Media appearances


Radio NZ: Baby busy-bodies: the same old sexist story (19 January)

Our prime minister is going to become possibly only the second elected head of state to give birth while in office, following Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in the 90s.

She and her partner have a plan to manage this, and it involves a short period off work for her, during which time the deputy prime minister will be acting PM, as is entirely normal and proper.

This sets an amazing example of what working and family life should be for everyone: not two conflicting priorities that have to be “balanced” but two parts of a whole, complex, fulfilling life.

Radio NZ: Dropping an anvil on sexism: it had to be Oprah (9 January)

Oprah had to be the person to make this speech.

Her position in Hollywood, in US television and culture, is unassailable. Her reputation as a performer and influencer and her freedom to say what she wants without risking her career or future prospects were critical factors allowing her to speak.

Giving the speech as she received the Cecil B DeMille award meant no one could say “who are you to tell us what’s wrong with our industry and what needs to change?”


Radio NZ: ‘Revenge porn’: putting women in their place (17 November)

There’s no easy fix. But we must begin by looking beyond the individual stories to the toxic attitudes which hold women hostage to impossible standards of beauty, sexuality, and reputation; and ensure that the only people who feel shamed by “revenge porn” are the cowardly weasels who perpetuate it.

Radio NZ: After the sigh of relief, time to set a decisive course (20 October)

For those of us on the left, the temptation will be to down tools and do whatever we can to support Ardern. Our instinct will be to look beyond the first three years, to set the course for a two- or three- or, gods be good, a four-term Labour-led government. See the big picture! It won’t happen overnight but it will happen!

I caution against that.

Radio NZ: The Morning After (24 September)

On NBR’s Inquest panel, 8 September 2017

Radio NZ: I will remember Metiria Turei differently (10 August)

I will remember that as soon as someone – a Māori woman who survived poverty and didn’t forget where she came from – said ‘This is fundamentally wrong, and we must do better,’ she was finished.

Newstalk ZB: Green Party slipping in polls can’t be solely blamed on Turei – expert (10 August)

Radio NZ: Labour’s last-minute leader change: how did we get here? (1 August)

The prevailing myth of Labour Party strategy since Helen Clark has been that we (for I can’t deny I am, indeed, a Labour Party Insider) must “look like a party ready to govern”. And this has translated to buying into the proper, grown-up, governmental ways of doing things – promising endless reviews or well-costed schemes.

It doesn’t inspire people. It doesn’t feel like a real alternative. The proof of the pudding is in the polls.

The Spinoff: Enough bullshit. After all these years the Pike River families deserve answers (1 May)

It’s infuriating because it’s so simple. When a mine explodes, you go in to find out why. When a crime happens, you investigate the crime scene. When 29 men die in a New Zealand workplace, someone has to be held accountable. It’s the only right and proper thing to do. But it hasn’t been done.

Overland: In New Zealand, where abortion is still a crime (19 April)

Abortion is one of those issues you don’t talk about. It’s icky. It’s been easy to overlook the patronising bureaucracy those who are pregnant have to navigate. It’s been easy to say the status quo is fine because we never hear anything to the contrary.

Morning Report: Under 45s discuss pros and cons of raising pension age (7 March)


At Overland: This is what solidarity looks like 

Think piece after think piece tells us that the Left has failed to appeal to the white working class. We have done this, apparently, by talking about certain things or ideas that are … what? Not relevant to the lives of working people? Don’t directly benefit those people? It doesn’t make sense. Equality benefits everyone. Lifting up others lifts us all.