Recent Posts

Retraction: Three Strikes Five Years On

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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On September 30 2015, I published a post: The Greg King Memorial Blogpost: Three Strikes Five Years On. I retract that post. I am grateful to Dominion Post journalist Nikki Macdonald for her story published today looking at three strikes…

Friday Music! Be Square.

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Here's some nice news: Auckland Live Summer in the Square is back and every day from now the end of March, there will be stuff happening and places to sit in Aotea Square. The music programme has again been put…

No seclusion in schools!

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Access by The Autistic Collective
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Note: this statement from the Autistic Collective was published earlier this month but not widely circulated. I'm happy to publish it here because it's important to hear the voices of adult autistic people first-hand, and because it serves an an…

ORCON IRL: How was your year?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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"HOW WAS YOUR YEAR?" That's the question we'll put at the final Orcon IRL at Golden Dawn for 2016. RUSSELL BROWN and CHARLOTTE RYAN will quiz a bunch of people who did stuff about how it all went and the…

From Zero: The Meth Episode

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The episode of the From Zero podcast published today looks at the state of things with methamphetamine. It finds a widespread belief that the official statistics – which have meth use at just over 1% of the population, half what it…

Help needed! Deciphering the Plan for High Cost Community Care

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Access by Rosemary McDonald
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Back in June, Hilary Stace  contributed a post on Public Address about the miserable existence of Ashley Peacock and the drive to have him released into community based care so he can live a more ordinary life.  The last comment…

Friday Music! 'Tis the Season

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's been dark a long time but it's starting to feel like summer. And that means the parties are starting. The nice people at Base FM kick off with a party on the roof of Rydges Hotel in partnership with…

Catch you later

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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This is my last PA post for a while, as I’ve recently taken on a staff role as Deputy Chief of Staff in Andrew Little’s office. Doing that job requires radio near-silence, which I’ll be attempting as best as my…

From Zero: Drugs and popular culture

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The third episode of From Zero, my RNZ podcast series about New Zealanders and drugs, looks at drugs and popular culture: music, movies, TV and magazines. There is more of this than most people realise. New Zealand was a bit…

World of Food 1: Afghanistan

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Feed by Amberleigh Jack
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It's funny how sometimes meaningless conversations or moments can turn into inspiring ideas down the track. It was a little more than a year ago that a random conversation with my trainer spurred an idea that has now finally become…

Friday Music! Mic drops and dance pioneers

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I enjoyed Aaradhna's mic drop at the Music Awards last night: it added energy to an event that was already getting much of its energy from the Māori and Pasifika creativity on show. But I think there's something that needs…

Giving It the Bish

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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About ten days ago, I was in a pretty good mood. There was going to be this U.S. election that Hillary Clinton was going to win. A couple of days after that, my best friend was going to visit, and…

The fake news problem

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The Washington Post, Buzzfeed and others are reporting something strange and troubling today: a fake news site falsely claiming that Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote in last week's US Presidential election is the top…

From Zero: Weed

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The second episode of From Zero is available online this tumultuous morning. It's about cannabis. I talked to quite a range of people for this episode: a dealer, a grower, an advocate and two doctors among them. But for wholly…

#eqnz: Okay?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Earthquake news comes with baggage these days. We know what happens and we know what happens afterwards. It's rotten news to wake up to in Auckland. We slept through it, but it's a measure of the magnitude of last night's…

Music! Staring into King Loser

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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King Loser's brief reunion this year could have been a bit of a calamity: indeed, the first few minutes of their first show, at The Other's Way, weren't up to much. But the creature gathered itself, stood up and growled.…

A Singer Must Die - Leonard Cohen, In Tribute

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Speaker by Grant McDougall
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Leonard Cohen passed away yesterday at 82. One of the great singer-songwriters of the ages has gone. Yet it is the very rich, deep music that he leaves that so wisely and beautifully articulates the frailty of life and the…

Be careful what you wish for

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As things stand, Hillary Clinton has won about a quarter of a million more votes than Donald Trump – who in turn has won about 1.5 million votes fewer than Mitt Romney did in 2012. That changes nothing about the result,…

The Long, Strange Trip

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Like many of you, even though I cannot vote, I've taken an interest in the US Presidential election that lies somewhere between keen and visceral. This isn't a new thing. America looms large in our in culture, historically and in…

Education: We stand together, or we fall apart

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Access by Linda of Autism and Oughtisms
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There is a growing awareness in New Zealand that our education system is not delivering on basic obligations to a significant and vulnerable group of children. This failure of the system affects all of the country’s children: When a child…

From Zero: New Zealand and drugs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Over the past few years, psychoactive drugs and the means by which society deals with them have become a specialist subject for me. It's a field where so many things meet: science, medicine, politics, the law, philosophy, culture. It runs…

Music! The time Sneaky Feelings played at my house

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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We nearly all have cameras now, built into our phones with a ubiquity that doesn't even bear comment. Back in the day, you had to make the effort first to bring the camera, then, to pay money to see whether…