The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMU-K), with the assistance of the University’s Division of International Studies & Programs, is pleased to introduce its Pacific Studies Program 2015 - a collaborative initiative between A&M-Kingsville and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. The Pacific Studies Program (PSP) is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, TAMU-K and Dr. Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School and Continuing Education, University of Otago. The PSP will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in New Zealand in July of 2015, attending classes at the University of Otago, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater Otago region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, sustainability and environmental policies, etc., with reference to both the greater Pacific region and New Zealand. You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of New Zealand and the surrounding region. This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

Hoggies NZ Slideshow

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mothers’ Darlings

For our 6th lecture, we learned about a unique aspect of WWII. We mostly know about the war from an American perspective. During this lecture we learned about what it was like for New Zealand and the impact stationing of US servicemen had on New Zealand. The arrival of Americans, overwhelmingly men, had a dramatic consequence, both economically and socially.This was something the Pacific had never experienced before. Many US men developed relationships with local women. This was a very different experience for both the natives and the US men stationed in the Pacific. For the Americans, it was a new found freedom for them to not have to worry about the scrutiny that came with being a white man involved with a woman of color, and for indigenous women, it was different to be treated well by whites. As a result of these relationships, both casual and serious, there were many children born out of wedlock. Due to the times then, many of the marriages between the US servicemen and Maori women were not legal. In some cases, if the woman could prove that she was at least 51% white they were allowed to marry and permitted legal entry into the US. Unfortunately this was very rare and many men had to leave their families behind once their New Zealand posting was over; many men were not even aware that they fathered children. Most of these children were raised by the women left behind.

-- Catrina G. & Ema G.

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