Recent Posts

The Driverless Road Ahead

in
Access by Kumara Republic
5

For the past decade and a bit, I've been working as a computer technician and sales rep. During that time, I've seen the desktop and laptop computer go from being the main method people get on the Internet, to an…

Low-quality language on immigration

in
Speaker by Jogai Bhatt
20

Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went…

Synthetic cannabinoids: a primer

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
9

What is synthetic cannabis? Why is it even called that? Where does it come from? What's the extent of the problem in New Zealand? And why have we seen a spate of deaths linked to these products in Auckland? The…

Friday Music: Down the Hall on a Friday Night

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
20

It was only because I happened to see a tweet that I clicked through last Friday to the first live stream of Neil Finn and and friends as they record his forthcoming album, Out of Silence, at Roundhead Studios – and…

A thundering clash of perspectives

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
119

It was a deep irony that the final push for the decision of Metiria Turei to end her Parliamentary career appears to have come from Checkpoint, a programme whose people have so often weighed in behind the vulnerable New Zealanders…

The new establishment

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
78 7

Jacinda Ardern opened her transport policy speech yesterday, as she should, with a mihi to the tangata whenua. And then she did something interesting: a specific shout-out to three Auckland transport advocacy groups – Greater Auckland, Generation Zero and Bike Auckland.…

Metiria's Problem

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
279

We don't really want our politicans to be honest. Not really honest, omitting nothing, because we all omit things about ourselves, especially about our deep histories. We simply don't want to know everything about the past when we vote in…

That escalated quickly ...

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
135

A friend of mine who works as a broadcast soundie has always hated doing Andrew Little. Not because he dislikes the man personally, my friend explained, but because his voice is so hard to get right in the mix. No…

With regard to place

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
31 17

When we use the word "infrastructure", we often do so with some idea of magnitude unspoken in our heads. Infrastructure is big, not human-sized, utilitarian rather than merely handy. It is about things, not people; serious rather than delightful. And…

A short disability history of Aotearoa New Zealand

in
Access by Hilary Stace
8

In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and the indigenous Māori population of Aotearoa New Zealand. Its principles promised partnership, participation and protection. However, colonialism was largely negative for Māori and two centuries later they…

Synthetics: Maybe this mess will do some good

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
22

In Nigeria, they call it Black Mamba, and the papers report it's causing "convulsions, kidney failure and a ‘zombie-like’ state of intoxication that can lead to death." In Mumbai, kids are flocking to "Spice" because it doesn't show up in…

This is bad – very bad

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
41

According to a statement issued today by the Chief Coroner and the police, seven deaths in the past month in Auckland have been linked to the use of "synthetic cannabis". A follow-up report in the Herald has more bad news:…

Friday Music: Remembering Roi

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
24

In the days before email, when even toll calls were prohibitively priced, we would write each other letters. Rambling affairs, typed single-space (yes, some of us had typewriters – we weren't cave people) and full of news, gossip and extravagant ironic…

100 Men and a million stories

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
1

Paul Oremland was born gay in a New Zealand where homosexual conduct was a criminal offence, to deeply religious parents who regarded it as a mortal sin. Not long after a disastrous attempt to pray away the gay by studying…

On benefit fraud

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
103

Responses to Metiria Turei's confession of historic benefit fraud have fallen along the lines you would expect. The usual suspects on the right have leapt on it, others have expressed sympathy and the range of opinions on the political wisdom…

Friday Music: Non-conforming New Zealanders

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
14

The New Zealand International Film Festival programme this year includes two very different New Zealand music films: Simon Ogston's picture of Bill Direen, A Memory of Others, and Julian Boshier's Head Like a Hole story, Swagger of Thieves. I've been…

Our own fake news

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
64

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was forced to resign after being caught giving $13.7m in taxpayer money to the Clinton Foundation. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), John Key was forced to step down after…

Drug Symposium day two: Māori women in the room

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
7

ACLU lawyer Alison Holcomb, a woman with a long history of looking the system square in the eye, was struggling to hold back tears. She had taken the stage as respondent at last week's Parliamentary Drug Law Symposium, immediately after…

Hearing privilege and Deaf disempowerment

in
Access by Peter Fogarty
8

The New Zealand Herald recently published a story reporting that Deaf are being “elbowed out of top spots” in their own organisations. It was timely. Recent events have picked the scab off a climate of fear, anxiety and conflict in…

One big day at the drug symposium

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
27

About the time I got on the train at Paraparaumu, in the pre-dawn darkness, the Armed Offenders Squad was assembling in our street back home in Point Chevalier. No cause for alarm, one of them told my neighbour. It turned…

Drug Law Symposium Day One: This is actually real

in
Hard News by Russell Brown
5

Kia ora koutou! This the post for the first day of the 2017 Parliamentary Drug Law Symposium, which takes place in Wellington at a time when drug law is actually changing.  To wit: Hon. Anne McLellan, chair of Canada's Chair,…