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A Wellington anthropologist who single-handedly destroyed the reputation of American "Earthmother" Margaret Mead, one of the 20th Century's towering intellectuals, has himself been accused of being obsessive, a bully and, worst of all, faking his key evidence.Derek Freeman, who died in 2001 aged 85, won international attention in 1998 with his book The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead in which he claimed there had never been "another example of such wholesale self-deception in the history of behavioural sciences". Teenage Samoan girls had tricked Mead into believing they led relaxed and sexually free lives. She had been hoaxed as the result of her youth, gullibility and lack of knowledge of Samoan culture, he said. Mead's 1928 best seller, Coming of Age in Samoa, was the most widely read anthropology book for decades and in the US was key to debate on family, adolescence, gender, social norms and attitudes. Freeman's critique was widely accepted and destroyed the reputation of Mead who had died in 1978 aged 77 and savaged anthropology itself. Now some remarkable detective work through Freeman's own papers reveals it was he who was hoaxing the world.
Philip Gibbs, Catholic priest once of Lower Hutt, was last week celebrating Sunday's second Mass at the new Mount Hagen Holy Trinity Cathedral in Papua New Guinea.A 1000 people took part. Days earlier many of them had burnt a witch to death. Right in the city market people had tortured 20-year-old mother Kepari Leniata into confessing that she had used sorcery to kill a six-year-old child. Then they dowsed her in petrol and burnt her as dozens photographed her end. Two older women, trussed up and waiting to be set alight, were rescued by police. Leniata death in the Western Highland's Mt Hagen, pop 40,000 and PNG's third city, was only unusual because so many were present and with cameras and mobile phones. Gibbs, 65, old boy of St Bernard's College in the Hutt, a rugby and old car fan and proud to be kiwi, says it was hard to work out what to say to the congregation. "If as an expat you tell people they are longlong (crazy) to believe such superstition many will just close down," he told the Sunday Star-Times.
One of the country's biggest fishing companies has confessed its low wage Indonesian fishermen on foreign charter fishing vessels (FCVs) have been underpaid, leaving nearly 100 of the world's poorest workers short $885,000 on current vessels. But one of the key advocates for cleaning up the industry, says that the total underpayments, across the industry, could reach $13 million. Auckland based Sanford Fisheries accuses say it was the fault of Indonesian labour agent PT Indah Megah Sari covered up the fact that the money was not reaching the men "because the amounts paid to the families by manning agents were shown as having been signed off by the families." They were not and no one knows where the money went. Sanford - whose directors includes National Party president Peter Goodfellow - at the moment use three trawlers owned by Dong Won Fisheries Co Ltd of Seoul and have used others in the past.
Fiji military hit Fiji Times hard, witch burning in PNG and Commonwealth secretary general critices media
An Auckland based football official has been tried in his absence by Fiji’s military controlled courts and fined F$15,000 (NZ$10,015) for contempt of court.Oceania Football Confederation general secretary Tai Nicholas, 44, was convicted in the High Court over a quote he gave to Fairfax Media’s Sunday Star-Times in 2011 in an article re-printed in the Fiji Times. "You should be aware that with no judiciary there,“ he said, referring to another case, and added “it is not a court per se."
An airline’s bid to trade mark Pacific designs is sparking a rare event in military ruled Fiji – a protest. Air Pacific, 51 per cent Fiji Government owned, is rebranding as Fiji Air with its striking new logo to be on three new Airbus A330 aircraft. In a row that mirrors Air New Zealand’s Maori pitau or koru, Fiji Air want protection in Fiji and countries they fly too for 15 elements of tapa design and names.Masi is a finer version of tapa and its designs on mulberry bark have existed for thousands of years. Several of the elements in Fiji Air’s logo are present in Maori art. Commercial law specialist Dr Owen Morgan of the University of Auckland Business School says traditional design has no protection in intellectual property law. “Attempts to stop its use are not going to wash,” he says adding that Fiji Air was making the “correct commercial approach” to protecting designs.
Former foreign minister and Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon has slammed media for the way they covered one of Fiji's coups.In an autobiography out next month, In the Ring, McKinnon defends his role in the 2000 coup in which now-convicted traitor George Speight seized politicians, including Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry, and held them hostage in Fiji's Parliament for 56 days. McKinnon blames Chaudhry for his own downfall. A week into their captivity McKinnon flew to Fiji with United Nation's official Sergio de Mello and went to Parliament to meet Speight. Although McKinnon's visit gave Speight international attention and achieved nothing, McKinnon writes in his new book that the media covering the coup were with the hostage takers and had "seemingly unlimited freedom". "Speight told me later,'Oh, we feed all the media three times a day!' Well, I thought, so much for the free, independent and 'we can't be bought off' media."
Kiribati, a scattered Pacific nation severely damaged by over-crowding and the impact of sea-level rise, has announced it is buying up land in Fiji."We are buying this land in Vanua Levu, near Savusavu, to address our food security and not for the relocation of our people," Kiribati President Anote Tong said. They are purchasing 2428 hectares which is nearly the size of Kiribati’s capital atoll Tarawa, home to 28,000 people who mostly live on two small islets.
Update on the Solomons tsunami and other Pacific news
New Zealand faces a potentially new risky and unusual military threat – a potent Fiji navy with Chinese vessels and an army restocked with Chinese arms and vehicles.This follows from a little noticed visit to Suva this week by the Chief of the Foreign Affairs Office in China's Ministry of Defence, Major General Qian Lihua, who promised coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama extensive but undisclosed aid to the Fiji military. “The Chinese have come to bolster Fiji’s position, I see in the long term that it is a dangerous escalation,” regional security expert Steven Ratuva says. A senior lecturer in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, he has just been awarded $600,000 by the government’s Marsden Fund to produce a study “rethinking future security” in the region. Ratuva, who is Fijian, said there was no need to be alarmist but noted that Fiji had a territorial dispute with Tonga that also impinged on New Zealand’s continental shelf claim. “We are also looking at replacing our navy boats and also possible help in improving our band,” Bainimarama told the pro-regime Fiji Sun.
A South Korean fishing boat has been fined heavily for dumping waste at sea after inspectors found it had hidden piping controlled by a secret switch that allowed it to secretly dump bilge, including oil, into the sea unnoticed, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.It is the second time foreign charter vessel Oyang 75 has been punished recently. In the latest action, the Christchurch District Court has fined its charter, Southern Storm Fishing Ltd, $10,500 on a charge under the Maritime Transport Act 1994 of failure to notify two harmful discharges to sea.
Fiji’s military ruler Voreqe Bainimarama has backed down on deporting a 76-year-old Catholic priest who was last night seeking protection at the Australian High Commission in Suva.Father Kevin Barr, who has lived in Fiji for 32 years, was earlier this month subjected to a torrent of offensive abuse and text messaging from Bainimarama. Soon after the military’s immigration minister Joketani Cokanasiga declared Barr was a “prohibited immigrant due to a breach in his work permit.
“The Department has issued a formal notice to Father Barr who has until Sunday the 27th of January to leave the country. “This morning Bainimarama rescinded this.
“Following representations made to me, I have reviewed and reversed the decision made by the Minister of immigration to cancel the work permit for Kevin Barr,” he said.“Father Barr is free to remain in the country until his work permit has expired which at that time will still be subject to assessment for renewal following the necessary protocols.”
Fiji's Bainimarama burns the draft constitution - and Solomon Islanders kill dolphins
At least 300 more dolphins have been slaughtered in a remote Solomon Islands village in the last day or two with locals saying they will continue doing it until March.In the last week around 1000 dolphins, including 240 calves, have been killed by Fanalei village on Malaita in what is partly a row with an American environmental group who were paying them not to kill, and a resurgence of a long customary tradition of killing dolphins for their teeth. New York based Earth Island Institute had promised last April to pay Fanalei S$2.4 million (NZ$400,000) over two years not to kill dolphins, but villagers claim they had only received $700,000. So they decided to resume killing. Fanalei chief Willson Filei saying the villagers are on a “killing spree”.
Background: They've always killed dolphins and amidst bitter acrimony and accusations of corruption, they've turned away from millions of dollars promised them by rich New Yorkers not to do it.
Genetics have finally nailed one of the great South Pacific mysteries – where did pre-historic Polynesians get kumara from. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows what many Polynesians always believed – the ancient voyagers went to South America and got it, long before Europeans even reached the South Pacific.
A man has died violently in what his widow claims is the first murder ever on New Zealand’s remote and little visited South Pacific colony of Tokelau. Malia Niu Koloi, who was with her husband Iona Koloi for 15 minutes as he died, says customary leaders known as the‘‘grey hairs’’ are covering up the death at 2am on November 8. “Everyone standing around me told me it was a fall from a balcony of three metres or so high,” she says.
“But (there was) the pool of blood around his head, blood from his ears and mouth. When we finally got to the hospital the left side of his face was deeply grazed, a black eye and a hole near his temple.” Foreign Minister Murray McCully, who has colonial like responsibilities over the 1200 people of Tokelau, says New Zealand Police have been involved but would not comment on the nature of the death. “New Zealand police have provided advice on the investigation, and have offered further assistance, if required,” he said. Police chief media adviser Grant Ogilvie said New Zealand Police “initiated contact with Tokelau Police in November when we became aware of this matter. “Our Pacific liaison officer gave advice on investigative and scene examination processes.”
An environmental disaster is emerging on New Zealand’s northern maritime boundary as Tonga opens its waters to a Taiwanese fishing fleet accused of large scale slaughter of sharks to serve the Asia’s lucrative shark fin soup trade. The company says they are only accidentally catching sharks but confidential scientific data shows at least two major species are being driven “to the point of irreversible harm”. There are fears that oceanic white tip and silky sharks being taken are from neighbouring New Zealand and Fijian exclusive economic zone waters. While oceanics have killed more humans than any other species, they’re favoured in the shark fin market because of their fleshy fins. Tonga has just signed a deal with Ngatai Marine Enterprises Ltd, co-owned by a Tongan Mosese Fakatou and Taiwanese Hui Chin Chen, to bring in 22 Taiwanese boats crewed by Indonesians. They use the same semi-slave labour system made infamous in New Zealand waters. Poorly paid, the crews suffer appalling conditions aboard old vessels along with human rights and labour abuses.
military dictatorship has slammed a draft constitution drawn up with New
Zealand aid as an appeasement to racist divisions in the Pacific nation.
Life of Pi’s last line is fictionally true. “Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.” In life, its Pacific Islanders who mostly make for remarkable castaway tales – compete with the tiger sharks they eat if they can. Piscine Patel’s fictional 227 days adrift, now an acclaimed Ang Lee movie, is matched by two i-Kiribati fishermen who spent a record 177 days adrift – without a Pi-like break on a mythical meerkat infested tropical island. From the tale of the three teenager Tokelau boys who got lost adrift over trying to win a girl, to the men who survived thanks to a floating hard-hat they found, the Pacific abounds with castaway stories. Tragically there are more than ever, as fishermen from poor island nations are forced further out to sea without safety equipment.
heavy death toll from Cyclone Evan in contrast to Fiji’s zero count, is
raising questions over how much of the damage is the result of human
environmental changes or the storm. Samoa’s
death toll stands at 14 with four killed as a result of an “inland
tsunami” when a river burst through downtown
A Fiji democracy advocate who posted on Facebook that "living a military dictatorship sucks" was raided before dawn today by police demanding he delete his public postings. Pita Waqavonovono said that three uniformed police officers visited him at his home at 4am and told him to take down his anti-regime Facebook messages.He said police had also done the same last week with Rajesh Chaudhry, son of a deposed prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry.
It has tracked across nearly 3000 kilometres over the South Pacific, inflicted severe damage on two nations and it isn’t finished yet but already scientists are closely examining Cyclone Evan. The data coming from an array of satellites suggests that there was something unusual about Evan, the first named cyclone of the South Pacific 2012-2013 cyclone season. The discussion also reveals just how intensely watched world weather is these days.
And many of the island nation's 837,000 people believe it is only a matter
of time before the next military .
The report, written by a commission
of experts appointed by military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama, suggests a
pessimistic future for a country that has had four military coups since
independence in 1970.
"There is a
crisis of culture," the commission says in a consultation document.
From the files...
It was 36 degrees when Iosua Faamaoni began to hector his audience inside the airless meeting room. A big man, dressed in white with a bold blood red cross on his tie, he chilled all. Speaking in Tokelauan, with veins in his neck pumping, he provided his own brief translation, but it bore little relation to what he said. Full of anger and blame, he spoke of loving one’s neighbor, like it was a necessary evil rather than a pleasure. Faamoani is pastor of the Congregational Christian Church on Atafu, Tokelau’s northern atoll.
"The past is gone."
* Inaccurate news on Fiji life expectancies - Wadan Narsey
Papau New Guinea