Recent Posts

Friday Music: Magnificent melancholy

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In the unusually detailed record company bio accompanying I'll Forget 17, his debut* album as Lontalius, Eddie Johnston notes that the first the world heard of him and his music was in YouTube videos of him covering Crowded House songs.…

Marion Bruce, 1925-2016: New Zealand autism pioneer

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Access by Hilary Stace
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In the 1960s, Marion Bruce was one of the first parents in New Zealand to get a diagnosis of autism for her son. So rare was the diagnosis considered at the time that it could only be confirmed by a…

UMR: Medpot and the public

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It does not take any special insight to suppose that Helen Kelly's media campaign on medical cannabis – framed as it has been in the context of her own battle with lung cancer – might have moved public opinion on the issue.…

The Taxpayers' Union rides again!

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Jordan Williams and his cronies have waded into the debate over the UBI. They have a new “study” on the topic, and it’s a doozy. My personal favourite was the part where author Jim Rose argues a fiscally-neutral UBI will…

Her outdoors

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Speaker by Six
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Other than it being night, I have no other reference to day, week or month. It is either mid evening or mid week, autumn or spring, judging by the light or lack thereof, the scant activity on the avenue and…

Let the big lies flow

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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I’m not going to wade into the debate over whose fault the flag failure was. My views are what you’d expect them to be. Instead, I’ve been interested in the reaction from National-aligned commentators, from National-aligned commentator John Key on…

Sweet Jesus and Mary Chain

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Some Candy Talking: Powerstation 4 March, 2016. When the concert was announced last year, I quickly bought tickets thinking, 'wow cool, those shoe gaze pioneers are coming back after 28 years. Ace. I went last time and...' then having a…

Media Take: Crime and punishment

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last year, at a Wintec Press Club lunch, I listened to Paula Penfold tell the story of how she and Eugene Bingham put together their reports for TV3's 3D untangling the monstrous conviction that put Teina Pora in prison for…

Friday Music: Making the scene with a time machine

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Hard News by Russell Brown
29

Even before I went to London, I was envious of my elders; people who'd made the same journey as me a few years earlier and wound up being there for the explosion of punk rock and the energy and new…

More than a bang on the head

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This week's Media Take programme takes its lead from the New Zealand Herald's Rugby and dementia dilemma, which is the most substantial media examination yet of the hidden toll taken by concussions in rugby union and rugby league, sports that…

Home-spun non-truths

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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This post is about where “the things we think we know” come from, and what happens when they’re misused.  The “$38 billion” man Readers may have seen Labour is investigating the merits of changing New Zealand’s tax and welfare policy…

The Hep C Buyers Club

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night's Sunday programme on access to the expensive new anti-viral drugs that cure Hepatitis C – a debilitating and ultimately life-threatening disease that 50,000 New Zealander have, whether know it yet or not – was a good example of how these…

Auckland City Limits

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Nailed it. I imagine there were a lot of nerves leading into the inaugural Auckland City Limits Festival, but let's get this out of the way early. Bloody excellent job everyone. The day was as chilled as any festival I've…

Global behemoths and tax

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Many will have seen the Herald’s excellent investigation into tax avoidance by large multinationals operating in New Zealand. It shows global firms are collectively paying only $1.8m in tax, while reporting around $10b in New Zealand sales. That means they’re…

Media Take 2016: the new cannabis korero – what now?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night's MediaTake show looking at the way Helen Kelly's public stand on medical cannabis has changed the whole media conversation on that topic is online for viewing now.  The highlight is a powerful personal account by Dr Huhana Hickey…

Media Take: Medical cannabis on the media agenda

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Helen Kelly was only days away from stepping down from her post at president of the Council of Trade Unions when she was interviewed on The Nation in October. But she went into the appearance with the intention of launching…

The real problem with the ‘Kiwimeter’

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Speaker by Tze Ming Mok
75

The Human Rights Commission is wrong. It’s not racist for a survey to put up a statement that captures everything liberals and radicals hate about latent anti-Maori attitudes, and ask whether you agree or disagree with it. It’s a perfectly…

The Future

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Speaker by John Palethorpe
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The latest Coen Brothers offering, Hail Caesar!, is a screwball homage to fifties cinema, a careering narrative where in the end almost nothing has changed significantly. Integral to the story are a group of communist screenwriters who first befuddle and…

Friday Music: The Beatles' adventure guide

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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So farewell then, George Martin. You encouraged The Beatles to be adventurous, and then you helped them make those adventures real. You transcended what a producer was half a century ago and you helped define what a producer is now.…

The Up Front Guide to Plebs

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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I like to take what I consider to be a healthy interest in other countries’ politics. In part, this offers a refreshing break from crying when people tweet about New Zealand electoral law. I’m not ready to pay too much…