Transforming the Politics of Mobility and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand

Transforming the Politics of Mobility and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand

Edited by Jessica Terruhn & Shemana Cassim

Anthem Series on Global Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region

Transforming the Politics of Mobility and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand is a future-focused book that formulates alternative paradigms timely and necessary for a just and ethical politics of mobility and migration in Aotearoa New Zealand. Examining a variety of topics, the book addresses the challenges of structural discrimination, integration and migrant rights framed within larger regional and global concerns.

PDF, 254 Pages


August 2023

£25.00, $35.00

EPUB, 254 Pages


August 2023

£25.00, $35.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

Transforming the Politics of Mobility and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand is an edited collection that explores avenues for transformational epistemologies and practices leading to a more just and ethical politics of mobility and migration. At a time of heightened securitization, rise in anti-immigrant sentiment and populism as well as increasingly exclusionary migration regimes internationally, this book presents a timely intervention. It takes a national case-based approach, focusing on Aotearoa New Zealand, where, over the past two decades, migration policy settings have created a raft of inequities and differential rights between citizens, non- and sub-citizens as well as among immigrants. The Covid-19 pandemic response has both exposed and exacerbated these issues, providing an opportune moment to appraise current policy settings and encourage transformative change.

The collection brings together leading and early career scholars, whose chapters are based on original state of the art research, and insights from practitioners in the migration sector who advocate for migrant rights. The contributors to the book critically analyse how migration management regimes (re-)produce inequities and precarities for and within migrant populations as a starting point for formulating alternative paradigms for the politics of mobility and migration. Collectively, the contributions seek to combine discussions of macro-level political processes with empirically rich insights into the intersections between migration regimes and migrant lives, aspirations and capabilities.

The multidisciplinary contributions to each part engage with the book’s central remit from particular angles (including research on a range of particular migrant populations), lending both breadth and depth to the discussion. While focused on Aotearoa New Zealand, all authors consider their insights in relation to international developments, especially in the Asia Pacific region, settler societies and other Western nations.

The collection aims to advance conceptual knowledge in migration studies and fills a gap in the sparse literature on the politics of migration in Aotearoa New Zealand. While theoretically engaged and of value to the research community, the book also follows recent calls to better communicate the complexities of migration to the public and policy makers with accessible chapters that address a range of issues that will speak to a wide audience.


“This collection offers a crucial reconfiguration of the theoretical, methodological and praxis foundations of migration studies in settler colonial contexts. The diversity of expertise contributed by members of the Aotearoa Migration Research Network presents an urgent and dynamic dialogue that hones in on the intersections between migration studies and decolonial and indigenous frameworks. This work offers a compelling theoretical and practical roadmap for researchers, activists, practitioners, policymakers, scholars and other stakeholders working concurrently toward migrant justice and decolonization.” — Dr. Julie Ham, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Brock University

“Terruhn and Cassim’s edited collection is a rich and timely contribution to critical migration schol-arship from the unique perspectives of Aotearoa New Zealand. The authors – academics, policymakers, community leaders and migrant activists – reimagine contemporary migration regimes through the lens of social justice, decolonization and equity […] and challenge us all to do the same.” — Rachel Simon-Kumar, The University of Auckland

“This book issues an urgent call for immigration policymakers and scholars to rethink the ethics un-derlying their work and, in particular, to see migrants as people, not economic units. It offers fresh perspectives on Aotearoa/New Zealand’s immigration experience in the COVID era from new, emerging and established scholars.” — Kate McMillan, Political Science and International Rela-tions, Victoria University of Wellington

Author Information

Jessica Terruhn is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research expertise lies at the intersections of urban studies and racism, migration and settler colonialism.

Shemana Cassim is a Lecturer at Massey University, New Zealand. She has an interest in how socio-cultural and historical contexts and societal structures influence the everyday lives of migrant and/or Indigenous groups.


Anthem Series on Global Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Contributors; Glossary of Te Reo Māori Words; Glossary of Te Reo Māori Place Names; Glossary of Other Non-English Words; List of Tables; List of Figures; Introduction - Reimagining the Politics of Mobility and Migration through Decolonisation, Social Justice and Solidarities; Jessica Terruhn and Shemana Cassim; Cover Artwork A Place at the Kauri Table Revisited … 2021; Deb Donnelly (curator); Part One - Decolonising the Politics of Migration; Chapter One When Worlds Collide: Māori and Immigration; Matthew Wynyard; Chapter Two Relational Ethics, Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand; Francis Collins; Chapter Three Desirability and Human Capital Privilege in the Politics of Migration in Aotearoa; Jessica Terruhn; commentary - Expensive Burdens: How Aotearoa New Zealand’s Immigration Policy Undermines Disabled People’s Human Rights and Ideas for Taking a more Equitable Approach; Umi Asaka, Juliana Carvalho, Erin Gough and Áine Kelly-Costello; Interview - Race Relations and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand – An Interview with Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon; Part Two - Humanising the Politics of Transnational Mobility; Chapter Four Trans-Tasman Mobilities in and through Aotearoa New Zealand: Extending Family, Home and Work across the Tasman; Ruth (Lute) Faleolo; Chapter Five Multigenerational Dynamics and Neoliberal Family Immigration Policy Regimes: The Case of New Chinese Immigrant Families in Aotearoa/New Zealand; Guanyu Jason Ran; Chapter Six Migrants for All Seasons? Impacts of Border Closures on Recognised Seasonal Employers and Pacific Workers in New Zealand; Charlotte Bedford, Richard Bedford and Heather Nunns; Chapter Seven Off the Team: Solidarities and Exclusions in Pandemic Aotearoa New Zealand; Nicole Pepperell and Duncan Law; Commentary - Migrant Lives Matter – A Call to End Precarity and Exploitation; Anu Kaloti; Part Three - Building Solidarities for Migrant Rights and Belonging; Chapter Eight Building Enduring Relationships for a Shared Sense of Belonging: Culturally Derived Solidarities between Muslim Migrants and Māori; Shemana Cassim, Jennifer Khan-Janif and Nuke Martiarini; Chapter Nine Feeling Like a Citizen: Refugee Rights and Everyday Experiences of Belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand; Amber Kale; Chapter Ten Activist Citizenship and Migrant Rights in Aotearoa/New Zealand; Ayca Arkilic and Julija Sardelić; Chapter Eleven If Social Cohesion Is the Answer, What Was the Question? Policy Options for a Diverse Aotearoa/New Zealand; Paul Spoonley and Cameron Dickie; Commentary - Weaving Indigenous Values to Strengthen Intergenerational Resilience in Refugee and Migrant Populations; Jennifer Khan-Janif; Conclusion - Towards Transforming the Politics of Mobility and Migration in Aotearoa New Zealand; Shemana Cassim and Jessica Terruhn; Index


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