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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.