Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Plagiarism pays [update 3]

Witi What’s an award-winning plagiarist to do when he’s found out? Easy. He uses the prize money  to buy up all the remaining copies of the offending tome.

You wouldn’t write about it, would you.

No wonder Witi’s laughing.

UPDATE: Thanks to Stephen R., who points out that the Arts Foundation is at least blessedly self-funded.

UPDATE 2: Jolisa Gracewood, who uncovered the plagiarism, comments at her blog.

UPDATE 3: Witi Imihaera’s university boss comes out swinging on his behalf, confirming that academic standards really are dead.

    “University dean of arts, Associate Professor Jan Crosthwaite, said while concerning, Ihimaera's actions were not deliberate.”

No. Of course not.  Witi accidentally copied and pasted from sixteen different sources into his “novel.”

No wonder old school academicians like CK Stead are appalled.

    “He said students had it hammered into them that they must acknowledge borrowed work and not pass work off as their own.
    “’You reject students' essays for doing this and you fail them in exams for doing it. It makes you wonder what the title of a distinguished professor means in the University of Auckland if they then say what Witi Ihimaera has done doesn't matter.’
    “Stead said the situation would reflect badly on the university until professors acknowledged the seriousness of what had happened.”

Some chance of that, eh, when they’re in thrall to ideas that knowledge is “socially constructed” anyway. Crikey, they probably think Witi was just collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings with all those other sixteen authors.  They should be happy he shared . . .


  1. (courtesy of the taxpayer)

    I've never seen any indication that the Arts Foundation is taxpayer funded, indeed, the first sentence in its 'about' section is "A facilitator of private philanthropy"

    You wouldn't be the first to make that mistake. The closest i can see is that the endowment fund was originally set up through donations from the Lottery Grants Board - perhaps this is what you mean?)

  2. Oops. Thanks for the correction, Stephen.

  3. I honestly wonder why someone can say they
    'inadvertently, or by mistake,
    copied another persons work'
    Its not possible.
    When you read something there, and transfer it to here, you know where it came from.

    the whole world is copy and paste, what is wrong with this maori dude?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Let me just take a guess and say that for many academics, Maori achievers have an important social role to play, by encouranging young Maori (whereas White ones just encourage other White people to do well and perpetuate the existing power structures). So there might be some reluctance to stick the boot in.

  6. Hilarious.

    Got to laugh at academics attempting to justify the unjustifiable. All goes to show their utter worthlessness as intellectuals, as moralists, as persons- complete failures on every level.

    Treat these worms with the contempt they have earned.


  7. More than 16.
    I hear that there were more than 16 examples of words being stolen. It was just that the discoverer stopped counting at 16!


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