With Pacific community encouragement as well as curatorial encouragement and Arts Council support Jowitt undertook his first trip to the Pacific in 1981-82 and over six months visited the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and the Tokelau Islands. He says he was warmly embraced by communities on this first trip, and subsequent trips and a number of the items in his collection were gifts to him partly in response to his commitments to negotiating permission to photograph, sharing copyright with photographic subjects and later gifting copies of his publications to schools. He also purchased works for his collection and his buying focus was on practical items that helped him deal with tropical heat, such as hats and fans, whilst travelling. Jowitt is particularly fond of the hats made from rito, the fine fibre of the inner fronds of coconut leaves.
Jowitt‘s collection is a testament to his engagement with Pacific communities in New Zealand and across the Pacific over many years. For him they are souvenirs of particular individuals, places and times as he can easily recall the circumstances in which he acquired every object. But they also stand as evidence of a career that includes the making of countless images, some held in leading private and public collections around the world, the making of 19 books and his deep respect for the cultures of the Pacific.