New Zealand Listener Issue 19 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
circling the drain

It could be that as a desirable place to live, New Zealand is world famous in the world, but not so much in New Zealand. Social media hums with envious people fantasising about emigrating to this country, citing its tolerance and inclusiveness, pandemic containment success and Hobbit-worthy environment. Here on the ground, it doesn’t look so rosy. Exhibit A: the trans-Tasman bubble, which may not only fail to revive local tourism, but also appears to herald a resumption of the brain drain. Given the inequalities of our respective labour markets, we risk a return of the one-way revolving door in Australia’s favour. There are already signs that Australian employers will pay well to entice skilled foreign labour. The pandemic prompted many overseas New Zealanders to come home, creating the impression that the longstanding loss…

10 min
land and ownership

Journalist Simon Winchester rightly sees a profound change ahead for land ownership (“Grounds for conflict”, May 1). I agree, given that exclusive private ownership of land in Aotearoa is a myth, with rates having to be paid to a regional controller and, if necessary, the state claiming land under the Public Works Act. I’ve long advocated that all land should be state owned and leasehold rights only bought and sold. Brian Turner (Christchurch) Humans are not alone in caring about who “owns” which bit of land. Fans of Sir David Attenborough will know that contest within species over territory, because of the resources it contains, is not uncommon. Even the blackbird singing prettily in your garden is actually telling its neighbours, “This bit of the world belongs to me.” Territoriality is a deep-seated instinct in…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Mike Hamblyn, Dunedin FINALISTS Nicola Sturgeon: “Independence? No, I just want a wee bit off the top.”– Sam Kelly, Palmerston North Sturgeon (thinking): “Will I ever be free of these nit-pickers?”– Michael Smythe, Northcote Point Julie McGuire: “Hmm, Brexit’s grey area.”– Elly Inta, Henderson Sturgeon: “No, Julie, it goes up the nose.”– Vic Evans, Nelson Sturgeon: “You won’t find any nits there – they are all in Downing Street!”– John Hillock McGuire: “It’s the best way to get to the root of the problem.”– Marie Curran, Dunedin McGuire: “Are you sure you want to go blonde, with a shaggy bob and wind-blown look?”– Kate Highfield, Hastings Sturgeon: “I am experiencing a vision of the hair after.”– PM Lynch, Upper Hutt…

1 min
quips& quotes

“How can something so woke put so many people to sleep?” – Jimmy Kimmel on the Oscars’ 58% drop in ratings “Humans celebrating Earth Day is like fleas celebrating Dog Day.” – Jimmy Kimmel “We, the young people, are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books.” – Greta Thunberg “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, quoted in the Times “We are masters of the unsaid words but slaves of those we let slip out.” – Winston Churchill “The skills of analysis will enable us to stop the process of becoming exotic in our own land.” – Irihapeti Ramsden, Toi Wahine “The supply of government exceeds the demand.” – Lewis H Lapham “If you want to…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which of these is used to make Eve’s pudding, a British tradition? ❑ Apple❑ Lemon Curd❑ Chocolate❑ Coconut cream 2. What unusual pet did the poet Lord Byron keep with him while he studied at Cambridge? ❑ Crocodile❑ Hyena❑ Zebra❑ Bear 3. Which film includes the line: “As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices”? ❑ Planet of the Apes❑ Honey, I Shrunk the Kids❑ Village of the Damned❑ Children of Men 4. Red beryl is much more expensive than gold and rarer than diamonds. What is it? ❑ Pigment❑ Spice❑ Gemstone❑ Stamp 5. Which of these authors is thought to have submitted the first typewritten (not handwritten) manuscript to a publisher? ❑ Jane Austen❑ Mark Twain❑ Voltaire❑ Mary Shelley 6. The song Bright Eyes, performed…

3 min
mother of all candidates

Who will replace the woman whom some people have called “the leader of the free world”? Because, after 16 years running Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel will retire from that role this year, shortly after September’s federal elections. It’s an unsettling time for the Germans. Merkel has been doing this for so long that every one knows what to expect: centrist, safe, sensible, pragmatic. There’s good reason her nickname is “Mutti” or “Mummy”. And it’s not just the Germans who are getting nervous. No matter who gets the job, the new leader of the world’s fourth-largest economy will have international impact. Over the past month, the race to replace the most powerful woman in the world has been gathering pace as each political party chooses its candidate for the top job before the ballot. There…