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North & South February 2021

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
North and South Media Ltd
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the editor

As 2020 (thankfully) drew to an end, I kept thinking about how it started, with a catastrophic, unprecedented, premonition of a horrifying new reality. I’m not referring to the pandemic, but to the Australian wildfires, which have somehow receded far down the list of the most shocking things that happened last year. The Australian fires turned summer skies from Christchurch to Auckland a sickly amber and saw our air pollution spike. We were warned to expect more of these long-distance after-effects as climate change causes Australia’s wildfires to become more intense. Yet it’s probably safe to say most of us assumed that New Zealand would not have to contend with the most frightening aspect of that disaster: the fires themselves. Those have always seemed to belong to places with entirely different,…

3 min
featured contributors

Charles Anderson Charles is a multimedia journalist and producer exploring the boundaries of technology and storytelling. His work has appeared in the New York Times and he is a regular contributor to the Guardian. Charles’s cover story is a narrative of the 2019 Pigeon Valley wildfire and the helicopter pilots who helped to fight it. Jared Barton Jared is a 21-year-old amateur photographer from Nelson. He took a photo of the 2019 Pigeon Valley fire while perched on a fence post, close to where the blaze was spreading, making sure not to get in the way of fire crews rushing to the scene. We thought the image was so striking that we decided to put it on the cover of the magazine. Sally Blundell As a resident of Christchurch, Sally has written extensively about the…

2 min
four corners

MARTINBOROUGH Army of Darkness A stargazer called Tom Love. A heroic effort to restore the beauty of the clear night sky. And a mysterious organisation far, far away that has the final say on all matters of lightness and darkness. What sounds like something straight from the pages of a fantasy novel is happening in the Wairarapa right now. For months, about a dozen volunteers have been working on a voluminous application to turn the region into an International Dark Sky Reserve. The certification, which is awarded by the International Dark-Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, would boost the Wairarapa’s reputation as a great place for stargazing and put it on a par with world-famous Lake Tekapo in the South Island. The Wairarapa’s army of darkness — which is formally known as the Wairarapa Dark…

1 min
high prices

New Zealand is hooked on methamphetamine. There’s plenty of it — most of it comes from Southeast Asia and North America — and it’s got cheaper in recent years. A Massey University survey in 2019 found that the median price for a gram was $500, with little regional variation. But when the country went into lockdown last year, something interesting happened. Due to border closures, less meth made it into the country. Overall consumption sank dramatically. Users complained about quality. And because travel within the country became much more difficult, the price in the regions — and particularly on the South Island — spiked. Meaning: meth was still very affordable anywhere near Auckland Airport. But people in Christchurch paid through the nose. (Sources: A response by the New Zealand National Drug Intelligence…

5 min
bards brawl

Neil Miller wrote his first poem when he was eight years old. The poem featured a tip-toeing tiger, and it introduced the expression “tip-paw” to the English language. Almost a decade later, Miller wrote a second poem. Inspired by both William Shakespeare and a very expensive automobile, he composed a sonnet to a girl he fancied: “Shall I compare thee to a Jaguar XJ6? No, for you are not British racing green and you don’t go at 120 miles an hour.” The third and last poem to date was written a couple of months ago when Miller’s employer, the conservative lobbying group the Taxpayers’ Union, asked him to respond to a left-wing critic — and to do so in rhyme. People on opposite ends of the political spectrum quarrel all the…

6 min
down by the river

There’s something endless about the ocean, but the river feels mortal. The Waikato River, haunting, sometimes joyous, makes its way through Hamilton City, and in modern times none of us who live there has much at all to do with it. My dad would take us down to the boat ramp on access visits, park the car and just look at the river while we sat in the backseat, bored. I feel the pull of it now as somewhere to go in a crisis, or just somewhere to go. Though it can often look brown and full of dead cows, there are days when it’s a sparkling thing that people run alongside, picnic next to. It was an afternoon like this, when the city felt like it was celebrating sunshine, that…