Recent Posts

A (non-)submission on the new Arms Amendment legislation

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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I went back to the office last night, and stayed until after midnight in order to make a submission on some aspects of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill, the Government's response to the Christchurch Mosque shootings.…

Music: The urgency of Mr Arabia

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In Sunday's Star-Times interview with Grant Smithies, James Milne explains that one of the motivations for embarking on his one-song-every-month Singles Club process was that he realised he tended to produce good work when he was given a commission and…

Psychedelic Therapy: an expert discussion at Splore 2019

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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What follows is an edited transcript of the Splore 2019 panel discussion about psychedelic therapy, with Otago University researcher Geoff Noller, Will Evans, an advanced trainee in palliative care at Auckland District Health Board, who is part of a proposed…

An attempt at demystifying Sharia

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Speaker by Felix Geiringer
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I have written this piece, at this time, in the hope that I can contribute to removing the mystery, and therefore fear, associated with Sharia.  It is intended to be my answer to the Islamophobic dog whistle of “they’re trying…

These things we must now change

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Hard News by Russell Brown
275

Wajahat Khan becomes a New Zealand citizen tomorrow. On Saturday, before leading the opening prayer at the vigil in Aotea Square, he told the thousands who had gathered there how happy and proud he was at the prospect. The fact…

Terrorism Offences and Murder Sentencing: An Explainer

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

I wrote some explainers on this site about New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act following the Urewera Raids. I won't link to them as they are somewhat out of date. While still largely accurate for their descriptions of the offences of…

The climate strike and the voting age

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Next Friday, students around New Zealand will be taking part in a climate strike, concerned about the international, and national, response to the threat of climate change. That people are discussing their decision to wag school to take part pretty…

The korero we've been waiting for

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If you follow this blog at all, you will know that I have been in a state of some despair at the quality of the media "debate" on the forthcoming cannabis law reform referendum. So it gives me great pleasure…

Music: Milk & Honey

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Hard News by Russell Brown
10

The first song to be written, record and released in New Zealand by a New Zealand label was sung by a woman. Pixie Williams, by her own account, saw music as a means to happiness and never coveted a career.…

Always asking the wrong questions about cannabis

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Hard News by Russell Brown
25

"How many shops will there be? How many shops will there be? How many shops will there be? How many shops will there be? How many shops will there be?" Duncan Garner demanded of Chloe Swarbrick MP towards the end…

Music: Three Festivals

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Most music festival organisers, anywhere in the world, have some idea of cultural victory in their heads. They want not only to make money, but to have their shows stand for something. You've probably seen one or both Fyre festival…

Splore Listening Lounge 2019: Keeping it Freaky

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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As I've done for the past five years at the Splore festival, I've put together The Listening Lounge, a Saturday morning talk programme for conscious (in both senses of the word) Splorers. Again this year, we'll be talking about drug…

The long road to real space

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Access by Russell Brown
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About a year ago, my younger son asked me if I'd like to play a video game. I'm really not a gamer, but he wanted me to see it and he was happy to make it easy for me by…

Music: Telling Stories

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Amid the calm of the holidays, in the blessed present between the race to wrap up 2018 and the need to envision the year ahead, a series of stories have flipped me way back up the river, into my own…

About that Rhythm and Vines "dangerous drugs" alert

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I was at a music festival in Auckland on New Year's Eve when I saw, on my phone, the news that "dangerous drugs, made with pesticides and paints, have been found at Rhythm and Vines." And that patrons had received…

Another year on earth

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Sometimes – often, even – grief is an ambush. You don't know what's in there until you lose something, or someone. You don't know how the experience of loss will make you feel about yourself, or what to do about it. It…

WOTY: The Kindness Scandal

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In a hastily-issued press release today, Public Address publisher Russell Brown admitted that his site's annual Word of the Year vote "may have been used by terribly nice people to express a blessedly good sentiment." Shortly after the announcement that…