| || || Muliaina, Tolu A.|
| || || Remittances, the social system and development in Samoa |
Author:Muliaina, Tolu A.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Emigrant remittances -- Samoa
Call No.: Pac HG 3998 .8 .M854 1998
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: Remittances are an important component of the Samoan economy and thus improving standard of living at least in the short-term It has been incorporated into the social system because it provides income for a large section of the population. However, with a tightening of immigration policies at the major Samoan migration destinations, restructuring of metropolitan economies and the worldwide economic slowdown, the standards of living of rural Samoans as opposed to urban may be expected to decline in the next decade. This research looks at the interplay of the various elements of the Samoan social system and their influence on the use of remittances. It highlights remitting patterns, views and attitudes of migrant Samoans and expectations of relatives remaining at home. What are the factors for the longevity of this tradition and their implications for development in Samoa? The research question is: what are the factors within the social system that have prevented remittances from being used as a resource for generating income for the rural households? The research was conducted in Fusi village, Apia market and migrant households in Auckland. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was employed to find answers to the central question of this study. The study found that in-kind remittances have become dominant since Cyclone Ofa in 1990. The deterioration of the New Zealand economy, changes in remitting patterns as a result of the economic slowdown and changing migrants' marital status were some of the reasons for this. Conspicuous consumption meant, savings and investments from cash remittances were almost nil. Villagers also anticipated further decline in cash receipts. Food cultivation has become less enthusiastically pursued but it could not be ascertained that it was remittance-induced. Semi-subsistence fanners claimed that the impediments to increased production were labour shortage, communal land ownership, lack of monetary capital, pest and diseases and unreliable transport. Remittances have not been a damper nor a stimulant to semi-subsistence agriculture. Evidence gathered from the Auckland respondents suggests a remittance cycle among the first generation migrants and the probability of remittance decline when the first generation passes on. Second generation migrants tended to view their relatives in Samoa as overly dependent. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the Samoan Government to revitalise subsistence and semi-subsistence agriculture.