09:05 Kiri Allan car crash: Resigns from Ministerial portfolios

A shock start to the week for the government with the resignation of the Justice Minister, Kiri Allan, after being charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest. Ms Allan was involved in a car accident in Wellington last night around 9pm and was taken into police custody and held at the Wellington Central Police station until around 1am. The Prime Minister Chris Hipkins moved swiftly this morning - saying she is not in a fit state to hold a Ministerial warrant. Kathryn speaks with RNZ's Deputy Political Editor Craig McCulloch. 

Kiri Allan, left and her self-drive car on Sunday night which was involved in a crash in Wellington.

Kiri Allan, left and her self-drive car on Sunday night which was involved in a crash in Wellington. Photo: RNZ, Supplied

09:25 Is it time for Wairarapa's three small councils to amalgamate?

A skiff of snow on the eastern hills of South Wairarapa after the polar blast in Oct 2022

Photo: RNZ/Sally Round

With South Wairarapa home to one of the highest rates rises in the country this year, a merger proposal is being considered by a working group comprising all three councils in the region. Carterton and Masterton have kept their rates increases to single digits, however South Wairarapa District Council's ratepayers have been hit with an increase of almost 20 percent. Amalgamation has previously been mooted, including a lacklustre bid for a Greater Wellington regional supercity in 2015, encompassing Wairarapa. Since then, there's been exponential growth in Wairarapa putting serious pressure on already ageing infrastructure as new subdivisions spring up. In Featherston there are issues with flooding, Martinborough's waste water system is struggling to cope and the whole region's roads have taken a hammering during recent major weather events. We have a trio of mayors, South Wairarapa's Martin Connelly, Carterton's  Ron Mark, and from Masterton Gary Caffell to dissect the issues.


09:30 Survey shows NZ'ers wary over gene edited crops

GMO : samplings of genetically modified plants growing inside test tubes.


New research shows consumers are still hesitant to support genetic modification and gene editing in New Zealand as the debate reenters the political agenda. Gene editing involves making a change to the DNA of an organism - differing from genetic modification which involves introducing DNA from another plant or animal. the practice is tightly controlled by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, which aside from some amendments, dates back to 1996. National is promising to change the longstanding GE laws if they get into power. A Plant and Food Research survey shows about 62 percent of New Zealand and Australian consumers would be willing to buy produce grown using controlled environment agriculture, such as vertical farming. But only 43 percent say they would buy generically edited produce. Denise Conroy is the Future Urban Consumer programme leader at Plant & Food Research.

09:45  Europe: Greek islands evacuated, far-right could govern Spain

Europe correspondent Seamus Kearney joins Kathryn to talk about the scenes of panic and chaos on the Greek island of Rhodes, where more than 30,000 people were forced to flee hotels and villages as wildfires raged. A heatwave has been hitting southern Europe, with temperatures hitting 47 degrees celsius on Sicily. People in Spain have been casting their ballots today in a close election that opinion polls suggest may push the country to the right and bring a far-right party into government for the first time in decades. And Ukraine's president is vowing revenge after Russian air strikes hit the southern port city of Odesa, killing one person and badly damaging an historic cathedral in a part of the city that's a UNESCO world heritage site. 

Fires on Greek island of Rhodes

Photo: BBC screenshot / Simon Wheatley

10:05 A life-long dedication to NZ's wildlife 

John Darby

Photo: Supplied

John Darby has quietly dedicated his life to science and wildlife conservation. He's a champion for the hoiho, the yellow eyed penguin, spending two decades supporting their conservation. In 1985, he negotiated the purchase of the largest breeding area on mainland New Zealand, creating the first fully-protected area for the species. And that was just in his spare time - his day job was as a zoologist and assistant director at Otago Museum. In his retirement, he's turned his attentions to the conservation of the rare and threatened Australasian crested grebe. In recognition of his work, he has been made a Companion of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, for his work in science education and last year was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to wildlife conservation and science. But as John Darby tells Kathryn, it's a career he could never have imagined when he was growing up in orphanages in England during the war. 

10:35 Book review: Rustle! by Donovan Bixley 

Photo: Hachette NZ

David Hill reviews Rustle! by Donovan Bixley published by Hachette NZ 

10:45 Around the motu : Robin Martin in Taranaki

Pip Abernethy after being ejected from the New Plymouth District Council chamber after waving a pro-fluoride sign.

Pip Abernethy after being ejected from the New Plymouth District Council chamber after waving a pro-fluoride sign. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The fluoride debate has resulted in some stormy scenes in Taranaki. Robin says the New Plymouth District Council has been the the target of the anti-fluoride movement. Councillors voted to stop fluoridating local water supply in 2011 after being heavily lobbied on the subject, but the chemical is  going back in the water from August.  Robin also talks to about the Healthy Homes standards and how a local woman's cold and mouldy rental is aggravating her children's asthma.

11:05 Political commentators Neale Jones and Liam Hehir

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins makes a law and order announcement with Justice Minister Kiri Allan on 19 July, 2023.

File photo of Justice Minister Kiri Allan, who has resigned her portfolios following a car crash which has seen her charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Political commentators Neale Jones and Liam Hehir join Kathryn to talk about Kiri Allan, who has resigned after being charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest following a car crash in Wellington last night. It's unfortunate timing for a Prime Minister who was last week talking tough on crime. Liam and Neale will also talk about NZ First's weekend convention, whether the gun debate could be revived by Thursday's shooting in Auckland, and how the poll of polls is looking for the various parties.

Neale Jones was Chief of Staff to Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern, and prior to that was Chief of Staff to Andrew Little. He is the director of public affairs firm Capital.

Liam Hehir is a Palmerston North lawyer, political commentator and a National Party member

11:30 Real Thai food and how to replicate it in your kitchen

Thai food is always a takeout favourite, but two food lovers have teamed up to bring the taste of Thailand right into your kitchen. Chawadee - or Chow - Nualkhair is a Bangkok-based food writer and author of food blog Bangkok Glutton who teamed up with Devonport-based Lulu Taylor - after their kids became friends at school. They bonded over food and decided to write a book about Thai cooking - crammed full of authentic recipes as well the historical and regional influences on the food. Covid ended up being a spanner in the works, with the book - Real Thai Cooking: Recipes and Stories from a Thai Food Expert -  pulled together at a distance. But it also ensured the book would help the home cook, with easy ingredient substitutions. It was the first of two lockdown projects for Lulu - who also started Secret Kiwi Kitchen  - an artisan baking mix company.


Book cover, author photos, street food scene

Photo: Supplied


11:45 Off the beaten track with Kennedy Warne

For the first time in nearly forty years, kakapo have returned to the New Zealand mainland. Kennedy talks about his experiences with the iconic, remarkable parrot of the night.

Left: Kakapo. Right: shows a portion of the predator-proof fence at Maungatautari.

Left: Kakapo. Right: shows a portion of the predator-proof fence at Maungatautari. Photo: Supplied