Recent Posts

Hosking’s right about jobs

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Polity by Rob Salmond
88

Mike Hosking’s opinion piece in Thursday’s Herald contained two good points. First, he cuts through the fog about mid-term polling: Poor old TV3 was trying to beat up the John Key line over protecting rapists and murderers, and seemed confounded…

Friday Music: Back to a thousand dances

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The remarkable thing about Courtney Barnett is that she's not only touring the world saving rock 'n' roll, she's the active centre of a whole Melbourne scene via her indie label Milk Records. And she and her Milk Records friends…

Badasses of Auckland (updated)

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Hello! We have one more Orcon IRL talk event for the year – and this one's a bit different. Rather than being at Golden Dawn, we'll be in Aotea Square on December 5, as part of Summer in the Square. Look…

Marcus King: A cocktail of art and industry

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Speaker by Peter Alsop
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How many artists, anywhere, have mastered Impressionism, large-scale documentary murals and the sharp edge of graphic design in the form of commercial posters? Such was the achievement of Marcus King, a relative unknown – but, paradoxically, probably the most viewed artist…

The Police Ten 7 State

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Hard News by Russell Brown
151

There is a popular genre of "observational documentary" programmes on TV that depict agents of the state, most notably police, as they go about their work. On the face of it, these shows – Motorway Patrol, Dog Squad, Drug Squad and…

The Message

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Hard News by Russell Brown
83

The announcement of Phil Goff's intention to seek the Auckland mayoralty yesterday was able and organised. Various important constituencies were represented in the room, the messaging was precise and the first person to be greeted by name in the candidate's…

The beginning of the end of the Drug War

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Speaker by Jackson Wood
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In 1971 Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs. But it wasn’t until a man named William Bennett became the first ever ‘Drug Czar’, that the conflict took off. Bennett, with his policies driven by fear and moral conservatism, turned…

A Place to Stand

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Capture by Jackson Perry
129 6

With the realisation that we turn 4 this weekend (yay!), and inspired by Russell's excellent post Stories: Home, I thought we could add a visual element along similar lines. In the Home discussion thread, which proves that sometimes you can…

Voting in the Flag Referendum

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Voting in the first flag referendum started today, with the first voting packs delivered. Enrolled voters have the option of taking part to decide which alternative flag will go up against the current New Zealand flag in a second referendum…

Friday Music: All Being Well

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Morena! All being well I will have crawled out of bed and hit "publish" on this post after a late one at the VNZMAs and I am now preparing for the very important job of having a couple of wines…

A hazy, intriguing crystal ball

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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We’re closing in on the end of the first full year of the electoral term. So how are things shaping up for 2017? Let’s start with the current polls. Taking an average of the last 6, they show the left-bloc…

Hall of Memories

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Speaker by Grant Robertson
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 The for sale sign is up at Sammy’s Cabaret in Dunedin.  It’s a steal at $240,000.  You couldn’t buy Sammy’s shed for that in Auckland.  From what I remember growing up in Dunedin it was never really ‘Sammy’s’ as such.…

Something we ignore at our peril

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Six months ago, I published a post based on information I had been given by ESR that began: Synthetic cannabinoids are being prepared and sold on the New Zealand black market, more than a year after they were banned from…

The Whaledump Saga: Scooby-Doo Edition

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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On 2 October 2014, the Police raided Nicky Hager's home as part of Operation Oracle - the hunt for Rawshark. During the search, Detective Jason Abbot found a piece of paper and passed it to Detective Joseph Teo. "We considered…

Stories: Home

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Because sometimes we had to move, we never moved when we didn't have to. My Dad worked in a bank and although he left school without qualifications, he was bright enough to regularly gain promotion. By the time I was…

Ten Thousand Maniacs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
99

Six weeks ago, a Saudi-led airstrike on a wedding party in Yemen killed 131 civilians. On October 3, strikes by US aircraft on a hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan killed at least 30 people, including 13 staff. On October…

Friday Music: Loxene and Beyond

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Next Thursday sees the 50th anniversary of the New Zealand Music Awards at Vector Arena, where there will be the usual scenes of pop performances on stage and screen and, um, spirited behaviour away from the cameras. But the story…

Video special: Jim's favourite psychopaths

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It makes me happy that part of my son's work each week is creative. It's been that way since the mighty Bridgeway Cinema extended his duties from cleaning and stacking to producing a weekly vlog-style bulletin showcasing what's on over…

An Orwellian Alice in Wonderland

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Polity by Rob Salmond
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This week John Key attempted to engineer a farce in our parliament, to obscure his own weakness in standing up to Australia’s new, shabby deportation policy. Aided – whether deliberately or not – by a confusing and inconsistent set of rulings from…

My Story

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Speaker by "Claudia"
25

The word rape hits me like a punch to the stomach every time. Every time I hear it, I am back there, in that room, pinned against that wall. I am a victim, I guess, or a survivor. I avoid…

Cold, calculated and cynical

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Polity by Rob Salmond
175

John Key’s strategic supremo is Lynton Crosby, from the Australian firm Crosby/Textor. Crosby has a trick in his bag called the “dead cat strategy.” Here’s Boris Johnson, one of Crosby’s British clients, describing it in 2013: If you’re losing an…

After Len

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Even though he had apparently been privately dropping hints to the contrary, Len Brown's announcement yesterday that he will not seek another term as Mayor of Auckland was not unexpected. It probably came as a relief to most of his…

The real balance sheet

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Speaker by Tim McKinnel
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In 2009, when the first tentative steps were being taken in the Teina Pora appeal, I was a relative media virgin. My investigative career had taught me to be wary of news media and journalists. I’d been told they were…

Saturday Music: Lovely Day

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Hi folks. Just catching up with the music post after a busy of writing, talking and flying in planes. It's a lovely day in most parts of the motu. I'm going to barbecue. Summer really is coming ... And I'm…