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Film Industry Benefits: Smoke and Mirrors?

The Government has just increased the film industry rebate to 25% to secure production of the Avatar films for New Zealand. Is this good economic management or politicians thinking big and being star struck by Hollywood spin? The Government’s own advice suggests the latter. According to Treasury the current scheme (a rebate of 15%) was […]

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Nothing to make this a Happy Meal

Of all the tools the fast food chains use to lure people through their doors, McDonald’s Happy Meal is the most cynical. With its bright packaging and free toy (at the moment they have Furbys for girls and Hot Wheels for boys), it is deliberately aimed at children. The burger chips and drink are almost […]

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12 Fake Foods of Christmas no.5: Just Juice?

Since the release of Appetite for Destruction we’ve talked a lot about Coke and other liquid lollies. Surely juice is better for us? Kiwis certainly think so. More than a third of the population drinks juice 3 or more times per week, compared with a quarter that do the same with soft drink. However, this comfort with […]

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12 Fake Foods of Christmas no.3: Chip on Your Shoulder

Most Kiwis won’t kid themselves, they know chippies and hot chips are fake foods. But that doesn’t stop us eating them, nor indulging in the fantasy that ‘veggie chips’ are somehow a healthier option. Yes, we are looking at you Air New Zealand. Shame.  In our book Appetite Destruction we explored how we get dopamine rewards for […]

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Creating jobs will not end poverty

For families’ sake it’s time to rethink our welfare and tax systems. The Prime Minister’s reaction to the latest survey of child poverty was predictable but misguided. It is not just about jobs. As the welfare regime already attests with its Working for Families regime, earned income for many is lower than they can live […]

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12 Fake Foods of Christmas no.2: Low Carb Beer Belly

Alcohol already cops a bit of flak for the terrible toll it takes on our hospital A&E department early on Sunday mornings. However it also exerts a subtler, longer-term toll on our health that people don’t really understand. Alcohol accounts for 4% of life years lost in this country (37,000 years lost each year), with […]

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Exercise: Don’t Sweat It

Exercise: Don’t Sweat It   “Why don’t fat people just go for a jog?” This is one very popular response to a lot of the discussion on food, particularly when we start talking about taxing unhealthy food. We have already looked at the fallacies of calling obese people lazy gluttons in another blog. However, the […]

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