09:05 "We're totally cut off" : Rissington residents wait to be reconnected

Home flooded up to its roof in Rissington, Hawke's Bay.

Home flooded up to its roof in Rissington, Hawke's Bay. Photo: Supplied / Adam Hedley

It's now more than a week since Cyclone Gabrielle tore through the country - and still the stories and the scale of the devastation continue to unfold. There are still communities across Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay which remain isolated and are relying on helicopters for vital supplies. The massive job of removing mountains of silt has started - but there are now health warnings about the potentially toxic dust. Water restrictions remain in Gisborne and Wairoa residents are still being told to boil their water. Those supplies will be welcome in the small Hawkes Bay township of Rissington - to the west of Hastings, where Liz Barry lives. She describes the current situation to Susie Ferguson.

09:15 Marlborough Mayor "frustrated" over Cook Strait disruption

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Photo: Supplied

The Mayor of Marlborough says recent disuptions with the Cook Strait ferries are frustrating and difficult, with passengers stranded on either side. The Interislander ferry Kaiarahi developed engine problems on Monday night and has been taken out of service while repairs are done. Interislander says it cannot reschedule bookings made on this ferry, but will provide refunds. The Kaitaki is currently a freight-only service after it lost power in the Cook Strait last month. Meanwhile Bluebridge is also down to one passenger ferry.

09:25 Cyclone Gabrielle: farming support swings into action

Hawkes Bay Federated Farmers has set up an emergency group to help co-ordinate support for farmers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Farmers can access a feed co-ordination service and the Farmy Army for assistance. Hawkes Bay Federated Farmers President Jim Galloway says it's too soon to say how many stock have been lost in the flooding or how much productive land has been lost. He tells Susie a government support package won't touch the sides and much more financial assistance will be needed.

Suz and Campbell Bremner had piles of slash wash on to their farm near Waiwhare, Hawke's Bay, when Cyclone Gabrielle hit.

Suz and Campbell Bremner had piles of slash wash on to their farm near Waiwhare, Hawke's Bay, when Cyclone Gabrielle hit. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

09:30 Can silty, sludgy soil recover after cyclone?

Rail tracks covered in silt in the Esk Valley by flooding during Cyclone Gabrielle, 20 February 2023.

Rail tracks covered in silt in the Esk Valley by flooding during Cyclone Gabrielle, 20 February. Photo: RNZ / Jimmy Ellingham

Growers and farmers in Hawkes Bay and Tairawhiti are tackling the massive job of clearning mud and silt from their orchards, vinyeards and paddocks. What is the impact of this on soil health in two regions known as the fruit bowl of the country? Associate Professor Peter Almond is the Head of Soil and Physical Sciences at Lincoln University.

09:40 Cyclone Gabrielle : Rural Auckland long wait for official help

Flooded land  Twin Coastal Highway between Wharepapa and Helensville close to Ohirangi

Photo: RNZ / Mohammad Alafeshat

Rodney District local board member Mark Dennis says the northern  Auckland settlements of Helensville, Parakai, South Head and Kaukapakapa had to fend for themselves.

09:50 Australia correspondent Chris Niesche : conditional psychedelic drug approval

Dried Psylocibyn magic mushrooms in kit. Isolated on white background. Natural remedy.

Photo: 123RF

Chris talks to Susie about Australia becoming the first country to recognise psychedelics as medicines, approving the psychedelic substances in magic mushrooms and MDMA for use by people with certain mental health conditions. Unions are called for engineered stone benches to be banned as Australians die from the lung disease silicosis after cutting artificial stone kitchen benches. And Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's political honeymoon is over, he has slipped in the polls. 

10:05  Lost and found animals: "We've heard harrowing stories"

Hawkes Bay SPCA team rescues sheep after floods

Hawkes Bay SPCA team rescues sheep after floods Photo: SPCA supplied

In Hawkes Bay, the SPCA has been busy dealing with animals lost and found during the cyclone and floods. Bruce Wills is the Hawkes Bay area manager for the SPCA.

10:10 AI gathers pace - should we be optimistic or frightened?

Artificial intelligence generic

Photo: 123RF

If you think Artificial Intelligence is gathering pace - Michael Witbrock says be prepared for way more disruption than the early years of social media. For example, the new tech that can recreate the voices of dead loved ones, or ChatGPT - the online tool that can answer any question articulately with human-like responses. Michael Witbrock is a Professor in the School of Computer Science at Auckland University. He just back from an AI conference in the United States, and says we should be prepared for artificial intelligence that is like "google on steroids".

10.30 Cyclone Gabrielle: Overwhelming challenges for rural Tairawhiti 

Floods engulf farmland along East Cape

Floods engulf farmland along East Cape Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Most isolated farms in Tairawhiti have now been contacted, accounted for and assessed but still face major challenges as they set about cleaning up  flood damaged properties and communities.

Sandra Faulkner is a Federated Farmers Board member and Chair of the Gisborne rural co-ordination group.

10:35 Book review: Locked Ward by Anne Buist

Photo: Text Publishing

Lisa Finucane reviews Locked Ward by Anne Buist, published by Text Publishing

10:45 Around the motu: Samantha Gee in Gisborne

Samantha reports from Tairawhiti on the cyclone cleanup as connectivity is restored in parts, but damaged roading is a slow fix.

A dairy with an eftpos sign on the Pacific Coast Highway in Gisborne

Photo: RNZ / Amy Williams

11:05 Music with Dave Wilson: songs for enduring the natural world

Dave has some examples of how music has provided powerful support for communities suffering from the effects of natural disasters and the changing climate. When we face devastation brought on by events like Cyclone Gabrielle, basic human needs come into focus - food, shelter, resources, infrastructure, and more. Musicians often engage with communities at these moments in crucial ways: to bring people together, to raise money, to raise awareness, to form alliances, to help people grieve, and to give people hope. Dave plays Backwater Blues by Bessie Smith, 4 Degrees by Anohni  and The Raft by Fat Freddy's Drop. 

Dave Wilson is musician, composer, and ethnomusicologist, a senior lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington


11:20 Light from Tate: 100 works from Britain's top art gallery are in NZ

Art lovers will get the chance to get up close to some of the world's greatest artists at a new exhibition opening shortly in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland. Light from Tate: 1700s to Now is a multi-sensory blockbuster exhibition from Britain's premier art gallery that'll be on display at Auckland Art Gallery. It features nearly 100 works by celebrated artists working across different media - including paintings, photography, sculpture, drawing, and moving image. It features iconic artists - Sophie Matthiesson, Auckland Art Gallery's Senior Curator, International Art - joins Susie to talk about them.

Images from the Tate exhibition coming to Auckland Art Gallery.

Images from the Tate exhibition coming to Auckland Art Gallery. Photo: Tate Gallery/Auckland Art Gallery

11:45 Science commentator Siouxsie Wiles

Locals cleaning up around Gisborne

Locals cleaning up around Gisborne Photo: RNZ/Nathan McKinnon

The infection risk from black water after cyclone/flooding, especially if houses are contaminated. Also, are the prices of pharmaceutical drugs justified?. Pharma companies often justify the high price of new drugs as the cost for their investing in R&D. And if you have ever wondered how fingerprints form, researchers studying mouse toes and cultured human cells found that waves of ridges emerge from the tip of the finger, the centre of the fingertip, and the crease at the base of the fingertip. When they collide, patterns form through a self-organising mechanism called a Turing reaction-diffusion system, first proposed by codebreaker Alan Turing in 1952. 

A fluorescent dye highlights DNA left on a fingerprint.

Photo: Alicia Haines / ESR

Associate Professor Dr Siouxsie Wiles is the head of Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab at the University of Auckland.



Music played in this show

Track: Warm Foothills
Artist: Alt-J
Time played: 10.57

Track: House
Artist: Cas McCombs
Time Played: 11:42