News & Politics
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener Issue 9 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.
read the manual

The Greens have an idea for cleaning up political donations, starting with “an independent citizens’ assembly” because, they say, “it’s clear that Parliament is incapable of [making] meaningful reforms to itself”. Here’s a different idea for cleaning up political donations, which is simpler and more cost-effective than the Greens’ proposal: obey the law. Everyone else must, whatever their line of work, and political parties should, too. Just because parties and individuals sometimes fall foul of electoral law does not automatically mean the law needs “reform”, just as restaurants falling foul of hygiene regulations does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the regulations. Improving compliance with electoral law should be political parties’ first response to problems with handling donations. From the public perspective, seeing parties and individuals charged and/or investigated indicates…

8 min.
nature versus nurture

The 2018 documentary Three Identical Strangers raises the same question as “Gene pull” (February 22) – is nature or nurture the predominant factor in life outcomes? The film looks at American triplets who were separated and adopted out at birth, with the documentary starting when they fortuitously reconnected as 19-year-olds. Although each boy was raised in different homes with variable socio-economic conditions, it was clear that, 19 years later, the differences between their personalities, aspirations and abilities were minimal. It was hard to miss the commonalities: each boy had been brought up in a two-parent family where education was valued; there was no obvious neglect or abuse; and their parents were credible role models. Although genetics play a significant role in life outcomes, it must be acknowledged that parents or caregivers are the first…

1 min.
winning caption

Steve Godsiff, Timaru FINALISTS Shane Jones: “Your hat or mine, Willie? The boss is about to chuck.” – Anna Gray, Auckland Caption: Winston peters out at conference. – Anna Read, Huntly Jones: “Don’t worry, I’ve gathered enough door donations to make Winston’s eyes water.” – Donna McKenna, Wellington Caption: NZzzzzzzz First. – Anna Read Winston Peters: “Oh, God, not Brian Tamaki!” – Ruary Laidlaw, Waipa Jones: “Did Winston say he would nod, or nod off, when it was time to pass the hat around?” – John Stribling, Wellington Caption: Winston in hiding. – Jane Fookes, Christchurch Caption: Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezey, Dopey. – Geoff Duthie, Auckland Jones: “Got any change for the bus? Got to get Grandad home.” – Carol Jones Peters: “No, Shane, I can’t see who’s giving anonymous donations!” – Pauline Gough, Warkworth Jones: “Winston is bagsing the ‘see no evil’…

1 min.

“Sussex Royals sounds like a variety of potato. Fits in nicely with Jersey Royal, British Queen, Duke of York and King Edward.”– letter to the Times“He looks just like he went to the beach wearing a dog cone. Trump only cares about the top 1%, even when he’s applying sunscreen to his face.”– Seth Meyers on Trump’s fake tan lines“Parasite is a South Korean film that tells the story of a family who con their way into a house they have no business living in and things go very wrong from there. The American version of it is called ‘The Trumps’.”– Jimmy Kimmel on the Oscar-winning film“Parasite wins despite there being no host.”– comedian James Colley on the Oscars“This is a reminder to smokers that this is a nonsmoking flight,…

1 min.
10 quick questions

1. What was the name of the Bundy family’s first pet dog in Married … with Children? ❑ Marcel❑ Elvis❑ Comet❑ Buck 2. Which film features the quote: “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”? ❑ Blade Runner❑ Men in Black❑ The Green Mile❑ Back to the Future 3. In which country did the ritual of land diving (a precursor to bungee jumping) originate? ❑ Brazil❑ Vanuatu❑ Japan❑ Solomon Islands 4. Which beverage was formerly consumed to prevent malaria? ❑ Coffee❑ Tonic water❑ Hot chocolate❑ Coca-Cola 5. Who is said to have solved the the Gordian Knot puzzle? ❑ Friedrich Nietzsche❑ Archimedes❑ Sappho❑ Alexander the Great 6. True or false? Brown and white eggs are nutritionally different. ❑ True❑ False 7. What kind of instrument is an ocarina? ❑ Keyboard❑ String❑ Percussion❑ Wind 8. Which city will host the…

2 min.
tony reid 1943-2020

The journalism of the years 1960 to 2000 is littered with masthead casualties now, but it was within those publications that Tony Reid became what’s now called a destination journalist. Reid, who died on February 14, was the one you’d buy the magazine, or the newspaper, for – just to read. Within those years he’s acknowledged as a master of long-form print journalism – the in-depth interview, or the revealing personal profile. Reid learnt his trade on provincial newspapers, but progressed quickly to the Dominion Sunday Times and a weekly interview series, “The Frank Portrait”, that established a lifelong pattern. Sir Edmund Hillary, Denis Glover, Sir Ernest Marsden, Sir Eruera Tirikatene and many others were all ushered through “Frank” and emerged afresh. If Reid’s Catholicism gave him anything, it was his…