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Werewolf Edition #39 : Looking Darkly On Anadarko

Werewolf Edition #38 – Looking Darkly On Anadarko

From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell

Enter the Wolf!

Hi and welcome to the 39th edition of Werewolf. This month’s cover story explores the risks in opening up our marine and coastal environment to deep water oil and gas exploration . That’s especially the case when it involves international oil companies who – judging by the Texas oil giant, Anadarko – are highly adept at playing hardball when things go wrong. Our story canvasses the US court battles that Anadarko is currently facing over its environmental practices, and asks whether this is the kind of corporate citizen that the Key government should be inviting here. Certainly, the government shouldn’t be restricting the civil rights of New Zealanders (who want to protest about offshore oil and gas exploration here ) in order to make the likes of Anadarko feel welcome.

Regular Werewolf feature writer Alison McCulloch has just published a book called Fighting to Choose :The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand and we’re proud to publish in this month’s issue an abridged chapter from her book. The extract deals primarily with the controversial opening in 1974 of an abortion clinic in Auckland that quickly became the lightning rod for the entire abortion rights issue. Elsewhere in this edition, we provide chilling US evidence about where New Zealand’s wrangles over national standards in education may be likely to end up – namely, in so called US ‘test pep rallies’ that hype kids to the maximum about their participation in a regime of standardized testing that has virtually destroyed the opportunities for creative teaching and learning. This month in his film column, Philip Matthews responds to Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake , salutes Godard and the late Spanish director Jesus Franco, and discusses the challenges of making a good film out of The Great Gatsby. Can it be done?

Also in this issue, we acknowledge the life and career of the late Les Blank, the great US documentary film-maker who became a fixture at the early NZ International Film Festivals. We also examine the fate of Iceland’s brave experiment in writing a new Constitution, and ask whether this will survive the re-election this week of the very same conservative parties that caused Iceland’s 2009 economic crisis. In Latin America, Argentina is trying to swim against the tide of conventional economics, and this issue of Werewolf contains two features by recent visitors to Argentina – writer Marc Thornley contributes a travel and analysis piece about a country so alike us in many respects and yet so different in its determination to chart its own economic direction. Photographer Amy Vinicombe provides images to Marc’s piece and does a separate annotated photo-essay on how the poor in Argentina recycle First World throwaways in their own inventive, sustainable ways. In his satire column this month, Lyndon Hood ponders whether the recent fad for factual accuracy may be the death of journalism , and in our Complicatist music column this month we celebrate the music of Piedmont blues innovator Precious Bryant, who died in January.

Thanks to Lyndon Hood and Alastair Thompson for helping me post this online. And thanks to everyone who’s shown an interest in reading Werewolf and keeping it going. Thanks a lot. If you want to be involved and talk over some story ideas, contact me at

Gordon Campbell

The contents of this edition are:


Risky Business

The threat posed to our marine and coastal environment by the Texas oil company, Anadarko
by Gordon Campbell

Fighting To Choose

An excerpt from Alison McCulloch’s new book about the battle for abortion rights in New Zealand
by by Alison McCulloch

The Quiet American

Celebrating the career of film-maker, Les Blank
by Gordon Campbell

Testing, Testing… But Not Teaching

How standardised classroom tests are producing some frightening outcomes in the US
by Gordon Campbell

Iceland Walks Itself Backwards

Iceland’s attempt to write a new Constitution hits an electoral headwind
by Giulia Dessi

Campion, Gatsby, Godard and Jesus Franco

What should we make of Jane Campion’s return to television? Also: should you be worried about Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby? Is Godard great – and who was Jesus Franco?
by Philip Matthews


From The Hood : Factual Correctness Gone Mad

In which we hear about the journalistic standard accuracy and think it sounds like a fantastic idea.
by Lyndon Hood

The Complicatist : Precious Bryant

Paying dues to the Piedmont style of blues
by Gordon Campbell

One Person’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Practical sustainability, as a part of everyday life in Argentina
by Amy Vinicombe

Travelling Light : Argentina Plays By Its Own Rules

A visit to a country with striking similarities to New Zealand, but vastly different policies
by Marc Thornley


from Scoop General Manager Alastair Thompson

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