09:05 Is the mental health system "broken" for autistic adults?

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Photo: Altogether Autism

New research from support group, Altogether Autism is suggesting the mental health system isn't delivering for adults on the autism spectrum. Over half the respondents to a recent survey rated their overall experience of accessing mental health services, as "poor or very poor" and over two thirds rated the level of understanding of professionals working in the system as "poor or very poor". We're joined by the wife of a man who was diagnosed with autism at 68, who we've agreed not to name, Altogether Autism National manager Catherine Trezona and autistic advisor Paula Jessop a health care professional who is herself on the autism spectrum. 

09.20 Judge Peggy Hora: effectiveness of drug treatment courts

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Photo: Supplied

Retired California Superior Court Judge Peggy Hora is a former presiding Judge of the Drug Treatment Court in California with huge experience of what does and doesn't work to change the habits of recidivist addicts. Judge Hora is in New Zealand discussing the benefits and outcomes of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Courts, which offer therapy and support instead of prison. Two pilot adult AODT Courts have been operating in Auckland and Waitākere since 2012. A decision as to whether they will get permanent funding is due later this year.

Judge Hora is a guest of the The University of Auckland's conference looking at the future of Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts here.

09:45 The Dreamers, the Wall and US Government shutdown

The Statue of Liberty is among landmarks that are closed as part of the US government shutdown

The Statue of Liberty is among landmarks that are closed as part of the US government shutdown Photo: AFP

From the US, Washington bureau chief of The Guardian, David Smith reports on the Democrats rejection of Donald Trump's proposals to end the longest government shutdown in US history. Under Trump's plan, some 700,000 so-called Dreamers, who were young when they entered the US illegally with their parents, would be protected for another three years. But Democrats say no immigration talks until the government is back open, and no to $5.7billion for his border wall. Also, Lin-Manuel Miranda has returned to his parents homeland, Puerto Rico, with a triumphant run of the blockbuster musical Hamilton.

10:05 The YouTube Bonsai sensation

What started out as a Chinese then Japanese art of cultivating miniature trees in pots now has a whole forest of fans all over the world. Ontario based Nigel Saunders is the green fingered guardian of a carefully curated collection of around 180 bonsai trees.  And they don't just exist in his greenhouse. He is one of the most popular bonsai you-tubers in the English language.  Nigel talks to Kathryn Ryan about starting his own channel, The Bonsai Zone, which has received over 13 million views.

10:35 Book review - Best of 2018

Chris Tse shares his picks from NZ poetry released in 2018; The Farewell Tourist by Alison Glenny, which is published by Otago University Press, and There's No Place Like The Internet In Springtime
by Erik Kennedy, published by Victoria University Press.

10:45 The Reading

'TipFace Bunyan' an RNZ production, written by Suzie Pointon and read by Judith Gibson. Part two of five.

11:05 Global reach of the US economy in turmoil

Business commentator Rod Oram is stateside and he looks at the major influence the turbulent US economy will have globally this year, including the impact on New Zealand.

11:30 The soft power of museums

The global reach of cultural institutions such as museums can be now be measured thanks to the development of an online mapping tool. The University of Melbourne's Natalia Grincheva has led a team which has created a way to track and visually map the soft power of museums, in effect showing where patronage comes from, either locally or internationally.

11:45 Talk radio battle, Stuff break-up & NZME paywall

Media commentator Gavin Ellis looks at the issues facing media here and internationally.  On the homefront, a battle royal in talk radio, the break-up of Stuff and a slow start to the NZME paywall.


Photo: 123rf

Gavin Ellis is a media commentator and former editor of the New Zealand Herald.  He can be contacted on gavin.ellis@xtra.co.nz