Journalist and poet Richard Langston is standing in for Kim Hill this week.

Richard Langston

Richard Langston Photo: Supplied

This Saturday Morning: Richard speaks to art writer and lecturer Linda Tyler about the death this week of one of the country's most strident art critics, Francis Pound;  Maxine Gay is about to end a 30-plus year career in unionism - and reflects on battles still to be fought; MP Peeni Henare discusses his part in a new multi-media project looking to commemorate Northland's most infamous armed conflict 1845-46; writer and historian Gordon McLauchlan continues the theme with a preview of his new book A Short History of New Zealand Wars; NZ Festival artistic director Shelagh Magadza on next year's event; the '5th' Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock, explains his feelings about the band on the eve of his tour of New Zealand; Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly and a recent court decision that's been cheered by the river's custodians, and finally a chat with, and performance from, Germany-based US bluesman Big Daddy Wilson and band.



8:09  Linda Tyler - RIP Francis Pound  

Francis Pound

Francis Pound Photo:

Francis Pound, one of New Zealand's most influential art critics, died last weekend. He was an independent art curator and writer who taught for some years in the art history department of the University of Auckland. His books include Frames on the Land: Early Landscape Painting in New Zealand (1983), The Space Between: Pakeha Use of Maori Motifs in Modernist New Zealand Art (1994), a book to accompany the exhibition Walters en Abyme, which he also curated, and The Invention of New Zealand (2009). An associate professor in art history at Auckland University's history department, Linda Tyler, talks to Richard about her former colleague.


8:25 Maxine Gay - The first lady of First Union

First Union's Maxine Gay

First Union's Maxine Gay Photo: RNZ / Leilani Momoisea

Maxine Gay is Retail, Finance and Commerce Secretary of FIRST Union, and next month steps down from over 30 years at the forefront of New Zealand's union movement. The daughter of a seamstress and a runaway merchant seafarer, Gay's early life prepared her for a career championing the rights of working people - she was a teen mum forced to adopt out her child, a survivor of domestic violence and a solo mum while she forged her career.  In her 30s, Gay became an organiser with the Clerical Workers Union and her path was set. During the 90's she became general secretary, then president of the NZ Trade Union Federation, and moved to her FIRST Union role in 2006. During her time there she's overseen the doubling of retail membership to 12,500, more than doubling of the Countdown membership, the organising and first collective agreements for The Warehouse, Bunnings, Pak'nSave and New World supermarkets and now the new chains of Cotton On, Zara and H&M.   



9:04 Peeni Henare - Stories of Ruapekapeka 

Peeni Henare

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

To commemorate the New Zealand Wars, and timed in with the New Zealand Government's first ever National Day of Commemoration (October 28), RNZ, in association with Great Southern TV and NZOA, has created an online project called Stories of Ruapekapeka, which captures Māori and Pākehā views of the Northern War - the first serious challenge to the Crown in the years after Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The conflict involved fighting between two factions of Ngapuhi as well as clashes with British forces, and began with the sacking of Kororāreka (Russell) and ended with an inconclusive battle at Ruapekapeka in which 30 Māori and 45 British fighters died. Featured in the documentary is Peeni Henare (Ngāti Hine), chairman for the Ruapekapeka Trust and great-grandson of Nga Puhi leader and politician Taurekareka Henare.  Peeni Henare is currently MP for Tāmaki Makaurau and Labour's spokesperson for Urban Māori, Māori Broadcasting, & State Services.


9:35  Gordon McLauchlan - A Short History of New Zealand Wars

Gordon McLauchlan

Gordon McLauchlan Photo: supplied

Continuing on the theme of the New Zealand wars, Richard speaks to well-known journalist, author and social commentator Gordon McLauchlan, whose latest book, A Short History of New Zealand Wars, has also been published in time for October 28. The book gives an overarching, but concise, exploration of the struggle between Maori and the colonial powers over governance issues, and the consequences for Aotearoa. McLauchlan's previous books include Great Tales from Rural New Zealand (2016); Great Tales from New Zealand History which has been in print since 2004; The Passionless People Revisited (2012); and A Short History of New Zealand (2014). He was also editor-in-chief of The New Zealand Encyclopaedia for 10 years. 


10:04 Shelagh Magadza - Festival Odyssey

Shelagh Magadza

Shelagh Magadza Photo: supplied

The NZ Festival first became part of Shelagh Magadza's life 25 years ago when she landed an administration job just two weeks after arriving in the country. Since 2012 she has been its artistic director, and with a master’s degree in international relations, she sees international arts festivals as a powerful form of 'soft' diplomacy. The 2018 festival will be her last and she's going out with a bang - a huge line-up of theatre, music, dance and more - from Swan Lake to Star Wars - and A Waka Odyssey which will see a fleet of waka glide onto Wellington Harbour in a spectacular opening event.  Magadza joins Richard to preview next year's festival programme.


10:35 Glen Matlock - Never Mind the Bollocks 

Sex Pistols (Glen Matlock, front)

Sex Pistols (Glen Matlock, front) Photo: Commons Wikipedia

Glen Matlock was the original bassist for '70's punk band the Sex Pistols. He left in 1977, claiming to be "sick of the bullshit"; others suggest it was because he said he liked The Beatles. He was replaced by Sid Vicious. After leaving, Matlock worked on Iggy Pop's Soldier, collaborated with Blondie's Clem Burke in The International Swingers, recorded an album for the Creation label, had his own group The Philistines, and played bass for one of his favourite groups, The Faces, on reunion shows between 2009 and 2011. Matlock performs two solo shows in New Zealand at the end of November - just over 40 years since the Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks was released. He says his tour to New Zealand will be fun because he's "not a miserable old po-faced git" and says he still likes The Beatles.


11:04 Andrew Kelly - Keeping the Yarra River

No caption

Photo: Supplied

Andrew Kelly is the Yarra Riverkeeper - he patrols and protects the Melbourne waterway and advocates for its well-being. Last month the Yarra Riverkeeper Association celebrated a new law which requires a plan to look after the river for the next 50 years. The Act includes the involvement of the indigenous people of the area and, in a first for Australia, part of it is written in their language, Wurundjeri. The Act will consider the Yarra and its parklands as one single living entity and it will co-ordinate the work of government agencies along the waterway and the riverbanks. Kelly grew up on the banks of the Yarra. He has degrees in geography and archaeology from the University of Melbourne and pursued a career in publishing and communications before becoming Yarra Riverkeeper in 2014. 

No caption

Photo: Supplied

11:20 Big Daddy Wilson - Ich liebe the blues 

Blue Monday Blues Session in der Lagerhalle Osnabrück am 29.12.2014.  Fotograf: André Havergo ,

Blue Monday Blues Session in der Lagerhalle Osnabrück am 29.12.2014. Fotograf: André Havergo , Photo:

Big Daddy Wilson, born Wilson Blount, grew up in a tiny town in North Carolina and was raised by his mother and grandmother.  After quitting school he joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany, where he eventually married and settled. Growing up on a diet of gospel music, Wilson first heard blues music in his early 30s and started putting his poetry to music.  He tours and has recorded 12 albums, the latest of which is called Neckbone Stew.  He is touring Aotearoa with his band, which includes New Zealander Stephan Gilberg, and will play the Tauranga Arts Festival on October 28 as well as a host of other dates, details here.


Books mentioned in this episode:

A Short History of the New Zealand Wars

By Gordon McLauchlan

ISBN: 9781869539627

David Bateman Ltd


Music played in this show

Artist: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Song: God Save the Queen

Composer:  Glen Matlock / Paul Cook / Steve Jones / Johnny Rotten

Album: The Anarchy Arias

Label: Virgin EMI

Played at: 8:10


Artist: Billy Bragg

Song: There Will be a Reckoning

Composer: Billy Bragg

Album: Tooth & Nail

Label: Cooking Vinyl

Played at: 8:25


Artist: St Joseph's Maori Girls’ Choir 

Song: Hine e Hine

Composer: traditional

Album: Pokarekare

Label: Viking

Played at: 9:25


Artist: Sex Pistols

Song: Pretty Vacant

Composer: Glen Matlock, Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones

Album: Never Mind the Bollocks here's the Sex Pistols

Label: 10:30

Played at: Virgin


Artist: Nina Simone

Song: I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl

Composer: Tim Brymn / Nina Simone / Bert Williams / Hans Zimmer

Album: The Very Best of Nina Simone: Sugar in My Bowl 1967-1972

Label: RCA

Played at: 10:55


Artist: Dan Sultan

Song: Kingdom

Composer: Dan Sultan

Album: Killer

Label: Liberation

Played at: 11:55