Goff is headed for his first major defeat, and it's over the bed tax

Mayor Phil Goff is likely to lose the vote at council for one of his signature policies: the "bed tax that isn't a bed tax", otherwise known as the targeted accommodation rate he wants to charge hotels and motels. It will be embarrassing for him and, far worse, it'll put a $30 million hole in his budget.

Game of Bros: the oiliest reality show on television is back

Game of Bros returned to Maori television tonight and picked up right where it left off: in a vat of coconut oil. Madeleine Chapman made a few crucial and important observations to keep an eye out for as the show progresses.

Married at First Sight is a beautiful bloodbath from hell

Aaron Yap has become obsessed with the latest season of Married at First Sight Australia. He explains why the ingenious reality show puts traditionally scripted television to shame.

'In winter I sleep wearing a woollen hat and an extra hoody.' Your renting horror stories, vol. 2

On Monday we asked for your renting stories, good and bad, and the response so far has been overwhelming. This is the second installment, with more to come throughout Rent Week.

Show me the money: Four home owners open their bank statements

The increasingly bonkers housing market is a key driver behind the current surge in renting. We talk to four people about how they made the leap from renter to home owner.

'I started to get sicker. And sicker.' What it's like renting from a slumlord when you're a chronically ill parent

Think your rental situation is tough? Try living with a chronic medical condition in a dark, mould-infested dump - and with a child to care for. One anonymous renter tells her story.

Mind the carpet! On the special misery of renting with small children

People say that children help make a house a home, but what about when your house is rented and you could be turfed out at a moment's notice? Jo Holsted writes about how her parenting is affected by being a long-term renter.

Race and renting in Auckland

With the mismatch between supply and demand in some of New Zealand's main centres, finding a safe, secure rental is hard for anyone of limited means. But the ugly truth is that it is often that much harder for Pasifika and Māori.

Gory genre glory! We review the haunted house of Horror

Right now at the Civic, the audience screams are spiking right off the charts. And with good reason: the Auckland Arts Festival show Horror is scary good, says Alex Casey.

What the hell was Strassman?

For what felt like a clean decade Strassman was the most popular comic in New Zealand, despite being very, very bad. How? Why? And all other relevant questions answered by Sam Brooks.

Mathman: a story by Nic Sampson

Noted funny man Nic Sampson (Jono and Ben, Funny Girls) writes us a short story about a dad, his time-travelling son and the dangers of learning about maths.

Exit, stage centre-right: watch John Key's valedictory speech, and read our panel's appraisals

John Key has left the building, but not before delivering one final address. How did he go? Our experts offer their assessment of the last parliamentary appearance by the man who was New Zealand prime minister from 2008 to 2016.

Hit & Run: A depressingly credible account of blunder, bloodshed and cover-up

In their new book Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson offer evidence of a botched raid that killed six civilians and led to a scramble to conceal the truth. Danyl Mclauchlan reviews Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the Meaning of Honour and weighs up the prospects for an inquiry.

Ghost Recon Wildlands: 'A repugnant, morally indefensible game'

Matthew Codd has three big reasons why you shouldn't play Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Walden, a game: Thoreau's philosophical memoir reimagined as a bowl of digitised plastic fruit

A new game ten years in the making attempts to adapt naturist Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden. But far from the rich and luscious text of Thoreau's hippie bible, Walden, a game is closer to a bowl of plastic fruit, writes Don Rowe.

Joining the club: On the high hopes and broken dreams of millennials who want their writing published

Tim Grgec plucked up courage to submit his poetry to literary journals. But he didn't know anyone in New Zealand writing and no one had ever heard of him. So then what?

Live updates on the mystery book by Nicky Hager: Join us throughout the day

Nicky Hager is launching his latest book tonight at Unity Books in Wellington. No one knows what it's about; join us as our correspondents keep a close eye on the author and the bookshop throughout the day.

Lance Wiggs on how TradeMe was worth even more than its $750m sale price

Lance Wiggs speaks to Simon Pound about TradeMe's admirable culture and what he looks for in an investment.

The Real Pod: A mystery rose and fast times in Max Key corner

Jane Yee, Duncan Greive and Alex Casey gather around the oval table and talk about the latest happenings in New Zealand television and real life in New Zealand.

Magic tricks, the eureka fallacy and tea-breaks: confessions of a conference-going scientist

Fresh back from five days in Queenstown for NZ’s nanotechnology and advanced-materials science conference, Dr Ben Mallett reckons AMN8 shows that our stereotypes, of science and scientists, need a bit of nuance.

WATCH: The inaugural Music vs Media basketball game

To celebrate the opening of the Spark Boroughs Victoria Park basketball court, The Spinoff gathered together a motley crew of musicians and media types to play a 'friendly' game of 5-0n-5. Watch the highlights here.