This paper aims to examine the housing experiences of Fijian migrants in Auckland, New Zealand, in response to recent calls for greater attention to be given to the housing experiences of a wider range of migrant groups. The paper seeks to extend the understanding of the housing experiences of a migrant group that have the economic and social resources that are likely to see them achieve housing outcomes beyond the usual “niche” and limited segments of the housing market usually available to migrants.
This paper used a questionnaire survey designed to uncover the housing experiences and levels of satisfaction of Fijian migrants living in Auckland. Developing on the works of literature that have addressed ethnic residential segregation and migrant housing outcomes, this paper addresses the housing experiences of a well-established migrant community that possesses significant human capital (skills, education, English language proficiency) but occupies a hybrid cultural identity.
The majority of the 84 respondents had attained homeownership. Homeownership was prized for conveying a sense of “independence” and was aligned with notions of Fijian Indian culture. Both homeowners and renters expressed high levels of satisfaction with the locational attributes of their homes. While the majority of renters aspired to homeownership, a lack of affordable housing was noted. Homeowners recognised that they had benefitted from accessing homeownership when house prices were more affordable and believed that current and future migrants would struggle to buy a house in the Auckland housing market.
In the absence of a sampling frame, this research employed a purposive sampling technique that distributed questionnaires among Fijian migrant community groups and ethnic businesses. As the first study of its kind into the housing experiences of Fijian migrants in Auckland, the sample size (84 respondents) and geographical distribution of respondents was deemed sufficient to offer insights into the community’s housing experiences. The findings of this research could be used to develop a larger-scale analysis of the housing experiences of Fijian migrants in Auckland.
While considerable attention has been given to documenting the locational distribution of migrants in Auckland, this is the first study to examine the housing experiences of Fijian migrants. The paper adds to the understandings of the variety of migrant housing outcomes by focussing on the experiences of a well-established migrant group that possesses significant human capital and occupies a distinct ethnic position within Pacific migration flows.
This paper was written when Laurence Murphy held the Helen Cam Visiting Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge. The author would like to thank the Mistress, Professor Susan Smith and the fellows of Girton College for providing a supportive and collegial environment that facilitated the completion of this research.
Sharma, R. and Murphy, L. (2015), "The housing experiences of Fijian migrants in Auckland", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 396-411. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHMA-11-2014-0046Download as .RIS
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