by on November 13th, 2013 in Music, People | No comment

The amazing band Electric Wire Hustle features Freerange contributor Mara TK, and I’m delighted to see/hear they have released the debut track of their LOOOONG awaited new album. Epic. Tune.  Check it out.



Freerange is going to start featuring some more music as we seem to be surrounded by super talented people, music included.

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FESTA Free Rangers

by on October 11th, 2013 in Architecture, Christchurch, Event, The City | No comment

Remarkable things will happen during Labour weekend at FESTA whether you’re a solo festival butterfly or more of a pack animal. There’s bound to be something to get your juices flowing (literally, don’t miss getting your sweat on in the Nomadic Sauna).

The annual Festival of Transitional Architecture is a free, public event that engages with the city of Christchurch (New Zealand) by exploring urban regeneration through large scale collaborative projects and urban interventions. It is the first and only festival of its kind in the world.

Over the course of Labour Weekend events, performances and projects happen across empty sites and in vacant buildings within the city’s four avenues, reintroducing life and urban activity to the centre. This rediscovery of the inner city invites a variety of collective investigations into the nature of civic life and opens it up to the community’s desire to participate in the remaking of their city.

After the huge success of the inaugural FESTA last year, when 30,000 people swarmed to Luxcity, it’s great to know that Jessica Halliday returns as Director Extraordinaire, and with their stellar crew, FESTA is looking conspicuously like THE Festival to be at this year.

Chief Egg of the Freerange Pirate ship, Barnaby Bennett, is currently the Chair of the FESTA Board, and he’s been a relentless captain of advocacy and awesomeness for Christchurch. It’s not surprising then, that a fair few Freerange Captains couldn’t resist charting a course for the City Within A City.


Here’s a quick rundown of a few places to catch up with a Free Ranger at FESTA.

On Friday I’ll be hanging out in the Pallet Pavilion at Anissa Victoria’s Twilight Vintage Market from 4pm, from there you can pick up some of my new drawings if that kind of thing tickles your fancy. The Twilight Market will be stocked with interesting finds, good food, a bar, and live music, the perfect reason to wander through the blue fortress at dusk before things go crazy on Saturday.


Dusting off after Casual Friday, Barnaby Bennett will be hosting Urban T(act)ics, an open discussion with Chris Morley-Hall (founder of the Cuba Street Carnival), Federico Monsalve (Freerange director and design writer), James Coyle (architect/musician, Newtown Festival, Wellington),  Lucinda Hartley (director and co-founder of Co-design, Melbourne), and myself. Urban T(act)ics will be a chance for “groups and individuals doing similar work in Christchurch to learn lessons from other cities and to meet people curious about what is happening here. All presenters work in organisations that have influence in their city but not as part of government, and will reflect on how their work can be considered an action, activity or tactic within the city.

From there, Big Saturday gets huge, with the itchy anticipation of the main event, Canterbury Tales, building to a crescendo of surreal satisfaction.  Clink your glasses, see you in the morning!


The Sunday Sesh warms up with an all ages drawing workshop I’ll be running called Supernova City. Inspired by dream cartographers of the city, the workshop will work collectively to make drawings and traces of the city as we experience it, blurring past memories and future dreams on the same massive canvas. We’ll be at the Pallet Pavilion from 10-2pm, I’ll be posting our progress up on Facebook and Twitter (@byronkinnaird and @FreerangePress), hashtag drawing, hashtag cant wait!

The first ever gathering in the flesh of the Freerange Directors seems almost too good to be true (and it might not be true), but we’ll be getting together to launch Freerange Vol.7: The Commons at 6pm at 88 Worcester Street, one of the Canterbury Tales sites.  This issue is hugely relevant to Christchurch, so drop by to celebrate in Commons style with us.


There are seriously so many things to get involved in over the long weekend, check out the full programme, there’s bound to be something to do whether its learning about the Arches or the Pallet Pavillion, building a house, or meeting the puppets.


Full programme here.

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Poster Winner

by on September 20th, 2013 in Design | No comment

Congratulations to Geordie Shaw who is the winner of the competition to design a poster for the bird that Freerange is sponsoring for the NZ Bird of the Year Competition.  Geordie wins a subscription to Freerange Journal and $50 of cold hard cash!

Geordie’s winning entry:


The official New Zealand Bird of the  Year competition launches soon….

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Freerange on Tony Abbott: how gays make him uncomfortable, how to publicly insult dying men, and how lying is ok sometimes, or something…

by on September 2nd, 2013 in Politics | No comment

Here is a selection of choice cuts from the mouth of soon to be Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Don’t say you were not warned!

This is an excerpt from Freerange Vol. 5: Dangerous and Wrong that was written late last year.

By Nick Sargent.

Freerange Vol.5: Dangerous and Wrong can be downloaded here for free or bought from here. 

We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the future Australian Prime Minister for his imminent contribution to popular culture,  to get in while he is still a little bit underground and show we are not bandwagoners, but genuine cultural explorers here at FR. Whilst we know the last laugh will be on us, the prospective “Decider’’ has been revealing a talent for clumsily (or slyly, your call) insulting minority groups that is, at the very least, uncomfortably entertaining. He’s unfortunately a little too silver-tongued to ape like-minded idiot savant and meme producing tour de force George W, and therefore is unlikely to ever acknowledge “how hard it is for you to put food on your family’’ or take the opportunity to explain the value of life to “children living in, you know, the Dark Dungeons of the Internet’’. Nevertheless his carefully planted seeds are beginning to germinate into forms that tenderly suggest the mean little fruit they will bear once he takes power.

Abbott’s most recent claim to mainstream success was this little poison-plant about the mostly Muslim and very clearly desperate people trying to enter Australia via treacherous seaward journeys:

“I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door.  I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way.  If you pay a people smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that’s doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn’t encourage it.’’

As flagrantly un-Christian as that display of chicanery may have been, it was not without significant hostile precedent. Speaking about a man dying from asbestosis who presented a petition for better care to government:

“It was a stunt. I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things.’’

And in response to the inevitable public outrage this caused:

“Bernie is a sick man and obviously he has the moral high ground. Obviously I shouldn’t have been as dismissive as I was.’’

Not an apology as such, but a surprisingly cocksure public statement about morality. Up next, maternity leave:

“Compulsory paid maternity leave? Over this Government’s dead body, frankly.’’

He has actually completely changed his mind on that by the way, but don’t think that means women are getting off lightly:

“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on, are going to go up.’’

Apparently this was meant as criticism of the Gillard government’s new emissions trading scheme (a pollution tax that the government states is not a tax), but it also succinctly describes his own proposed carbon tax:

“If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax. Why not ask motorists to pay more? Why not ask electricity consumers to pay more?’’

OK, so he doesn’t really have a stone cold position on many things. But what about that archaic little bit about the ironing, and the outcry that caused:

“It’s just people being hypersensitive. But I think in many households it is still much more common to see the woman of the house with an iron in her hand.’’

Naturally this also caused some offence, but don’t go thinking Abbott’s not down with the ladies:

“I just want to make it clear I have never told an inappropriate joke, I’ve never pinched a woman on the backside and I never make inappropriate gestures to women.’’

Phew! And how do you feel about homosexuals?

“I probably feel a bit threatened, as so many people do. It’s a fact of life.’’

Again, some vocal upset. The response:

“There is no doubt that (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things.’’

And the response to the outcry that caused:

“Yeah, look, it was a poor choice of words. Look, I think blokes of my generation and upbringing do sometimes find these things a bit confronting.’’

Which I must admit is a refreshingly honest admission. He was straight forwardly honest, too, when asked about whether he would continue Labour’s policy to reduce homelessness:

“No. The poor will always be with us.”

Which is actually a Biblical quote that is considered by many Bible scholars to be on their most frequently misused list, basically a sentence that contradicts the overwhelmingly and unarguably major Biblical message about taking care of the poor. But that is, at least, consistent with our flagrantly un-Christian opening quote and the theme running through all Abbott’s frank truths: the savvy ‘I don’t care what I say as long as the majority of people like it.’ And, about this, he is also consistent:

“Misleading the ABC is not quite the same as misleading the parliament.’’

And, famously, here:

“I know politicians are going to be judged on everything they say, but sometimes, in the heat of discussion, you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark, which is one of the reasons why the statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks.’’

All this honesty & truth lead former Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister Sir Malcolm Fraser to describe Abbott as “unpredictable’’ and “dangerous’’, basically willing to say or do whatever is necessary to get power, which is pretty much the definition of a tyrant or,  in more puerile terms, a “bad boss”, about whom Abbott had this to say:

“A bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband. Not withstanding all his or her faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm.’’


The point being, this is all suggestive of surprising chasms and bridges between what the future Prime Minister thinks, what he thinks he thinks, what he thinks he ought to think and what he actually says or does. The expression of which should see frank Tony transfigured in the unflinching media light into Australia’s budgie smuggling Prime Minister Pantsdown. This we predict, unless Jesus, growing tired of all this misrepresentation, intervenes before the big show in November, 2013. A closing quote about Jesus (and, again, immigrants) from the future Prime Minister:

“Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.

(But) let’s not verbal Jesus, he is not here to defend himself.’’



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