Recent Posts

For Your Own Safety

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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A couple of weeks ago, I went to a cricket game at Hagley Oval, because that’s what I do in summer. The oddest thing about it wasn’t that the Black Caps won, it was the toilets. For the second time…

Hep C: When doctors do the wrong thing

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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My story for Matters of Substance last year about the rollout of newly Pharmac-funded antiviral drugs that cure Hepatitis C contained both good and bad news. The good news lay in the fact of funding and in the compassionate, innovative…

Drugs, testing and workplaces

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Late last year, New Zealand Rugby announced that it was to begin random, out-of-competition drug-testing of players, coaches and administrators – not for drugs that might be used to gain any performance advantage, but for illicit recreational drugs. The messaging around…

If this was ever funny, it's not any more

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Two months ago, White Press Secretary in waiting Sean Spicer said in an interview that denying of access to out-of-favour media organisations – as President-elect Trump had done for much of his campaign – would take America from a democracy to a…

Mt Albert: Cooperating, competing and carpooling

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Hard News by Russell Brown
36

In the week of the Mount Albert by-election, our household received four phone calls about voting. There were two from Labour humans checking that we were planning to vote and knew how and where (one on Saturday), one from the…

Friday Music: Nadia 2

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's a testament to the power and control of Nadia Reid's singing and playing that matching her studio recordings in session seems to hold no fears for her. And thus was the case with her BBC 6 Music Live Room…

Splore 2017

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I'm a fitful photographer at festivals: I kick off keen but by the time the party really starts, I'm happy enough to simply avoid losing my phone, let alone take it out and point it at things. And thus it…

Sky and 2020

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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On May 1 this year, it will be 21 years since Telecom launched its first real consumer ISP – Xtra – kicking off the mainstreaming of of the internet in New Zealand. The company had finally surrendered its stance that the country…

Public Address and PressPatron

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Last week we flicked the switch on something that's been a while coming: a new payments platform called PressPatron that provides a way for you to support not only Public Address, but, before long, a range of other blogs and…

#DisabledAndCute

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Access by Chelle Hope
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The tweets that are retweeted into my timeline are mostly either Trump-related or are aggressively cute images to counteract the Trump effect. As I was scrolling through the emotional rollercoaster that is now Twitter, terrified at the implications of a…

The Little Things

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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So you know that thing where you’re using up all your Coping on dealing with international political coverage without going mad, and then your city literally catches fire? And you find you’re again waking up to the ambient sound of…

Friday (Thursday) Music: Heavens

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The first year I went to Splore was the year Erykah Badu played. My memory is of arriving on the Friday afternoon to an idyll where everyone was smiling, the sun shone and children frolicked. I felt like the 5000th…

Broadcasting and the Public Interest

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Speaker by Dylan Reeve
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Recently I got involved in a Twitter discussion about public broadcasting and the future of TVNZ. It was precipitated by Gareth Morgan’s recent announcement that his new political party, The Opportunities Party, would sell off TVNZ and invest the money…

I tried Sativex: it was no fun at all

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Sativex, an oromucosal spray, is the only pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis product approved by Medsafe for use in New Zealand. It can't simply be prescribed by doctors – even after promised changes to regulations, prescriptions will have to be approved by an…

After Hollywood

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Last night was my second visit to Hollywood Avondale as a music venue, with the first being Tiny Ruins and friends in December last year. It has quickly become a favourite. An easy 7 minutes drive from home, and although…

Listening Lounge 2017: More good talk at Splore

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Family, sustainability, drug safety and election-year politics: that's the scope of the 2017 Splore Listening Lounge talk programme. The "headline act" sees the Mount Albert by-election contest come to Splore, as Labour's Jacinda Ardern and the Green Party's Julie Anne…

Murder – it’s not OK.

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Access by Hilary Stace
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On 14 July 1997, in a provincial New Zealand town, a mother killed her 17-year-old autistic daughter, Casey Albury. Suddenly the spotlight was on autism as a policy problem in New Zealand. At that time autism was considered a rare…

Burning down the house to feel better

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Hard News by Russell Brown
115

I've noted here before my bemusement at self-professed conservatives who don't seem to mind the way first Donald Trump the candidate and President of the US Donald Trump has been determined to throw onto a bonfire the institutions and principles…

Ann's story: helping doctors understand medical cannabis

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Speaker by Veronica Stevenson
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The author of this post, Veronica Stevenson, is a filmmaker who has launched a PledgeMe crowdfunding project with Victoria Catherwood to make an educational documentary to raise awareness about medical cannabis among doctors. Victoria explains her goals and motivations in…

Spun Off: New Zealand's other most racist law

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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Spurred by Donald Trump's recent executive order, I have written a thing for The Spinoff about a still live part of New Zealand's immigration past. The Spinoff has no comments facilities, so I'm making the opportunity available here.