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 / News & Politics
North & South

North & South

February 2020

North & South is New Zealand’s premier monthly current affairs and lifestyle magazine, specialising in long-form investigative journalism, delivered by award-winning writers and photographers. North & South also showcases New Zealand ingenuity and creativity, explores the country and profiles its people. It is a touchstone of New Zealand life.

New Zealand
Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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12 Issues


3 min.

FOR THE SECOND year running, the Larsons’ impromptu, crowd-avoiding Christmas holiday road trip was a resounding success. On Boxing Day in 2018, when an anticyclone stalled over the middle of the North Island, I found accommodation online in New Plymouth, and Ron and I took off the following day for blissfully uncongested Taranaki. This past December, we left Auckland on the 25th for Ohakune, our halfway stop for a late-booked jaunt to Wellington. (We’d had our family celebration earlier, as my sister was meeting her daughter and daughter’s Aussie boyfriend for a Canberra Christmas and NSW South Coast holiday. I thought buying a P2 Breathe Easy face mask for the trip was a bit extreme until she sent me an alarming video clip from the Kings Highway, with the orange glow…

1 min.
mike white

When North & South senior writer Mike White tramped the Routeburn Track in November, he was thrilled to be joined by several kea while camping one night. “They did the normal thing of investigating the tents, tugging on guy ropes, and sliding down the roof of the shelter,” he says. “A couple of them found a bit of plastic DoC signage and danced off into the forest playing tug-of-war with it. And all the tourists just loved being able to see them so close.” But White’s enjoyment of the kea was tested early the next morning when one landed on his tent just after 5am. “There was this thump and shudder, and I looked out and there was one of them hopping towards the tent again for another go. It took…

1 min.
bravo noel!

Congratulations to North & South contributing writer Noel O’Hare, who won a New Zealand Skeptics’ Bravo Award for his 2019 feature The Psychic Will See You Now (published September 2019; see noted.co.nz or https://bit.ly/38FcQMF). Each year, the NZ Skeptics recognise a number of media professionals and those with a high public profile who have provided “critical analysis and important information on topics of relevance”. Of O’Hare’s winning story, the judges said: “This piece explains how some psychics have moved on from allegedly communicating with the dead to the field of wellness, calling themselves ‘intuitives’ or ‘intuitive healers’. The article particularly highlighted Jeanette Wilson, and reported that in her recent shows she had summoned ‘psychic surgeons’ and that she was promoting a ‘healing powder’. The article also mentioned the work of…

2 min.
the vegetator

SHAWN VENNELL was 17 when he made his first big donation to Greenpeace of $100, no small amount for a teenager in the 80s. Not long after, French agents blew up the Rainbow Warrior. “It felt like my money didn’t go far that day,” he says. More than 30 years later, the father of two – now known as “Vegetator Vennell”– is still putting both money and energy into fuelling his environmental beliefs. Drive between Taupō and the Wairākei BP – a neglected 7km stretch of SH1 decommissioned after the bypass opened – and most weekends you’re bound to see Vennell and some of his fellow volunteers hard at work. The director of a local printing company, he takes very seriously that old motto of planting three trees for each one you…

1 min.
a place to call home

MASOOMA MEHDI, pictured above with her son Aliyaan Abba, lives in east Auckland but was born in Pakistan. Now Aliyaan, who’s 13, is the same age his mother was when she migrated to New Zealand in the 90s. The pair feature in a new eight-part podcast series, Conversations with my Immigrant Parents (in association with RNZ), which retraces threads of culture and identity to home countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, South America and the Pacific Islands. Instead of interviewing the families, co-producers Saraid de Silva Cameron and Julie Zhu allow them space to speak for themselves. It’s an approach that elicits humour, intimacy and emotion, with a parent sometimes sharing a story their adult child has never before heard. Part of the intention was to help each understand the other’s…

3 min.
being in the moment

BEFORE THE merchant (and, let’s be honest, the hoarder) Alexander Turnbull died in 1918, he gifted to “King and Country” his 55,000 volumes of books, pamphlets, periodicals and newspapers, plus thousands of maps, paintings, drawings, clothes, coins, photographs, artworks and other artefacts. He died aged just 49 – likely from complications following a sinus operation. Opened in June 1920, the Alexander Turnbull Library quickly became a large reference, research and heritage archive. Since 1965, it’s technically been a division of the National Library, but even when it moved into the new National Library building in 1987, the Turnbull retained its own separate area and distinct identity. Through donations, bequests, and some purchasing, the Turnbull library now contains millions of items including books, magazines, newspapers, manuscripts, oral history recordings, photographs, paintings and cartoons.…