Recent Posts

Now we are Five

in
Cracker by Damian Christie

My son Harry turns five tomorrow.  It was five years and a bit ago when we were expecting, that I wrote this piece for Metro.  Because I'm feeling nostalgic, and I've always quite liked it, I'm publishing it again here.…

The light train to Roskill

in
Speaker by Simon Wilson
14

Is Andrew Little’s promise of light rail to Mr Roskill a byelection bribe? Does John Key have any idea at all what his own Auckland transport plan looks like? –– The barrier arms are coming down and the bells are going…

Full Volume

in
Capture by Jackson Perry
6 17

Thursday night was the launch for Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa. Russell has covered this on his Friday Music blog, with a few photos he and I took. To try and give you a taste of this excellent exhibition, here…

Friday Music! It's us, as culture

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
14

Last night, we went to the opening of Auckland Museum's exhibition Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa. As I've noted here previously, the very fact of this exhibition is an endorsement of popular music as culture – our culture – and Mark Roach,…

Meth houses and stigma

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
21

This week, the Ministry of Health published a review of standards for the remediation of former clandestine methamphetamine labs. The "review" in the title signifies a review of relevant international literature, but the document effectively also functions as a review…

Just get the App, already

in
Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
17

It’s over two years since then-Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee boarded a plane in Christchurch, after entering a secure area through a no-entry door, skipping past the security check. I spent time that day on Twitter, trying to work out…

Istanbul 2016

in
Speaker by Clinton Logan
2 7

A man squeezes a thick line of translucent yellow adhesive into a plastic bag, places it over his face, and inhales into the deep recesses of his lungs. As he lurches about in a glue-fueled frenzy, a woman in a…

On seclusion rooms

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
39

After Kirsty Johnston revealed two weeks ago that Miramar Central School had repeatedly locked children – including an 11 year-old boy with autism –  in dark, cupboard-sized room as a punishment, the story developed quickly. It emerged that many other schools were…

Music: Friends of Bill

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
7

The occasions when Bill Direen recruits some friends to explore his remarkable catalogue always have the feel of a gathering of initiates and oddballs. There are often unusual people present, but perhaps we're all strange. This year, Saturday night's show…

Four thoughts on polling in Wellington’s mayoral election

in
Polity by Rob Salmond
26

(Disclosure at the outset: Polity’s clients include Justin Lester’s campaign.) As readers know, Justin Lester won Wellington’s mayoralty over Nick Leggett by 56% to 44% on the final STV count, with turnout up around five points to 45%. Now that…

A big week for medical cannabis

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
5

I noted on Friday that the week marked by the presentation of Rose Renton's medical cannabis petition to Parliament and the passing of Helen Kelly, the woman who changed the debate, would be capped with an small, significant announcement about…

"The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts"

in
Speaker by Matthew Bannister
9

"The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts," says Hermione Grainger in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The occasion? An address by Dolores Umbridge, Ministry of Magic employee (and new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher) to Harry's school,…

Friday Music! Special Records

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
42

If music is important in your life, you probably have a special record. You may have more than one, especially if you're a DJ. BaseFM asked its considerable fleet of DJs to choose just one, write about why it mattered…

Helen

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
25

Helen Kelly didn't take her medical cannabis before we came to see her last Friday. She explained that she wanted to be articulate for the interview she was doing for a Radio New Zealand series I'm making. I can only…

Rise of the Censor Bots Parts 1 and 2

in
Speaker by James Rae Brown
1

You may have noticed that I haven't posted much on Public Address lately – that's because I've just started a big, cool project that has been taking me away from my desk. On top of that, I have an interesting but…

Music: Shayne Carter – you gotta have soul

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
4

Most of this somewhat delayed music post is the following interview Alexander Bisley conducted with Shayne Carter about his new album, Offsider, and life and music in general. I'm very grateful to Alexander for the work – RB. ––– Dimmer’s There My…

Wonder Bi

in
Up Front by Emma Hart
39

Recently the head writer of the Wonder Woman comic outed her. She’s bi, he said. Duh, I thought. Who didn’t know that? Lots of people, apparently. The comments on that article are Quite Something. And yes, I know they’re Stuff…

Friday Music: After the King's Arms

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
51

No one should be at all surprised at this week's news that the King's Arms property has been put up for sale. That was the clear implication of the pub and its carpark being designated as a Special Housing Area…

Help a kid have a heavy blanket

in
Access by Russell Brown
4

In an autism family you have to get good at adapting to your child. You find ways of speaking, acting and presenting ideas that recognise your child's experience of the world. Sometimes what works might seem unusual. Dr Temple Grandin's…

A different and interesting brain

in
Access by Chelle Hope
18

If I was not in my wheelchair when I was a very young child, I would sometimes launch myself off whatever I was sitting on and end up in a heap on the ground. I used to think if I…

Christchurch: We're not "apathetic", just busy rebuilding

in
Speaker by Greg Jackson
27

This year’s local body elections are as weird as Christchurch life in general. Incumbent Mayor, Lianne Dalziel will romp back in with a few bites on the bum from challenger, John Minto. Four incumbent Councillors and a smattering of Community…