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The Good Word Debate

Television (Full Length Episodes) – 2009 - 2011

Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City was the setting for three special debates presented by literary show The Good Word. Members of the arts community debate the following topics; We still need the great New Zealand novel (2009); The (physical) book is dead (2010); and New Zealand books deserve special treatment (2011). With the ever jovial Te Radar hosting, writer Emily Perkins and ex Listener editor Finlay Macdonald lead the affirmative and negative teams. They're backed by a rotation of local legends, like Roger Hall, Steve Braunias and (on opposing teams) CK Stead and  Charlotte Grimshaw. The arguments range from funny to heartfelt to cutting. For a quick guide to the teams, go here.

...we like to think we shrugged off the cultural cringe, but the truth is it mutates and adapts rather than dies.
– Finlay Macdonald, in the 2011 debate on whether New Zealand books deserve special treatment

Key Cast & Crew

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Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Affirmative team (2010)

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Colin Hogg


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Finlay Macdonald

Negative team

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Brendon Butt


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Te Radar


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Steve Braunias

Negative team (2009, 2011), Affirmative team (2010)

See all 45 credits

Produced by

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3rd Party Productions


Theme music 'Isol' written by Gill Civil, performed by Marie & the Atom