Recent Posts

David Fisher: The OIA arms race

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Speaker by David Fisher
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Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries. I think there's some value before…

Media Take: The creeping politicisation of the OIA

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Brent Edwards' story last week on official advice to ministers on child poverty was interesting not only for its substance, but its circumstance. Edwards explained on Morning Report that he originally requested the first of the documents (some of them…

Art and disability: a festival

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Access by Russell Brown
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The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion. One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday…

Friday Music: There have been many worse years

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The New Zealand Music Awards finalists were announced last night and they're quite a varied and interesting bunch. Lorde's Pure Heroine  is eligible this time and you'd assume she and Joel Little will be up on stage more than once…

The Hager saga continues

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Nicky Hager joins us on Media Take this week, to discuss the recent extraordinary police search of his home and the position he's now in. I will also ask him for his response to the Givealittle fund launched to help…

Terrorism is already illegal

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Prime Minister John Key was interviewed by One News Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin on TVNZ's Q+A this morning, primarily discussing the role New Zealand may play in the campaign against ISIS: Parkin: On the foreign fighters issue that you…

Good to Go?

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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A woman walks through a bar. As she passes his table, a man reaches out and grabs her hand. He pulls her onto his lap and kisses her.  A woman walks through a bar. As she passes his table, a…

Friday Music: Cilla!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For purposes of criticism and review, our household was watched Cilla, ITV's three-part story of Cilla Black's early years. It's great: funny, touching, well-written and apparently true-to-life. Sheridan Smith makes a fine job of the lead role, not least in…

Help from the crowd

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Hard News by Russell Brown

Independent journalism, whether conducted online or in more traditional ways, is not an easy path to pursue. For all the dreams of an army of truth-tellers swarming the space left by a shrinking media monolith, there is one particular time…

Terror panics and the war imperative

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In this week's Media Take -- which you can watch here -- we look at three related topics: the sudden imperative for a new war in Iraq to defeat Islamic State; Australia's startling media panic over terrorism plots and the…

Doing over the witness

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Whoever compromised Cameron Slater's computer and copied some of his private communications almost certainly committed a criminal offence. The police should investigate Slater's complaint about the incident and, if they can confirm the identity of that person and have sufficient…

Home advantage

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Home advantage is one of competitive sport's key tropes. It is regarded as such an important influence on the outcome of football matches -- in which it is rare to win with a lead of more than a goal or…

Why we should not dismiss conspiracy theories

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Speaker by Matthew Dentith
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Often when we think of conspiracy theories we also think of conspiracy theorists. There’s David Icke and his theory that the world is secretly controlled by blood drinking, alien shape-shifting reptiles. Then there’s Glenn Beck, who worries that the world…

Friday Music: Festival of Non-Dudeyness

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's a part of the Laneway festival's brand that that it's six months ahead of the curve: so that at the time each year's lineup is announced you won't have heard of most of the acts, but will be positively…

An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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Speaker by James Macbeth Dann
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Dear David, I want to first congratulate you on the campaign you ran. You gave it your all, and did well in the debates. I was deeply disappointed in the result that Labour got on September 20th - but I’m…

A message from The Fabians

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Dear Fabian Friend Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn? A Fabians Reflection on Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result. With Sue Bradford, Russell Brown and Kirk Serpes. Thursday 16th October in the Owen Glen Building, Lecture…

Science and Democracy

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Speaker by Nicola Gaston
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Science has a bad habit of asking – demanding, even – to be placed in a position of power.  To be referred to as an authority on all things.  To be trusted by the public. Not that this last is a bad…

Friday Music: The swimmer reaches the shore

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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When TheAudience launched as an NZ On Air-backed hype site more than two years ago, perhaps the the first song on it to really stand out for me -- and for a lot of people -- was by an artist,…

Compulsory voting and election turnout

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Speaker by Alex Mackenzie
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Rarely is there harmony on anything around election time. But everyone seems to agree that not enough New Zealanders are voting (see here, here, and here). That this election saw a rise in turnout since the last one is hardly…

Sunlight Resistance

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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They say sunlight is the best disinfectant. It always seemed like a self-explanatory concept: Wrongdoing is exposed, wrongdoers scuttle back into the shadows. But what happens when you crank up the sunlight, and the brightly-lit assholes just stand there staring…

The humanity

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Election campaigns are exhausting for everyone concerned, and the strange one we've just emerged from more than most. Even for the losers, there's usually at least the simple relief of it all being over. Most of us out here can…

Three times over, and never again

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Speaker by June
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 I read something on Twitter a while ago. A question from a well-meaning friend of someone who had recently been sexually assaulted. “How do I convince her to go to the police?” he asked. And I felt an instant pit…

You Can Call Me Brave Now

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Access by Chelle Hope
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People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a…