New Zealand Listener Issue 50 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
how the land lies

Watching Groundswell NZ protests around the country, people might think farmers are indeed hard done by and over-regulated. In fact, the sector is booming. Dairy prices are at record highs and horticultural products are demanding high prices in the supermarkets. As for the regulations railed against, they are not only essential but also need strengthening. The regulations of concern to Groundswell are on freshwater, indigenous biodiversity, climate change and the High Country. First, freshwater quality is bad. Many of our rivers, lakes and groundwaters have unnaturally high levels of nutrients, chemicals, disease-causing pathogens and sediment. This pollution renders many of them unable to sustain aquatic life and unsafe for swimming. The public has been calling on the Government to clean up these waterways. Since 2008, farmer representatives have been working with others in…

11 min
ruffling feathers

Did Michele Hewitson (“Hanging tough”, November 27) and Greg Dixon (The Good Life, November 27) know something that no one else did? Did their Lush Places “pillow talk” lead them to collude and contrive to write about Judith Collins and her imminent “foul/fowl” downfall? Both the article and the column were at once insightful and entertaining. Prophetic even? I was a student at Matamata College in the same year as Judith Collins. She was intelligent, ambitious, studious. She was also ruthlessly competitive, with a condescending malice for those she regarded as inferior. At the time, this could have been dismissed as perhaps the stereotypical teenage girl. Nonetheless, she was not well liked by her peers, which didn’t bother her one bit. It seems the “leopard” (or wyandotte chook?) was not willing…

1 min
caption competition

WINNING CAPTION Hans Zindel, Palmerston North FINALISTS Jimmy Neesham: “Bright side – we did better than England, India, Pakistan and South Africa!”– Mike Lynch, Upper HuttNeesham: “Should have brought the sandpaper.” Kane Williamson: “Yeah. Nah.”– Kate Highfield, HastingsNeesham: “Well, that’s the rub of the green, and gold!”– Alan Belcher, ChristchurchWilliamson: “Tony Greig would say: ‘What a Paine in the Aus!’” – Philip Lynch, Upper Hutt Neesham: “I take my hat offto them. They bowled us over.”– Marie Curran, DunedinWilliamson: “It just wasn’t cricket.” Neesham: “Actually, it was.”– Mike Hamblyn, DunedinNeesham: “We can probably beat the All Blacks.”– Rex McGregor, Auckland…

1 min
quips & quotes

“People are always talking about ‘cancel culture’, but everyone forgets ‘cool story bro culture’ that was toxic!”– Guy Williams“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature.”– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey“In my world, as Pasifika and Māori, aunty has always been a sign of endearment and respect. In our cultures breaking Western formalities is a big sign of respect. If I’m calling you sir or mam I either don’t know you or don’t like you.” – Comedian Joe Daymond tweets a response to a LinkedIn post by Patricia B claiming that it is degrading to call Jacinda Ardern “Aunty”“If Judith Collins is looking for a new job, she’ll be pleased to…

1 min
10 quick questions

1. Which of these creatures is a rodent? ▪ Porcupine ▪ Badger ▪ Hedgehog ▪ Skunk 2. Which of these films does not include scenes shot in New Zealand? ▪ The Last of the Mohicans ▪ Vertical Limit ▪ The World’s Fastest Indian ▪ The Last Samurai 3. True or false? It’s possible to descend Mt Everest from the summit to base camp on skis. ▪ True ▪ False 4. What kind of thing is a numbat? ▪ Rare cloud formation ▪ Marsupial ▪ Slip of the tongue ▪ Useless gadget 5. Besides Pompeii, which of these cities was also buried by ash (and later rediscovered) in the same eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD? ▪ Carthage ▪ Herculaneum ▪ Ravenna ▪ Atlantis 6. Which of these countries is the world’s biggest producer of wine? ▪ China ▪ France ▪ US ▪ Italy 7. The Hope Diamond is one of the world’s best-known jewels. What colour is it? ▪…

3 min
the covidland blues

Just as the Christmas party season begins, when people crowd together in restaurants, bars, clubs and each other’s houses, a dangerous new strain of this most antisocial of viruses comes knocking at the door. In England, which has been recording among the highest levels of infection in the world, a strange kind of status quo had been established. We’ve grown accustomed to nearly a couple of hundred deaths a day from Covid, many of them people who rejected vaccination. But in spite of new cases running at more than 40,000 a day, hospitals have not been overwhelmed – other than by trying to catch up with the six-million-long waiting list. There was growing confidence throughout October and November that we were coming to the end of this marathon illness, that the near-mythical…