New Zealand Listener Issue 49 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
the right to be wrong

I doubt many people know the name Evelyn Beatrice Hall. Plenty of people, though, are familiar with at least one of her phrases: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The English writer was not describing her own personal philosophy, but attempting to illustrate the beliefs of that famous French wit Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire. In doing so, she seems to have struck a chord that has continued to reverberate long after her death. I can’t help wondering, however, whether this principle will survive another century. Although New Zealand is now a much more tolerant, and much more interesting, place than it was a few decades ago, we still seem to be grappling with the complexities of censorship. To misquote Groucho…

11 min
staggering differences

My heart goes out to Margaret Chung and Kat Thomas who are raising children with disabilities (“Shut in & burnt out”, November 20). The lack of resources/funding, absence of political affirmation and paucity of community support have been ongoing issues since the 1990s. In the 1990s, I was a service reviewer for disabled children on both sides of the fence, ie, Ministry of Health-funded and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). I discovered the difference in quality and access between the two was staggering. Children and their parents receiving resources from ACC got all the bells and whistles whereas MoH-funded children with the same symptoms caused by genetic malfunction were definitely the poor relations. Ministry-funded children lacked access and resources, which put a huge strain on their parents, with a very high divorce rate…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Sorrel Bovett, Kerikeri FINALISTS Caption: US President lacks vision. – Marie Curran, Dunedin President Joe Biden: “Oh no! I bet that’s what’s-his-name from downunder wanting to know what the ‘A’ in Aukus stands for.” – Derek Tovey, Auckland Biden: “Hang on, Jess. Jason, you first, then Jess, you next, and Barry, I’ll come back to you.” – Hans Zindel, Palmerston North Biden: “Okay, you hide and I’ll seek. 1, 2 … what comes next?” – Philip Sherrell, Whakatāne Caption: In a rare fit of pique, President Joe Biden points the finger at one of Washington’s press corps. – Dean Donoghue, Pāpāmoa Beach Biden: “Don’t tell me it’s Scott Ardern from Australia!” – Kevin Boyce, Raumati Beach Biden: “Eeny, meeny, miny … what comes after miny?” – Robert Morey, Dunedin Biden: “Truly, I don’t see an elephant in the…

1 min
quips & quotes

“Lockdown has actually reminded me of being on the dole.”– Musician Noel Gallagher in Mojo magazine“It’s like Mel Gibson – he ebbs and flows and because of a few idiots out there, we’re stuck with some form of him forever.”– Stephen Colbert sees similarities between Covid-19 and Mel Gibson“I would never have thought it was possible to go back and remake my previous work, uncovering lost art and forgotten gems along the way, if you hadn’t emboldened me. Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours.”– Taylor Swift on the re-release of her album Red, giving the singer legal ownership of her own music“A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove you don’t need it.”– Bob Hope“There must be…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which of these games originated in East Asia and is also known by the names janken and rochambeau? ❑ Noughts and crosses ❑ Pea-knuckle ❑ Rock paper scissors ❑ Backgammon 2. Which film includes the memorable quote: “Are you not entertained?” ❑ Field of Dreams ❑ Gladiator ❑ The Truman Show ❑ Boogie Nights 3. Which one of these children’s book series is spelt correctly? ❑ Doctor Doolittle ❑ The Berenstain Bears ❑ Madelline ❑ The Adventures of Asterisk 4. Which gorge divides the Tararua and Ruahine ranges? ❑ Hokitika Gorge ❑ Manawatū Gorge ❑ Karangahake Gorge ❑ Ngauranga Gorge 5. What colour are “black box” flight recorders from aircraft usually painted? ❑ Pink ❑ Black ❑ Orange ❑ White 6. To which family of birds do kookaburras belong? ❑ Drongos ❑ Crows ❑ Lyrebirds ❑ Kingfishers 7. What is the only one of Shakespeare’s plays with an English town or city in its title? 8. What is another name…

3 min
the artful dodger

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.”-- Otto von Bismarck When French President Emmanuel Macron in November called Australia’s Prime Minister a liar, it appeared a gift to Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese, who is looking to bookend his quarter-century in Parliament with a win at the forthcoming election. After all, who better than a world leader of Macron’s standing to polish the notion that Scott Morrison is untruthful in a manner beyond the professional marketer he was before he became a politician. When approached by Australian reporters over the cancellation of France’s A$90 billion contract to build Canberra’s new submarines, Macron was asked if he felt Morrison had lied to him. “I don’t think, I know,” snapped the still-smarting French leader. Malcolm Turnbull, the…