Recent Posts

Synthetic cannabis: it just keeps coming

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
75

Synthetic cannabinoids are being prepared and sold on the New Zealand black market, more than a year after they were banned from public sale by an amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Act. And a report provided to me by ESR…

The disabled soldier “problem”

in
Access by Robyn Hunt
13

My visit to the exhibition Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I at Te Papa was almost my only observance of Anzac Day. The exhibition has been there for a while, and certainly wasn’t attracting the crowds that…

The Cry of the Indignados – Forcing Change

in
Envirologue by Dave Hansford
16

On an April day in 2013, 47 year-old Inocencia Lucha walked into her bank in Almassora, near Valencia. With level gaze and a steady voice she addressed the counter staff: “You have taken everything from me.” Then she poured petrol…

Friday Music: The merry month of May

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
24

It's several years since New Zealand Music Month shifted from running a centralised, industry-focused event series to acting as an umbrella for anything anyone in the community might care to organise and associate with the concept. It works. Notably this…

Behind Baltimore

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
66

Away here at the bottom of the world, we have been experiencing this week's tumult in Baltimore, Maryland, in the modern way: through the real-time thrill, outrage and fuzzy context of live tweeting, brutal images and shaky Periscope streams. It…

Will the grown-ups ever arrive home?

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
153

You can see an extended cut of last night's Media Take discussion with Ali Mau, Gavin Ellis and Andy Pickering here. It covers both the topic we originally conceived – the nature and purpose of the gossip press – and the fiasco…

It’s just a bout of Chronic Sorrow

in
Access by Hilary Stace
89

I’m usually full of disability positivity but sometimes I have a bout of Chronic Sorrow. Chronic Sorrow is a term named by some wise person for the condition some parents of disabled children have. It can be just below the…

Anzac Day II

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
56

I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with…

April Come She Will

in
Capture by Jackson Perry
82 9

Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass. Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.…

Friday Music: Put the band in a lounge

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
6

I don't know about you, but some of the "gigs" I've enjoyed most in my life have just been bands playing in the lounge at some party. It's some combination of the lack of separation between band and audience and…

This Anzac Day

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
106

It is inevitable and fitting that this Anzac Day, marking a hundred years since the disastrous invasion of Gallipoli, should be a particularly significant one. I think it's also true that the official messaging of 2015 has smoothed out the…

Look in the Mirror, New Zealand

in
Speaker by Tracey Barnett
23

As the tragic news broke this week that up to 900 possible refugees may have drowned at sea trying to get to Italy, the call went out like bad satire, “Stop the boats! Punish the traffickers!” What a sad folly.…

Christchurch: how did it come to this?

in
Speaker by Greg Jackson
59

You can't help asking “how did it come to this?” as Christchurch  faces possible asset sales along with brutal rate rises for years, if not decades, ahead as the price of  earthquake repairs and rebuild. A $1.2 billion gap in…

Hong Kong and The Matrix

in
Speaker by Suzie Dawson
8

"If that ship can still fly, we need it." Roland to Morpheus in The Matrix: Revolutions Hong Kong reminds me so much of the final installment in the Matrix trilogy. It functions like a well-oiled machine in an apocalyptic landscape.…

What has Neoliberalism Done for You Lately?

in
Envirologue by Dave Hansford
118

I am stuck in a failed, dysfunctional relationship. I’ve heard promises for years that things will change for the better, but they never do. Sure, every now and again, my partner extends some small overture – a brief ray of warmth…

Friday Music: Record Store Day 2015

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
53

If we're all supposed to be over Record Store Day, it appears that no one has told the stores. Tomorrow looks like a heck of a day, and not only in Auckland. In particular, the array of of live performances…

"They Were Doing A Pretty Good Job"

in
Capture by Jonathan Ganley
9 14

Anzac Day 2015 will mark one hundred years since the landings at Gallipoli. This time last year, we published a selection of photographs taken by Sergeant James Read during that campaign. Although amateur photography was still a novelty in 1915,…

Some aspects of New Zealand’s disability history – part four

in
Access by Hilary Stace
103

During the 1990s, some New Zealand disability activists, disenchanted with the inability of "the market" to provide appropriate or adequate support or services, targeted sympathetic Opposition politicians. As mentioned in part three of this series , the activists taught them…

Reviewing the Election

in
Up Front by Emma Hart
101

Let me be frank about something that will probably shortly become obvious anyway: I have something of a crush on the Electoral Commission. Recently, they released their report into the 2014 election. I spent an afternoon reading it and tweeting…

Somewhere* it's National Library Week

in
Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
30

It being National Library week,* I thought this might be timely to post. I’ve decided Auckland City Libraries are quite cool. First, they came up in Prime TV’s fantastic documentary series “The Naughty Bits” (its three episodes are all on-line…

What would a harm reduction strategy look like now?

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
25

On Saturday, I was part of a panel on TV3's The Nation, talking about drug policy in light of the programme's interviews with associate Health minister Peter Dunne and Stargate founder Matt Bowden who both advanced the view that the…

We don’t make the rules, we're just trying to play by them

in
Speaker by Kym Niblock
153

As we all know, the internet is disrupting business models around the world – not least in the online entertainment area, as events in New Zealand over the last few weeks have shown. There’s been a lot of emotive commentary about…

A conversation from belief

in
Speaker by Francis Ritchie
48

Following the Media Take show last week that got quite a bit of attention, Russell asked me to write something for Public Address that goes into how, as a "believer", I approach those who believe differently from me. I’m grateful…