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The best of The Spinoff this week: Sunday 22 May edition

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

Sonia Gray: Where are the Asian faces on our TV screens?

“I watched more TV, searching for any sign of that great endangered species, The New Zealand Asian male. But no. From a pool of 150, my survey had just two Asian dudes, both news reporters. No Asians of either gender on Shortland Street even – which, as a New Zealand hospital, should be swimming with doctors and nurses of Chinese and Indian descent.”

bingo

Siouxsie Wiles: A herbalist anti-vaxxer on Morning Report? I’d laugh if I weren’t so bloody furious

“While Susie was clearly unimpressed by Smith’s arguments, we have to ask why, in the midst of an outbreak of a serious infectious disease, our national broadcaster saw fit to give airtime to an anti-vaccination proponent with no medical training. Smith is a herbalist, which anyone can become by “training” online for two hours a week for a year, with no examination, but after paying $575 in tuition and administration fees.”

Madeleine Chapman: I spent a week living like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and it nearly killed me

10:00am Enter the office to workmate asking “How have the first five hours of being The Rock been?” It’s only been five hours? Can feel time continuum shrinking and folding around me. Four days is three seconds. Two seconds is a lifetime. It’s only been five and a bit hours since I woke up. Life is eternal.”

Self timer

Self timer

Hayden Donnell: Nick Smith is both 100% right and a big hypocrite

“Nick Smith, a sentient turnip acting undercover as New Zealand’s Housing Minister, launched a stinging attack on an Auckland councillor yesterday.”

Tim Murphy: Influencers, inventors and international relations: on the ground at the Tripartite Economic Summit

“Having started posting to YouTube with his dad’s camera as a 17 year-old, Cassell still sounds disbelieving about what’s happened to him. ‘I play video games and I travel the world. I went with Microsoft to Russia – I flew First Class! – and there were 1.7 million views of me just flying on an airplane. It was ridiculous.'”

Michael Field: Revealed: New Zealand’s enormous 60-year, 25 million tonne illegal fishing lie

“An academic report out today (media release) shows the quota system has failed – and may have even drifted into the realm of the criminal. It reveals that the total amount of marine fish caught in New Zealand waters between 1950 and 2010 is an astounding 2.7 times more than that recorded by official statistics.”

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

Holly Walker: Book of the Week: the fuck-ups and bogans in short stories by the insanely brilliant Tracey Slaughter

“These stories are note-perfect, plentiful, and pack an emotional punch that reverberates for days. If there’s a theme, it’s trauma, and the honest but often harmful ways ordinary people respond to it. In Slaughter’s New Zealand – which is really just New Zealand – there’s no shortage of trauma.”

Jack Close: On the growing black market for domestic air travel – and why airlines should take it over

“The process is simple: someone lists their unwanted flight and someone else buys it. It may not be strictly legal. It is certainly in breach of conditions. You fly under the name of someone else. You usually pay for it via bank transfer. You are completely open to risk. But it is substantially cheaper.”

Sarah Robson: Throwback Thursday: Nikki Kaye remembers being New Zealand’s original Survivor

“I caught this one small little rock cod fish – I think – and we boiled it and that tasted pretty disgusting because the skin was all meshed with it, so you got scales when you were eating it but look, it was food.”

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Ben Stanley: In the locker room with Steven Adams, the NBA’s most normal star

“The Thunder aren’t gritty like the Grizz; outside Westbrook – a real gunslinger – they are far cleaner and more polished. But that’s Oklahoma City too. What’s more, they bloody love Adams, arguably more than Kiwis do. For us, Adams is a source of pride and wonderment more than anything. To them, he feeds their collective beast – the fortunes of this team that makes them tick.

Everyone in OKC seems to have an Adams story.”

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