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Ski pioneer Mary Lee on a life on the slopes

21 Jun 2024

Mary Lee is a pioneer of the Central Otago snow sports scene. She and her husband John Lee founded the Cardrona ski area in 1981, as well as Snow Farm - New Zealand's only dedicated cross-country skifield.  Audio

 

 

Friday 21 June 2024

Available Audio (10)

09:05 Thousands call for halt on proposed fast-track gold mine near world-renowned springs 

Concerns are being raised that a proposed mining operation - applied for under fast-track legislation - could cause irrevocable harm to the world's clearest freshwater springs, in Golden Bay. Te Waikoropupū Springs is home to some of the clearest water ever measured on earth, it is a major tourist attraction in Abel Tasman, and sacred to mana whenua. It is currently under a Water Conservation Order, which came into place last year following a decade long campaign - focused on nitrate leaching - by local iwi Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust, and Golden Bay resident Andrew Yuill. Advocacy group, Save Our Springs, is now leading a petition to have all 16 Water Conservation Orders  in New Zealand, be recognised in the Fast-track Approvals bill, currently at Select Committee stage. The campaign was prompted by an application - from Australian mining company Siren Gold - under the fast-track legislation, for a gold mining operation in nearby Sam's Creek. Siren Gold declined Nine to Noon's request for an interview. Save Our Springs coordinator Kevin Moran and Mary Hill, partner at legal firm Cooney Lees Morgan, speak to Kathryn. 

Te Waikoropupu Springs

Te Waikoropupu Springs Photo: Public Domain

09:20 Calls to stop insurers from accessing genetic test results

No caption

Photo: AFP

Health advocates are pushing for a halt on the use of genetic test results by insurance providers. Genomic testing can play a role in the prevention and early diagnosis of some health issues - for example, if a person has breast cancer and carries the BRCA variant, their children may choose to test to see if they are also a carrier. But life and health insurers are legally allowed to ask for and use an applicant's genetic test results in underwriting decisions, and can increase premiums - or even deny cover - because of it. A bill is due to go before a select committee next week, with the aim of updating and modernising insurance law, focused mostly on improving the post-disaster space. It has opened the door to submissions about other types of insurance - including life, disability, income protection, trauma, travel, and health. A submission from Against Genomic Discrimination in Aotearoa - or 'AGenDA' says some people decide not to undergo potentially lifesaving genomic tests, due to fear over how the information will be used.

09:45 Asia correspondent Elizabeth Beattie

Chinese Premier Li Qiang (C with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Luxon (L) and guided by Government house Kaumatua Haiwia (R during a three day visit to New Zealand, at Government House on June 13, 2024. Pool photo AFP/Marty Melville

Chinese Premier Li Qiang (C with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Luxon (L) and guided by Government house Kaumatua Haiwia (R during a three day visit to New Zealand, at Government House on June 13, 2024. Pool photo AFP/Marty Melville Photo: Marty Melville

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon was in Japan this week meeting with fellow PM Fumio Kishida, agreeing on a new security agreement and speaking about boosting economic security cooperation. Russian president Vladimir Putin has jetted off to Vietnam. And heatstroke is already claiming lives in India as the brutal summer heat sets in, with more than 40,000 suspected cases so far.

Elizabeth Beattie is a journalist based in Tokyo.

10:05 Peter de Graaf on the situation in Northland

Almost 100,000 people were initially cut off when a single Transpower pylon toppled just north of Auckland, as maintenance crews worked on it. While most properties now have their power restored, hot water has been shut off in a bid to save electricity. The grid failure is being described as the worst since Cyclone Gabrielle. So far this morning, there's no official word on why the tower toppled -  and the Energy Minister Simeon Brown will inspect the site  - saying explanations are a top priority. RNZ's Northland reporter Peter de Graaf has been travelling across the district - he's currently in the Bay of Islands.

Transpower says a pylon falling over is the cause of the outage.

Transpower says a pylon falling over is the cause of the outage. Photo: Supplied / Kawakawa Electrical Ltd

10:10 Ski pioneer Mary Lee on a life on the slopes

Photo: Mary Lee

Mary Lee is a pioneer of the Central Otago snow sports scene. She and her husband John Lee founded the Cardrona ski area in 1981, as well as Snow Farm - New Zealand's only dedicated cross-country skifield. After establishing the Merino Muster, the country's biggest cross-country ski race, she played a key role in convincing the European ski heavyweights to accept New Zealand in the Worldloppet Ski Federation. Mary Lee has been named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit - an award her husband John also received in 2016. You'll still find her hitting the slopes around four times a week this winter.

10:35 Book review: How it Works Out by Miriam Lacroix

Martene McCaffrey of Unity Books Auckland reviews How it Works Out by Miriam Lacroix published by Jonathan Cape.

Photo: Jonathan Cape

10:45 Around the motu: Lee Scanlon in Westport

Picture of Buller Health

Photo: Lee Scanlon/Westport News.

Westport has had no Primary Response in Medical Emergencies (PRIME) service for three weeks because of staff shortages. And the acute stabilisation unit at the Buller Health Centre closed from last Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning. Lee discusses what that means for the region's people. On the rates front, Buller's potential rate rise began at around 30 percent, reduced to 19.7 percent and now looks like being 14.6 percent. 

11:05 New music with Jeremy Taylor

The Beatles at Wellington Airport during their New Zealand tour.

The Beatles at Wellington Airport during their New Zealand tour. Photo: Ref: 1/4-071857-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23217692

A new Ace Records compilation celebrates how the LGBTQI+ aesthetic shaped pop culture from 1955-1979. And it has been 60 years since the Beatles touched down in New Zealand.

11:30 Sports commentator Sam Ackerman

It’s a monumental weekend for rugby in this country, with the Blues and Chiefs locking horns for the Super Rugby Pacific final and the first All Blacks squad of the Scott Robertson era due to be named. Sam Ackerman also looks into what happens now after Kane Williamson knocked backed a central NZ Cricket contract, and the latest on our Olympics teams.

11:45 The week that was with Te Radar and Donna Brookbanks

Te Radar and Donna Brookbanks look at the weird and wonderful moments from this week's news cycle - including a US lawmaker who was filmed pouring water into a colleague's backpack multiple times over several months. And a Chinese history buff who inadvertently bought four books of military secrets for less than $1.