Recent Posts

Friday Music: So much music I can't even

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Hard News by Russell Brown
41

Here's the thing about all these best-albums-of 2014 lists -- I haven't even heard most of them. And I'm pretty sure that best-of-the-year lists never used to be 40 or 50 albums long, as they commonly are now. Perhaps that's…

We're in this together

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
46

A couple of months ago, the excellent Katharine Viner, deputy editor of The Guardian and editor of Guardian Australia, gave a speech called The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web. It voiced many of…

Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!

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Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood
49

When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a…

Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics

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Hard News by Russell Brown
92

A transient political scandal which has been dealt with, resolved and thoroughly moved-on-from with no hard feelings at all has somehow been named as the Public Address Word of the Year 2014. "I honestly can't understand how this has happened,"…

Some aspects of New Zealand's disability history - part two

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Access by Hilary Stace
61

In part one I covered the eugenic ideas that underpinned public policy in the first decades of the 20th century. The assumptions that disability indicated inferiority and likely moral degeneracy led to discriminatory attitudes, laws and policies against disabled people,…

Friday Music: Everybody Loves the Sunshine

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Hard News by Russell Brown
20

More than most music festivals, Splore stages its lineup announcements in such a way that the "wow!" factor is as likely to come in the third or fourth release as the first. Well, they've outdone themselves this time, with the…

Word of the Year 2014: The Vote

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Hard News by Russell Brown
41

The discussion has been had, the words have been nominated, and now it is time to put them to a vote. I've trimmed the list of nominated words and phrases to a manageable size and, as usual, you are invited…

Adric and the Art of Asking

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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Some of you may remember the time, five years ago, when I had to go into hospital and have the brain tumor that was blinding me removed. We called it Adric, we made jokes to cope with the fear, and…

Inequality: Too big to ignore

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Speaker by Max Rashbrooke
107

For years now, one of the main reasons given for dismissing inequality as an issue has been about economics: you need income gaps to generate growth. Without a wide gap between rich and poor, who would have the incentive to…

Public Address Word of the Year 2014

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Hard News by Russell Brown
269

It's that time again! The time, that is, when Public Address readers nominate, debate and vote for their Word of the Year. What winning word or phrase will emerge? Will it come from the hurly-burly of the weirdest general election…

Why churches should marry same-sex couples

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Speaker by Colin Jackson
21

I am Colin Jackson, a middle-aged married father of two and until recently a long-term adherent of Wellington Central Baptist. Early in 2013, I wrote to the New Zealand Baptist national leader Craig Vernall criticising his public opposition to the…

Wellington Super City? Not even if it’s the best idea ever.

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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The Local Government Commission has released a Draft Proposal for Reorganisation of Local Government in Wellington. It proposes a region-wide governance structure, with a single overarching council replacing the Greater Wellington Regional Council, the Carterton District Council, the Hutt City…

Some reprehensible bullshit

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Hard News by Russell Brown
128

EXCLUSIVE, trumpets the Herald on Sunday's front page lead story today, HIDDEN ROOMS IN MAYOR'S NEW OFFICE. 'What secrets are concealed in Len Brown's flash new office?' the headline inside demands. A better question might have been: is anybody really…

Old Delhi

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Capture by Simon Grigg
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Alan Whicker once said that you should write down everything that amazes you on the first day you arrive in a new place – because what amazes you on the first day will seem like the norm the next day. I…

Friday Music: Memories of a strange day

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Hard News by Russell Brown
20

When Audioculture published my article last year on the worst disorder to take place at a concert in New Zealand -- the 1984 Queen Street riot -- it turned out to be anything but the end of the story. As…

Great New Zealand Argument: A limited-time offer!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
12

Back in 2005, I published a book based on Public Address's Great New Zealand Argument historical blog feature. The book, Great New Zealand Argument: Ideas about ourselves, did fairly well -- we got to a second printing -- and I'm…

Phillip Hughes: a personal reflection

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Access by Matt Frost
13

I'm 34 and I have autism spectrum disorder. It is not an over-the-top statement to say I have loved one sport in particular for 25 years --indeed, it's been a special field of interest for me. That sport is cricket.…

Park Life

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Hard News by Russell Brown
126

Julian Lee's Campbell Live report last week on plans for Auckland's Chamberlain Park golf course repeatedly made the point that its status as an inner-city everyman's course makes it unusual, perhaps even unique. Somewhat inevitably, it was brightened by shots…

Friday Music: Good ideas that don't work

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

Stinky Jim has been playing a rather engaging cumbia version of New Order's 'Blue Monday' on his 95bFM radio show. Having tracked down the Soundcloud stream, I thought that I would quite like, in my old-fashioned way to, you know,…

The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act

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Hard News by Russell Brown
14

Even as it was making its way to the statutes,
 New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk
 of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that…

Market failure in the research world

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Speaker by Mark C. Wilson
68

The “serials crisis” has been a feature of research life for over 20 years. According to figures from the US Association of Research Libraries, during 1986-2007 academic journal subscription charges increased by 340%, four times the rate of inflation. Publishers…

Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading

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Hard News by Russell Brown
235

The reporter of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of information by the SIS is now public, and it turns out to be largely about a democratic problem we've discussed plenty this year: the growing contempt in…

Prague

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Hard News by Russell Brown
29

There are always candles at the memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajic, who immolated themselves in protest at the forcible ending of the Prague Spring in 1968, but there were more there than usual last Thursday when I walked…

Team Little: pretty good

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Hard News by Russell Brown
118

New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset…