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Cost of living outpacing inflation

Welcome along to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 26, made possible by our members, I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund. Reach me on


Cost of living outpacing inflation

Welcome along to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 26, made possible by our members, I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund. Reach me on

Oct 26 2022

Kiri Allan dubs NZ Rugby scheduling flub “disgraceful”

New Zealand’s Ruby Tui during the Black Ferns’ opening game of the 2021 Rugby World Cup. (Photo: MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

Justice minister Kiri Allan has criticised New Zealand Rugby for scheduling an All Blacks match at the same time as the Black Ferns’ quarterfinal, after the organisation admitted to simply not considering the World Cup draw when agreeing to a kick-off time with Japan Rugby.

“This clash was avoidable, and frankly, disgraceful,” Allan said on Twitter this afternoon. She then pointed to the Fifa World Cup (being hosted here in 2023) as an example of world-class planning and consideration.

The Black Ferns will play Wales in Whangārei with a 7.30pm kick-off. Meanwhile, the All Blacks will start their Northern tour by playing the Brave Blossoms in Japan with a 6.50pm NZT kick-off.

The Spinoff’s editor Madeleine Chapman has written that the clash is simply the latest in a series of decisions highlighting NZR’s apparent disinterest in the women’s World Cup, most notably a lack of available supporter gear, minimal attendance or online support from the All Blacks and now, competing agains the biggest team in the country for viewers.

Tim Macindoe not putting name forward for Hamilton West byelection

Former National MP Tim Macindoe (Photo: FB)

Former Hamilton West National MP Tim Macindoe has confirmed he won’t be contesting the upcoming byelection.

Triggered by the resignation of Gaurav Sharma (who will still be running), the byelection in the famously unpredictable seat will take place on December 10.

Macindoe, who lost the seat to Sharma in 2020, was predicted by some to be running again. However, in a Facebook post he said he had chosen not to put his name forward.

“Nominations close today and I am not submitting an application to be considered. Both from a family and a professional perspective, it would have been very difficult for me to contest a byelection at this time and the candidate must be able to guarantee 100% effort from the day s/he is chosen,” he wrote.

“Every cloud has a silver lining, and a huge bonus of the past two years since my election defeat has been having quality time with my wife and family, and achieving some balance between my personal and professional life for the first time in decades.”

Macindoe said he was grateful for the support he had received from those encouraging him to run and still believed he had “unfinished business”.

“I will now continue advocating for those important initiatives from outside the political tent,” he said.

Tickets for the Morningside Live block party are on sale now!

Get ready for a brand new festival taking place in the Auckland community of Morningside on Waitangi weekend next year!

The Spinoff is thrilled to present the Morningside Live block party! Headlined by Fat Freddy’s Drop alongside a curated line-up of a new and emerging talents, the party, which will be held in and around the McDonald Street precinct, will also involve a mega selection of local food and brews (thanks to Urbanaut and others in the area).

Tickets on sale now from!

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Cost of living up 7.7%, outpacing annual inflation

The (Image: Getty Images)

The cost of living jumped by 7.7% in the September quarter compared with the year before, racing ahead of annual inflation which sits at 7.2%.

According to Stats NZ, all household groups faced their highest or equal-highest annual cost-of-living increase since the series began in 2008.

“Higher prices for housing and food were the main contributors to the increase across all the household groups,” Stats NZ consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.

Living costs for beneficiaries were up 6.5% over the same period, while it was also 7.7% for Māori.

Chris Parker and Eli Matthewson are teasing a Porn Revolution 


A cryptic teaser for Chris Parker and Eli Mathewson’s new series has just been released. Chris and Eli’s Porn Revolution is coming to The Spinoff on November 7, 2022.

PM to reattempt travel to Antarctica after ‘boomerang’ flight

Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford on their boomerang Antarctica flight (Photo: Pool)

The prime minister will try again after bad weather stopped her from making it to Antarctica yesterday.

Jacinda Ardern’s flight from Christchurch to the deep south was turned around after two hours in the air because of “strong wind” and bad weather.

“Antarctica New Zealand will reschedule the prime minister onto a flight heading south [today],” a spokesperson for Antarctica NZ confirmed.

Treacherous conditions can often prevent flights from making it all the way to Antarctica. The spokesperson called it a “boomerang” flight.

Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford on their boomerang Antarctica flight (Photo: Pool)

NZ travel influencers detained in Iran for 14 weeks

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – APRIL 22: Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta talks to media during a press conference at Parliament on April 22, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne is on a two-day visit to New Zealand for formal foreign policy discussions with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.  It is the first face-to-face Foreign Ministers’ consulations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

A pair of New Zealand travel influencers were being held in Iran for 14 weeks, according to media reports emerging this morning.

Christopher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray entered Iran back in July before their social media, which had been documenting their extensive travelling, went dark. It’s been confirmed by officials this morning that the couple has now exited the country, safe and well.

The reports of Richwhite and Thackwray’s detention coincide with updated travel advice from the government. Foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta has reiterated a “do not travel” warning to Iran and called for New Zealanders already there to get out.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has warned against travel to Iran since early 2020. New Zealanders currently in Iran are advised to leave. Protests are continuing throughout the country, and there has been an increased number of foreign nationals arrested,” said Mahuta.

Media had been asked to delay any coverage of the couple’s detention in order to help speed up their release. Similarly, according to Newshub, prime minister Jacinda Ardern toned down her criticism of ongoing instability in Iran to avoid upsetting the country and jeopardising the couple’s release.

The Bulletin: Watercare responds to request to stop work on Three Waters

In a letter sent to Wayne Brown from Watercare chair Margaret Devlin, Devlin outlines that work can’t just stop on Three Waters because of a pesky thing called law. The letter was shared by the mayor’s office yesterday afternoon. Devlin outlines that a team has been working on ensuring Watercare has the necessary systems in place to meet requirements of a law passed in October 2021 which established Taumata Arowai, the water services regulator, and new drinking water regulations coming into effect next month.

“As this law is in place, we need to continue this programme of work,” Devlin wrote. Devlin also clarified that the costs of the work were being borne by central government.

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Five years since Labour took power

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy prime minister and finance minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Today marks five years since the sixth Labour government took power, though it now looks quite different to back in 2017.

The results of the 2017 election saw Winston Peters hold the balance of power. Eventually, he opted to form a government with Labour and became deputy prime minister under Jacinda Ardern. Of course, in 2020, Labour returned to power with an overall majority – unprecedented under MMP.

At yesterday’s post-cabinet press conference, deputy PM Grant Robertson reflected on the past five years. He defended the government’s track record on touchy subjects like housing and unemployment.

“A record number of New Zealanders are in paid work. We produce goods and services the world wants. Our books are among the world’s best with debt levels well below those of our peers, and we are among small number of countries with some of the best credit ratings in the world from the leading ratings agencies,” he said.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy prime minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, National has chosen to celebrate mark the five-year anniversary of the current government by launching a new website. It’s called: and, yes, it takes a look at Labour’s perceived “biggest fails”.

“This is the most wasteful and incompetent government in New Zealand history,” said National’s Chris Bishop, who sent out a press release linking to the new website. “Labour is addicted to spending and is now spending an extra $1 billion per week compared with 2017 – but it has nothing to show for it other than increased taxes and a massive increase in government bureaucracy.”

Luxon committed to increasing National caucus diversity

National Party leader Christopher Luxon (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

National’s leader remains committed to increasing the diversity of his caucus ahead of next year’s election. But, it’s too early to say who will be running in the upcoming Hamilton West byelection.

Yesterday marked an historic day for gender equality within parliament as new Labour MP Soraya Peke-Mason tipped the balance in favour of women for the first time in history.

Speaking to RNZ, Christopher Luxon said that he wanted to ensure a “much more diverse” National Party.

“National is best when it’s a national National Party,” said Luxon. “In my own experience, more diverse organisations lead to better outcomes and better results.”

Citing his own time at Air New Zealand, Luxon said he was able to improve diversity drastically as leader to the point it “quickly got to 50/50:”.

During the Tauranga byelection, National faced criticism over candidates that were almost identical: all white men in suits. Luxon has signalled that won’t be the case in Hamilton West, but won’t say who is in the running just yet. “It looks like we’ve got a great slate of candidates emerging,” he said. “You’ll see more and mored diversity coming through, I’m really confident.”

Later, when pressed on the new UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, Luxon called it “encouraging” to see a younger, person of colour move into that position.