5 Best (and Worst) Living New Zealanders – Issue 3
If this truly is an issue where we roll out the welcome mat to those proud, brave few that have navigated the covid filled airports to seek a better life here in our academic paradise then we thought we had better give you the heads up on some of the best, and worst we have to offer.
However we needed to establish some ground rules. To name just five brilliant kiwis would be doing so many a disservice. For starters if we opened the field to “of all time” we would have Rutherford, Sheppard, Hillary. Hone Heke, and Colin Meads. That hardly leaves room for a newer generation. So we made it “Living New Zealanders.” We also wanted to give ourselves some breathing room on the “Worst New Zealander” side. Obviously there are murderers, violent sexual predators, and slum lords and comparing all of them to David Seymour would be a stretch, even for us. We also cheated a little and put a couple of AND’s in there because Hills Baz is fine on her own but with John Campbell the magic happens, similarly Brian and Hannah but without magic because… witchcraft.
Finally we wanted to contextualise this to your lifetime. You can make an argument as to why Richard Prebble and Roger Douglas are worse than David Seymour but most of you won’t google that. They both may still make our annual 50 worst people of 2021. Because this list doesn’t exist to talk about people who have recently done good or bad things. It is just a simple heads up.
So we have cheated… a lot. It’s a misleading title but largely because “7 reasonably good New Zealanders based on one opinion and 7 others we could make easy jokes about who we aren’t fans of but aren’t as bad as murders and aren’t so old you need to research them” would be a horrible layout to give to a designer.
Instead join us as we go full Buzzfeed on this shit.
BEST TAIKA WAITITI
No one on this list has done more to take effortless kiwi humour and approach global than Waititi (although honourable mention to Steven AND Val Adams). Waititi never forgot where he came from and deserves all the success in the world. Our favourite thing though, is that Taika knows that to truly love something you have to want it to be the best version of itself and he has never stopped being critical of the problems that exist in this country.
WORST – David Seymour
Last year Nexus named Dave’o the worst person of 2020. This year he hasn’t been bad so much as inconsistent. For 12 months now Seymour has been the champion of every position on the Covid Spectrum. Whether we needed to keep the borders open or close them immediately Seymour was on the news spewing it. We should open our economy like Australia was quickly followed by we should close our borders and shut tourism down so we don’t end up like Australia. Why do we keep putting a microphone near this guy?
BEST – HILLARY BARRY AND JOHN CAMPBELL
Seperate from one another these two are the best we have to offer when it comes to compassion and integrity. Whether it was Campbell calling out the misogyny of correspondents on air, or Hillary telling people she will wear what she wants and she doesn’t care, they are our #Goals. Together though it was election night magic. They were the voice of the average kiwi and loving it. Girl Guide Biscuits and Jazz Cabbage all round.
WORST – Simone Anderson
Can we agree that all influencers are garbage people? However to be queen of the garbage people is a truly remarkable effort. Whether it is disputed allegations of defrauding a womens refuge or the several ASA complaints about misleading the public for commercial gain it didn’t take much to convince us of her place on the list. That said, she and her partner are expecting a child so maybe some time out of the spotlight will allow everyone to take some time and reflect.
BEST – DR ASHLEY BLOOMFIELD
It is no secret that from time to time Nexus can be alienating when it comes to people of the christian faith. So let us be clear here, if more Chrisso’s were like Doctor Ashley we would love you all. In fact it is impossible to dislike him. And doing so would make us real scumbags.
WORST – DAVID CLARKE
Remember when we said above that you would be a real scumbag to dislike Doctor Ashley. Well, this insufferable trash bag tried blaming him for his own failings as a Minister of Health. What followed was a huge outpouring of support, chocolates and a campaign for Clarke to get on his bike…literally.
BEST – HELEN CLARK
From the worst Clark to the best. Aunty Helen, New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister will largely have her legacy washed of any controversy over time. For instance only one in ten of you will have noticed she wasn’t actually New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister but it just felt right to read, huh? Let’s be clear her legacy is a little divisive. Half measures on gay marriage, controversy over the Foreshore and Seabed which was some of the worst legislation we have seen, and a less than stellar track record on drug reform could all see her occupy the other half of this list. But there is just something so very, very empowering about her that makes us look back on her time with pride.
WORST – Brian and Hannah
We have to be careful what we say here because we know the media causes earthquakes and tidal waves. There isn’t much to be said here that hasn’t already been covered by mainstream media other than this… Remove the Destiny Church tax exemption. The reason these two think the rules don’t apply to them is that we have literally made it easy for rules not to apply to them. Tax them, then they can say whatever they want.
BEST – STAN WALKER
Stan Walker is a fucking icon! They don’t give out touching documentary series to everyone. Voice of an angel, soul of an angel.
WORST – Russell Crowe
When you look at it, when you truly look at what makes the worst Kiwi’s surely the desire to not be thought of as a Kiwi is somewhere near the top of the list. Sure, you can argue Stan Walker made his name in Australia just like Russell Crowe but he didn’t go out of his way to tell everyone he was Australian. If Russell Crowe wants to be Australian so bad then let him. Martin Crowe was better anyway. I mean not only does he have a higher batting average than Russell Crowe, his singing didn’t absolutely ruin Les Miserables
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Jacinda (too obvious), Dr Lance O’Sullivan (a little too controversial now), Chole Swarbrick (New Zealand’s AOC), Musical Siblings (The Finns, The Topp Twins, The Kora Brothers, The Runga’s), Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith (friend of Nexus and National Treasure. Stop what you are doing now and google her), Peter Jackson (made geek cool again) Mike King, Sir Richard “Paddles” Hadlee (86 tests 436 wickets), Steven Adams (lad!)
DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS: Six60: This one caused some hurtful things to be said in the office that can never be taken back. But they were fine the first 78 times we saw them this Summer and then they crossed over.