Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a staff writer for The Spinoff.

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

Read on.

Auckland
Sep 11, 2018

Revenge of the NIMBYs: Is council too weak to enact its own Unitary Plan?

Having nitpicked its way into rejecting two high-density apartment developments near the CBD, does Auckland Council's consents department really believe in the vision of the Unitary Plan?

Read on.

Media
Sep 3, 2018

What is happening? Mike Hosking and Mark Richardson both made great points

New Zealanders have woken up to a topsy turvy world this morning, with normally annoying commentators Mark Richardson and Mike Hosking talking a lot of sense, reports Hayden Donnell.

Read on.


Auckland
Aug 30, 2018

How a council email footer sparked a local government conspiracy

A rogue Auckland Council email footer has sparked a wave of angst and recriminations in Takapuna, providing a glimpse into a broader conspiracy culture in local government.

Read on.

Media
Aug 23, 2018

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.

Read on.

Society
Aug 21, 2018

Some things Pike River’s Peter Whittall could feel guilt over

The former CEO of the Pike River mine says he doesn’t feel guilty over the explosion that killed 29 of his workers. Here are a few things that should twig his conscience.

Read on.

Food
Aug 17, 2018

Kraft peanut butter v Bega peanut butter: A Spinoff taste test for the ages

Kraft is introducing a new peanut butter to compete with Bega peanut butter, which due to some business stuff is now producing Kraft's original recipe. Hayden Donnell taste-tested it.

Read on.

Auckland
Aug 15, 2018

Consultation is overrated: why we should stop letting idiots guide us

Councillors are forever going to public meetings to receive bad advice from angry people who mostly don’t know what they’re talking about. Hayden Donnell asks why.

Read on.

Gaming
Aug 8, 2018

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.

Read on.

Politics
Aug 6, 2018

Seven other horrifying incidents Jacinda Ardern must immediately condemn

Judith Collins called on Jacinda Ardern to condemn France over a story she sourced from yournewswire.com. Turns out it's the tip of the iceberg

Read on.

Beverage
Jul 29, 2018

No mean peat: A refined trip through the birthplace of great whisky

Featuring hints of marshmallow, Prince Charles, booze-soaked shoes and being bullied by a large Scottish man named Paul.

Read on.

Society
Jul 28, 2018

Do tenants deserve decent homes? Take our quiz!

Being a tenant in New Zealand is often a difficult and disempowering experience. Hayden Donnell looks into what’s broken in our rental housing market.

Read on.

Food
Jul 27, 2018

WTF has happened to Kraft peanut butter?! Your questions answered

The world’s greatest peanut spread underwent some frightening changes recently. Hayden Donnell delves into the animosity and legal wrangling behind the death and rebirth of Kraft Peanut Butter.

Read on.

Music
Jul 23, 2018

Cruisin’ on the Interislander: A loving tribute to New Zealand music’s worst gig

Playing onboard the Interislander, one of the most important (and worst) shows in the country.

Read on.

Politics
Jul 12, 2018

All the times our new Free Speech Coalition really hated free speech

Just a few times some of the newly formed Free Speech Coalition members have been less than fervent in their defence of free speech.

Read on.

Politics
Jun 26, 2018

Please join me in the exorcism of Simon Bridges

The National leader has been lambasted over an interview about the Ardern-Clarke baby. But the real problem is he has been possessed.

Read on.

Auckland
Jun 22, 2018

Why Auckland needs to accept the objective truth, and ban all golf

Auckland’s golf courses are huge tracts of heavily subsidised land lying vacant in the middle of a housing crisis. We need to seize them back

Read on.

Media
Apr 10, 2018

Another incredibly stupid week in the never ending transport debate

Hayden Donnell runs down the latest media salvos in the ongoing battle between road warriors and public transport champions.

Read on.

Media
Dec 30, 2017

Huzza! (Re)introducing The Spinoff’s Ultimate Summer Media Drinking Game

Ever noticed that every summer news story is recycled from previous years? We've even regurgitated this drinking game to improve, or at least anaesthetise, your holiday news reading experience.

Read on.

Society
Dec 25, 2017

Summer Reissue: Finding Rosemary: In search of the unsung hero who invented Kiwi Onion Dip

Who invented Kiwi Onion Dip, and why isn’t there a gold statue of that person on top of Mt Cook? Hayden Donnell goes on a wildly emotional search for an unheralded New Zealand genius.

Read on.

Great British Gaming
Dec 21, 2017

Why the UK is the gaming industry’s secret MVP

The Spinoff's Blighty correspondent Hayden Donnell meets some UK game developers to find out why the US gaming industry might be better off shifting operations to the Motherland.

Read on.

Media
Nov 22, 2017

Please pray for these Aucklanders whose homes are making too much money

Spare a thought for the true victims of the housing crisis, beseeches Hayden Donnell

Read on.

Auckland
Oct 30, 2017

How to calm down if you’re mad at the Auckland fuel tax

If you’re anything like the Herald’s readers, you’ve spent most of the last week weeping about Labour’s fuel tax. Hayden Donnell provides some good reasons to rein in your grief.

Read on.

Politics
Sep 26, 2017

All the people I’m extremely mad at after the election

Enough of the objective electoral examinations and commitments to creating a better country in spite of the Government. It’s time for irresponsible anger and finger-pointing, observes Hayden Donnell.

Read on.

Politics
Sep 15, 2017

Verdict: This election sucks now and should be over

Finally, an election column we can all agree with! Hayden Donnell argues the election sucks now and is driving us all to the brink of madness and beyond.

Read on.

Politics
Aug 25, 2017

Wait, that National Party campaign tune does sound a lot like this Bob Dylan song

Three years ago, National was landed in hot water over the music used in a campaign ad. Surely it wouldn’t risk any kind of repeat? Surely. Or would it? Hayden Donnell jumps down the rabbit hole.

Read on.

Politics
Aug 17, 2017

Which online political tool is best for you? Use our online tool to help you find the best online tool

Confused by all the online tools analysing which party you align best with? Don’t worry, Hayden Donnell is here to help.

Read on.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.