The greatest 6.1 list ever

In a random act of self-indulgence I’ve decided to celebrate the 61 opinion columns that I’ve written so far by trying to pick the top 6.1 of them. Here they are in reverse chronological order.

90 years of pure class

I was outrageously nervous about this column about my grandmother because it was completely personal and it didn’t relate to anything going on in the news. One of my early drafts tried to tie it to something current, but in the end I decided to trust in the strength of the topic and it stands on its own merits.

Happy to be a little pakeha

There were some awful, awful letters being published in both of our local papers about Te Reo and Maori culture, which is what prompted this column.

The Valentine’s Day revolution starts here

With my column due to land on Valentine’s Day this topic seemed like a no-brainer, but it was surprisingly hard to write. I remember grappling, writing and rewriting it, terrified it would be just another ordinary Valentine’s Day rant. All those drafts were worth it. Interesting that my grandparents have made this list twice.

Affairs are really dumb

In that first week after Len Brown’s affair broke the news it seemed to me that most of the commentary was going out of its way to avoid engaging directly with the topic of infidelity. I had some very gratifying feedback following this on.

You’re different to me. Go away.

It was actually kind of liberating to confess some the secret fears in this column. Ha ha.

Exercise versus illness

My tenuous nod to current affairs in this column was to mention the Rotorua Marathon. Aside from that it was an indulgent piece of showing off. But given where I’d been, I felt it was justified, and the public response confirmed that’s how it landed.

Gay marriage

Finally, my column about gay marriage should be listed in its own right but since I’ve only given myself 6.1 columns to choose from, I offer the ‘slippery slope’ paragraph in this piece as the token 0.1.

So. Those are the top 6.1 columns. I picked those that seemed to strike a chord with readers.  They seem to represent my more serious or earnest efforts. My list of 6.1 top entertaining columns would be quite different, something like this …

In following my own ridiculous 6.1 rule I had to leave out quite a few favourites. It goes to show, I must have written some pretty good stuff this past year. Please excuse me while I pat myself on the back. And do feel free to buy my ebook.

Ministry of Ideas cover