Recent Posts

Gay marriage, weed, and death with dignity

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
20

As readers know, over the weekend the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage the law of the land across all 50 States. Even the States that had expressly changed their State Constitution to limit marriage to one man / one…

Potency and purity

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Over the weekend, my attention was drawn to a column by National Poisons Centre toxicologist Leo Schep, published in the Herald last week, apparently in response to comments by Wellington ED doctor Paul Quigley, calling for regulated sale of MDMA.…

Friday Music: A dream or memory of some things

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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We often fill the music we love with dreams and memories; it's one of the purposes of music. On In Colour, the debut solo album by Jamie Xx, it's as if it's been done for us – the whole record sounds…

Government votes not to improve MMP

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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Last night, Parliament voted down a bill from Labour’s Iain Lees-Galloway that would have dropped the 5% MMP threshold to 4% and got rid of the coat-tailing rule. These changes didn’t come of thin air, or out of Labour policy.…

Happy Days

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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On last night's Media Take, which you can watch here, Simon Wilson talks about moving on after five notable years as the editor of Metro magazine. In the normal course of things, this would be more bad media news, but…

Zero

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Access by Fiona Mckenzie
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Zero is the amount of privacy in my life. Zero privacy within my family – and pretty close to zero as a family to the outside world. At least it can very often feel like that. I have a 16 year-old…

Bridges swims in troubled waters

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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I received new information from Simon Bridges this week, via the OIA. In my opinion, it proves he and Wayne Eagleson have been lying to New Zealand to cover up an abuse of power around the Northland by-election. Bridge bribe…

Harry Potter and the covenant of hope

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Access by Paul Gibson
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I am at the United Nations disability rights convention conference in New York to engage in discussion and work with others to search for solutions to end the denial of disabled people’s rights.  A major session at this meeting of…

Unity, success: Chicken, egg?

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Speaker by Rob Salmond
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Phil Quin, one of the people linked to the new right-of-Labour group Progress, has had an article about unity published in the Herald. Here’s a flavour: Disunity within caucus seriously undermined Labour's credibility," the [Labour election review] stated. This aligns…

Abortion: morality and health

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Speaker by Lamia Imam
145

Recently there have been murmurings in New Zealand politics around euthanasia, medical marijuana and the worst of the bunch – abortion. These conscience issues tends to irritate politicians of all shades because they irritate “the public”. They are uncomfortable topics because…

Lucky Stars

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Capture by Jonathan Ganley
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Don McGlashan and band (guitarist Tom Rodwell and drummer Chris O’Connor) performing the opening night of the 'Lucky Stars' album tour at Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland, on June 11 2015. The tour continues throughout New Zealand this weekend and across…

What's in the pills? It matters.

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Earlier this year, I spoke at some length to someone who had done something interesting at a New Zealand summer festival, and it's probably not what you're thinking. This person had, with a small team, tested the recreational drugs people…

Friday Music: About Apple Music

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The relationship between me, music and Apple is ... complicated. Music has sustained and excited me since I was a kid. I still listen to it every day and I still regularly pay money to hear it. With a single…

A dramatic and unremarkable decision

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Hard News by Russell Brown
59

The remarkable thing about minister Peter Dunne's welcome decision to approve the import of Elixinol, a cannabis-based oil, to treat the refractory status epilepticus being suffered by 19 year-old Alex Renton, is how unremarkable it should have been. Status epilepticus,…

Laughing from diversity, and the rise of fake news

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This week's episode of Media Take looks at New Zealand screen satire and humour and where their edges might be found – especially where they touch on race and ethnicity. The idea came up after one of Jeremy Wells' 'Like Mike'…

Nelson Street: Not too pretty, please

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's the nature of retrofitting cycle capacity to a city that has been designed for motor vehicles for more than half a century that the paths – with the notable exceptions of the shared paths NZTA is required to build alongside…

Friday Music: Up the Charts

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The number one single on the official New Zealand Music Charts this week is 'Bad Blood' by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar,  a formulaic cut-and-paste remix that inserts Lamar's verses in place of those in Swift's cringe-inducing original album track.…

Not Uniform

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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This is one of my kids' class photos from primary school. You may notice that everyone is dressed the same. I'm not big on uniform, as you may know, but if a school has to have one, this is a…

SIBs: The reality of "return-based outcomes"

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Speaker by John Palethorpe
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The government doesn't want to fund social care programmes any more. That's not precisely what they've said, but the announcement that they will be offering Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) implies that they believe that social care issues in NZ society…

Meet me at Camera 2: White Privilege

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Hard News by Russell Brown
37

On this week's Media Take, we chewed over the big topics: sovereignty, identity and privilege. For the last, an enjoyable two-part discussion with Sue Abel and Belinda Borell, I put up my hand to script a video track on white…

Campbell interviewed

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Hard News by Russell Brown
81

In October 2012, Media3 featured an interview with John Campbell, about making Campbell Live. The programme was made in a highly visible period: Natasha Utting's reporting had demonstrated that the government's proposed school closures in Christchurch were based on hopelessly…

Friday Music: They even taxed the turntables

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Hard News by Russell Brown
13

Unless you happened to be a Young Nat – and frankly, a few of them were probably wavering – to be young in late 70s and early 80s New Zealand was to be set against Prime Minister Rob Muldoon. It wasn't just…

Campbell Live: A Disturbance in the Force

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Around 7.30pm this evening, there will be a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices have suddenly cried out in terror and been suddenly silenced. Well, okay, perhaps that's overstating the case. No actual inhabited world will…