Don Rowe

Don Rowe (Ngāi Tahu) is a staff writer at The Spinoff. He was the 2015 Canon Media Awards student journalist of the year and the 2017 junior long form feature writer of the year. Email him on don@thespinoff.co.nz

Society
Jan 17, 2018

Going once, going twice: Wellington landlords want every cent you have

As students flock back to Wellington in the lead-up to the academic year, landlords are cashing in with innovations which encourage bidding wars amongst applicants.

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Media
Jan 10, 2018

The Banksy exhibition is really just a warm-up for the gift shop

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

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Media
Jan 3, 2018

Summer reissue: The Spinoff guide to becoming a young homeowner

It's not impossible, it just takes a few little tricks – like not paying rent.

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Business
Dec 20, 2017

Selling Shakti: the Kiwi entrepreneurs taking a bed of nails to the world

They're on your Instagram feed and your yoga teacher's floor – foam mats covered in thousands of sharp points. But what do they do, and where did they come from? Don Rowe talks to the two Kiwi guys behind the Shakti craze. 

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Music
Dec 18, 2017

Fight music: punters and punchers at Yelawolf

What is it with fights and the Logan Campbell Centre? Don Rowe attends Yelawolf and narrowly avoids a hiding. 

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Media
Dec 1, 2017

McFury: a brief history of misbehaviour at McDonald’s

A New Zealand man was charged this week with drink driving after a chicken nugget inspired rampage in a Sydney McDonald's. As a quick Google reveals, he wasn't the first and he won't be the last to lose his shit at the Golden Arches. 

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Auckland
Nov 27, 2017

The photo exhibition that wants you to steal the art off the walls

Shoot, print, steal - it's a motto which has taken renegade photo exhibition Paper Pirates across the globe. Ahead of their first New Zealand show in four years, Don Rowe speaks to co-founder Tim Lambourne. 

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YourDrive
Nov 27, 2017

How to leave the city in style when you don’t own a car

Don Rowe’s car has no warrant and no rego. But with the power of the sharing economy he went for a roadtrip to raglan in performance car, and northern exploration in a drop top classic.

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Business
Nov 24, 2017

Off course: the pricey private education which left its students indebted and fuming

Unlicensed course materials and substandard teaching at a private tertiary institution connected to New Zealand’s education royalty have left students indebted and fuming. Don Rowe investigates.

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Auckland
Nov 20, 2017

What would you need to do to out-earn your Auckland property?

Does your house earn more than you do? For almost every Aucklander the answer is yes. So, asks Don Rowe, what sort of job would you need to do if you wanted to earn as much as the home you live in?

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Politics
Nov 11, 2017

‘Another day where it feels embarrassing to be associated with TOP’: the email which enraged Morgan

The Spinoff has obtained the email which prompted TOP leader Gareth Morgan to tell one of his candidates to resign for being a 'pain in the arse'. Don Rowe looks back on another chaotic week for TOP.

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NZ Drug Foundation
Nov 6, 2017

‘The battle now is with ourselves’: Tūhoe declare war on drug dependence

In August, Ngāi Tūhoe invited experts and community leaders to come together in Rūātoki to declare war on drug dependence. Don Rowe was in attendance.

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Science
Oct 27, 2017

‘Right now, we are all Truman’: how robots are changing the way humans talk

Humans susceptibility to group pressure extends to pressure from a group consisting solely of robots, according to new research conducted by Dr Christoph Bartneck. Robots are changing the way we talk, and so the way we think. Don Rowe talks to Dr Bartneck and asks the question on everyone's lips: is it time to freak out? 

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Ātea
Oct 26, 2017

Uncomfortable and important: Stories of Ruapekapeka is mandatory viewing

Radio New Zealand has released a 30-minute documentary on the battle at Ruapekapeka, an incredibly sophisticated pā in the far north where 400 Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine warriors stood against a combined British force of 1600. Don Rowe attends the premiere, and considers what it means for New Zealand's self-image.

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Gaming
Oct 19, 2017

The new South park game is a depraved ride, but it is funny

The new South Park game: played and reviewed for your pleasure.

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Gaming
Oct 16, 2017

Huge: there’s a Stranger Things mobile game, and it’s both free and good

Don Rowe dips his toes back in the murky waters of the Upside Down with the Stranger Things mobile game. 

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Gaming
Oct 5, 2017

Total War: Warhammer 2 – great game, shit name

Don Rowe dives back into the borderline-narcotic world of Total War: Warhammer, reviewing the second of three games in the series. 

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Politics
Sep 19, 2017

Lance O’Sullivan explains why he is running for the Māori Party in 2020

After several years of flirting with the bloodsport we call politics, 2014 New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O'Sullivan has entered the fracas, announcing he will run for the Māori Party in 2020. But why? And what does he stand for? Don Rowe finds out. 

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YourDrive
Sep 17, 2017

The ‘AirBnB for cars’ that could forever change the way New Zealanders drive

With Yourdrive, a peer-to-peer car rental service, you can put your car to work, renting by the hour or the day to users across New Zealand. Desperate to get to Ruatoki, Don Rowe takes Yourdrive for a spin.

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Gaming
Sep 15, 2017

Could Nioh: Defiant Honour cure my gaming ennui?

Like a rugby dad whose kids have quit the code, Don Rowe's passion for video games these days is muted, overweight and plain old sad. Why? And what now?

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Garage Project
Aug 31, 2017

‘I want to be immortal’: A few beers with prizefighter Israel Adesanya

As the most notorious figures in boxing and mixed martial arts collided in The Money Fight this weekend, Don Rowe sat down for a few beers with with Israel Adesanya, a multi-sport veteran of almost 100 fights, to talk about fame, defeat and the realities of a sport centred around dishing out brain damage.

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Gaming
Aug 18, 2017

They’re putting burger ads in your games, and you can’t opt out

Not content with plastering billboards and bus stations in the real world, fast food giant Wendy's are inserting themselves inside virtual worlds too. It's a trend that makes Don Rowe feel nauseous. 

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Climate Change Week
Aug 15, 2017

‘We only have one planet’: Dr Jan Wright on saving the one thing we all have in common

Climate change is the defining challenge of our times. The Spinoff is devoting a week of coverage to the issue, its advocates, complexities, and solutions. Climate Change Week at The Spinoff is brought to you by Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel. Today Don Rowe talks to departing Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

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Politics
Aug 15, 2017

‘Bill English has been to my office twice already’: How National secure the Chinese vote

Election 2017 will see New Zealand's growing ethnic communities play a greater role than ever in choosing the next government. Ahead of the final leg of the campaign Don Rowe speaks to the editors of their leading newspapers. Today: David Soh, editor of the Mandarin Pages.

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Politics
Aug 11, 2017

Greens icon Nándor Tánczos on Metiria and what the party really stands for

In the wake of Metiria Turei's resignation as Greens co-leader there has been much discussion about a perceived tension between the emphasis on social justice or environmental issues. Don Rowe tracked down Greens icon Nándor Tánczos to get his thoughts.

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Politics
Aug 10, 2017

‘The Indian community is leaning towards National, but it’s in flux’

More than ever, New Zealand's ethnic communities can play a crucial role in elections. In the first of a Spinoff series, Don Rowe talks to Sandeep Singh, editor of the Indian Weekender.

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