Recent Posts

Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is…

House prices and the "Magic Money"

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Speaker by David Hood
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At any one time, some people take out loans to buy houses, some people work paying off mortgages, and some people sell houses, possibly paying off mortgages. And the housing market reflects that behaviour. At least, that is the traditional…

Land of the brave little kids

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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My former colleague Sarah Austen-Smith recently posted some observations from her experience of America. I had an experience last weekend that caused me to think about the same NZ vs US comparison from another perspective: health care. Of course, a…

Deep Dream: Looking at clouds

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Computerised image recognition is on the one hand a technology so advanced as to be  "indistinguishable from magic" and on the other so far short of what our human brains do from infancy as to be almost banal. Either way,…

Protesting private prisons

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Speaker by John Palethorpe
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On May 2nd the Minister of Corrections, Sam Lotu-Iiga was interviewed on TV3’s The Nation about the opening of the new Wiri prison in South Auckland and its management by Serco. A few weeks later the UN reported on concerns…

Too much to swallow on the TPP

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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As Public Address readers will have seen, Labour has announced it will not support New Zealand joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement unless it meets five conditions: Protecting Pharmac No corporate litigation against NZ law changes NZ still allowed to restrict…

The CERA transition that no one wants to talk about

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Speaker by James Dann
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At the end of last month, the government released the draft transition recovery plan, the most important document for the governance of the rebuild since 2011. While CERA was widely expected to wrap up when its powers expire in 2016,…

Well, Read Women

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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Frequently, men write to Captain Awkward complaining that they can't get women to go out with them. One of her staple pieces of advice for them is 'consume art by women'. This might seem like a fairly strange bit of…

What I learned in Class: Should Labour go after the "Bogan Vote"?

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Speaker by Dave Snell
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On July 20 Chris Trotter raised a very poignant (for Labour anyway) issue: “Should Labour go after the Bogan Vote?” Because I’m on everyone’s rolodex whenever the dreaded ‘B-word’ is uttered, the message was passed along, and I was encouraged…

Necessity: or the Sky is Falling

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Yesterday, Parliament went into urgency to pass a law to validate 10+ years of speeding fines, in an un-named number of council areas, thought to be up to 25. I opined (can you tell I read Biggles books growing up?)…

Political palatability and charter schools

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Kirsty Johnston's story in the Herald today presents a range of claims about the management of West Auckland school Middle School West, including that it appeases students with junk food on a weekly basis, which, acording to one staff member's…

Don't put words in our mouths, Rob

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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In an opinion piece in the SST, Rob Salmond said: After I published Labour’s method online, Keith Ng, Tze Ming Mok, and Chuan-Zheng Lee - all skilled analysts, all otherwise critical on this topic -all agreed the name-based ethnicity analysis…

Auckland: The songs of the city

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It was music that brought me to Auckland more than 30 years ago and music that, in large part, has helped define what being an Aucklander is for me. So I'm understandably delighted to be chairing the first event of…

A week on from the housing controversy

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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Last week, Labour released figures indicating ethnic Chinese recently purchased 39.5% of Auckland homes, while the Auckland population is only 9% ethnically Chinese. Not surprisingly, there was much scrutiny of this decision, and the analysis that lay behind it. I…

Jim's Festival

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Speaker by James Rae Brown
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Again this year, James Rae Brown is attending plenty of screenings at the New Zealand International Film Festival and working as an usher at quite a few more. And he's going to make a short video review of every film…

Friday Music: Silver and Gold

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This year's Apra Silver Scroll Awards mark the fiftieth anniversary of New Zealand's most significant songwriting prize. So it's appropriate that the long list of songs released yesterday to be voted on by Apra members might actually be the best…

Identification strategy: Now it’s personal

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Speaker by Tze Ming Mok
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Last week I filled in a survey about what the NZ Labour Party should do with itself. Half-facetiously I wrote something like: “Do it like the right does it. Lie about your true beliefs to appeal to ‘middle New Zealand’,…

House-buying patterns in Auckland

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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As people will have seen, Labour has obtained real estate data, scrutinized and published by the New Zealand Herald, showing 39.5% of the Auckland houses sold went to people who appear to be ethnically Chinese. This is a large discrepancy…

My last name sounds Chinese

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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I don't own a house, but if I bought one, I hope that cynical politicians wouldn't blame people whose "last name sounds Chinese" for.. driving up house prices beyond the reach of hard-working Kiwi first home buyers ..as if people…

The Bluff-it Budget

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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Yesterday, the Treasury released a large pile of documents showing the advice public servants gave to the government in advance of this year’s Budget, causing nerdgasms among a small, tragic group of political anoraks, myself included. (Step 1 is admitting…

Australia's NDIS: Great ideas, political whim and faith

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Speaker by Hilary Stace
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The National Disability Insurance Scheme was a recommendation from the Australian Productivity Commission in 2011. It was promoted by the first Australian Minister for Disability Issues, Bill Shorten, championed by PM Julia Gillard, and passed into legislation in 2013. It…

Friday Music: A night out dancing

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If you've been looking for a night out dancing, Keegan Fepuleai has a big one for you on Saturday week. ALT + CTRL + DANCE is a party across multiple K Road venues (Whammy, the Wine Cellar, Neck of the…

Honest Bastards & Dishonest Cowards

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Speaker by John Palethorpe
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It’s been a bad twelve months for the supporters of Labour in New Zealand and the UK. The similarities between Cunliffe and Miliband’s failed campaigns have already been covered by, among others, Buzzfeed. Both crushing results saw defeated leaders step…

Living under bridges

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Speaker by James Littlewood
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Skypath – the cycle & pedestrian path on the Auckland bridge – is a good thing. I’m looking forward to using it. But some of those celebrating its recently-granted resource consent could show more sympathy to the people of Northcote point, some of…