In our video series Kiwis of Snapchat, comedian Tom Sainsbury sources exclusive Snapchat footage of Kiwi citizens and luminaries making the news. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't feeling too great.

Finding a rental in Wellington isn't only a battle for students and young professionals. Here, single mothers tell their accommodation search stories, and public policy researcher Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw explains why housing insecurity is so damaging for families.


The Best Of

News came today that Stage Challenge, the national dance competition for schools, is to close after 25 years. Kristin Hall pays tribute to the touchingly earnest extra-curricular.

Comedian James Roque responds to the exhortations online that we should all just lighten up and learn to take a joke over that Christchurch restaurant menu.


Christine Ammunson is a Samoan New Zealander who was brought up on The Black and White Minstrel Show, Golliwogs and Little Black Sambo books. You're allowed to let the past go without disrespecting those you love, she writes.

The Art of Banksy at the Aotea Centre in Auckland is replete with contradictions, writes Don Rowe.

In purporting to deliver a disinterested appraisal of the US president’s first year, Heather Du Plessis-Allan creates a perfect storm of misinformation, argues Branko Marcetic

Enemies of neo-liberalism looking for a socialist savior will be disappointed – Ardern’s government essentially promises a continuation with existing policy, argues Wayne Mapp.

Longtime friend and fellow Alliance MP Matt Robson says farewell to Jim Anderton, a colossus of New Zealand politics who sought to do what was right, not was expedient.


When you watch your cat attempt to derail your partner's phone call with Donald Trump, it's hard to avoid the word 'surreal', writes Clarke Gayford.

At least one of these 15 soothsayers is bound to be right ...

Sylvia Giles watches the mid-2000s soap The L Word and discovers a plethora of feminist conversations that are only starting to happen now in the mainstream. 

Alex Casey and Sam Brooks introduce some new shows on Lightbox that might take your fancy this month.

Last night marked the return of several key shows to the coveted 7 pm time slot, so we deployed our television moles to watch and report back. 


The shock resignation of Mike Hosking has lead to Three playing some very aggressive media chess.

Alex Casey checks in with the gang from The AM Show for their first show of the year. 

Every week we ask a local business to spill the beans about themselves in eight simple takes. This week we talk to Timothy Allan of Ubco, makers of an electric-powered, eco-friendly alternative to off and on road bikes.

Peanut butter maker Fix and Fogg has grown from the farmers' markets to the biggest online marketplace in the world, Amazon. Rebecca Stevenson caught up with founder Roman Jewell, and discovered Kiwi ingenuity at the heart of this small business success story.

The Kiwi footwear has become a favourite of Silicon Valley elites. But are the shoes now furnishing the feet of the top Republican and speaker of the house Paul Ryan? Jihee Junn investigates.


Lawyer Steven Moe looks at the developing world of space law, and questions whether similar moves are needed for other exponential technologies on our immediate horizon.

Kids around the world are flexing their entrepreneurial muscles by making, selling and marketing the latest craze in tactile fun: slime. Jihee Junn talks to one Auckland-based 11-year-old who's decided to cash in.

Allanah Faherty remembers Kiwi Kidsongs, a series of government-funded kids' albums that were sung in primary schools all over the country for 20 years.

Madeleine Holden talks to Kelela ahead of her Auckland show this week.

Play It Strange CEO Mike Chunn reflects on the first year of songwriting as an NCEA subject and shares two of his favourite songs to come out of the initiative with stories by their writers.


Murdoch Stephens saw Mount Eerie play in Krakow, visited Auschwitz, and wrote about how to listen to songs of unimaginable tragedy.

Our regular round-up of new songs and singles, featuring Troye Sivan, Justin Timberlake, David Byrne, MGMT and more…

This year's census will again not include any non-binary gender options or any questions about sexual orientation. That's a government-endorsed insult to the LGBTI+ community, writes comedian Eli Matthewson.

Following our report on the increasingly chaotic rental market in Wellington, one young government employee explains why she's being forced to leave town. 

In the third part of a four piece series exploring places around Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Beck Eleven finds hidden treasures and clear water, and Simon Day falls in love with Banks Peninsula.


The indestructible, environmentally friendly, unlimited use menstrual cup has been celebrated as the answer to 'period poverty'. But they're not for everyone, writes Andrea Nielsen-Vold.

Today TradeMe announced that it would ban the sale of pugs, French bulldogs, and British bulldogs from its website. It's a good start, but vet Rochelle Ferguson argues that we need to go further.

The current conversation around the preservation of te reo has been focused on the role and responsibility of Māori speakers, as exemplified by Bill English's claim that it's not government's place to save 'someone else’s' language. But what about Pākehā learners of te reo? Eliza Jane looks back on her experience at Auckland's Newton Central School.

The newborn baby taken from his parents by Oranga Tamariki at an Auckland hospital last year is coming home, but their daughter remains in state custody. Joris de Bres follows the family's fight to get their children back. 

Children are the real winners now that National Standards have gone, according to primary principals and teachers. So what will schools be getting up to in the brave new world of 2018? Kirsten Warner looks for answers.


Baby names that are also official titles are not allowed in New Zealand. In the case of the name Justice, lawyer Dr Bevan Marten thinks the government has it wrong – and he's offering to represent pro bono any parent who wants to use it.

On her second son's birthday, Spinoff Parents editor Emily Writes has some advice for the expectant mother she once was: Hold fast, hold tight, hold on.

Joshua Hitchcock looks ahead to 2018 and hopes that the thriving Māori economy doesn't overshadow other important areas of development.

In the wake of negative te reo Māori stories this week, a hashtag has appeared that centres the conversation back on the positive.

In part two of our series on the future of Māori health, former Ministry of Health advisor and policy analyst Gabrielle Baker asks if ‘reducing inequalities’ is aiming too low.


Local hāpu blockades barring people from using a wharf on Matakana Island in the Bay of Plenty have drawn the ire of visitors and tourist operations.

A high school in Harare, Zimbabwe, has adopted and adapted 'Ka Mate', the haka made famous by the New Zealand All Blacks. Photojournalist Cornell Tukiri travelled to Harare see for himself and to ask: is this OK?

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, does the celebrated new bakery from the Orphan's Kitchen team live up to the Instagram hype?

A protest against the relocation of 15 trees from Quay St to nearby parks is preventing work on the cycleway extension. Jolisa Gracewood and Max Robitzsch sigh deeply and explain how we got here.

Bauer has announced the closure of Paperboy, its acclaimed ‘freemium’ Auckland magazine. Why did its publisher let it perish?


Simon Wilson came back from a visit to Paris filled with enthusiasm for ways to make Auckland better. Here’s the first: a great big bike share scheme.

If you've been looking for way to buy a house in Auckland: this is it.

In purporting to deliver a disinterested appraisal of the US president’s first year, Heather Du Plessis-Allan creates a perfect storm of misinformation, argues Branko Marcetic

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

An anonymous staffer reviews the official merchandise of the former First Son.


The Art of Banksy at the Aotea Centre in Auckland is replete with contradictions, writes Don Rowe.

Most world leaders are content with typing their own name into Twitter, or coining new weird words. Not Helen Clark, who solves pub arguments and affirms her past deeds, writes Alex Casey.

Little Red Lie is the misanthropic, dark-as-tar game from indie developer Will O'Neill. Gaming editor Sam Brooks played it – and was disturbed by what he found.

Turkish developer 2645turqoise has released a game that purports to be a vast survivalist adventure across New Zealand. Adam Goodall finds out how well Ka Mate captures true blue bear-free Aotearoa.

This week, Creative Assembly announced another spinoff to the Total War series, this time based around the Three Kingdoms War in China. Sam Brooks investigates why this period is a bizarrely popular one for video games.


Video games get a bad rep, mostly from people who don't even play them. Uther Dean suggests some games to bridge the gap between video games and the people who just CANNOT with them.

2018 is set to be another big year in gaming. Sam Brooks sets down his most anticipated games of the year, including one that he hopes to a higher power actually, finally, comes out this year.

The second instalment of Peter Wells' diary of life with cancer, republished from his private Facebook with permission.

Guy Somerset compares the new novel by Jennifer Egan to Winona Ryder's performance in Stranger Things. It's not a compliment.

An essay by Catherine Robertson, author of the wildly entertaining novel Gabriel's Bay, on the problems some critics have with 'women's fiction'.


The bestselling books at the two best bookstores in the world.

RIP Buster Stiggs. The legend who played in New Zealand’s first punk band, Suburban Reptiles, and later with his old schoolmate Phil Judd in The Swingers, died this month aged 63. In 2016 we excerpted a memoir in progress; we reprint it below.

Just how worried should we be about talk around a surge in shark numbers in our shore, and the unexpected visitors to Oriental Bay. Alice Webb-Liddall talks to Riley Elliott. 

I would love for Doug Edmeades to be right, as I would sleep better at night, but the arguments he trots out have been debunked over and over again, writes climate scientist James Renwick

Shocking revelations around a clinical trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining public trust in science depends on a new approach to transparency.


She's an anti-vaccination, anti-fluoride campaigner who believes measles is a hoax and polio can be cured with vitamin C. Meet Siggi Henry, one of the most powerful people in our fourth largest city. Angela Cuming reports.

Every time celebrity chef Pete Evans talks about his 'wellness' beliefs, scientists and doctors line up to counter them with peer-reviewed research and established facts. That's because Evans' 'common sense' sounds a lot like utter nonsense, writes Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

Simon Pound talks to machine learning expert Dr Alyona Medelyan.

Simon Pound chats to Michael Moka about Māori entrepreneurship and bringing the whānau (values) to work.

To punish you all for being naughty this year, The Spinoff made an unholy mash-up of four of its podcasts.


Everything you need to know about surviving Christmas in one handy pod.

An incredible year for NZ politics. The Gone By Lunchtime bus parks up for one last time, and settles all the matters.

In the first story in a series celebrating the amazing things young New Zealanders do every day, James Kehoe Rowden talks to Angela Cumming about his commitment to protecting the environment, and shows little can make a big difference. 

Sylvia Giles watches the mid-2000s soap The L Word and discovers a plethora of feminist conversations that are only starting to happen now in the mainstream. 

In the third part of a four piece series exploring places around Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Beck Eleven finds hidden treasures and clear water, and Simon Day falls in love with Banks Peninsula.


Alex Casey and Sam Brooks introduce some new shows on Lightbox that might take your fancy this month.

Peanut butter maker Fix and Fogg has grown from the farmers' markets to the biggest online marketplace in the world, Amazon. Rebecca Stevenson caught up with founder Roman Jewell, and discovered Kiwi ingenuity at the heart of this small business success story.

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