Up the Wahs: A hunt for the creator
Where did it come from? Where will it go?
Kia ora and welcome to The Weekend: the newsletter featuring the best links from The Spinoff and around the internet and excellent coffee to go with it from Coffee Supreme. A dispatch from my week as a not-really-political-journalist meeting lots of potential politicians in Otautahi: I am beset by the surreal feeling that maybe everyone is a politician? I’ve been interviewing politicians in cafes and houses, watching them make gelato and launch political campaigns; it’s hard not to look at anyone on the street and wonder if they have political ambitions too. I’m going to try to look at lots of articles I didn’t write and maybe also touch grass this weekend to rid myself of this weird feeling.
-Shanti Mathias, staff writer
There’s been a lot of Warriors content lately which is partially because the battler team is actually doing very well in the current competition but also because of an increasingly catchy phrase: Up the Wahs. Duncan Greive investigated who coined it.
“The most fun and absurd part of all the reporting was just calling every vaguely Warriors-connected person in my contact book to ask them a tiny handful of very basic questions,” he told me. “There’s just something inherently silly and enjoyable about calling the Mad Butcher and having him answer on the third ring, ‘Sir Peter’, and interrogating him about his emotional response to three syllables which are suddenly everywhere, and mean nothing and so, so much at the same time."
Enjoy fresh coffee on the regular. Whatever you want, however you want it, whenever you want it, with free shipping. You can count on us, we’ve been eating coffee for breakfast for 30 years. Treat yourself or someone else.
Tara Ward has written extensively about advertising in the past, and the cultural obsessions advertising can create. This week she crowns some of the most beloved characters from the ongoing storylines of New Zealand advertising. Some are recent, like Tina from Turners, and others are age-old classics.
“The Mainland Cheese blokes: Good things do take time, and these heartwarming Mainland cheese ads were a calming balm in a hectic world. A soaring musical soundtrack, some stunning Central Otago scenery and those gravelly-voiced, gentle blokes who simply wanted to make good cheese – and some even better cheese puns. Delicious.”
Policy.nz is for being informed when you vote
When writing a profile of the Ilam electorate this week I talked to a number of uni students who had absolutely no idea who they were going to vote for. “I don’t think I’m going to vote, because I think it should be left to people who have done their research,” one student, Mezze, told me. Policy.nz is a tool for people who don’t know where to start their research. “Making Policy.nz does weird things to your brain — I can't say it's healthy spending hours and hours reviewing the backwaters of parties' manifestoes, but somebody's got to do it,” Ollie Neas, one of the people behind the website, told me. “One thing that's struck me this time around is the huge difference in the amount of policies released between the parties. Smaller parties in parliament, i.e. ACT and the Greens, release a superabundance of policies, while National and Labour tend to rely on a few key promises or emphasise other factors, like leadership.”
Join The Spinoff Members
“Love your work. It’s made engaging with the news a much more rewarding experience.” Martin, Spinoff member since 2022
If, like Martin, you love what we do and want to support us, please consider becoming a member today. Already a member? Thank you, your support means the world to us.
The premise of play Boom Shankar is absurd and funny and instantly compelling: the protagonist has attended BDSM (the Bomb Defusal School of Manakau) and is faced with his first challenge. As the show plays at Q Theatre, Sam Brooks talks to co-creators Aman Bajaj and Bala Murali Shingade about their process. Initially just a five-minute comedy monologue, the show has been expanded as part of efforts to get more South Asian voices into New Zealand’s comedy scene. “It’s a zany, wacky show but beneath that is a real wholesome heart,” he says. “That’s what we’ve really been hunting for in rehearsals,” says new director Ahi Karunaharan. I appreciated this practical glimpse into how new theatre gets made in Aotearoa.
Art Work: How composer Victoria Kelly makes musical sense of a noisy world
I am loving The Spinoff’s Hot Seats series where different writers get to visit interesting electorate races around the country to find out what is happening at each one. (And not just because I had a great time writing one of the profiles!) Wellington editor Joel MacManus visits Rongotai, the electorate around the capital’s airport, where the Greens’s Julie Anne Genter is running a two-tick campaign against former councillor Fleur Fitzsimmons for Labour and migrant community advocate Karuna Mutha for National. “The Greens sense a real opportunity in Rongotai to do something the party has managed only twice in its entire history: win an electorate seat,” MacManus writes. Held by Labour candidates since its creation, the strong ground campaign means this seat might be highly competitive in 2023.
Gone by Lunchtime: gelato, robots, pigeons and a campaign in full swing
Weekend watching: Youth Wings season two returns!!!
FYI: you (probably) don’t need to pay for covid tests
How did the tiny home movement, which began as a countercultural response to consumerism, become something that half your Instagram feed is partaking in and some are using as a way to make hundreds of dollars a night on Airbnb?
Get the look: Nicola Willis on the tiles
A beautiful profile of writer Shane McCrae reflecting on his childhood experience of kidnapping
Profiling Te Tau Hauāuru, a huge electorate that could go down to the wire
ACC’s coverage of birthing injuries should include babies who are injured during birth
OK this exploration of the world of the Guardian’s Experience column was very fun
So many beautiful images from scientific photography in this story!
Is focusing on individual advice stopping us from preventing online scams in the first place?
Podcast corner: listen to writer Janhavi Gosavi’s amazing feature about Wellington Live in podcast form!
Carl Nixon is determined to finish Ulysses this time
How it feels to become a meme
Revealing the secret to the cursed NZ immigration hold music
You should be using Tuimato sauce!