Recent Posts

On the possibility of laws further regulating hate speech

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I am among the most pro-free speech people I know. I don’t doubt there are others more strident than me, but I’m certainly up there. And my support for freedom of expression isn’t limited to opposition to government-imposed restrictions. It…

Splore 2020: The Listening Lounge

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As I've done for the past few years, I'm curating and presenting The Listening Lounge, the talk programme at Splore. On the morning of Saturday the 22nd at the Living Lounge stage, the korero goes like this. Yes, we're talking…

Rage and change: RNZ's music problem

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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There has long been a truism in public broadcasting: don't mess with Concert FM. The theory was that although the station has been in a long-term audience decline, and that audience is steadily ageing out, it has powerful establishment support…

Planet History: Heroes (and villains)

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One thing I remember about the interview I did with Rex Halliday for Planet magazine in 1992 was a couple of times being on the verge of tears. Rex was reflecting on the community effort that went into the second…

Planet History: Becky Nunes

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Speaker by Becky Nunes
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In this project to periodically republish the most memorable work for Planet magazine, the title I edited – alongside a brilliant, creative group of friends – in the 1990s, I've focused so far on the writing. But photography was an equally important…

Music: Morales is coming

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I…

Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin

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Speaker by Rupert E. Taylor
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This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David…

Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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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
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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
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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.…