Recent Posts

Friday Music: Aretha and the power of song

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Hard News by Russell Brown
9

The times in which the great Aretha Franklin has passed, like the times in which she emerged, require us to consider not only her remarkable contribution to popular music, but what she meant even beyond that. I'm indebted, then, to…

Friday Music: Summer's coming

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Hard News by Russell Brown
9

Signs that summer is on the way are not limited to the recent unnervingly early Spring weather: we're into festival reveal season and there are some things to discuss. Auckland's New Year's Eve party Wondergarden takes a big step up…

Dilemmas: the drug-driving ad that isn't

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Hard News by Russell Brown
17

Public service advisories about drinking and driving – and road safety in general – have been with us for many years. For a long time, they had a common theme: to scare some sense into the public with, if necessary, the most…

On joining the international troll circuit

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Hard News by Russell Brown
173

Speaking shortly after the event at the Powerstation in Auckland was cancelled on Friday, Caolan Robertson, the self-styled agent for Canadian race grifter Lauren Southern declared that "powerful forces" were behind the venue's decision to dump the booking for Southern…

A cannabis moment in the Parliament

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Hard News by Russell Brown
10

One of the issues on Jacinda Ardern's first-day-back desk today is medicinal cannabis – and specifically, the issue of how to respond to pressure to compromise and incorporate key elements of National MP Shane Reti's private members bill into its own…

Friday Music: The spaceman looks back at the sky

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Hard News by Russell Brown
12

The first time I met Tom Scott, I dropped some borrowed wisdom on him. We were conversing in the 'Talking Heads' format devised by Sam Wicks for the short-lived Herald offshoot Volume in 2011 and I happened to mention something…

Reassure Me: cannabis, polling and deliberative democracy

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Hard News by Russell Brown
38

The New Zealand Drug Foundation poll on cannabis law reform, whose results were published yesterday, is the first national poll to be conducted since the government promised a referendum on the issue. As such, it offers an insight not just…

Miles on the Clock

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Hard News by Russell Brown
18

It took no great insight to suppose that the main casualties of the report by the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor debunking the "meth contamination" hysteria would be the companies who for years made a profitable business…

Belfast, where the walls stand yet

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Speaker by Clinton Logan
3 11

What's your darkest secret? She leaned toward me, locked her blue eyes with mine, and whispered in the most intoxicating Irish accent... "Clinton, I ran guns for the IRA." With those six words I was hooked. What followed has circulated…

About that Lancet study

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Hard News by Russell Brown
4

Last week, The Lancet Public Health journal published the conclusions of a significant four-year cohort study into the use of cannabis by people suffering chronic pain. The results were, on the whole, highly unfavourable: participants who used cannabis tended to…

Let Canada do our cannabis homework

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Hard News by Russell Brown
21

The news that Canada's Cannabis Act, which legalises and regulates the sale of cannabis, and its use and possession by adults, had passed its final legislative hurdle, was somewhat overwhelmed by the day-to-day madness of global news in 2018. But…

World of Food 8: Antigua and Barbuda - Breakfast saltfish

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Feed by Amberleigh Jack
5

This week began with the best intentions. Having been off work following ankle surgery, the plan was creativity, productivity and loads of time in the kitchen. Painkillers and crutches aren’t the best mix when it comes to anything more than…

They want to blow it all up

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Hard News by Russell Brown
59

In recent weeks, it has been more difficult than ever to assess and comprehend all the stupid, awful deeds and words of President Donald Trump. The tantrum and chaos of the G7 meeting bleeds into his preposterous accounts of the…

I Am: An authentic autism family experience

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Hard News by Russell Brown
15

Watching this week's episode of TVNZ's new I Am strand, I Am Living With Aspergers, the story of David RS Greer and his family, pushed a lot of buttons for me. To be clear, neither of our ASD sons has…

Littering!

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I published my Select Committee submission on the Contempt of Court Bill yesterday. Part of the reason it was both late and short was that I decided that my submission on the Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill was probably…

The Contempt of Court Bill

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
7

I have just filed a Select Committee submission on the Contempt of Court Bill. My submission was made a lot easier by the submission prepared by Leonid Sirota and Edward Willis, which raised almost all of the issues with the…

Bourdain

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Hard News by Russell Brown
20

The email record shows that I worked pretty keenly to get an interview with Anthony Bourdain in 2005. I had been wholly captured one summer holiday by Kitchen Confidential, then loved A Cook's Tour, the book and the TV series.…

All or Nothing: Accidentally Great

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Hard News by Russell Brown
8

Amazon Studios' first venture into the New Zealand market, All or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks, keeps being described in New Zealand media as a documentary series about the All Blacks' 2017 season. It isn't. It's not even described that…

World of Food 7: Anguilla – Jerk chicken

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Feed by Amberleigh Jack
10

My Dad loved his coffee strong and his food spicy enough to make him sweat. That’s what I remember a lot when I think of him. Waking up to the smell of strong black coffee permeating throughout the house, and…

The miserable archive

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Hard News by Russell Brown
56

UPDATE: Henry Cooke has been on it (and, unlike me, got a response from ADHB) and both ADHB and Waitemata DHB (which is the one that actually handles detox services) insist they didn't tell Housing NZ. In which case, what…

Music: The Noisy Library turns five

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Hard News by Russell Brown
22

On this day five years ago, Audioculture, the "noisy library of New Zealand music", launched to the public. It really doesn't seem that long. At the time, I was on the board of the NZ On Screen Trust, which was…