Recent Posts

Name suppression appeals

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

I recently published a tweet thread, which I thought I might copy and past here, for anyone interested. ============= I have long thought that the 20 working days allowed to appeal a refusal to make a suppression order is too…

Music: A Teutonic Tonic

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the many challenges posed by Christmas is Christmas music. Christmas carols are all very well, but spending the day actually listening to carols? That way lies madness, or at least an unseasonable degree of suffering. In our house,…

A complicated pathway to wellness

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction was published last week and while it offers a substantial list of recommendations for the way such services should be conceived and delivered, I found what it…

Friday Music: Slow Burns

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Before she finally got to make her solo record this year, Sandy Mill sang on a lot of other people's records. And two of those people, Dick Johnson and Steve Hewitt, formerly of Placebo (and now of Love Amongst Ruin),…

Lest we forget: the influenza pandemic November 1918

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Access by Hilary Stace
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Dr Margaret Cruickshank, New Zealand’s first registered woman doctor, has saintly status in our family. She died a century ago on 28 November 1918 in the influenza epidemic. Doctors were in short supply during the war and she had worked…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Shitmas

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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So Santa is a man. It's impossible to imagine Santa as a woman. The closest you can get to a female Santa is a woman in a furry red miniskirt. Santa is a traditional character for children, and you can't…

The lost ART

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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A couple of weeks ago, I hopped on my bike and rode around the corner to MOTAT. I hadn't been for a while and I wasn't planning on looking at the restored machines. My destination was the Walsh Memorial Library,…

Music: Avantdale is something special

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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There was a lot on last night in Auckland. Billy Bragg was in the middle of his three-night stand out in Avondale. Chelsea Jade flew in from LA and, by all accounts, played a stunner to a sellout crowd at…

Jacinda, please can you help disabled people find employment?

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Access by Hilary Stace
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Our statistics for the employment of disabled people are terrible. Disabled people are three times less likely to have paid work than non-disabled people, have fewer paid hours and earn less. Forty three percent of young disabled adults under 25…

What almost everyone is missing about KiwiBuild

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Speaker by Barnaby Bennett
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Many people are ripping into KiwiBuild at the moment. A lot of these criticisms have a strong whiff of partisan heckling – this is politics after all – some of them are fair and others are just looking for trouble. One complaint,…

Getting serious about the cannabis referendum

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The organisers of last Friday's Cannabis Referendum Conference had a specific aim: they wanted to demonstrate that they, as the Cannabis Referendum Coalition, represented a credible, serious and organised campaign for New Zealand's forthcoming vote on legalising cannabis. They didn't…

The Midterms

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This week's US midterm elections are inescapably a referendum on Donald Trump's presidency, and would have been so even if he hadn't gone to such lengths to make it that way. The closing campaign ad that was so racist and…

The big vision and the small problems

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It was always on the cards that Jacinda Ardern's first conference keynote as Labour Party leader would contain a significant policy announcement; a reward for the people in the room, an underlining of her government's brand. What's pleasing is that…

Reaching out

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Access by Chelle Hope
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What do you do when you’re not at all sure how to be ok anymore? The well known, well-publicised advice is to talk to someone, which is excellent advice and a great start. What if you feel like your life…

Friday Music: Return of the Rhythm Master

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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You can't have followed beat-based music in New Zealand for the last 15 years without being at least peripherally aware of Julien Dyne, but he's been particularly in my ear lately, with his work on the Avantdale Bowling Club album…

Lost Men

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I watched the BBC News Our World report What's Killing America's White Men? pretty much by accident last night, but was immediately drawn in. It meshed with Beth Macy's book about the US opioid crisis, Dopesick, which I've just finished…

An epic day at the park

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I went to Eden Park for the first time in several years on Saturday. I used to go all the time, but I'd become disillusioned with Auckland rugby at both Super and provincial level – the turning point, ironically, was the…

The better place

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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By Friday afternoon, I wanted to think about anything other than the foul, troubling politics of the preceding week. So I went to the Zoo. Not on my own, but as an outing with my younger son. It was a…

Shots Fired

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last night's 11-minute debate on cannabis law reform on Q+A was hardly the first time the issue has been discussed on national television. But it can fairly be considered the opening round of the long argument that will precede the…

Friday Music: Indeed a good one

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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"That was my first Silver Scrolls – was it a good one?" asked Aldous Harding, who I'd just met, at the after-party. "It was a good one," I said, before blathering on about the cultural import of Silver Scrolls ceremonies over…

Drugs and the road forward

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Radio New Zealand asked me this morning to write an opinion piece on whether Jacinda Ardern and her government did the right thing by declining to sign up to President Donald Trump's Global Call to Action on the World Drug…

Friday Music: Popping off

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I've said before that I think we're living in a rich era for New Zealand music, one in which the ambition and creativity of the artists is bulwarked with skills in the technical and commercial parts of the music business…

A painful reflection

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The report outlining Housing New Zealand's response to the harm caused by its misguided policies around supposed methamphetamine contamination of its properties is long and thorough. It puts a number on the tenants harmed by evictions which were very largely…