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Leviathan

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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Sometimes, you ought to judge a book by it's cover. It's kinda why they put a cover on it. David Fisher notes that in one of Ian Fletcher's last speeches as the director of the GCSB, he quoted from Thomas…

Talking to the United Nations about drugs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For more than half a century, the drug policies of nearly every nation in the world have been shaped by their commitment to the three United Nations drug conventions – despite those conventions having long come under fire as outdated and…

Science comes to the Arts Festival

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Speaker by Richard Easther
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thinkScience began with a Twitter conversation between me, Auckland Arts Festival chair Victoria Carter and Robin Hickman, about how to make new ways for New Zealanders to connect with science. We  have been working on this for over a year,…

Friday Music: A Movement

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Over the past decade and a half, Ian "Blink" Jorgensen has been an artist manager, tour manager, festival promoter, record label owner, publisher, musician and music provocateur. But before all that, and through all that, he was a photographer. And…

To defame and deflect

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first of a series of reports on New Zealand's role in the Five Eyes surveillance network has been published this morning across the news services of three co-operating media companies. The principal reporter is Nicky Hager, whose book Secret…

The Northland by-election; or The so-called Tizard Effect

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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When New Zealand adopted the mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system, Parliament had a bunch of choices to make about the detail of its operate. With the Northland by-election, we are temporarily getting a lesson in two of them: That…

Friday (Thursday) Music: Musical Vocabulary

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For various reasons, I missed a lot more than I caught of the music of Splore last weekend. But a lot of what I did hear, I had a great experience with. None more so than the revelation that was…

Haphazardly to war

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Here's the thing: what is happening now in the parts of Iraq and Syria controlled by Islamic State (or Daesh, or whatever you choose to call it) does represent the kind of proximate crisis that had to be fabricated to…

Sunday in the City

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One morning the 1980s, a man walked into my bedroom and demanded to know what I was doing there. "Sleeping," I mumbled, which did not mollify him. He was from the Dingwall Trust and had just discovered that the rooms…

Stuck inside the Great Disruption

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Speaker by Greg Jackson
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Four years on from the worst Christchurch earthquake, we are still living inside the great disruption that Christchurch life is now. I've done big thinkings about the big picture  before in other places, this time I just want to do…

Friday Music: Christchurch, Legacy of Strange

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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On Audioculture, a website about music where images have become the stars, one of my favourite sets is this collection of photographs taken in 1980 and 1981 by my friend Gordon Bartram. They're just a teenager's gig pics, fading like…

The World Cup is over

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
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“The Cricket World Cup is officially over.” That’s me quoting myself before New Zealand smashed England in a surprisingly short game in Wellington. I don’t follow cricket, as many of you know, but it’s bit of fun to watch when…

When the fast track seems a good track

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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What do the Waterview Connection, the presumably doomed Basin Reserve flyover and Auckland Transport's decision last week  to pull the plug on the weird flyover plan for Reeves Road, Pakuranga, have in common? Answer: they're all good outcomes of the…

Women, science and superheroes

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Speaker by Alyona Medelyan
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In August last year, I attended the Women in Innovation Summit organized by the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. We discussed various issues that prevent women from choosing careers in technology, and from advancing their careers. But…

Some aspects of New Zealand’s disability history ‒ part three

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Access by Hilary Stace
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In parts one and two I covered New Zealand’s disability history up to the 1970s. From the 1970s the growing international disability rights movement developed what became known as the ‘social’ model of disability, whereby people have impairments but it…

Masters of Reality

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's a week since the Prime Minister's statement, the annual opening act of Parliamentary politics, when the leader traditionally sets out the governing party's plan for the year. This year, the statement was prefaced with a look at the government's…

Public art is no place for committees

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Speaker by Hamish Keith
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In the last few months, Auckland Council has announced three major public art works: Michael Parakowhai on Queens Wharf, Judy Millar at the Devonport Library and Gregar Kregar and Sarah Hughes at New Lynn. All three have set off a…

Friday Music: Love Unknown Orchestra

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's been quite a week for Ruban Nielson. Firstly, a new Unknown Mortal Orchestra tune, the title track from a forthcoming album, has been rapturously received. Secondly, he has a hand in the new track from Wu Tang Clan founder…

Talking @Splore

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As I've noted here already, I'm curating and presenting a talk programme at this year's Splore festival, February 20-22. It's diverse and busy and I'm very happy with how it has come together. The programme will run on Saturday and…

Losing cultural treasures under the TPP

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Speaker by Jeremy Malcolm, Electronic Frontier Foundation
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What do Japan's Blue Sky Library, Malaysia's answer to John Wayne, and the first recorded composer from New Zealand all have in common? They could all disappear from their countries' public domain for the next 20 years, if the current…

This Week in Parliament: 2 February 2015 - 6 February 2015

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Southerly by David Haywood
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Public Address presents our weekly round-up of the important events in parliament. KEY’S NEW ‘BLACK OPS’ APPOINTEE SCORES EARLY SUCCESS A week that began with government panic over Jaipur-Literary-Festival-gate has ended with Prime Minister John Key once more firmly in…

Stella and the Fun Palaces

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This is an extended version of an interview with Stella Duffy, conducted in mid-November while I was in London and originally published in Fairfax's Saturday Your Weekend magazine. Since the interview, Stella has made her trip to Nigeria (and written…

CWC 2015: Contains graphic horror

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If you happened to see Australia thump India in the last of their Cricket World Cup warm-up games last night, then you got a first look at the coverage you will see throughout the tournament. And you quite probably thought…

A C!#& and Balls Story

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Muse by Craig Ranapia
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This is a sculpture of a cock. (Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch, temporary instillation, Trafalgar Square, London. A Fourth Plinth commission by the Mayor of London.) This is also a sculpture of a cock, with added balls and Movember-worthy pubescaping.  (Detail…

Headland Sculpture on the Gulf 2015

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Capture by Soon Lee
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Reposted with kind permission from Soon Lee's Livejournal. Went to Waiheke Island to check out the headland Sculpture on the Gulf 2015 today. The forecast was 40% rain but we chanced it anyway. We got there early and apart from…