Ten years of Pure Heroine
Also: reviews are in from the first ever Megapod
Kia ora and welcome to The Weekend brought to you by Coffee Supreme. It’s been the week of political profiles on The Spinoff and I for one am extremely here for it. Profiles are an excellent opportunity to get a sense of the wholeness of a person, what they bring to politics from their previous lives. I had a really fascinating time following Greens candidate Lan Pham around Christchurch for a week to understand how she ended up with a near-certain-to-get-in list placing. Elsewhere around the motu, Charlotte Muru-Lanning visited Hāwera to meet Te Pāti Māori’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, Joel MacManus interviewed former Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, running for the Greens from Wairarapa, and Stewart Sowman-Lund talked to National MP Matt Doocey about mental health care.
-Shanti Mathias, staff writer
Ten years ago, Lorde’s first EP, Pure Heroine, was released. “I remember having this feeling about Royals, and about Lorde – like this one was going to be different, much more consequential than a typical local music story,” says Spinoff founder Duncan Greive. “I pitched an idea to Universal, her record label, of her just doing one story, with complete access – over months – to her life leading up to the release of Pure Heroine, to really try and understand what made this 16-year-old tick. The resulting story [originally published in Metro in 2013] is the longest feature I’ve written and easily the hardest I’ve worked on anything.” He’s republished the story on The Spinoff today. “It feels like a good way to remember that incredible cultural moment, 10 years on. I know it will never happen to me again, but am grateful that it happened at all.”
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“There’s a flash of dark rectangular sunglasses, a moko kauae, and that recognisable sleek jet-black ponytail,” writes Charlotte Muru-Lanning in this profile of Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer. “She’s squeezing me in between commitments at a tangihanga at her marae, Pariroa Pā, and multiple incoming phone calls (her ringtone: Dr Dre’s ‘Still D.R.E.’).” Ngarewa-Packer is leading a reinvigorated party, and looks likely to win her electorate seat of Te Tai Hauāuru. “We can’t be who we were in the last era,” Ngarewa-Packer says. “There was a lot of time spent trying to reidentify ourselves, reposition ourselves; most importantly, to remind ourselves why a Māori movement is really important.”
Number of the week: 12 hours of podcasting
Spinoff editor-at-large Toby Manhire attempted a spectacle like no other with a live 12-hour version of Spinoff podcast Gone by Lunchtime on Wednesday, basically reinventing radio. You can marvel at Toby’s ability to interview people coherently for 12 hours here. And here are some out-of-context comments from the livestream to give you a taste of the chaos. “What a thing we have witnessed today.” “Was waiting all day for the Hutt Valley burn.” “He’s spreading mojo like patient zero.” “This is music I will have at my wedding.” “Duncan’s chain is in the building.” To be enlightened at least somewhat, you can watch the livestream or look forward to segments of the Megapod appearing in the Gone by Lunchtime feeds.
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Hera Holden: Does wanting to be treated like a princess make me a bad feminist?
A reader writes in to The Spinoff’s advice column, wondering if longing for her partner to give her flowers and plan dates is at odds with her feminist values. Hera stand-in Madeleine Holden replies: “Liberal feminism has been part of the dominant moral framework your whole life. If, deep in your guilty princess soul, you find this all a bit dull and unromantic – if you’re pining for a simpler time, when men swept women off their feet and knew their way around a horse – that’s not a hanging offence. However erroneously you want to be taken care of, however bad your feminism is, however addled your brain is by TikTok, and however guilty, clammy, embarrassing and dark your desires might be, talk to your boyfriend about all of it.”
Want Hera’s very solid advice? Email email@example.com!
Youth Wings comes to an end with a bang (a debate)
It’s the end of the second season of Youth Wings, the Spinoff’s video series about the young members of political parties, which is a glorious mix of everyday responsibilities and legislative passion. Here’s one moment I enjoyed from each of the five episodes, which culminate in the debate linked above. Young Nat Dallas Kete jokes about how her relationship with a fellow party member may contribute to the institution’s success. Young Greens member Lily Chen goes door-knocking in neon-green hi-vis. Young Act leader Ollie Murphy gets schooled by a familiar face in his debate practice. Keegan Langeveld from Young NZ First talks about the impact his premature birth had on his family. And Jas McIntosh from Young Labour seeks lots of reassurance before giving a speech about increasing support for neurodivergent people.
Very thoughtful profile of Mick Hall, the former RNZ journalist who edited stories about world affairs in ways that were labelled “pro-Kremlin garbage”
Listen to the complete season of Dear Jane now!
Climate change means more fungal infections and we’re probably not prepared
Why kelp forests are so threatened by warming water
Imagine if Winston Peters had followed through with his desire to be a chef!
Actually, Dan Carter’s new book has some good advice
Gabi Lardies wants a garden. She’ll have to fight the landlords.
Alex Casey (non-celebrity) spends a night on Celebrity Treasure Island, and the rumours about the food are true :(
Always interesting to see perspectives on housing inequity from overseas, like this photo-essay of damp apartments in Mumbai and residents with no other choice
What you need to know about the election race in Nelson
Why no-cause evictions are bad for tenants and ultimately landlords too