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“Two years ago, we declared ‘Good news: TV is dead’. It turns out we were perhaps premature in that assessment.
In less than three weeks The Spinoff TV will hit all of your screens at once, arriving at 9.45pm into Three’s hallowed Friday night lineup, straight after 7 Days. We’ll do our best to approximate what we’ve done online, just on the television – gonzo reporting, scorching hot takes, ruthless media analysis, the best of our podcast lineup and more.”
“At $15 for two, for a total of 20 standard drinks, Big Foot was the logical choice for the poor and thirsty. That amount of shitty grog is no laughing matter however, and the anecdotes of my youth were playing out at house parties and in emergency departments across the country.
A moral panic erupted. The headlines warned of an epidemic: ‘Sweet new drinks can kill kids, says expert’, ‘Flogging kid-friendly booze a source of shame’, ‘Young women drinking to dangerous levels’.
Stories ran in the Herald, the Dominion Post, the New Zealand Police Journal, even bloody old Kiwiblog where David Farrar described them as ‘a bit anti-social’. A column in the Dom Post argued that with their bright colours, sugar content and ‘pocket-money pricing’, the drinks couldn’t be more kid-friendly ‘unless it came with a dozen free Pokemon cards.'”
“In the wake of shocking revelations about Housing New Zealand’s meth testing evictions, a crumbling health service, surging numbers of homelessness and a mental health crisis, the National Party has announced plans for a benefit concert to aid those most affected by government policy over the last nine years.
‘It’s clear that the government has made some terrible mistakes and it needs to apologise to those who’ve suffered,’ National leader Simon Bridges stated in a press release announcing the concert. ‘But rather than get bogged down in a complicated discussion about precisely which government or, even less relevant, which specific individuals are responsible, we’re signalling our compassion for those in crisis. Regardless of who caused these multiple crises.'”
“Above all, Winston Peters is a survivor. Since he first stood for parliament in 1975, five years before Jacinda Ardern was born, Peters has been a box-office politician, promoted and sacked by prime ministers, embraced and rejected by electorates, but never submitting to the obituarists. Next month marks the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand First Party, and of his leadership — and it comes at a moment when he’s never held greater power. Already, after choosing to coalesce with Ardern’s Labour Party, he had assumed the roles of deputy prime minister and foreign minister. With Ardern about to take maternity leave, he goes one better, acting in her absence as prime minister, albeit for what’s slated to be less than two months. It might have taken him a while, but he scaled his Everest eventually. The question now is: which Winston will we get?”
Madeleine Chapman: Of course NFL players would dominate world rugby
“If NFL players decided to play rugby, America would dominate at world level. Of course they would. The argument isn’t whether American Football or rugby produces better athletes (though the answer is still American Football with a few exceptions) it’s simply a question of whether the athletes who excel in the NFL would also excel playing rugby. And the answer is of course.
It’s not even a question.”
“When I think of Wellington, until recently my home, I pine for toast. ‘Sam, you crazy kereru, you can just make toast at home!’ Oh can you? What am I gonna do, go get a loaf of sourdough from Pt Chev, a $7 piece-of-shit avo from Countdown, try and find somewhere that sells labneh (seriously people, where the heck does one buy labneh in Auckland?) and then wait several weeks while my radishes pickle?
If that sounds specific, it is, because I pine for the greatest piece of hipster-toast on planet earth: Custom’s avocado on toast.”
“It appears that Jesse B sought help for his drug and alcohol problem – and that the consequence of seeking help was that he was reported to his landlord and thrown out of his home. There is little other information in the decision, and no documentation of the DHB advice to Housing NZ. It is possible Housing NZ was merely advised that its tenant was in care, and not specifically that it should enter and test his flat.
But as described, the actions of ADHB were an alarming breach of B’s privacy. And they were a disastrous way to approach alcohol and drug services. Very few people are going to seek help if seeking help means losing their home. Was this a common practice? And if it wasn’t, why did it happen in this case?”
“Baker Kate Marinkovich from Tomboy cakery doesn’t want to tell me the rudest thing she has ever had to ice onto a cake. ‘It’s just so rude’ she winced. ‘Are you sure you want to publish it?’ I told her I really, really did.
It really was too much to publish, but it was extremely sexual. Let’s just say that chocolate was an appropriate choice.
These cakes are not your average cake or dessert from the Cheesecake Shop, nor a hastily thrown together Pak n’ Save number. It’s a black Tomboy cake, a custom-made Wellington creation emblazoned with whatever message you so desire. And profanities are not just allowed, but encouraged.”
Alex Braae: A public holiday for Matariki is inevitable
This isn’t one of those columns that says it should or shouldn’t happen, even though it should. This is a column that says it will happen, and within the next five years. In fact, so confident am I on this point that I have set up an automatic tweet, for this day in exactly five years, calling on people to comprehensively roast me and my credibility if it hasn’t.
The arguments for why it should be a public holiday have been well canvassed. It would be a recognition of Māori cosmology, which is currently lacking in New Zealand’s holiday schedule. There are 11 days of public holidays in New Zealand, but as we strive to be world leaders, we should be looking to at least match countries like Australia, Portugal and Italy with 13. And New Zealanders, on average, work more hours per year than workers in countries like the UK, Australia and France. Honestly, we deserve this.
But that’s not the point. The point is that it will happen.