Michael Field

Veteran journalist Michael Field has spent much of his career in the South Pacific. His books have included Speight of Violence (Fiji's 2000 coup) and Swimming with Sharks, a collection of tales of the Pacific. His most recent book, The Catch, was on the scandal of the global and New Zealand fishing fleets. He was born in Wellington on the day Hillary reached Mt Everest's peak.

Books
Jul 25, 2018

The barefoot men of Niue sent to die in the trenches of World War I

Michael Field reviews a new study of Niue's role in World War I, when Sir Māui Pōmare despatched 150 Niueans to fight in a mysterious war

Read on.

Books
Feb 28, 2017

A masterpiece of Pacific story-telling: Part 2 of the strange story of Tonga's lost island of 'Ata

All week this week the Spinoff Review of Books looks at Scott Hamilton's brilliant new book, The Stolen Island, his investigation into the people-snatching raid on the Tongan island of 'Ata. Today: Michael Field reviews a masterclass in combining Pacific history with story-telling.

Read on.

Books
Jan 2, 2017

Summer reissue: To catch a blackbird: Michael Field responds to the whitewashing of a Pacific "pirate"

In late August we ran a piece by Joan Druett on her new biography of 19th century sea captain William "Bully" Hayes, who roamed the Pacific and New Zealand. Michael Field was among those who were concerned that it failed to properly address Hayes's involvement in "blackbirding"; we asked him to write an essay in response to the book.

Read on.


Books
Aug 30, 2016

To catch a blackbird: Michael Field responds to the whitewashing of a Pacific “pirate”

Michael Field argues that a new biography – of a 19th century sea captain who kidnapped men, women and children from the Pacific Islands and put them to work as cheap labour – "glosses over a disturbing chapter of colonial history".

Read on.

Society
Jun 9, 2016

Blacklisted in coup coup land: why one journalist won’t be accompanying the PM to Fiji

When John Key flies out to Fiji today, one journalist who won't be joining the delegation is old Pacific hand Michael Field, who is banned from entering the country. He explains how he got added to Bainimarama's blacklist.

Read on.

Society
May 16, 2016

Revealed: New Zealand’s enormous 60-year, 25 million tonne illegal fishing lie

Michael Field looks at a report out today which reveals a decades-long abuse of our much-vaunted quota system, with well over twice as many fish caught as declared.

Read on.

Sports
May 9, 2016

Tony Veitch’s decade in denial

Michael Field covered Tony Veitch's original trial and reported on the release of his police file. He writes that the broadcaster's column yesterday was just another instance of his abdicating responsibility for his actions.

Read on.

Politics
Apr 7, 2016

Me and Jürgen Mossack: Michael Field on chasing the Panama Papers through the South Pacific in the ’00s

New Zealand journalist Michael Field recalls how he confronted the co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of the massive Panama Papers data leak.

Read on.

Society
Mar 30, 2016

How China’s illegal fishing armada is plundering the South Pacific

Illegal fishing is costing some of the world’s smallest and poorest nations hundreds of millions of dollars. Much of it is taken by China, says Michael Field.

Read on.

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