Fun Ho!

We also went to the Fun Ho! toy museum in Inglewood.

IMG_7453 Continue reading →

Tawhiti Museum

Spent the morning with the family at Tawhiti Museum outside of Hawera.

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Tawhiti is amazing. The level of detail of the dioramas and exhibits is enthralling. Continue reading →

Wellington: one big shared space

Pohutakawa (Metrosideros excelsa) are in full bloom in Wellington. Continue reading →

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 →

Calcutta

I just submitted an application to do the Masters in Creative Writing at Victoria University. Here is one of the poems I put into my submission.

A phone call was all it took
A phone call destroyed two lives
“Poppa’s had a fall
I can’t get him up
come over
quick.
hurry.

Continue reading →

Bird of the year 2012

Sadly, 2012 was not to be the year of the Saddleback or Tieke Twelve as we had hoped.

T’was a good year though. Once again the Saddleback did not come last, and what we lacked in votes we made up for in integrity and moral fortitude. 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 →