Recent Posts

To have a home

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
28

With the human crisis unfolding in Europe – and our own government's evasiveness over how much we should help – it is worth remembering that this is hardly the first time refugees have been at the centre of political controversy in New…

Not yet standing upright

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
232

I've never greatly liked our current national flag: it looks too much like Australia's, and the Union Jack is an anachronism. And yet, I have an abiding fascination with New Zealand national identity and the cultural nationalists who first began…

Fine words, some hope

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
9

If intentions were deeds, or even laws, the National Drug Policy 2015-2020, launched last week, would be a game-changer. As it is, the policy is more notable for the words that accompany it than the force and clarity of its…

The silent minority

in
Speaker by David Hood
40

I've been playing with the New Zealand Electoral Survey data for the 2011 election and what interests me more than arguments about voters and parties and alliances is what we can see in the data about why people vote, and…

BURGERGASM

in
Speaker by Rob Salmond
31

The annual Wellington on a Plate restaurant fortnight ended yesterday. I didn’t have a single dish. That’s because the annual Burger Wellington competition also ended yesterday, and I had eleven of those instead. Nearly 100 restaurants put up an offering…

The problem is Serco

in
Speaker by John Palethorpe
19

They were, until a few months ago, the biggest company you’d never heard of. Well, that’s not entirely true. In New Zealand, Serco are not a big company. They have two public sector contracts, just two. Unfortunately, you already know…

Friday Music: Songs of Ennui

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
14

It's five whole years since Street Chant released their debut album Means. The record's smart, crunchy guitar pop songs took them from being the young band who seemed to be playing somewhere in Auckland every weekend to memorably winning the…

Everybody has one

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
86

Dita de Boni bowed out from her New Zealand Herald column this morning with a powerful explanation of why she might, as some people have apparently suggested to her over the years, have become more "biased against" the government. The…

Announcing: IRL at The Golden Dawn

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
1

Hello! You know, it's waaay too long since we've done an event for you. Well, I've fixed that. On the afternoon of Saturday week, September 5, we're kicking off a new talk series called IRL at The Golden Dawn and…

Meet the middle

in
Speaker by Rob Salmond
238

Last week I did a post about Jeremy Corbyn, and the possible worldwide implications of his rise. There’s been plenty of reaction. At the risk of prolonging a PFJ / JPF situation, I’d like to pick up on some points…

The Sky Trench

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
37

Back in June, I wrote a post about the consultation process with potential users of the most exciting part of the Nelson Street Cycle Route being delivered by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport – the swoop of the disused…

Steal Magnolia

in
Capture by Jackson Perry
41 8

It's becoming a bit of a tradition. I mean, almost an obsession. Spring starts to push its way into the brittle cold of winter, and the darling buds of August grab my attention. Or something. This time I've been caught…

Friday Music: Play Versions

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
17

It is the price of a tidy kitchen that my family will sometimes have to put up with me playing my latest jam repeatedly while I dance around doing the tidying and stacking. It might be a new tune, or…

In defence of the centre

in
Speaker by Rob Salmond
189

The leadership election in UK Labour has crystalised into everyone else vs Jeremy Corbyn’s fearless jump to the left. This has led some commentators to ask whether the old political orthodoxy of “move to the middle” is, long term, a…

Radio Punks: So many stories

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
57

Here's the thing about student radio: everyone has their own story. Even people who never set foot in a studio remember that time Mikey pulled off some momentary madness, John Campbell said "stiffy", or Silke played their track. Given that…

New Zealand and the TPP: “Or you’ll do what?”

in
Speaker by Rob Salmond
49

When I started working with Matt McCarten, he told me the most important question in any negotiation, on any topic, is: “or you’ll do what?” It’s the answer to that question that determines if you’ve got any leverage; it determines…

Baboom: it's serious

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
20

Baboom, the music service first trailered by Kim Dotcom in 2011 but now no longer associated with the controversial German, launched overnight. Its investors and management are in New Zealand. And it's really not bad. The design of both Baboom's…

Friday Music: Criminal Life

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
40

A decade ago, before the iTunes Music Store launched in New Zealand, senior employees of major record companies here spent a good part of their days infringing music copyright. To be fair, so did we all. Since the 1990s, software…

Game-changers and sporting special moments

in
Access by Paul Gibson
3

The New Zealand Paralympics swimming team is returning home with a haul of medals.  Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fischer have a bucket each and this is of course a fantastic achievement.  These two and other athletes that compete with a…

Creating a "New Scoop": Our solution to a common problem

in
Speaker by Alastair Thompson
13

Over the past four decades, the business model for all media has been completely disrupted by the internet as established patterns of media consumption have completely changed. Online time is now equal to TV watching time at around 14 hours…

Saudi sheep: Misappropriating taxpayers' money

in
Speaker by Rob Salmond
115

Last week, the government dumped 900 pages of Saudi sheep documents on the media and opposition. The record shows a Minister looking to mislead absolutely everyone in order to make an illegal $4 million payment to a foreign farmer. David…

Persistent Polio

in
Access by Hilary Stace
34

A century on from our first polio epidemic and 50 years after our last, many New Zealanders still live with the after-effects of the disease. Finding appropriate and timely services and support is as hard for them as any other…

Judicial caprice is no way to pursue law and order

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
144

Last week's news that Kaikohe community leader Kelly van Gaalen had been sentenced to two years prison in the Whangarei District Court for possession of cannabis from two plants, with no evidence of commercial supply, has rightly and understandably caused…

LATE tomorrow!

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
0

It's only one more sleep until I kick off the 2015 LATE at Auckland Museum season with Songs of the City, featuring Simon Grigg, Dave Dobbyn, Rachel Lang, Philip "DJ Sir Vere" Bell and Emma Paki – and I have three…