09:05 End of an era: Children’s Commissioner role disestablished

A tourist family enjoys the sunset at Rapahoe Beach near Greymouth (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

Tomorrow the high-profile role of the Children's Commissioner will officially be disestablished, replaced with a board of three to six members - a move many fear will significantly weaken the power of the role. The Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System Act 2022 splits the office's advocacy role from its monitoring function, creating a new entity called the Independent Children's Monitor, which will be housed within the Education Review Office. The change has been highly controversial and was opposed by all political parties, apart from Labour. Of the 499 public submissions, only eight expressed their support, with an overwhelming majority strongly opposing the bill. Opponents were concerned the change would dilute the office's role as an advocate and would lose its independence, ultimately leading to worse outcomes for tamariki.  Kathryn speaks with Judge Frances Eivers, the current Children's Commissioner, who follows Judge Andrew Becroft, Russell Wills, John Angus, Dame Cindy Kiro, and the late Ian Hassall, who have all been powerful advocates for children.

09:20 Calls to end advertising of prescription medicines 

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Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Doctors are calling for a ban on direct to consumer advertising for prescription medicines, a move they say would reduce over-diagnosis, over-treatment and treatment related harm. New Zealand and the United States are the only two developed countries that allow unrestricted advertising of branded prescription medication. A new Therapeutic Products Bill is being introduced to replace the country's outdated Medicines Act, and is being viewed as the perfect opportunity to regulate the industry. Kathryn speaks to the Chief Executive of Medicines NZ, Dr Graeme Jarvis and Associate Professor of psychological medicine at Auckland University David Menkes.


09:35 100 years of Wapiti hunting 

Fiordland wapiti

Fiordland wapiti Photo: http://www.fwf.net.nz/

The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation has a big weekend ahead in Te Anau celebrating a century of wapiti hunting in New Zealand. Fiordland wapiti, which in North America are known as elk, are prized by hunters, and here conservationists argue that they are a threat to native forests. An agreement between the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation, and DOC provides for 1000 of the most inferior animals to be culled annually. Hunters from all over the motu became caretakers of the 175,000 hectare area known as the Wapiti Area of the Fiordland National Park 20 years ago. The Fiordland Wapiti Foundation's President Roy Sloan says this weekend is time to reflect on what's been achieved - and there's lots of variety is in store with wild food stalls, fun for kids, seminars on conservation, health and wellbeing and knife making.

09:45 Pacific correspondent Koroi Hawkins

Tulagi island.

Photo: Wikimedia commons / mjwinoz

The Solomon Islands' Prime Minister has asked for a review of his nation's security treaty with Australia. Fiji's Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has spoken of what he calls his country's 'troubled economy' in his state of the nation address. And a total of 18 Fijian Drua players have been selected in the 39-member Flying Fijians rugby union squad to prepare for the 2023 Pacific Nations Cup series in July and early August. 

RNZ Pacific Editor Koroi Hawkins 

10:05 Twisted sister: Kim Yo Jong - the most powerful woman in North Korea

 Kim Yo-Jong is the daughter of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and youngest sister of the current leader Kim Jong-Un. As a direct descendant of the Mt Paektu bloodline, she was addressed by her parents as "Princess", and since her brother's acsention as leader has represented or been present with him at many high-level meetings with South Korea and the US. Aged in her mid-30s, she holds the government rank of Vice Director of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee - yet as a new book explores, her power is much greater than that. She controls the country's Propaganda and Agitation Department, and since 2021 is said to have gained authority to order executions. Behind her back, North Korean officials reportedly call her "the Devil Woman" - with speculation she may one day take over as Supreme Leader. Dr Sung-Yoon Lee is a North Korea expert based at Tufts University in the US and has explored Kim Yo-Jong in his new book The Sister.

Portrait of Sung-Yoon Lee and book cover

Photo: Supplied

10:35 Book review: It Doesn't Take a War: A Life Forever Changed by the Hyde Railway Crash by Elizabeth Coleman

Photo: CopyPress

Harry Broad reviews It Doesn't Take a War: A Life Forever Changed by the Hyde Railway Crash written and published by Elizabeth Coleman


10:45 Around the motu : David Hill in North Canterbury

David talks to Kathryn about the North Canterbury Mayors reaction to the Future of Local Government report, Rangiora High School's curriculum review and the  Oxford Area School Observatory installing a meteor camera and progresses dark sky reserve plans. Also he has recently been to Kaikōura looking at Environment Canterbury's pest control and wetland restoration projects, housing developments and the town's own version of the popular Christchurch Brick Show.

Pāua fishing will return to Kaikōura in the New Year.

Photo: Supplied / Environment Canterbury

David is a Local Democracy Reporter with North Canterbury News, based in Rangiora.

11:05 Music reviewer Grant Smithies​

Album covers

Photo: Album covers

All three artists in today's music session are from right here in Aotearoa, spanning the range from frazzled country to hectic garage punk to summery electronic daydreams. First up, a couple of twang-heavy tracks from Vincent H.L.'s new Golden Sun album, then a furious live recording from Ratso, followed by a sun-dappled new single from Carla Camilleri & Alistair Deverick, a.k.a. cc(tv).  



11:30 Sports commentator Sam Ackerman

Tom Ale of the Warriors celebrates after scoring a try


The Warriors vs Rabbitohs are sold out - a week in advance for a game in the middle of the season. Sam says they've achieved several full houses already this season - and there's a distinct feeling there will be more to come. Sam also talks to Kathryn about the Black Ferns, the Football Ferns and the Belgian shot-putter who had to step in to do the hurdles for her team!.  

11:45 The week that was

Comedians Te Radar and Pinky Agnew with a few laughs including the story of an Ohio grandmother who became a lifeguard so her local pool wouldn't have to close.

Swimming pool

Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi