New Zealand Listener Issue 22 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
drive for change

The world is in the grip of an outlandish and planet-damaging addiction, with New Zealand no exception. It’s the growing habit of using the equivalent of a two-tonne truck merely to do the shopping or ferry children around. The clue to the absurdity of this habit is in its title: sport utility vehicle. The SUV was originally conceived as a specialist work vehicle, or for off-road driving, although the dubious moniker of “Remuera tractor” quickly revealed its true function here as an elite status symbol. Now, in what Norway’s renowned Cicero climate research centre calls a “heartbreaking” trend, SUVs have become the developed world’s most common family vehicle. For the past several years, all but two of this country’s 10 top-selling vehicles have been either SUVs or utes. The statistics can’t tell…

1 min
early autumn morning

It’s hard not to feel silly with luckwhen your tūī is up in the leavesshaking his poi at dregs of nectar and two plovers have just seen off the harrierwho’s been sweeping the picked-clean paddocklike a shuttle through a loom, scanning for late chicks. Everything’s a win at this undiscovered hourwhen the tick of the energiseris the only non-animal sound and the tight chill to your deepest breathshas a sunshine timer set, promisingwarmth and the goodness of the day. (From FELT, Massey University Press)…

9 min
building and planting

Alan Bollard’s accounting of this country’s infrastructure problems does not invite much argument (“Digging deep”, May 22). The solutions are all built on vastly increasing New Zealand’s population to generate enough economic activity to pay for it all. Our geographical isolation, with much inhospitable terrain, doesn’t easily allow us to grow, spread, build or move around. A four-million strong annual tide of international tourists helps bring in money to our clean and green land. But that solution generates another problem: the inconveniently huge carbon cost of moving so many people across the world to get to our paradise. I’m not sure if we can cap that by growing 270,000sq km of trees on all of our hilly land. At that point, I am out of ideas. Barbara Callaghan (Auckland) IN PRAISE OF HEALTH WORKERS Thank…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Tristan Melling, Auckland FINALISTS Caption: They all agreed – the Fourth Estate should be sold for housing development. – John Stribling, Wellington Caption: PM hosts AGM of the Association of Taxpayer-Funded Travellers. – Steve Godsiff, Timaru Caption: The penguin history of modern NZ politics. – John Weston, Golden Bay Caption: Meeting of the exclusive Wellington Penguin Club. – Alan Petrie, Te Anau Caption: TV3 furious as photo accidentally released of “Masked Singers” still to perform. – Kate Highfield, Hastings Jim Bolger: “Gee, I’ve never been this far to the left before.” – Bronwen Gunn, Levin Bill English: “The media likes everything black and white.” – Juliet Leigh John Key: “Winston’s already talking to his lawyer about our unauthorised use of his party colours.” – Bronwen Gunn, Levin Helen Clark: “Where’s Jenny?” Bolger: “Maybe she was misdirected.” – P Lynch, Upper…

1 min
quips & quotes

“I’ve come to view Jesus much the same way I view Elvis. I love the guy but the fan clubs really freak me out.” – comedian John Fugelsang, quoted in the Week “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway “Music was invented to confirm human loneliness.” – Lawrence Durrell “Teach him to think for himself? Oh, my God, teach him to think like other people!” – Mary Shelley on her son’s education, quoted in the Times “To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else.” – Emily Dickinson “He speaks to me as if I was a public meeting.” – Queen Victoria on UK prime minister William Gladstone “He looks as if he had been weaned on a pickle.” – Alice Roosevelt Longworth on US president Calvin Coolidge “Thomas…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. What is the name for a British drink served with equal parts cider and lager? ❑ Black velvet ❑ Boilermaker ❑ Snakebite ❑ Bramble 2. Which town has a giant loaf sculpture to welcome visitors? ❑ Morrinsville, Waikato ❑ Cromwell, Otago ❑ Springfield, Canterbury ❑ Manaia, Taranaki 3. Which of these is commonly checked for freshness by using a bounce test? ❑ Cranberry ❑ Blueberry ❑ Grape ❑ Blackcurrant 4. From what activity does the phrase “cut to the chase” originate? ❑ Hunting ❑ Police work ❑ Greyhound racing ❑ Film-making 5. Who wrote a debut novel titled Strangers on a Train, later adapted for the cinema by Alfred Hitchcock? ❑ Agatha Christie ❑ Ngaio Marsh ❑ Patricia Highsmith ❑ Ruth Rendell 6. Which of these is not one of the rooms in the standard version of the board game Cluedo? ❑ Billiard room ❑ Conservatory ❑ Office ❑ Ballroom 7. Which North American city has a landmark hill…