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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Society
Jul 26, 2017

'We haven’t seen deaths like this in ten years of synthetics'

Another death overnight has been attributed to the 'synthetic cannabis crisis' tearing through Auckland and New Zealand at large. But the situation isn't as clear as it seems, the Drug Foundation's Ross Bell tells Don Rowe, and hard facts are few and far between.

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Media
Jul 24, 2017

New Zealand's own Serial takes on the Bain slayings

Stuff today released Black Hands, their first podcast, in which leading David Bain authority and occasional terrible column writer Martin van Beynen draws on ten years of experience following the case. Don Rowe speaks to van Beynen about switching medium and the danger of journalists writing columns.

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Auckland
Jul 20, 2017

Hapū and handguns: the battle of the Kaipara continues

The controversial Auckland Shooting Club was officially opened this month by deputy prime minister Paula Bennett. But the court battles are far from over, and now Ngāti Rango o Ngāti Whātua have joined the fray. Don Rowe reports.

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Music
Jul 13, 2017

‘Far, I’m so nervous eh’: scenes a-plenty at the first ever MTV Unplugged NZ

In an attempt to reclaim their position atop the music industry, MTV are going back to basics - reincarnating their most iconic series. Don Rowe attends their first attempt at the format in New Zealand.

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Gaming
Jun 30, 2017

Crash Bandicoot is back, baby, and he’s better than ever

Slap on your rose-tinted sunnies because Crash Bandicoot is back, and he's aged like a fine wine. Don Rowe gets stuck into the N.sane trilogy and positively bathes in nostalgia.

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Music
Jun 28, 2017

Goodnight, sweet prince: Pandora shuts down New Zealand operations

Pandora - not the charm bracelets - has officially announced it's the end of the line for their service in Australia and New Zealand, reports Don Rowe.

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Science
May 24, 2017

Dr Lance O’Sullivan on why he stormed the stage at an anti-vaxx screening

Last night Dr Lance O'Sullivan, 2014 New Zealander of the Year for his work bringing health programmes to disadvantaged rural areas, leapt onto the stage to protest a screening of the controversial anti-vaccination movie Vaxxed. He spoke to Don Rowe about why he did it.

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Auckland
May 24, 2017

A fond goodbye, for now, to Auckland’s greatest junk store

Don Rowe visits the hallowed warrens of Supertrash in Eden Terrace, only to find its owner preparing to close up shop.

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Gaming
May 17, 2017

Farpoint’s head developer on why it’s the first decent game for PSVR

Don Rowe speaks Seth Luisi, co-founder of Impulse Studios and lead developer on Farpoint, the first legitimate AAA title on PSVR. Read Don Rowe's Farpoint review here. Don Rowe: I've played through …

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Gaming
May 17, 2017

Finally: Farpoint proves PSVR is more than just a gimmick

PlayStation have made a major play in the VR department, releasing the first AAA-quality game bundled with an innovative new controller to boot. Don Rowe straps on his goggles and goes alien hunting with Farpoint. 

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Gaming
May 9, 2017

Nioh’s new DLC is good, not great. So should you buy it?

The first of three planned DLC expansions for the critically-acclaimed Nioh has been released, but does it address the game's noticeable faults? Don Rowe reviews the Dragon of the North.

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TechWeek17
May 6, 2017

Catching up with the reality mechanics at the GridAKL AR/VR Garage

Since opening in October last year the AR/VR Garage in Uptown is now home to more than 20 companies working across virtual and augmented reality. Don Rowe visits ahead of their ten day programme at Techweek'17.

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Society
Apr 25, 2017

Lest we forget: 1917, New Zealand’s darkest year in military history

2017 is the centennial anniversary of New Zealand’s darkest period in military history. This Anzac Day, Don Rowe looks back on 1917, a time of fleeting hope and unprecedented human loss.

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TechWeek AKL
Apr 24, 2017

The Spinoff’s guide to Techweek’17 – Auckland edition

Techweek'17 is almost here. Don Rowe previews the event and curates a few selections for the discerning event-goer.

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Auckland
Apr 21, 2017

Kindness in action: effecting change in youth through yoga and meditation

A new initiative to teach yoga and mindfulness to troubled youth is effecting remarkable change. Don Rowe visits with Atawhai, a new initiative from Kristina Cavit and The Kindness Institute, ahead of their inaugural end of programme event this Sunday.

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Society
Apr 13, 2017

How to get moderately boozed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day this year

At around this time every year, the howls of agony echo around the country as people realise the retailers of liquor are shut. But forewarned is forearmed: Don Rowe presents the Spinoff's guide to buying booze at Easter and on Anzac Day.

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Society
Apr 10, 2017

One man’s trash: meet the obsessive behind the biggest ever collection of NZ packaging

Don Rowe speaks to Steve Williams, a Palmerston North man who has curated the most incredible collection of packaging materials in New Zealand - and possibly the world.

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Society
Mar 30, 2017

Q&A special: An AUT expert answers your questions about driverless cars

Last week we invited you to lob your questions regarding autonomous cars at AUT professor Reinhard Klette, New Zealand's foremost expert on the subject. Today he responds to a selection of the many questions he received, and explains why driverless cars might not be as close as you think.

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degrasse
Mar 29, 2017

The world’s most famous scientist on why we shouldn’t fear the robots

Don Rowe speaks to Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, the leading science communicator of our age, about climate change, celebratory ignorance and the rise (or not) of artificial intelligence.

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Society
Mar 26, 2017

Slumlords beware – the government has a new taskforce and they’re after your dollars

As more and more young and vulnerable people are locked out of the market, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has declared war on bad landlords, releasing their tenancy compliance team into the wild. Don Rowe talks to their leader.

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Gaming
Mar 23, 2017

How to master theHunter: Call of the Wild, as told by a real life hunter

Veteran hunter Don Rowe demonstrates how to bag an animal this season, whether in-game or in real life.

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Auckland
Mar 22, 2017

‘It wasn’t supposed to be like this’: starting life from scratch in industrial West Auckland

As summer drops away with the leaves a family in West Auckland prepares to endure another winter in substandard government housing, in a place that feels far from a home. Don Rowe visits and hears their story.

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Media
Mar 16, 2017

The Spinoff guide to becoming a young home owner

Having analysed the spate of uplifting stories about millennial strugglers buying homes, Don Rowe reveals how you, too, can lift your foot above your head and on to the lowest rung of the property ladder.

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Gaming
Mar 13, 2017

Walden, a game: Thoreau’s philosophical memoir reimagined as a bowl of digitised plastic fruit

A new game ten years in the making attempts to adapt naturist Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden. But far from the rich and luscious text of Thoreau's hippie bible, Walden, a game is closer to a bowl of plastic fruit, writes Don Rowe.

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Science
Feb 24, 2017

‘Science is this spectacular, dramatic journey of discovery’: Talking with Dr Brian Greene, the man who saw what Einstein missed

As NASA announces the discovery of seven 'Earth-like' planets in deep outer-space, Don Rowe chats to Dr Brian Greene, certified super genius, about emotive science and the frontiers of theoretical physics.

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Society
Feb 21, 2017

‘The entirety of New Zealand is a national park’: the case for implementing a border fee

As visitor arrivals reach unprecedented levels, and our environment and infrastructure buckle beneath the pressure, Don Rowe argues that it's time tourists paid their fair share.

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