RNZ: Saturday Morning

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A magazine programme hosted by Kim Hill, with long-form, in-depth feature interviews on current affairs, science, modern life, history, the arts and more.


    • Dec 17, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 23m AVG DURATION
    • 341 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from RNZ: Saturday Morning

    Listener feedback for 18 December

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 6:28

    Our Listener feedback for 18 December.

    Dr Alastair Richards: taking the title of world Scrabble champ

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 14:56

    To most people Scrabble might seem a fun game to break out during the summer holidays, but for Alastair Richards it's serious business. Richards is the second New Zealand player to take the world's premier Scrabble title.

    Arthur C Brooks: how to build a happy life

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 33:46

    Arthur Brooks is a Harvard professor, social scientist, bestselling author, and the 'happiness correspondent' for The Atlantic. His weekly column, How To Build A Life helps point people towards creating more meaningful and fulfilling lives, and has spawned a spinoff podcast entitled How To Build A Happy Life.

    Kath Irvine: succession planting and summer mulching

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 15:11

    Organic gardener Kath Irvine returns to share some tips around gardening this summer and to answer your questions.

    Mike Munro: looking at New Zealand 100 years ago

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 30:09

    The start of the 1920s was a traumatic time in New Zealand's history. Former chief of staff for the Prime Minister, Mike Munro brings together the story of an eagerly-anticipated rugby tour, and the troublesome memories of its time in his new book 1921: Rugby, Race and Empire - the result of hundreds of hours spent poring over newspapers from the time.

    Tim Higham: living sustainably on Aotea Great Barrier Island

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 13:48

    Writer and environmental advocate Tim Higham is trying to live, as he puts it from fish to fish in a house in the bush on Aotea Great Barrier Island. That's where we find him in his book Island Notes in which, Robinson Crusoe-like, Higham considers his sense of place while building a simpler life off-the-grid for his family.

    Prof Peter McIntyre: refocusing Covid-19 vaccine strategies

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 33:39

    As we head into the third year of the pandemic, a group of distinguished international scientists has published an opinion piece arguing that vaccine strategies need to shift focus from trying to stop infection, and move towards the prevention of severe disease and global equity in achieving high adult coverage. Professor Peter McIntyre from University of Otago is the lead author for the piece, and says New Zealand needs to get its objective straight as it heads into 2022.

    Listener Feedback for 11 December 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 5:26

    Listener Feedback for 11 December 2021.

    What's art got to do with it?: Megan Dunn on art therapy

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 17:01

    Megan Dunn joins the show to discuss the intersection of art and life, looking at the ways art is and isn't good for our wellbeing. This week: Megan visited an art therapist, and liked it.

    Jonathan Roberts: providing genetic counselling for parents

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 35:17

    Huge advances in genetics mean prenatal testing for conditions such as Down syndrome can now be done faster and with much less risk. That is where genetic counsellors like Jonathan Roberts come in.

    Chris Thompson: breeding good insects to get bad insects

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 12:22

    Local food growers are increasingly employing beneficial insects as biocontrol agents to keep pests and diseases in check, meaning less reliance on pesticides. At Bioforce in Karaka, rural south Auckland, insects are bred and sent out to growers of everything from tomatoes and pot plants to chicken farms. More and more pests are turning up on our shores, making finding other insects - including natives - to combat them urgent work. Chris Thompson is general manager of Bioforce, a company his father founded 23 years ago.

    Will Storr: why are humans obsessed with status?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 32:11

    British author and journalist Will Storr says we've been competing for status for millions of years, before we were even human. His new book The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It argues that trying to achieve status is a fundamental force in our behaviour, and a key to understanding human social life. The more status we earn, the better our chances of survival and reproduction. Storr's theory is that everyone is playing a status game, sometimes multiple games - even if you aren't aware of it. Storr's previous books include Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed and The Science of Storytelling. His journalism work has appeared in the Guardian, Sunday Times, New Yorker and New York Times.

    Heather Tilbury Phillips: working with fashion icon Mary Quant

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 24:42

    In the 1960s Mary Quant broke the mould of conventional fashion with her creative and playful designs that personified the energy of Swinging London. Famously credited for creating the mini skirt, Quant also popularised brightly coloured tights and tailored trousers - revolutionising the way women thought about dressing. A businesswoman as well as designer, Quant grew her brand so that it burst from her tiny boutique on King's Road, her clothing finding its way onto shelves of department stores across the UK, US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Heather TilburyPhillips was a director of Mary Quant Limited in the 1970s, and an advisor for the V&A exhibition Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary which is showing at Auckland Art Gallery until March.

    Anton Troianovski: is Russia preparing to invade Ukraine?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 18:54

    Tens of thousands of Russian troops have been massing near the Ukrainian border sparking international concern of an impending invasion. With tensions mounting, US president Joe Biden has lent support to Ukraine and in a two-hour video call earlier this week he reportedly told Russian President Putin that the US and its European allies would "respond with strong economic measures" if Russia invades Ukraine. But will sanctions be enough to deter President Putin? Anton Troianovski is the Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, and joins the show to discuss.

    Prof Tony Ward: helping violent offenders lead better lives

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 20:38

    It's very easy to view people who commit criminal offences as "moral strangers", says Professor Tony Ward, but we all have the same innate human needs.

    Michael Lindsay-Hogg: The unlikely star in new Beatles film 'Get Back'

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2021 39:58

    Among the fascinating characters hovering around The Beatles in Peter Jackson's documentary Get Back is Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the director charged with making a film out of the band's rehearsals for 1970 album Let It Be.

    Listener feedback 4 December 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 10:36

    Listener feedback 4 December 2021.

    N.K. Jemisin: how sci-fi illuminates humanity's biggest themes

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 20:22

    In 2018, N.K. Jemisin became the first author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, each award going to a book in her widely-heralded Broken Earth series. As a child the New York-based author was an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but she rarely came across characters that looked like her.

    Jennifer Higgie: the astonishing re-emergence of Hilma af Klint

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 32:17

    When Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klint died in 1944, she left behind more than 1300 works, only seen by a handful of people. The discovery of her paintings decades later has turned art history on its head, and an exhibition of her work at The Guggenheim in New York was the most visited in the gallery's history.

    Dr Jane Rigby: Nasa's biggest ever telescope set to launch

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 20:03

    Later this month the James Webb Space Telescope will be shot into space, and when it reaches its destination - approximately 1.5 million kilometres from Earth - the massive telescope will slowly unfurl to its full size. All going to plan, it will allow us to see further into the Universe than anything else ever built, succeeding the Hubble telescope which has been orbiting the Earth since 1990.

    Marcus Du Sautoy: the art of the shortcut in math and life

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 27:24

    Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy says humankind's laziness might just be its saving grace. Despite being frowned upon, du Sautoy says our inherent reluctance for hard work can often lead us to think of clever ways to solve problems.

    Prof Mohan Dutta: the worrying rise of right-wing Hindutva thinking

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 26:44

    A strain of Hindu nationalism, Hindutva, has grown in global prominence since 2014 under Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's BJP party. Now tensions are rising in the Indian community, both here and internationally, between those supporting Hindutva, and those concerned it promotes racism and Islamophobia.

    Jo Guy: searching for your lighthouse person

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2021 27:16

    When Scott Guy was shot dead at the gate of his family farm in Feilding 11 years ago, and his brother-in-law was charged with his murder (later acquitted), six of Jo Guy's grandchildren were made fatherless. In the care of those grandchildren Jo Guy came to see how many more children are in the same boat. Now grandmother to 14 tamariki, Guy's insight and own experience of surviving and thriving has now been told through a children's book she has written, illustrated by Paul Cornwell, The Search for the Lighthouse People. 

    Saturday Morning Feedback

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 6:02

    Kim reads listener feedback from the show.

    Hamish McDouall - Whanganui an international city of design

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 26:13

    It's only small, but as a city Whanganui is rich in design. This month the city was announced as New Zealand's only UNESCO City of Design, one of 40 such cities worldwide. Hamish McDouall has been Whanganui mayor since 2016 and vice president of Local Government New Zealand since July 2020, representing the provincial sector.

    Christopher Boyle: the rise of green hydrogen

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 22:10

    How viable is hydrogen as a major power alternative? Is it the key to a lower carbon economy and this country being more energy self-sufficient? Christopher Boyle believes so. He's the co-founder and CEO of AFCryo, a Christchurch-based company working in cryogenics - extreme cooling technology, which they're exporting internationally. They're providing superconducting technology for electric aircraft in the UK (set to take to the air late 2022), and developed a prototype hydrogen-fuelled chase boat for Emirates Team NZ. In May AFCryo unveiled what they bill as a revolutionary green hydrogen production system, in partnership with UK company Clean Power Hydrogen.

    Ann Patchett: a much loved writer asks what matters most

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 30:38

    She's a bestselling, prizewinning author with her own bookshop in native Nashville, Tennessee, but in her new collection of essays This Precious Life Ann Patchett reveals that below the surface of any charmed life there are darker undercurrents.

    Steven Pinker: why being rational is human and matters now

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 49:03

    How do we determine and stand up for what is rational in 2021? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker tackles this question in his new book Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters.

    Nowroz Ali: escaping the Taliban to make a new home in NZ

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 28:58

    When the Taliban took over Kabul, Afghanistan in August, Nowroz Ali feared for his life. A wanted man for many years for his work with the New Zealand Defence Force, he was supposed to be on a Hercules sent to evacuate people, but such was the pandemonium he couldn't get to the plane.  Ali is finally here, staying in an Auckland hotel awaiting resettlement. Two of his sisters and a brother have also made it, while his parents and other siblings have been left behind.

    Chris Smith: a new Covid variant has been detected

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 18:39

    A new heavily mutated Covid variant is causing global alarm. Our regular commentator, Cambridge University consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith joins us to discuss.

    Listener Feedback 20 November 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 7:21

    Listener feedback from the Saturday Morning programme.

    Fergus Barrowman - giving writers a sporting chance

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 20:09

    Preeminent literary magazine Sport was founded by writers Damien Wilkins, Elizabeth Knox, Nigel Cox and their Victoria University Press (VUP) publisher Fergus Barrowman in 1988. Sport folded in 2020 as the pandemic hit and VUP have now published an anthology of the magazine's latter years, A Game of Two Halves: The Best of Sport 2005-2019, edited by Barrowman.

    Sophie Roberts - taking destiny into her own hands

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 29:11

    Sophie Roberts is working on an ambitious Silo commission called Break Bread which broadcasts the rambunctious hidden lives of all of us. Working under the constraints of the pandemic, the production looks to move beyond traditional black box theatre and into the digital sphere while retaining the shared, immersive characteristics of live theatre.

    James Cridland - what does the future hold for radio?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 22:35

    All this week RNZ has been celebrating 100 years of broadcasting in New Zealand, the first broadcast having been made on the 17th of November 1921 by Professor Robert Jack from Otago University's physics department. But what of radio's future? James Cridland is a self-dubbed radio futurologist and consultant with radio stations based in Brisbane.

    Prof Franca Ronchese - why skin is ground zero for allergies

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 29:28

    Groundbreaking new research at the Malaghan Institute in Wellington has found that immune cells in the skin behave differently than their counterparts found elsewhere in the body, suggesting they play a much bigger role in the onset of allergies than originally thought.

    Aroha Novak - sewing shadows of our native plant past

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 11:37

    When Christchurch's Hagley Park was created in the late 19th century native plants such as ferns, cabbage trees and flax were replaced by English plants like beech, elm and oak. As part of the Scape Public Art Season 2021, Dunedin artist Aroha Novak is presenting The Native Section, nine hand-embroidered billboards surrounding the park.

    Alina Chan - finding the origins of Covid-19

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 38:59

    The origin of Covid-19 still remains a mystery that may never be solved. Was it the result of a spillover from animals to humans, or the result of a lab leak? The idea that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China has been widely condemned as a conspiracy theory fuelled by anti-Chinese sentiment. But some people insist lab leak is a plausible theory, and one of them is Canadian molecular biologist Dr Alina Chan. She's a gene-therapy specialist at the Broad Institute of MIT at Harvard, and has co-authored a book with popular science writer Matt Ridley, Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19. 

    Michael Parmenter - bringing a fresh outlook to folk dancing

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 11:03

    Over the last few years renowned choreographer Michael Parmenter has shifted his focus from contemporary dance to the realm of participatory social dancing.

    Dr Chris Smith - why does Covid wane?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 25:39

    Our regular commentator, Cambridge University consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith joins us with the latest Covid-19 science, and to answer your questions.

    Simon Marks - Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 10:13

    American teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two men and wounded another during protests against police brutality and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020, has been acquitted of all charges in court in New York.  Simon Marks reports from Washington.

    Listener Feedback for Saturday Morning for 13 November 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 2:19

    Kim Hill reads listener feedback for Saturday Morning for 13 November 2021.

    Tu Neill: presenting a window into a Japanese whaling village

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 19:01

    Ayukawa is a remote village that sits on the southern tip of the Oshika Peninsula in northeastern Japan. Once a prominent whaling town, the decline in demand for whale meat coupled with the devastating impact of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has seen work dry up and the town's population steadily decline. Five years in the making, Ayukawa: The Weight of a Life was co-directed by London-based filmmaker Tu Rapana Neill and his former tutor Jim Speers from Elam School of Fine Arts.

    David Farrier: examining conspiracy culture in New Zealand

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 30:52

    Thousands of protesters marched on Parliament earlier this week with a mixture of motives on display. Journalist and filmmaker David Farrier has spent the last few years diving down conspiracy theory rabbit holes - from QAnon to anti-vax chaos - and writing about them for his online newsletter Webworm. He joins the show to discuss what protests like these signify and where it's all going.

    Chris Szekely: taking a deep dive into the Turnbull collection

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 25:22

    Alexander Turnbull spent the greater part of his life - and his inheritance - growing his library, acquiring books, manuscripts, sketches and other materials relating to life in New Zealand. Published to mark 100 years since the establishment of the library, Tu Kupenga celebrates the history of Aotearoa New Zealand through 101 fascinating objects within its collection. Co-author and chief librarian Chris Szekely shares some of these objects and their stories.

    Dame Jane Campion: the power of the filmmaker

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 20:48

    Twelve years after releasing her last feature film, trailblazing director Dame Jane Campion has emerged with revisionist western, The Power Of The Dog.

    Dr Doug Wilson: antiviral pills and the future of mRNA vaccines

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 25:32

    Dr Doug Wilson is a medical academic author and our regular correspondent from the other side of 80. This week he returns to discuss Pfizer's new oral antiviral drug for use against Covid-19.

    Little Amal: the giant puppet that walked from Syria to COP26

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 20:48

    After walking more than 8000 kilometres across Europe, a puppet named Little Amal took the stage at COP26 in Glasgow to raise awareness of the plight of refugee children and the effects of climate change.

    Listener Feedback for Saturday Morning for 6 November 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 10:01

    Kim Hill reads listener feedback for Saturday Morning for 6 November 2021.

    Dr Matt Baker: DNA robots and tuskless elephants

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 12:34

    Sydney-based New Zealander Dr Matt Baker returns for a chat about some of the latest science news. This week we revisit the topic of pachyderms, and some of Baker's own research around so-called DNA robots.

    Luit Bieringa: director turns lens on Theo Schoon

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 36:52

    Never shy of dealing with controversy, Luit Bieringa has often tackled complex and flawed New Zealand cultural figures in his films. In his new film, Signed, Theo Schoon, Bieringa turns his attention to another problematic trailblazer.

    Renée: 92-year-old playwright on how reading changed her life

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 15:06

    Otaki-based playwright Renée has many feathers in her cap, having written numerous plays and nine fiction novels - the latest being her first venture into crime writing, The Wild Card, which she published in 2018 at age 90. Renée, who received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement that same year, credits her mother Rose with her lifelong love affair with the written word. Now aged 92, Renée is delivering the annual panui for Read NZ at the National Library on Wednesday 10 November.

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