This Saturday Morning, Kim talks to Jennifer Brea, who became disabled with a disease that her doctor initially said was "all in her head"; Corey Mosen describes the work of his dog Ajax, who's developed a skill of sniffing out kea nests; In a week in which the US and North Korea seem to be inching towards warfare, Associate Professor Benoît Pelopidas explains how the world can best face nuclear vulnerability; Fine art gallerist and Aleister Crowley expert Robert Buratti discusses how the occult has influenced art; Chiefs stalwart and first-five Stephen Donald on how his life was transformed by reaching the top of professional rugby; New Zealand acting royalty Elizabeth Hawthorne outlines her starring role in a new play, Blonde Poison; Ozzie satirist John Safran gets to the bottom of Australian extremism, and finally, Kate De Goldi on her recent literature picks for the littlies.    


8:09 Jennifer Brea - ME all in her head

Jennifer Brea

Jennifer Brea Photo: Wikicommons

Jennifer Brea was completing a PhD at Harvard when she contracted myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) at the age of 28 and became profoundly disabled. It is estimated there are as many as 17 million people worldwide affected by ME and it is often dismissed as a psychosomatic illness. After her doctor said it was all in her head, Brea started contacting other suffers and began making her documentary, Unrest, from her bed.  Unrest is screening at the NZ International Film Festival.

8:45 Corey Mosen - Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog 

No caption

Photo: Supplied

Corey Mosen has trained his dog, Ajax, to sniff out kea nests in remote parts of the South Island where the endangered bird can be found. Mosen then places cameras in and around the nests to monitor the birds and the predators which attack them. He says that while he mostly works in Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes national parks for the Department of Conservation, his patch is anywhere that kea live. He also volunteers for the Kea Conservation Trust. Mosen, Ajax and the kea star in a Loading Docs 2017 film, Ajax the Kea Conservation Dog.



9:04 Benoît Pelopidas -  How close are we to nuclear war?

Assoc Prof Benoit Pelopidas

Assoc Prof Benoit Pelopidas Photo: supplied

Associate Professor Benoît Pelopidas holds the Junior Chair of Excellence in Security Studies at the Centre for International Studies, Sciences Po, Paris. He is also an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security. He has been awarded two international prizes for his research and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award in 2016.  Pelopidas is in New Zealand as a guest of the University of Auckland and the Peace and Disarmament Education Trust to mark the 30th anniversary of New Zealand's nuclear free law. He'll give the University's 2017 Chapman Public Lecture on August 15, entitled: "Facing nuclear danger: from proliferation to global nuclear vulnerability", and seven other public talks between August 3-16, details here.   


9:35   Robert Buratti - Occulture: The Dark Arts

Robert Buratti

Robert Buratti Photo: supplied

Robert Buratti is an artist and art curator chiefly concerned with the role of the spiritual within contemporary art. He is influenced by the approach and experimentation of artists such as James Gleeson, Andre Breton, Aleister Crowley, Paul Gauguin and Pablo Picasso. Buratti is the curator of the exhibitions Aleister Crowley: The Nightmare Paintings (2011) and Windows to the Sacred (2012) and is the owner of two fine art galleries in Western Australia. He's been awarded a number of international residencies and prizes for his own artwork across Australia, China and the USA. Buratti is in New Zealand to speak at the August 12 opening of a new exhibition exploring the age-old relationship between art and the occult called Occulture: The Dark Arts at City Gallery Wellington.


Images from Occulture: The Dark Arts 

10:04 - Stephen Donald - Beaver bares his soul

Chiefs player Stephen Donald.

Chiefs player Stephen Donald. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Stephen Donald kicked the All Blacks to victory in 2011's Rugby World Cup and became a firm fan favourite, after several years in provincial play. The Chiefs stalwart and first-five made his Super Rugby debut in 2005, when the Chiefs played the Waratahs in Sydney, and made his test debut in 2008 against England, playing with the All Blacks until 2011. Donald returned to the Chiefs in 2016 after a stint playing overseas and played his 100th match for the club against the Waratahs this year. He is reported to be currently between jobs, and considering offers. A sporting legend to people in his home town of Waiuku, south of Auckland, a biopic on Donald's journey to the World Cup final entitled The Kick has also been made. The emotional journey made through professional rugby is the premise of his biography, Beaver, which has just been published.



10:35 Elizabeth Hawthorne - Blonde Poison

Elizabeth Hawthorne

Elizabeth Hawthorne Photo: supplied

Elizabeth Hawthorne is a veteran actress across stage, television and film. She started her career in theatre, starring in plays including The Cherry Orchard and As You Like It during a decade with the Corporate Theatre (1974-184), followed by eight years with the Mercury Theatre and just over a decade with the Auckland Theatre Company. Throughout, Hawthorne has starred in a number of films including The Frighteners, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe  and Savage Honeymoon. Her television roles have included a year-long stint as Doctor Julia Thorton on Shortland Street and roles in Hercules, Spin Doctors, and Outrageous Fortune. She returns to her theatrical roots with her new project - the lead in a performance of Blonde Poison. The play is based on a true story of the life of Stella Goldschlag, a Jewish woman living illegally in war torn Berlin. Betrayed and tortured, Stella agrees to work with the Gestapo as a 'catcher' of other Jews, in exchange for her life and the lives of her family. Blonde Poison will play at the Herald Theatre for two weeks from August 22.  




11:04  John Safran - Depends what you mean by extremist 

John Safran

John Safran Photo: supplied

John Safran is an award-winning documentary-maker of provocative takes on race, the media, religion and other issues. Safran first hit TV screens in 1997 on Race Around the World (ABC-TV). Both John Safran's Music Jamboree (SBS, 2002) and John Safran vs. God (SBS, 2004) won Australian Film Industry awards for Best Comedy Series and Most Original Concept, and were also nominated for Logie Awards. Safran's latest book, Depends What You Mean by Extremist, sees him embed himself in the world of Australia's diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and more. Safran will be in New Zealand and discussing his book as part of Shifting Points of View, a series of events staged jointly by WORD Christchurch and the Christchurch Arts Festival.






11.45 Kate De Goldi - The picks of the local kids' book crop

Kate De Goldi

Kate De Goldi. Photo: supplied.

Kate De Goldi joins Kim to discuss books for young readers: Two fiction works - Rona by Chris Szekely and Awatea's Treasure by Fraser Smith; and in non-fiction, See, play, do; a kid's handbook for everyday creative fun, created by Louise Cuckow.  De Goldi is a fiction writer and book reviewer. Her most recent novel, From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle, won the Esther Glen Medal at the 2016 NZ Children's and Young Adult Book Awards. She is co-editor, with Susan Paris, of ANNUAL, a miscellany for 9-to-12 year olds, which was published in 2016. (ANNUAL 2 is due out in September 2017.)







Books mentioned in this episode:


Stephen Donald: Beaver

by Scotty Stevenson

ISBN  978-1-927262-95-5

Upstart Press


Depends What You Mean by Extremist

by John Safran

ISBN 9781926428772

Hamish Hamilton



by Chris Szekely

ISBN: 978-1-77550-198-5



Awatea's Treasure

by Fraser Smith

ISBN: 978-1-77550-294-4



See, play, do; a kid's handbook for everyday creative fun

 created by Louise Cuckow

ISBN: 978-0-9941205-1-9


Music played in this show

Artist: Paul Weller
Song: Hopper
Composer: Paul Weller
Album: A Kind Revolution
Label: Parlophone
Played at: 10:35