Traditional Gift Giving Among Pacific Families in New Zealand

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The Pacific population in New Zealand is socially disadvantaged and over-represented in adverse social and health statistics. A cohort of 1,376 mothers of Pacific infants were asked about traditional gift commitments and the effect that these commitments had on the financial situation in their household. Sixty-two percent reported that they and/or their partner usually gave to their family or church, with 66.5% of this group giving to family in New Zealand, 58% to family in the Pacific Islands, and 75.9% to their church. Fifty-nine percent of these mothers reported that this gift commitment made their household financial situation more difficult. Factors significantly associated with gift giving are discussed, together with implications of these findings for Pacific families living New Zealand.

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