Posts by Paul Smith

When neighbourhoods sleep

Where once four bungalows stood

They came when the neighbourhood slept – just after 2 in the morning. And though they were anything but burglars they took from our collective identity yet another valuable: an entire house.

Where once the street below us had two  rows of compact, well maintained bungalows, it now seems as if this was some suburban mirage.

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Rangi Walker – visionary

Rangi WalkerIn the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.

Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.

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February miscellany

You just know things are getting dire in the change-the-flag camp when its promoters have to rely on the candlelight of celebrity.

Richie McCaw supports the change. Wow. Well that’s a must-vote for the new one then. And Dan Carter too. Double wow – it’s pretty much a done deal, but some obstacles remain.

Like the quasi celebs who are also in their camp – Mike Hoskings, TVNZ newsreader Peter Williams among others. They’re all flag-happy and flapping behind the PM, our flag change leader-in-chief (he sometimes sports the new version as a badge – subtle huh?)

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Beware Greeks bearing gifts….

130207-billboard-morning-hold-2A bus strike in Auckland  – how strange that  was  when  media  reported little in the way of carpooling,  the tactic which served locals well  in the oil shocks of the 1970s.   Another hint of the collapse of community?  Aucklanders  were warned  about the obvious traffic jams ahead – as if there aren’t any most other days.   The city’s woeful dependence on cars is its major failure and in Wellington that hasn’t been helped by a lack of vision.

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Trends shaping our world

istanbul_sultan_ahmet_mosque_mosque_237481Every year, the Pew Research Centre in the United States reviews its research, selecting the most memorable facts which illustrate important trends shaping our world.
Topics range from the specific subjects of video gaming and family caregivers to broader areas like political attitudes, global climate change and religious affiliation. Here are some of the 15 most striking trends the Centre discovered in 2015:

Islam will grow faster than any other major religion in the world over the next four decades, according to he Centre’s religious projections.

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Budapest Girl

 by Panni PalastiEva cover pic

reviewed by Paul Smith

Anybody wandering back in time to write a memoir faces the challenge of what to reveal, what to leave out. It’s the way they confront this issue which defines the work as true to character, authentic.

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Boomer nights and domes

bradbaldThe other night we were sitting on a porch at another 60th birthday. These days the Big One is almost as common as that other rite of passage, funerals. It’s as if we party one minute and exit the next. On this warm night the other hallmark of our age was that we were sitting. In another room ’60s rock beckoned, reminding us that once, it was only the old folks who sat and watched while we danced…

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