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Yesterday Newshub revealed something shocking and disheartening about the spending practices of our local councils. Hayden Donnell registers his disappointment.

It's an appealing, guilt-assuaging idea. But what does it really amount to?


The Best Of

One of our country’s finest writers gorges herself on Gilead – and finds herself wishing for more osmosis between the Booker-shortlisted new novel and the horror-story politics playing out around us. 

For some, it symbolises the very backbone of New Zealand's food culture. But can Kiwi onion dip survive after the factory that makes reduced cream is shut down?

Toi Kai Rākau Iti, who is running in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Kohi Māori constituency, encounters an unlikely channel of youth engagement.


Sure Scotty Morrison's Māori At Work is a wonderful resource for Aotearoa's collective te reo Māori journey. But is it judgemental enough for the modern office environment?

The candidate comparison super-tool is now live, making it easy to find out who is offering what in local elections from the top to the bottom of New Zealand.

An Auckland mayoral candidate has broken the internet* by announcing a plan for a monorail around the central city. Who is Craig Lord, and is he serious? Alex Braae spoke to him shortly after his campaign launch to find out.

Hamilton councillors have drawn headlines this year for being anti-science and insensitive to terror victims. At a mayoral debate on Wednesday, there were signs a campaign for change is gathering …

Across Wellington, candidates are running for office on the promise of fixing the botched bus network.


In our latest local elections 2019 race briefing (read the rest here), Josie Adams looks at the battle to wrest control of the beautiful offshore outpost, Great Barrier Island/Aotea.

Too many political platforms are designed for the benefit of white, male, 9am commuters. Women In Urbanism has put forward a list of policies for candidates who want to serve everyone in their communities.

With the 2020 referendum fast approaching, what should the government be considering in their approach to cannabis legislation?

The NZ climate change minister, James Shaw, writes an open letter to participants in the School Strike 4 Climate ahead of their day of action later this month.

National’s new agriculture spokesperson finds himself in one of the party’s most important portfolios, at a time of dramatically increasing tensions in the sector.


Ask yourself: would you want a friend - brave, shaken, vulnerable, abused - to face that?

Revelations around alleged sexual assault by a Labour staffer and the inquiry into his behaviour have dominated the week. Alex Casey and Mihi Forbes join Annabelle Lee and Toby Manhire.

To celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, cookbook authors, 2014 MasterChef-winning sisters and badass wāhine Māori Karena and Kasey Bird (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Manawa) have translated some of the delicious recipes from their second cookbook, Hungry, into te reo Māori for The Spinoff. Today, poached pears in chocolate.

To celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, cookbook authors, 2014 MasterChef-winning sisters and badass wāhine Māori Karena and Kasey Bird (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Manawa) have translated some of the delicious recipes from their second cookbook, Hungry, into te reo Māori for The Spinoff. Today, a tino reka salmon salad.

Simon Day learns about the history and power of Chinese five spice. 


Karena and Kasey Bird (Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Manawa) have translated some of the delicious recipes from their second cookbook, Hungry, into te reo Māori for The Spinoff. Today, fried chicken.

Nancy Silverton is one of the world’s great chefs and for three nights in August, she took over a restaurant in Wellington. Simon Day was there.  The first thing legendary Californian …

Antibiotics are becoming increasingly less effective, so what treatments might we look to when the drugs stop working?

Companies trademarking culturally significant words and phrases? It's not as uncommon as you think.

This week Business is Boring talks to Tim Brown, co-founder of Allbirds.


A restaurant that began life as a pop-up bartering for crockery has become the latest Kiwi concept to shake up the Australian food scene.

Peering inside shoe design icon Christian Louboutin's brain is all in a day's work for an Eden Terrace post-production studio that has turned the creative arts into a viable business.

Staff Writers

The gaming apocalypse scenarios most (and least) likely to happen in real life

Grim post-apocalyptic settings are a dime a dozen in gaming, but which ones are the most realistic? Sam Brooks talked to climate scientist David Tong to find out.

Read on.

Tara Ward delved into Māori TV’s impressive OnDemand catalogue and found some of the best TV taonga for your viewing pleasure.  

Bad erotica never sounded so good. Sam Brooks talks to Jamie Morton of My Dad Wrote a Porno, about the hit podcast's fifth season and upcoming return visit to New Zealand.

Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick reviews Patrick Gower's documentary on cannabis, appropriately titled: Weed.


What is it like to crash a Married at First Sight NZ wedding? Two brave reality TV fans went to Swanson to find out. 

In these days of alienation, singletons need all the help they can get. But who is doing love right? Only the hottest couple in Fountain Lakes.

Covering Climate Now: Submit, protest, vote. These are the moments that must be seized.

Finally, New Zealand history will become a compulsory school subject. So what's so good about that?

While the protests continue in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong diaspora looks on with fear, anger, solidarity and hope.


The prime minister has some news about the place of New Zealand history in the school curriculum. Recent events show us how crucial it is that it's given the prominence it deserves.

A story about the perils of being a non-drinking university student gave an inaccurate impression of how widespread heavy drinking really is, argues Amy Russell.

Four short extracts from A City Possessed: The Christchurch Child Crèche Case by Lynley Hood, which has just been reprinted by Otago University Press.

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 new poem by London-based poet Morgan Bach.


'The beautiful are cruel, the cruel are sad, the demons are capable of good.' Maria McMillan reviews the new novel by Elizabeth Knox, bound to be one of the year's biggest local releases. 

Gabrielle Jackson is a Sydney-based Guardian journalist who has written a book about her pain, and the pain of women, and the ways in which the medical system is making it worse.

Compulsory New Zealand history in schools is an exciting opportunity but we must be careful about the stories we tell ourselves, writes Dr Aroha Harris. 

Rawinia Higgins, the first female and first te reo Maori second-language speaker appointed chairperson of Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori talks about her reo journey.

The myth that Māori wiped out the Moriori people is the punchline of a new Jim Gaffigan joke. 


Whaea Kaa Williams is a lecturer in te reo Māori at Te Wānanga Takiura o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. She remembers a time when she wasn’t allowed to speak te reo Māori 'past the gate'.

A new version of Bic Runga's classic single 'Sway' is among the tracks on Waiata/Anthems, a compilation of te reo Māori versions of hit New Zealand songs.

Lana Lopsesi on tatu maker Julia Mage’au Gray, the revival of Melanesian female tattoo practice, and an exhibition paying homage to her work.

The acclaimed photographer on the appeal of fashion, Madonna's aging process and what photography students never need to photograph again. 

Hope, censorship, the Hong Kong protests and their threads across Asia and the Pacific: a conversation with artist Yuk King Tan, whose show Crisis of the Ordinary is at Starkwhite gallery now. .


1000 Words is a Spinoff series talking to the photographers behind our most iconic political images. In this instalment, photographer Chris McKeen describes shooting Pania Newton at Ihumātao. 

Fashion, beauty and modernism all play a part in the exhibition Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys. Megan Dunn talks to fashion designer Karen Walker about her Hodgkins-inspired fashion collection.

Covering Climate Now: A changing climate means changing landscapes and changing lives. This is what it looks like, according to experts.

Many Aucklanders have a lot of questions about the ongoing measles outbreak. The Science Media Centre went to the experts for answers.

New Zealand has lost herd immunity to the measles disease. What is it, and why does that matter?


Californians warned to check for symptoms after an infected NZ teen visited theme parks including Disneyland and Universal Studios.

The anti-1080 lobby has made a martyr out of kea, but that ignores another salient fact.

Facing streaming giants with multi-billion dollar budgets, the state broadcaster has announced it expects a big 2020 loss. Duncan Greive goes to find out why TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick is still smiling.

It’s one of the great genres of New Zealand news: the unusual thing that just blocked our main arterial road. Here’s a sampler.

Leading New Zealand broadcaster has many questions for himself.


Analysis of New Zealand media headlines reveals a lot of people slamming a lot of other people.

Two recent scientific discoveries rocked us to our fossily core, but there’s a bigger, more shocking story to be told: who are the silhouette people?

Fable is best remembered for the disastrous, over-the-top promises made by its designer Peter Molyneux. But maybe, Adam Goodall argues, we’re remembering it all wrong.

Lee Henaghan travelled to Canada for a special Gears 5 preview event at The Coalition studios in Vancouver. Could this be a return to form for the game that gave the world the chainsaw bayonet?

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the karaoke game that introduced an entire generation to the horrors of 'Downtown'. Jordan Hamel ranks all 30 songs from SingStar v1.


After fifteen years, American-targeted satire video game Metal Wolf Chaos XD finally makes it way out of Japan. Sam Brooks looks at how much more prescient the game is now, and why that is.

Sam Brooks reviews Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which perfectly splits difference between staying true to its core while reinventing itself to appeal to a broader audience.

On the 10th anniversary of the infamous “I’mma let you finish” episode, Josie Adams reflects on what this moment revealed about both Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

Charli XCX has just released her latest album, Charli. The futuristic musician is always looking ahead, and so are her fans. We've paired each star sign with their perfect Charli XCX song.

As part of this year's World of Wearable Art Awards Show, musical director Paul McLaney has brought six of New Zealand's most acclaimed composers together and commissioned a new work from each of them.


Jordan Hamel interviews Gussie Larkin from Mermaidens ahead of the release of their new album Look Me In The Eye. 

Rapper Tom Scott has dropped a brand new documentary about trying to make a living as an artist. So is it any good?

Emily Writes on love and fear and hope at her son's hospital bed.

Over 400 doctors, most specialising in child health, have signed an open letter to the coroner expressing concerns about a judgement which blamed alcohol in breast milk for the death of an infant.

It's like Christmas every fortnight, and an antidote to the great plastic pile-up.


A coroner's comments about the death of Carla Neems have the potential to plunge New Zealand into a moral panic. But having freedom and responsibility is an essential part of child development, argues a mother of two.

We keep hearing that Kids These Days are mollycoddled and risk-averse, but is that really true? And guess who gets blamed when kids do take risks and things go wrong?

On the good days, riding a bike is the best. But in Auckland there aren't nearly enough of those days, and unless decision makers take urgent action, that's not going to change.

A riposte against a ghastly and unfair misrepresentation of a noble campaign.

For Auckland host Timothy Giles talks to longtime Auckland councillor Penny Hulse about her time in council, why she's stepping down and her hopes for the future.


Timothy Giles speaks to Grace Stratton about accessibility in fashion and in life, for the latest episode of For Auckland.

A Hurricanes true believer on a massive Super Rugby shift.

The first of Team New Zealand's America's Cup boats was officially launched this morning. James Littlewood wandered down to the Viaduct at 6.30 on a cold, wet, Friday morning to see what all the fuss was about.

A squad of New Zealand's big sporting bodies just announced they were 'taking a stand', to 'create a positive experience for all young people playing sport'.

Black Caps Cricket World Cup hero Jimmy Neesham reveals what happened on that ill-fated day at Lord’s and how to move on.


From tennis champions to dance craze inventors, Scratched celebrates New Zealand sporting heroes who never got their due – but whose legacies deserve to be in lights.

At Eden Park on Saturday night, the Wallabies were on the receiving end of a ruthless players’ revenge by the All Blacks, writes Scotty Stevenson

In this special episode, we welcome you back to Waterdeep Mountain High, a Dungeons & Dragons podcast set in a below average school in the mystical land of Faerun.

Alex Casey, Leonie Hayden, Michèle A’Court tackle the past month in women, with thanks to our friends at The Women’s Bookshop. 

Welcome back to Papercuts, our monthly books podcast hosted by Louisa Kasza, Jenna Todd and Kiran Dass.


The Real Pod team assemble to discuss the brilliant Celebrity Treasure Island, The Block's descent and worrying signs for the upcoming season of Married at First Sight NZ. It's the show …

The Real Pod assembles to dissect the week in reality television and real life, with special thanks to Nando’s.

With attitudes shifting towards sustainability, what can people do to take a stand against big corporations making the wrong environmental decisions?

Napier-based women's clothing company KILT is a big brand with local charm. Josie Adams finds out how they've adapted their boutique strategy to work on a national level.

Simon Day learns about the history and power of Chinese five spice. 


In the fourth episode of Actually Interesting, The Spinoff’s monthly podcast exploring the effect AI has on our lives, Russell Brown speaks to Ana Arriola, general manager and partner at Microsoft AI and Research, about ethics and transparency in tech.

Hōkai Rangi is a recently-released strategy aiming to drastically lower the ratio of Māori in prison in New Zealand, using Māori strategy to do so.

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