Recent Posts

A true commitment

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Speaker by Diane White
9

In recent weeks, the Government has come out in support of a push for strangulation to become its own offence. One of a number of recommendations by an independent committee into family violence deaths, the Family Violence Death Review Committee…

Friday Music: Why anyone does it in the first place

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Florian Habicht’s Pulp film is warm, funny, satisfying and true. And its first few minutes are just brilliantly, awesomely exuberant. They're why people buy records and go to gigs and obsess over bands, and why people play in bands in…

Fulminating and fermenting

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Feed by Russell Brown
26

Longtime readers of this site may be aware of my occasional bursts of fulmination about overhopped stunt beers -- and my calls for New Zealand craft brewers to produce more sessionable brews in the classic best bitter style I think…

Te Reo Māori in schools: let's just start

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Hard News by Russell Brown
95

I was born 52 years ago today, on a date that seems unnervingly close to the 1950s. I caught the end of the free school milk years (they really did just leave it out in the sun) and I like…

Power to (all) the people!

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Access by Ezekiel Robson
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The society we live in today has been shaped by many struggles, social movements, and revolutionary forces, most aiming to create a more egalitarian existence.  Women, indigenous peoples, LGBT communities, and even animals have secured hard won recognition of their…

Tomorrow Lives Forever

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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A while back, I promised you that next time I wrote, we'd have more fun. In that time, the world in general and my life in particular have become much grimmer. Therefore, in my opinion, the Fun is even more…

Over the paywall?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
45

This time last year, it seemed a cert that both our big newspaper sites -- Stuff and the New Zealand Herald Online -- would adopt paywalls. That is, stop being free and start charging for access, probably after a set…

Friday Music: Good ideas and grumbles

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Hard News by Russell Brown
115

Ian Jorgensen, aka Blink, is a remarkable man: principled, organised, creative and willing to work to put his ideas into practice, be they the Camp A Low Hum Festivals, his Wellington music venue Puppies or a string of domestic and…

Not even a statistic

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Speaker by "Katrina"
146

A report published in February in The Lancet says Australia and New Zealand have more than double the global average of sexual assaults on females aged 15 and over by someone other than their partner.  It suggests that data from…

Auckland's future: Keep calm, but think hard

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Hard News by Russell Brown
72

I presume I wasn't the only one a bit perplexed by Bernard Orsman's story in Monday's Herald about Auckland Council "finances reach[ing] crisis point" and the council "living beyond its means" amid "a financial mess" that would necessitate a "black…

Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely

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Hard News by Russell Brown
127

On the face of it, Prime Minister John Key's consistent claim that he had never heard of Kim Dotcom until the eve of the extraordinary armed raid on the Dotcom mansion on January 20 2012 seems unlikely and absurd. How…

It was 30 years ago today

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Hard News by Russell Brown
47

Thirty years ago today, New Zealand pivoted. On July 14, 1984, the fourth Labour government was elected and things would never be the same again. I remember voting that morning. I was living in a barely-converted warehouse in Fort Street…

Going solar?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
146

The recent Guardian story declaring that "solar has won" over coal as a means of generating electricity for big cities may or may not overstated the case, but it certainly signalled a welcome and hugely beneficial trend. Developments in Japan…

A wretched editorial

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Hard News by Russell Brown
99

As Toby Manhire pointed out in his Herald column on Friday, the decision to speak up of 22 year-old Tania Billingsley, the alleged victim of an assault with intent to rape that sparked a diplomatic scandal, drew foaming outrage from…

Friday Music: Bits and pieces

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Hard News by Russell Brown
7

Just a quickie post this week, because I'm flat-out with with and conferences and stuff. And besides, there's Campbell Walker's prodigious guest post on Peter Jefferies and his work if you want some more reading and listening pleasure. Peter plays…

Peter Jefferies: Time and the singular man

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Speaker by Campbell Walker
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Peter Jefferies released his last album in 2001. Tellingly titled Closed Circuit, and released on the Texas label Emperor Jones, it didn't make a huge impact at the time – the modest international boom for the highly distinctive underground New Zealand…

What looks good to me

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Access by Chelle Hope
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Living with spina bifida can be physically exhausting.  Sometimes that gets me down. I often feel a psychological detachment from my body, a sort of disembodiment that comes from a loss of control I feel over my own health and…

World Cup of Evil

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
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I'm not sure what theme FIFA was hoping to emphasise at the is world cup, I'll bet good money that it wasn't "villainy".  Almost as soon as the knock-out stages started the bad guys started their evil works. Perhaps even…

Media Take: Afghanistan, trust and NetHui

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Hard News by Russell Brown
24

The most puzzling part of the response to Jon Stephenson's Collateral Damage report last week for Native Affairs was the extent to which it focused on claims that the programme had not made. Stephenson's story drew on both a paper…

Now win the argument

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Hard News by Russell Brown
46

I'm pleased that Labour made education the keynote of its election-year Congress over the weekend, because it's the policy area in which the present government has, I think, done the most damage. From their feckless introduction under Parliamentary urgency and…

See Into the Trees

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Capture by Jackson Perry & Nora Leggs
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Come closer and see See into the trees* We waited, patiently, for winter to arrive, thinking how mild it was, and wondering what everyone south of Hamilton would say about the flanellette sheets coming out before it even got into…

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

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Muse by Craig Ranapia
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[CONTENT NOTE: Contains references to rape, and discussion of depictions of sexual and physical abuse that may be distressing.] It should have surprised nobody that reactions to the debut of Gaylene Preston's Christchurch quake drama Hope and Wire (Three, Thursdays,…

Friday Music: Wellies not required

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Hard News by Russell Brown
14

It wasn't really like being there, but being telepresent at Glastonbury Festival last weekend was certainly cheaper, dryer and less demanding, and I did it every whichway. Firstly, via BBC iPlayer. Our household's only region-block-defeating solution is currently a Chrome…

Hope and Wire

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Hard News by Russell Brown
184

I remember that in September 2012 I was sensing in my Christchurch friends an unfamiliar psychology. The earthquakes were abating, but in a handful of visits to the city where I was born and in the discussions on this site,…