New Zealand Listener Issue 26 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
ev accelerator

Policies that advantage the rich at the expense of the poor are generally thought a bad idea, but when it comes to climate change, the Government has decided the ends justify even these means. At least its new “feebate” scheme to encourage electric vehicles is only regressive fiscally. Although it will transfer money from the less well off to the minority who can afford EVs, it may finally move the dial on the country’s carbon emissions meter. As a “nudge” policy, it is more than a gesture. It normalises EVs and hybrids, helping to overcome consumer hesitancy. Right now, only 1.9% of the Government’s own fleet is electric. Yet it will require better political salesmanship than the Government has lately displayed. Coming on the heels of the ill-judged plan for a new harbour…

10 min
not so easy being green

I’m becoming cynical about the number of articles and letters arguing that the green-technology economy is going to save the planet and therefore mankind. I can recall seeing posters on our primary-school classroom walls in the late 1960s saying our population would reach three million within a few years and implying that this was not a good thing. Now we have a population of more than five million and the problem is the infrastructure hasn’t grown accordingly. Housing, health, roading, etc, have suffered from decades of neglect. I live in a rural environment and every time I visit a major city I see a struggle for resources, be that space, money, jobs, housing or time, while our ability to consume and the amount of consumables have grown substantially. The West Coast, where I live,…

1 min
caption competition

Just be happy we didn’t give you 501. WINNING CAPTION Robert Hunter, Gisborne FINALISTS Scott Morrison: “We could be a celebrity couple like Bennifer or Brangelina and call ourselves Modern.” Jacinda Ardern: “Not happening!” – Joy Malloy, Coromandel Ardern: “When you said, ‘Let’s swap jerseys’, I thought you meant a new trans-Tasman dairy deal!” – Colin Kemplen, Matamata Ardern thinks: Team strip! Morrison thinks: Team strip? – A Neale, Nelson Ardern: “My age.” Morrison: “The number of Australian prime ministers in the past five years.” – Tim Hambleton, Dunedin Ardern: “Thanks, Scott, this big girl’s blouse will always remind me of your visit.” – Steve Godsiff, Timaru Morrison thinks: “Wallabies 23, All Blacks 23 …. Yeah, in my dreams.” – Ed Porter, Auckland Ardern thinks: “How much the average IQ rises when you leave.” – Simone Stansfield, Wellington Morrison: “Just remember…

1 min
quips& quotes

“Oh, they’re renewing their vows! It’s going to be a small ceremony on the beaches of Normandy, only our closest allies.”– Stephen Colbert on Joe Biden and Boris Johnson signing a new Atlantic charter“A new report found that Facebook has created more than 450,000 jobs. Unfortunately, photos posted on Facebook have ended 550,000 jobs.”– Jimmy Fallon“All romantics need the mortar of cynicism to hold themselves up.”– Boris Johnson, quoted in The Atlantic“We call it ‘Nature’; only reluctantly admitting ourselves to be ‘Nature’ too.”– poet Denise Levertov“Wow, it’s impressive to lie about lying. It’s like stabbing a witness during your murder trial.”– Seth Meyers on former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s time in the White House“I’m sorry, which group of Republicans do you think you’re going to find common ground with? The…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which of these best describes the historical occupation of “mercer”? ❑ Innkeeper ❑ Soldier of fortune ❑ Carriage maker ❑ Textile merchant 2. Which of these is not an independent nation? ❑ Malta ❑ Seychelles ❑ Maldives ❑ Easter Island 3. Which of these instruments is not considered to be part of the brass family? ❑ Saxophone ❑ Trombone ❑ Cornet ❑ French horn 4. True or false? It’s possible to attract earthworms to the surface with a special technique called “worm charming”. ❑ True ❑ False 5. Which 1980s film is based on a novel called Shoeless Joe, by Canadian writer WP Kinsella? ❑ Field of Dreams ❑ Dirty Dancing ❑ Stand By Me ❑ The Goonies 6. Who once remarked: “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” ❑ Francisco Franco ❑ Julius Caesar ❑ Charles de Gaulle ❑ Elizabeth I 7. The TV comedy-drama Boston Legal was a spin-off from…

3 min
testing our patience

Today is our youngest daughter’s 21st birthday. To celebrate, she came back from university and we booked a table for six – the maximum allowed – at a canal-side restaurant in Little Venice, one of London’s prettiest neighbourhoods. And tomorrow, my wife and I were due to take a short and much-needed holiday in Devon. Such is the demand for domestic vacations that securing even a modest cottage near the coast is an achievement on a par with swimming the Channel in fancy dress. I emerged from hours of online study of the phrase “There are no vacancies for those dates” exhausted but with said modest coastal cottage triumphantly booked. On the way back to London, our daughter received a text message informing her that one of her flatmates at her university…