12 Mar 2016

Weathering Catastrophe

From the collecton Writers Week 2016
A house cut apart by a flying roof during Cyclone Winston, Fiji

A house cut apart by a flying roof during Cyclone Winston, Fiji Photo: Alex Perrottet/RNZ



"Wouldn’t it be agreeable if the Pacific Ocean became a place for learning, co-operation and knowledge…”

Inspired by this quotation from his latest book, Pacific: The Ocean of the Future, this session sees Simon Winchester on stage with RNZ International journalist Koroi Hawkins and academic Pala Molisa discussing the environmental, legal, political and practical issues related to how we in Aotearoa currently respond to natural catastrophes around the Pacific Rim. RNZ National's Lynn Freeman chairs.


Pala Molisa talks about his childhood in Vanuatu and how growing the economy and developing has caused many changes - not just environmentally.

"We're building roads, and schools, and hospitals and they're needed but at the same time we're seeing a lot of major challenges of development grow up alongside all the good. For instance the growth of shanty towns, as we're moving more and more people into a cash economy. people are flocking into the towns. There's no jobs. Unemployment is huge the youth can't find work, but they're all chasing this dream of modernized development."


Simon Winchester, Koroi Hawkin and Pala Molisa take an in-depth look at our pacific neighbours and discuss the consequences of living coastal, and how we respond to disasters.

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to Writers Week 2016

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)