Conflict of interest concerns over lobbyist turned chief of Jacinda Ardern's staff

When GJ Thompson took leave from his lobbying firm to act as the prime minister's chief of staff, he remained a director of the firm and his profile stayed in prime position on its website. How serious is the appearance of a conflict of interest?


UMR Research survey conducted mostly before the National leadership contest began puts the polarising MP in the lead – but only slightly.

The third instalment of Peter Wells’ diary of life with cancer, republished from his private Facebook with permission.


The Best Of

With Tova O'Brien and Jessica Mutch's recent promotions, the leading editors in the press gallery are now all women. Madeleine Chapman asks four of them whether that matters, and about the broader state of play in 2018.

Who is bigger and badder than the banks? Apple. The tech giant is slowly capturing the mobile payments market – but is it good for consumers?

As founder of a multi-million-dollar private military and security company that operated in Iraq, Mark Mitchell needs to tells us where he stands on war-for-profit, argues Daniel Couch. Mark Mitchell’s announcement …


NZME and Stuff are working together wherever they can, regardless of what the watchdog and high court have to say about it.

Gareth Shute crunches the numbers on who is the most streamed here and abroad – and asks why the two don't always match.

As founder of a multi-million-dollar private military and security company that operated in Iraq, Mark Mitchell needs to tells us where he stands on war-for-profit, argues Daniel Couch. Mark Mitchell’s announcement …

Mark Mitchell and Steven Joyce have added their names to the ballot for the contest to succeed Bill English as party leader. With a week till MPs make their decision, here are five observations on the race

The National MP's leadership bid has put his broad Kiwi accent back in the spotlight. Henderson-Massey local board chair and 'proud Westie' Shane Henderson thinks we should all lay off the jokes.


As the contest unfolds, expect deals, departures and a determination to keep ructions away from public sight, writes former National government adviser Zach Castles.

Manhire and Morris condense the National Party rivals' messages

Alex Casey recaps the first political speed date on Seven Sharp, wherein Jeremy Wells wooed Judith Collins in the TVNZ foyer.

The Real Pod assembles to dissect the week in New Zealand pop culture and real life, with special thanks to Nando’s.

From Close to Home to Shortland Street to Westside, New Zealand has a long and storied history of brilliant TV. Sam Brooks takes a look at the best local shows that you can stream on Lightbox right now.


With the coffin lid closing on the first season of The Casketeers, Alex Casey looks back at some of the greatest comedy moments.

A resurgent New Zealand pro wrestling scene is seeking another shot at TV stardom. Jamie Wall heads to Mt Roskill to watch the return of the Bushwhackers, and the generation they’ve inspired.

Who is bigger and badder than the banks? Apple. The tech giant is slowly capturing the mobile payments market – but is it good for consumers?

You plug in your phone at night, why not the car as well? Gareth Shute describes the joys (and dramas) of being an EV owner.

What does it mean to be a social enterprise today? Is it about profit, purpose, or both? Steven Moe takes us through the various definitions.


Imagine you didn't get paid for a month or two for your work. Big businesses have been using this tactic to keep cash in the bank – but how long do our corporates take to pay? Rebecca Stevenson investigates.

Every week we ask a local business or product to introduce themselves in eight simple takes. This week we talk to Harpoon Cold Brew's Arjun Haszard who's in the business of brewing one of the trendiest coffees out there this summer.

Last night David Farrier took himself to see one of his non-musical heroes, X-Files star David Duchovny, play music. Here's what happened.

Political rap/rock supergroup Prophets of Rage are heading to Melbourne's Download Festival and a sideshow in Auckland (be in to win tickets and flights to that show – and five more Download sideshows – below!).

Sam Wicks talks to SWIDT rapper Spycc about the Onehunga group's new EP and life after Stoneyhunga.


Gareth Shute crunches the numbers on who is the most streamed here and abroad – and asks why the two don't always match.

Rock revivalists The D4 have reformed for a final hurrah at Auckland City Limits and the closing of the Kings Arms. To help prepare you for ACL, The Spinoff retraces their career in 106 seconds.

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders have serious food allergies, and hundreds are hospitalised each year, often because hospitality staff have mistakenly served them something they’re allergic to. A new law was supposed to stop that happening – so why has so little changed?

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, Alex Casey cracks open a can of horror in Fanta's new Jelly Fizz drink.

Police and council are trying to throttle the life out of Dunedin’s student culture. We sent a reporter down to experience its exhilarating chaos before it gets too boring. This story …


Trans academic Lexie Matheson on she and her community's complex relationship with the police.

Undercover assholes wreck your self-esteem in some way, shape or form. But they're also hard to spot, so how do you uncover one? Lauren Keenan gives her tips on how to look past the disguise.

Parenting when you’re struggling can be bloody hard – and finding fuel in your own tank to fuel your kids’ can be even harder. Lee-Anne Duncan mets a Lower Hutt mum who’s thankful for Bellyful.

In the third story in a series celebrating the amazing things young New Zealanders do every day, a young girl's love of soap – and owls – has become a business success story. Angela Cuming spoke to Ava Heath-Williams about her start up. 

Puberty: if you're parenting a teen or pre-teen, it's inescapable. Mum-of-three Emmaline Matagi gives the lowdown on how puberty has rocked her household.


Spoiler alert: it’s by not having any kids in Early Childhood Education centres. Jai Breitnauer looks at whether 20 hours free in New Zealand is really free.

As science, technology, engineering and maths become more integrated into our world, a corresponding emphasis is being placed on teaching our kids about these topics. Part of this has been a huge rise in educational toys over the past decade. Baz Macdonald investigates.

Some would have you believe that charter schools are the only ones transforming education for Māori and Pasifika children. That's just not true, argues Laures Park.

Literally tens of people lined the streets to watch the opening ceremony of The Bachelor Winter Games, which debuted in the US this week. And then New Zealand appeared.

In the final installment of our series on the future of Māori health, former Ministry of Health advisor and policy analyst Gabrielle Baker sums up the core values needed to make big changes to our health system.


Karaka berries are a good source of protein and carbohydrates but can be toxic if not prepared properly. Rongoā and traditional healing practices tutor Donna Kerridge shares the many excellent attributes of this beautiful berry.

An education system must work for all. Let’s deal with the issues rather than wholesale abandon the Kura Hourua concept, argues Carrie Stoddart-Smith.

The future of Auckland Art Gallery's funding is in the hands of the council as it divides up its 10-year budget. Viv Beck, Heart of the City chief executive, wants them to fix the funding gap for the sake of Auckland’s cultural soul.

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, we explain why swimming at some of Auckland's best beaches might just be a terrible idea.

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, Don Rowe spells out whether or not ratepayers are funding a fisting festival. 


Desperate to escape the high-summer hell of the Spinoff's non-air conditioned office, Toby Morris spends four hours trying to get some work done onboard the blissfully chilly Outer Link bus.

On Thursday Auckland Transport released a draft budget that caused an immediate uproar – and then Phil Twyford said it was all a mistake. Auckland councillor Richard Hills explains why the draft budget was so bad, and what he intends to do about it.

With Tova O'Brien and Jessica Mutch's recent promotions, the leading editors in the press gallery are now all women. Madeleine Chapman asks four of them whether that matters, and about the broader state of play in 2018.

A new documentary released by VICE today reveals an underreported public help crisis. Don Rowe talks to assistant producer James Borrowdale about Syn City, an in-depth look at New Zealand's synthetic cannabinoid epidemic. 

NZME and Stuff are working together wherever they can, regardless of what the watchdog and high court have to say about it.


Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website. 

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website.

The latest addition to the Metal Gear series, the non-canon zombie game Metal Gear Survive, is out tomorrow. The series has been around for an incredible 31 years – and oh boy, the things we've seen.

Samsara is a kicky, inventive platformer from Auckland game studio Marker Games that harkens back to the not-so-long-ago likes of Limbo and Braid. Adam Goodall reviews.

Tacky aesthetics and an overly faithful reproduction of modern mixed martial arts holds back what is easily the best UFC game yet, writes Don Rowe. 


With the advent of trophies – and online gaming – we’ve also seen the decline of cheats. Sam Brooks remembers a time in gaming when cheats were seen as nothing more than a bit of fun, and why that's changed.

The World Health Organisation added gaming disorder to their classification guide last year. Baz Macdonald explains what the disorder is, and how to recognise if you have it.

Spinoff literary editor Steve Braunias surveys the current state of payments for book reviewing in New Zealand.

A dramatic excerpt from a new memoir by Dave Greenberg from the Westpac rescue helicopter service. Includes kicker.

New verse by Australian writer Eloise Grills.


The week's best-selling titles at Unity Books in Auckland and Wellington.

Two refugees are shut in a small cage and fed through a hole in the wires: Stephanie Johnson reviews The Cage, the claustrophobic, dystopian novel by Lloyd Jones.

Forget bottled water – the new 'health' craze for those who reject tap water is raw, untreated water from rivers and springs. New Zealanders shouldn't need to be told what a terrible idea that is, writes biological scientist Dr Alison Campbell.

The idea that New Zealand's threatened species can somehow safely ‘co-exist’ with the onslaught of introduced predators is irresponsible and untrue, writes the Department of Conservation's Nicola Toki.

From November through to January, a multi-disciplinary team of experts from New Zealand melted a hole through the Ross Ice Shelf to explore the hidden ocean below. Team members Christina Hulbe and Craig Stevens take us through the findings.


Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, the geodesic sphere deposited into space from the east coast of the North Island.

Just how worried should we be about talk around a surge in shark numbers in our shore, and the unexpected visitors to Oriental Bay. Alice Webb-Liddall talks to Riley Elliott. 

The Real Pod assembles to dissect the week in New Zealand pop culture and real life, with special thanks to Nando’s.

Host Simon Pound talks to Jess Daniel of Jess' Underground Kitchen.

The Real Pod assembles to dissect the week in New Zealand pop culture and real life, with special thanks to Nando’s.


Ben Thomas and Toby Manhire assess the English legacy and the contenders to succeed him as National Party leader in this collectible special edition pod.

Simon talks to Gemma and Steve about creating a composting business from the ground up.

It was one of the most critically acclaimed cult shows of the late-00s, and it's coming to Lightbox today. Tara Ward runs down Community's most gloriously wackadoo episodes.

In the 25 years since he first appeared, Beck has left few genres untouched. To help prepare you for ACL, The Spinoff retraces his diverse career in two minutes.

Political rap/rock supergroup Prophets of Rage are heading to Melbourne's Download Festival and a sideshow in Auckland (be in to win tickets and flights to that show – and five more Download sideshows – below!).


The future of Auckland Art Gallery's funding is in the hands of the council as it divides up its 10-year budget. Viv Beck, Heart of the City chief executive, wants them to fix the funding gap for the sake of Auckland’s cultural soul.

Sam Wicks talks to SWIDT rapper Spycc about the Onehunga group's new EP and life after Stoneyhunga.

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