Recent Posts

Friday Music: Down at the Crystal Palace

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The electricity gods have been angry today, so I'll get straight to the point: Lawrence Arabia is playing at Mt Eden's Crystal Palace theatre this evening, with a string section – and a (solo) SJD in support. There's no way this…

What we think and how we vote

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Speaker by David Hood
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The data for the 2014 New Zealand Election Survey was recently released for the general public to make of it what they will, which in the modern world of home data analysis is like parachuting a gazelle into a pride…

The Unitary Plan and grown-up conversations

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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News media and interest groups have, of course, been immersed in the contents of the Independent Hearings Panel recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan since their publication yesterday. But perhaps we should also take a moment to consider the…

The Uncomfortable Silence

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Speaker by Amberleigh Jack
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The boy I lost my virginity to died shortly after. It was a motorbike accident. He was intense and pretty moody at times. But he was kind and wonderful and still one of the best people I've ever known in…

DNC 2016: Beyond weird, most of the way to scary

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Where to even start? As the Democratic Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, crowds of disaffected Sanders delegates – motivated by a dump of Democratic National Committee emails which seem very likely to have been taken in a hack overseen by Russian…

Friday Music: Back on the K

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the best things that happened on Karangahape Road last year was Flying Out's The Others Way Festival. The multi-venue event showed that it was possible to present a diverse lineup for a range of demographics and sell the…

Darkness in New York

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Speaker by Graeme Tuckett
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I'm a New Zealander who recently moved to New York City. I really wonder if anyone who isn't here understands just how nuts this place is right now, or how close this presidential race is going to be. The Republican…

The most important graph in the world

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Here’s the chart that should be at the centre of every debate – in New Zealand and elsewhere – about trade and globalization: It comes from the World Bank, and shows changes in income around the world from the fall of communism…

RNC 2016: A literal shitshow

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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There is a norovirus outbreak at the Republican National Congress. To be fair, uncontrollable vomiting and loss of bowel control would be a reasonable response to the contents of the convention's first day. You may find some irony in the…

The Best Possible Taste

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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The Broadcasting Standards Authority used to do this fantastic test of community standards when it came to language. They would knock on people’s doors, hold up cards with words like “Arsehole” on them, and say, “How offensive is this?” Disappointingly,…

Housing for the disabled is a collective responsibility

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Speaker by Tom Adson
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I have a very good and dear friend who the New Zealand government recognises as having a disability. He is 41 years old and lives with his ageing parents. The primary carers are transitioning from a supporting and role to…

Strange times with Starboy

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Late last month, Fairfax reported that legal-high entrepreneur Matt Bowden had moved with his family to Thailand, apparently to escape debts of more than $3.5 million, including more than a million in tax bills. The reporter, Chloe Winter, had not…

Sprawled out

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Speaker by Awkward Orchid
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I had heard about gentrification, but I never thought that it would happen to the sleepy towns I grew up in.  It was this thing that had happened in the central city suburbs. But of course it would happen there,…

Music: The Passing of Vega

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I saw Suicide at the Camden Palace on Thursday, October 9, 1987. It was hard going: the venue was kind of a dump, it must have been after midnight by the time they came on, and and when they did,…

Happy to Help (If I Can)

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Southerly by David Haywood
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A short while ago, a kindly Public Address reader sent me an email saying how much she’d enjoyed an old short story of mine, The Funeral. What with mass murders and governments in crisis she could do with cheering-up, she…

Obama's Mana

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Much has been said already about the considered and unifying character of US President Barack Obama's speech at the memorial for the five Dallas cops murdered last week. But I couldn't help but think of the statement he made exactly…

#OrconIRL 4: The Images are Moving

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As you may have noticed, the fourth of our Orcon IRL events went down at The Golden Dawn on Tuesday night – and it was great! It was the first one we've run in the evening and we made the call…

Australian election: Dust and Diesel

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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It looks like the curtain has finally come down on Australia’s cliffhanger election, with Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal/National coalition hanging on by way of deals with several one-seat parties. One underreported aspect of the results, though, is the bias in them.…

Friday Music: The Curse of the Chills

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Chills founder Martin Phillipps has always been a student of pop music mythology; of the way talent and destiny draw an arc that doesn't always land in the right place. And since the very early days of the band he…

The war is still with us

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first post published on this blog, on November 14 2002, was titled Extreme Pragmatism. It was about the prospective invasion of Iraq and specifically the Clark government's decision to send a New Zealand frigate to help with anti-terrorist surveillance…

Drug Intelligence

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Newshub's Michael Morrah got a good scoop in obtaining a copy of the National Drug Intelligence Bureau's cutely-named report Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act: One Year Through the Looking Glass. The report is seven months old – which actually makes it 17…

Post "post-truth" post

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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In the wake of Hurricanes Trump and Brexit, Andrea Vance penned a thoughtful column the other day about “post-truth politics.” Vernon Small had voiced similar musings earlier. Vance says: The polls don’t punish National for straying from the truth. And…

Monday Music! Outrageously right

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the real triumphs of the Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside has been the way its creators have curated and employed music to tell their story. Music was a part of the original series, but Westside's use of period tunes…

Back in Christchurch

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The walk from Pomeroy's Pub to the Antigua boatsheds is a passage through several different cities. Along Kilmore, at the northeast corner of Christchurch's CBD, the gaps are largely filled, first with new townhouses jammed into compounds, then commercial buildings…