Features Archive

Bringing the fight for Ihumātao to K Road

This Sunday a unique parade is taking place on Auckland’s K Road to honour Hape, the resourceful ancestor that Karangahape Road is named for – and to highlight the plight of his descendants.

‘I was just a dude from the street who got lucky’: An oral history of Young Sid’s The Truth

To mark the 10th anniversary of The Truth, the debut album from Sid Diamond (FKA Young Sid), Sam Wicks talks to Sid and the team that helped capture his Otara state of mind.

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.

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.

The fiasco in West Lynn: how did Auckland Transport get a shopping village makeover so wrong?

The council has been remaking the West Lynn shopping village on Richmond Rd in Grey Lynn, putting in bike lanes, calming the traffic and, they say, enhancing the shopper experience. What, asks Simon Wilson, could possibly go wrong?

What are all those black and yellow bikes doing on Auckland’s bike racks?

Auckland has a new bike share scheme! Or does it? Simon Wilson investigates the strange case of the bumblebee bikes in the central city.

Me and Sean Plunket: a brief history

Sean Plunket is back in the news thanks to a searingly bad Tweet on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which he later claimed was a 'social experiment'. But it's far from his first offence. The Spinoff's editor Duncan Greive details his weird history with Plunket.

Screaming into the void with Gareth Morgan and TOP

Duncan Greive spends an extraordinary two days with Gareth Morgan – and his comms sidekick Sean Plunket – as he tries to will TOP back into relevance amid the chaos of the 2017 election.

Kirsty Johnston and the goodness of investigative journalism

We conclude our week-long look at A Moral Truth, an important new book about investigative journalism in New Zealand, with the return of the dear old revolutionary live email interview - conducted with Kirsty Johnston, a Herald legend whose work features in the book

‘My mom is my muse’: An interview with the guy who plays the mum on Bob’s Burgers

Madeleine Chapman speaks to John Roberts about impersonating his mum and how that became a full-time gig as Linda Belcher on Bob's Burgers.

‘I really admire that you have been open about mental health as a candidate’: Chlöe Swarbrick in conversation with Holly Walker

All this week the Spinoff Review of Books is covering the new, very candid memoir by former Green MP Holly Walker, and the mental health issues she experienced in parliament. Today: an interview conducted by Green candidate Chlöe Swarbrick.

Hey critics – don’t even bother. James Blunt doesn’t care what you think

James Blunt talks to Madeleine Chapman about dealing with fame, critics, and change in his musical style.

Comedy Festival reviews: Louise Beuvink and Joel Creasey impress, while two Billy T nominees fall short.

Sam Brooks roars into the third week with two of this year's Billy T nominees, an impressive hour from local comedian Louise Beuvink, and a great one from Australian Joel Creasy.

Comedy Festival: Alice Snedden comes out swinging, Paul Williams makes a mark, and Eli Matthewson gets deeper and darker

Comedy co-editor Sam Brooks starts week three of the festival with a three-show ripper. Alice Snedden kills her first hour, Paul Williams makes a name for himself, and Eli Matthewson only gets better.

And the winner is a genius: Steve Braunias interviews Ashleigh Young

Steve Braunias interviews literary sensation Ashleigh Young, who won the award for best book of non-fiction at last night's Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards: Revolutionary live email interview with Fergus Barrowman

VUP publisher Fergus Barrowman steps up for the revolutionary live email interview.

Auckland Writers Festival: Rachael King interviews Ivan Coyote

We conclude our week-long series of encounters with guests due to appear at the Auckland Writers Festival as Rachael King interviews the fairly fucken fantastic Ivan Coyote.

Auckland Writers Festival: Charlotte Graham interviews feminist author Susan Faludi

The best coverage of the Auckland Writers Festival continues right here, as the Spinoff Review of Books devotes the entire week to long, intelligent encounters with guest writers. Today: Charlotte Graham talks with Susan Faludi, author of the classic 1991 book Backlash.

Auckland Writers Festival: Holly Walker interviews I Love Dick author Chris Kraus

The best coverage of the Auckland Writers Festival continues right here, as the Spinoff Review of Books devotes the entire week to long, intelligent encounters with guest writers. Today: Holly Walker talks with Chris Kraus, an American writer who worked for newspapers in Wellington before creating the belated smash-hit feminist novel, I Love Dick.

Auckland Writers Festival: Hera Lindsay Bird interviews George Saunders

The very best coverage of the Auckland Writers Festival - the most expansive, the most intelligent - is right here, as the Spinoff Review of Books devotes the entire week to encounters with guest writers. Today: Hera Lindsay Bird talks with George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo, the stand-out novel of 2017.

Comedy Festival reviews: Rose Matafeo, Daniel Sloss and more

Sam Brooks kicks off the Comedy Festival with reviews of four shows: NZ favourite Rose Matafeo, international Daniel Sloss, rapping grandpa John Carr and Wellington circus trio Laser Kiwi. Plus - our first Spinoff Comedy Badge of Honour is awarded.

Is working at Jono and Ben just like 30 Rock? Head writer Alice Snedden explains

Sam Brooks chats to Jono and Ben head writer Alice Snedden about swapping law for comedy and controversial pop-star Katy Perry.

‘We’re all craftsmen. Performers are athletes.’ James Nokise on creating comedy out of sport

James Nokise is known for his political comedy and theatre, but his show this year pivots to focus on a subject largely untouched by New Zealand stand-up comedy: sports. Sam Brooks talks to Nokise about the reasons for the change, and what's so funny about sport.

‘It’s the opposite of a cynical show’: Josie Long on bringing science/comedy event Cosmic Shambles to NZ

Is Cosmic Shambles a 'mind-blowing night of laughter, discoveries, mystery guests, and live tunes', as the publicity has it – or something even weirder? British comedy star Josie Long tells Sam Brooks what New Zealand audiences should expect.