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Preview: Saturday Morning with Kim Hill

RNZ: Saturday Morning

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.


Amy Tan - Where the past begins

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 11:04:00 +1300

Amy Tan is a US writer who struck it big with her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, published in 1989. The book - centred on four Chinese immigrant mothers and their four American-born daughters - spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Her other novels are The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and The Valley of Amazement (2013) - all New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, two children's books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and numerous articles for magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar, and National Geographic. Her latest book, Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir, has just been published.

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Michael Keegan-Dolan - Reinventing Swan Lake

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 10:30:00 +1300

It's Swan Lake - but not as you know it. Irish director Michael Keegan-Dolan has taken a fresh look at the storyline, swapped Tchaikovsky's original score for Irish folk music, added a dash of Nordic noir, and set it all in the midlands of Ireland. His show, Swan Lake / Loch Na heala, draws on ancient myths and weaves them with the contemporary world for a show that features love, betrayal, transformation, priestly abuse, corruption, mental illness, and violence. But Keegan-Dolan is promising an ending which he says "is really, really beautiful". Swan Lake / Loch Na heala will be performed in Wellington in March next year as part of the NZ Festival.

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Kim Chambers - The world's most badass swimmer

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 10:04:00 +1300

After a fall left her with a serious leg injury that took years to heal, San Francisco-based Kiwi Kim Chambers took up swimming as both physical and mental therapy. She didn't just stick to lengths of a pool after hooking up with the Dolphin Club, a group of hardcore swimmers who swim the freezing waters of the San Francisco Bay. Chambers had been swimming seriously for only four years when she became one of the world's top marathon swimmers. Her achievements include what's been called the toughest swim in the world - from the Farallon Islands, a remote outcrop nearly 50km off the coast of San Francisco, through icy waters, strong winds, heavy swells and great white sharks, back to the Golden Gate Bridge. Outside magazine called her the world's most badass swimmer. A documentary of Chambers' legendary swim, Kim Swims, will be released in Aotearoa next year.

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Kathy Campbell - Did life begin on land or in the sea?

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:35:00 +1300

Professor Kathy Campbell is a geologist, paleo-ecologist and astrobiologist. The broad theme of her research is paleoecology - the interaction of ancient organisms with their surrounding environments. She was educated at the University of California (BSc), U Washington (MSc), and U Southern California (PhD) and has been at Auckland University since 1997. Campbell has just become the director of a new Centre for Fundamental Inquiry based at the university, bringing academics from different disciplines together to answer life's enduring mysteries, including the possibility of alien life. She has also just received almost a million dollars in Marsden funding to investigate hydrothermal deposits in the earliest-known hot springs, to help solve a question that's driven her academic career: Did life begin on land or in the sea?

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Christopher Pugsley - Aotearoa's first films

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 09:06:00 +1300

Christopher Pugsley is a respected and much published military historian - but what is not as well known is that he has a passion and a deep knowledge of film history. Pugsley's new book, The Camera in the Crowd, is the result of nearly three decades of research - the story of film in New Zealand for its first 25 years, 1895-1920, told largely through the footage that has survived in the archive of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. It covers the last years of the Victorian era and the first two decades of the 20th century - a period that encompassed great political, technological and cultural changes, including the First World War. It tells of the cameramen, of the film they took - not only at home but also of the Kiwi 'Diggers' in the First World War - and how the public reacted to it.

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Luke Harding - How Russia helped Trump win the White House

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 08:10:00 +1300

One year ago, award-winning UK journalist Luke Harding met former MI6 officer Christopher Steele to discuss the then president-elect Donald Trump's connections with Russia. One month later, in January 2017, Steele's explosive dossier alleged that the Kremlin had been 'cultivating, supporting, and assisting' Trump for years and that it had compromising information about him. Trump responded on Twitter, 'FAKE NEWS'. In Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win The White House, Harding reveals the nature of Trump's decades-long relationship with Russia and presents the inside story of the dossier. Harding is a foreign correspondent with The Guardian. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Guardian's Moscow bureau chief; the Kremlin expelled him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War. He is the author of A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia's War with the West, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man, Mafia State and co-author of WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy.

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Listener Feedback

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 11:55:00 +1300

Kim Hill reads emails and text messages from listeners to the Saturday Morning programme.

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Kate Camp - Menton debrief

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 11:40:00 +1300

Kate Camp has published six collections of poetry - her latest, The Internet of Things, was released earlier this year, and was this week named as a poetry finalist on the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards long-list. Camp was the recipient of the 2016 Katherine Mansfield Fellowship, which saw her spend most of the year in Menton, a town on the French Riviera. She'll talk to Kim about her French experience.

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Owen King - Sleeping Beauties

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 11:05:00 +1300

Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA programme at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of the novels Double Feature, We're All in This Together and the co-editor of Who Can Save Us Now? Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories. He is the son of horror writing icon Stephen King, who has authored more than 50 books. Owen and Stephen have paired up to write their latest work, Sleeping Beauties, which examines a world where women have succumbed to a sleeping sickness, leaving men to their own devices.

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Fiona Vera-Gray - women on porn

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 10:35:00 +1300

A New Zealand academic is leading a study called Women on Porn - the largest ever study solely focused on the range of women's experiences and views of pornography in the United Kingdom.

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Jonathan Sinclair - Exit interview

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 10:05:00 +1300

Jonathan Sinclair has been the British High Commissioner to New Zealand since August 2014, and leaves the role this week; he'll eventually return to London. He joined the UK Foreign Office in 1996 after completing a Masters in International Relations and short stints in media and tourism. He has previously served in India and the USA and, in London, has done a wide range of roles where foreign and domestic policies and politics intersect, including on Europe, national security, and trade and investment.

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John Collins - In Hemingway's Words

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 09:35:00 +1300

John Collins founded the New York-based experimental theatre company Elevator Repair Service 26 years ago and next year the ensemble brings the show The Select to Aotearoa. The play is a dramatisation of Ernest Hemingway's classic 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. The story is set after the First World War and explores the angst of the post-war generation through a group of British and Americans attempting to drink away their troubles on a trip to Spain for the running of the bulls. The Select (The Sun Also Rises) runs from February 24 to March 1 in Wellington, as part of the NZ Festival.

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Don Brash - Ragging on Te Reo

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 09:06:00 +1300

Don Brash was Governor of the Reserve Bank of NZ for 14 years before leaving the post in 2002 to enter Parliament. He became leader of Opposition and the National Party in 2003, and edged, but did not beat, the incumbent Labour Party at the 2005 election. He then went into academia before leading ACT New Zealand into the 2011 election, resigning from that role on election night. As well as a number of directorships and other roles, in 2016 Brash became the spokesperson for a new lobby group called Hobson's Pledge, a group formed to oppose what Brash has described as Maori favoritism and to advocate abolishing the Maori electorates. He has weighed into the debate about the use of Te Reo in the past few weeks, saying he's "utterly sick" of the use of the language by RNZ reporters and presenters.

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Damion Searls - The Inkblots

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 08:10:00 +1300

Damion Searls is a translator and author based in Brooklyn, New York. He has translated many classic modern writers, including Proust, Rilke, and Nietzsche, edited a new abridged edition of Thoreau's Journal, and produced a lost work of Melville's. His newest work is called The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing, and traces what New Republic calls "Rorschach's short and undramatic life in Switzerland, Russia, and Germany, and his inkblots' far longer and more interesting afterlife in the United States, where they came to play a crucial role in postwar organisational psychology".

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Listener Feedback for 25 November 2017

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 11:55:00 +1300

A selection of feedback from today's show.

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Ginette McDonald and Kate McGill - Playing Joan Scott

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 11:35:00 +1300

Long-serving New Zealand actor Ginette McDonald and her daughter, Kate McGill, also an actor, team up to perform Tom Scott's play, Joan, which tells the story of his mother. It's a special project for McDonald and McGill as they both knew Joan Scott very well. Joan opens January 20 at Circa theatre in Wellington. McGill's solo show, Weave: Yarns with New Zealanders, is on at Bats theatre in the Capital, November 28 to December 2.

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David Marr - View from Australia

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 11:06:00 +1300

David Marr is a Guardian Australia journalist. He is widely regarded as one of Australia's most influential progressive commentators, writing on subjects such as politics, censorship, the media and the arts. He has been a journalist since 1973 and is the recipient of four Walkley awards for journalism. He will talk to Kim about what happens next to legalise same-sex marriage, after an overwhelming vote in its favour in a recent referendum. Marr will also discuss the continuing plight of Manus Island refugees, and whether New Zealand's offer to take 150 of the refugees has helped or hindered our relationship with Australia

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Campbell Smith - From the ashes of the Big Day Out

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 10:07:00 +1300

Campbell Smith is a lawyer, band manager and promoter. He staged his first Big Day Out in 2005, and now runs Auckland City Limits, which will take place for a second time on March 3, 2018.

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Steve Lazarides - The Art of Banksy

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 09:35:00 +1300

Steve Lazarides was a photographer when he met Bristol graffiti artist Banksy on a shoot. He began selling the artist's works to friends, and together the pair launched the Pictures on Walls website in 2001, selling not just Banksy's work, but that of other street artists. Business thrived, and Lazarides opened his first gallery in London in 2006. He and Banksy parted ways in 2008, but Lazarides continues to tour the artist's work around the world. He's also added several other artists to his stable including Jamie Hewlett, the man who created artwork for Damon Albarn's virtual band Gorillaz, and the painter Antony Micallef, whose show at Lazarides' gallery sold out in half an hour. Lazarides' The Art of Banksy collection will be in Auckland January 5 to February 6, 2018. It is the largest collection of Banksy work in the world.

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John Daysh - Farming ingenuity

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 09:07:00 +1300

It's been 100 years since the first mechanical milking machine was patented, a few years after being devised at the kitchen table of Wairarapa dairy farmer and inveterate tinkerer, Norman John Daysh. There had been attempts to free farmers from the milking stool in the decades preceding Daysh's invention - but his was the first to simulate the effect of the suckling calf and also be comfortable for the cow. Daysh was forced to look offshore for capital for his invention, and teamed up with the De Laval company of Sweden. After 100 prototypes, the De Laval Milker was patented and ready for sale in 1917 in the US, where the Daysh family temporarily moved. Norman's grandson John joins Kim to talk about the ingenuity that created an agricultural revolution.

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Richard F Thomas - Why Dylan Matters

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 08:12:00 +1300

Richard F. Thomas is Harvard University's George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics. He was born in London and brought up in New Zealand, and educated at the University of Auckland and at the University of Michigan. He is a world expert in classical poetry, with the works of Virgil a particular area of expertise. Four times during a long career at Harvard, Professor Thomas has taught a class called 'Bob Dylan', which studies Dylan's memoir and extensive music output in the context of classical poets such as Virgil and Homer. Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan, but Dylan's Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the spotlight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological. He talks to Kim about his new book, Why Dylan Matters, which asks readers to reflect on the question, "What makes a classic?"

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Listener Feedback for 18 November

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:59:00 +1300

A selection of feedback from today's show.

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Christine Fernyhough - The Museum of the Everyday

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:30:00 +1300

Christine Fernyhough is the author of the bestselling memoir The Road To Castle Hill: A High Country Love Story, and she set up Books in Homes and then the Gifted Kids Programme for high-achieving children in low-decile schools. In 2011 she was made a CNZM for services to the community. Her life story includes upping sticks from Parnell in Auckland to move to the high country Canterbury farm, Castle Hill Station - then moving back to Parnell. Fernyhough continues to champion the trainees and graduates of the LSV Programme, and is a board member of the Creative Thinking Project at the University of Auckland. Her latest venture is the Museum of the Everyday. The museum is a collection of New Zealand craft, design, folk art and social history. Fernyhough has been building the collection for 30 years - including during her Castle Hill stint - and its contents now number 3000 objects of which about 1,500 have been catalogued.

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Gavin Hipkins - Tourist of photography

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:05:00 +1300

Auckland photographer and film-maker Gavin Hipkins has been described as a "tourist of photography" - both because he travels and because he constantly explores what's possible in the medium of photography. Hipkins has a major exhibition of his work opening on November 25 at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt. The exhibition is called The Domain and is a survey of Hipkins' 25-year career - a book of the same name is published to accompany the exhibition. Hipkins is associate professor at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand and around the world. His film works have been shown in international festivals and he has held a number of residencies, including the inaugural New Zealand artist residency at Artspace Sydney, the McCahon House Residency, and the International Studio and Curatorial Program artist residency in New York.

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Renée - Life story told in patches

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 10:06:00 +1300

At the age of 50, Otaki author Renée (Scots/Ngati Kahungungu) started to write plays - Wednesday to Come was her best loved. She has written eight novels and more than 20 plays and she often focuses on creating work that put women in lead roles and deal with lives of working class people. Now, at 88, Renee says she considers herself very lucky to still have most of her marbles. She has written a memoir, These Two Hands, described as her life story told in patches, like a quilt - one for every year of the life she has lived so far. This week she received the Playmarket Award and a $20,000 prize for her significant contribution to theatre in Aotearoa. Renee teaches her Your Life, Your Story and Poem a Week workshops in Otaki, and writes a blog.

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Leonardo da Vinci: the orginal Renaissance man

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:35:00 +1300

Walter Isaacson, Professor of History at Tulane University, has been chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held until 2012. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of United Airlines and Tulane University among many others. Isaacson is the author of books including Steve Jobs; Einstein: His Life and Universe; and Kissinger: A Biography, and his most recent book is Leonardo da Vinci, which the New Yorker says is "a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life."

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Anthony Byrt and Simon Denny - The Founder's Paradox

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:05:00 +1300

Simon Denny graduated with a BFA from Elam in 2004 and completed his post-graduate study in Frankfurt. Recent exhibitions include The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington (2014) and All You Need is Data - The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX as part of the Walter's Prize exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (2014). Denny was selected to represent New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale, exhibiting Secret Power at the New Zealand Pavilion. Anthony Byrt is an Auckland-based critic and journalist. He is a regular writer for Metro, a contributing editor to Paperboy, and the New Zealand correspondent for Artforum International. His book This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art was shortlisted for the 2017 Ockham national book award. Together the pair have created an exhibition, The Founder's Paradox, including essays, on a series of large art pieces based on familiar board games. The games unpack extreme libertarian ideologies such as those held by 'new' New Zealander Peter Thiel and other Silicon Valley thought leaders. The Founder's Paradox is on at the Michael Lett Gallery until December 22.

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Mick Fleetwood: 'We had no raging ambition to be pop stars'

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:35:00 +1300

Mick Fleetwood got first drum kit at 13. A new book chronicles the early days of the band that would make his name. It's dedicated to original lead guitarist Peter Green, without whom Fleetwood Mac wouldn't exist, he says.

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Sef Darby - The Ground Between

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:09:00 +1300

Sefton Darby is a consultant working on public policy and natural resource governance issues for a variety of NGOs, governments - including the NZ Government - corporations, mining companies, the World Bank, and international multilateral organisations. He was closely involved in the early development of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and has worked on oil and mining issues in a number of countries in Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Otago, and an MLitt in International Security from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Sef Darby's new book is The Ground Between: Navigating the Oil and Mining Debate in New Zealand.

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Listener Feedback for 11 November 2017

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 11:55:00 +1300

Kim Hill reads listener feedback to the Saturday morning programme.

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Nick Earls - Short and sweet fiction

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 11:40:00 +1300

Brisbane author Nick Earls mostly writes funny fiction. And he's busy - so far having written a total of 26 books for adults, teenagers and children. He's on his way to Aotearoa in March 2018 to speak at a New Zealand Festival Writers and Readers event. Last year he published his Wisdom Tree series of five novellas in five months - they were released simultaneously in print, as ebooks and as audiobooks - it was a risky business as novellas are usually shunned by mainstream publishing, but it paid off. He is the winner of a number of awards, including a Betty Trask Award (UK) and Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. His Wisdom Tree novellas have won gold medals in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and the eLit Book Awards in the US, the People's Choice Award at the 2017 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and an Australian Book Design Award.

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NZTrio - Soar!

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 11:07:00 +1300

NZTrio is a violin, cello and piano ensemble with a mission to champion New Zealand composition within a vast and vibrant repertoire. The group is committed to performing new commissions by both leading and emerging composers, and have engaged in many collaborations across media. NZTrio farewelled violinist and founding member, Justine Cormack in May 2017, and since then, cellist Ashley Brown and Sarah Watkins have completed their 2017 performing year with a rotating roster of high-profile violinists. Kim joins NZTrio as the group prepares for its last series of the year, Soar!, featuring Manu Berkeljon. Berkeljon, originally from the West Coast, has occupied the associate principle second violin chair with DalaSinfoniettan in Sweden since 2011. She made her solo debut with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra at 15, having becoming a member of the orchestra the previous year , and has played across the world.

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Dr Cherie Lacey and Dr Catherine Caudwell

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 10:40:00 +1300

Dr Cherie Lacey is a lecturer in Media Studies and Dr Catherine Caudwell a lecturer in User Experience Design, both at Victoria University of Wellington. The pair have written a paper entitled "What do Home Robots Want?" (forthcoming in Convergence), which looks at the way home robot devices, often linked to personal digital devices, are deliberately created to look as cute as possible. This design feature of domestic robots creates what they describe as a kind of affective 'path of least resistance', in which personal data is willingly or unknowingly exchanged for experiences of intimacy and companionship with these robots. Dr Lacey and Dr Caudwell are currently writing a book on the same issue, called The Emotional Life of Social Robots: Towards a New Sociology of Human-Agent Interaction.

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William Taubman - Gorbachev

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 10:07:00 +1300

William Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Amherst College and the author of the just-published Gorbachev: His Life and Times. His 2003 biography, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Critics Circle Award for biography. Taubman is also the author of Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Détente to Cold War, and co-author with his wife, retired Amherst College professor of Russian Jane Taubman, of Moscow Spring. William Taubman was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies in 2009 and chairs the Academic Advisory Committee of the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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Czemi and Mubeccel Akdis - Asthma and Allergies

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +1300

Husband and wife duo Professors Cezmi and Mubeccel Akdis are heavyweights in the world of allergy research, immunology and health policy. Prof Cezmi is the director of the Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research and Prof Mubeccel is head of immunology at the same institute. Prof Cezmi advises throughout Europe on health policies to deal with asthma and allergies. Cezmi and Mubeccel Akdis discuss what's behind allergies, and current research to find treatments and cures. They are in New Zealand to speak at the Malaghan Institute.

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Theresa Gattung - Creating SheEOs

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:08:00 +1300

Visiting San Franscisco in 2015, ex-Telecom CEO and entreprenuer Theresa Gattung was intrigued about an idea promoted by fellow entrepreneur and mentorship expert, Canadian Vicki Saunders, who had created SheEO, described as a "disruptive economic model". The model brings together 500 women in a cohort of 'activators', each of whom contribute $1100 to a pool and loaned out at no interest to five women-led ventures. Loans are paid back into the fund over five years and then loaned out again to five new ventures. Gattung decided to bring the model to New Zealand - the first creation of a SheEO model outside North America - and launched SheEO here in October. Theresa Gattung is the co-founder of My Food Bag and World Women and serves on numerous boards, including the National Board of the SPCA.

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Kelda Hains: 'I'm not into 'art on a plate'

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 08:40:00 +1300

Wellington chef Kelda Hains talks with Kim Hill about the hotel management assignment that changed her life, the beauty of kedgeree and why she'll never use canned tomatoes.

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Stuart Washington - Paradise Papers

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 08:10:00 +1300

News this week of a massive leak of financial documents revealing how companies and wealthy people avoid tax by investing in offshore havens has put the spotlight on the secretive dealing. Stuart Washington is an Australian journalist who worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which broke the Paradise Papers story, and is a member of the ABC's Four Corners Team which has been covering the revelations.

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