09:05 Reserve Bank leaves interest rates on hold, amid record low inflation

The Reserve Bank has left the official cash rate on hold at 2.5 percent , despite inflation falling to just zero point 1 percent.  The US Federal Reserve has also left its benchmark interest rate untouched, in a range of 0.25 to 0.5 percent.   This comes after the first rise in ten years just 6 weeks ago. 

Fonterra has also cut its forecast payout to farmers to just 4.15 per kilogram of milk solids, which is well  below a break even price.

Patrick O'Meara, RNZ's Economics correspondent, discusses the complication economic picture, both locally and globally.

09:20 How parents can get exam assistance for special needs students

While it may seem early in the year to be preparing for NCEA assesments, the clock is ticking to get exam help for students with learning difficulties. The Qualifications Authority funds students with learning difficulties to get assistance such as extra time in exams, or a reader/writer. But getting the extra help is a complex process involving a lot of paperwork and while efforts have been made in the last year to simplify it, children in lower decile schools are still missing out on the funding compared to their higher decile counterparts.

The group Altogether Autism, which provides support to those on the autism spectrum,  says with the application due by the end of term one, parents need to get on to it now - and they want to help. Catherine Trezona is Altogether Autism's national manager.

09:30 Changed planet, the dawning of the Anthropocene


Indicators of the Anthropocene in recent lake sediments differ markedly from Holocene signatures. Photo: Credit: J. P. Briner

Humans are altering the planet at an increasing rate. Leading geologist and Antarctic researcher, Dr Colin Summerhayes says there is strong evidence that the massive human impact on Earth constitutes its own distinct geological epoch, known as the Anthropocene.

He has just co-authored a ground breaking study which demonstrates how accelerating technology, and growth in population and consumption builds a strong case for the new geological time stamp to be formally declared. The research was published in the international journal Science

Dr Summerhayes is an Emeritus Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge University. He graduated with a Master of Science from Victoria University of Wellington in 1967, before completing his doctorate at the Imperial College in London. 

09:45 UK correspondent, Kate Adie

How the refugee and immigrant question is dominating politics and newspaper headlines in the UK

10:05 Ranjna Patel on giving back

Ranjna Patel

Ranjna Patel and her husband are at the helm of an Auckland healthcare empire and they've used some of their success for philanthropic projects, including tackling domestic violence. Mrs Patel says she has no formal qualifications but along with her husband, Dr Kanti Patel they run the Nirvana Health Group which has more than 30 clinics. From small beginnings with a solo GP practice in Otara in 1977, the couple now has the largest private, clinician-owned network of general practices in the country. The Nirvana Health Group has accident and medical clinics across greater Auckland and include East Tamaki, West Auckland and Mt Roskill health care and the White Cross Clinics. The business employs more than 800 staff from 40 different ethnic groups,  and has more than 190,000 registered patients, many from lower socio-economic communities.

10:35 Book review

Coffin Road by Peter May

10:45 The Reading

South Sea Vagabonds by John Wray read by Alex Greig (Part 4 of 10)

11:05 New technology with Mark Pesce

Mark Pesce is a futurist, writer, educator and broadcaster.

11:25 Are too many people over-parenting their kids?

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Are we protecting our children from life, rather than preparing them for it? American educator Julie Lythcott-Haims talks about how over-involved, over-cautious and results-focussed parenting is depriving our children of independence, making them over-reliant on their parents as adults.

11:45 Viewing with Duncan Grieve

Duncan Greive discusses the new X files reboot, The Americans, and problems with accessing US Netflix.