Recent Posts

Friday Music: The Music Story

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Hard News by Russell Brown
22

As Karyn Hay noted at Wednesday night's announcement, it's been a poorly-kept secret in the industry that Auckland Museum has been preparing a major New Zealand music exhibition. But if the reveal of Volume: Making Music in New Zealand comes…

Budget 2016: Fantasyplan

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Along with the Budget itself, Budget day also gives the public a new peek into how the government thinks the country is going to do over the next few years. These are the Treasury’s forecasts, and they sit beneath every…

Budget 2016: Dull on top, hollow underneath

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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This is the Budget you write when you’ve got no new ideas. Today Bill English hands down a Budget that says the words “innovation” and “investment” a lot, but contains not one actual innovative investment to meet the housing crisis,…

Things that do us good and ill

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Hard News by Russell Brown
23

Earlier this month, I attended a conference on the best ways to regulate drugs which are illegal now but might not be so in future. Most of the discussion revolved around cannabis and concerns about the effects of commerce. No…

I am a Really Useful Engine

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Speaker by Rebecca Gray
19

A couple of weekends ago, we were getting ready to go try out the new section of Te Araroa tramping track between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay. Very nice views, I recommend it, though probably not on a really windy day.…

Geoffrey Palmer has decided to write a constitution

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
19

Last year, the Law Foundation made a $10,000 research grant to former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer to write about a New Zealand Constitution. But, after more than one recent government investigation ended in only recommendations to keep discussion alive,…

Three Dreams

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Hard News by Russell Brown
41

I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular. The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was…

Mike's minute: Mike's maths!

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset. For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is…

This. Is. Crazy.

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Hard News by Russell Brown
98

It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing. We now…

The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship

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Access by Hilary Stace
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The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,…

The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
49

Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website of…

Friday Music: Iggy at the Royal Albert Hall and all

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Hard News by Russell Brown
18

Wonderful, said the Financial Times. We'll never see his like again, said The Independent. Triumphant, said the Telegraph.  Primal, priapic and peerless, said some clever-clogs at The Guardian. Happily, the Daily Mail appears not to have sent a reviewer. But…

Confessions of an Uber Driver II: How we doing?

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Speaker by Ben Wilson
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So you're back for another ride? Liked the service last time? Or maybe the price? Used your promo code to get $20 off your first ride and realized you could have gone all the way to the airport on it?…

Decrypting “social investment”

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Polity by Rob Salmond
43

It looks like next week’s budget will feature a lot of talk about the social sector. There’s whispers of big budget boosts in health and education, as well there might be with per-person health spending falling in real terms over…

Crowded houses

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Hard News by Russell Brown
145

In the course of a searching interview with Guyon Espiner this morning, Social Housing minister Paula Bennett sought to emphasise how much the  goverment is spending on housing support: two billion annually in subsidies for social housing and accommodation supplements…

Media Take: Heavy topics

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Hard News by Russell Brown
8

We take on a weighty trio of topics on Media Take tonight: family violence, the mooted Fairfax-NZME merger and its likely impact, and reporting about climate change. Our guests on the domestic violence panel are Jeremy Eparaima and Kyle Macdonald.…

Breaking the Silence

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Cracker by Damian Christie
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Last night I was invited to moderate a panel for the launch of Shaun Hendy’s new book, ‘Silencing Science’.  Shaun is a scientist, a science communicator and Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the…

Friday Music: Got Knox?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

You may recall a project launched a while ago to compile the illustrative work of Chris Knox into a definitive, high-quality book. It didn't hit a fairly ambitious crowdfunding target, but the plan hasn't gone away and Beatnik Publishing's Chris…

A simple strategy for Trump to win the Presidency

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Speaker by Kirk Serpes
20

As things stand right now, Trump would lose hands down by a landslide to Hillary, mostly likely taking the Republican Party with him.  People hate Hillary but they hate him a lot lot more.  Not just white-American liberals, a lot…

An update of changes to suicide-reporting law (updated)

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
17

Parliament looks set to have its last substantive debate on the Coroners Amendment Bill this evening, with the committee stage on the Coroners Amendment Bill listed as the fourth item in the order paper (although, depending on how things go…

Tribute - Dr Chris Ward

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Capture by Philip Wilkie
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PAS Regular Chris Ward sadly died last year of cancer. Earlier this year we received an email from his friend Philip, with a beautifully written eulogy to Chris. We thought it would be good to post a collection of Chris'…

Forgetting what we didn't know

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Hard News by Russell Brown
82

The Panama Papers have been a "big, fat, flop" which has "told us nothing new" writes Duncan Garner in a column today. This might come as news to the former Prime Minister of Iceland, who vacated his post last month…

What Sorry Looks Like

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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I feel like I’ve been swimming in a sea of Domestic Violence the last couple of days, since that terrible Tony Veitch piece came out. I’ve seen so many people – lefties, women, feminists – saying, well, he’s sorry, and it was…

Is being a tax haven worth it?

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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With the latest revelations about Mossack Fonseca, we’ve learned this morning about New Zealand’s increasingly prominent role in the global tax avoidance racket. We have accounting firms that charge $3,000 a year to fill in a one page form on…