New Zealand Listener Issue 21 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
paying dearly

At the very time this country faces a post-lockdown brain drain that would worsen its already damaging skilled-labour shortages, the Government has unaccountably given some of our most globally coveted workers a new reason to leave. The clumsy announcement of a partial pay freeze for the public sector has caused enormous ill will and could hardly have been more badly timed. It’s of no surprise to anyone that the Government is already rethinking it. The unions have firmly reminded Labour who its friends are supposed to be and, almost certainly, pointed out the iniquity of freezing pay when looming inflation is set to erode incomes. Nurses are considering striking and would undoubtedly receive strong public support. Putting aside the fact that the salaries cap is virtually unenforceable, the justification for it remains elusive.…

9 min
call for better family planning

The May 15 articles that comprised the cover story on the future of food (“The cow loves robots”) – about the increased intensification, mechanisation and expansion of the area of food production – justified this approach by saying the world’s population is forecast to increase to close to 10 billion by 2050, up about 2.2 billion from today. If as much effort and ingenuity were put into the real solution to the problem, namely education to decrease family size so that the world’s population would decrease by 2050, everybody’s living conditions could be improved. We would be a more egalitarian society and people would be encouraged to help each other and not to exploit situations to make themselves rich. Nicholas Martin(Auckland) TRAGIC STORM REMEMBERED I well remember the storm that arrived on the Friday…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Paul Kelly, Palmerston North FINALISTS President Emmanuel Macron: “’Allo, ’allo be thy name.” – Rex McGregor, Auckland Caption: Pray wave! – Kevin Boyce, Raumati Beach Macron: “Mon Dieu! L’accent Macron c’est en langue Māori, mais il n’est pas dans la langue francaise.” – Neal Utting Macron: “I mean no disrespect, Lord, but with the magnitude of problems I have, you send me Inspector Clouseau!” – Graeme Samson, Whangārei Macron: “… and a chapeau and some epaulettes as well, s’il vous plait!” – Alan Belcher, Christchurch Macron: “Napoleon, some voter guidance, please. Do I applaud you or topple your statue?” – Kate Gore, Pyes Pā Macron: “This is the best way to stop them taking my fingerprints.” – Margaret Cannon, Palmerston North Police officer: “It’s a French police station, not a Saudi embassy.” – John Stribling, Wellington Caption: President Macron…

1 min
quips & quotes

“Conversations are like hammocks – much easier to get into than get out of.” – Sophia Benoit, quoted in the Week “Facebook is such a drag. In my day, seeing pictures of people’s vacations was considered a punishment.” – Betty White “I get why Facebook extended Trump’s suspension, but you have to admit, it does seem pretty unfair to ban him from a website that began as a way to rate women’s looks.” – Trevor Noah “His punishment for trying to overthrow the Government is the same punishment you give a teenager for coming home late after curfew – no social media for you!” – Jimmy Kimmel “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw “Incessant company is as bad as solitary confinement.” –…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Complete this line by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: “Hell is …” ❑ Truth seen too late ❑ A package holiday ❑ Other people ❑ Whatever heaven is not 2. What is the name of the title family’s household robot on the animated TV show The Jetsons? ❑ Robby ❑ Astro ❑ Orbitty ❑ Rosey 3. Which Henri painted the famous 1897 work The Sleeping Gypsy, portraying a lion standing near a sleeping woman? ❑ Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec ❑ Henri Rousseau ❑ Henri Matisse 4. Which chart-topping song was recorded for the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman, starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger? ❑ Eye in the Sky ❑ Up Where We Belong ❑ Eye of the Tiger ❑ Don’t You Want Me 5. What was first created and sold by the chemists William Perrins and John Lea in 1837? ❑ Marmite ❑ Worcestershire sauce ❑ Margarine ❑ Tabasco sauce 6. In…

1 min
letting them know (for connie bensley)

We need to find a way of telling them,those of us addicted to living alone; if we lose the power of speech, and all the rest,we need a non-vocal way to make it known: not to call for help – it’s too late for that –but simply to inform them that the bird has flown. No particular advantage is gainedby having someone there on the spot when all you need is a messengerto convey the information, posthumous or not; you could leave the front door open, perhaps,for some passerby to figure out the plot. The thing is – how can we put this gently? –we just want to be found before we rot. (from THE MERMAID’S PURSE, VUP)…