervision: A-P Claire Cartwright (Main) and Dr Fuafiva Fa'alau (Co). PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Auckland.

Fine Koloamatangi - KPop and Pacific Communities (full title TBC). Co-supervision: Dr Caroline Vercoe (Main). PhD in Art History, University of Auckland 

Masters Completed

2020: Tianyi Luo - The Rise of Samoan Language Teaching and Learning in China: A Situational Analysis Informed by Fa'afaletui. Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

2020: Bangguo Du - Outside in the Moana? Exploring Chinese International Students’ Experiences of Studying in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland through Su’ifefiloi. Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

2021: Fu Lin - Navigating Online Complexity: Chinese International Students' Experiences of Pacific Language Learning through the University of Auckland During COVID-19. Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

2021: Xuekun Guo - Exploring Sāmoan Perspectives on Chinese Aid Projects through Fa'afaletui: A Case Study on the Proposed Vaiusu Wharf Project in Sāmoa. Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

Masters in Progress

2022: Deirdre Stanley - Dykes of the Diaspora: the Coming-out Narratives of Queer NZ-born Samoan Women - Master of Arts, Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.

Honours Completed

2020: Veronika Iloilo - Exploring the Utility of Ifoga as a Restorative Justice Mechanism for Sāmoans in New Zealand. Bachelor of Arts Hons. Pacific Studies, University of Auckland.


  • 2020 Health Research Council of New Zealand Emerging Researcher First Grant
  • 2019 Te Tomokanga Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Auckland
  • 2018 Ph.D. Awarded with Distinction, The University of Washington
  • 2018 Sochon Fellow, Center for Korea Studies, The University of Washington 
  • 2017 Lisa Brown Fellow, Center for Human Rights, The University of Washington
  • 2016 Ewha Woman's University Alumni Association of Seattle Scholarship Recipient
  • 2015 Top Scholar Award, The University of Washington
  • 2012-13 Global Leadership Scholarship, Seoul National University


  • PhD Advisor - Gender Studies
  • Pacific Early Career Academics Network Coordinator - University of Auckland

Areas of expertise

  • Gender Studies
  • Queer Theory
  • Pacific Studies
  • Pacific Research Methodologies
  • Qualitative Research Methodologies
  • Korean Studies
  • Intersectionality
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Race/Racism 
  • Samoan Language and Culture

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Thomsen, P. (2019). Israel Folau’s demise is also partially ours. https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/israel-folaus-demise-is-also-partially-ours/. Related URL.
  • Naepi, S., McAllister, T., Thomsen, P., Leenen-Young, M., Walker, L. A., McAllister, A. L., ... Suaalii, T. (2019). The Pakaru ‘Pipeline’: Māori and Pasifika Pathways within the Academy. New Zealand Annual Review of Education, 24, 142-159. 10.26686/nzaroe.v24i0.6338
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sereana Naepi, Marcia Leenen-Young, Tamasailau Suaalii
  • Thomsen, P. S. (2019). Samoan Queer Lives By Dan Taulapapa McMullin and Yuki Kihara [Book Review]. Journal of New Zealand Studies, NS29 (December 2019), 108-111. 10.26686/jnzs.v0iNS29.6269
  • Thomsen, P. S. (2019). Coming-Out in the Intersections: Examining Relationality in How Korean Gay Men in Seattle Navigate Church, Culture and Family through a Pacific Lens. Journal of Homosexuality, online first10.1080/00918369.2019.1695423
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/49461
  • Thomsen, P., & Jun, M. (2018). Expanding Korea’s Development Paradigm? The Case for Closer Samoa-ROK Relations. 지역발전연구 = Journal of Regional Studies and Development, 27 (2), 173-214. 10.18350/ipaid.2018.27.2.173
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/47839
  • Thomsen, P. (2016). ‘Hobgoblin’ logic on Pacific gay rights has distinctly Western roots. The Spinoff Related URL.
  • Lee, S., Chun, C., Suh, H. J., & Thomsen, P. S. (2015). Middle Power in Action: The Evolving Nature of Diplomacy in the Age of Multilateralism. , Special Report. Seoul, South Korea: The East Asia Institute. Related URL.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 431
New Zealand

Web links