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The best of The Spinoff this week: Vaccinations, the bachelor and the budget

Compiling the best reading from your friendly local website.

Nichole Brown: I’m sorry I white-washed your world: A letter to my Māori daughter

“I am so sorry that it took me until we decided to leave this beautiful country to realise just how important our culture is to our future. I never considered that the Māori legends explaining how Māui fished up Te Ika A Māui for us, and how he caught the sun, would be anything more than stories in a tattered old book – until I realised that these would no longer be the stories you were taught.”

Don Rowe: Dr Lance O’Sullivan on why he stormed the stage at an anti-vaxx screening

“I’ve had to hold in my arms a baby who’s trying their very best to die from a vaccine-preventable infectious disease. Now, for whatever reason that child ended up in my arms, I can tell you that it’s a horrible thought. And I’m not the only doctor. There are intensive care doctors around the country who will put these babies on a helicopter to try and save their lives.”

Ceri McVinnie: ‘Not enough food, no running water’: a NZ Bachelorette tells all about life in the mansion

“For nearly two months, I felt locked in a nightmare. When we weren’t on dates, we weren’t able to leave the house. I didn’t go on a date for three weeks, so just had to stay in the mansion. I did a lot of baking during the day because that’s my way of relieving stress. It’s probably a good thing I did, because there was never enough food in the house. Some days if I hadn’t had made muffins there wouldn’t have been lunch for all of us.”

Various Authors: The Spinoff’s coverage of Budget 2017

Is ‘social investment’ just a warm and fuzzy cloak? Has National pulled off a rope-a-dope? What is the budget anyway? The best analysis of Budget 2017 from pundits across the political spectrum.

Scott Hamilton: The white tangata whenua, and other bullshit from the ‘One New Zealand’ crew

“But New Zealand fascists like Kerry Bolton encountered problems their counterparts in Europe did not. Unlike the white peoples of Europe, Pākehā had not lived long in New Zealand. They were latecomers, not an indigenous people. The National Socialist and Nationalist Workers parties condemned immigration from Asia and the Pacific Islands as a threat to New Zealand identity, and warned about the dangers of miscegenation. But rhetoric about overseas invaders sounded curious, coming from the descendants of invaders.”

Henry Oliver: Sorry Paula, tipping sucks and we definitely should not bring it to New Zealand

“There’s a lot to love about eating out in the US. The food is usually fatty, salty, sweet and delicious. And the portions are fucking huge. But there’s a downside too. When you get to the end of a meal, half-cut and in a food coma, you have to do some grad school level maths to work out not only how much the meal cost, but how much each of you (assuming you didn’t eat alone) owes.”

Alex Casey: The Bachelor NZ Power Rankings – After the final (non-existent) rose

“Look, I’m tired. I’m more tired than Lily huffing her way up a hilly driveway to meet Zac halfway because the Suzuki Swift probably ran out of gas. I’m more tired than when Zac got hopelessly lost in rural New Zealand, not a car or kayak in sight. ”

Emily Writes: We are allowed to say no

“I say yes plenty. I have never turned down a cuddle nor would I. I find the energy when I have none. I have sung until my voice is hoarse, carried until my arms ache, been everything I could be and more. I say yes to Chipmunks when I’m tired. Yes to another trip to the zoo even though I’ve got a sore tooth and it’s freezing cold. Yes, to another meal made, another bed made, just one more book, just one more jump on the trampoline, just one more muddy puddle (thanks Peppa you swine), one more bike ride, one more swim, just this thing or that thing even when my bones are breaking with exhaustion, five minutes more, ten minutes more, 20 minutes more.”

Alex Casey: Meet Dr. Mary Tompkins, the unsung hero of Shortland Street

“In Ferndale, Dr. Mary Tompkins is a god among mortals. She was there when Luke Durville died of a brain bleed. She was on duty when a gunman unleashed hell in the cafeteria during the Christmas party. She treated a pilot after his helicopter crashed in flames in the car park. She’s only ever taken one sick day, and she’s saved hundreds – maybe thousands – of lives within the four walls of Shortland Street over the past 14 years.

She’s also never said more than six words in a row.”

Don Rowe: A fond goodbye, for now, to Auckland’s greatest junk store

“Supertrash! Or is it ‘No Eft-pos’? Judging by the size of the respective signs outside it’s the latter. Judging from what’s inside it’s most certainly the former: books, a breadbox, golf clubs, blazers, ladders, a chair, another chair but this one white, more hats, lightbulbs, lamps, lampshades, crockery, a bicycle, glass bottles, art, a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica – all arbitrarily priced and yours if you’ve got the cash. And only cash.”


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