Sam Neill in Uncharted territory with new series

It's the next morning and Neill is dutifully doing his media one-on-ones at the Hilton. He was staring out to sea when Canvas arrived in the room with the Antipodes sparkling water and mini Whittaker's chocolate bars. Neill has claimed Cook was "a hard man to read". But what to make of this actor who, on the one hand travels with miniature plastic pink pigs he captions for laughs on social media — and on the other champions big and serious causes. Neill has spoken out against cubicle dairy farming in the Mackenzie Country. He recently suggested a boycott of Cadbury's should its Dunedin factory closure go ahead. He is appalled at the Australian Government's decision to detain 1600 asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea.

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Do our relationship property sharing laws need a radical shake-up?

“Artist Bill* owned a house, whose walls were hung with a lifetime worth of art – both his own and gifts from other artists. When Emma* moved in, she brought a bike and cash.

When they split…Emma claimed the $350,000 art collection in the house was joint property, despite pre-dating her. Bill argued the collection was of such sentimental value it was a taonga and should be exempt, but the judge found the artworks had been used as "household ornaments" and were therefore family chattels.

“The judge said equal sharing would be "repugnant to justice".

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From class clowns to stand-up stars: Is this New Zealand's next generation of comic greats?

The girl with the blonde hair and the glasses is standing halfway up a fire escape in a gloriously graffitied carpark, staring into the morning greyness as a group of teenagers congeals on the concrete below.

Amelia de Farias is one of seven Class Comedians this year. They've got a month to learn how to be funny on demand, before performing their six-minute sets at the Comedy Festival. Those six minutes launched former Class Comedians such as Rose Matafeo and Rhys Mathewson into successful careers. Today could be the start of something.

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Why renters won’t complain about landlords

Melissa understands why few do what she did. “You need that reference to get into your next property. It doesn’t matter how badly things have gone and what the landlord’s done and whether it was legal or not - you do need that reference. It’s terrifying because landlords and letting agents, they’re the ones that hold the power - they’re the ones that decide if you’ve got a roof over your head.”

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I founded Happy Cow Milk to make a difference in dairying. I failed.

I founded Happy Cow Milk to make a difference. But last week I had to admit to myself that I failed.
I made the decision to shut down the business and I faced the hard truth that I haven’t really made any difference at all. So what went wrong?
In a country awash with milk – with so much invested – you’d think a few small changes would be easy. And you’d be wrong.

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Half a million hectares - sold

"It's a completely ridiculous process," he says about tenure review.

"First of all, the land should be retained as public land, but if there's going to be huge profits made it should come back to the state, the people who own this land.

"This has happened behind closed doors, as far as I can see. They're not looking at the interests of the public or the wider country at large."

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Hello darkness: Peter Wells on finding himself in the cancer ward

It’s Douglas’s birthday. I have a small present to give him then some other presents on the following day when, for practical reasons we decide to hold a small birthday. Again for practical reasons – I can no longer really manage a cooked meal – we will have Indian takeaways and some Moet. This is not how we expected it to be. But this is how it has turned out.

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Peter Posa: The best and loneliest guitar player there ever was

Talking about his apparent mastery of the guitar, he said, "Nothing ever pleased me. I had such high expectations it was ridiculous. I just couldn't reach them. It had a bad affect on my health. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I had stomach ulcers, hernias... A perfectionist who is also a soft, sensitive person, a person like that is looking for trouble."

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The New Zealand Project offers a bold, urgent, idealistic vision. I found it deeply depressing

Most of these conversations are issues on which the progressive left has convinced itself, but no one else. What Harris is really calling for here is for academics and left-wing intellectuals to transform politics by talking about things that they’ve already been talking about, for years and sometimes decades, with little effect, and for everyone else to just embrace all of those values and agree with them about everything. It’s an argument against the broken status quo that perfectly replicates it.

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Mike King and the importance of being imperfect

I must admit, the guy said some stuff that made me wince; gender stereotypes in experiences of depression, dismissal of colonisation, inequality and racism as reasons for suicidal thoughts – it was like a virtue-signalling bloodbath in my head. But according to Mike, 155 young people killed themselves last year. Nothing I've done with my ‘correct’ opinions and appropriately reasoned arguments has contributed to shifting that – but I know Mike has.

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Operation Ark: Inside NZ's $50m designer drug ring

This is a story about science experiments and a cast of colourful characters playing a risky game of cat-and-mouse with New Zealand's drug laws.
A story of "protection" money, clandestine meetings and bugged Skype conversations.
Of boxes of cash stacked in the lounge of a pensioner's home in the North Shore, later laundered through companies in Hong Kong and Thailand.
Money made from "designer drug" pills. Millions and millions of pills.

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A baby is a miracle

And this little gurgling helpless bundle, the book says, will one day crawl and talk, but really how will that ever happen? And then she is warbling and burbling and it's the prettiest trilling and gargling of random syllables and then she is crawling and she is walking and she is talking and you move through it all like a car through fog, forgetting how different things were just days and weeks before, and it is happening at jet speed but it is also like tunneling to Australia with a teaspoon, and you think this particularly as you stand behind her in a swing, pushing, again and again and again. 

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Shortland Street: The short life and tragic death of Neville Goodwin

Neville doesn't have a name yet. He barely exists. He's just a difficult patient who'll have his morphine nicked by Deb, then die at her hands. (As Fleming says, "Everyone loves a killer nurse.")
What if, says medical adviser Caroline Restall, "the patient's so irascible that he scratches Mo, and Deb fixes Mo up?" (This is cunning, as it simultaneously serves the Deb-Mo storyline.)
Fleming: "Yeah, that's sweet."
Trainee storyliner Lily Daubney: "Can he have Alzheimers as well?"
Fleming: "I don't think we need that."

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NZ needs to plant more trees to combat climate change – but what kind and where?

The deluge of logging waste at Loudon farm points to a massive weakness in the country’s plantation forestry system. The so-called “window of vulnerability” is a period of about six years after a radiata crop has been clear-felled, during which the land lies raw, unprotected and at the mercy of rainstorms and cyclones.

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