Recent Posts

Burgergasm the second

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Wellington On A Plate, the capital’s citywide culinary festival, ended on Sunday. And once again the city’s burger competition far outshined the more refined offerings in terms of popularity. This year I faced strong domestic advice to avoid last year’s…

LATE: From #Slacktivism to Activism

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This coming Monday evening, I'm chairing the next in this year's season of LATE events at Auckland Museum. As the title, From #Slacktivism to Activism, suggests, it's something of a reprise of the LATE I chaired two years ago, The…

After the Apocalypse

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Speaker by Clinton Logan
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Three years ago, Clinton Logan sold all his possessions, leased out his house in New York state and set out on his motorcyle. The New Zealander, who had spent most of the past 20 years building a software company, decided…

Medical cannabis: a polling experiment

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Yet another opinion poll has reflected a public mood for change in our laws around cannabis – and this one has an interesting wrinkle. The new poll was conducted by UMR for the reform group Start the Conversation between July 29…

Reimagining Journalism

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Five o'clock on a Sunday is not generally thinking time for me, but yesterday was different. That was the kick-off for Reimagining Journalism, a WORD Christchurch panel discussion I chaired with Cate Brett, Paula Penfold, Duncan Greive, Morgan Godfery and…

I Swear, It's True

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary. Fuck that noise. Research shows what people I…

Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:…

Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife Brigid…

Orcon IRL on Journalism: The Video

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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We're talking a lot about journalism lately – and we're doing it because journalism is facing something approaching an existential crisis. But that's also the upside of the threat. We're talking about what journalism is  for in a way we tended…

Hekia's waynebrave

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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The Education Minister, Hekia Parata has form on having stupid ideas in public. Up to now, the most famous one was her idea that the public would love larger class sizes in schools. Turns out they didn’t, because they prefer…

Cannabis reform is not a mission to Mars

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If the Drug Foundation's investment in polling on the matter of cannabis law reform was intended to start a conversation, then it has certainly achieved its aim. If not all the talk has been of high quality, well, that's not…

Why did the TPP fail?

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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Hilary Clinton has joined Donald Trump in vowing to oppose TPP. US House Speaker Paul Ryan has also conceded he wouldn’t have the votes to pass TPP in a Lame Duck congressional session, effectively sinking Obama’s last chance to pass…

Friday Music: Sweet Inspiration

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The phenomenon of dancefloor-friendly edits that beef up and emphasise the rhythmic qualities of classic older tunes has rarely, if ever, touched on  New Zealand's own musical heritage. And that's a shame. But – hey! – maybe it's changing. Last weekend I…

Obliteration Room

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Capture by Lilith Grace
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We all like to make our mark. But who would dare put a mark on a gallery wall?This Winter, Dunedin people were invited to make marks all over an installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama specialises in dots of…

TV is Dead? Not yet, Chicken Little.

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Cracker by Damian Christie

In the newspaper on the weekend, Herald columnist and editor of The Spinoff Duncan Greive asked whether TV is dead.  Actually the only question was found in the headline – “Is this the death of TV?” as the subheading answered “television…

Stop acting like the law is someone else's responsibility

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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On Morning Report today, Prime Minister John Key was interviewed about a new poll indicating that nearly two thirds of New Zealanders want the law reformed to legalise or decriminalise use and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Mr Key…

Hidden Costs

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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I read a poignant article yesterday. It’s about doctoral degrees and mental illness:  The days I spent pursuing my PhD in physics were some of my darkest. It wasn’t the intellectual challenges or the workload that brought me down; it…

Friday Music: Reduction Agents Redux (and The Get Down)

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Auckland's Lil Chief Records has released a notable body of curious pop over the years – think the Brunettes, Voom, Princess Chelsea, Sheep, Dog & Wolf and and Jonathan Bree – but it seems to go through quite long quiet spells, punctuated by…

Patients X, Y and Z

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Access by Hilary Stace
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The Wellington High Court is at the bottom of Molesworth Street, directly across from Parliament and the Beehive. Sometimes there are bored reporters and camera people waiting outside for some "infamous" person (or someone on their behalf) to emerge so…

Orcon IRL 5: Media and Journalism

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It is the best of times, it is the worst of times … it sometimes looks like the end of times. ORCON IRL AT THE GOLDEN DAWN is back on Tuesday, August 23 to ask the hard questions about MEDIA AND…

Dear Dudebros

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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I’ve written about consent a time or two (or eleven, as it turns out) here at Public Address. I’ve been thoughtful, constructive, and considered. I’ve done that. It’s done. Please bear that in mind, while I have a word with…

"Meth contamination": the making of a moral panic

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first time I half-heard a news report about Housing New Zealand tenants "contaminating" homes by smoking methamphetamine in them, I assumed it was a mistake. Clandestine labs, sure: they can leave behind some some hazardous chemicals, depending on the…

All right, then – take me to Rio

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's been a while since I approached an Olympic Games with less anticipation than the current one. And that was before someone I know had to escape from Rio because her boyfriend got kidnapped and extorted by police and their…