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Trisia Farrelly

Doctor of Philosophy, (Social Anthropology)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Business Va'avanua: Cultural Hybridisation and Indigenous Entrepreneurship in the Bouma National Heritage Park, Fiji

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Farrelly studied how community-based ecotourism development in the Bouma National Heritage Park, Fiji can be negotiated between Western entrepreneurship and an indigenous worldview, given their perceived conflict in values. Despite the Park’s internationally-touted success, Ms Farrelly noted a growing social dysfunction throughout the Bouma tribe which she partly attributed to external development consultants’ lack of attention to the vanua as worldview. Ms Farrelly revealed that the community had responded to this social dysfunction by endeavouring to merge the vanua with entrepreneurship to create their own cultural hybrid called ‘business va’avanua’. She found that most negotiations surrounding business-va’avanua went unnoticed by development practitioners. This was because they took place in informal discussions and in private spaces. Ms Farrelly’s research highlights the need to refocus development research in this area.

Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar
Professor Regina Scheyvens