Bog Aims and its Publisher

I don't think of the blog  as my blog but some have found the title too long. To assist searches I've added 'Croz Walsh's Blog.'

My attempt to provide informative, thoughtful, balances news and comments, often from a Left perspective. Readers from all perspectives are invited to comment and Subscribe.

I try to publish items on NZ, Fiji, the Pacific Islands, and sometimes other places, not well covered in the mainstream media, or covered in a limited or what I see to be an unbalanced way.  Issues that receive most mention concern race relations, equality, politics, the environment and what I think are the media's abuses of freedom. My balance may come down on one side but it does presents both sides and tries to put issues into their political and cultural contexts.  I do not believe that one size fits all. 

My position on Fiji needs a special explanation. Contrary to my usual political leanings, I supported the Bainimarama Government appointed after the 2006 Fiji military coup. The country's problems are deep-rooted; the old regime was racist, corrupt, politics favoured those with power and privilege. Since the 2014 election when the Bainimarama government was elected, I have become more critical. The ongoing checks on freedom of speech and the media make it too easy for Government to misuse its power. When I think this has occurred I will be  critical,  but the criticism is always intended to be helpful.

My major criticisms of the Bainimarama Government concern the inadequacy of its explanations to the Fiji public; its failure to release the Roadmap, Strategic Framework for Change, Auditor-General's and similar reports; its failure to consult with and include more civilians in decision-making, most particularly with responsible groups such as the Citizen's Constitutional Forum; its often knee-jerk overreactions to opposition and contrary opinions; and its  inflexible diplomatic showings with the international community. 

That said, I do not think many actions by  overseas powers, particularly New Zealand and Australia,  have been helpful to a peaceful, democratic resolution of the Fiji situation. 

I fear their policies give heart to the racist and anti-democratic forces still present in Fiji which could lead to bloodshed and a return to the racism of Fiji prior to the 2006 Coup. Their politicking has also resulted in international agencies withholding support for the Fiji economy which, despite their claims of soft sanctions,  has impacted heavily on the ordinary people of Fiji.

The Publisher
My Photo Crosbie (Croz) Walsh, Whitby, Porirua, New Zealand

My early years shaped my political and personal philosophy. During World War II the USSR was our ally. Even Clementine Churchill thanked my school friend for her donation to "our brave Soviet friends". Kingsmoor School was co-ed and very liberal. There was no corporal punishment. It  admitted Jews who many schools would not accept at that time! I was the first King's Scout in NE Derbyshire. Later, Moral Rearmament (later, Initiatives for Change) and family contact with Maori were also an influencethe latter especially.

As, of course, were many people and further experiences that led me to where I stand today, Left of Centre, concerned about class and ethnic inequalities, respect for other cultures, and impatient with a media that is inaccurate and unbalanced on so many issues. In two words: fairness and social justice.

I arrived in NZ from England, age 16,  in 1949, had one year at Nelson College (which I hated), and part of a year at Canterbury University College before working my way on the SS Port Alma back to England, and Conferences in East Berlin and Poland (Auschwitz forever shaped my mind), and did shift work in a sheet metal factory to earn enough to get back to NZ. 

In Christchurch I returned to CUC, worked on the  Star-Sun (from which I was sacked. Yes, our secret service was alive and well even back then in the McCarthy years),the railways, wool stores, drain laying, spray painting and house painting, and completed my Compulsory Military Training. 

In Wellington, I went to Teachers' College, taught at Wellington Tech, completed my B.A. and got married. Hence links in my first marriage with Ngarauru and Ngati Raukawa.  Following a 5 year teaching appointment at Tonga High School (another major cultural influence), I taught at Otaki College, Teachers' College, and Massey University. I joined Jim Anderson's New Labour Party, when Jim left Labour. Since the introduction of MMP, I've voted Labour and Greens. Somewhere along the way I became a NZ citizen.

My links with Fiji and the Pacific go back to the late 1950s with masterate papers in Pacific History and Geography. My masters thesis was on Tonga where I taught in the 1960s. Apart from secondments to the University of the South Pacific and the University of PNG, I researched and taught Pacific Geography from 1971 to  1988, and then Development Studies (1989-1993), at Massey University, where I was the founding director of the Institute of  Development Studies. 

My doctoral thesis was on urban squatting in Fiji where I worked at USP in the 1970s. From 1994 until retirement in 1999, I was the founding director of USP's Centre for Development Studies.  I have also worked at the UPNG and the University of Hawai'i and conducted research and consultancies on development and population-related topics in several Pacific Island countries, for governmental, international and regional agencies. Hobbies: golf (now mainly watching on TV), gardening, hydroponics, reading,family genealogy (whakapapa).

Fiji: an Encylopaedic Atlas: Crosbie Walsh

Fiji: an Encylopaedic Atlas: Crosbie Walsh 400 plus pages for NZ$25 + postage. Email