When an Awa Press author comes to speak at one of Unity’s lunchtime events, both staff and members of the public know that we are all in for something special – be it something beautiful or something eye-opening. Thursday 25th September saw Unity become a hotbed of a discussion we hadn’t seen in-store before – the ethical situation regarding slavery and overfishing on the seas surrounding New Zealand.
Author and journalist Michael Field spoke about his book The Catch as well as the ongoing investigation he and others are undertaking. Following on from last year’s award-winning Tragedy at Pike River Mine (by Rebecca Macfie), Awa continues a tradition of providing a long-form platform for highly qualified journalists to shed light on situations and events that aren’t perhaps getting the media attention they really need in order to bring change about. Michael explained how he found himself drawn into this unknown and unsettling world, through his initial investigation into the mystery of 29 men missing from the abandoned Tai Ching 21.
There were many heads shaking in disbelief as Michael delved further into what the book uncovered, referring to seas being mercilessly stripped and the control that these fishing companies manage to exert over legal proceedings. It was a rude awakening for some, without doubt – but a necessary one. Audience members asked a variety of questions on the issue, and Michael proved himself to be more than up to answering them, whether explicitly referred to in the book or not.