Hard News by Russell Brown



What's up with you? What's ahead for your year to come? And what do you have to show us? Those are the questions I asked of 16 enterprising Aucklanders*, from musicians and media people to CEOs and social campaigners, in a new video series that runs this week on the New Zealand Herald website.

Five new videos, focusing on media, business, science and technology, society and music, will be published by the Herald Online on successive days this week. My brief to myself was to bring in interesting people in a range of sectors, and in pursuing it, I'm delighted that I came up with a good Auckland diversity story.

The sponsor is Orcon, who I've worked with in the past as the sponsor of our Great Blend events. The videos were produced by Augusto and shot over two days in their space at the City Works Depot

The series begins today with Media: Maori Television's general manager of news and current affairs, Julian Wilcox, explains the channel's news priorities for 2014, film-director-turned-webisode-queen Roseanne Liang outlines her screen plans and Miriyana Alexander looks forward to the new challenge of editing the Herald on Sunday.

Tomorrow, it's down to Business. Vaughan Rowsell, CEO of retail software start-up Vend, forcibly retires some old technology; Angus Allan, the founder of gourmet yoghurt maker The Collective Dairy looks forward to new export markets; CEO Christina Domecq outlines Localist's new focus; and Sarah and Otis Frizzell of The Lucky Taco share their dream of a food-truck city.

Wednesday is Science and Technology. Richard Easther, Head of Physics at the University of Auckland, looks to the stars; AUT University's Philippa Smith talks about the World Internet Project and learning who we have become online; and the remarkable Siouxsie Wiles juggles her day job as a biologist and her newfound role as the country's leading science communicator.

Thursday is Society. Sudhvir Singh talks about the next steps toward securing "a thriving zero carbon Aotearoa"; The New Zealand Drug Foundation's Ross Bell outlines the arguments to be won on policy reform; and Auckland Pride Festival director Julian Cook presents the queen city's best new drag queen.

The series concludes on Friday with three movers and shakers in Music. Scott Maclachlan, Lorde's manager, talks about Grammy hopes, where her remarkable career goes next -- and who else is on his books; young dance music promoter Keegan Fepuleai shares his plans for an Auckland clubland documentary; and the legendary Shayne Carter explains why he decided to start from scratch and do the unexpected with his forthcoming "piano album".

I've enjoyed making these. I hope you enjoy watching them.

*Including one token Wellingtonian.

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