Recent Posts

The Declaration of the Independence of Corporations

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Speaker by Colin Jackson
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[With apologies to John Perry Barlow] Governments of the Industrial World, you toothless ogres of laws and taxation, we come from Cyberspace, the new home of global corporations. On behalf of our shareholders, we ask you of the past to…

Memories of the news

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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"What was the first major news story you remember as a child?" read the meme a journalist friend posted on Facebook yesterday. The responses were intriguing to watch, and tended to have the effect of reminding me that I've been…

#OrconIRL: The runsheet and live stream

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Kia ora koutou! Today is the final Orcon IRL event for the year and we'll be looking at 2017 – and forward at what's to come – from 4pm at Golden Dawn. RSVPs are all full up, but drop me a line…

Friday Music: Deep cuts from Aotearoa

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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If you like a bit of funk and disco – and more especially, if you're a DJ  – the reality is that you won't find many local classics to fill your crates. That's not to say there's no gold to be had,…

Powerstation II: It's complicated

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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My +1 came down sick shortly before Lorde's Powerstation show last night, which meant I was standing at the pickup desk at 8.30pm with a spare ticket to a hot gig. "What should I do with it?" I asked the…

Too Sexy for Your Site

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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Ever since the election, I’ve been pondering writing a column about the changes that would need to happen to MSD for us to be treating all our people like actual people. It goes much further than removing “excessive sanctions”. Thing…

#OrconIRL: That was 2017

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Kia ora! We have one more Orcon IRL event for the year, and it's on Sunday, November 19, from 4-7pm at The Golden Dawn in Ponsonby. Our guests include RNZ Sunday mornings host Wallace Chapman, who will talk about making…

Lorde, the council and the Powerstation shambles

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Two weeks ago, Unesco, the UN cultural agency, announced that it had approved a joint application by Auckland Council, Recorded Music NZ and Apra for Auckland to be named an international city of music, alongside the likes of Glasgow and…

How harm happens

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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During the election campaign, I was working on a feature looking at how New Zealand arrived at a synthetic cannabinoid crisis that had seemed to come out of nowhere – and what I was finding was making me angry. The story…

Bullshit and pigeon shit: inside a "tourist tannery"

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Speaker by Clinton Logan
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The Tuesday morning sun spills over large stone walls into a courtyard of circular dye vats slowly illuminating them like giant pots of paint. Abdul strips down to his shorts and lowers himself into a fermenting cocktail of cold water,…

And so it begins ...

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In a bracing analysis for Lawfare Blog, Susan Hennessy characterises Special Counsel Robert Mueller's first round of indictments in his investigation into Russian interference in last year's US Presidential election as "a remarkable show of strength" on the prosecutor's part.…

Communications breakdown

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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About 5am yesterday, I got out of bed to fetch a drink of water from the tap and noticed that there was not much water to be had. "Bugger," I thought, watching a thin stream trickle into the glass, then…

Very Vintage

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Capture by Jackson Perry
27 12

Hello. Long time, no photos. Yada yada.  Life, be in it. Spring is passing by, and I've lacked the inspiration for the usual petal show, although those in the know will see I'm still instagramming plenty of floral arrangements. This…

Friday Music: Springs Eternal

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the interesting – and challenging – things about urban music festivals is the way they interpret their environments. Promoters have to consider not only where people goes, but where sound goes. And then they have to get the whole lot…

What we learned yesterday about the cannabis referendum

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Given the sheer number of issues canvassed in the twin media conferences that accompanied the signing of the new government's coalition and support agreements, it's understandable that the cannabis referendum and drug law reform in general haven't had a lot…

Media Take: The Future

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Normally on a Tuesday morning, I wouldn't be here at my screen. I'd be at the table at Top Shelf Productions for the weekly editorial meeting where we work out what we'll do for the next week's Media Take. But…

The climate changed

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Yesterday was not only the day a new government was announced. It was also the day that a new stocktake compiled by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand laid out the challenges posed to New Zealand by…

All Change

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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New Zealand's not-really-all-that-lengthy coalition negotiations were conducted with a degree of discretion that meant there were few tidbits for an increasingly frazzled press gallery to bring to a probably less frazzled public. But one thing we did learn was significant:…

Friday Music: Staying Okay

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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One of the more welcome developments in the local music business in recent years has been a better focus on the welfare of people who work in it. That focus was given form a year ago when the New Zealand…

Out of sight, out of mind: how we forgot about synthetics

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Update: This week's Media Take looks at and compares the twin news stories of synthetic cannabis and "methamphetamine contamination" with social activist Denis O'Reilly, public health expert Papa Nahi, journalists Tony Wall and Baz Macdonald, treament professional Kohe Pene and…

Cycle infrastructure: the blessings are not evenly shared

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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To say that cycle infrastructure has improved over the past five years in the part of Auckland where I live is almost understating the case. We've had a significant upgrade to the northwestern cycleway, the westward spine that links everything…

Election 2017: the no threshold hypothesis

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Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler
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As I now do each election (2014, 2011, 2008), below, the results of the 2017 general election if there was no threshold: National – 54ACT – 1 New Zealand First – 9TOP - 3Māori Party – 1Labour – 44The Greens – 8(total 120 MPs) Obviously, voters…