20) Poppy pops one out, 2015
The fart heard around the world. Love Art’s innocent preamble about loving pohutukawa trees, love the squeaky sand excuse, love every single part of this to bloody bits. Parp indeed. / Alex Casey
19) The Waitangi Dildo, 2016
The rubber phallus only travelled a few feet to go absolutely global. Revisit the glory here with Calum Henderson’s frame by frame analysis. "The dildo travels a flat trajectory - it has clearly been flung with some force. Colleagues to Joyce’s right have definitely seen it by this stage, and wear expressions of disgust ("ugh a dildo") and curiosity ("ooh what kind of dildo is that") respectively. With the dildo now millimetres from his fellow National MP’s face, Nathan Guy appears to have still not noticed it. What is he thinking about? Is he asleep?" / AC
18) When The Block shat itself, 2017
"There was no reason to believe 2017’s Blockheads wouldn’t all walk away with smiles on their faces and a decent bank transfer pending," Jane Yee wrote from the live auction in 2017. "Then House One's auctioneer greeted the room and The Block NZ shat itself right before our eyes." Excruciating television that was, most shockingly of all, set to repeat in years to come. / AC
17) Alice Snedden vs. Don Brash on Bad News, 2018
Most people live their whole lives hoping for this kind of delicious gotcha moment. Most people never get anything near it. Alice Snedden is not most people. / AC
16) MAFSNZ melts down
It began with a man being edited out of the show after his domestic violence charges came to light, and it ended with another man calling a woman a "slut" five times in one sentence. I think we can all agree that this season of Married at First Sight NZ has been a writhing, rancid rat king of toxic masculinity the likes of which the local franchise has never seen. And - just like a real rat king - cutting the biggest one out doesn’t mean that the rest are instantly free from the tangle.” I will never forget Jimmy sucking his teeth at that dinner table as long as I live / AC
15) Aaradhna wins the last Urban award at the VNZMAs, 2016
Anyone who has interviewed Aaradhna Patel knows that she’s not an extroverted performer. In fact she’s painfully shy, the relatively rare type of singer who, far from seeking the spotlight, takes it only reluctantly, only because her job is impossible without doing so. In 2016 she won the VNZMA for best Urban/Hip Hop album, and started by talking about her family. This is a common theme, but it was anything but a regulation speech.
"I feel like if I was to accept this, I’m not being truthful in my song," she said, pointing to the undeniable, unambiguous racism of her category, and her placement in it. She then handed it to SWIDT, in one of the most remarkable, unscripted moments in our television in this or any other decade.
In our interview immediately afterwards, she summed up her motives in fighting through the shyness: "I just wanted to speak about things that have always been bothering me and were always at the back of my mind. I’m definitely not angry, I just feel like it was the time for me to say something, stand up for something. Because if you don’t stand up for something, what’s the point?"
The award was dropped the following year. / DG
14) Nek minnit, 2011
Nek… minnit. / AC
13) Homai Te Pakipaki takes a bow, 2015
After nine joyous years, Homai te Pakipaki came to an end in 2015, and I implore you all to read José Barbosa’s beautiful feature about the final recording. "Homai Te Pakipaki's secret is letting the banal transform into the sublime… The 2011 overall winner Chad Chambers rocked up to the grand final in a sports top, trackies and freezing works gumboots. As he reprised his winning rendition of Rod Stewart's 'I Don’t Want To Talk About It' while the credits rolled, someone thrust his infant son into his arms and tear ducts across the country burst." / AC
12) Hugo Grrl wins House of Drag, 2018
The first drag king to win a drag reality competition in the world? Amazing. Record-making, literally. House of Drag might have stumbled a few times down the runway, enjoyably so, but it nailed the ending. Hugo Grrl was the clear frontrunner all along, and the crown deservedly sat on his head. No issues here. / Sam Brooks
11) Paul Henry gets cancelled, 2010
On pure talent alone, Paul Henry was one of the greatest talents of his generation – fast, funny, frisky and free. Unfortunately he was also a total f**kwit at times, as when he couldn't get past the name of Indian politician and stateswoman Sheila Dikshit. / DG
10) Feathering the nest on Māori TV
In 2014, the journalists at Native Affairs uncovered a pattern of irregular spending in Kohanga Reo, and did their job in shining a light on it. Next, all hell broke loose, leading to extraordinary board-level pressure and the atomising of one of New Zealand’s finest journalistic units. Morgan Godfery covered it for The Spinoff when the case finally resolved in the high court years later:
"In polite terms, this was 'editorial interference'. In impolite terms, it’s a rat f**k. To myself and others, it really did seem as if the Māori elite was doing everything they could to protect the Trust Board from further scrutiny: EY's one-hand-tied-behind-its-back report, the baffling SFO referral, and Maxwell's power plays. It was an intolerable position for a journalist, and Mihi Forbes - the frontwoman for both Native Affairs and Feathering the Nest - went on to resign in June 2015. Her producers Annabelle Lee and Adrian Stevanon, reporters Jodi Ihaka and Ruwani Perera, and other backroom staff all left by year's end too. They joined Julian Wilcox and Carol Hirschfield who handed in their notices shortly after Maxwell's appointment in April."
It was the end of a powerhouse era at Māori TV, but all who left went on to continue doing outstanding work - just in other venues. / DG
9) The meeting of Art and Matilda, 2015
To quote from our 10 celebrities that defined the decade: "With that historic line - 'it’s always been you' - uttered on a beach somewhere in Australia at sunset, the greatest love story of the decade was sealed with a televised kiss." It’s always been them and it always will be them. / AC
8) Jono and Ben get serious
"He pushed through the dreaded wobbly crying voice to say it. He didn’t let the show wrap up without saying it. He was vulnerable. He didn't preach. He didn't act like he had all the answers to suicide." - Jess McAllen on the moment Jono Pryor stopped laughing and let the tears flow live on television. / DG
7) Jacinda vs Richardson
They print that finger on T-shirts now. / AC
6) Chrystal Chenery and crotchgate, 2015
Remember the time that Chrystal Chenery from The Bachelor NZ refused to accept Dom Harvey’s apology for screenshotting her crotch and posting it to Twitter and then all of New Zealand became enraged at her and the internet exploded and The Spinoff broke for 24 hours? Some of the craziest of times. "Chrystal owns everything she says with a confidence and a lack of f**ks that sends Joe Bloggs New Zealand into a sweaty keyboard rage," I wrote in 2015. "Women aren’t supposed to be like Chrystal. Women are supposed to be quiet and 'handle the jandal' as so many true blue kiwis have written online." / AC
5) Outrageous Fortune ends, 2010
They were our favourite family of criminals, and Outrageous Fortune one of our most successful and beloved dramas. After six hectic seasons and a whopping 107 episodes, the West family finally came good on their promise to go straight, and we left matriarch Cheryl standing on the balcony in West Auckland to enjoy one last sneaky ciggie. 725,000 of us tuned in on November 9, 2010 to witness the end of an era. / TW
4) Real Housewives of Auckland erupts
Midway through the first season of Real Housewives of Auckland, the participants found themselves on a luxury launch off the coast of Australia, drinking champagne. While abnormal for most of us, this was utterly ordinary for the cast of the show. What followed was anything but. Julia Sloane used a vile racist slur in the most casual way towards Michelle Blanchard, who is a black, British New Zealander of Caribbean origin.
The moment caused a traumatic break from the show’s normal genial staginess, which ended in protracted legal exchanges and an anguished public debate. Sloane seemed utterly incapable of recognising the gap between her stated intentions and how the words were received. In an interview with The Spinoff in the aftermath, Blanchard summed it up thus: "She just doesn't want to own what has come out of her mouth… Don't blame it on anybody else or make it out to be a lighthearted comment that you jokingly use, because you know what? It is not a lighthearted comment."
The show was never the same after this incident, and was cancelled after one season. It was yet another occasion when reality television revealed far more of its participants and this nation than was ever intended. / DG
3) Willy and Natalia tirade, 2015
The most shocking thing about Natalia Kills and Willy Moon's tirade a half decade on is how genuinely unprecedented it was. We were long past the days of people laughing at the first auditions on American Idol, and Simon Cowell's specific brand of mean had long became dull to audiences. Celebrities were no longer signing onto talent competitions onto these things to be the mean judge, they signed on to be the breakout star. So was this the pair's attempt to be the breakout star of X-Factor NZ? Or Were they genuinely offended by the fairly standard black suit Joe Irvine, sweetest man in the country, was wearing? Or did they just want to get fired, and decided to do so in the meanest, most savage way possible? We’ll never know. Overnight, Kills and Moon didn’t end just their run on the show, but their entire careers. Which sucks, because 'Mirrors' goes hard. The following day, they fled the country in shame, ne’er to be heard from again, except at YouTube parties where people play this clip and go, "Holy shit, this happened."
2) #SaveCampbellLive, 2015
It caused a national outpouring of grief, petitions, Hilary Barry crying on the news and people flooding back to terrestrial television as a form of activism. We ran a long rolling tribute page like everyone on Earth was about to die, and people hit the pavement outside MediaWorks to make their outrage known. As if people weren’t furious enough, MediaWorks replaced Campbell Live with Come Dine With Me NZ voiced by Guy Williams. Then, just like the real JC, he rose from the dead. What a chapter in television history. / AC
1) Please tell me that is not your penis, 2017
The delivery of the decade (big fan of the furious swipe), the technology of the decade (big old iPad) and the television character of the decade (Chris Warner). This historic moment on Shortland Street went viral in a way that nothing ever has from our scripted stable, inspiring memes, parody songs and late night talk show coverage. Rude? He showed us rude, and nothing was ever quite the same. / AC