This Saturday Morning: Kim starts the show in conversation with Dame Annette King, who recently retired from politics after a record 33 year stint on both the front and opposition benches; historian and museum expert Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett talks about her work in helping preserve the central role of Holocaust museums in the story of  Jewish people; Dr Doug Wilson on why the recent fad that would have seen young blood injected into the elderly to stave off aging has been debunked; author and journalist Frédéric Martel outlines his four years of research into the most salacious secrets being kept by the Roman Catholic Church; Dr Helen Taylor on a major breakthrough in the past week - the first time tuatara sperm has been 'caught on camera', and finally, Irish musician Wallis Bird and why she plays her right-handed guitar upside down - among other oddities.  


8.09 Dame Annette King - The Authorised Biography 

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Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

Tasman born and bred Dame Annette King recently retired from a record 33 years in New Zealand politics, having served through 17 Labour and National leaders.  She was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2011, and from 2014 until 1 March 2017. She was a cabinet minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand, and was the MP for the Rongotai electorate in Wellington from 1996 to 2017. In 2018, she was appointed High Commissioner to Australia, and also became a Dame. The Authorised Biography was launched in Wellington by Prime Minister Jacinda Adern this week. 


Dame Annette - pictures from a life


9.04 Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett - The future of Holocaust museums  

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Photo: supplied

POLIN Museum of the history of Polish Jews

POLIN Museum of the history of Polish Jews Photo: Wikimedia Commons / POLIN

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and University Professor Emerita and Professor Emerita of Performance Studies at New York University. Her books include Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage; Image before My Eyes: A Photographic History of Jewish Life in Poland, 1864-1939 (with Lucjan Dobroszycki); and They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust (with Mayer Kirshenblatt). She received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves on Advisory Boards for Jewish museums in Vienna, Berlin, and Moscow. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is giving a number of talks during a tour of New Zealand, details here.


9.40 Doug Wilson - Young Blood for Old: Miracle or Scam?

Dr Doug Wilson

Dr Doug Wilson Photo: Supplied

Dr Doug Wilson has a medical degree from New Zealand, a PhD from the University of London and has pursued postgraduate work and medical research globally. He currently consults and acts as the chief medical officer for Ferghana Partners Group, whose business is focused on new technologies in biotechnical companies and healthcare. Wilson is dyslexic and after the age of 70 began a new career as a children's author, publishing 10 books to date. His latest book is one for adults, called Aging for Beginners. He'll talk to Kim about a recently debunked idea that injecting the elderly with the blood of the young would help stave off the aging process. 


10.04 Frédéric Martel  - In the Closet of the Vatican 

Frederic Martel

Frederic Martel Photo: supplied

Frédéric Martel (PhD) is a French writer and researcher. He is also a journalist at National Public Radio and the author of ten books, which have been translated and published in more than 25 countries. He lives in Paris. His latest work, In the Closet of the Vatican, examines was the author describes as "the rot at the heart of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church today". Based on four years of research, the book includes extensive interviews of leading figures, it looks at the cover up of countless cases of sexual abuse, the resignation of Benedict XVI, misogyny among the clergy, the dramatic fall in Europe of the number of vocations to the priesthood and the plotting against Pope Francis - all issues clouded in mystery and secrecy.

10.40 Dr Helen Taylor - Tuatara sperm caught on camera

Dr. Helen Taylor received her PhD from Victoria University and has research interests that span conservation genetics, ecology, behaviour and reproductive biology. She currently works in the University of Otago's Gemmell Lab, in a team researching the intersection of genomics with ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology.  As part of pioneering research into the tuatara on Takapourewa/Stephens Island, home to the country's largest tuatara population, this week, Dr Taylor and her team managed to capture the reptiles' sperm on camera for the first time  - a finding that could greatly improve our knowledge of reproduction in this unique reptile, and aid conservation management of this important taonga. Dr Taylor has just announced she will be going back to work for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland as a conservation program manager shortly - but will continue to monitor the tuatara sperm project remotely.


Sexy time for the tuatara 


11.04 Wallis Bird - Songbird on the world stage

Wallis Bird

Wallis Bird Photo: (c) Stephan Brueckler

Award-winning Irish musician Wallis Bird has been taking audiences by storm in the UK, Australia, Japan and Europe. She kicked off her musical career as a teenager playing cover gigs in pubs, dealing with drunken hecklers by way of cheeky comebacks and good-natured banter. Bird moved to Germany in 2005 and self-released the single 'Blossoms in the Street', which spent 20 weeks in the charts. She tours extensively and is currently on a world tour to promote her sixth studio album, Woman, which is due out later this year. Bird is playing in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, March 22-24.






Books mentioned in this episode:


Annette King: The Authorised Biography

by John Harvey & Brent Edwards


Upstart Press 


In the Closet of the VaticanPower, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy

by Frédéric Martel

ISBN: 9781472966247



Music played in this show

Artist: John Prine
Song:  When I Get to Heaven
Composer: John Prine
Album: The Tree of Forgiveness
Label: Oh Boy
Played at: 10:40

Artist: Wallis Bird
Song: To My Bones  
Composer: Wallis Bird
Album: New Boots
Label: Columbia Records
Played at: 11:20

Artist: Wallis Bird
Song: The Ocean
Composer: Wallis Bird
Played at: 11:30

Artist: Wallis Bird
Song: I'm So Tired Of That Line
Composer: Wallis Bird
Album: Wallis Bird
Label: Rubyworks
Played at: 11:56

Artist: Wallis Bird
Song: I'm So Tired Of That Line
Composer: Wallis Bird
Album: Wallis Bird
Label: Rubyworks
Played at: 11:56