All posts in Public Service Announcements

A day in the life of Richard Prosser (Part 1)

3 am Suddenly awake. Screaming. Sweating. I had had a terrible dream. I had been on a plane with a terrorist. I could tell he was a terrorist due to the fact he had a towel on his head. The scene dissolved into that of a sauna. What am I doing in a sauna with a terrorist? I slap myself. Again. Harder. I’m awake. Calm. I calmly take out the Walther PPK out from under my pillow, calmy. With calmness I stroke it. Sleep comes back to me. Continue reading →

Job application with spine

ansell ad

Photo supplied by Dave @Custard_Square

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jackson Wood
Date: 12 February 2013 10:58
Subject: Job application with spine
To: John Ansell

Dear John,

A bit of a dreary way to start a letter, what with all the connotations about heart wrenching break ups from afar. However, John, this is not a break up letter. It could be, in fact, the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship. Continue reading →

Cat mania


Recently Gareth Morgan — economist, investor, philanthropist, et al — launched a campaign to slowly eradicate all cats in NZ.

I made this image for the lols.

Read more about this really serious issue here from Nicola Toki.

The Truth banned in prisons

A little while back I heard that The Truth — “New Zealand news the way you want it – for more than 105 years” — was banned in NZ prisons. I wanted to confirm this and see if any other publications were outright banned in NZ prisons.

According to the letter below from the Department of Corrections, The Truth is the only specifically named publication which is banned by Auckland prisons.

“The Auckland Prison Manger and other staff believed the Truth newspaper contained objectionable material and was compromising the prison safety and security. The Truth ban at Auckland Prison was tested by a complaint to the ombudsman and was not upheld.”

The letter goes on to say that other publications may be banned because they are pornographic, violent, gang-related, or prison staff consider they will interfere with effective management of prison.

So each prison has a long list of items, not just publications, which are banned. The general terms are put on this schedule.

Not sure what to make of this. Is The Truth really that objectionable? It would be interesting to see the list of publications which had been confiscated or stopped from coming into the prison under the discretion of prison staff.

J Wood – 11 Dec 12 – Publications Banned From Prisons

Drug Foundation Soundtrack

Catherine and I got the idea to put together a work-related play list. We solicited input via Twitter and Facebook. This is what we ended up with. We could easily have kept going. But even this selection, which ranges from 1944 to 2012, shows how pervasive drug use is in artistic endeavors and how it sends ripples through our culture. Track listing below the jump. Continue reading →

Crusher crushes my heart

Plain Packaging

Last week submissions on the Ministry of Health’s proposal to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in New Zealand closed.

Here are some exerts from my submission.

There is no specific evidence that plain packaging will work. No, they are right. There isn’t. So let’s make some evidence. Data from the New Zealand and Australian experience can be compared to the USA, Canada, and the UK and we can tell if plain packaging has an effect. If not, then the tobacco industry loses nothing.

Continue reading →

Connecting Young Leaders Conference 2012

On Saturday I talked to the Connecting Young Leaders Conference run by the US Embassy in New Zealand.

The Ambassador, David Huebner, has made it a goal of the Embassy to spark an interest in politics and leadership amoung youth. Every year he selects students from NZ universities to be “advisors” and every two years he brings them together to meet, learn, and network. It is an awesome programme and engaging with youth is something that the NZ Government could learn a thing or two about.

Anyways here are some photos from the weekend via the Embassy’s Flickr and used under Creative Commons license.

These are all the advisors with some of the speakers. The Ambassador is the chipper looking gentleman on the far right and the gentleman on the far left is the Consul General, James E. Donegan. Continue reading →

On using technology during meetings

Should I be able to use my laptop during a meeting? I think yes.

Some of us use our smartphones, tablet, and laptops to take notes and make memos to ourselves.

I can understand not using them in some sessions. You know, like, if it’s a one on one, or you’ve got some high flyer coming to talk to you. Continue reading →

Suicide, Alcohol, 18

Last week at the Cutting Edge conference the Ministry of Health’s new Director of Mental Health, Dr John Cranshaw, spoke about the Government and ministry priorities in the addiction sector. It was an interesting talk.

Dr Cranshaw pointed out that New Zealand has the second highest rate of youth suicide in the OECD and that alcohol is the major factor in youth suicide.

Recently we have been having a nation-wide debate about alcohol. For the most part the brouhaha around purchase age has been a smoke screen for the alcohol industry to hide behind, diverting attention from the quantifiably more important issues around alcohol price, marketing, and availability.
Continue reading →