The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin

Newstalk ZB

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News, opinion, analysis, lifestyle and entertainment – we’ve got your Sunday morning listening covered with The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin on Newstalk ZB.

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2714 episodes

Joan's picks: This Tender Land and Murdle: More Killer Puzzles

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. This is a brilliant book which originally came out four years ago, but is now out in second format and worth revisiting for anyone who may have missed it at the time. It’s about four children who escape from a terribly abusive school for Native American Indians (though actually only one of them is a Native American) and make their way down the Mississippi River from Missouri to St Louis where they believe they will find a new home. It’s set in 1932. On their way they meet a lot of characters– people affected by the Great Depression living in shanty towns, shysters, faith healers, you name it – but the spirit and determination of these kids is remarkable and their journey is an odyssey towards a better future. Murdle: More Killer Puzzles by G.T.Karber . Sequel to Murdle, which was a runaway success last year – in fact it sold over 200,000 copies in the UK and beat things like Guinness World Records and the new Richard Osman Thursday Murder Club title to the top of the bestseller lists. It’s based on a daily puzzle website the author developed in 2021, and across the book’s 100 challenges, readers are given the scenario of a series of murders – some of them hugely inventive – for which you have to use codes and maps to decipher who the killers are – and there are four levels of difficulty. It’s a bit like a printed, extended version of Cluedo. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 25
Megan Singleton: BloggerAtLarge writer's guide to planning a trip post-Covid

The borders are open, the restrictions have been lifted and people are taking to the skies again. For those who haven't travelled since Covid - or who need a little refresher - BloggerAtLarge writer Megan Singleton has a list of tips and tricks to plan the perfect trip. She recommends starting with a clear itinerary, doing plenty of research and joining up with travel groups- among other useful ideas. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 25
The Sunday Panel: Does the race to claim the moon need regulation?

This week on the Sunday Panel, journalist and broadcaster Wilhelmina Shrimpton and editor and commentator, Jo McCarroll joined in on a discussion about the following issues of the day- and more!  There's lots of new developments in space exploration- does this need more regulation? Will the race to claim the moon turn out like the race to claim Antarctica?   Air New Zealand has warned that domestic travel costs could be increased. Is this fair? Will consumers turn to other airlines for domestic flights? Is the smart mouthguard technology good for protecting rugby players? Are more tests needed? LISTEN ABOVE   See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

10m
Feb 25
Erin O'Hara: Naturopath and wellness expert with tips on how to thrive instead of survive

These last few years have been tough on all of us, with many feeling like they're still in 'survival mode'. Life in 'survival mode' comes with its own risks, with sleep, nutrition and holistic life balance being pushed aside in rough times. Wellness expert and Erin O'Hara explains how to return to optimal health and offers tip on how to thrive in less-than-ideal circumstances. LISTEN ABOVE    See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 25
Steve Newall: Flicks.co.nz editor on the new Disney Plus series Feud: Capote vs the Swans

Drama, scandal, high fashion and betrayal await in the new series Created by Ryan Murphy, the brains behind , this anthology series examines the complicated relationship between writer Truman Capote and a group of New York-based socialites. Flicks.co.nz editor Steve Newall explains what this Disney Plus series can offer TV fans. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Feb 24
Joel Shadbolt, Stu Kora, and Miharo Gregory: Kiwi reggae band L.A.B on their new album and upcoming tour

Kiwi reggae band L.A.B are back with their sixth album, titled They've put out five albums over a five-year timeframe, but this project took longer to craft- two years. Joel Shadbolt, Stu Kora, and Miharo Gregory joined ZB's Francesca Rudkin to explain they'd surpassed their goal of releasing three albums over a three year period- and this needed longer to cook. "Last couple years, we've had an awesome amount of touring overseas and we thought- let's let the sixth one cook a little bit longer. And it's paid off, we're really proud of the album." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

14m
Feb 24
Mike Van de Elzen: Grilled fresh figs with halloumi and toasted almond dressing

GRILLED FRESH FIGS WITH HALLOUMI AND TOASTED ALMOND DRESSING Ingredients-  6 figs, halved lengthways 3 small red onions, cut into quarters 1 pkt of green leaves 300gm good halloumi, sliced into long strips 5 tbsp oil Flaky sea salt Ground black pepper Dressing- 1 cup almonds (toasted in a pre-heated oven on 180* for 12 minutes) 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp brown sugar Salt to taste Method- Start by making up the dressing. Roughly crush the toasted almonds in a mortar and pestle or with the side of knife. Once crushed, add in all the other ingredients and mix. Season and you are done. Preheat a BBQ or cast iron pan to med-high heat. Toss the red onion with a touch of oil and salt in the pan or BBQ hotplate until it begins to caramelise. Remove and place into a bowl. Brush the halloumi and 1/2 figs with a little oil and place into your pan or onto your BBQ. Grill until the halloumi is coloured and soft but not gooey. Remove and set aside. Grill the figs until they are well coloured but not burnt. Remove and set aside. Serve by laying a 1/3 of the halloumi down along with the figs and some leaves, then drizzle over a little dressing. Repeat until finished and serve! LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Feb 24
Dr Michelle Dickinson: nanotechnologist reveals why urine is yellow

Since you were old enough to be potty trained, you’ve known that your urine was yellow. But it’s taken until 2024 for scientists to determine how that yellow colour was being produced. New research in the journal Nature Microbiology https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-023-01549-x found that the secret ingredient to yellow urine is an enzyme called bilirubin reductase (BilR). When our red blood cells break down, they produce a byproduct called bilirubin which we excrete through our gut. If that process isn’t working properly, our bodies can reabsorb the bilirubin leading to jaundice - where the skin and eyes turn yellow. Scientists have known that somehow our body turns bilirubin into the yellow coloured urobilin, but until now they haven’t known what was involved in that process. The reason why it’s been so hard to study, is that many of our digestive system processes involve bacteria that live in very low-oxygen environments. Growing and studying these bacteria in a science lab is difficult as they don’t survive when oxygen is present so researchers have struggled to prove which bacteria are involved in this process. Rather than try to grow and identify the specific bacterial species that was metabolising bilirubin into urobilin, the scientists used genome sequencing to unravel the genetic codes used in the process instead. They found that gut microbes encode the enzyme bilirubin reductase and this converts bilirubin into a colourless byproduct called urobilinogen. Urobilinogen then spontaneously breaks down into the yellow molecule urobilin. Researchers have found that bilirubin reductase is present in nearly all healthy adults, but not in those with inflammatory bowel disease or newborn babies. This can lead to gallstones in adults and jaundice in newborns. These results could be used to help study the links between the gut microbiome and health conditions such as jaundice and inflammatory bowel disease. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Feb 24
Miriam Margolyes: actress and comedian ahead of her upcoming live show Oh Miriam!

Celebrated British-Australian actress and comedian Miriam Margolyes aims to bring her brand of humour to Kiwi audiences in the coming weeks. The 'Harry Potter' and 'Age of Innocence' actress is also well-regarded for her honest and outrageous interviews and TV appearances.  Oh Miriam!- a live show based on her bestselling memoir of the same name- is coming to Auckland on March 11. She says she's determined to let audiences see the truth about her lifestyle and activities. "I will be interviewed by somebody clever- and then it's thrown over to the audience, and they can ask me any questions they like, about anything at all." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

14m
Feb 24
Jon Nabbs: Kiwi runner on his ongoing mission to run across Canada to fund child cancer research

In 2023, Kiwi runner Jon Nabbs set off on a mission to run across Canada to raise money for child cancer research.  He was inspired by the loss of his parents to the disease- just 16 months apart. Jon has confirmed he's expected to reach Vancouver - and the finish line - this week. He says he's got 150 kilometres to go, after battling his way through Canada's rocky mountains last week. "Thankfully, Mother Nature granted me a clear two-day window, and I was able to get up over the pass, down into what they call the lower mainland." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

11m
Feb 24
Jason Walls: ZB political editor on the death of Green MP Efeso Collins

Many are recovering from the unexpected loss of Efeso Collins. The Green Party MP died on Wednesday, after collapsing at a charity event in Auckland. ZB political editor Jason Walls says this is the first time in about 50 years a sitting MP has died in office. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Feb 24
Paul Spoonley: sociologist and Massey University emeritus professor on New Zealand's declining fertility rates

New Zealand's fertility rates continue to plummet, with 2023 figures being the lowest on record. Last year, the country's fertility rate dropped to 1.56. The average across OECD countries is 1.59. This follows a full decade of New Zealand's fertility rates being below the replacement level of 2.1. Massey University emeritus professor Paul Spoonley says environmental concerns and the cost of having children have driven down the birth rates  "It really began to occur internationally during the Global Financial Crisis, in 2008 to 2012. And of course, Covid- many thought Covid might see a bit of a spike in births. As we emerged from Covid, that has not occurred." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

11m
Feb 24
Francesca Rudkin: Why are we so interested in heading back to the moon?

On Friday afternoon, the spacecraft Odysseus landed on the moon, prompting NASA administrator Bill Nelson to claim- “What a triumph. Odysseus has taken the moon. This feat is a giant leap forward for all humanity.” But is it? Or is it just another start of a great leap forward? And haven’t we been here before? The excitement is understandable. It’s the first time a US-built spacecraft has completed a soft landing on the moon since 1972. It’s also the first time a private company has done it. The role of a private company is one of the most interesting things about this mission. The involvement of private space companies and their money and tech advancements have turned the traditional aerospace industry on its head, placing them at the front and centre of space exploration. The Odysseus was commissioned by NASA to carry gear to the moon for research purposes, in preparation for when astronauts return to the moon, before 2030. NASA is still paying the bills. It paid Intuitive Machines of Houston US$118 million to deliver 6 instruments to the moon, and the transport they used was provided by another private company, SpaceX. After a few communications concerns post-landing, the data started being transmitted back home and the mission was deemed a success. That was until yesterday, when we found out it had tripped over and tipped onto its side. So I’m not sure you can claim that Odysseus 'has taken the moon.' Although it’s certainly on the moon. The wrong way up. So why are we suddenly so interested in heading back to the moon? Washington claims its reason for returning is to establish a human presence outside Earth’s orbit, including a lunar base camp and a space station orbiting the moon. It will help us better understand deep space before embarking on the big goal - a voyage to the red planet, Mars. The US is not alone in its renewed enthusiasm for the moon. Japan scored a lunar landing last month, which also tipped on its side (occupational hazard), and India successfully sent a rover to the lunar surface last August. China landed a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon in 2019, while Russia crashed a spacecraft onto the moon last year. So it feels like there is strong motivation is to grab a slice of the next frontier. Could space be the new Antarctica, with flags being thrown all over the place, setting precedents for property rights, and access to minerals and mining? If you look at what’s happened in low earth orbit over the last few years, management of deep space is important. Lower earth’s orbit is largely unmanaged and masses of satellites have taken up residency. According to Ashlee Vance, author of When the Heavens Went on Sale, an air traffic control system which tracks all satellites and debris in 2022 was sending out 400 million collision alerts per month. While it will be fascinating to watch this sci-fi story play out - and who isn’t excited about sending humans to Mars - let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the landing of this latest spacecraft is but one step in NASA’s Artemis mission to return to the moon. It’s a some distance from “a giant leap forward for all humanity.” LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Feb 24
Joan's picks: Anna O and The Wartime Bookclub

by Matthew Blake. A psychological thriller in the vein of things like Anna O is found unconscious next to the bodies of her murdered friends and it’s believed she killed them while sleepwalking. She enters a state known as “resignation syndrome” and stays asleep for the next four years, which is obviously of interest to both the medical world, the police and the victims’ families. The government needs her conscious to stand trial and ask a guy who’s both a forensic psychologist and sleep specialist to wake her up. It’s an extremely risky process as it turns out that before this event happened, Anna was investigating a possible connection between some murders and a government entity who, if they’re implicated, might just add an extremely dangerous dimension to this whole affair. It’s the kind of book that is likely to be picked up by a lot of readers and spark a lot of debate.  by Kate Thompson. Set on the Channel Island of Jersey during the German Occupation in WW2, in a place where the Nazis are firmly in control, the small population finds ways to rebel and show resistance. The library becomes the centre of town for many, with young Grace making sure that books and reading are still available and, despite an increasing number of banned books making the Nazis’ list, establishes a bookclub which helps protect the heart of the community. Her friend Bea works for the postal service where she manages to intercept letters sent by would be collaborators to the authorities. Against a background of ordinary people trying to get on with their lives in such awful circumstances, and based on real historical events, this is a gentle insight into an extraordinary time.  LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 18
Megan Singleton: BloggerAtLarge.com writer with her picks for winter holiday spots

We're almost at the end of summer, and people are planning and booking their mid-year fix of sun when the weather turns cold. For people looking for a fresh and exciting spot to travel this winter, Megan Singleton has a hand-picked selection of destinations to investigate. She recommends Bali for the prices and hospitality, Tahiti for the snorkelling- and Rarotonga's always close. Read more about Megan's experience with Bali here. https://www.bloggeratlarge.com/things-to-know-before-go-seminyak-bali/ LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

5m
Feb 18
The Sunday Panel: What did we think of Luxon's State of the Nation speech?

This week on the Sunday Panel, Newstalk ZB's Roman Travers and partner at Freebairn and Hehir lawyers, Liam Hehir, joined in on a discussion about the following issues of the week- and more! Prime Minister Luxon delivered his State of the Nation speech in Auckland this morning- what do we think? Did he spend too much time talking about how the previous Government left things? Does Luxon have a reasonable vision for the country?  A mother says she’s at her wits’ end over the lack of punishment for her car-thieving, ram-raiding teenage son, whose rehabilitation involves hours playing Monopoly at a social service centre. Does this make National's ideas for young offenders more appealing? Landlines, cassette tapes, vintage Game Boys and boom boxes are experiencing a surge in demand. Are we nostalgic for old tech? LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

9m
Feb 18
Erin O'Hara: naturopath and wellness expert weighs in on trending 'lion diet'

A diet promising unique health benefits is trending on social media- and experts have their concerns. The 'lion diet' consistent of eating nothing but meat, salt and water for 30 days. Naturopath and wellness expert Erin O'Hara says a strict meat diet might work well for animals, but cutting other food groups comes with negative side effects.  LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 18
Mike Van de Elzen: Brown sugar panna cotta with plum compote

Brown sugar panna cotta with plum compote Serves: 6 Prep/cooking time: 10 mins Setting time: 3 hours 3 leaves gelatine sheets ½ cup brown sugar 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise and seeds scraped 6 star anise pods 700ml cream Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water, squeeze out the excess water before use. Heat cream, sugar, star anise and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off and allow to stand for 20 minutes to infuse. Whisk in the gelatine. Place back onto the heat and gently heat for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, strain out the star anise allow the mixture to cool. Pour mixture into panna cotta moulds and refrigerate until set (approx. 3 hours). Dip moulds very carefully in very hot water to loosen panna cotta. Serve topped with plum compote. Plum compote (makes about 2 cups) Prep/cooking time: 12 mins 6 plums, cut in half and stone removed 2 star anise 1 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp honey ¼ cup water Combine the plums, honey, water, star anise and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the star anise before you serve. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 17
Dr Michelle Dickinson: nanotechnologist on the latest research revealing the best way to remember things

As we get older, we might find it harder to remember things, including lists of information. So how can we help our brains to retain new information? One option is to continue to repeat the information over and over again to try and help our brains to remember it, the other option is to use a mnemonic. New research out this week in the journal Royal Society Open Science https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.230651 compared the two methods and found that tailoring mnemonics to suit your own needs was by far the best way to remember things more quickly and accurately. So, what is a mnemonic and how can we use them to help us? A mnemonic is a pattern of words, letters, or ideas that helps us remember something unrelated. There are several types of mnemonic: MUSICAL MNEMONICS The alphabet song: The “A-B-C-D…” helps us learn the English alphabet, which is essentially a string of 26 random letters. RHYME MNEMONICS Rhymes tend to be catchy making it easier to remember information like the rule I before E, except after C. ACRONYMS This uses the first letter of each item in a list to form an acronym, like ROYGBIV for the colours of the rainbow. KEYWORD MNEMONICS Sometimes creating visual cues can help to create associations like how to differentiate between stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites hold on ‘tight’ to the ceiling. Previous research found that mnemonic devices work because they take creative routes to learning, either by linking to some knowledge you already know, or by appealing to your humour or your emotions. So the next time you are trying to remember something, think about it creatively and help your brain to learn the fun way. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

6m
Feb 17
Steve Newall: Flicks.co.nz editor ahead of tomorrow's BAFTAs ceremony

Britain's biggest annual celebration of film, the BAFTAs, is set to take place tomorrow. The awards will be presented at the Royal Festival Hall in London's Southbank Centre- with Oppenheimer and Poor Things leading for the most nominations. Barbie, another award show favourite, has fallen short with only five nods. Flicks.co.nz editor Steve Newall shares his predictions before host David Tennant takes to the stage. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

6m
Feb 17
Marcus Armstrong: Kiwi IndyCar driver ahead of driving his first ovals for the 2024 season

Kiwi IndyCar driver Marcus Armstrong is set to complete his next big challenge during the 2024 racing season. After claiming the Rookie of the Year title on a part-time schedule in 2023, he's expected to race the full programme for Chip Ganassi Racing. This means Armstrong will drive ovals for the first time in his career, starting with the Indy500 in May. He says getting used to ovals will require some adjustment, but he's got a good team around him. "The first time I saw an IndyCar going round superspeedway- I was almost blown away. It's like, for lack of a better word, a spaceship, it's so fast." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

15m
Feb 17
Crystal Hefner: widow of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner opens up about the toxic nature of the marriage and life in the Playboy Mansion

Crystal Hefner, widow of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, has opened up about her life with the infamous tycoon. In 2008, psychology graduate Crystal Harris moved into the Playboy mansion as one of Hefner's live-in girlfriends. Within months, Crystal had advanced to becoming Hefner's third and final wife- he was 86, Crystal was 26. Several years after his death, Crystal has exposed the toxic, controlling and misogynistic environment she lived in through  her memoir She revealed to ZB's Francesca Rudkin that she was expected to follow Hefner's rules about appearance and behaviour- to the point where she had an evening curfew. "He wouldn't like it if we gained any weight, he would say- wear a more colourful shirt, wear the flag, which is the Playboy bunny logo, he would tell us what kind of nail polish to have, my roots couldn't be showing." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

12m
Feb 17
Ross Flahive: ZM Content Director on Taylor Swift's Eras Tour taking over Melbourne and Sydney

Excitement is in the air across the ditch, as Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is well under way. Taylor Swift performed her second Australian gig at the MCG yesterday, with one more to go tonight before her Sydney shows. ZM Content Director Ross Flahive says Taylor's Eras Tour is a unique concert experience- unlike anything he's seen before. "There's sequins everywhere, it's a three-and-a-half hour gig. People stand up at the start- and they do not sit down. She has everyone completely captured and enraptured."  LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

7m
Feb 17
Nicolas Reid: MRCagney Principal Public Transport Planner on the feasibility of a fixed link between New Zealand's two islands

One transport planner is looking into the feasibility of a fixed link between New Zealand's two islands. KiwiRail are officially cancelling an overseas contract for building more mega-ferries, after the Government declined to foot the bill. Nicolas Reid, the Principal Public Transport Planner for MRCagney, says there are other options available to cross the Cook Strait. "There's options around the existing ferries and expanding those ferries, and also moving to a fixed link such as a bridge or a tunnel." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

7m
Feb 17
Sophie Trigger: ZB senior political reporter on Luxon's 'scene-setting' State of the Nation address

The Prime Minister is expected to paint a frank picture in his State of the Nation speech this morning. Chris Luxon will deliver the address to party faithful in Auckland. ZB senior political reporter Sophie Trigger says this year's address is a unique opportunity for Luxon. As he's just four months into the job, he can both attack the previous Government and set out a plan for the future. LISTEN ABOVE   See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 17
Matt Doocey: Mental Health Minister unveils plan to address Auditor-General's reported inadequacies

The Mental Health Minister plans to tackle the nation's fragmented youth mental health system.  A new report by the Auditor-General, has highlighted dire inadequacies in accessing services and information among 12-to-24-year-olds. Minister Matt Doocey says he plans to reach across all Government departments to develop a mental health strategy.  "I'll be getting advice from officials for how I set up that cross-department group, because what we need to do is ensure we're driving Ministry of Education, Health, Social Development, Oranga Tamariki, to ensure we can progress." LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

9m
Feb 17
Francesca Rudkin: The truancy issue is more nuanced than headlines suggest

It has been really good this week to hear Assistant Education Minister David Seymour talking about tackling truancy rates. The stats are awful. The latest figures, released in December, showed only 46 percent of school pupils attended school more than 90 percent of the time in term 3 2023. In comparison, 63 percent attended in term 3 of 2019, before Covid-19. Students who attend less than 70 percent of the time - known as chronic absenteeism - was 12.6 percent in December. This is higher than in previous years, with Maori and Pacific students over-represented. The statistics before Covid were average and clearly things have gone further askew since the pandemic, so it’s good to see this is a priority issue for the new Government. Education, after all, is as important to the future of the individual as it is to the future of the country. Seymour has ideas for how to tackle it. There’s talk of using current legislation to prosecute and fine parents of chronically absent children. That’s one way to clarify a parent’s responsibility - but the judicial system is clogged up already, and will fines be paid? Seymour also wants schools to report absenteeism weekly rather than each term. More regular data would be useful, but surely monthly is enough? More importantly than frequency is quality of information about why a child is absent. To fix this problem you need to know the specifics. You need to understand the community and its challenges, and how to reach the parents and children. This is where truancy services come in, so the proposed closer monitoring of what they’re doing is also a step in the right direction. But truancy is more nuanced than the headlines suggest. It isn’t just about a bunch of neglectful parents who can’t be arsed getting their kids to school. There are also parents who don’t feel they can send their children to school until they’ve managed to buy the uniforms and stationary. One Rotorua intermediate school trialed using their operational funding to provide free uniforms and stationery. The improvement in attendance at the beginning of the year was so good, the school is prepared to do it again. Then there are teenagers having to decide if they’ll get an education or help put food on the family table. This is not a decision teenagers should face, but it’s a reality. Just this week, The Child Poverty Action Group released a report stating around 15,000 teenagers are working between 20-50 hours a week to help support their families. We’ve also seen a rise in mental health issues post-Covid. Often, children suffering from acute anxiety and depression want to go to school but simply can’t. It’s hard and takes too long for families to get into the health system to access support they need, and many students are falling through the cracks. It’s the same for the neurodiversity. 1 in 5 youngsters in New Zealand are neurodivergent. So why aren’t we prioritizing getting children diagnosed for learning disabilities? There is no reason why those children can’t with a little extra help get a good education. Prison stats shows over 57 percent of male prisoners in New Zealand have dyslexia. Get it sorted early. Give the kid some hope, and keep them in school. So I applaud David Seymour for getting serious about truancy – but let’s hope that he’s prepared to deal with the wide spectrum of issues facing our children and adolescents which prevent them from getting a decent education. It won’t be solved with just a big stick. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

3m
Feb 17
Joan's picks: Moscow X and Feel Good Productivity

Moscow X by David McCloskey. A brilliant, wonderful spy thriller, one of the best I’ve read for a long time. The CIA want to get close to Putin’s banker – a man named Vadim and his wife, Anna, and devise a cunning plan whereby they will send in a couple of operatives and play to the Russian couple’s love of horses. Max owns a thoroughbred ranch and he and Sia are thoroughly debriefed by the agency before they begin their mission, but the one thing they don’t know is that Anna loathes her husband and has her own agenda. The author clearly knows his way around the CIA – he used to work for them – and this book has a brilliant premise, lethally executed and compellingly readable. Five stars from me. Feel Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal. As a young doctor, Ali Abdaal worked really hard to be as productive as he possibly could but became overwhelmed by the realities of working in a health system which made the lives of its staff so difficult. He had a light bulb moment when he realised that you can apply all the willpower and discipline you like to a situation, but actually you’ll get the best results when people are happy and love what they do. Sounds like common sense to me – but he has tips and tricks, lots of examples of people living their best lives through following his simple steps, and it has a lot of resonance at the start of a New Year when we’re all knuckling down going back to work and beating the post – holiday blues. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 11
Megan Singleton: BloggerAtLarge writer on the best things to do in Las Vegas

This is set to be a big week for Las Vegas, with thousands set to attend tomorrow's Super Bowl LVIII. Tickets for the big game begin at $14,000, leading people to turn towards officially sanctioned tailgate parties to catch the game on screen. Megan Singleton says between this and last year's Formula One season- it could be a sign Vegas is expanding their entertainment reach. LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

4m
Feb 11
The Sunday Panel: What does ACT's bump in the polls mean for the Treaty Principles Bill?

This week on the Sunday Panel, NZ Herald senior writer Simon Wilson and Newstalk ZB Wellington Mornings host Nick Mills joined in on a discussion about the following issues of the day- and more! After a busy week for David Seymour, the ACT Party are enjoying a significant bump in the polls, with a 5.6 percent gain in support. What does this mean for ACT? Is this a sign the Treaty Principles Bill is doing well with Kiwi voters? The Greens have taken a hit in the new Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll as well, with James Shaw's resignation and Golriz Ghahraman's departure being blamed for the decline. How fair is this? Businessman Aron D’Souza has founded a controversial 'Enhanced Games' plan whereby athletes could take performance-enhancing drugs and compete against each other without being tested by authorities. Is this safe? Would we watch it? 2024 is a leap year- and people have voiced concern over working for free for the extra day. Is this fair to worry about? LISTEN ABOVE See omnystudio.com/listener https://omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

13m
Feb 10