The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
The Hoon around the week to April 12

The Hoon around the week to April 12

Featuring the podcast of our weekly Hoon live webinar, including co-hosts Bernard Hickey & Peter Bale, with regular guests Robert Patman, Merja Myllylahti & Holly Bennett, plus Patrick Gower
Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: The podcast above features co-hosts Bernard Hickey and Peter Bale, along with regular guests Robert Patman on Gaza and AUKUS II, Merja Myllylahti on AUT’s trust in news report, Awhi’s Holly Bennett on a watered-down voluntary code for lobbyists, plus special guest Patrick Gower on the closure of Newshub.

The six things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote and spoke about via The Kākā and elsewhere for paying subscribers in the last week included:

  1. Chris Bishop rejecting a Hamilton community housing provider’s plea for capital to build 42 new affordable rentals, contrasting with National’s ‘supercharging social housing’ promise in its ‘Going for Housing Growth’ manifesto last year. See more in Thursday’s email.

  2. Christopher Luxon announcing “nine ambitious Government targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders.” Seven would return results to pre-Covid levels and one is adopted from Labour. Only one is newly ambitious: 80% school attendance. See more in Tuesday’s email.

  3. Another opinion poll showing a collapse in the coalition Government’s lead over the Opposition and a further deterioration in Christopher Luxon’s popularity, including that Chris Bishop is now seen as less unpopular than his leader. See more in Wednesday’s email.

  4. Warner Brothers Discovery and TVNZ confirming the sacking of a combined 380 journalists from Newshub and 1News, which represents 21% of the nation’s entire journalist workforce of less than 1,700 gone in one day. See more in Thursday’s email.

  5. The closure of the Sunday and Fair Go programmes meaning the number of dedicated full-time and paid investigative journalists publishing in public has more than halved to less than a dozen in the last six months, including the folding of Stuff’s Circuit team late last year. See more in Thursday’s email.

  6. The Government setting up its own experts group to review the goalposts for farmers to reduce methane emissions by as much as 47% by 2050, effectively side-stepping the Government’s official advisors at the Climate Commission, who said there was no evidence to support such a move. See Monday’s email.

What we talked about on ‘The Hoon’ on Thursday night

In this week’s podcast above of the weekly ‘Hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers at 5pm on Thursday night:

  • 5:00 pm - 5:10 pm -

    and opened the show with a discussion about this week’s loss of 21% of the nation’s journalists.

  • 5.10 pm - 5.20 pm - Peter and Bernard talked about March being the 10th consecutive month of record high temperatures and a 38.5 degrees celcius jump in a temperature measure in Antarctica.1 See more in our weekly climate wrap with

    published earlier today.

  • 5.20 - 5.35 - Peter and Bernard talked with

    talked about US exceptionalism on Gaza, and why it’s complicating the push to include Aotearoa-NZ in AUKUS Pillar Two, which Japan has also now been invited to.

  • 5.35 pm - 5.45 pm - Peter and Bernard talked with the Co-Director of AUT’s Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy, Merja Myllylahti, on the centre’s Trust in News report published this week.

  • 5.45 pm to 5.55 pm - PR and comms firm Awhi’s owner Holly Bennett on a quiet watering down of a voluntary code of conduct for lobbyists detailed by Transparency International here.

  • 5.55 - 6.05 - Paddy Gower on the demise of Newshub confirmed this week.

The Hoon’s podcast version above was produced by Simon Josey.

(This is a sampler for all free subscribers. Thanks to the support of paying subscribers here, I’m able to spread the work from my public interest journalism here about housing affordability, climate change and poverty reduction around in other public venues. I’d love you to join the community supporting and contributing to this work with your ideas, feedback and comments.)


I produced an episode of When The Facts Change via The Spinoff, including this interview with Kiwibank Economist Sabrina Delgado on how inflation impacts everyone differently and reveal who is being hit hardest by the current spike.

We also produce this 5 in 5 with ANZ daily podcast and Substack for ANZ Institutional in Australia, which you can sign up to via Spotify and Apple and Youtube for free.

Ka kite ano


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Our climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer had some technical problems getting onto the Hoon.

The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The Hoon
Bernard Hickey's discussions with Peter Bale and guests about the political economy in Aotearoa-NZ and in geo-politics, including issues around housing affordability, climate change inaction and child poverty reduction.