New Zealand Listener Issue 14 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
house rules

Amid the relief that the Government has at long last taken some action to address the housing crisis has been the widespread but odd notion that it was “cracking down on property investors”. Cracking down? They’re not drug dealers. The idea is not to outlaw investors – quite the contrary. What the nation is suffering from, and the chief target of this package, is property speculators. It’s vital New Zealanders understand the distinction. The package’s extra funding for infrastructure to support new affordable housing cannot achieve anything without private investors. Though many, mostly small-scale investors will be deterred by the tougher tax deductions regime and the doubled threshold for tax-free on-sale of houses, the aim of the measures is to rebalance investment towards large-scale and mostly modest new builds. The clampdown will probably…

8 min
gearing up for electric vehicles

Michael Kelly (“Running on empty”, March 27) has laid out the huge cost of work needed over the next 10-12 years to create capacity for this country to provide for electric vehicles. The cost to us and the rest of the world of not proceeding would be far higher. New Zealand has languished in this while the UK is an exemplar. Wind turbines reasonably close to cities will power the change, with hydro and geothermal generation providing reliable back-up. Electric car batteries will progressively have second lives contributing to power storage in households. Solar power for household hot water is already economical here. Huge government investment in infrastructure and training for maintenance of all this will be needed alongside private industry. The good news is that we don’t import wind, and…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Jennifer Knutsen FINALISTS Jacinda Ardern: “Well caught! Personally, I prefer to swat them with the paper.” – Ken Ward, Woburn Kiritapu Allan: “This is how you move the economy into first gear.” – Vic Evans, Nelson Allan: “Don’t worry, boss, put your feet up with the paper. I’ve got this one.” – Robbie Blair, Snells Beach Allan: “If Ashley needs any more PR emergency management, I’m ready.” – Rex McGregor, Auckland Ardern: “There’s no need to issue a tsunami warning every time Bridges opens his mouth.” – Rex McGregor, Auckland Allan: “My tsunami turned out better than your Colmar-Brunton tidal wave, eh?” – Bruce Leadley, Timaru Allan: “I’m good to go – I’ll just roll with the punches.” – Hans Zindel, Palmerston North Allan: “You know I can’t grab your ghost tokotoko!” – Simone Stansfield, Wellington Ardern: “Politically incorrect,…

1 min
quips & quotes

“Back in my day, you would cough to cover up a fart. Now, with Covid-19, you fart to cover up a cough.”– quoted in the Scotsman“Hot tip for Miami authorities: if you want young people to stop partying, don’t instate a curfew. Just invite a few dads, and that party will be over quicker than you can say ‘Sherwin Williams reward points’.”– Stephen Colbert“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”– Albert Einstein, quoted on BBC Science“I don’t need time, I need a deadline.”– Duke Ellington quoted in the Week“No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, quoted in the Daily Telegraph“In England, justice is open to all – like the Ritz…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. True or false? The Peter, Paul and Mary song Puff the Magic Dragon contains veiled references to drug-taking. ❑ True ❑ False 2. Which of these refers to a government’s taxation and spending decisions? ❑ Monetary policy ❑ Fiscal policy 3. What would an amanuensis do? ❑ Preach salvation ❑ Curb inflation ❑ Voice frustration ❑ Take dictation 4. Icelanders consider hákarl a national delicacy. What is it? ❑ Dried jellyfish ❑ Fried insects ❑ Dense currant cake ❑ Fermented shark 5. Hemiandrus jacinda is a newly described species that was named after Jacinda Ardern. What kind of organism is it? ❑ Tree frog ❑ Wētā ❑ Deep-sea fish ❑ Lizard 6. In which decade were the first planets outside our solar system discovered? ❑ 1690s ❑ 1790s ❑ 1890s ❑ 1990s 7. Which acclaimed 1979 film starred Peter Sellers in the role of Chance the gardener? ❑ The Prisoner of Zenda ❑ Being There ❑ The Pink…

3 min
an evolving epidemic

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I had little time to get my head around the dietary and lifestyle changes needed to manage the potentially fatal disease before I experienced complications and learnt very quickly the harsh reality of being a diabetic. Soon after my diagnosis, I developed a foot infection and to stop it spreading into my bloodstream needed an urgent toe amputation – a common medical procedure among diabetics. Throughout my 15-year journalism career, with a two-year stint as a health reporter, I’ve written lots of stories about people living with diabetes and now I was able to relate to their struggle. It was somewhat inevitable for someone such as me to become a diabetic in my adult life. My dietary choices and lack of regular…