Recent Posts

Up with the Pacer: embracing an e-bike

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last week, my e-bike finally arrived, having gone missing for nearly a month on what turned out to be a mistaken courier trip to Taupo. But it's here now, it's SmartMotion's Pacer model and I am impressed. I am also…

Marshall Law

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Capture by Jonathan Ganley
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Just Like Heaven? Well, pretty close. The ever popular, and insanely loud Dinosaur Jr, with Hex, at the Studio, Auckland, on Monday 23 January 2017.

Taking the stage in Mount Albert

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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National probably made the right call when it declined to contest the Mount Albert by-election. After wheeling in the big guns in Roskill last year and getting thrashed, it would not have relished the prospect of Bill English's election year…

With My Voice

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Vector Arena 18th Jan 2017 In an out of character move for Vector concerts, I decided to get tickets in GA. Usually nowadays I can manage about half a set standing up and then need…

The next four years

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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And so, tomorrow, the United States of America will inaugurate a new President. I've been meaning to write about what that portends, but it's surprisingly difficult. Each of the last few dozen mornings has brought a fresh basket of outrages…

Walk This Way

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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It’s been a couple of weeks since we all stopped pretending that 2017 was going to be any better than 2016. I mean, yeah, it was shitty that all those much-loved celebrities died, but what made last year such a…

Friday Music! Theo Parrish: Detect rhythm and dance

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Here's a thing about dance music: half the time, it's in an identity crisis. Its founding myths are in dark little clubs full of the marginalised, but it reaches the masses as risible stadium EDM. This isn't exactly new: as…

Taxpayers' Union: still stupid, cynical and dishonest

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In  a story cross-posted from Newstalk ZB today, the Herald reports that it has "been revealed the New Zealand Government has paid a foundation owned by Hillary Clinton $7.7 million," going on to note  that "in November it became apparent…

Shenzen's hire-bike explosion

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Speaker by Paul Campbell
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Shenzhen is a city with about twice the population of New Zealand. Forty years ago it virtually didn't exist. Back then, it was a market town of 30,000 on China's border with Hong Kong. Now, it's new, it's growing fast…

Paths and ways

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The Christmas-New Year break is a nice time to ride a bike in Auckland. The weather is starting to come right, there's time for exploring and, crucially, there's a lot less traffic on the roads. I've been exploring off the…

Music! That one album

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If you know me by now, you'll know that I'm not terribly good at lists and best-ofs. Around this time of year I am generally driven to a mild panic reading the annual rundowns by people who have been interrogating…

Public Address founder "refutes" Word of the Year reports

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Public Address founder Russell Brown today angrily denied that "post-truth" was the runaway winner of the site's annual Word of the Year poll. When it was pointed out to Brown that he had in fact personally announced "post-truth" as the…

2016: The arc of a year

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The final episode of From Zero, my RNZ podcast series about New Zealanders and drugs, opens in New York City and concludes back home with the question: why can't we have the conversation we need to have about drug policy?…

Fleeing Syria for the sweatshops of the West

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Speaker by Clinton Logan
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In a subterranean room Yassin upends a 15 litre tin and pours a viscous stream of industrial adhesive into an open container. He is a Syrian refugee in Istanbul. This is his work. As toxic fumes permeate the cold hue…

World of Food 4: American Samoa

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Feed by Amberleigh Jack
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Oka I'a "Is American Samoa a country?" "It belongs to the US. It's not part of it, though. And it's on my list." "To be fair, so is Antarctica." "But American Samoa has a flag. And it means I get…

The Up Front Guide to Internet Dating

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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Six months ago, I decided I’d write a column on internet dating. I’d been dating for a couple of years, and boy did I have some Reckons. Still, the people I’d been out with deserved their privacy. What I needed…

Public Address Word of the Year 2016: Now Vote!

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Hard News by Russell Brown

It's on! The discussion has been had, the words have been nominated, and now it is time to put them to a vote. I’ve trimmed the list of nominated words and phrases to a manageable size and, as usual, you…

Public Address Word of the Year 2016

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It’s that time again: the time to find the Public Address Word of the Year. And it really has been a hell of a year. Last year's top five – Quaxing, Red Peak, Twitterati, Ponytail, Campbell Live – was entirely of domestic…

The new Hep C drugs: fresh hopes and old frustrations

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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My  story on the rollout of the first direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) funded by Pharmac to treat Hepatitis C has been published by Matters of Substance. I filed it a while ago and as journalists do on long lead times, caught…

Friday Music! Digging Doug

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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When the tales of music are written, they rarely include the people who aren't in the band, but make it all possible. So I'm delighted to see that Audioculture has this week published an article on my old friend Doug…

Greens drug policy 2: the animal testing problem

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In an earlier post today, I've looked at what is undoubtedly the headline of the Green Party's new drug and alcohol policy: clear proposals for reform on both medical cannabis and cannabis law in general. But there's more there, including…

The Greens' pretty good new drug policy

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The New Zealand Green Party today publishes a new drug and alcohol policy that, among other things, would legalise the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use. It also offers a robust take on medical cannabis that could be…