Recent Posts

Good as gold

Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

Everyone should have read the book by now. No, not Dirty Politics (although you should have read that too). The other one that came out quietly at the end of last year and has become the silent witness to this…

Friday Music: Lovable Munter

Hard News by Russell Brown

I know I've banged on quite a bit about Courtney Barnett lately, but oh my goodness she was great at the King's Arms this week. Her wordy, nerdy songs, her weird guitar-playing, her rockin' band and her lovable-munter persona, they…

A call from Curia

Hard News by Russell Brown

The phone rang last night and when I picked it up, a young woman said "Hi, is Russell there please?" It turned out that we didn't know each other. She was working the phones for Curia Research, the National Party's…

Time to Vote

Hard News by Russell Brown

I haven't voted yet. As intriguing as the electorate's unprecedented embrace of advance voting is, I like the idea of going out and casting my vote on the day. For the first time, we'll vote as a whole family, and…

Things I have learned running RockEnrol

Speaker by Laura O'Connell Rapira

1)  Politics makes people weird. 2)   Artists and activists are some of the most generous people on the planet. 3)   Good funding is hard to find. 4)   Young people are awesome and often political, they just don’t realise it yet.…

Prospects for inclusive education after the 2014 general election

Speaker by Giovanni Tiso

We may be approaching a point in New Zealand where a consensus is reached that our model for funding and delivering so-called ‘special education’ is inadequate, and has been for some time. The system survived a comprehensive review in 2010,…

Interview: Glenn Greenwald

Hard News by Russell Brown

I was offered an interview with Glenn Greenwald yesterday in the wake of his appearance at the Moment of Truth event. What follows is the transcript of that interview. It covers both the specifics of what he reported at the…

Disability: Election Promises for the 24%

Access by Hilary Stace

In the latest census 24% of the population were identified as disabled, that is 1.1 million people New Zealanders. Many of those are older people with physical impairments, but for young people learning disability is the most common. Then there…

The plan against the rebuild

Speaker by Eric Crampton

There is a great deal of ruin in a city, to paraphrase Adam Smith’s calm reply to those heralding the doom of Britain after the battle of Saratoga. In other words, it takes a lot to really wreck either a…

In Tribute: Peter Gutteridge and the Hypnotic Groove

Speaker by Grant McDougall

Peter Gutteridge changed my life. In December 1988 I came to Dunedin on holiday for a week from my hometown of Gisborne. I was eager to see some of the fabled Dunedin bands live and I couldn’t have timed it…

Vision and dumbassery

Hard News by Russell Brown

Part way through last night, the Moment of Truth event at the Auckland Town Hall felt history-making. Journalist Glenn Greenwald had presented documentary evidence -- not a lot, and it was more blasted Powerpoint slides, but easily enough to be…

"Project SPEARGUN underway"

OnPoint by Keith Ng

Let's get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey - they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then…

1600 beneficiaries moving into work each week? When a lot is not a lot

Speaker by Michael Fletcher

In recent weeks the Prime Minister and other Government Ministers have been fond of claiming that 1,600 beneficiaries are leaving the benefit and going into jobs every week (see for example National’s election policy statement). It’s an impressive sounding claim.…

The End of Trust

Speaker by Paul Brislen

If there’s one thing I’ve learned reading the Dirty Politics book and associated stories, emails, blog posts, tweets and rants, it’s that I’ve got a thing or two to learn about PR. This worries me somewhat, because while I’ve only…

Friday Music: Mo' Nina

Hard News by Russell Brown

It's customary now to lament the downward spiral in the dollar value of music created by first piracy, then Spotify and finally the free, unsummoned delivery of new U2 albums to people who don't even fucking want them. But it's…

2014: The Meth Election

Hard News by Russell Brown

The Guardian today has a story about how North Korea's system of official graft has evolved such that crystal methamphetamine is now seen as "an ideal gift" for government officials who need bribing, alongside more traditional considerations like beef. I…

Sign this Petition

Southerly by David Haywood

Like many voters, I feel both depressed and powerless in light of the revelations in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics. At the end of the day—in that oft-spoken phrase of our prime minister—the book leaves me confronted with an unpleasant choice:…

But seriously, drug policy

Hard News by Russell Brown

Whatever the context of Hone Harawira's salty email and however much it does or doesn't signal a critical split in the Internet Mana alliance, the media noise has drowned out the central fact: another political party has officially adopted an…

Vote for Water

Speaker by Hilary Stace

It is not aspirational to swim in our rivers or go whitebaiting in spring. As New Zealanders we take it for granted. We need water to survive and thrive but it has become highly political. Dr Mike Joy is a…

Going, Going, Global

Capture by Jackson Perry
4 11

Last night at Galatos, over three levels, and starting on time at 7pm (meaning I missed the first band Little Bark while eating my ramen), the Going Global Showcase was like putting your favourite contemporary New Zealand music playlist on…

Friday Music: The Cool Dancer

Hard News by Russell Brown

If you ever treasured Herbs' What's Be Happen, the Swingers' 'One Good Reason', Sneaky Feelings' Send You or Dave Dobbyn's 'Slice of Heaven'; if you were at that huge David Bowie concert at Western Springs in 1983, or the disastrous…

Privacy and the Public Interest

Hard News by Russell Brown

Cameron Slater is now, remarkably, engaged in two overlapping privacy actions, on opposite sides. In one, he is the subject of an action for breaching the privacy of businessman Matt Blomfield, after taking possession of a hard drive, emails and…

By Night

Capture by Angus McNaughton
23 5

Most people know Angus McNaughton for his work in music -- player, producer, remixer, ace mastering engineer -- but he trained first as a photographer As a skilled darkroom film and print technician in Christchurch in the late 1980s, he…

Telling Our Own Tales

Speaker by Gerard Smyth

What happens in a community after a sizeable calamity has struck and there is very little mainstream television media presence? To get to this question I shall tell a tale. July 2012 – a year and half after the worst of…

Show some decency

Hard News by Russell Brown

I'm glad your father isn't alive to see this, my mother often says. I know what she means. Dad was, sometimes to a fault, concerned with security. I think my own ability to take risks is founded in the safety…