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The best of The Spinoff this week: Sunday 5 June edition

Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.

Madeleine Chapman: John Key suggested we Google TradeMe for homes under $500,000. So we did, and here they are

“Of the 6548 properties listed in Auckland, 65 had an asking price below $500,000, 20 of which were over $495k.”

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Tainui Stephens: Blindness to the beauty of Ngāruawāhia is blindness to the beauty of New Zealand

“The throb of a city is a seductive experience. But in my experience, cities the world over look more and more the same. Same shops, same traffic, same frenzy. New Zealand’s small towns are one bastion that protects our national identity: if only because we are close enough to the land and to the people upon it, to know the eternal beauty of that.”

Siouxsie Wiles: Who needs scientists when Mike Hosking is here to teach us how things are?

“Hosking’s rant was a perfect example of the sports-obsessed culture we live in. The anti-intellectual bullshit he was spouting is nothing new to scientists; we’ve lived with that kind of crap since the day our interest in the world around us became obvious to our peers. That Hosking is given a national platform to be smug about his ignorance is a disgrace.”

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Scotty Stevenson: Human magnet Sonny Bill Williams signs with the Blues for 2017

“In Sonny they see a man who has achieved his goals, and who wins titles, and who brings out in others the attitude he has crafted for himself. That’s his value to the Blues: he is a magnet for talent, for whom a chance to rub shoulders with one of the modern game’s best just might convince them to stay in the City of Sails, rather than take a gig with another franchise.”

Tim Murphy: Engage, then see: Tim Murphy reads between the lines of the NZME-Fairfax merger bid

“The claims that fewer journalists will cover more issues, and that there will be more coverage of minority sports and minority interests deserve an emoji of a flying pig.”

Toby Manhire: Labour and the Greens get into bed, Winston prepares his pyjamas, and other bad metaphors

“Inevitably there will be tensions, including between the right of the Labour Party and the Green’s carob left. Andrew Little’s advocates routinely argue that the former union leader is a stellar coalition building, an expert at managing disparate teams: that is about to be put to the test.”

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Madeleine Chapman: NZ outgrowing the All Blacks is not a cause for panic, but celebration

“New Zealand is a country that ironically prides itself on being humble. As a result, our sights are often set so low as to avoid disappointment. It’s about time we realised that we don’t have to just be known as that tiny country where they play that dangerous sport pretty well.”

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The Spinoff: Video: Guy Williams and guests on the Panama Papers, politics, and getting people to give a stuff

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Jamie Wall: A tale of two converts: Why is SBW the only one labelled a ‘mercenary’?

“So why the double standards? It could be because of Sonny’s slightly dodgy boxing career.

Or maybe, just maybe, some of the New Zealand sporting public struggle to accept a handsome, confident and proudly Polynesian man as a role model or hero. The ‘Veitchy On Sport’-commenting demographic seem to have a line for just how brown and proud it is acceptable be, and it’s quite clear that SBW burst through that long ago.”

Tusiata Avia: The Friday poem: “Feagaiga/ Covenant” by Tusiata Avia

A stunning new verse by Auckland poet Tusiata Avia.

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