Recent Posts

Meanwhile back at the polls

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One big advantage for the political Left of John Banks' sorry experience with the courts last week is that it meant people weren't talking about the Left's really awful result in the latest Roy Morgan poll. Morgan has National up…

The Ides of Epsom

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Hard News by Russell Brown
61

I doubt we'll see a anything so gauche as a cup of tea being had, but it took only about 20 seconds of Saturday's panel discussion on The Nation to establish that the National and Act parties once again have…

Friday Music: Original Beats

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If I was to say I try stay up to date with trends in popular music, that wouldn't quite be it. It shouldn't be an effort to be interested and in general it's not. I like new things. But it…

Crowding and displacement in Auckland

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Speaker by Elinor Chisholm
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On Tuesday night, TVNZ reported on two things: one state tenant’s vow to resist eviction from her Glen Innes home, and overcrowding in Auckland state houses. While both things are newsworthy, we should be wary of thinking that one causes…

Two roads lead to the city

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As I've noted before, my suburb is on the edge of the largest roading project to be undertaken in New Zealand. Overall, I'm in favour of the Waterview Connection. It does make sense to provide redundancy in Auckland motorway network…

PhotoForum at 40

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Capture by Jonathan Ganley
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The forthcoming Rim Books publication of PhotoForum at 40: Counterculture, Clusters, and Debate in New Zealand will mark forty years since PhotoForum was founded. Perhaps the society no longer has the profile it enjoyed in its first ten years, when…

Cool asylum: Porirua Hospital Museum

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Access by Hilary Stace
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The patients in F. Ward were terribly violent. They screamed and yelled all night and half the day. There were no drugs – they were locked in single rooms and you couldn’t go near them. You’d almost get the sack if…

Friday Music: Buying Cool

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If music is becoming a tougher way to make a dollar, its central role in other economies was underlined this week with the confirmation that Apple will spend $3 billion -- a lunch-money-sized chunk of its massive hoard of cash…

State tenants and the right to the city

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Speaker by Ellinor Chisholm
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Last week, the Social Services Committee criticised how Housing New Zealand has gone about the redevelopment of three areas of state housing. It’s about time. By the accounts of the communities of Maraenui, Pomare and Glen Innes, what’s happening looks…

Lighting the Dark

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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I spent Sunday crying. Not actively or anything; just every now and then tears would fall out of my eyes and down my face. This happens sometimes, just like the accidental forty-minute showers and the fifteen minutes sitting on the…

The Digital Natives

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Perhaps the most amusing part of the online buzz over the Internet-Mana alliance confirmed yesterday has been the enthusiastic concern-trolling from people who've never previously had a problem with weird millionaires bankrolling political campaigns. I just never knew Cathy Odgers…

The Fine Line

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The debate began in the smallest of ways: "There may be a case for varying inward migration and/or work permits," read a line buried in Labour's monetary policy announcement a month ago. It was peripheral to the substance of the…

Meals for Me

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Feed by Russell Brown
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The most piteous image of a life which has had more than its share of awkward moments was related in Paul Goldsmith's admiring biography of Don Brash. You know what I'm going to say: the loneliness of the long-distance corned…

Friday Music: Bringing the beat back

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This week I went to an event called Tied to the Tracks, which celebrated the digital re-release, over the past two years, of more than 200 New Zealand albums. This is really not a trivial thing. Some of these records…

Lost

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Capture by Doug Richards
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'Lost' - as a series of photographs - is the result of spending a lot of time over the last four years wandering the streets of the Auckland CBD with my camera. Looking back at the the photographs from this…

Circumstance and coincidence

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night's Campbell Live report on the complex story of the GCSB, the Prime Minister, Kim Dotcom, Ian Fletcher and the Americans may have left a few viewers scratching their heads last night. What, exactly, was Campbell saying and what…

Your Relationship With Disability

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Access by Sacha Dylan
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A brief background post from me today. It’s often useful to consider how we each relate to disability, so we understand better where one another are coming from. Please think about which of these apply to you (and there may…

Let's talk about class

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Speaker by Diane White
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Ask any New Zealander to reflect on the past last five years in New Zealand, and two tragedies are likely to spring to mind: the Canterbury earthquakes and Pike River Mine. Both struck the nation by surprise: prior to the…

Softly, softly

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I haven't covered foreign affairs much in the blog in recent times, but this story from Vox seems to say some important things about the US government's approach to Russia's troubling annexation of parts of Ukraine. The TL:DR of it…

The problems inherent in the system

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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A couple of friends -- oh, okay, Ross Bell of the New Zealand Drug Foundation and Graeme Edgeler of Legal Beagle -- had a Twitter spat over the weekend over this story about an anti-legal highs campaigner's anguish over her…

TNAF

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Fresh from stonking performances at Coachella, The Naked and Famous played to local fans over two nights at The Powerstation, Friday and Saturday, ably supported by She's So Rad. TNAF were, understandably, polished. For a slide show view, full set…

Friday Music: Content with the content

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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New Zealand Music Month seems to have been generating more content than ever this year and perhaps the most notable project has been Beck's beer commissioning songs from 10 local artists. The songs were commssioned in the first instance for…