The best of The Spinoff this week

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

Emily Writes: Inside the secret world of co-sleepers

“Oh god there is a dad here. I ask if he’s lost. He tells me that he’s a proud co-sleeper. This is outrageous. Men don’t co-sleep. Men are meant to want their “marital bed” back. Does he not know that co-sleeping will make him cheat, buy a Ferrari and ride off into the sunset with his secretary Janis? He tells me that co-sleeping helped him bond with his babies and he loves that the whole family is together at night. He loves that his wife gets rest and he feels like his role is as vital as hers. Co-sleeping is a choice he’s made with his wife and they’re really happy with it.

His wife joins us. I am appalled. Where are the children?! They explain they’re with a babysitter. This I know is impossible.”

Diane Crate: What the minister of education forgot to tell you

“Today I have a teacher working the full day at school putting on a cooking show. I have another teacher spending the whole weekend in Wellington taking students to a sporting challenge. I have teachers replying to messages from their personal cell phones, arranging meetings after hours, and spending their evenings at discos, meetings and cultural events. I have teachers arriving at school at 6am to meet students for events. The list goes on and on. So reports of ‘9am to 3pm with 12 weeks holiday’ are simply ridiculous. My teachers work huge hours and give up time with their own families. From all the emails and documents I receive from my staff well into the evenings and weekends, I know that they continue to work long hours at home.

We cannot expect everything straight away, but please believe me when I say this is not about greed for a bigger pay rise.”

Vincent Olsen-Reeder: When a judge slaps down a lawyer for a few words of te reo, it’s about power

“Headlines about things Māori often seem to miss the point. “High Court judge asks if interpreter needed following lawyer’s comments in te reo” is the headline about an exchange between a judge and a lawyer. The judge is apparently angry the lawyer has introduced herself in te reo Māori in a court room, and the story presents several statements from the judge which are quite concerning to read. The original story talks a lot about interpretation, the relevant legislation Te Ture Mō Te Reo 2016, how people have the right to interpretation in courts, how they have to organise it in advance, and how courts have processes to provide for that. To be fair, it’s a well-researched article about interpretation.

This story isn’t about interpretation though. Nor is it about Te Ture Mō Te Reo Māori, or even necessarily about a courtroom. It’s about what happens when one person thinks they have a language subtraction right they don’t have, and they use it to extinguish the language rights another person does have.”

National Party leader Simon Bridges speaks to media after a caucus meeting at Parliament on October 16, 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Guyon Espiner: The National Party has a big problem. And it’s not the leader

“Despite the JLR derailment, National has largely been on track in its role as government critic.

Michael Woodhouse has been forensic in the Karel Sroubek case, leaving Minister Ian Lees-Galloway struggling to explain why he granted residency to the Czech drug smuggler.

Chris Bishop has doggedly hounded the government over the appointment of Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha.

Paul Goldsmith has beavered away on the Provincial Growth Fund, this week revealing the ‘missing meetings’. More than 60 engagements Shane Jones held were not declared, some of which related to the $3 billion fund he presides over. Judith Collins continues to chip away at KiwiBuild and its Minister Phil Twyford.

But National’s shots at its most important target – the economy – are missing the mark.”

Alex Braae: ‘You’re a racist!’ Radio talkback host explodes at rugby bigot

His replacement is former All Black and New Zealand Māori representative Leon MacDonald, who importantly for some fans of the Blues happens to have white skin and a Scottish name. The same sorts of fans who racially abused former Blues coach Pat Lam when results weren’t going the team’s way. The same sorts of rugby people as Andy Haden, who in 2010 said that the secret to the Crusaders’ Super Rugby success was that they recruited “three darkies, no more.” It is unclear what Haden made of Richie Mo’unga leading the Crusaders to the 2018 championship from first-five – a position traditionally reserved for ‘intelligent’ rugby players.

One caller to Sportstalk on Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport last night clearly had that in mind. Steve phoned up, saying it was great timing for Leon MacDonald. So far, so good. “Tana is um… anyway, Tana, he wasn’t wanted…” was the first sign of what was to come. Fair warning, the next bit gets pretty ugly.

Alex Casey: Boss babes this way: inside the most Instagrammed business event of the year

The day opened with an emergency announcement: the free fake tan in the goodie bags was leaking. “Make sure you keep them upright ladies,” event organiser Iyia Liu advised the 450-strong crowd. Behind us at the bar, bright blue alcohol was being poured into rows of glasses under the glow of pink neon lights. The remaining young women tottered in heels to their seats, their impeccable highlighter glinting through the dark. Liu pointed finger guns to the sky and yelled. “Let’s get this party started!!”

It was 10.30am on a Saturday morning and I was already quite overwhelmed.

Madeleine Chapman: Which MP occupies the worst seat in parliament? A Spinoff investigation

“Members of parliament spend a lot of time sitting in their assigned seat in the debating chamber of New Zealand’s House of Representatives. In 2018, there are 93 scheduled sitting days. For MPs low on the list, that’s 651 hours spent sitting in a seat that is, by all objective measures, pretty terrible. Imagine if your job was to watch concerts at the Town Hall every day except your seat was behind a pillar. That’s what it’s like for the low-ranking MPs on sitting days.

So whose seat is not just bad, but the actual worst? There can only be one and I was determined to find out.”

Steven Moe: The new Christchurch style: Old boys out, entrepreneurs in

“I grew up in Christchurch, but not the one that exists today. I lived in the non-Ōtautahi version – the pre-earthquakes mini-England you wouldn’t recognise if you came to visit now. Today it is proudly Ōtautahi Christchurch, and the vibe has shifted. That’s a good thing and is one of several reasons I moved back to Canterbury at the start of 2016 after 14 years away.

Something deeper happened when the earth moved and tossed buildings to the ground. The way of thinking itself was shaken up and impacted as well. We need to move beyond the image of construction and recovery or the initial impressions of ruin you might still see if you only go on a short drive through or just listen to others who visited. What is it that has changed?”


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