Posted By Jessie
The Spinoff’s War for Auckland

Aug 3

The Spinoff has been delighting us with smart news stories since it was launched in 2014. Offering an alternative take on traditional media coverage, they’ve discussed everything from Radio Hauraki’s mispronunciation to women’s position in Gloriavale. And now, they’re once again turning their focus to something that should concern us all: the future of Auckland.

The team at the Spinoff believe the upcoming elections and Unitary Plan are “the most important political events in Auckland in decades.” And they’re concerned traditional media will become bogged down in the worries of NIMBYs and fail to do these stories justice. They want to step up and frame the election as the crucial event it is – but to do so, they need your help.

And so many of you have provided help already! Less than two days after their campaign launch, the Spinoff had already doubled their target. With over 300 pledgers, they’ve now passed $23,000 – but they’re hoping to get even further. If they raise $25,000 they can create more noise, and add more fulltime staff to cover the stories. With awards ranging from bespoke tweets to exclusive advertising rights, there’s no reason not to get on board – but we got in touch with editor Duncan Greive to hear even more reasons why you should.

How are you finding the campaign so far?

Overwhelming. We were initially debating whether to go for $5000 or $10,000, and only put in the stretch goal at the last minute, almost as an afterthought. Not because we didn’t have a thousand great ideas on which to spend the money – but because we’d never asked before, and had no idea how our audience would respond. So to have so many people join the War so quickly, and be so passionate about it – it’s humbling and almost intimidating. We’ve talked a big game, and are determined to deliver.

What have you got planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

We’ve already hired economist Shamubeel Eaqub part-time through the election to do analysis and fact-checking – his ‘Shamubeel calls Bullshit’ series is going to be a good time. We’ve commissioned a piece of web development which we’re really excited about. And there’s a collaboration between an incredible illustrator and feature writer which we think will frame the issue in a quite stark way. And a tonne more. But I really don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Anything you’d like to shout out to your crowd?

Just that we love them, and have felt both the excitement and the sadness coming off them since we launched. This was really about trying to cover this incredibly important moment in a way which reflected the voices which have too often been shut out of this debate. We’ve heard a lot from people who might have a terraced house go up next to their property while also having the land further escalate in value. I’m not nearly so concerned for them as for those we haven;t heard from – the generations of young and less well-off who have been locked out due to the excessive amount of concern for the first group. We’ve been delivered a very good Unitary Plan. Now we want to watch to make sure it passes relatively unravaged.

If you’re passionate about the future of Auckland and want to see the Unitary Plan go unravaged, head over to The Spinoff’s campaign page and support them here.

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