Recent Posts

Good news for self-powered travellers

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The news that Auckland Council has tripled its budget for walking and cycling infrastructure for the 2014-2015 year is good news for the city. The new budget of $32 million is still just a small part of an overall transport…

Fire and Earth Erowid: Drug Geeks at Work

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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"Erowid's as old at the internet, isn't it?" someone quipped to me recently. Well, not quite. But next year will mark 20 years of Erowid.org providing deep, broad and comprehensive information about psychoactive substances, legal and  illegal. In a note…

Paying Family Carers - What was all the fuss about?

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Access by Rosemary McDonald
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Peter and I went out fishing on ANZAC day. We used to be regulars on this particular west coast charter boat, ferreting away a few dollars so we could get out maybe half a dozen times a year. The trips…

Friday Music: Big Day Out, Out

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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No one should be too surprised that there will be no Big Day Out next summer. But it would be only fair to feel a bit sad for Campbell Smith and his team, who have managed a successful reboot of…

Labour's Fiscal Plan: Explaining without losing?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Labour couldn't really ignore the unravelling of the "$100,000 bottle of wine" story yesterday, but not for the first time, it was a day when a policy set-piece was tipped over by events. Where the party's new Fiscal Plan was…

He Panui: Media Take

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As you might have seen in the news, our little media TV show is back next week -- with a difference. Media Take will debut on Māori Television on Tuesday at 10.25pm, and I'll be joined by my new co-host,…

The Auckland Great Blend 2014

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The Public Address Great Blend is back! And, as was the case last year in Wellington, we're staging it alongside Internet NZ's annual NetHui conference. This year's Great Blend takes place on the evening of Thursday, July 10, at the…

Radio New Zealand: changing the channel

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The role of Head of News would disappear under a new organisational and management structure being proposed by Radio New Zealand CEO Paul Thompson to set the broadcaster on a "new path" to becoming a "multimedia organisation". Head of News…

One in Four – NZ Disability Survey

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Access by Sacha Dylan
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A focused Disability Survey has been conducted after each national Census since 1996. This is the only official source of data about disabled New Zealanders. The first data from the 2013 Disability Survey has been released, focusing on demographic details.…

Kultur in the heat

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Speaker by Graham Reid
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It's a happily weird thing, especially at this time of year, to listen to taonga puoro master Horomona Horo evoke the sounds of New Zealand bush and its native birds . . . then walk outside into the 36 degree…

The Big Chill

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Hard News by Russell Brown
72

Last week's decision by Justice Helen Winkelmann denying Privacy Act protection to journalist David Fisher, whose research  material is being sought by lawyers for the police and GCSB defending a damages claim from Kim Dotcom, may be correct in the…

Friday Music: F**kYouTube

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's hard to imagine a worse advertisement for the alleged new all-streaming future of the music business than the current mess with YouTube and independent labels. If you haven't been following it, YouTube has failed to agree terms with hundreds…

Stories for World Refugee Day

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This seems a better day than most to mention that Peoples Coffee has stepped up to become Public Address's new coffee sponsor. And that's because, to mark World Refugee Day, the good people there are donating all proceeds from their…

Suicide Reporting; or, The System Doesn't Work

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Back in January, Edward Livingstone shot and killed his son and daughter, before turning a gun on himself, taking his own life. It was, unsurprisingly, a major news story, raising questions of high public importance over police and court responses…

A win for Jai and Jim

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night, at the BroadcastAsia conference in Singapore, Jai Waite won an Apollo Award for his work editing Attitude's short documentary Jimmy Wants a Job, which is about my son, James Rae Brown. Everyone involved is elated. Here's a photo…

The Letter

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Hard News by Russell Brown
451

Let's get this out the way first: there was nothing wrong with the letter that David Cunliffe signed 11 years ago enquiring as to the progress of Donghua Liu's residency application. Anyone with any familiarity with what comes through the…

Sectarian Bloodlust 2.0

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Hard News by Russell Brown
39

I presume I'm not the only one who saw the bleak execution video shot on a mobile phone by ISIS jihadis in Iraq on the news last night and had the small, banal thought that they should have done it…

A scientist researches restaurants

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Feed by Bart Janssen
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Last week, a friend put together a Venn diagram which collated the restaurant reviews for Auckland by the Cuisine good food guide, the Metro magazine Top 50  and the top 50 restaurants listed for Auckland by TripAdvisor. Yeah, my friends…

Disability abuse: it’s not OK

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Access by Hilary Stace
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Boy left to eat grass at horror home. This 2013 Sunday Star-Times story by journalist Kirsty Johnston exposed the abuse of vulnerable disabled people who should have been safe in the care of their State-funded provider. It was one of…

Practically jokers

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Hard News by Russell Brown
61

'There are other joke parties getting funding, like the Conservatives and ACT," quoth The Civilian Party's Ben Uffindell recently, in defence of his own party's receipt of electoral advertising funds. It was a cracking line. And, as the weekend's news…

It has started

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
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I really am quite bad at this. I figured that the World Cup would start Friday night because I don’t understand how time works. FIFA went and opened the largest sporting event of the year on a Thursday, clearly undeterred…

Friday Music: Old, New, New, Old

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Hard News by Russell Brown
32

Alongside more formal music heritage efforts this year there have been some fun fan projects online. The people behind the Twitter and Tumblr-based "DIY Digitisation" project RIU Classic have beeen steadily scanning and posting pages from the bottom of what…

Dropping the A-Bomb

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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When friends of mine were first messing around with bulletin boards back in the early nineties, they used to say that when commenting dropped off, all you needed to do was Drop the A-bomb. Mention abortion, and the impassioned raving…

Call it what you will

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Field Theory by Hadyn Green
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The World Cup starts on Friday and we are all so very eager to see it, then see it end. As is always the case with large, four-yearly sporting events, there are two parts. Obviously there is the wonderful spectacle…