I took some mementos home. I closed my eyes and felt blessed to have been a part of this madness. (David Farrier)

The best of The Spinoff this week

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

David Farrier: The clamps fall silent: a eulogy for Bashford Antiques

“The reign of Bashford Antiques is over. Part of Auckland’s antique scene for decades, it will perhaps be more fondly remembered as a key player in Auckland’s car clamping scene.

Countless New Zealanders fell prey to the maniacal ways of Jillian Bashford and Michael Organ, as outlined in the investigative stories I wrote herehere and here.

At one point the clamping fee for daring to park in Bashford’s parking lot reached the lofty sum of $760. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the behaviour of Bashford Antiques in recent years went over badly with some.”

Mike Joy.

Shaun Hendy: Why is NZ’s environmental regulator trying to muzzle scientist Mike Joy?

The Environmental Protection Authority CEO’s complaint to Massey University about the freshwater ecologist sparked a disciplinary process, yet the agency seems strangely disinclined to speak out on climate change denial, writes Shaun Hendy.

Henry Oliver: Beck: ‘Now I get to just do what I do. I can just be myself’

“I know very successful guitar players who are at a little bit of a loss right now, what to do if the guitar is irrelevant. It’s like a planet that’s gone out of orbit and, who knows, at some point, it might come back. But it is interesting that we are at a time in the culture where technology is allowing you to do things that you used to have to have a mastery over. Like if you wanted to use a computer, you used to have to know computer coding. I knew people when I was a kid who could go on the internet, but you really had to know a lot about computers. Now anybody can just do it.”

Don Rowe: Shut out: private college collapse leaves students stranded with visas rejected

“The closure of the failing New Zealand National College in Auckland has left at least two international students stranded in their home countries after their student visas were cancelled by Immigration New Zealand.

‘I’m devastated,’ said Cecilia Torres Caldera. ‘I’m stuck in Mexico with only a few pairs of jeans and shirts. Everything is in New Zealand.'”

Elle Hunt: ‘The middle of nowhere!’ The show that reveals what Britain really thinks of us

“Most of the people who appear on Wanted Down Underhave never been to New Zealand before, and know no one there. It is the promised land, the beautiful blank slate on which to project their perfect future lives and best selves. They arrive desperate to love it, down to the local fruit.

‘Our first taste of feijoa is pretty terrible,’ says one woman, laughing disbelievingly through a mouth of green flesh.

‘You’re going for more?’ says her partner.

‘Yeah, I am, she says defiantly. ‘Because I’m not a quitter.'”

Duncan Greive: Memo, Mike Hosking – no one’s forcing you to live in an apartment

“There are few tasks more Sisyphean than responding to Hosking’s takes. There’s little point in fighting it in any sustained way. He has more takes in him than you, and one of the many quirks of the digital media economy is that a hate click pays as well as any other. My general position is to wince and move on – to not throw social media oil on the online trash fire.

And yet here I am, responding in kind to today’s column which, in my partial defence, is also published on the back page of the paper. The subject is close to my heart, in multiple ways, and his perspective on it is so ludicrous – and so contradictory to his general position – as to demand some kind of counter. It’s a furious diatribe against the very existence of The Daisy, a new apartment building from Ockham which features 33 apartments and no car parks. To Michael Noel James Hosking IV this is an unconscionable challenge to his way of life.”

Alex Braae: Labour camp sexual assault: Who knew what, when?

“Four sixteen year olds, both male and female, had been groped by an intoxicated 20 year old at Labour’s Summer Camp in early February.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told media at her post-cabinet press conference that she had only learned of the incident that afternoon, an investigation would be launched, and that while she was present at the camp, she was not aware of anything concerning. Then Labour’s General Secretary Andrew Kirton started doing interviews, and the questions only multiplied.”

Kimberley Davis: What is going on with New Zealand’s midwives?

“You might have noticed there’s been a bit of a public fuss lately over the working and pay conditions of Aotearoa’s midwives. But, unless you’ve got a direct reason to care – like you’re about to pop a kid out or help someone else pop their kid out – you probably haven’t given it a second thought. Why should you? It’s got nothing to do with you, right?

Ahem. Wrong.”

Russell Brown: The collectivist plan to revive Ruatoria

“If things proceed to plan, Ruatoria – a town that lost its last retail bank in 2015 – will be home to the country’s only dedicated medical cannabis lab and production facility. Hikurangi will oversee clinical trials of the products the facility will make. And, remarkably, the whole venture will be conducted as a social enterprise dedicated to local community development. Local people will be stakeholders both as growers and, should they choose, financial investors.”

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