News & Politics
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener Issue 6 2020

New Zealand Listener is the country’s most respected general interest magazine, bringing you a wide variety of news, stories, columns, reviews, plus TV listings, every week.

New Zealand
Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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in this issue

3 min.
the long farewell

Under a section entitled, “Health, safety and well-being”, the Pike River Recovery Agency’s latest annual report says, “As an Agency we need to know when to call it ‘quits’ if that is what needs to be done.” From the context, the agency is referring to the need to know when to give up on particular tasks it is undertaking, rather than whether to give up entirely on trying to re-enter the Pike River coal mine. The latter is a decision for the Government, which gives no sign of recognising that the time to quit has already passed. This year will see the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that occurred on November 19, 2010, when the West Coast mine exploded while 31 men were working inside it. The only survivors were the…

12 min.
happiness is … and isn’t

Andrew Anthony (“Joy to the world”, February 1) does not address the problem of one person’s happiness being directly consequent upon someone else’s misery. He cites Richard Layard’s citing of Thomas Jefferson, declaring “the role of government should be … to sustain the life and happiness of the people”. Okay, yet Jefferson was virtually a lifelong slave owner. For him, the “people” entitled to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” did not include his own slaves, among them four of his biological children, and their mother Sally Hemings, his slave mistress, and, later, de facto wife. How happy were they? The income that supported his “happy” gentlemanly lifestyle came from the forced labour of field-slaves, who had no rights at all, and could at any time be whipped, or sold off…

1 min.
winning caption

William More, Lower Hutt FINALISTS Meghan Markle: “If this is goodbye – Suits me!” – PM Lynch, Upper Hutt Markle: “I’m off to the land of True Dough.” – John Bray, Howick, Auckland Markle: “Just call me the Duchess of Success.” – Paul Kelly, Palmerston North Markle: “Goodbye to my royal title and hello to my book title.” – Kath Jones, Waikanae Markle: “See ya later, abdicator!” – Ann Love, Nelson Caption: “Toupee or not toupee, that is the question.” – Milton Wong, St Heliers, Auckland Markle: “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!” – Rachel Phibbs…

1 min.
quips & quotes

“Who knew that the greatest mass thrill that the internet would provide would not in the end be sex or celebrity, but telling people off?”– comedian David Baddiel in the Sunday Times“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”– Robert Frost, quoted in Forbes“It’s a pivotal day in the history of the republic. Soon, we will find out if breaking the law is illegal.”– The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert on Trump’s impeachment“McConnell and his fellow Republicans keep saying that they’re following the template established in the Clinton impeachment trial, even though this trial is very different. Bill Clinton had sex with one person; Donald Trump screwed a whole country.”– US TV host Jimmy Kimmel“After each side presents its case, senators then get…

1 min.
10 quick questions

1. Which of these companies is still in business? ❑ Lehman Brothers❑ Enron❑ Borders Books❑ Polaroid 2. True or false? Economy-class leg room on airlines has been shrinking for years. ❑ True❑ False 3. True or false? There are three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. ❑ True❑ False 4. Which of these traditional dishes is banned in the US? ❑ Stargazy pie❑ Cumberland sausage❑ Haggis❑ Bedfordshire clanger 5. Which musician was badly wounded during an altercation with a pet ostrich? ❑ Barbra Streisand❑ Johnny Cash❑ Celine Dion❑ Keith Richards 6. The Russian city of Volgograd was formerly known as what? ❑ Stalingrad❑ Königsberg❑ Leningrad❑ Astana 7. Which of these mockumentaries features the characters Nigel Tufnel, David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls? ❑ Waiting for Guffman❑ Best in Show❑ A Mighty Wind❑ This Is Spinal Tap 8. Which TV show frequently included the…

3 min.
simple as abc

IN SYDNEY The ABC has an easy familiarity – both in benefits and irritants. One of the pleasures of living in Australia – when it’s not burning – is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or “Aunty”, as the national radio and television network is fondly known. There is an easy familiarity about it, both in benefits and irritants. In my more than three decades in Australia, the ABC has remained instantly recognisable; its radio news bulletins are still preceded on the hour by British composer Charles Williams’ 1935 work Majestic Fanfare and the broadcaster’s flagship current affairs programme, Four Corners, has been running weekly since 1961. In case anyone thinks the broadcaster is mired in the past, it has 1200 journalists and content makers who operate across a multi-station radio and television network. They provide…