The misappropriation of Malaitan labour: Historical origins of the recent Solomon Islands crisis

Moore, Clive R. (2007) The misappropriation of Malaitan labour: Historical origins of the recent Solomon Islands crisis. Journal of Pacific History, 42 2: 211-232. doi:10.1080/00223340701461668

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Author Moore, Clive R.
Title The misappropriation of Malaitan labour: Historical origins of the recent Solomon Islands crisis
Journal name Journal of Pacific History   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-9605
0022-3344
Publication date 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00223340701461668
Volume 42
Issue 2
Start page 211
End page 232
Total pages 22
Editor C. R. Moore
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 430103 History - Pacific
C1
Abstract During the 'crisis years' in Solomon Islands from 1998-2003, Guadalcanal militants and the Guadalcanal provincial government showed resentment to the 'foreign' Solomon Islanders, mainly Malaitans, who lived there and forcefully claimed that the indigenous people of Guadalcanal suffered economic disadvantage on their own island. Malaitan counter-justification related to the need to protect their families in Honiara and stabilise the crumbling central government. This paper looks at the historical reasons why Malaitans left their island in the first place. The answer involves complex causes going back to the 1870s. Because Malaita has always been heavily populated, it drew labour recruiters from Queensland, Fiji and within the Protectorate, but for various reasons never attracted traders or planters. Unthinkingly encouraged by the British Protectorate administration and all post-independence governments, a pattern developed of 'Malaitan muscle for hire'. Malaitan males became primarily a labour force for development projects elsewhere, and little attempt was made to introduce similar projects on Malaita. The paper also explores issues relating to resource development in Malaita Province and concludes that the problems there are no more difficult than on other large Melanesian islands.
Keyword Solomon Islands
Malaitan people
Guadalcanal province
Pacific labour trade
Malaitan labour migration
Q-Index Code C1
Additional Notes Clive Moore was the Guest Editor for this Volume

 
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Created: Fri, 07 Dec 2007, 09:51:01 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry