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The best of The Spinoff this week

Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.

Disclaimer: This week The Spinoff celebrated ‘Hosking Week’, in appreciation of the great Mike Hosking. As much as we would love it, not all weeks will be this Hosk-heavy.

Liam Fernandez: Hosking Week: A comprehensive look at Toni Street trying to speak on Seven Sharp

“Mike Hosking loves to talk all the time, that’s no secret. But Mike Hosking’s favourite time to talk is when Toni Street is talking. ”

Michael Field: To catch a blackbird: Michael Field responds to the whitewashing of a Pacific “pirate”

“An estimated 3600 Polynesians were snatched in 1863. The haul included 253 people from Tokelau – mostly men, and 47 per cent of the population. Three men escaped in Tutuila in Samoa but the rest never returned. They disappeared without trace, lost forever. The Samoan pastor Mata visited Tokelau after the snatching, and wrote, ‘It is most piteous to witness the grief of these women and children. They are weeping night and day; they do not eat, there is none left to provide food for them or to climb the coconut trees.'”

Hayden Donnell: Nick Smith goes to war with Nick Smith over housing affordability  

“He has to split himself in half; one Nick telling those locked out of the housing market the Government is looking out for them; the other reassuring his most reliable voters he’s on their side. One Nick saying he’s doing his best to fix a crisis; the other whispering he’s not actually going to do that much at all.”

Alex Casey: Hosking Week: NZ Fashion legend Colin Mathura-Jeffree reviews the jackets of Mike’s Minute

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“He says ‘The War on Drugs’. Well, to wear that jacket, you have to take drugs. To look at that jacket, you have to be on drugs. I mean, look, he’s got the lines. He’s trying to be controversial, like ‘this is the war on drugs and I’m going to wear sleeves of cocaine’.”

Ashleigh Young: The Monday extract: ‘Bearded ladies’ by Ashleigh Young 

“I placed Frida Kahlo’s picture between the picture of the red girl in the mirror and the flying woman tugging on the hand of her earthbound husband. I took a long time to bring myself to closely study the self-portrait. It was because of her moustache; I was a little afraid of it. It made her into a double-sided optical illusion, like the image of the old woman and the young woman concealed inside each other. But once I saw that she was beautiful I couldn’t see anything else. The moustache was not only incidental but a mark of her strength and conviction. It couldn’t have been any other way. It was like the crumbled-away shoulder of the Venus de Milo.”

José Barbosa: ‘I have become death’ – who will die and who will live?

“Driverless cars sound cool as, eh? But consider the fact that we’ll be handing off control of what are essentially missiles packed full with human meat. What happens when little Timmy barfs expertly in your face making you point the car off the road and into a Burger King? In those nano-seconds just after things go south a computer may have to make decisions about who will die and who will live.”

Shamubeel Eaqub: Shamubeel Calls Bullshit #4: on John Key’s ‘always challenging for young people’ house chat

Calum Henderson: One brave critic dares to love the Richie McCaw movie 

“For most of his playing career I kind of rolled my eyes at the great number 7, our rugby God. All the embarrassing public adulation, all those painful television ad appearances, the fact that he played for Canterbury. I used to hate the way when his hair got wet it made him look like a hedgehog. Now I’d give anything to see those sweaty quills be the first to the breakdown one more time.”

Duncan Greive: Wow: Kiwi Living is woke now 

“The centrepiece was chef Michael Van de Elzen cooking a meal at the Auckland City Mission for 200 people, aiming to make a healthy meal for less than $2 per head.

Think about what this does, functionally. It shows the scale of the homeless and vulnerable in Auckland in primetime on TV One (I’m not at all sure that often happens on Seven Sharp). It very practically details healthy food made cheaply. And, more than any of that, it positions Kiwi Living as a place which views New Zealanders as a more diverse collection of people than they ever did in the first season.”

Hayden Donnell: Rebel Vic Crone tells the lawman to take a driverless bus all the way to hell

“Her campaign launch had barely begun and Vic Crone was already dancing on the edge of the law. The mayoral candidate was giving away free drinks to everyone who set foot in the Carrington Pumphouse bar. Champagne to Michelle Boag. Bubbles for Bill Ralston. Booze to Maggie Barry. The drink rich giving to the drink poor. It was alcoholic socialism in action.”

Katie Parker: Hosking Week: How a magical prince called Mike saved our kingdom’s privacy

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“Weaved of self-regulation, regulatory bodies, the 1993 Privacy act and common law torts, privacy law in New Zealand may be a colourful tapestry, but one with many holes and snags. And with the photos taken in a public place, thus no reasonable expectation of privacy, nothing could be done for our brave hero.

Hosking – good, honest, decent Hosking – was aghast. Never mind that New Idea had relented and, cowards as they are, resiled from their intention to publish the photos. The issue had become so much more than that. Hosking had to make a stand. ‘If not I, then who?’ he bellowed*.”

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