Recent Posts

UPDATED: Media Take: Election Songs

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night's Media Take looked at the background to the Electoral Commission's advice on Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video: firstly, that it is an "election programme" (probably correct under Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act, whatever you think…

The Big Bang

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It was, it must be said, a bloody big bang. The All Blacks finished the haka ('Kapa o Pango' again) and a second later, BOOM, sheets of flame and a shockwave. Unexpected explosions thrill us because our bodies respond as…

If political parties were beer ...

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Speaker by Grant McDougall
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The election is upon us and given recent events, it’s enough to drive you to drink. Come election night, we’ll all deserve to put away some booze. For some, it’ll merely be to celebrate that the goddamn campaign is over.…

Didn't see that coming

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Firstly: Kim Dotcom did not "admit to hacking" at the Internet-Mana campaign launch today, as both network news shows claimed this evening. His "teenage hacker made good" story is Dotcom Bio 101. It's on his Wikipedia page. It was traversed…

In The Green Room

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Update: here we go, folks: an embedded player so you can watch The Green Room withouthaving to go to any other websites ... Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the…

Friday Music: A Strange Road

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"…

Oh, God

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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I'm not a militant atheist. I've always been grateful that I was raised by a good Christian woman; one who believed in kindness, and giving, and generally not being a judgemental homophobic arsehole. Those people's voices are largely missing from…

Never mind the quality ...

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Well, hold the top of the post. Before you read on, the update on what's written below. New Zealand Herald editor Shayne Currie has tweeted the following: Many good and great names for @nzherald election commentary, from across political landscape.…

We can do better than this

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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When I got off a plane in Christchurch last week, having read nearly all of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand's political environment, I turned on my phone and typed these words in a…

Confidential information: the legal rights and wrongs

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Speaker by Nicole Moreham
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One of the questions raised by Nicky Hager’s new book Dirty Politics is when it’s okay to access or publish confidential information.  Has Hager has acted unlawfully by publishing the emails which he says were leaked to him after someone…

Dirty Politics

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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That there was a connection between Whaleoil, Kiwiblog and a senior advisor in the Prime Minister's office, Jason Ede, has been a matter of political gossip for several years. But it has remained that: gossip. Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty…

Not doing justice

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's probably no surprise to you that I know a few people in the Labour Party. Not the sort who get their names in the news generally, but party members who participate in good faith in the grassroots political process.…

Media Take and Godwin's Election

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Sean Plunket and I have a bit of a barney on tonight's Media Take. There's no ill-will -- we enjoy butting heads -- but having got him on to talk about his new, serious Friday night show Prime Time with…

Why you should vote

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Speaker by James Hurman
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I’ve spent most of my life being kind of unsure about why I should vote. To the readers of this publication, that might seem unusual, or absurd, or irresponsible. But I’m fairly normal. I’m like most New Zealanders. I’m not…

Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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"That was for my favourite politician, John Key," says Jon Toogood after 'Grey Area', the first song on the Sundae Sessions video in which Shihad say goodbye to York Street, the now-closed studio where they made their first three albums,…

The silence of the public square

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Most commentary on the Internet-Mana deal has focused on what the former can bring the latter -- that being money and the fizz of celebrity. But it's also worth noting what Mana brings the Internet Party -- that being some…

New Mana

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For 22 years, Mana magazine has told Māori stories and celebrated Maori heroes. But when Mana celebrated its 100th issue in 2011, there was a hint in the note from founding editor Derek Fox that he wasn't sure where where…

Respect, please

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Access by Victoria Manning
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A high profile person recently lamented to me how their life was transformed and they understood ‘everything’ after spending an hour in a wheelchair. The real question here is, why the need to try to understand what it's like to…

Steven Joyce: Prick or Treat

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first time I saw Steven Joyce speak to an audience, he was a prize prick. Indeed, I can't recall a senior politician being as openly contemptuous of a crowd as Joyce was opening the second day of NetHui 2011.…

Friday Music: Curatin' for Your Love

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I'm pleased and intrigued that Lorde has been commissioned to curate the soundtrack for the next Hunger Games movie -- and I'd like to claim credit. Well, I can't really, but it was obvious to me after Ella picked Lorde's…

Food Show 2014: Not Bad

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Feed by Russell Brown
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There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,…

The crybaby philosopher

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument. Sadly, the…

Jim's Festival

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Speaker by Jimmy Rae Brown
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As he did last year, Jimmy Rae Brown has been ushering and assisting at the New Zealand International Film Festival. This means he gets to see quite a few films -- the ones he works at and the ones he…

Media Take: In the Eye of the Storm

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I'm flying solo on this week's Media Take -- for a very good reason. My colleague and co-host Toi Iti had an engagement in the Urewera on Sunday. He was present when Police Commissioner Mike Bush visited six whanau --…