News & Politics
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener Issue 7 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.
king-hit on kingmaker

A hefty number of the 93% of New Zealand voters who did not support New Zealand First at the last election, yet got its leader, Winston Peters, as deputy prime minister, are likely to have cheered National’s intention to cut him off at the pass this time around. Not only did the party that emerged from the 2017 election with just 7% of the vote and only nine MPs manage to get four ministers and an undersecretary in the Government – winning sufficient baubles to decorate Regent St for Christmas – but it also won policy concessions, whether or not there was any need or justification for them. They include taking a large bucket of money and tipping it on to uneconomic train lines run by KiwiRail, and planning to shift…

5 min.
electrifying situation

I ride my congestion-easing scooter along with other two-wheeled commuters up Symonds St in Auckland daily, enveloped in clouds of diesel fumes belched from wheezing buses, most of which are half empty, wondering why more isn’t being done (“Moving with the times”, February 8). For all the Government’s supposed action on climate change and councils’ woke box-ticking climate emergency declarations, the fact that just four of Auckland’s 1300 public buses are electric is a joke. The council is not committed to having a low-emissions fleet until 2040. It feels like the public are guilted into inconvenient minor emissions “gains” while authorities get away with the really egregious behaviour. I urge the council to be more ambitious, demand central-government subsidies to buy more modern-powered buses, better maintain the existing fleet so they run optimally…

1 min.
winning caption

Kath Jones, Waikanae FINALISTS Vladimir Putin: “I’ve got to go. Trump is waiting for his instructions for the day.” – Greg Doolan, Auckland Angela Merkel (singing): “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.” – Kate Highfield, Hastings Merkel: “It’s time the right hand got to know what the left hand is doing.” – Alan Belcher, Christchurch Putin, thinking: “… and in 10 seconds, Trump will tweet about her.” – Susan Jane Rebergen, Wairarapa Merkel: “That dummkopf is in control of the Doomsday Clock!” – Russell Nichols, Auckland Caption Competition {caption@listener.co.nz} TO ENTER Send your captions for the photo above to caption@listener.co.nz, with “Caption Competition No 370” in the subject line. Alternatively, entries can be posted to “Caption Competition No 370”, NZ Listener, Private Bag 92512, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141, or submitted through listener.co.nz/win. Entries must…

1 min.

“The difference between stupidity and genius is genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein“How much space will Brexit free up in the European Union? 1 GB.” – writer Charlie Stross“Hey, Britain, hear you’ve become single – welcome to the club! Wishing you the best with the divorce settlement.” – Margot Robbie reads a message from Brad Pitt at the Baftas“I don’t think I could do what they do. I just don’t have the balls.” – Rebel Wilson jokes about the all-male nominees for Best Director at the Baftas“A 30-foot-high portion of President Trump’s border wall blew over and fell into Mexico. Man, that’s how rough things are right now – even Trump’s wall is leaving the country.” – Seth Meyers“[Trump] needs to go down to the border and teach these…

1 min.
10 quick questions

1. Which of these novels was written by Boris Pasternak? ❑ Crime and Punishment ❑ Doctor Zhivago ❑ The Brothers Karamazov ❑ War and Peace 2. Which of these tech companies was founded by Pierre Omidyar? ❑ IBM❑ Amazon❑ Google ❑ eBay 3. Has New Zealand’s rate of divorce increased or decreased in the past 10 years? ❑ Increased ❑ Decreased 4. True or false? Kiwi are the closest living relatives of the moa family. ❑ True❑ False 5. What is the name of a small striped fish species that is often seen accompanying sharks? ❑ Jockey fish❑ Pilot fish ❑ Scout fish❑ Driver fish 6. Which of these technologies was commercially released first? ❑ DVD ❑ Compact disc ❑ MiniDisc ❑ LaserDisc 7. Which of these celestial bodies is considered to be an ice giant? ❑ Saturn❑ Neptune❑ Pluto❑ Jupiter 8. Which of…

3 min.
mike moore 1949-2020

Every time New Zealand signs a free-trade deal, the ledger of history chalks up another few billion in new export receipts to a self-taught former labourer from small-town Northland. To say that former Prime Minister Mike Moore, who died on February 2, didn’t get on with his successor, Helen Clark, would be gross understatement, but when she signed the world-leading free-trade deal between New Zealand and China in 2008, she did so standing squarely on his shoulders. Moore did more than any politician before him to hone this country’s post-European Economic Community survival strategy as a successful export-funded nation. His besetting sorrow was that his achievements were under-appreciated during his heyday in politics, and often only grudgingly acknowledged by party contemporaries in later times. In this he may have sinned at least as…