Media

The best of The Spinoff this week: Max Key, Taika Waititi and the legacy of Helen Kelly

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

The Spinoff: MAXCLUSIVE! Max Key* destroys Eminem career in diss track

The National Party lost a lot this year. An election, a fiscal hole, a Winston Peters, and now a healthy sum of $600,000 to Eight Mile Style for using a sound-alike of Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ in their 2014 campaign ad. When the verdict was announced on Wednesday, the first thought on everyone’s mind was “what will Max Key, son of former prime minister Sir John Key, do?” Max responded to a nation in limbo by announcing that if his Facebook post got 10,000 likes, he’d record a diss track.

Here it is.

Dan Taipua: Thor and his magic patu: notes on a very Māori Marvel movie

“Without a doubt, Taika Waititi is the finest New Zealand filmmaker of his generation. At the time of writing, Thor: Ragnarok is the most critically well-received Marvel movie of all time, and according to RottenTomatoes.com it has a higher rate of approval than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Much has been made of Waititi’s introduction of ‘Kiwi humour’ and ‘Kiwi touches’ to this $180m blockbuster (and rightly so), but I’d suggest that a closer look reveals elements which are distinctly Māori, emanating from Waititi’s personal and cultural experiences and contributing to the success of the film.”

Hayden Donnell: How to calm down if you’re mad at the Auckland fuel tax

“Labour has announced it will raise taxes on fuel in Auckland by roughly 10c a litre, and everyone is freaking out. People are screaming that they won’t pay an extra cent in tax to fix Auckland’s broken public transport system, which is broken because for decades people have been screaming that they won’t pay a cent more tax to fix it. Many of them would rather leave the city than pay the cost of an extra coffee every week for something resembling a functional rail network.

The good news though is that everyone can calm down. I’ve taken the time to address all of your fears individually.”

Toby Morris: The Side Eye: Sorry if, sorry you…

Toby Morris presents a 12 step guide to the perfect non-apology.

David Hall: 10 ways for the new government to be smarter about immigration

“This ambivalence over immigration cannot be ignored. It can’t be ignored by a party leader. And it certainly oughtn’t be ignored by our new prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, who is governing with support from the two parties that respectively have the most liberal and most conservative views on immigration. This is bound to produce friction in the near future, but these are the same frictions that reside within the New Zealand public. Working these out through government is the whole point of democracy.”

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

“Seen the brand new OnzO bikes all over central Auckland? Two by two, like animals from the Ark, gleaming black with shock-yellow wheel rims, they’ve turned up suddenly at almost every public bike stand. What’s the deal?”

Sam Brooks: A few beers with Rachel House

She’s perhaps New Zealand’s most prominent actress of this moment, but when she gets a big part, she’s still reluctant to share the news for fears of being cut down. She’s a sudden film star, a theatre legend, and a chill-as-shit lady. Sam Brooks sits down in a park for a few beers with Rachel House.

Alex Penk and Julian Wood: Triumph or disaster? A guide to the minimum wage increase

“Everyone deserves a fair shot at life, including a decent standard of living and a chance to participate in society, because we all have equal dignity and value – but we know we don’t all have equal chances or earning power, so we set a minimum wage so everyone can have at least a minimum income. We also know this income has to come from somewhere, usually paid employment, so when we set the minimum we try to make sure we don’t put a dent in the prospects of the employers who create those jobs, especially those who create minimum wage jobs.”

Dylan Kelly: On a new government, kindness and the (unfinished) legacy of my mother, Helen Kelly

“Mum’s final public words were “I want people just to be kind. It would make a hell of a difference.” Jacinda Ardern, in her final interview before becoming prime minister, told John Campbell that her government was going to “bring kindness back”. That attitude shift should not be underestimated. It’s already informing government policy across the board; from halting the deportation of a disabled Fijian man, to a six-dollar raise on the minimum wage, to a billion-dollar regional development fund. This is just the beginning. Kindness is back, and it’s not fucking around.”

Simon Wilson: Good comms, bad comms: assessing how Auckland Council spends its $45m communications budget

“The water went off in parts of Auckland yesterday. But Watercare didn’t post anything about it on its website and it put out no information on social media because, incredibly, it doesn’t do social media. Watercare made almost no effort to tell its customers what was going on.

If that had been a railway stoppage, Auckland Transport would have Facebooked, tweeted, and carried advice on its website. In the stations there would have been signs and frequent advice on the intercom. They’d have got it onto the radio news.

Which council-controlled outfit has better communications? That’s a no brainer.

Except, apparently not, according to the Herald.”

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.