Nine To Noon for Wednesday 14 April 2021
09:05 Soaring energy prices hit businesses
Low hydro lake levels and soaring wholesale electricity prices are causing some businesses to temporarily shut down operations, and more will follow, according to the Major Electricity Users' Group. Data from energy consultancy firm Energy Link shows wholesale power prices are nearly seven times higher than they were a year ago, at $314.44 per megawatt hour (MWh) and have reached as high as $500 (MWh) in the past fortnight. The Norske Skog paper mill in Kawerau shut production for two weeks recently because of the high electricity cost and New Zealand Steel to scale down its operations at its site in Glenbrook for the same reason. The Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods has acknowledged higher prices are impacting businesses and the Electricity Authority is conducting a review of the review wholesale market. Kathryn speaks with chair of the Major Electricity Users' Group, John Harbord.
09:20 Cheaper "ugly" food, direct from grower to table
Supie is a brand new start-up aiming to reduce food waste and change shoppers' minds about the acceptable appearance of fruit and veg. Founder Sarah Balle was shocked to discover the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables that are wasted because they're not pretty enough. She tells Kathryn Ryan supermarkets often reject produce that doesn't meet cosmetic standards. Instead Supie offers this produce directly from producer to consumer, at reduced prices.
09:30 Teen wins science prize for quantum computing research
19 year old James Zingel has won the Prime Minister's future science prize for his research into whether quantum computing could improve breast cancer diagnosis. His research project, started while still at Bethlehem College in Tauranga, used a breast cancer dataset to compare a classic computer and a quantum computer to see which is better at analysing the data and determining the type of breast cancer present. His research found the classical method is better than the quantum one, but James believes that will change soon.
09:45 Vaccination woes, clean-up after WA cyclone and manuka honey wars
Australia correspondent Karen Middleton joins Kathryn to talk about troubles with the country's vaccine roll-out, with a second man diagnosed with blood clots and criticism the government do enough early work to secure enough supply. Residents in coastal communities of Western Australia are cleaning up after the weekend's unusual double cyclone system and Australia is calling for a trans-Tasman honey summit to sort out the differences over the production and use of Manuka honey.
10:05 A bike crash left him tetraplegic - but Andrew Leslie managed to walk again
It was supposed to be a routine mountain bike outing - but for Andrew Leslie, the day ended up anything but. He was riding Wellington's Makara Peak last year on a trail he'd done before, but failed to navigate a drop off - crashing off his bike and crushing his spine. He was choppered to Burwood Hospital's spinal unit in Christchurch, put in an induced coma and doctors told his family he was tetraplegic and to prepare for him to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But after four months of intense rehabilitation, Andrew managed to walk out of the hospital. He joins Kathryn to talk about his miraculous recovery.
10:35 Book review: The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw
Louise O'Brien reviews The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw, published by Penguin Random House NZ
10:45 The Reading
A Yard of Pump Water, by Norman Bilbrough, read by Anne Budd.
11:05 Music With Yadana Saw
Yadana joins Kathryn to talk about the 30th anniversary of the release of Massive Attack's Blue Lines.
11:20 Fundraising NZ leg of solo sailor's global circumnavigation
Young American sailor Elana Connor is circumnavigating the world onboard her 10 metre yacht, raising money for children in foster care. Getting caught up in the initial Covid lockdown here forced a change of plan, and Elana has been sailing around New Zealand raising money for rangatahi in foster care to have the opportunity to go on the Spirit of Adventure.
11:45 Pros and cons of representing yourself at court
Simon Jefferson QC joins Kathryn to look at the topic of self-represented litigants, particularly in the Family Court. Could a Public Advocate system be a better way to go?
Simon Jefferson QC is a family law expert based at Trinity Chambers in Auckland.
Music played in this show
Artist: Lawrence Arabia
Song: The Listening Times
Broadcast Time: 09:35