New Zealand Listener Issue 38 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
human touch

By the time you read this, our biggest city may or may not be out of Level 4 lockdown. But it doesn’t really matter, because I’m sure nowhere in Aotearoa will be feeling as if it’s entirely out of the Delta skelter just yet. I’m one of those odd people who finds lockdown strangely comforting, like a weighted blanket for the soul. But that’s probably because my circumstances suit enforced isolation. I’m well aware many people are not so lucky. For many, the blanket is suffocating, both emotionally and financially, and I have no doubt psychologists are now dealing with far more mental-health problems than they were before Covid came along. This week, our psychology columnist, Marc Wilson, contributes his thoughts on the issue (page 44). But I’d also like to share the…

12 min
a case for soil preservation

As a geoscientist with a strong interest in soil science, I have long despaired over the poor regard for, and limited understanding of, this country’s soils (“Down to earth”, September 11). Along with water, soils are the paramount resource and should be treated accordingly, especially those of high class (high versatility). Drs Allan Hewitt and Megan Balks and I recently published The Soils of Aotearoa New Zealand. At the time of its launch, the irreversible loss of high-class soils (only 5% of the country) to urban development, despite regulations to the contrary, attracted attention. The regulatory authorities have allowed substantial losses of 40,000ha annually of soils, many high-class, to urban expansion, industry and lifestyle blocks. To put that figure in perspective, horticulture extends more than 70,000ha in total. High-class soils are ancient…

1 min

“Dullness is a disease.” – Freddie Mercury“The artist has to live like everybody else.” – Billy Apple“If you see somebody running down the street naked every single day, you stop looking up.” – Stevie Nicks“Common sense is very uncommon.” – Horace Greeley“To be a trophy wife, you have to be a trophy. I am more of a commemorative plaque.” – Ali Wong“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.” – Jim Carrey“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” – Phyllis Diller“‘For your own good’ is a persuasive argument that will eventually make man agree to his own destruction.” – Janet Frame, Faces in the Water“Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming whether you like…

2 min
10 quick questions

1. Does a weathervane point to which direction the wind is coming from, or which direction it’s blowing towards? ❑ The direction the wind is coming from❑ The direction the wind is blowing 2. Which band lost three members in a 1977 plane crash and subsequently disbanded? ❑ Lynyrd Skynyrd❑ Deep Purple❑ Creedence Clearwater Revival❑ Blue Öyster Cult 3. Which of these Tim Burtondirected films does not feature both Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp? ❑ Edward Scissorhands❑ Sweeney Todd❑ Alice in Wonderland❑ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 4. In Greek mythology, which deity was considered the messenger of the gods and guide for souls into the afterlife? ❑ Hades❑ Ares❑ Hermes❑ Mercury 5. Henry lives in Southland and became a father for the first time when he was about 111 years old. What kind of animal is…

4 min
billy apple

‘The artist has to live like everybody else” is a sentence that appeared on many of Billy Apple’s works, but of course the artist has to die, just like everybody else. Apple died early on Monday, September 6 at his home in Auckland, with his wife, Mary, at his bedside. Not many hours before, he’d told her he couldn’t work any more. He’d known his time was running out (he had liver cancer). But there was a lot to do and he was very positive, upbeat, indomitable even. Apple was someone who was always working. But then the time came to stop. Nobody else lived the life he did. First, it was a double life, or two lives, beginning with the birth in Auckland on December 31, 1935 of Barrie Bates,…

3 min
regrettable adventures

One of the side effects in the UK of Covid, or perhaps more specifically the various lockdowns, is that it left many people with a deep desire to get away. I don’t mean on holiday – although there was indeed that yearning – but permanently from where they were. One survey last year, for example, showed that more than 50% of Londoners wanted to move to the countryside. And many did. But for those who didn’t go rural, most just wanted to change their surroundings, having spent too long stuck in the same place. My wife and I fell into both categories, and after searching around most of southern England, we recently ended up moving less than a mile from where we had been. It’s a temporary berth – a street…