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May 2022

By 9 April 2022August 7th, 2023Issue, North&South


The young Dorian Saker. Photo: Courtesy of Nicola Saker

The Forever Files

In a personal history, Nicola Saker writes of the startling discoveries in her father’s SIS file. 

By Nicola Saker

Illustration by Rachel Salazar
Illustration: Rachel Salazar.

Happiness by the Numbers

How does New Zealand account for wellbeing, who invented it — and how are we measuring up?

By Tobias Buck

Lizzie in Rotorua Hospital
Rotorua Hospital. All photos courtesy of Lizzie Marvelly. 

Bad Births

The singer describes the terrifying ordeal of her first birth — and asks, are our maternity services failing new parents?

By Lizzie Marvelly 

Avondale diary captured on film by Tim D
Avondale dairy. Photo: Tim D 

Another Day in Avondale

A Photo Essay by Tim D.

Four Corners

Inside Thames School of Mines and Mineralogical Museum
As mining declined, the subjects taught were diversified, offering courses in agricultural science, engineering, mechanical drawing and mathematics, as well as accepting female students. Photo: Grant Sheehan.

National Treasures

A regular peek inside some of our country’s most fascinating small museums. This month is the Thames School of Mines. 

By Gabi Lardies

Flagging Concerns

Two flags most readily associated with Māori sovereignty were seen flying at the Parliament protests — what were they doing waving next to white supremacist symbols? 

By Gabi Lardies

An Opera We Live Today

Interesting news from around the world and how it involves Aotearoa. This month: Nixon and China. 

By Peter Bale

We Can Build It

Engineering feats in New Zealand mapped out. 

By Simone Momberg

Culture Etc.

Beans fermenting under banana and palm leaves.
Beans fermenting under banana and palm leaves. Photo: iStock.

The Sweet Science of Chocolate

New Zealand’s craft chocolate scene is thriving — but how does an artisanal bar make its way from tree to our eager hands? 

By Laurie Winkless

About Town: Reefton

The West Coast town where mining is still king. 

By Gregor Thompson

The Grapevine

Dry River: In name and practice, this Martinborough vineyard stands out. 

By Tobias Buck

The Art of Giving

The story of how public art galleries get their collections can be as fascinating as the works themselves.

By Thomas McLean


Paul Little on Noelle McCarthy’s new memoir, conversations with queer New Zealanders, the science of surfaces, a definitive collection of contemporary Māori art, How I Wrote with Fiona Kidman and more.


Former Prime Minister Walter Nash enters the Kremlin 1937–1939.
Former Prime Minister Walter Nash enters the Kremlin 1937–1939. Photo: Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.


Crosswords and quiz by Graeme Wilson.

Things to…

. . . watch, eat, hear, see and do this month.


On our contradictory, fluctuating relationship with Russia through the decades. 

By Scott Hamilton

The National Gallery

Starring the work of a non-professional artist each month. 

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