This week, we looked at what employers are doing to keep workers on in the face of the great brain drain, the fraught relationship between the media and our national rugby team, how to fix our student finance problem, the expanding crisis in our aged care sector, and the future of the theatre industry in Aotearoa. 

Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed. 

Stemming the brain drain

The entire world is facing a labour crunch, and New Zealand isn’t immune. Besides the tug of higher wages overseas, with the world reopening there’s the excitement of travelling and reconnecting with far-flung family and friends to contend with. 

Photo: Lynn Grieveson

The building group manager for consultancy Beca, Mark Spencer, says staff shortages have led to competing companies poaching staff from each other and offering significant salary increases to try and lure them. 

“I think everyone is facing very, very similar challenges. One of the things we do need to avoid is getting into a bidding war where we’re shuffling the deck and moving people between different firms. That won’t ultimately increase the capacity we have.” 

All Blacks find themselves in a media scrum

It’s more than a week since that history-making All Blacks loss to Ireland, and fans and media are still seething.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster fronts a press conference on July 22. Photo: Getty Images

“I don’t think I’ve seen a week as out of control as this from an organisation that likes to be in control,” says Scotty Stevenson, freelance writer and broadcaster for Spark Sport. He’s been covering rugby since 2007, on radio and TV. 

He explains to The Detail the extraordinary events that contributed to a week like no other – from the press conference immediately after the match that was cut short, to the surprise cancellation of Sunday’s presser, to the LinkedIn message from media manager Jo Malcolm putting her hand up as the one who cancelled the press conference. 

Calling time on flat-out frightful student living

Most former students have horror stories of living in grimy flats, wind whistling through the walls, beat-up furniture and freezing bedrooms. There was mould, mess, with a bit of chaos thrown in.  

Now you’re out of that student stage, you can look back with fondness at being part of a student culture you had to survive.  

But with the cost of living skyrocketing, student benefits remaining static, and a housing shortage exacerbating the accommodation issue – is it time to stop romanticising that era? 

Emile Donovan speaks to RNZ Wellington reporter and former student magazine editor Kirsty Frame and economist Eric Crampton about how to improve student living conditions. 

The rest home nursing crisis that will only get worse

Emile Donovan talks to New Zealand Aged Care Association deputy chair Warick Dunn about the aged care nursing shortage and its debilitating ricochet effect on the health system. 

Photo: Lynn Grieveson

“Where do these folk go? There’s no capacity left in the sector so they end up staying in hospital, bed-blocking, and the consequences of that is that if you or I have a pre-planned hip joint or knee replacement to be done we can’t go in … because there are no beds, there are no nurses, they’re caring for the older person who should be, rightly, in the aged care sector where specialty care is available,” says Dunn. 

“I think aged care will become a pretty scarce resource. And sadly the people who will bear the cost of that, disproportionately, are those folk who arrive at their latter years without capital, and probably only surviving on the state pension. 

The battle to keep theatre alive and relevant

Theatre was never a big money-maker, but now more than ever, the industry is in dire straits. Lockdowns and gathering restrictions left hundreds of shows cancelled, and thousands more workers in the arts without a source of income. And theatre has never really fully recovered; a recent survey into the arts sector revealed that audience interest is still low, and workers are worried they won’t make enough money to get by. 

Scenes from a Yellow Peril at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in 2022. Photo: Andi Crown

On top of Covid woes, there’s the infinite expanse of online content to compete with. Getting people off their devices and into brick-and-mortar theatres is proving a huge challenge. 

Sarah Robson looks at theatre’s two-pronged struggle: to keep theatre relevant, as well as financially viable. 

Find out how to listen and subscribe to The Detail here.  

You can also stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter

Leave a comment