Skip to main content
The Alicia McKay Show

The Alicia McKay Show

By Alicia McKay
Join Alicia McKay, Producer Cam and special guests on a rollicking weekly ride through news, not-news and interviews.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Fake Diversity
What is diversity washing - and why is it such a problem? Alicia talks about the difference between visible and substantive diversity and why the latter is so important in society, media and the workplaces. She calls bullsh*t on corporate diversity and inclusion, makes an impassioned case for bringing class into the conversation and recommends throwing out the table, rather than saving a place at it. Also features: Lizzo chat, COVID book recommendations. Book recommendation 1: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara Book recommendation 2: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh Bonus recommendation: Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be by Steven Pressfield Article mentioned: The Problem With Professionalism by Alicia McKay
September 23, 2022
Long Live the Queen?
Alicia McKay tackles the media madness surrounding the death of QEII, gets under the skin of royalism and exposes the irony and hypocrisy of declaring a public holiday for the Queen in Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori. Constitutional monarchy is dead. Long live Aotearoa.
September 16, 2022
Systems, Elbows and The Family Man
Alicia talks about how pointing fingers at people, while letting systems operate unchecked, is damaging all of us. This week we're talking about patriarchy, politics and infidelity through a systems lens - and getting under the skin of unchallenged morality like table manners. You can read the Family Man article here And a recent article about why women are so exhausted here. Also, check out these great resources on systems thinking and problem solving: If Dr Russell Ackoff had given a Ted Talk The Systems Thinker Guide to Daily Systems Thinking Practice Fix the System, Not the Women: Laura Bates
September 09, 2022
Guilt, Gloriavale and Gangs
This week, Alicia tackles the guilt of conscious consumerism in a world designed for bad behaviour. the hypocritical way we treat cults and gangs, domestic labour inequity, Leonardo DiCaprio and Louis CK. 
September 02, 2022
#BigRantEnergy - The Good Old Days, Toxic Positivity and Punch-Down Politics
Alicia channels her best rant energy on this week's show, tackling: - Sickness, and the idea that lifting restrictions will help businesses - Simplified nostalgia and the problem with the good old days - Low-rate political rhetoric that hates on the poor - Cruel optimism and toxic positivity. If you need a good rant in your life, this is the episode for you.
August 19, 2022
Human Meatball
Today we discuss the deep shame of being caught in an act of petty shenanigans, the great human meatball, and the perils of being blacklisted by both the Russian government and a retailer in Dunedin.
August 12, 2022
Language, Audacity and Penis Art
Alicia rants about internet trolls with the audacity to correct people's lived experience, Callum shares some controversial public art and we contemplate the power of language and social media.
August 05, 2022
Poverty, Privilege and Romance
In a stormy week of disrupted travel, the gang talk about things we take for granted, the Samuel Vines Boots theory of poverty and the dangers of romanticising past poverty through the distorted lens of nostalgia. 
July 22, 2022
Alicia Reads - June Book Summary
Keep up with Alicia's prolific reading habits in this special episode on books. In June 2022, Alicia read 14 books - and in this episode, she covers off her favourite picks. Enjoy! Bullshit Jobs The Rise of Pointless Work, and What We Can Do About It Author: David Graeber Here Goes Nothing Author: Steve Toltz Klara and the Sun Author: Kazuo Ishiguro Ghost Lover Author: Lisa Taddeo Boys Will Be Boys Power, Patriarchy and the Toxic Bonds of Mateship Clementine Ford Young Mungo Author: Douglas Stuart Bloody Woman Author: Lana Lopesi Four Thousand Weeks Author: Oliver Burkeman
July 15, 2022
Zombie Prime Ministers
Callum recalls the time Boris Johnson sang him a song, following a frozen-turd induced flight delay.  We also chat about slurping from the money river, winning some skin in a trolley problem, and taking the hint on when it's time to go. Books God Bless You, Mr Rosewater Author: Kurt Vonnegut  
July 08, 2022
Feral Chickens Come Home to Roost
An outbreak of feral chickens disrupts the news cycle, and their language is everywhere. We chat about Alicia's slow burn love for Wordle and its many variants, and CV guides us through life under a lunatic. Happy Friday!
July 01, 2022
Deckless Vessels
We talk kiwi accents, how you fut in the mux, and how a deckless vessel nearly caused an international incident. We explore Terry Pratchett's idea of substitions - the opposite of superstitions. Callum talks make-up for men, and describes an experience of being his unusual self.
June 24, 2022
Pyjamas and fruit baskets
Today we ponder what's fair snooze-button policy in a partnership, how many questions you should be asking on a first date, and what do do if your job is complete bullshit. Also, we discuss the papal death hammer. Books Bullshit Jobs The Rise of Pointless Work, and What We Can Do About It
June 17, 2022
Politicians, The Queen and Mushy peas
Join Alicia, Cam and special guest CV as we talk political change in Australia, the queen and retribution, health and health behaviours!
May 27, 2022
Can you trust your own brain?
Cam and Alicia chat from their respective locations across the Tasman. Alicia is pretty sure she's contracted as a human over the last two years, and Cam wonders how the chances of being eaten by a 2017 crocodile will influence Australia's federal election. Oh and Alicia has well and truly taken the swearing shackles off.
May 20, 2022
Going analogue, The Streisand Effect, and weird smells...
Join us today as we discuss going analogue in a digital world, why does Christchurch smell weird...  the phenomenon that is The Streisand Effect, and more! 
May 13, 2022
GSD in the Public Sector Series: Mastering the Management and Governance Relationship with Monique Davidson and Alex Walker
Alicia is joined by Monique Davidson, (outgoing CEO of Central Hawkes Bay District Council and incoming CEO to Horowhenua District Council) and Alex Walker,(Mayor of CentralHawkes Bay)to talk about how to master the relationship between governance and management to drive results.Monique and Alex achieved incredible success in transforming not just their organisation, but the relationship between Council and community. They put their results down to the quality and openness of their relationship and a commitment to shared outcomes. This is a fresh, helpful conversation between two incredible leaders that is well worth listening to!
May 03, 2022
The Early, The Lucky, and The Disgruntled Listener
Alicia and the gang discuss passwords and privacy, life accountability, and wonder if you make your own luck. 🤔 Are we mainly the product of our environment? 📖 Dan Eggers rollicking novel The Every 💡 A question of free will 😭 An unappreciated friend And more! And don't forget to check out our authors of the week... Margin Richard Swenson The Every Dave Eggers The Trouble With Passion How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality Erin Cech Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut Strange Planet Nathan Pyle
April 29, 2022
Possums playing piano, regrets, and posthumous trolling.
Alicia and Cam have different ideas about socialising and work, Alicia has different ideas with herself about regret, and Callum takes us on a journey into public private lives and eccentric wills. 🤔 What's work actually for? 💡 Should you look back to move forward? A book review about regret 🎹 Possums playing piano 👶 Competitive birthing And more! And don't forget to check out our authors of the week... Daniel Pink The Power of Regret Dan Sullivan The Gap and the Gain
April 22, 2022
Alicia and producer Cam traverse the discomfort of hypocrisy, and wonder what life would be like if you didn't know what to do with your arms. 
April 08, 2022
Influence, Invisible Labour and Celebration
Join us this week with Alicia, Producer Cam and special guest Callum Valentine as we chat about...  🚺 Influential Female Authors  🤐 The "dirty secret" of invisible labour  🎉 The importance of celebration  🏆 The REAL legacy of The Oscars  📱 Millennial Schmucks! And more! And don't forget to check out our authors of the week... Caroline Criado Perez Invisible Women Do it like a woman... and change the world Katrin Marcal Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?
April 01, 2022
Information Overload, Progressive Ideology and War
Join us this week with Alicia, Producer Cam and special guest Callum for a free-form conversation around... ⚠️ War, misinformation and disinformation  💡 Progressive ideology in the face of hate  📺 Habits and the constant struggle  📱 The chaos and misery of tech issues  ❓ Cervical Mucus!? And more! Don't forget to check out Johann Hari's Stolen Focus book
March 25, 2022
Good News, Bad News and Graphic Design
Who else is a hermit? In another hilarious episode, Alicia, Producer Cam and special guests Callum and Charlie talk about… ⚡️ Changing social norms and habits through COVID 📰 Consuming too much bad news for information - and entertainment 👨 Simon Bridges’ delight at quitting his job 👨‍🎨 Art imitating life when it comes to innovation, expertise… and demon slaying? 🍆 Unfortunate graphic design choices by the Australian government And more! We’re joined by Producer Cam live from Melbourne and news correspondent Callum Valentine, who takes a leaf from Bridges’ playbook and leads with a shock resignation. Links and Resources Go to LinkedIn to see the hermit poll Check out Hans Rosling’s Factfulness book Or watch the TED Talk You can find coverage of the unfortunate graphic design episode on The Guardian
March 18, 2022
Cockroaches and COVID
Alicia and Producer Cam talk cockroaches, COVID, #IWD22, virtue-signalling and book recommendations, and Alicia rants on short-termism in politics.
March 11, 2022