How it feels to be romantically scammed
We tear ourselves away from the election for our second favourite topic, scams
☕ Kia ora and welcome to The Weekend brought to you by Coffee Supreme. This week there’s a lot of politics, including answers to eternal mysteries like: 🎵Which New Zealand musicians does Marama Davidson have a crush on? 🍩 What is the latest addition to the Chris Hipkins food universe? 🏉 I’ve also heard that there is a Rugby World Cup going on which is good, at least if you’re a former All Black or Taika Waititi who wants to get paid to travel around France. 🤣 You don’t need to know anything about rugby or France or former All Blacks (I don’t) to find this very funny. ⛓️ Okay, on with the links.
-Shanti Mathias, staff writer ⌨️
Scams are, unfortunately, all too common, and they can be devastating. Writer Alison Cutler fell for one: it started with a message from a stranger on Facebook. “I revealed my secrets such as they were, giving him copious details about my life and laying myself open like a lamb to the slaughter – or an ageing ewe to the abattoir,” she writes. All the red flags are obvious in hindsight. “I’m a widow in my mid-sixties, single for over 20 years. Twenty years of tables set for one, no romantic assignations other than with my geriatric cat.” And then this loving stranger asked her for money, and it felt like ice water. “I blocked and reported him on social media: these actions were easy. What wasn’t easy was the realisation that I’d succumbed so easily and wholeheartedly to the transparent deceit of a stranger.” I’ve written in the past that prevalent scams should force us, as a society, to ask urgent questions about why trust matters, and Cutler’s story is a reminder of that.
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Dear Jane is the story of an Auckland mum who, as a 14-year-old, had a secret, sexual relationship with a man from her church 10 years older than her. “I was only allowed to listen to Christian music, I did Bible exams for fun and the only boundaries I pushed were sexual ones with my youth group leader who was a decade older than me. That was the truth, but I wasn’t about to share it,” she writes in introducing the limited series podcast. The first three episodes are out now, and what I particularly appreciated about this is the ability to dive into the social and psychological grey areas, to be aware that this is not an area that has easy answers. It’s meticulously told by producer Noelle McCarthy; it feels like such a luxury to get audio storytelling this good in Aotearoa.
Kia kaha te reo Māori! Many are familiar with the groundbreaking Māori language petition presented to parliament in 1972, but te reo Māori didn’t become an official language of New Zealand until 15 years later, after the Wai 11 claim submitted to the Waitangi tribunal. Airana Ngarewa writes about how te reo Māori was recognised by the state as the taonga it is. “One theme was common among almost every expert witness: the tireless effort it had taken to keep the language alive in the face of sometimes apathetic and other times antagonistic government policy.” Looking at the role of education and broadcasting, as well as the impact of the language being suppressed, the report had to contend with those who said that te reo Māori was going to die out anyway, so making it official would just become a point of contention.
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In 2020, the Northland electorate seat flipped from National to Labour by just 163 votes, an incredibly slim margin. Willow-Jean Prime, now a highly-ranked minister of conservation, youth, associate arts and associate health, had won the seat: she grabs a drink with Stewart Sowman-Lund. Becoming a minister was not a total surprise. “Anybody could fill that gap, there are so many capable people in that team. While I don’t want to be whakahihi [arrogant] about it, I believe that I have worked hard to be where I am and to even be considered for those roles,” she says. Even if Labour doesn’t get back into government, she’ll keep working as a politician. “I was a lawyer before I came to parliament, so I reckon I’d be a pretty good [opposition MP],” she says. “Their job would not be easy.”
Columnist Haimona Gray takes a look at the CVs of various prominent politicians and spots some patterns. If you’re interested in being a left-leaning politician, then get involved in student politics and organising at university under the party banner, then go and work as a political staffer to form bonds that will serve you well in selection processes, then stand for election. If you want to run for National, leave New Zealand in your 20s for a prestigious reason like a corporate job or Ivy League university, then return with your young family and run for the local branch of the party. “No-one should have to abandon a normal 20s experience to become an MP, but it seems to help,” he writes. “The ‘how’ can tell a lot about the seriousness of a candidate.”
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Kieran McAnulty wears jandals, an All Blacks T-shirt and has a greyhound called Zoi. Get the look!
I was very intrigued by the pounamu joystick in this love letter to arcade games
Very helpful and clear explainer about how Māori seats on Auckland Council could work.
Everything you need to understand about Prefu
Why do so many Mormons become YA writers?
Cool wee photo essay about women in occupied Western Sahara removing mines from their land
A reminder that if you want a calm and neutral resource to sort through party policy before the election, policy.nz should be your first port of call.