New Zealand Listener Issue 36 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
stayin’ alive

When I was 25, I almost died, and it was entirely my fault. My careless driving on a remote road resulted in injuries so severe that I spent 10 days on life support in Rotorua Hospital. Thanks to expert care, I survived, spending another six weeks recovering in a ward. I still bear the physical scars from that unfortunate experience, but the mental ones are barely discernible now. I don’t often quote German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, but he came to mind this week. Nietzsche wasn’t unfamiliar with adverse circumstances, including pandemics. He had cholera twice and suffered from many other ailments. His famous aphorism, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, seems hollow in a time of long Covid. Yet the point he was trying to make is as relevant now as…

13 min
in support of vaccinations

I have never wanted to talk about it publicly, and hardly ever in private, but when I was a teenager with a promising sports career, my life was sadly changed forever by a severe attack of paralysing viral poliomyelitis. My mobility, with all that means every day, has been severely compromised since then, worsening over the years. I therefore have strong views about vaccinations against poliomyelitis, which has been eradicated everywhere but Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the Taliban have assassinated nurses administering the vaccine. Can anti-vaccinators and those hesitant about having the Covid-19 vaccination please think logically and honestly about life as it was before routine vaccinations against previous widespread childhood diseases, such as measles, mumps, whooping cough, chickenpox, diphtheria and tetanus, brought an incredible change throughout the world? It is illogical,…

1 min
winning caption

FINALISTS Boris Johnson : “Trust me, as leader, I know which way is up.” – Juliet Neil, Lyttelton Police officer musing : “Hmm … Charles is better prepared for the reign than Boris is.” – Bruce Leadley, Timaru Prince Charles thinking : “Just like his hair … gone with the wind.” – Graeme Bulling Boris : “So what. I turned Europe inside out.” – David Field, Rotorua Charles : “He’s only used as a satellite dish.” – Richard Laimbeer, Dunedin Johnson : “This is my new vote catcher.” – Margaret Cannon, Palmerston North Police officer : “Typical windbag … no surprises there.” – Sorrel Bovett, Kerikeri…

1 min
quips & quotes

“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.” – Trevor Noah“I believe gender is a spectrum, and I fall somewhere between Channing Tatum and Winnie the Pooh.” – Stephen Colbert“It is a challenge for people in high-density areas to get outside and spread their legs when they are surrounded by other people.” – Chris Hipkins“You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.”– Tina Fey“Bitcoins. Everything you don’t understand about money, combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.”– John Oliver“People will always bring up ‘You’re a woman, you’ve got pink hair.’”– Siouxsie Wiles“Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini.” My success should not…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. True or false? The character James Bond has visited New Zealand at least once in the films. ❑ True ❑ False 2. True or false? Tomatoes have been a part of Italian cuisine since Ancient Roman times. ❑ True ❑ False 3. Which of these words may refer to a dessert made with rennet and sweetened milk? ❑ Jaunt ❑ Jamboree ❑ Junket ❑ Jaggery 4. Who was New Zealand’s Prime Minister at the outbreak of World War II? ❑ Peter Fraser ❑ Sidney Holland ❑ Walter Nash ❑ Michael Joseph Savage 5. Which of these was not a character in the Little Rascals films? ❑ Opie ❑ Spanky ❑ Darla ❑ Alfalfa 6. Which of these diseases still infects a small number of people in the US each year? ❑ Rinderpest ❑ Bubonic plague ❑ Polio ❑ Smallpox 7. Which musician topped the Billboard charts in the 1970s with the albums Fulfillingness’ First Finale…

3 min
churning point

The US is churning. Many domestic, international and global crises battle for our time, attention and resources – see Democracy, demise of; China, rise of; and Planet Earth, oops. We thought we were, but we now no longer seem to be, coming to the beginning of the end of a pandemic that has killed nearly 650,000 people, rattled the foundation of everyday life and blown a hole in any notion of all-inclusive US exceptionalism. People are changing jobs, reassessing career choices, not going back to jobs that disappeared during Covid, but which have now reappeared, and as a result, nobody has a clue what the workplace of next week will look like. All we know is someone will burn microwave popcorn in the lunchroom. We have one major political party that…