Recent Posts

Drugs and why Dunne did it

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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There should not really have been such surprise at news reports about associate Health minister Peter Dunne last week proposing the legal, regulated sale of cannabis and the Portugal-style decriminalisation of other drugs. He has been advancing essentially the same…

Budget 2017: How do we get out of here?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I was otherwise occupied on Budget day and thus missed most of the scoring and shouting of odds. But I did catch Checkpoint opening its coverage with a look at Budget's 2017's headline story: the combination of tax threshold adjustments,…

How disabled people are excluded from public leadership

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Hard News by Robyn Hunt
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Nearly thirty years after the introduction of Equal Employment Opportunity, (EEO) into the New Zealand public service there is still an impenetrable glass ceiling for Deaf and disabled people. While government continues to “promote” employment for disabled people, career paths…

Friday Music: A melodic thread

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Jed Town has been through a few musical guises: Beatlesque punk rocker with The Features, and then everything from confronting experimentalist to electronic raver as Fetus Productions. But through it all there's been a continuous thread of melody. And that…

The Oncoming Day

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Hard News by Russell Brown
23

On Saturday night at the Kings's Arms, in the course of a triumphant two-encore show, The Chills' frontman Martin Phillipps made an announcement from the stage. He had recently received his test results back after antiviral treatment – and they indicated…

Friday Music: Sign of the times

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Hard News by Russell Brown
20

Earlier this week, a video of Snoop Dogg and his crew performing 'P.I.M.P.'  at Jazz Festival in New Orleans came across the social media wires – and it featured an amazing performance. Not by Snoop or any of his crew, but…

What's the Big Idea?

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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The other day, I was looking at my younger son sitting on the couch watching the news predict imminent nuclear war, and thinking, “This 80s revival is going a bit far.” But surely, it’s my generation who’ve been there before.…

Autumn, what autumn?

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Capture by Nora Leggs
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It doesn't feel like Autumn here in the North, and it still only looks autumnal round the edges.  I've had to scrape together pictures suggesting autumn in their colour more than content. How's it looking further south?

Friday Music: Things to know

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's been a hell of a week, so a short post this time.Things you might wish to know ... Fazerdaze's dreamy, buzzy new album Morningside is out today, delivering more of what we heard in the taster, 'Lucky Girl'. It's…

How StuffMe looked from the regions

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Speaker by Andrew Frame
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Just after the Commerce Commission announced its rejection of Fairfax and NZME’s “#StuffMe” merger bid yesterday, Sinead Boucher, Executive Editor for Fairfax Media, tweeted her reaction. The decision was, she said, “Very disappointing for NZ journalism”. I scoffed, because to…

Media Take: We need to talk about cannabis

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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This week's Media Take looks at cannabis and the law from various angles – and it kicks off with something of a surprise. I've interviewed Māori Party MP Marama Fox on the issue before, for this November 2015 Matters of Substance…

What Your Child Needs To Know About Disability

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Access by Chelle Hope
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There is a big difference between the way children I am related to interact with me compared to the children of strangers who might encounter me for the first time, perhaps as they walk towards me on the street, or…

Britain: the crisis isn't Brexit, it's Labour

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Speaker by Andrew Miller
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For all her public denials, it never made sense that Theresa May would wait to 2020 for an election. Now’s probably as good a moment as she’ll get to grab a mandate for her vision of post-Brexit Britain. Her reasons…

Friday Music: The Inside Track

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I was flattered when I was asked a while ago to make a contribution to Base FM's Cover Story II exhibition – but also a little flummoxed. The show, which launched on Wednesday, asks DJs to nominate a special record and…

Friday Music: Folk Yeah!

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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On the face of it, the words "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards" might seem to beckon jokes about fairisle jumpers and and beards. Even given the reinvention of folk tropes by a new generation of artists, the words "BBC Radio…

The Brexlection

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Speaker by John Palethorpe
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In 1926 H.L Mencken proposed that the classical liberal solution to unaccountable democratic governance is to put more power in the hands of the voters, writing in summation "The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy." The last…

Local journeys on the cusp of Waterview

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Nearly three years ago, I wrote a post called Two roads lead to the city about transport infrastructure near where I live in Point Chevalier. It was principally about the upgrade to the St Lukes interchange in support of the…

Stroppy parents and battling bigotry – what changes?

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Access by Hilary Stace
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A file of decades-old letters can be mesmerising. Especially in a quiet library or archive with 2017 locked outside. Fragile, handwritten letters, typed and faded carbon copies, annotated missives. Who wrote them, why, and what was happening? What energy, and…

Mike Moore: A pretty ordinary rooster

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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RNZ's video and audio podcast series The 9th Floor, a series of in-depth interviews with five former Prime Ministers, is a good idea well executed. Guyon Espiner's interviewing skills transfer well from the immediacy of morning radio to the longer…

(Good) Friday Music: In and out of the woods

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Hard News by Russell Brown
16

Oro Festival went off at Woodhill Forest on Saturday, blessed with some lovely autumn weather. It was an ambitious show – although given the scale, more a big outdoor party than a festival as such – and not everything went right. The…

Behind those Herald home-buying stories

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The latest in an apparently endless series of you-too-could-buy-a-house-if-you-weren't-so-lazy-and-worthless stories appears on the New Zealand Herald website today. It is titled: From $30k deposit to $1m planned portfolio in a year: one couple's story: Two 24-year-old Aucklanders, who collectively saved…

Friday Music: Disruption

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Back in the old days, – and I'm talking the 1990s here, kids – we used to talk about "internet time" and "internet years" as an expression of how fast change could manifest in a low-friction, connected world. Every day, a crazy…