Recent Posts

Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase

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Hard News by Russell Brown
94

In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer…

Dealer's Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Elton', an experienced cannabis dealer. I…

Catalonia, interrupted

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Speaker by Robert Southon
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Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held…

Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became…

A fun but flawed weed documentary

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary…

Tadhg Stopford: Why I'm standing for the ADHB

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Speaker by Tadhg Stopford
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Hi there, just call me Tim. We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions. An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and…

Time for a New Deal: 25 years on

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Hard News by Russell Brown
10

In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly…

An unserious approach to law-making

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

The House of Representatives will start the committee stage of the End of Life Choice Bill later today, during which all MPs get the opportunity to propose amendments to a bill, and given the contest around the bill, we can…

Synthetics: We need to stop calling it cannabis

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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There's a problem with "synthetic cannabis", and not just the one you think. It's the name. We're in the midst of a wave of news stories that link synthetic drugs to serious harm, through deadly road accidents and accidental overdoses…

Who are the medicinal cannabis users?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
43

At almost every level, the problem with medicinal cannabis is a lack of good information. In the US, FDA regulations make it hard to research. Most doctors aren't familiar with what research there is and most patients don't know either.…

Drug History: What happened when Dunedin cancelled methadone

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Speaker by *Rex
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This article is about what can happen if a drug substitution programme is suddenly cancelled.  In 1978, the Dunedin Hospital Board followed a New Zealand-wide trend and began an opiate substitution programme for local addicts using the synthetic narcotic, methadone.…

Jim's Truth

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Access by Russell Brown
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I've had a bit to say of late about YouTube, its algorithms and the escalating allure of certain facile "creators" to young men. I worry about this stuff. But I think it's also important to acknowledge that the alt-lite and…

School donations: a small step towards a level playing field

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Speaker by Gareth Shute
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Among the provisions in yesterday's Budget was new funding for schools: $150 annually per student. The money is availabe only  to decile 1-7 schools  and it's specifically intended to reduce the need for those schools to ask for yearly donations…

Rip It Up: A history of us, a history of me

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Hard News by Russell Brown
50

I love the National's Library's Papers Past archive. I've used it many times for work and sometimes just for fun. The one thing I never thought I'd be able to do is vanity-search on it. And yet, here it is:…

You just need a sense of humour

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Access by Hilary Stace
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“You just need a sense of humour”. I heard this patronising and unhelpful advice from a panellist at an Autism New Zealand Conference many years ago. What about access to education and services, understanding, financial and other support? These words…

Music: Some deep belief

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Hard News by Russell Brown
13

There's a strange thing about having songwriters as longtime friends. On the one hand there are years when you're mates getting in the same scrapes; they're smoking your weed and you're drinking their riders; you're all  fitfully growing up, not…

Cabinet and the Reeferendum

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Hard News by Russell Brown
123

Today, it has been reported, Cabinet will consider the government's approach to next year's cannabis legalisation referendum – including whether voters will be able to see a detailed bill before they vote "yes" or "no" and, crucially, whether such a bill…

The economics of shit speech

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Speaker by Joshua Drummond
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It’s time we fixed the New Zealand news media’s problem with shit speech. First, let’s put together a working definition. Shit speech is the stuff that might not necessarily be described as hate speech, but it occupies much of the…

What does the wastewater testing for drug use actually show?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
30

The results from the first three months of national wastewater testing for for drug use were published yesterday by Police and they came with a pretty obvious headline: we're still consuming a lot of methamphetamine in New Zealand – probably even…

Digital persuasion and the dark places of democracy

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Hard News by Russell Brown
72

Last week, officially the first of Australia's 2019 federal election campaign, potential voters were subjected to a series of false claims about the Labor Party's policy on vehicle emissions reduction. But not everyone saw the ads, and of those who…