MediaSeptember 3, 2017

Best of The Spinoff this week: knockouts, climate change and anarchy at the polls


Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Emily Writes: Putting to bed bad advice about infant and toddler sleep

“Let me start by saying I’ve tried every single thing possible to get my children to sleep at night. Now, aged two and four – they mostly sleep. Usually for about five hours straight. Which to me is ‘through the night’. This is a relatively new development.

For a period there – about three and a half years – I didn’t sleep at all. So when it comes to getting your baby to sleep, I’ve heard it all and I’ve tried it all.

And let me tell you, a lot of the advice about sleep is… how do I put this? … absolutely batshit.”

Duncan Greive: Winston Peters and the real mother of all scandals

“With the revival came the salary: a base of $155,700, topped up by more than $10,000 thanks to the MPs he brought with him.

Which means that from his salary alone he is not far off the $200,000 figure which denotes the top 1% of income earners in the country. Add in the various perks and allowances of an MP and he would easily have had a lifestyle commensurate to that figure. Today he continues to draw the allowance; his salary is nearly $195,000.

And yet he continued to draw NZ Super right through.”


Graham Cameron: National’s second language policy is an attack on te reo Māori

“Te reo Māori is not a language that we think is a priority for nebulous reasons that have something to do with trade, business and geopolitics; it is a language that is part of our narrative as a country. When we choose to teach te reo Māori to our children, we are choosing to communicate something about our identity, about what is important; choosing otherwise is a very chilling statement. Choosing to shove te reo Māori back into a pack of languages is to say it is not our language; it is their language.”

Graham Panther: I’ve set up plenty of mental health services. Here’s why I wouldn’t use any of them

When you’re experiencing mental health issues, finding someone to talk to about it is key. Graham Panther tells the story of his own journey through the mental health system – and why he’s started a uniquely welcoming, no-questions-asked support group, The Big Feels Club.

Don Rowe: “I want to be immortal”: A few beers with Israel Adesanya

“I feel like a shark. I feel like a shark. And it’s different across different sports. In kickboxing sometimes they get to stand back up. Sometimes they don’t, they’re just dead, but sometimes they do. And if they stand up, I find the shot, and put them down again, because I know the blood is in the water. That’s when I feel that animosity, I feel like a predator. My reptilian brain takes over, the human animal comes through and it feels primal. It’s like, ‘let’s finish this’. It’s primal.

There have been times when it felt bad, when I didn’t feel good about it. There were fights I knew what would happen, but my coach says to me, show them the same mercy they’ll show you – zero. That’s right before we go in there. Samurai shit.”

Charles Anderson: The unsettling of the Kiwi dream

“Perhaps we were masochists but we were under no illusions. When we set out to create a documentary about the housing crisis (click here to watch it) we knew that many people might either be fed up with hearing about it or never previously cared.

We knew the backlash whenever a news story was posted on Facebook highlighting a 25-year-old Aucklander buying their first home. We knew that the line about inheriting a vast sum from a distant relative was, more often than not, buried in the eighth paragraph.

We weren’t interested in clickbait or manufactured outrage because we knew that access to housing is, and will continue to be, one of the most important questions facing our country.”

Toby Manhire: All has gone topsy-turvy, as Labour, astonishingly, breaks ahead of National

“For anyone who has been paying attention to New Zealand politics over recent years, these latest numbers from One News and Colmar Brunton don’t so much speak for themselves as shout in your ear at such an ethereal pitch you think you must be dreaming. Take a look.”

Alex Casey: Everyone wants to go viral: a night out at the New Zealand Social Media Awards

“‘It’s the only way,’ he told me, ‘I’m like a walking billboard now.’ The hustle was thick in the air, as his vlogging compadres also revealed their own custom shirts and showered me with business cards. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard someone sincerely say ‘Make sure you like, comment, subscribe’ in real life.”

Bill English runs the media gauntlet over the Todd Barclay controversy, June 20, 2017

Megan Rich: Bill English says Kiwis don’t much care about climate change. That’s not true for kids on the West Coast

“The prime minister’s assertion that most Kiwis don’t wake up thinking about climate change is little comfort for those of us lying awake on the West Coast. Perhaps he might like to speak to the communities affected by the sea that is gnawing at the shoreline, threatening homes and making for a very uncertain future for our next generation. Your home is your castle, although down this coastline one’s home will be a sand castle soon.

At Granity School, the students are distinctly aware of climate change. They have all heard the stories about rising seas, and been shown where there were once school tennis courts that have been claimed by the sea.”

Simon Wilson: If Labour and National both get 40%, who gets into parliament?

Right now the polls suggest Labour and National are sharing about 80% of the vote. If they draw level at 40% each, who will get into parliament and who will get thrown out? And what about the Greens?

Keep going!