Here’s also more podcasts – I had shared a bunch of good RNZ ones previously, the following are a mix of RNZ and independently produced shows:
History of Aotearoa New Zealand – An independently produced podcast that goes into good depth about Aotearoa’s history (for a briefer overview on the topic, check out RNZ’s history podcast). Episodes are roughly chronological and about 20 minutes, and cover a huge variety of topics – you can just dip in to any one that catches your fancy. They have a particularly good focus on Maori topics, especially pre-European contact. I caught a really interesting episode on how Maori adapted their horticulture to New Zealand’s cold climate when they first arrived from more tropical parts of Polynesia.
Kakapo Files – A series looking at conservation efforts of the endangered kakapo. The kakapo is a large, flightless parrot – probably best known for humping a cameraman’s head in a Stephen Fry nature documentary. The podcast follows the ups and downs of the 2019 breeding season, with plenty of high drama as scientists try to give the wild birds the best chance at raising a new generation.
When the Facts Change – From independent journalism site The Spinoff, When the Facts Change is a journalistic look at the intersection of business, economics, and politics. I listened to “The impossible dream of home ownership“, which interviews several different experts on the cause and damaging effects of New Zealand’s insanely overpriced housing. I was expecting to draw some parallels to Canada’s similarly overheated market, but interestingly the perceived causes are different in Aotearoa: limited supply, limited zoning, and widespread poor quality housing. (As opposed to speculation, both domestic and foreign, which is one of our banes here.) Regardless, the result is the same – younger generations are left out of the housing market, and both housing and rental prices are rising many times faster than wages.
Dietary Requirements – Another Spinoff podcast, this is a lighthearted look at food and culture. There’s a big selection of local cuisine spotlights, looks at the restaurant scene, and interviews on international food cultures. I couldn’t resist listening to Politics, poutine and quarantine (plus an earthquake), which features a Canadian journalist who had just relocated to New Zealand at the start of the pandemic. They go into quarantine food, and touch on the increasing spread of poutine globally.
Red Line – A four-part investigation by RNZ into New Zealand’s relationship with China. Many countries have to walk to line between the massive economic importance of China, versus human rights violations inside China and China’s pressure on politics and dissidents in their own country. New Zealand is in a particularly challenging spot, as it is more economically dependant on China than other Western countries. I used to spend a lot of time in China about a decade ago, and the first podcast really touches on how a lot of us back then thought that China’s rising power and wealth would also mean liberalization. We, of course, were quite wrong.
Remember When… – For some lighter fare, short little podcasts with reminiscing on millennial nostalgia from a Kiwi perspective. It was pretty fun to walk down memory lane on tamagotchis, nu-metal, and old school blogging – which I’ve never really let go of!