The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

Toby Morris: The Side Eye: Inequality Tower 2018

Imagine all the wealth in NZ as a ten-storey apartment building. Imagine half of NZ crammed in a tiny corner of the bottom floor. This is the worsening reality in New Zealand, 2018.

Steven Adams: Why does everyone want to fight me?

“I didn’t mean to. I never mean to. I caught an offensive rebound in the low post and Carter was guarding me on my left. As every basketball player is taught to do when playing in the low post, I gripped the ball with two hands and stuck my elbows out for protection while I tried to pivot into space. But Carter is 6′ 6″ as opposed to my 7-feet, so my swinging elbow clocked him on the side of the head before I passed back out for a shot. When the shot went up a second later, I tried to get past Carter again for the rebound and was hit on the cheek on my way through.

The whistle blew as I caught the rebound and heard Russ yelling, ‘He can’t do that shit, man!’

I looked around and pointed to myself. Was he talking about me?”

Duncan Greive: 10 takeaways from NZ on Air’s shocking new audience survey

“Thanks to the frequency with which they’re carried out, there is a huge weight to the surveys – they capture two years’ worth of changes in behaviour, an incredibly long time in this lightning-paced arena. Additionally, this being the third in the series, we now have clear trend lines established, and they have some loud messages across age, device, brand and medium.

The launch was held at the Crowne Plaza in midtown Auckland, in a room full of mostly middle-aged people from across the various NZ on Air stakeholder groups. There’s an 80 page deck covering all the findings, which is required (and likely sobering) reading for anyone deep in the business. But here are my pick for the ten most telling data points.”

Henry Oliver: How is a major contractor going bust in the middle of NZ’s building boom?

“Ebert’s current contracts included Auckland’s Union Green apartments, the nearly-completed Library Lane apartments at Albany, a mental health unit at Middlemore Hospital, the new Indian High Commission in Wellington, a fire station in Upper Hutt, Synlait plants in Canterbury and Pokeno, and an air-drying factory in Gore.

Earlier this year, Fletcher Building announced it had lost $660 million for the 2018 financial year. Now this. In the middle of New Zealand’s biggest construction boom in decades, how is this happening?”

Dan Heyworth: Prefab building, the great hope for the housing crisis, is teetering on disaster

“Heralded as key to the government’s ability to build 100,000 homes over the next 10 years, prefab is hot right now. There has been plenty of flag-waving around the benefits of off-site production over the last few years, but with some prefab businesses failing it’s time we took a hard look at thebusiness of prefab, otherwise the sector could be heading for a financial train smash.”

Hayden Donnell: ‘Why are you like this?’ A deeply awkward interview with David Farrier

“The career of New Zealand journalist David Farrier has skyrocketed since the release of his acclaimed documentary Tickled. Last week his new series for Netflix, Dark Tourist, launched to great fanfare. Farrier expected to talk about all that with Hayden Donnell when they sat down for an interview. But Donnell instead decided to “do some dark tourism of my own, into David Farrier’s past”.

‘If you’re going to stack things up, you have wronged me in multiple ways over the years,’ says Farrier.

‘Everything that you’re saying is a massive distortion, this is exactly the kind of person who doesn’t go to their friend’s wedding because they’re interviewing Paul Henry,’ rages Donnell, who is very much on a journey of his own.”

Anna Connell: LinkedIn just became a political grenade, and no one knows what they’re on about

“I have yet to read all the coverage today as I’ve been busy checking my LinkedIn endorsements to see if there’s anything that could get me fired and wondering why I got endorsed for ‘team work’ but it was something of a shock to wake up to hear Morning Report presenters reading listener feedback on the subject of LinkedIn. My immediate thought was to look out the window to check that the gates of hell hadn’t opened and my second was a very sudden realisation that today was my day to shine. Finally, a national debate I could contribute to, nay, be a leading voice in.

Everything in my life has led to this moment.”

Police minister Stuart Nash said his fly spray description was a metaphor.

Don Rowe: Why the fly-spray and toxic waste hysteria on synthetics has to stop

“In a chaotic and developing situation, adding confusion in the name of emphasis is not in the interests of public health, and nor is reporting it unquestioningly.

Instead of “metaphor” and melodrama we need facts. The whole field is littered with hyperbole, which is precisely what makes people overly cynical and no longer receptive to harm reduction messaging.

When you tell a generation that MDMA is eating a hole in their brain and that turns out to be bullshit, they’re not interested in whatever legitimately harmful properties you might talk about. Doseage – a key factor in the lethality of these drugs – barely gets a mention.”

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