Thomas is a reporter for Civil Beat. He joined the news outlet in 2021 as a Li Center for Global Journalism Fellow at Honolulu Civil Beat, position supported by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Institute for Nonprofit News. The Li Center was established to prepare journalists to work, think and report globally.
At Civil Beat, Thomas focuses on issues in and around the Pacific.
Having recently completed a Master of Arts at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Thomas has previously worked in regional and national news organizations in New Zealand and Nepal.
A Kiwi by birth, Thomas made his start with a regional daily newspaper in New Zealand, where he covered social issues, health, local politics and general news. He was a finalist for Regional Reporter of the Year at the national media awards for his coverage of regional flooding, and regional health care issues, in his first year of reporting.
Later working for Cuisine magazine and Stuff.co.nz as a food reporter, Thomas wrote about everything from fisheries and agriculture to Filipino pinoy and the country’s national pie awards.
He eventually followed his stomach to the base of the Himalayas, where he worked for The Nepali Times and The Kathmandu Post. At the Post he was deputy culture and arts editor, and wrote long-form pieces about the food industry, culture, tourism, travel, and restaurant reviews. He spent a few weeks trekking too.
Thomas has a propensity for slow travel and secondary fun, and he is always planning the next meal. Despite his army brat upbringing and nomadic life, the Pacific has always been home. He is glad to be back.
When things were not looking great for students at Ka‘u High & Pahala Elementary School, the teachers took their lessons to the region’s roots — agriculture.
The local Tongan community is preparing crates to send to their extended families, full of the essentials like clothing and kitchenware.
Ranchers are fed up with waiting two decades for the departments of Agriculture and Land and Natural Resources to sort out legally mandated land transfers.
Attorney General Holly Shikada has joined a bipartisan coalition of 16 attorneys in supporting greater diversity in the livestock harvesting and processing industry.
A billionaire’s investment in the state’s biggest slaughterhouses and a shift to more grass-fed operations could help ranchers keep their cattle in the islands after years of sending them to the mainland.
As Hawaii strives for a more self-sufficient food system, a large cache of protein in the form of feral pigs, axis deer and other invasives could help.