Hard News by Russell Brown

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SPLORE! The Listening Lounge 2018

As I've done for the past few years, I'm running the talk programme at Splore – the Listening Lounge – this year. And I'm pleased with what we have for Splorers at the Living Lounge tent on Saturday, February 24. Here it is ...

10.30am KNOW WHERE YOU STAND

Splore's relationship with Ngāti Whanaunga and Ngāti Paoa, the iwi associated with the Tapapakanga site, has always been important to the festival. The past year has been an exciting time for both – as part of the Hauraki collective, the two tribes finally initialled Treaty settlements with the Crown in August last year, the culmination of three decades of work. I'll be talking to setllement negotiators Tipa Compain, Morehu Wilson and others about their history – and the future.

11.00 EVERYTHING STARTS WITH AN E-BIKE 

A look at the e-bike revolution and how it changes things, with Bike Auckland’s events manager Olivia Lynch, the team from Big Street Bikers and Auckland Transport Māori liaison manager Tipa Compain. There'll be things to see and bikes to ride.

11.30 DRUG-CHECKING, HARM REDUCTION AND DODGING BULLETS

Know Your Stuff's Wendy Allison and NZ Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell are back again this year to talk about what's out there this summer (this season's crap drug has already been identified in the wild and it's alarming) and drug harm reduction in general. Always a popular session.

12.00 -12.45 WHERE TO NOW FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS?

The "Chloe bill" might have failed in the House, but submissions have opened on the government's medical cannabis bill, which will become law. What's possible? What's reasonable to go for? What are the risks? And what are the stakes? With Chloe Swarbrick MP, Auckland patient advocate Pearl Schomburg, Panapa Ehau of Hikurangi Enterprises (a Māori social enterprise lining up to be the first domestic producer of approved products), Shane Le Brun of Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ and Ross Bell. I think this is the best lineup on this topic there's been – certainly outside a specialist forum – and I'm expecting some news to come out of it.

If you can't join us at Splore, be assured that we'll be recording proceedings and I'll be writing up the highlights.

If you are coming out to paradise, note that the schedule is up now and there will be a new site map (new bars and stages!) published soon. Note also that 95bFM will be broadcasting from Splore this year – and that in partnership with Samsung they'll be placing electronic schedules on screeens around the site.

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