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September 18, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts |
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Gone by Lunchtime

The other day, a workmate remarked to me that after spending hours at work each day, the last thing he wanted to do when he got home was read up on politics and party policies.  I can understand this. Politics can often seem an incredibly dry and tedious topic; reading lengthy and in-depth analyses of party policy and election news is not typically within most people’s definition of “fun” or “relaxation”.

But, as members of a democracy, it is our civic duty to try to remain informed — or at least a little in the know, especially in an election year. Fortunately for all, engaging with politics doesn’t have to be an utterly soul-sucking process — there are podcasts that exist to ease this pain! I would like to recommend The Spinoff’s politics podcast Gone by Lunchtime.

The main appeal of this podcast to me is its relaxed nature. The podcast usually involves a discussion panel consisting of The Spinoff’s policy editor Toby Manhire and political journalists Annabelle Lee and Ben Thomas. The episodes do not have a strict structure or format to adhere to, allowing the approach to be far more casual. An episode typically involves the three hosts discussing the main New Zealand political news of the past few weeks.

It is the relaxed tone of the podcast that makes it so accessible and easy to listen to, both for those who engage heavily in politics and those who are newcomers. Far from the sensation of watching the news or listening to a dry radio report, it feels like you’re just listening to a few friends chat about politics. The episodes are often littered with humorous moments and back-and-forths between the hosts; it’s this lightness which makes the political conversation feel more welcoming and engaging.

Manhire, Lee, and Thomas are also unafraid to differ in their opinions, and the resulting discussion and debate can be great for listeners who are not sure where they stand on a topic and want to hear both sides. Lee, also the executive producer on TV3’s The Hui, is knowledgeable on Māori affairs. She brings this insight to the podcast, providing a perspective that is vital but frequently undervalued and unheard in New Zealand political discourse.

All in all, I would strongly encourage giving Gone by Lunchtime a listen, even if only so you can say you understand the political memes. Happy voting folks!

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