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The best of The Spinoff this week: handguns, the nanny and MORE WINSTON PETERS!

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Lucy Kelly: I had an eating disorder, and To The Bone gets it almost completely wrong

“Anorexia is not these gaunt girls looking like Kate Moss with dark eyeliner and baggy clothes; anorexia is not beautiful. It is not a phase, it’s not a diet gone too far, it’s not a choice, and you will not look like some frail little pixie with boys saying they’re in love with you and handsome doctors trying to unlock the door to your soul while gentle music plays.”

Branko Marcetic: I joined NZ First and went to their conference to find out what they’re really up to

“Although it continues to see itself as a party of the centre, the New Zealand First on display at the conference often sounded like it had been founded by Jim Anderton when it came to economic issues. The running theme was that New Zealanders are caught in the clutches of the unscrupulous, wealthy and often foreign; in the thrall of the failed post-1984 neoliberal experiment. The ordinary working Kiwi is getting shafted – particularly in the regions – runs the message.”

Don Rowe: Hapū and handguns: the battle of the Kaipara continues

“‘We bought this place for the sole reason of creating a forever home,’ says Chris. ‘We wanted a place to bring up a family and children in peace and quiet – not to the sound of gunfire. Now that’s the reality that we’re facing.'”

Madeleine Chapman: Power ranking the most violent acts female actors have committed against male fans

“There’s nothing worse than blatantly miscasting a fictional character, and no one knows this more than the die-hard male fans of movies and television. They’re an angry bunch, those nerds. They’ll defend their beloved characters to their dying day, so long as that beloved character is white and male. Which, until recently, was a given.”

Simon Wilson: The Greens roar into election mode

“We saw a new Greens at AUT, tabling policy materially different to anything their opponents are selling. But more than that, it was delivered with agenda-setting power, and a knowledge of how media – both social and traditional – would absorb it. For the left, which was looking like it was going to watch another election slide by, it was the most impressive statement of the year.”

Hayden Donnell: Our body language expert decodes Winston Peters’ interview with Duncan Garner

“Here Peters is about to say “Good morning”. It’s subtle, but if you look closely Peters’ body language is saying “Good morning, I am going to get roughly 16% of the vote in the New Zealand General Election and spend 14 weeks brokering a coalition agreement that bans Newshub and Duncan Garner”. You can see him savouring the prospect four seconds later.”

Peter Newport: The Ministry of Transport fraud case: Why the rot goes deeper than Joanne Harrison

“The Harrison case has some similar dynamics to the Todd Barclay drama. It’s become less about the initial problem than how it was handled. Who told the truth and who tried to obscure or even bury the truth. The difference with the Harrison situation is that she is now in jail and the truth is coming out – fast.

The Spinoff has been looking at exactly who did what, and when. That job has been made easier by a new, recent MOT whistle-blower who has produced and provided to us a detailed timeline noting all the evidence, which we publish here, utilising material released by the Ministry of Transport and available to view here. The same whistle-blower has shared a bizarre insight into Martin Matthews’ statements during his time at the Ministry of Transport.”

Pete Douglas: ‘New Zealand is like a second home’: Queens of the Stone Age return

“Being at the bottom of the world we usually we get bands at the end of a world tour, but here we get you before the album is even released. How do you decide how much of the record to reveal in these shows?

I think we’ve come here early on because it’s like a second home, even though we’re from the States it feels much better to come here and play. Also, we’ve just booked one New Zealand show, which might mean we come back round.”

Lucy Zee: Remembering the white men who tried to sell us stuff on TV

“TV back in the day wasn’t as diverse as it is now (or didn’t try as hard), so commercials were 99% white people with big white teeth, followed by more white people with even bigger and whiter teeth. As I got older, the flashy whiteness steadily got more mind numbing and much more obnoxious. I couldn’t tell if my TV was showing the same amount of whiteness it always had, or if I had simply become more aware of my racial identity and demanded more diversity. My entire life I had been raised by white men telling me what to buy, what to eat and how to eat it. Some ads worked, some didn’t, but I remembered all of them”

Sam Brooks: How re-watching all 146 episodes of The Nanny changed my life

“You might remember The Nanny as the sitcom with the lady with the high voice and the annoying laugh. You’re not remembering this incorrectly, but you are remembering only a little bit of the picture. I say this as someone who has watched all 53 hours of it very recently. I know The Nanny. My flatmates probably worried for my sanity hearing the theme song come out of my bedroom that many times in such a short period of time. By this point, The Nanny is in my soul.”

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