New Zealand Listener Issue 27 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
tapping a nerve

There went Winston Peters again last week, attacking “Aotearoa” and other expanding usage of te reo in New Zealand’s public life. But beyond his usual dog whistling, the New Zealand First leader had a point about the palpable tensions in the social contract and, in particular, the lack of licence over the degree to which the Government and its agencies are shaming and compelling, or simply governing by decree, rather than persuading and supporting citizens towards making significant social change. Although he’s often mischievously divisive, Peters’ umpteenth “comeback” speech shows how he has so often pulled it off successfully: he understands people’s most deep-rooted fears. Putting aside his green scepticism and anglo-centricity, he’s right to say the Government is moving too far ahead of people’s capacity to tolerate change. People will accept new taxes…

11 min
the gender agenda

The June 26 cover story, “The body politic”, asserts that “gender diversity is a worldwide trend”, but your stories focused on New Zealand and Western case studies. Has the rest of the world caught up with the idea of an innate gender identity that is independent of biological sex? The feminist movement of my day recognised that true equality would be an elusive goal without getting rid of stereotyped sex roles. Woven throughout many of the case studies in your story are examples of young people still grappling with sex stereo-typing, so I fear that the “girls (and boys) can do anything” message has been lost. For example, Max’s mother suggests that in her youth, it was more acceptable to experiment with different ways of dressing and behaving, so the sexes were…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Tommy Wilson, Papamoa FINALISTS Charles, Prince of Wales: “The tabloids have been calling us ‘ginless wonders’ for years, so this should give them something to think about.’’ – Dean Donoghue, Papamoa Charles: “Perfect heir restorer.” – Graeme Bulling Charles: “Mother’s ruin! One glass and I’m the Prince of wails.” – Alan Belcher, Christchurch Charles: “Not only is it the king of gins, it’s the gin of kings!” – Colin Kemplen, Matamata Charles: “Best hand sanitiser I’ve every tasted.” – H Lucy, Nelson Charles: “Just the tonic.” – Hans Zindel, Palmerston North Charles: “My Gin? Your Gin? Chin-chin!” – Gwenyth Cooper, Christchurch Charles thinks: “This could make a good organic weedkiller at Highgrove.” – Vic Evans, Nelson Charles: “After a few of these, the plants start to talk back.” – Kate Highfield, Hastings…

1 min

“When I was younger, I felt like a male trapped in a woman’s body. But then I was born.” – comedian Yianni Agisilaou “A recent study found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the people who mention it.” – Twitter “The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of 11 named people.” – Eric Hobsbawm, quoted in the Guardian “Nobody in this country should be losing their home because of a clean-energy air-conditioner bill; they should be losing their home because of unexpected medical bills – like a proper American.” – John Oliver “Putin and Biden met in Switzerland. They needed to meet at some place that doesn’t pick a side between the US and Russia, and Mar-a-Lago was already booked.” – Bill Maher “Shorter than expected…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which novel begins: “We slept in what had once been the gymnasium”? ❑ The Handmaid’s Tale ❑ Birdsong ❑ The Kite Runner ❑ The English Patient 2. True or false? In a game of chess, a player can only move one piece in any turn. ❑ True ❑ False 3. True or false? Turkey fought on the German side during World War II. ❑ True ❑ False 4. Who is the current First Minister of Scotland? ❑ Arlene Foster ❑ Mark Drakeford ❑ Nicola Sturgeon ❑ Michael D Higgins 5. Which Australian is known for directing the Happy Feet and Mad Max series of films? ❑ Gillian Armstrong ❑ Baz Luhrmann ❑ Peter Weir ❑ George Miller 6. Which city was the main setting for the British comedy-drama series Cold Feet? ❑ Cardiff ❑ Manchester ❑ Glasgow ❑ Birmingham 7. In 1989, four men survived for 119 days off the coast of New Zealand in…

2 min

There are twelve words I’m meant to usein this poem. Try to guess what they are.I’ll start you off with one: poplar. Another is twigs.I’m no Keats, but obviously this is an autumnal poem,the branches bare. Forlorn is the third word.Tricky—adjectives always are—thoughnot as tricky as slipping in the word escarpment.Too Latinate, for one. Also, I had to look it up.I’ve already forgotten about autumn. I’m thinkingabout your easy laughter, the crease it carvedin your otherwise unworried forehead,the church next door ringing ten o’clock Masswhile we scarfed our French toast, the poplarin full flower. Scarf is not one of the words,by the way, though distant is. So is leaves.I’m determined to be original. Can I usethe word ‘left’ instead? Actually,there was plenty of autumn to go around.Amnesia, another word I’m…