New Zealand Listener Issue 24 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
own goal

The militant Auckland cyclists who trespassed on the Harbour Bridge on May 30 looked extremely pleased with the chaos they’d caused. They probably set their cause back years. To disrupt our biggest city, and divert so many police from important work, to demand that a tiny percentage of Auckland cyclists – chiefly from its wealthiest suburbs – can ride on the bridge was a display of self-entitlement with a laughable claim to green activism. Cycling activists, and to an increasing extent the councils and other agencies that prioritise their demands, are in danger of alienating the majority they are trying to convert. To turn part of the bridge over to cyclists now would inconvenience a majority of ordinary working Aucklanders, while benefiting a privileged minority, to negligible climate benefit – probably the…

8 min
listener wins top honour

It was a big night for the Listener at the recent Voyager Media Awards where Paul Thomas was declared Best Sports columnist, Charlotte Grimshaw was judged Best Reviewer, in part for her work at this magazine, and, in a memorable moment, the Listener was judged Best Newsstand Magazine. The judges said, “After a brutal six-month shutdown, the Listener has bounced straight back to its position as a leader of New Zealand’s intellectual and political debate. Subs are strong, retail sales are up. It’s a remarkable achievement by a remarkable magazine; one that hits the spot, every week, with smart, witty content that is always important and never dull.” Editor-in-Chief Pamela Stirling says it was a thrill and an honour to accept the award on behalf of the magazine’s staff and contributors. “This…

1 min
winning caption

FINALISTS Jane Watson: “But I had just had my nails done.”– Kate Gore, Pyes PāWatson: “Hey, remember winners are grinners!”– Paul Kelly, Palmerston NorthWatson: “I found a great way to lose weight is to eat ghost sandwiches.” – Rhonda Ramsay, ThamesMarianne Delaney-Hoshek: “No, Jane, it’s Tactix, not Tic Tacs!”– Joe LeeWatson: “My regulation kit needs this much more stretch.”– Sara Keen, GeraldineWatson: “But this is my air harmonica.” Hans Zindel, Palmerston NorthWatson: “Oh, when you said ‘roll them’, I thought…”– Conal Atkins, NelsonWatson: “I’ve got roll-your-owns out the back.”– Hans Zindel, Palmerston NorthDelaney-Hoshek: “Scoring more goals than them might help.”– PM Lynch…

1 min
quips& quotes

“There was never any lockdown – there were just middle-class people hiding while working-class people brought them things.”– JJ Charlesworth, quoted in the Sunday Telegraph“A neurosis is a secret you don’t know you’re keeping.”– Kenneth Tynan“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”– author Mary Anne Radmacher“Books to me are incorporate things, voices in the air, that do not disturb the haze of autumn, and visions that don’t blot the sunflowers.”– DH Lawrence“Iti te matakahi, pangāia ki te tōtara pakaru ai.” (The wedge may be small, but it will split the greatest tōtara.)– proverb“If you believe that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have got you…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which of these diseases is typically spread through contaminated food and water? ❑ Diphtheria ❑ Cholera ❑ Yellow fever ❑ Sleeping sickness 2. True or false? Australia generates some of its electricity with nuclear power. ❑ True ❑ False 3. How many knees does a dog have? ❑ None ❑ Two ❑ Four ❑ Eight 4. Which designer is credited with popularising the little black dress (LBD)? ❑ Mary Quant ❑ Gianni Versace ❑ Coco Chanel ❑ Christian Dior 5. Which animal makes a start to life by falling 1.8m to the ground and often landing on its head? ❑ Squirrel ❑ Sloth ❑ Orangutan ❑ Giraffe 6. Which TV sitcom featured the catchphrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose”? ❑ M*A*S*H ❑ Welcome Back, Kotter ❑ Taxi ❑ Happy Days 7. Which book begins: “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug? ❑ Little Women ❑ The Polar Express ❑ How the Grinch…

3 min
swimming against the tide

As marvels of the natural world go, seahorses are way up there. They’re the only species in which the males carry and deliver tiny, fully formed seahorses, in broods ranging from five to 2500. They have no teeth or stomachs, and food passes through them so quickly that they must eat almost constantly to stay alive. But today’s metaphor centres on seahorses’ fully independent eyes: they can look forward and backward at the same time. The other day, as I was making yet another attempt to suss out the insane drama and discourse that seems to inhabit every nook and cranny of my native land, it dawned on me that the US has become a seahorse. Fewer than half of us are looking backward, hoping to return to some hazy, sitcom-fuelled vision…