This Saturday: Kim talks to Irish Senator Ivana Bacik as polls close in the historic referendum over access to legal abortion in Ireland; Tongan noble and member of parliament Lord Fusitu'a on why he appeared in a new doco about a group of transgender women working for the Tongan royal family; wildlife photographer David Yarrow on why his work commands record-breaking prices;  Dr Nicola Gaston describes the challenges of her new role as co-director of the MacDiarmid Institute;  Ākina Foundation CEO Louise Aitken on growing social enterprise in Aotearoa and her role on a new investment body; actors and playwrights Amelia Reynolds and Saraid Cameron on smashing some of the shibboleths of New Zealand's feminist movement; poet Harry Ricketts on his latest collection Winter Eyes, and singer and entertainer Priya Sami on getting acquainted with her Indian heritage through singing devotionals. 




8:09  Ivana Bacik - Legalising abortion in Ireland 

A woman walks in front of a pro-choice mural relating to the laws regarding abortion in Dublin

A woman walks in front of a pro-choice mural relating to the laws regarding abortion in Dublin Photo: AFP

Irish Senator Ivana Bacik

Irish Senator Ivana Bacik Photo: supplied

Irish senator Ivana Bacik has had a busy week, canvassing and leafleting in favour of the vote to repeal the country's Eighth Amendment - the law that prevents abortion in Ireland. It is a fight Bacik has fought since the late 1980s, when she was taken to court by SPUC for providing information on abortion in her role as president of the Trinity College of Dublin's student union. Bacik, who is a Labour Senator in the Seanad (the upper house) of parliament (Oireachtas) is also a qualified barrister, and a senior lecturer and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. She will speak to Kim about the abortion referendum, polling for which will be about to close.



8:40   Lord Fusitu'a - On the 'Leitis in Waiting' of Tonga 

Lord Fusitu'a

Lord Fusitu'a Photo: Twitter

The plight of Tonga's LGBT community is under the spotlight with the released of a new documentary Leitis in Waiting.  The film follows the life of transgender Tongan Joey / Joleen Mataele, who, along with other leitis, provides invaluable help to the kingdom's royal family, even while the country is subject to a  rising tide of religious fundamentalism. Appearing in the documentary and travelling with it is Lord Fusitu'a, a noble, a member of the Tongan parliament, and a champion of the rights of LGBT people and women. Leitis in Waiting will play in Auckland this weekend as part of the 13th International Documentary Film Festival, known as Doc Edge.




9:04  David Yarrow - Wildlife up close

No caption

Photo: Supplied

Fine art photographer David Yarrow has an eye for wildlife, indigenous communities and landscapes. He exhibits around the world and his images are highly prized - his photograph 78 Degrees North was auctioned at Sotheby's London last week. Coming in as the second highest of the 72 lots under the hammer, the winning bid was £81,250 (NZD $157,000), setting a new record for David Yarrow Photography.  Yarrow says the photograph, featuring a polar bear (in the gallery below), is a deeply emotional image for him and represents a special moment in his career. It was taken in Svalbard, Norway last year. He often uses a remote-controlled camera to get close-up shots of dangerous animals. Yarrow is also a philanthropist and an author - his latest book, Wild Encounters (2016) was awarded Art Book of 2017 by Amazon. Yarrow's royalties from the book are being donated to Tusk Trust, a British charity that focuses on animal conservation in Africa. He is in NZ for talks in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, organised by MAS - Medical Assurance Society.


9.30 Dr Nicola Gaston - The Chemistry of Things  

Dr Nicola Gaston

Dr Nicola Gaston Photo: Victoria University

Dr Nicola Gaston is the new co-director of the MacDiarmid Institute and an associate professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland. Gaston was a senior lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at VUW.  She was previously a principal research scientist at the former Industrial Research Ltd (IRL), where she was based since returning to New Zealand in 2007 from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden

10:04 Louise Aitken - Growing social enterprise

Louise Aitken

Louise Aitken Photo: supplied

Louise Aitken is chief executive of the Ākina Foundation, which aims to develop and support social enterprises - businesses that work to improve social wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and economic performance. Ākina has been appointed as the government's strategic partner to grow the social enterprise sector - aiming to build a new economy that regenerates the environment and creates social foundations for people to thrive. The Ākina Foundation has this week begun a three-year plan to  grow the social enterprise sector with the launch of The Impact Initiative in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs. Last month Aitken was appointed to the National Advisory Board for Impact Investing in New Zealand which aims to further social enterprise goals through investment.

10:30   Saraid Cameron and Amelia Reynolds - Cult Show  

Amelia Reynolds and Saraid Cameron

Amelia Reynolds and Saraid Cameron Photo: supplied

Auckland-based best friends and actors Saraid Cameron and Amelia Reynolds have devised, written and are about to perform a work called Cult Show: The Revitalisation of the New Zealand Women's Archives, which is billed as "a community meeting turned bloody backlash with the women of Aotearoa you have almost definitely never heard about".  The Auckland Museum has opened up its New Zealand Women's Archives to Reynolds and Cameron in order to create the work, which focuses on how 'white feminism' has blotted out the contribution of many groups to the fight for gender equality in New Zealand. Cult Show plays at the Basement Theatre from May 29 to June 2. 

11:04 Harry Ricketts - Winter Eyes

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Photo: Robert Cross 2018

Harry Ricketts is Professor in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University, where he teaches literature and creative writing. He has convened the Creative Nonfiction Workshop at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) since initiating it in 2002. His publications include The Unforgiving Minute, a biography of Rudyard Kipling; Talking about Ourselves, a book of interviews with New Zealand poets; People Like Us, a volume of short stories; 10 collections of poems (most recently Half Dark (VUP, 2015); and How You Doing?, an anthology of New Zealand comic verse. He is also co-editor of the review journal quarterly New Zealand Books. Winter Eyes is his latest poetry collection - Ricketts will share some of these poems with listeners, including 'Grief Limericks', last week's hugely popular Friday Poem on The Spinoff.


11:25 Priya Sami - India Odyssey

Madeleine, Anji and Priya Sami with dad Naren

Madeleine, Anji and Priya Sami with dad Naren Photo: supplied

Priya Sami in India

Priya Sami in India Photo: Facebook

Priya Sami is the sister of Madeleine and Anji, and together the trio perform as the Sami Sisters.  Priya also performs as the act Trip Pony. The sisters are Indian on their father's side and Pakeha (Irish descent) on their mother's, but were raised knowing little of their Indian heritage. Priya recently traveled to India for the first time to learn traditional Carnatic singing, a type of music typical of the south of India where her father's family originally came from, via Fiji. She has come back sick and exhausted - but fired up with enthusiasm for her new musical project.


Books mentioned in this epsiode


Wild Encounters

by David Yarrow

ISBN 1908337176



Winter Eyes

by Harry Ricketts 

ISBN 9781776561872

Victoria University Press


Music played in this show

Artist: Sandy Mill
Song: Light of Day
Composer: Sandy Mill
Album: A Piece of Me
Label: She's Boss Music
Played at: 9:35