Ancient giants and old delusions: a history of mysticism and racism in Aotearoa

A group discovered to be digging for proof of a giant pre-Māori race in the limestone caves of Waikato have not lost their minds all of a sudden, but are continuing a legacy of religion-based racism in the area, writes Scott Hamilton.



Plant-based diets add a new item to the rural-urban tension menu, Genesis plans NZ’s biggest solar farm and a major regulatory push on vaping.

Back to university today? Beware the flashy voluntourism brochures promising a chance to save the world, writes AUT lecturer Daniel Crouch.


The Best Of

Josie Adams looks back at the short-lived 0800 SMOKEY snitch campaign.

You may not be punching strangers' seats, but there's plenty of other behaviour that is guaranteed to make your fellow passengers seethe with rage. Here's how to travel by plane without making people hate you.

At the interval, Linda Burgess's legs are aching. But in the second half, magic happens.


A Southland school has been criticised for requiring girls to see a counsellor before opting to wear shorts as their uniform. But it’s merely a symptom of a bigger problem.

This week I watched a man shoot himself in the foot so many times I was amazed he could walk out of the court room. Here's my honestly held opinion.

It’s called ‘CANZUK’, and it’s a bad idea. New Zealand should not be suckered in by dreams of Empire 2.0, writes Lewis Holden.

Papua New Guinea is a bigger and more important player in the Pacific than you might think.

BREAKING: The Spinoff can reveal that Jacinda Ardern once offered a man a banana at a festival, and he was impressed.


Annabelle Lee-Mather, Ben Thomas and Toby Manhire inhale the unsweet aromas of donation scandal enveloping NZ First, National, and by association the prime minister herself.

How John Key committed to increase NZ’s net climate emissions. And why this is Jacinda Ardern’s last chance to cut them

If you're not the foraging type, fear not: supermarket berries will work just fine (but imagine how wholesome you'll feel if you pick your own!)

The minister has attacked plant-based producers for 'demonising' traditional agriculture. They've got a message for him, too.

Some vegan groups claim the halfway step of vegetarianism is ineffectual if you really care about animal cruelty, climate change, or your own personal health.


Sam Brooks heads along to Meatstock 2020, and finds himself questioning the symbiotic relationship between meat-eating and machismo.

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, a bunch of us have a hoon on Burger King's new chip butty.

Host Duncan Greive is joined by The Spinoff editor Toby Manhire to discuss the dramatic events surrounding RNZ this month on The Spinoff's media podcast, The Fold.

He thought he'd moved on, but the news the Holden brand was being killed off hit Trevor McKewen harder than he expected. Here he reminisces about a youthful infatuation that clearly never quite went away.

Jennifer Ward-Lealand's dedication to acting, directing and te ao Māori saw her named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.


This week on Business is Boring, host Simon Pound talks to Pranav Chopra, Founder and CEO of Nemi Teas.

The dreaded pea weevil is no more in the Wairarapa, after a successful eradication effort.

The Star Wars prequels are universally regarded as the nadir of the franchise, but at least they gave us spinoff series The Clone Wars, writes Sam Brooks

Dragon Quest: Your Story feels like an hour-and-a-half-long highlight reel of an adventure spanning dozens of hours, but it’s damn fun, writes Felix Walton.

Sam Brooks investigates what would happen if Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist took a trip to New Zealand to listen to our finest export: Our bangers.


Horse Girl is a nightmarish time-warped look into the mind of a mental illness sufferer.

Alex Casey delivers her seventh power rankings for The Bachelorette NZ, where a group of intruders have herniated the competition’s intestines forever.

Jai Breitnauer on what happens when male role models start disappearing from a child’s life.

The Ministry of Education is proposing a number of changes to NCEA Level One, including the merging of several subjects to be phased in over the next five years. Felix Walton looks into how, and why, these changes are happening.

We need to challenge those who minimise the actions of rapists based on the gender or ages of their victims, argues Emily Writes.


Danyl Mclauchlan makes the case that, despite some of his rightly condemned views, Peter Singer deserves to be heard.

Australian philosopher Peter Singer is coming to NZ in June. His views on disability have sparked widespread condemnation.

The only published and available best-selling indie book chart in New Zealand is the top 10 sales list recorded every week at Unity Books’ stores in High St, Auckland, and Willis St, Wellington.

A poem by US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo.

Himali McInnes looks past the fact that the first black woman to win the Booker had to bloody share it and focuses on the book –  in itself a treasure. 


After years of swearword-emblazoned book covers, are readers all out of fucks to give about bad language?

Eamonn Marra's debut novel makes a study of the mundane: sanding a fence, heating baked beans, three pizzas for $29.99 delivered. Alie Benge reckons it belongs somewhere between Sally Rooney and Elena Ferrante.

No matter how you measure it, science remains systematically biased against women – and ethnically diverse women even more so, writes Dr Hinemoa Elder.

A secretive group excavating a cave near Huntly believe it's filled with a race of pre-Polynesian giants' skeletons, but iwi and archaeologists have serious concerns.

The high-profile case at the Wellington High Court has come to an early and unexpected halt.


Director Heperi Mita celebrates the success of his friend Taika Waititi, and explains what it means for Māori and indigenous creatives around the world. 

The 21 iwi radio stations in New Zealand have been fighting for more funding for years, so where's their lifeline? 

Yes, it’s still summer and still the season of the road trip. We run down some of the best North Island art stopovers, and the mavericks behind them.

Serena Bentley writes on an illuminating survey in Auckland and Christchurch of the work of a daring modernist artist deserving of wider attention

Florida-based New Zealand writer Chloe Lane talks to Wellington artist Andrew Beck about life among the Trump devotees and swamp manatees of America's strangest state.


Laurie Anderson on the power of art, the complexity of language, Buddhism and Burroughs, and their shared love of terriers.

Palmerston North-born Brent Harris’s considers himself an Australian artist, but his work is suffused with the unease and melancholia long associated with New Zealand art, cinema and music.

The amount of methane created by humans could be up to 40% higher than thought. What does that mean for the fight against climate change? 

The conversation around how we prepare for coronavirus here needs to be guided by a sense of our common humanity.

We know that coronavirus is dangerous, but what does it actually do to your body? Epidemiologist Allen Cheng explains.


Increasingly large swathes of the country are getting bone dry, and it's starting to cause serious problems.

Laurie Winkless on the campaign to place Angela Saini's Inferior, a book that disproves many dangerous, incorrect, gender-based stereotypes, into secondary schools.

Anna Dean offers 10 ideas to RNZ management to grow a youth audience without having to build a costly new platform – none of which involves scrapping RNZ Concert.

Shen Yun ads are impossible to avoid, but what the hell is Shen Yun?

Giving off-the-cuff speeches that get everyone talking has become something of a habit for national treasure Taika Waititi.


Concert FM is to be stripped down in favour of a new station for youth, even as the government prepares bigger plans for restructure.

A recent survey showed millennials are having less sex than older generations. Mark Richardson hates it.

The government is trumpeting news that gaming will be a billion dollar industry, but a leading gaming developer says he needs money, not glowing press releases.

On its 20th anniversary, Sam Brooks looks back on The Sims, the safest space for an entire generation of gamers.

Sam Brooks digs into his childhood to present his magnum opus: a ranking of all 151 OG Pokémon.


Summer reissue: A few years ago, deep into middle age, Britta Stabenow found solace in the world of gaming. Now she's part of a passionate community: those who love, and collect, video games.

Sam Brooks reviews Gris, the stunning, newly updated game from Devolver Digital that gamifies and makes beautiful that one universal process: grief.

Earmarked for big things since she left high school, the 'Nothing to Regret' singer has been dealing with the weight of expectations for a while now. With her debut EP just released, she’s OK with where she's at.

Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker on the five year gap between albums, and where the band fits into rock music in 2020

Despite what some critics claim, there isn’t a 'gig problem' in Auckland, writes Josie Adams. You just need to look beyond indie rock.


Sam Brooks watched today's NFL Super Bowl and recaps the moments that mattered.

Anthony Metcalf on how our biggest city's paucity of music venues is hurting both artists and gig-goers.

Being a new parent is scary and overwhelming and you can forget that it’s also full of happiness. Simon Day shares the moments of joy that have pulled him through …

It's not about guilt. But if feeding time means phone time to you, I would suggest reconsidering.

The fourth trimester is exhausting for new parents. Here's how you can help.


My name is Eddie and I’m seven and my mum said I have to write about my school holidays and I just want to play Minecraft. I love swimming so these are the best places for swimming by me Eddie.

The scale of the horror in Australia right now can be hard for kids to process. Emily Writes explains what she's been doing with her own sons to help them feel a little less afraid.

Auckland Council recently announced a citywide food scrap collection scheme that will be kicking off in 2021, so what do we need to know?

Everything you need to know about the suspension of buses in Auckland and the industrial action that it springs from.

Photographer Brendan Kitto shares images telling the story of the dramatic housing changes in Glen Innes, Auckland.


Hayden Donnell looks for inspiration and innovation on how to house the city’s future.

Auckland’s Giant Santa is being retired and may be lost forever. This morning he was offered a lifeline from the highest office in NZ.

At the highest gathering place of New Zealand sport, UFC champion and sportsman of the year Israel Adesanya delivered the message he has long been destined to give.

The controversy around the unexpected (but 'pre-planned') mid-season break for the Black Caps coach left countless fans feeling they were being suckered. And fair enough.

Alex Braae heads to North Harbour Stadium to watch the Auckland baseball team play a crunch game before a wild, Baby Shark chanting crowd.


Far from home, the Latin American football fanatics of Waiheke Island are fighting to regain their place on the New Zealand football league. It's a tale of passion, pride and love for the beautiful game.

After three years, Serena Williams is a champion again. Sadly not everyone was too thrilled about a mother competing.

Can the Spinoff politics podcast's tense coalition survive an election year in which each podcasater will be striving to carve out their own identity?

The On the Rag team assemble to dissect what feels like the longest month in human history. 

This week on Business is Boring, host Simon Pound talks to Morris Pita from EmergencyQ.


The Real Pod reassembles to dissect the first week of The Bachelorette NZ with special thanks to Nando’s.

In this very special episode of The Real Pod, host Art Green joins us to yarn about The Bachelorette NZ premiere.

It competes directly for talent with the lavishly subsidised film industry, yet Simon Dasan, creative director of Wellington powerhouse A44, says New Zealand’s game creators are still thriving. 

After 43 years on the telly, Fair Go knows exactly how to stick up for Kiwi consumers. Tara Ward talks to Sophie Baird, the woman changing New Zealand, one consumer complaint at a time. 

Last week Nick Loosley, founder of food charity Everybody Eats, was named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year.


Jennifer Ward-Lealand's dedication to acting, directing and te ao Māori saw her named the 2020 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

Sam Brooks investigates what would happen if Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist took a trip to New Zealand to listen to our finest export: Our bangers.

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