Jacinda Ardern attends Labour leadership hopeful Grant Robertson's Labour Party leadership campaign launch at the King's Arms in Auckland on October 19, 2014. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The best of The Spinoff this week: It’s Labour weekend – for the next three years

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Simon Wilson: 10 things Auckland desperately needs from the new government

Is Auckland in crisis over transport, housing, schools, you name it, or are we heading in the right direction? The answer, says Simon Wilson, is yes. Here’s what the city really needs from the new government.

Group Think: It’s Jacinda Ardern, PM, as Winston goes with Labour

“Arise Prime Minister Ardern, arise Deputy PM Peters (tbc). Our hastily convened panel weigh in on what Labour’s victory means.”

Prime Minister elect Jacinda Ardern hugs list MP Trevor Mallard during a Labour Party announcement at Parliament on October 19, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Morgan Godfrey: Change is here. But is it the kind you hoped for?

“There are only two kinds of politicians, insiders and outsiders, and then there’s Winston Peters: the two-time deputy prime minister who denounces the country’s ‘political establishment; the bloke who covets power and the company of the powerful, but insists he represents ‘the forgotten people’, his people; and the former National MP holding together the incoming Labour government.

Winston Peters is a mystery.

Then again, he kind of isn’t, because who didn’t see this coming?”

Simon Wilson: Jacinda Ardern and the left look boldly to the future

“I’m looking forward to the world celebrating our new prime minister – because what a magnificent thing for us to be known for. I’m looking forward to all the interthings – the intergenerations and genders and ethnicities and urban/provincialities and all the rest – that the combined party leaderships of the new government represent, because our government suddenly looks a lot more like all of us. I’m looking forward to climate change being taken seriously, with good strong targets and a unified, inclusive, nationwide approach to meeting them. I’m looking forward to a more evolved form of MMP government, one that shows us more of the empowering possibilities of our chosen form of democracy. I’m looking forward to the prime minister stretching out her hand, palm up, the way she did to Mark Richardson on the AM Show, only this time she’ll do it to Donald Trump. At APEC.”


Alex Casey: Married at First Sight NZ Power Rankings – Drowning sorrows at the cocktail party

“I think I was more excited for this cocktail party than any Bachelor cocktail party, real-life cocktail party, or shrimp cocktail. After being kept in The Shining-style isolation in their respective lodges, estates and glamping tents, the couples were finally able to come together and gloat to each other about who hates who the most.

 The experts had high hopes for sophisticated mingling, rich conversation and rapid relationship growth, but the couples proceeded to do what we Kiwis do best: get shitfaced and talk shit about each other. It was the high school canteen, where the popular clique (Ben, Bel, Vicky and Lacey) reign supreme over the stoners (Luke and Andrew) the boring loved-up couple (Brett and Angel), the grouchy muscle man (Haydn), the school nurse (Aaron) and the weird mature students in the corner (Claire and Dom).”

Photo: Getty Images

Megan Hunt: What did you just yell at me? 

“It’s pretty rare for me to go for a hassle free run. This is not because I’m supremely attractive or even run that fast; I’m pretty average in every way, plus a bit on the short side with fair skin that turns pink with exercise. But I’ve been videoed by men driving past, had my photo taken, been whistled and cheered at.

Before I began travelling earlier this year I mentally prepared myself for street harassment, assuming my progressive home nation had shielded me from the worst.

Turns out New Zealand was worse than I realised.”

Morgan Ashworth: Why Kiwi Shaaanxo’s $7500 PR unboxing video is a masterstroke of genius

“With over three million YouTube subscribers, Shannon’s just been named in Forbes’ top five most influential figures in the beauty world, so people are listening to what she has to say. It’s an influence that every beauty brand is desperate to get a chunk of, and unless they’re willing to drop upwards of $10,000 on a single sponsored video, showering her in PR gifts is their only hope.

That being said, a recent study in influencer marketing, done by YouTube, Nielsen and media agency Carat points to how content creators like Shaaanxo have changed the marketing rule book. Simple product placement doesn’t work anymore. ‘Deep thematic integrations” are more effective. Shannon’s viewers and YouTube users in general are too switched on to allow straight-up advertising. If she starts sounding like a shill, they’ll start smashing that thumbs-down button.'”

Joris De Bres: The baby with the broken bones

A baby girl with broken ribs is taken into government care; 14 months later her newborn brother is also taken into custody at an Auckland hospital. But the case is not as simple as it seems, writes Joris de Bres.

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh:  ‘They speak English and have good lamb’: a Kiwi immigrant’s story

Thirty years ago this weekend, writer and filmmaker Ghazaleh Golbakhsh arrived in New Zealand with her family, immigrants from war torn Iran. Inspired by Duncan Garner’s recent outburst, she reflects on life so far as an immigrant New Zealander.

Simon Day: Mocking the haka: The Haka Party Incident and ‘casual’ racism in New Zealand

“New Zealand is full of racism, from your uncouth uncle to the systemic institutional racism of New Zealand’s justice and education systems. We’re often unwilling to acknowledge it, or don’t recognise it. For example, last week a talent and modeling agency put a call for “all Māori, gangster looking type people.” They probably didn’t intend to be racist, but the fact they believe ‘Māori’ and ‘gangster’ are mutually inclusive is highly problematic.

Earlier this month, for three nights, an innovative piece of verbatim theatre told the mostly forgotten story of when a challenge to Pākehā New Zealand’s casual racism to Māori ended in violence, and changed the landscape of race relations in this country. The Haka Party Incident is documentary as live theatre. It reexamines the moment in 1979 when activist group, He Taua, attacked a group of engineering students as they rehearsed their annual mockery of the haka.”

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