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The steeple of NZ’s biggest casino. Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images
The steeple of NZ’s biggest casino. Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images

MediaAugust 21, 2016

The best of The Spinoff this week

The steeple of NZ’s biggest casino. Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images
The steeple of NZ’s biggest casino. Photo: Dave Rowland/Getty Images

Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.

Duncan Greive: Stuff Circuit and the weird dance we do around publicly funding journalism

“There are dozens of reporters capable of this kind of important work. But there aren’t hundreds. And there are fewer working with each passing year. And while I seem to write about the way we fund our media on what feels like a weekly basis at the moment, it does feel like one of the most pressing issues of our time. Because this stuff really matters – it’s a critical mechanism we have for checking that our society is operating as it should.”

Madeleine Chapman: How The Block NZ’s live auctions perfectly illustrated Auckland’s housing crisis

“In five years the average sale price of a house on The Block has gone up by almost $600,000. That’s right, $600,000. Not only that, the suburbs that the houses are located in each year would suggest a drop in price that is clearly not there. With the 2012 season set in Takapuna, The Block has then moved to Belmont, Pt Chevalier, Sandringham and was this year in Meadowbank.
Following the trends, I can only assume that each coming season will be set further and further from central Auckland until season 10 goes to Hamilton and the houses sell for a trillion dollars each.”


Calum Henderson: Revealed: Highlights from the next 23 seasons of Westside

Season 25: 2004 (airs 2039)

Munter auditions for the first season of New Zealand Idol. Ted struggles to cope with Rita’s death and is barred from the pub for refusing to observe the new smoking ban. Wolf goes to jail leaving Cheryl and the family at a crossroads.”

Guy Williams: The truth about *that* weirdly racist Chinese real estate story: Guy Williams presents a Spinoff Investigation in five parts

“Something was suspicious. Who tries to be anonymous by using their real name? Who attacks their own culture? Who criticises the foreign investors who pay them? Why was his profile “Adam” suspiciously deleted from the real estate company’s website? What immigrant goes to Winston Peters for help?!”

Keith Ng: Hey Adam, about this ‘unwholesomely Chinese’ Auckland thing

“Sure, some of these people Adam cites don’t fit in. We are upset by Chinese property speculators because they seem shameless in exploiting our insane property market. As opposed to Kiwi speculators, who do the same thing, but are totally Protestant about it afterwards.”

The NZ Herald
The NZ Herald

The Spinoff: Spinoff editorial: The war for Auckland is over. Long live the war!

“The plan is passed, and it’s mostly good – even those disenfranchised by removal of the mana whenua protections will benefit from the good which comes from a vastly increased housing supply. Though there remains a sense of inevitability about legal challenges in the Environment Court, with 20 working days for limited appeals to be lodged after it is publicly notified on Friday, for all intents and purposes, this is over.”

Terence O’Brien: Is it all over for Helen Clark in the race to be next UN secretary general?

“Leaking from inside the Council is notorious and the straw poll results are no exception. Leaks so far suggest Clark is polling about midway amongst the list of contenders. Disappointment has been voiced in NZ that she is not performing better. She herself is regretful. But the die is not yet cast. As a recent NZ Prime Minister liked to remark, ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.’ Should it be necessary, a graceful withdrawal at the eleventh hour is perfectly respectable – but Helen Clark is not at that point.”


Madeleine Holden: The Kuggeleijn case and the simple concepts we still don’t understand about consent

“Scrutiny of what women wear, how much they have to drink and all aspects of their sexuality are regrettably routine in rape trials. However, Kuggeleijn’s lawyer even suggested that, assuming the woman did say ‘no’, that might not have been definitive. Morgan grilled the woman about the manner in which she said ‘no’, discussing whether it might have been a ‘light-hearted no’ or a ‘not-now no.’ The honest-to-god turning point of the Kuggeleijn case is whether “no” might have actually meant ‘yes.’ Morgan literally said to the woman, ‘Were you saying no but not meaning no?’, reaching an Orwellian low point in our national conversation about consent.”

Shamubeel Eaqub: Shamubeel Calls Good Shit #1: Whoa, the Unitary Plan got passed

Leonie Freeman: The Unitary Plan is all but passed. What’s it about again? Here’s an explainer for laggards

“1. Going up: 64% of the new capacity is found within existing urban areas

2. Going out: 36% of the capacity is in new urban areas, made possible by letting out the Rural-Urban Boundary by 30% over the period.

There’s a strong focus on short-term solutions, a response to the mess Auckland currently faces on the housing supply front. The plan makes provision for 131,000 dwellings to be found over the next seven years.”

Keep going!