In 2005, an entry entitled 'Pacific Way' appeared in a collection of essays on postcolonial thought. While this seems unremarkable, it invites questions concerning both the Pacific Way idea and the nature of postcolonial critique. This article is especially concerned to examine the specific circumstances in which the term was initially articulated and the precise meaning with which it was imbued. Although the Pacific Way acquired some 'postcolonial' characteristics in subsequent years, it was evidently anything but in its original formulation. Rather, it was a conservative discourse embracing notions of class hierarchy common to elites among both colonisers and colonised. This brings into question the status of the Pacific Way as a postcolonial discourse, and whether postcolonialism's 'anticoloniality' is in fact hospitable to indigenous hegemony, thus undermining its general anti-hegemonic credentials.