April 8, 1991, and the Listener was tackling the pressing issue of school bullies. Staff writer Pamela Stirling wrote about a number of cases of bullying, including one where the torment was only broken by a third-form dean who took a cane to a boy’s tormentors. “Some children don’t survive bullying,” wrote Stirling; many are damaged by it. “So it has to be stopped. But how?”
“You’ve got to get to the parents, the extended family group; and the kid also has to face the victim,” said Wellington Youth Aid sergeant Tony Moore. Boys who bully are often referred to an anger-management programme. “It’s a good excuse to get in an work on the causes.” Yet government cuts are severely limiting what can be done.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Finlay Macdonald wondered whether crash helmets should be compulsory for cyclists; Anthony Hubbard wrote about finding Nazi war criminals in New Zealand; and Kerry Carman had an “autumn pot-pourri” in her gardening column. Brett Riley reviewed Aunt Daisy! The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Christchurch; Gary Steel reviewed Chris Isaak’s album Wicked Game; and Rosemary Beresford wrote about the theatrical production Coup de Folie, written and directed by Louise Petherbridge, about the writer Sylvia Ashton-Warner.
On TV, The Trials of Life, a major new natural history series presented by David Attenborough was beginning (some things don’t change), and the David Lynch-directed series Twin Peaks was starting on TV3.