New Zealand Listener Issue 23 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
not by a long shot

The official word from the Beehive is that the elderly can all get vaccinated against Covid-19 right now. Try telling that to older New Zealanders. In reality, it depends where they live and whether they’re able to queue for long periods, with the risk of disappointment. Vaccination availability, even for these vulnerable people, varies widely. Yet with the alarming Indian variant – 50 times more transmissible – having now reached Australia, vaccination is more urgent than ever. The persistent gulf between what gets decided in Wellington and what’s actually happening on the ground continues to threaten our once-globally envied progress against this pandemic. This magazine knows of a 103-year-old who has still not been able to get a shot, and a 90-year-old and a 73-year-old with severe health problems who are both still…

11 min
driving change and ev buying

Good on the Listener for taking on that scourge of our towns and cities, the SUV, to which I would add the twin-cab ute (Editorial, May 29). I think we accept that heavy-duty vehicles are a necessary part of some rural communities, but they are grossly over-spec’d for urban living, where most are to be found. When I see them driving around town, I feel the owner is effectively saying, “I do not care and I will do what I like.” As the Editorial pointed out, SUVs often cost a lot more than EVs. I get tired of penny-pinching calculations to see if running an EV will be cheaper. The issue is not what it costs you if you buy one, but what it costs the planet if you don’t. When…

1 min
winning caption

FINALISTS Woman: “No way! You’re Clive from secondary school.” – Richard Cole, Waipū Grant Robertson: “Hand on heart – I am no good at passing the buck.” – John Bray, Howick Robertson: “Oh gosh, thank you. I would love a netball challenge. Name the day!” – Robbie Blair Robertson: “Is this where I sign up for auditions of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under?” – Tane McManus, Auckland Robertson: “Just a little post-budget heartburn – acid reflux from National’s regurgitation of errors.” – Keith Davidson, Blenheim Robertson: “Who me, couldn’t be, then who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?” – Judy Nicholas, Reporoa Robertson: “Me, I don’t breakdance, that’s Razor Robertson.” – Paul Kelly, Palmerston North Robertson: “Hand on heart, no wage freeze for you!” – Peter Chapman, Christchurch Robertson: “This is where my tie should be as a…

1 min
quips& quotes

“Prince Harry claims he hates the press and paparazzi – so he moves to Hollywood with a fame-hungry actress.”– Greg Gutfield, Fox“If Harry thinks the First Amendment is ‘bonkers’, wait till he hears about the Second Amendment.”– US commentator Jesse Watters, referencing the right to bear arms“One of the greatest dangers to democracy is the growing gap between those who can win elections and those who can run the state.”– Henry Kissinger“Good memories are our second chance at happiness.”– Queen Elizabeth II“People say nothing is impossible – but I do nothing every day.”– AA Milne, quoted in the Week“To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”– Elbert Hubbard“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. True or false? Some birds can fly backwards. ❑ True❑ False 2. From what activity does the phrase “smoke and mirrors” originate? ❑ Quack medicine shows❑ Stage magic❑ Political campaigning❑ Naval combat 3. Which of these is not a hit song by the Eagles? ❑ Just What I Needed❑ New Kid in Town❑ One of These Nights❑ Take It to the Limit 4. Which of these extinct animals is not a dinosaur? ❑ Stegosaurus❑ Pterodactyl❑ Brontosaurus❑ Velociraptor 5. Which of these countries is the world’s second-largest producer of coffee (after Brazil)? ❑ Thailand❑ Laos❑ Vietnam❑ China 6. What was the first full-length animated film released by Disney? ❑ Pinocchio❑ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs❑ Dumbo❑ Fantasia 7. Which of these words means “unnecessary repetition of an idea or statement”? ❑ Mondegreen❑ Tautology❑ Solecism❑ Malapropism 8. Where would you find the Strait of…

3 min
the māori sopranos

The controversial TVNZ drama Vegas has just finished its six-episode run. Since its debut, the story of a fictitious Māori gang embroiled in a botched drug deal experienced a big online backlash from viewers and Māori media critics. They asserted that the Māori-in-gangs narrative continued to reinforce the damaging stereotype of Māori men as hyper masculine, criminal and violent. Filmed in Rotorua, Vegas received more than $5 million from NZ on Air and some questioned why public funding should be used to continue to portray Māori in a negative light. One outspoken critic even blamed the programme for the recent racist rant by former Eagle Brewing owner David Gaughan. The Canterbury businessman was forced to step down after the public outcry over his online post saying that “Māori are the scurge…