The new government is vowing to take a hard line with gang members, including those with tattoos showing gang affiliations. Photo: RNZ/John Edens

This week we covered: our national esports team heading to the global championships in Saudi Arabia, how the beauty industry is changing to celebrate – and commercialise – aging women, how the incoming government’s gang crackdown might work, the 15-minute city conspiracy theory, and how the supermarket duopoly might be cracked after the failure of challenger Supie.

Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed.

The gaming games

It might have humble beginnings – sitting on the couch and spending hours in front of a screen – but esports has become so much more.

NZ’s Dota 2 women’s team (from left): Lucy Tam, Jane Jian Ming Zhu, Rangsey Mou and Janice Tieu. Photo: NZ Esports

Aotearoa has its own national team too, aptly named the ‘E Blacks’. They’re preparing for the Global Esports Games in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, in December.

Tom Kitchin speaks to New Zealand Esports Federation CEO Jonathan Jansen and E Blacks player Ramsey Mou about what exactly this sport is and where it’s at now – and how they feel about trekking out to the controversial sportswashing country.


Ditching the dye

It’s being called a revolution, the “new black”, a new age of aging, where more and more older women are becoming comfortable in their own sagging skin.

Petra Bagust hosts her own podcast, ‘Grey Areas’, discussing growing up and going grey in Aotearoa. Photo: Supplied

The message is spreading that grey hair and wrinkles should be celebrated, despite the youth-obsessed fashion and beauty industry.

Even ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson is on board at the age of 56, appearing at Fashion Week makeup-free. And just last week Vogue featured 88-year-old actor Maggie Smith at the centre of fashion label Loewe’s new campaign.

Sharon Brettkelly speaks to two pioneers of grey beauty in Aotearoa: TV presenter and podcast host Petra Bagust and former Woman’s Weekly editor Wendyl Nissen.


Gang crackdown about to rev up

Gang members covering their facial tattoos with make-up sounds laughable, but that’s what National MP Mark Mitchell has suggested, and hardcore bikies might find it preferable to the alternative.

Helena Carter has been removing Auckland-based prisoners’ gang tattoos for around a decade. Photo: Sharon Brettkelly

Having your tattoo removed is like getting hot fat poured on your skin, says Helena Carter, owner of deINK Tattoo Removal.

But that doesn’t stop the months-long queues of prisoners wanting the markings off their faces and necks.

About a third of Carter’s work is in Auckland prisons with her laser machine, soothing her clients as she puts them through the excruciating pain of getting rid of their tattoos.

Sharon Brettkelly visits Carter’s studio and speaks to Australian gang expert Mark Lauchs from Queensland University of Technology about how our Tasman neighbours’ efforts to get tough on gangs have worked.


Convenient cities become conspiracy targets

It started as a transformational idea about how our cities should look and feel.

Now it’s become a fast-growing, world-wide conspiracy.

A rendering of proposed pedestrian-friendly improvements to Whakatāne’s Strand as part of Waka Kotahi’s Innovative Streets project. Photo: Supplied

How did the ’15-minute city’ concept get so out of hand?

Tom Kitchin talks to Auckland University senior lecturer in architecture and planning Bill McKay about the concept, and extremism researcher and author Byron C Clark about the conspiracy.


Supie’s sidelined, so what’s next?

Efforts to break the supermarket duopoly took another blow this week with the collapse of online grocer Supie.

Supie founder Sarah Balle. Photo: Maegan McDowell Photography/Supplied

The company went into voluntary administration, owing $3 million to creditors after a key investor pulled out.

The news shocked the 120 staff and hundreds of other creditors such as small food producers, as well as customers who had paid membership fees or money upfront for their groceries.

Sharon Brettkelly breaks down Supie’s backstory with Newsroom Pro managing editor Jonathan Milne, and asks investor and former director Ben Kepes how it went so wrong.


Long Read: The straight and narrow

This is The Detail‘s Long Read  one in-depth story read by us every weekend.

The aim is to keep the opposing furrows absolutely parallel so that, when they meet, they form one perfect furrow that zips the work together. A well-turned plot reflects the skill of the plougher—their ability to drive straight lines and maintain an even depth throughout. Photo: Ruth McDowall/NZ Geographic

This week, it’s ‘The straight and narrow’, written by Bill Morris for New Zealand Geographic magazine’s November-December issue.

Ploughing—the epitome of the colonial ‘civilising’ of land—is as fundamental to this country’s history as war and rugby. Perhaps it’s not surprising that we make a sport out of it.


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