New IndigenoUs-innovation of Pacific Humanitarians


NIUPacH is a practice-informed research collective within Oceania focusing on Pacific-indigenous Disaster risk management, resilience and Humanitarian response. It provides a virtual patch (space/place) for innovative interdisciplinary practice, research and educational programming to connect with Pacific regional communities of Oceania, to improve the effectiveness and accountability of disaster preparedness, humanitarian response, and post-emergency reconstruction. NIUPacH operates the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) in the Pacific and is based in the School of Psychology at Massey University.


While complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters are becoming more severe and frequent, peoples of the Pacific have continued to work towards resilience in the face of these challenging times. Pacific communities in Aotearoa-New Zealand and across the Pacific region rally organically in response to crises of humanity – disaster, violence, climate change, social injustice, ageing, preventable diseases, inequality and poverty. These Pacific community responses are immediate real-world solutions to practical needs that often have the greatest impact but are the least known and resourced. The focus of NIUPacH is to shine the light on indigenous-innovative responses that arise out of humanity’s darkest hours of need.  NIUPacH aims to capture, document and disseminate Pacific-indigenous innovative responses in disaster and humanitarian contexts through co-created and culturally-fit research initiatives. NIUPacH facilitates connections for research and practice with Pacific community partners and projects helping to capture the resilience of Pacific communities and build authentic partnerships.



Dr Siautu Alefaio (Senior Lecturer/Registered Psychologist)
NIUPacH Founding Director

Professor David Johnston (Professor of Disaster Management)
Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) Director

Dr Jane Rovins (Senior Lecturer)
NIUPacH-JCDR Asia-Pacific Regional Lead