New Zealand Listener Issue 31 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
farm friends

Here’s a question to put the farmers’ protests into perspective: who would we rather have tell the world about New Zealand produce – Jeremy Clarkson or our own Government? Clarkson, the British television petrolhead-turned-sheep farmer, has launched a tirade against foreign animal welfare standards, including New Zealand’s, in a bid to turn British public opinion against our pending free-trade deal with the UK. Love him or loathe him, he’s a globally influential figure, whose recent hit reality show has recast him as an animal-doting farmer. Britain’s RSPCA welcomed the trade negotiations, stressing New Zealand alone among the UK’s potential free-trade partners has animal welfare standards as good as, and in some cases better than, Britain’s. But did our Government speak up in our farmers’ defence on animal welfare? Did it point out that…

7 min
in defence of science

A recent report from a Government NCEA working group on proposed changes to the Māori school curriculum aims “to ensure parity for mātauranga Māori with the other bodies of knowledge credentialed by NCEA (particularly Western/Pākehā epistemologies)”. It includes the following description as part of a new course: “It promotes discussion and analysis of the ways in which science has been used to support the dominance of Eurocentric views (among which, its use as a rationale for colonisation of Māori and the suppression of Māori knowledge); and the notion that science is a Western European invention and itself evidence of European dominance over Māori and other indigenous peoples.” This perpetuates disturbing misunderstandings of science emerging at all levels of education and in science funding. These encourage mistrust of science. Science is universal,…

1 min
winning caption

FINALISTS Prince William: “Harry’s just applied for American citizenship!” – Ricky Feutz, Tauranga Caption: “Prince William, his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their elder son, Prince George, celebrate the opening of the 2021 English Dental Association Conference.” – Steve Horne, Raglan Prince George: “Aunty Meghan isn’t coming over!” – L Snikta, Nelson George: “Dad! How can you play in the Euros if you left the EU? William: Great-Grandma played her heritage card!” – Alan Belcher, Christchurch Caption: “Relishing the sour Kraut.” – Tony Clemow, Kamo Duchess of Cambridge: “You’re a bit Windsor and a bit Saxe-Coburg. You can’t lose even if Germany wins.” – Paul Kelly, Palmerston North William: “Just like Boris’ ‘Freedom Day’, let’s celebrate winning before the end of the game!” – Rod Galloway, Mosgiel Caption: “A chip off the bald block.” – Judy Stevenson,…

1 min
quips & quotes

“In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”– Jean-Paul Sartre, quoted in the Times“People change and forget to tell each other.”– Lillian Hellman, quoted in the Week“Future statues would be preferably androgynous and could have replaceable heads. That way, if the person commemorated should fall out of fashion, the head could simply be screwed off and replaced by another.”– Alexander McCall Smith“I am not overfond of animals. I am merely astounded by them.”– David Attenborough“What matters now is not goodness but the appearance of goodness. We are no longer human beings. We are now angels jostling to out-angel one another.”– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quoted in the Guardian“We have a hooligan class of politicians – and a national football team composed of gentlemen.”– Matthew D’Ancona quoted in…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which TV character would often make an appearance by falling from the sky as a choir sang “Ecce homo qui est faba”? ❑ Geraldine Granger (The Vicar of Dibley)❑ Father Ted Crilly (Father Ted)❑ Mr Bean (Mr Bean) ❑ Basil Fawlty (Fawlty Towers) 2. Which of these animals is a ruminant? ❑ Rabbit❑ Horse ❑ Antelope ❑ Elephant 3. Which animal was given the name “Beelzebub’s pup” by early Western explorers who encountered it? ❑ Tasmanian devil ❑ Skunk❑ Wolverine ❑ Honey badger 4. Which of these is not a movie about the game of golf? ❑ The Legend of Bagger Vance❑ Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius ❑ Any Given Sunday❑ Tin Cup 5. Which novel includes the notable line: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past”? ❑ The Time Machine…

3 min
a biblical flood

Could this be the summer that Germans really start to be scared about climate change? Torrential rain in mid-July caused flash floods in western Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Vehicles were swept away, roads and bridges destroyed and, at press time, nearly 200 people had been killed. In one particularly horrible incident, 12 residents at a facility for the disabled, who were sleeping on lower floors, drowned as waters rose inside their lodgings in just minutes. In the small town of Schuld, 50 houses collapsed. A neighbourhood in Erftstadt, south-west of Cologne, was under water in 10 minutes, a local politician told journalists. “There was hardly any time to warn anybody,” he said. It was more like a one-in-a-millennium than a one-in-100-year event, a German meteorologist said, predicting there would be more to…