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The best of The Spinoff this week: Marriage, Dave Dobbyn and the birth of Ātea

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Alex Casey: Review: Married at First Sight NZ will melt your stone cold heart

“As social psychology expert Pani Farvid says, nodding emphatically, more New Zealanders are single in 2017 than ever before. Haydn is done with the small talk. Angel is sick of ‘sticking in my rod and pulling up a crab every time,’ which I hope is a metaphor. In this Tinder age where you could swipe left on your soulmate because you don’t like their profile photo, is it really any riskier to let two experts match you with your ideal partner?”

Nandor Tanczos, MP at a GE free protest march in 2001. (Photo by Dean Purcell/Getty Images)

Nandor Tanczos: The Greens need to figure out a way to talk to National

“If Greens cannot carve out a constituency beyond the ‘left of Labour’ cul de sac we are in, we will continue to play out the dynamic of this election over and over, soaring in the polls only as long as Labour is doing badly, but dropping back to 5% as soon as Labour turns left again. Or finds a charismatic leader. We may be mighty in opposition, but we will always be puny in coalition until we stop relying on discontented Labour voters for support.

This does not mean giving up our principles. Green politics is, and always has been, as much about social issues as environmental ones.”

Madeleine Holden: The many styles of sexism in Election 2017: a retrospective

“The 2017 general election is at a close, and as the main parties jostle for coalition partners, it’s still too early to tell for sure who will be comprising the next government. It’s not too early for a jaunty little retrospective of the sexism that occurred during the election campaign, though!

Comprehensively detailing all of the sexist comments and misogynistic assumptions that characterised the election would be the job of a lifetime, and the average Facebook feed would generate a bible’s worth of material, so treat this instead like a depressing highlights reel of gender regression in New Zealand politics today. Let’s get started!”

Alex Casey: I crashed a Married at First Sight NZ wedding

“I was a part of a small wedding party perched on the edge of a cliff, bearing witness to the holy sacred union of two strangers for the television. Everything was top secret, we had to sign NDA forms and drive hours out of the city until our phones lost all service – at the time of writing I am still unable to identify anything about the happy couple that tied the knot that day. What I can tell you is that the bringing Married at First Sight to New Zealand is a ‘huge swing’ for Mediaworks, as described by their Chief Content Officer Andrew Szusterman.

And it’s one that just might pay off.”

Pronunciation matters.

Leonie Hayden: Introducing The Spinoff Ātea, an online community for Māori perspectives and insight

“Welcome to The Spinoff Ātea.

We dedicate this space to Tūmatauenga, of men and war, Hine-te-iwaiwa, of women and birth, and Papatūānuku, mother of all colours, cultures and genders who holds us all.

We wanted to build an arena of thought and debate where the indigenous perspective is the default – like our tuākana at e-tangataWaateaMāori TelevisionTe KarereMarae, and The Hui have, and like so many before them – in the hopes that some of the nearly three million page views The Spinoff attracted last month will find their way to it. This is a fully realised Treaty partnership.”

Thalia Kehoe Rowden: ‘I’m going to stop you there’ and other conversational comebacks to protect your pregnant soul

“One of the hardest things about being pregnant, for some of us, is coping with a new kind of social awkwardness. People say all kinds of nonsense to pregnant people. Mostly they are well-meaning people, our friends and family, who are excited about the baby. Sometimes they’re strangers in shops. Whoever they are, they can unintentionally ruin your day, and their words can sometimes haunt you for months.

But don’t worry! Here are some pregnant person Jedi defence tricks you can use to deflect unwanted advice, politely stop intrusive questions and protect your heart from sad stories you don’t need to hear right now.”

Danyl Mclauchlan: Inside the campaigns: how the Greens survived Jacindamania

Novelist Danyl Mclauchlan describes his experiences and processes his thoughts after working on the Greens campaign in election 2017.

DAVE DOBBYN, LEGEND (PHOTO: JOEL THOMAS)

Henry Oliver: ‘We’re marginalising all kinds of people’: A few beers with Dave Dobbyn

“I’m always thinking of the next song. It’s always the next song. Looking back is a bit of a waste of time. I don’t want to do any reunions – I’m not interested in that anymore. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality.”

Group Think: Which way will Winston leap? 

As a nation awaits NZ First leader Winston Peters’ decision on which major party to support in government, we asked a gang of political experts and insiders for their predictions. Check back after the 12th to see who’s made a right old prat of themselves.

Wallace Chapman: Wallace Chapman says goodbye to an ‘old friend’: Back Benches

“Way back in March 2008 the show didn’t start well. It was ropey. The audience didn’t know what it was. Was it satire? Humour? Was it a proper political show? Brian Edwards called it an abomination. Jane Bowron called it unpleasant to watch. I wasn’t sure if it would last the 10-week mark.

Yet we persisted, and the commissioners — god bless them — persisted with me. The one thing Back Benchestruly had was the hardest ingredient to source in television: originality. It was a unique show. We often hear that about every new idea that gets rolled out, but Back Benches truly was. No other show in the world had (or has) a live show with an unregulated audience, haranguing members of Parliament on television. Whilst drinking.”

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