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Braunias goes fishing for trouble

Braunias goes fishing for trouble

Media release for immediate use: 3 September 2008

Braunias goes fishing for trouble

Fearless journalist, unpredictable columnist, drooling steak-eater, lover of mangroves, watcher of birds, loather of aïoli, debunker of humbug, lately a father …and now a third book in 15 months. Is there no stopping Steve Braunias?

Fish of the Week: Selected Columns (Awa Press, $30), published this week, is a glorious read. No one nails life in New Zealand – and occasionally places abroad – like Braunias does:

On cooking steak:
‘The gas barbecue is a symbol of moral rot, possibly.’

On antenatal class:
‘Fourteen men on a Saturday in summer were told to wear a pair of fake breasts and advised how to place a doll to the nipple.’

On the Clint Rickards’ trial:
‘I don’t know if I’ve ever read such unbalanced journalism.’

On his desire for a free winter coat:
‘Men’s outfitters Keith Matheson might want to consider the benefits of clothing a notorious criminal and prominent journalist, who is often seen in bars and restaurants … and usually consents to being photographed for the society pages.’

On a stoush with the Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau:
‘I tell my girlfriend. She is an astute woman who usually occupies the moral high ground, due to my continued absence from that enviable view. ‘You’re a greedy little pig,’ she announces, ‘who got his snout smacked.’

On playing Don Brash to Laila Harré’s Helen Clark in a media training exercise:
‘I was filled with the white heat of Brash’s intellect. It scorched Harré to a mumbling heap … actually, perhaps this was meant as an accurate portrayal of the prime minister, who seems so worn-out these days.’

On writing his column:
‘In ordinary circumstances, I am a mild, inoffensive fellow who has no opinions about anything. The column persuades me to engage. It strongly suggests I take an interest in a range of subjects. It twists my arm and demands that I satirise some of New Zealand’s leading buffoons. It has no conscience; if it breaks something, like defamation law, I am left to pick up the pieces, and accept a sound thrashing from employers…’

It is worth buying this book just to read about Braunias’s ‘engagement’ with two people – Victor, a Ghanaian spammer, and Trade Me’s Sam Morgan – not to mention the searing saga of Paul Gauguin’s teeth. But there is much more. And the stunning painting on the cover, ‘Man Drinking Milk’, is by Dick Frizzell.


Fish of the Week is available online at and from all good bookstores. RRP $30.

© Scoop Media

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