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

Local Elections
Sep 20, 2019

Queenstown’s benevolent dictator prepares for battle

Freedom camping, public transport and affordable housing are challenges Queenstown's Mayor Jim Boult says he’s uniquely poised to solve – if only people would do what they’re told. 

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Society
Sep 12, 2019

Cheat Sheet: New Zealand history to be compulsory in schools

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

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Ātea
Sep 12, 2019

Comedian Jim Gaffigan peddles Moriori myth in US television special

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

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Television
Sep 10, 2019

What I learned about love and masculinity from Kath and Kim

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.

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Health Not Handcuffs
Sep 7, 2019

Rebuilding from the rubble of the failed war on drugs

After more than 40 years the war on drugs has had brutal consequences for justice in New Zealand. The movement to end the war is gathering momentum. 

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Society
Sep 3, 2019

Helen Clark: New Zealand needs legal weed

Former prime minister Helen Clark has called for New Zealanders to vote yes when they hit the booth in next year’s cannabis referendum.  

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Volvo
Sep 3, 2019

The invention that’s saved one million lives

Sixty years ago Volvo invented the modern seatbelt then gave it away free to the world. Now, to celebrate that anniversary, they’re doing it again – this time with millions of dollars of hardwon safety research.  

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Ātea
Aug 31, 2019

Inside the bitter feud dividing rugby league in Northland

TaiTokerau Rugby League is a breakaway competition aiming to bring power back to the people in the Far North. But under the lead of CEO Hone Harawira, it's not without its critics. Don Rowe reports.

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Science
Aug 30, 2019

Cheat sheet: NZ might have just lost herd immunity to measles. Now what?

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

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Ātea
Aug 28, 2019

1000 words: Pania Newton at Ihumātao

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. 

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Science
Aug 16, 2019

Weed is going out of fashion and Māori kids are leading the way

Research shows young New Zealanders are stubbing out cannabis – and Māori more than most.

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Politics
Aug 7, 2019

The ‘most significant drug reform in 40 years’ is about to become law

A 'health based' approach to drug enforcement has been written into law after the passage of the Misuse of Drugs Act Amendment Bill.

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Media
Aug 5, 2019

How Christchurch became a ‘high score’ for the El Paso shooter to aspire to

The terrorist who killed 20 people in El Paso over the weekend claimed direct inspiration from the Christchurch mosque shootings. Don Rowe explores how our darkest day became an aspirational target for the far right.  

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Media
Aug 1, 2019

Cheat Sheet: Peter Ellis case heads to Supreme Court

Peter Ellis will finally have his appeal against decades-old child sex abuse convictions heard in the Supreme Court.

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Science
Jul 26, 2019

Family First rebuked for ‘non-fact based activity’ over cannabis psychosis claims

Otago scientists say the lobby group has misrepresented the research.

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Ātea
Jul 23, 2019

‘I’ve had my tangi’: Police descend on the occupants of Ihumātao

After months of protest, the last occupants were moved off Ihumātao in south Auckland by police this afternoon. Don Rowe reports. 

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Food
Jul 18, 2019

Ranking the fish from THAT fish and chip poster

Every fish on the iconic New Zealand Commercial Fish Species poster, ranked. 

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Business
Jul 16, 2019

Property managers are dropping landlords as insulation standards kick in

Landlords are finding themselves without management after property managers began dropping clients who won't insulate, reports Don Rowe.

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Science
Jul 15, 2019

How to juice your brain for joy after watching the Black Caps lose

The Black Caps' World Cup loss at Lord's this morning has much of the country feeling pretty shit. From massage to mindfulness, here are five ways to feel just a tiny bit better.

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Society
Jul 11, 2019

New ‘bath salt’ detected at University of Otago re-orientation week

A new 'bath salt' mimicking MDMA has been detected circulating at the University of Otago re-orientation week. 

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Society
Jul 11, 2019

How the National Telehealth Service counselled after Christchurch

Immediately following the Christchurch Mosque Shootings the National Telehealth Service expanded by 120 staff to counsel more than 800 New Zealanders by phone. Don Rowe visits to learn how they did it. 

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Society
Jul 9, 2019

‘Inappropriate’ police social media posts criticised by Children’s Commissioner

Police social media posts showing children being arrested have drawn the ire of the Children's Commissioner and a Green Party MP.

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Business
Jul 9, 2019

The Facebook chatbot here to solve your renting woes

Don Rowe speaks to the founder of a new chatbot connecting tenants with the rental information they need. 

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Ātea
Jul 5, 2019

How sports commentary can normalise te reo Māori

When the Māori All Blacks play Fiji this month, MP Peeni Henare will be in the commentary booth calling the match in te reo. Don Rowe reports on an initiative to normalise te reo through the medium of sport.

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Books
Jul 3, 2019

The day the books stopped working

This month Microsoft’s ebook store closes for good, and with it goes any book purchased through a Microsoft account. Don Rowe reports.

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Politics
Jun 26, 2019

1000 words: David White and *those* Colin Craig photos

1000 Words is a Spinoff series talking to the photographers behind our most iconic political images. This time, Don Rowe speaks to David White, the photographer who shot Colin Craig lying in the grass. 

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