Mr Vavao Fetui


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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


  • Undergraduate Adviser Samoan,
  • Co-ordinator of Samoan Courses,

Vavao taught at Mt Roskill Grammar School then gained a post-graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language at Victoria University of Wellington, followed by a BA and MA in Education at The University of Auckland. He was contracted by the Ministry of Education  to coordinate the writing of the Samoan Curriculum Statement for early childhood education, primary and secondary schools in New Zealand. Vavao joined the Centre for Pacific Studies in 1995, teaching Samoan language. He is co-advisor for Pacific Studies undergraduate studies and a representative of Pacific Studies in the Council for Continuing Education.

Research | Current

  • Samoan sociolinguistics and lexicography as per diaspora development.

Vavao's current research is in linguistic expressions of respect in Samoan – a contemporary, synchronically-orientated model of politeness and  their significance to both the academic and Pacific Island communities. This project aims to build on an understanding  in its widest sense of the Samoan relationship between "respect" (fa`aaloalo) and "tradition" (aganu`u) – a connection which is lacking in comtemporary diachronically oriented  model of politeness. The relationship between indigenous Samoan epistemology,  cultural knowledge and empirical linguistic view of politeness will also be examined as well as their implications for education. Vavao's research is conducted among Auckland's Samoan communities, as well as Fagalii village on Upolu Island Fitiuta village on Manu`a, and Saleaula village on Savaii Island.

Teaching | Current

PACIFIC 105 Pacific Languages and World-Views

PACIFIC 302 Pacific Language Structures

SAMOAN 101 Samoan Language 1

SAMOAN 201 Samoan Language 2

SAMOAN 301 Samoan Language 3

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.
  • Fetui, V. (2011). OLA: Puletini A'Oga (monthly bulletin).!testimonials/cfvg. Related URL.
  • Sogi, L., & Fetui, V. (2010). Lau amata: An applied Samoan grammar workbook. Mangere, Auckland: Evaleon Books and Educational Resources.
  • Fetui, V., & Malaki-Williams, A. M. (1996). Introduction of the Samoan language programme in New Zealand. In F. Mugler, J. Lynch (Eds.) Pacific languages in education (pp. 228-243). Suva, Fiji and Vila, Vanuatu: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific : Dept. of Literature and Language, University of the South Pacific ; Pacific Language Unit, University of the South Pacific.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level B1, Room B105
New Zealand