Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a staff writer for The Spinoff.

In My Backyard
Nov 17, 2019

Beyond the Unitary Plan: a short list of solutions to Auckland’s housing crisis

Hayden Donnell looks for inspiration and innovation on how to house the city’s future.

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In My Backyard
Jun 26, 2019

The suburb at the crossroads of Auckland’s future

Mt Albert is a town at a crossroads. The pressures of growth are set to radically reshape the area, but so far change has left some of its residents and business owners pining for the past. Hayden Donnell travels to the suburb to talk to locals about the way forward.

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In My Backyard
Jun 19, 2019

Why Mt Albert is the best suburb in Auckland

Other suburbs have their appeal, but one rises above them all. Hayden Donnell argues Mt Albert is the best place to live in Auckland.

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Politics
May 31, 2019

Is OpenTheBooks right for you? A comprehensive guide to Auckland’s newest transport lobby

You may have seen the picture, but do you know the people and the policies behind it? Hayden Donnell takes a trip inside Auckland’s newest lobby group, OpenTheBooks.

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Politics
May 24, 2019

Attention, sensible youths, ‘Milkshaking’ is not the way to counter hate speech

‘Milkshaking’ is on the rise in Brexit-divided Britain. But is throwing milky treats the best form of political protest? Hayden Donnell investigates.

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Society
May 8, 2019

Our definitive analysis of anti-housing anthem ‘Standing On Stockade Hill’

In what seems like an unlikely source of inspiration, a group of Howick singers have created a folk protest song about Auckland local body planning rules.

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Politics
Apr 4, 2019

End this madness: why we should stop turning our clocks back for the winter

New Zealand’s insistence on changing its clocks twice a year doesn’t make sense, and it needs to stop, argues Hayden Donnell.

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Settled
Apr 2, 2019

Rates, renovations, repairs: A guide to the hidden costs of buying your first home

Owning a home isn’t just paying back a mortgage over 30 years – it also comes with dozens of extra expenses you may not have thought of yet.

Read on.

Food
Mar 7, 2019

In defence of eggs benedict: the everyman’s breakfast treat

Maybe it’s basic. Maybe it’s not to the tastes of foodies about town. But eggs benedict is delicious, writes Hayden Donnell, as he pushes back on the benedict pushback.

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Food
Mar 3, 2019

Why I love: Cielito Lindo, mind-blowing Mexican food next to the dump

In the second in our (rather sporadic) series "Why I love", Hayden Donnell is convinced that Auckland’s best Mexican food is tucked away in an unlikely spot in Henderson.

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Politics
Feb 21, 2019

Once more unto the beach house: Simon Bridges and the Kiwi way of life

Simon Bridges said the Government Tax Working Group's call for a capital gains tax was an 'assault on the Kiwi way of life'. That betrays a very depressing and limited view of the Kiwi way of life, says Hayden Donnell.

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Politics
Dec 31, 2018

Summer reissue: Join me in the exorcism of would-be-Key Simon Bridges

The National leader faced criticisms for trying and failing to parrot John Key. Hayden Donnell had a solution

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Media
Dec 29, 2018

Summer reissue: How NZ news livestreams became overwhelmed by anti-1080 activists

Facebook streams have been overrun by an army of anti-1080 activists. We go in search of the source of the spam campaign.

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Gaming
Dec 28, 2018

Summer Reissue: How the Dark Souls video game series ruined my life

Sometimes it pays to focus on the dark side of gaming. Hayden Donnell shares the harrowing story of his own crippling addiction to Dark Souls.

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Society
Nov 28, 2018

Counterpoint: Santa is neither man, nor woman. Santa is an eternal demon

New Zealand is engaged in a long-running, intense, and completely reasonable debate over whether Santa is a boy or a girl. Hayden Donnell offers his own equally reasonable addition to the discourse.

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Politics
Nov 15, 2018

If you think cycleways are financially disastrous, wait till you hear about roads

Cycleways are under fire this week following an incredibly misleading Herald story. Hayden Donnell goes in search of some transport projects to actually get angry about.

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Politics
Nov 9, 2018

Did Phil Twyford just turn KiwiBuild into a property investor’s paradise? The definitive ruling

Labour is getting crapped on from the left and right after loosening its restrictions on people making capital gains off KiwiBuild houses

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Music
Nov 9, 2018

A brief history of The Wombats

How the Wombats, one of the most long-lasting bands from the mid-2000s British guitar rock revival, outlived their contemporaries.

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Television
Nov 1, 2018

I set up an alternative Te Papa outside Te Papa called ‘Also Te Papa’

In episode six of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell's journey finally takes him to the national museum.

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Food
Nov 1, 2018

It’s time to ban all Kiwiana fusion foods

After a harrowing experience in a Countdown, Hayden Donnell calls for a moratorium on all classic New Zealand snack mash-ups.

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Beverage
Oct 31, 2018

The case for buying one of New Zealand’s most expensive whiskies

Hayden Donnell surveys one of the more rare whiskies to ever go on sale in New Zealand, and asks whether it’s worth its gigantic purchasing price.

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Get it to Te Papa
Oct 30, 2018

An oral history of a life changing encounter with Suzanne Paul

In episode five of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell's odyssey takes him to the front door of New Zealand's only true living legend: Suzanne Paul.

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Auckland
Oct 30, 2018

If you think Lime scooters are a safety menace, wait till you hear about cars

People are freaking out about the potential hazards of Lime e-scooters. Hayden Donnell asks whether we could apply these same standards to another type of vehicle causing even more harm.

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Television
Oct 25, 2018

Is Auckland’s Giant Santa in danger?

In episode four of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell goes on the hunt for Auckland's infamous winking, come-hithering Giant Santa.

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Television
Oct 23, 2018

The scandalous truth about the Huntly Deka Sign

In episode three of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell starts a valiant campaign to move the country's most famous sign to Te Papa: the Deka sign in Huntly. 

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Auckland
Oct 20, 2018

Waterfront stadium: good or bad? Hayden Donnell and Hayden Donnell debate

Yet another waterfront stadium plan is being put forward for Auckland. Modern-day stadium naysayer Hayden Donnell summons his stadium-supporting past self to debate the merits.

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Television
Oct 18, 2018

A love letter to my childhood tormentors: The Big Fresh Vegetables

In episode two of Get It to Te Papa, a Lightbox Original made by The Spinoff, Hayden Donnell goes in search of the animatronic veges that instilled both delight and horror in '90s kids across the nation.

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