New Zealand Listener Issue 12 2021

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
Are Media Pty Limited
52 Issues

in this issue

3 min
uncommon decency

In a world in which toxic exchanges grab global headlines, two unlikely ancient adversaries have shone a light on the alternative approach: mutual tolerance and continued dialogue. Catholicism’s leader, Pope Francis, has risked his life, not least from coronavirus, by venturing into a stronghold of militant Islamism, Iraq. His mission was neither to convert nor denounce but to acknowledge differences in the hope of building new bridges. In return, Iraq hosted his visit with respect and without hostility. To see those at the core of two of the world’s most dogmatic and entrenched orthodoxies striving to improve their mutual understanding, even while knowing neither would change the other’s views or practices, has been inspiring. Perhaps the key element of the visit was the demonstration that both parties view the other as legitimate, despite their…

7 min
technological solutions

That the Climate Change Commission excludes new innovations is worrying (“Degrees of disaster”, March 13). New technology will be required to address a new technological problem. Reliance on electric vehicles should include addressing that average short-range battery packs will generate 250,000 tonnes of waste, occupying half a million cubic metres per million vehicles [Nature 575: pp 75-86 (2019)]. To replace all vehicles around the world with Tesla performance, we need 20 million tonnes of cobalt; world production is 140,000 tonnes a year, and all of that is used. We also need seven million tonnes of lithium, and world production is 82,000 tonnes a year. The batteries need replacing every 7-9 years. Other elements such as manganese can replace cobalt, but at a significant cost in battery life. And will everyone throw…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION PM Lynch, Upper Hutt FINALISTS Jane Malysiak: “And here’s to you, Mr Morrison.” (You can sing it) – Wendy Moore, Carterton Right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing? Shooting Kiwis. – Edith Macklin, Hastings Malysiak: “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.” – Alwyn O’Connor, Pyes Pa PM Scott Morrison: “No, no Jane, that’s the sign I give to Kiwis bleating about the 501s.” – Colin Graham, Auckland Malysiak: “No, Prime Minister. This is the sign for Covid-19.” – Craig Fitzpatrick, Lower Hutt Morrison thinks: “She must be a Kiwi.” – Graham Hall Morrison: “Tell us how you really feel, Jane!” – Moira van Roekel, Auckland Morrison: “What I am signalling to NZ is diplomacy. What you are doing is government policy.” – Adie Doyle, Taumarunui Eighty-four-year-old Jane Malysiak demonstrates to Scott Morrison that she…

1 min
quips & quotes

“God grant him peace and happiness but never understanding of what he has lost.” – UK Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on Edward VIII, who gave up his crown for American Wallis Simpson “You’d think someone in human resources would have stepped in to tell Henry VIII that chopping off his wife’s head could be considered a hostile work environment.” – Stephen Colbert “The most shocking gender-reveal party of all time.” – Jimmy Kimmel referring to Meghan and Harry’s reveal of their baby’s sex in the Oprah interview “HR in Buckingham Palace are just as unhelpful as HR every place else.” – Jimmy Kimmel “You know things are bad at Buckingham Palace if they came to America to get away from racism.” – Jimmy Kimmel “You’re the expert, Andrew – how damaging was that interview?” –…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which novel begins: “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show”? ❑ David Copperfield ❑ Frankenstein ❑ The Catcher in the Rye ❑ Gulliver’s Travels 2. Which of these was a British cultural movement of the 50s and 60s in film, TV, theatre and novels? ❑ Anorak pacifism ❑ Kitchen-sink realism ❑ Civil mannerism ❑ Pagan ritualism 3. True or false? Weddings in medieval Europe would often conclude with a “bedding ceremony” witnessed by the guests. ❑ True ❑ False 4. True or false? Kangaroos are capable of outpacing dingoes in a pursuit. ❑ True ❑ False 5. Which of these words refers to something that lasts only a short time? ❑ Efflorescent ❑ Quiescent ❑ Incandescent ❑ Evanescent 6. Which 1988 film about baseball stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and…

3 min
divide and rule

One of the consequences of prolonged isolation is a difficulty in establishing how good or bad things are. Can we really complain about our lot, for example, when we have our food delivered to the door and get to catch up on boxset TV? These are the kinds of knotty moral issues that have dogged Britons for the past year, caught between a natural ability to moan and the national myth of a stiff upper lip. We’ve been craving some greater perspective and it arrived at last, just as the anniversary of the lockdown hove into view. For two hours, the nation could forget its troubles and focus on the incomparably more desperate plight of a couple of young multimillionaires at their NZ$30 million property in a gated community in California. Yes,…