Recent Posts

Friday (Thursday) Music: Heavens

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first year I went to Splore was the year Erykah Badu played. My memory is of arriving on the Friday afternoon to an idyll where everyone was smiling, the sun shone and children frolicked. I felt like the 5000th…

Broadcasting and the Public Interest

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Speaker by Dylan Reeve
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Recently I got involved in a Twitter discussion about public broadcasting and the future of TVNZ. It was precipitated by Gareth Morgan’s recent announcement that his new political party, The Opportunities Party, would sell off TVNZ and invest the money…

I tried Sativex: it was no fun at all

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Sativex, an oromucosal spray, is the only pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis product approved by Medsafe for use in New Zealand. It can't simply be prescribed by doctors – even after promised changes to regulations, prescriptions will have to be approved by an…

After Hollywood

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Last night was my second visit to Hollywood Avondale as a music venue, with the first being Tiny Ruins and friends in December last year. It has quickly become a favourite. An easy 7 minutes drive from home, and although…

Listening Lounge 2017: More good talk at Splore

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Family, sustainability, drug safety and election-year politics: that's the scope of the 2017 Splore Listening Lounge talk programme. The "headline act" sees the Mount Albert by-election contest come to Splore, as Labour's Jacinda Ardern and the Green Party's Julie Anne…

Murder – it’s not OK.

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Access by Hilary Stace
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On 14 July 1997, in a provincial New Zealand town, a mother killed her 17-year-old autistic daughter, Casey Albury. Suddenly the spotlight was on autism as a policy problem in New Zealand. At that time autism was considered a rare…

Burning down the house to feel better

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I've noted here before my bemusement at self-professed conservatives who don't seem to mind the way first Donald Trump the candidate and President of the US Donald Trump has been determined to throw onto a bonfire the institutions and principles…

Ann's story: helping doctors understand medical cannabis

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Speaker by Veronica Stevenson
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The author of this post, Veronica Stevenson, is a filmmaker who has launched a PledgeMe crowdfunding project with Victoria Catherwood to make an educational documentary to raise awareness about medical cannabis among doctors. Victoria explains her goals and motivations in…

Spun Off: New Zealand's other most racist law

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Spurred by Donald Trump's recent executive order, I have written a thing for The Spinoff about a still live part of New Zealand's immigration past. The Spinoff has no comments facilities, so I'm making the opportunity available here.

2017: My mother and her hundred year old tree.

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Speaker by Hilary Stace
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My mother Jeanette was probably crafting haiku when the stroke caught up with her. My daughter and I found her a few hours later lying on the floor beside her chair. A gold-covered notebook with her poetry jottings was beside…

World of Food 5: Andorra – Portabella Omelet

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Feed by Amberleigh Jack
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Looking back, my weird food habits started long before they officially became a “thing” that needed fixing. My Plunket book is filled with notes on my inability to take milk or the majority of the alternatives. I couldn't stand bananas…

On Ice

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Cracker by Damian Christie
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I look out the window of the Hägglund – a vehicle resembling a little train on bulldozer tracks – and begin to cry. Towering above me, out the window, is a turquoise cliff some fifty metres high. It’s the Barne Glacier. Finally…

Laneway 2017 - Park Life

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Albert Park has a long history as a music venue, so those of you used to the 95bFM Summer Series, or perhaps veterans of Dragon playing in the Rotunda in 1975 (see AudioCulture), will have felt quite comfortable about the…

Stories From The Centre

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Capture by Simon Kay
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It may have been around for almost forty years, but as a rock venue there's nothing inspiring about the Logan Campbell Centre in Auckland. The venue's reputation as a dank concrete barn in the middle of a carpark, with bad…

Friday Music: The mixtape and me

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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My friend Andrew Dubber revealed in a blog post this week that he's working on a book he envisages as "a sociology of music curation" – or, to put it more prosaically: "Mixtapes. Playlists. Compilations." As Andrew notes, he has some…

Up with the Pacer: embracing an e-bike

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last week, my e-bike finally arrived, having gone missing for nearly a month on what turned out to be a mistaken courier trip to Taupo. But it's here now, it's SmartMotion's Pacer model and I am impressed. I am also…

Marshall Law

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Capture by Jonathan Ganley
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Just Like Heaven? Well, pretty close. The ever popular, and insanely loud Dinosaur Jr, with Hex, at the Studio, Auckland, on Monday 23 January 2017.

Taking the stage in Mount Albert

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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National probably made the right call when it declined to contest the Mount Albert by-election. After wheeling in the big guns in Roskill last year and getting thrashed, it would not have relished the prospect of Bill English's election year…

With My Voice

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Vector Arena 18th Jan 2017 In an out of character move for Vector concerts, I decided to get tickets in GA. Usually nowadays I can manage about half a set standing up and then need…

The next four years

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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And so, tomorrow, the United States of America will inaugurate a new President. I've been meaning to write about what that portends, but it's surprisingly difficult. Each of the last few dozen mornings has brought a fresh basket of outrages…

Walk This Way

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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It’s been a couple of weeks since we all stopped pretending that 2017 was going to be any better than 2016. I mean, yeah, it was shitty that all those much-loved celebrities died, but what made last year such a…