Max is a journalist who has worked for The Star, Bleacher Report and RNZ News.
Content by Max
Why transgender athletes can’t get a sporting chance
A weightlifter is the butt of online jokes. A cyclist faces a slew of criticism. A fighter prepares to hide who he is. Max Towle meets the transgender Kiwis suffering for their sport.
FIFA Pitch: The most intriguing off-field stories of the 2018 World Cup
An Egyptian love triangle, a shock sacking, and the fear of racism and homophobia in host country Russia are enduring narratives ahead of this year’s tournament.
Cannabis, cash and a community’s dream
They’re poor and scarred by drug use, but tiny East Coast communities are pouring their savings into a plan to grow medicinal marijuana.
Deepfakes: When seeing is no longer believing
Tech agencies fear fake videos could be used to blackmail and ridicule powerful people and even alter the course of elections.
Craft beer or bust
Many in the craft beer industry say the bubble is bursting. Are they just being sour?
Uber driver leaves woman in the dark
A woman says she was propositioned by an Uber driver, then left to walk home after spurning him.
Avengers: Infinity War is an empty spectacle, until...
Our (pretty much) spoiler-free recap of the biggest movie ever ever ever.
Health Ministry says it’s failing to provide adequate healthcare to transgender people
And it wants to completely review its model of care.
Melanie Bracewell rates herself
We ask the comedian to review her Twitter jokes. Only one scores a perfect 5/5.
Meet the New Zealand world champion of a classic arcade game
“I just picked it up one day and never looked back.”
Questions about sexual orientation and gender identity are closer to being included in the census
Stats NZ says it wants to produce data that better reflects all New Zealanders.
Tell. Different. Stories.
These three powerful women in the film industry are fighting for diverse storytelling.
Sex after sexual assault
Student Robert Tennent has written a book about re-embracing sex after suffering serious trauma.
What if there was no Facebook?
“All hell would break loose.”
‘He was made to get down on all fours like a dog to get his food’
The mother of a Māori teen says he’s been kept in isolation in an Australian youth detention centre for 339 days.
How to make a great low-budget movie in New Zealand (in 10 years)
“I didn’t really want to ask people for money, but … it was now or never.”
5 biggest questions if Sky loses Rugby World Cup rights
TVNZ and Spark are rumoured to be frontrunners.
More fentanyl is coming into NZ, and authorities are worried
“This is the first time we’ve seen the drug passed off as something else, which is particularly worrying.”
Through the blue: Four women bid to make history by crossing the Cook Strait
“We’re crossing together, as a team and as friends.”
Ricky Gervais’ newest transphobic jokes are getting slammed
The comedian has just dropped his new special “Humanity” on Netflix.
Getting hold of meth in 20 minutes or less
“The war on drugs and ‘tough on crime’ hasn’t worked.”
My Favourite Things, with rad sci-fi author Charlie Jane Anders
We talk movies, comic books and music with the award-winning American writer.
Wanted: Writers under 25 with a ‘unique voice’
We speak to the founder of online youth journal Starling about what it takes to get published.
Hundreds backing a campaign to save Otago University's law camp
The camp has been scrapped by the uni after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
Oscars 2018: Who will win, and who should win the major awards
It’s time for Hollywood’s annual victory lap.
Comedy inspired by the #MeToo movement
Cameron McLeod’s “Toxic Mas” show is part of the Auckland Fringe Festival.
Turkish woman deported despite discrimination and sexual violence fears
An immigration specialist says the case raises questions about NZ's refugee requirements.
WWE on Māori TV? Bring it on, say Māori leaders
They say some criticism of the station is misguided and borders on racism.
5 questions for National’s 5 contenders
We ask what issues they think are important for rangatahi, and where they stand on uni fees, jobs and cannabis.
Taika Waititi is casting his new WWII film
Here’s everything we know.
Nikki Kaye won’t be National’s next leader, but should she be?
The hype must wait.
How the media can tell better trans stories
We speak to Cole Meyers, a Shortland Street writer and trans activist.
Coping with suicide in silence may not be a bad thing for young men - study
A Vic Uni lecturer has researched men's experiences of suicide bereavement.
Staff lost flats, had to leave city, says former Five Boroughs worker
The Wellington restaurant went into voluntary liquidation owing money to creditors and staff, then moved a few streets over.
A woman wanted a classic fade. This barber said his shops are only for men.
The right to a sweet cut.
A conversation with rad Auckland poet Courtney Sina Meredith
In two weeks, she’ll read at the Same Same But Different LGBTQI writers’ festival.
This 19-year-old Kiwi farmer accidentally became a character in a US board game
“Kotahi-Manawa Bradford is a spirit monkey that is very hairy.”
An oral history of the world’s first gay rugby match
Twenty years ago the Wellington Krazy Knights and the Ponsonby Heroes made history.
More young transgender people are seeking hormone therapy
A first-of-its-kind study has revealed a significant jump in Wellington.
Joseph Parker vs Anthony Joshua: Can the South Auckland underdog triumph?
“Everyone is beatable. It doesn't matter who you are.”
Gig review: Fleet Foxes
“I wasn’t smiling, I just wanted them to play Helplessness Blues.”
How much has your rent gone up this year?
The cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper.
Tensions between local surfers and tourists in Raglan are turning gnarly
“In two hours there’s going to be a gnarly rip that sucks you out to sea. People die out here.”
What’s a university without a bookshop?
Union says underfunding is the reason for Lincoln University’s decision.
What the end of net neutrality in the US means for NZ
“Those decisions and ideas will start to bleed here.”
What if sport wasn’t divided by gender?
A Lincoln researcher says sport must move away from its focus on gender.
Why is our prison population booming and how can we fix things?
We ask an ex-prisoner, a politician, an academic, an NGO worker and a lawyer.
A Dunedinite is launching a dating website for disabled people
Josh Perry, who has cerebral palsy, wants to break down barriers.
'We should never ignore bad dreams'
Why do we dream? What does it all mean?
Free fees for first-time students, but who exactly is eligible?
More details from the Government’s tertiary plan.
A town that hopes Shane Jones can deliver the jobs he’s promising
“I want to help out the youth around here ... hard out, that would be awesome.”
Cricket commentary will no longer be a job reserved for the boys
“Cricket is just as much a female sport as a male sport.”
An NZ video game company is pressing restart on the industry
We chat with Zoe Hobson, who runs the Dunedin-based company Runaway.
Creepy new technology could put rainbow communities at risk
“If people had access to something like this, they could out others against their will.”
Wait, so who actually won the election?
Nelson bulwark Nick Smith reckons National. We investigate.
Does our 'university or bust' culture need to change?
Industry training organisations are worried free tertiary fees will push young people away from apprenticeships.
Why Tongan passion is the best thing about the Rugby League World Cup
Win or lose, there will be a party.
Meet a researcher who’s breaking down misconceptions about anorexia
The eating disorder doesn’t just affect teenage girls.
Dream to dare: Inside the NZ School of Dance
We meet the school’s aspiring dancers on the eve of its 50th graduation season.
Could Winston Peters hold the key to persuading North Korea to dump its nukes?
We look at what the deputy PM and the supreme leader have in common.
A hilarious complaint about the 'If it’s not gay, it’s not gay' video has been shot down
“I feel it’s saying unless I’m a lesbian I’m not me.”
An Aussie university is just hiring women for jobs in its Maths department
Should NZ universities do the same?
More students are seeking help from university mental health services
Extra support is being funded, but some students are still missing out.
Too much Facebook doesn’t harm your mental health - study
“Vaguebooking” might, however.
‘We are begging you and pleading you to help us’
What you need to know about the refugee crisis on Manus Island.
Breaking down the Government’s plan for tertiary education
We suss out the new Education Minister.
Are high schools safe places for LGBTQI youth?
The national charity InsideOUT celebrates its fifth birthday this week. We interviewed its founder, Tabby Besley.
Researchers are testing sewage to understand NZ’s drug problem
Diving for hard data.
Who’s next for National?
We dive into National’s list to see who could eventually lead the party.
Predicting 5 future Mike Hosking opinion columns
What is our national treasure going to rant about next?
What can young people expect from a Labour-NZ First coalition?
We dive back into campaign promises made by both parties and the Greens.
From Syria to Porirua
Meet the refugee rapper who rhymes to remember.
Erotica from a woman’s perspective
Naomi Werrett used to be so self-conscious she refused to be photographed, now she does nude photo shoots to encourage body confidence.
Why did no one speak out about Harvey Weinstein?
“This is able to flourish for decades because those who have seen it haven’t said anything.”
Ad calling out casual homophobia is going super-viral
We talk to Rainbow Youth about its first ever national ad campaign.
'This is the House of Representatives and should have voices from all walks of life'
We speak to the youngest new MPs, Labour’s Kiri Allan, the Nats’ Simeon Brown and the Greens’ Chlöe Swarbrick.
Are robots going to kill us all?
How worried should we be about Terminator-like robots? We take a deep dive into artificial intelligence.
Young members of NZ political parties give us their election hot takes
Young Nats, Labour, Green, Māori and NZ First look ahead to the next three years.
An election night odyssey through Wellington
Our reporter wanders between election parties in the capital as the results come in.
The best and worst moments of the 2017 election
Featuring mysterious car boots, adorable kittens and terrified children.
Why I was an idiot for not voting last election
“I’ve regretted it more and more over the past three years.”
Suffrage Day is now about equal pay for many women
The fight goes on.
Narcissistic men are more likely to troll on Facebook - study
“Aggression, manipulativeness, low agreeableness.” Sound familiar?
Why there should be nowhere ‘Beyond the Beehive’
We spoke to hundreds of rangatahi ahead of the election and found many care deeply about issues in their community, but switch off at the mention of “politics”.
Iranian brothers win seven year refugee fight
They fled to NZ after disavowing Islam and refusing military service. Our Government wanted them deported.
Campaign across 20 campuses aims to start a youthquake
Can students get students to vote?
The 10 best election movies
Reality is often stranger than fiction.
Redemption Ireland: Can the Black Ferns win their fifth Rugby World Cup?
We talk trophy dreams and the future of women’s rugby with NZ captain Fiao'o Fa'amausili.
National’s new party list promises more diversity, but is it enough?
“I suppose when you come from a relatively homogeneous starting point, it’s not going to be difficult to say it’s the most diverse list ever.”
The real Kiwi hero of Dunkirk
At 22, Al Deere became a hero shooting down German planes during the Dunkirk evacuations.
People don’t want media to rip-off their Facebook and Twitter posts - study
“Just because it’s viral, doesn’t mean it should be broadcast as news.”
Emerging artists explore housing, political, celebrity issues
“This is a generation who will graduate in debt, who are faced with a precarious working life and a world threatened by political and environmental crises.”
Meet the GirlBoss getting young women into science and tech
“I’ll know my vision has been reached when we close the gender gap.”
Gareth Morgan wants to give $200 each week to every young NZer, no strings
An economic expert says it isn’t enough to help those who need it most.
50 hot takes from the Game of Thrones season premiere
Stark women rule, Ed Sheeran drools: We react to the biggest television event of the year.
Should prisoners be allowed to have sex?
NZ is one of few western countries to ban conjugal visits. Some say it should be a basic human right.
If NZ politicians were Game of Thrones characters
Winston as Walder, Maggie as Melisandre and Joyce as Brienne: We risked our public funding to bring you this.
Save the awkward convo for the first date
A NZ-made rival to Tinder is about to launch, promising to let singletons “cut to the chase”.
New study identifies the four types of Facebook user
Are you a relationship builder, town crier, selfie or window-shopper?
The best and worst movies of 2017 so far
Get Out, Wonder Woman and Fate of the Furious: We argue among ourselves whether Hollywood is killing it atm.
Why Māori need to be included in the drug law debate
Reformers can’t ignore those especially at-risk from the drug they want to legalise, AUT senior lecturer Khylee Quince says.
Joining the pride: The Lions tour in seven days
The red invasion of Wellington began with a growl but ended in a roar. Max Towle was sceptical but soon became a convert.
‘We’re not the fun police’
Drug testing at festivals would send the wrong message, says R and V director.
Why the White Ferns are worth celebrating
NZ have a great shot at winning the Cricket World Cup. You should be watching.
Gender quotas weed out incompetent men - study
“Quotas are bad news for mediocre male leaders who tend to be forced out.”
Farewell Gchat. Now we have to Hangout.
In a few days, Google's Gchat will be no more. We pay tribute to the home of inane online chat.
Twitter is ridiculing 'racist propaganda' Hobson’s Pledge
Don Brash-led trust is stepping up its campaign to abolish "race-based privilege".
The schlocky and the gory and the cult
A dive into New Zealand’s B movie past. May it never die.
Confessions of a hopeless tourist
Drinking bleach, crashing bikes and getting mugged - why I should never travel.
Young, educated men more likely to harass women in the street
International study explores why men catcall.
Why I am strong: A young refugee’s perilous escape to NZ
Yibeth Morales Ayala will tell the Immigration Minister the current intake quota isn’t enough.
What it’s like when your partner changes gender
After Krystle Chester’s partner transitioned to a woman, she reached out to others with similar experiences for first of its kind research in NZ.
The Lions tour means everything, just ask the only All Blacks to lose a series
In 1971, NZ were beaten 2-1. That team reckons it could happen again.
Twin Peaks is still unlike anything you’ve seen on TV
The cult series is back. Is it any good?
Stop turning movies into TV shows
For every Westworld, there’s a Taken. The Departed and Snowpiercer are next.
Will Steven Adams ever play for the Tall Blacks?
“Maybe he’s not pulling on that black singlet because he doesn't think they really wanted him in the beginning.”
He’s beaten cancer but suffered brain damage during treatment. Three years on, ACC still won't pay
“People don't want to feel like they're under attack and have to fight for pretty basic rights.”
Kane is still kicking ass, Boult is bowling lemons
We rate how the Black Caps have fared in this year's IPL.
The pain and passion of ultramarathons
Imagine running 90km … now imagine doing it uphill.
De-extinction is coming, but don’t expect a real-life Jurassic Park
"The reality of the idea is too sexy to ignore."
Where fighters become champions
Ahead of Joseph Parker's next heavyweight title bout we meet the young boxers coming up at his old gym, Papatoetoe Boxing Club.
Shoot to stop or shoot to kill?
New Zealand police say they don't shoot to kill, but statistics show that officers who pull the trigger are becoming more deadly.
Women in tech: Why the industry needs to fix its gender problem
“If you put five similar people in a room, you're not going to get the same quality of ideas.”
Hundreds of fast-food workers to strike over fair pay
“I think a lot of people are going to struggle to get their lunch tomorrow.”
Are jokes about rape ever okay?
“Comedy can be a great way of breaking the ice and getting a topic talked about.”
Students tell us if they think they’ll ever be able to afford their own home
“As an English and Spanish student… yeah, it’s not looking good”
How Tinder is still killing modern romance
The second part of our look at how the app is continuing to shape people’s dating lives.
Open letter warns free speech is under threat at universities
“But there’s a fine balance with protecting people from discrimination.”
Not everyone is a fan of the latest All Blacks ad
Are the Men in Black superheroes or villains?
Does the TAB get a free ride?
Reporting odds is part of sports coverage in New Zealand, but the Problem Gambling Foundation says it’s marketing masked as news.
Black Caps summer ratings: our verdict on every player
All hail Jeet Raval.
Why Tinder is such a horror show for women
“There's a lot of guesswork involved.”
Devil’s doughnuts, exploding heads and phony science
We pick the best of a glorious month of advertising complaints.
We break down the biggest questions raised by Hit & Run
Investigative journalists Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson say deaths of Afghan civilians were covered-up.
What students have to say about putting interest back on student loans
“It’s enough of a battle worrying about trying to get into the housing market.”
Growing up in Kaikohe, trouble can be tough to avoid
“Kids just run riot.”
Non-voters tell us what it would take to get them to the ballot box
“Most of my friends think I am a monster for not voting.”
New Zealand bars boycott Coopers beer after marriage equality backlash
Video has critics frothing.
Why Ex on the Beach is the greatest TV show since The Wire
Kinda, maybe, sorta not.
Photos: Protest against rape culture at Parliament
Hundreds turn out to call for consent to be taught in schools.
How to tell someone you may have given them an STI
“He just broke down.”
Why Ross Taylor may be NZ’s greatest batsman
Once called a dirty slogger, the stats tell a different story.