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Photo: RNZ / Noelle McCarthy

This Saturday Morning, Noelle McCarthy is standing in for Kim Hill.
She starts the morning talking to Johns Hopkins researcher Dr Matthew Johnson, who studies the therapeutic use of psychedelics; Auckland-based writer Ruby Porter, who has just won a major prize for her debut novel Attraction; Guardian political commentator Anne Perkins on Theresa May's resignation announcementone of New Zealand's most highly regarded Tiriti o Waitangi researchers, Vincent O'Malley, on his new book about the NZ wars aimed at secondary school students; the University of Auckland's Dr Hilary Chung, who is determined to make a difference while she can - despite suffering from metastatic breast cancer; RNZ's Guyon Espiner picks up the thread from Dr Chung's conversation to help us understand more about Pharmac's decision-making, following a feature series he's been doing; filmmaker Andrew McConnell started to research surfers in the Gaza Strip and ended up creating a documentary about everyday lives there, and finally, Hannah Burgoyne talks about the rich broadcasting history of 74 Shortland Street in Auckland, from where Aotearoa's very first TV broadcast was beamed out. 



8.12  Matthew Johnson - Magic mushrooms as medicine?

Magic mushrooms

Photo: Flickr

Dr Matthew Johnson

Dr Matthew Johnson Photo: John Hopkins University

Matthew W. Johnson is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He studies the risks and benefits of the use of psychoactive drugs. He was part of a team that evaluated the safety and abuse potential of psilocybin, the psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. They recommended that it should be re-categorized from a schedule 1 drug - one with no known medical potential-to a schedule IV drug, which means it could be used as a sleep aid, a smoke cessation aid and in certain anti-anxiety and depression drugs - but with tight controls. The advance comes as the US city of Denver has just voted to decriminalise recreational use of magic mushrooms.



8.35   Ruby Porter - Award-winning debut novel Attraction

Ruby Porter / Cover of Attraction

Ruby Porter / Cover of Attraction Photo: Supplied / Text Publishing

Prose writer, poet, artist and teacher Ruby Porter is widely published in journals and tutors creative writing at The University of Auckland. She was the inaugural winner of the Michael Gifkins Prize for her debut novel Attraction which she launched at the Auckland Writers Festival last week. She has been published in Geometry Journal, Aotearotica, Spinoff and Wireless, and a selection of her poetry is available on NZEPC. In 2018, she also won the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Contest.


9.04 Anne Perkins - The end of May

British Prime Minister Theresa May.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: AFP

Anne Perkins

Anne Perkins Photo: Guardian

Anne Perkins is a political commentator, writer and broadcaster, and the former deputy political editor of The Guardian. She'll discuss British PM Theresa May’s announcement that she will resign on 7 June, and what’s next for the ruling Conservative Party following her departure.




9.04    Vincent O'Malley - The New Zealand Wars/ Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa

A British cannon at Ruapekapeka.

A British cannon at Ruapekapeka. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Vincent O'Malley

Vincent O'Malley Photo: Supplied / BWB

Vincent O'Malley is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a group of historians specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research. He is the author of several books on New Zealand history, including The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642-1840 and Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand.  His latest work is The New Zealand Wars/ Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa, about the series of conflicts fought between the Crown and various groups of Māori between 1845 and 1872 that profoundly shaped the course and direction of New Zealand history.  



10.04  Dr Hilary Chung  - Living with metastatic breast cancer 

Dr Hilary Chung with Noelle

Dr Hilary Chung with Noelle Photo: supplied/ Hilary Chung

Dr Hilary Chung is an academic specialising in Asian studies and comparative literature at the University of Auckland, and she is the founding director of the University's popular Global Studies Programme. Dr Chung also has metastatic breast cancer disease - a disease for which she first received treatment in 2015, and which has since returned and spread through her body.   Dr Chung has thrown herself into efforts to see Pharmac fund the drug Palbociclib - known as Ibrance - a drug that prolongs life but isn't funded. Like many fellow sufferers, Dr Chung has a Givealittle page to fund her treatment. She talks to Noelle about appearing before the Health Select Committee, keeping fit and fighting cancer, and living with the disease.


10.45  Guyon Espiner investigates Pharmac 

Morning Report presenter, Guyon Espiner

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Guyon Espiner has just stepped down from his role as co-host of RNZ's Morning Report to join the organisation's In-Depth team. His first series for in-Depth is Guyon Espiner investigates Pharmac which runs over four parts last and week and Monday and Tuesday this coming week. He'll talk to Noelle to contextualise some of the comments made by Dr Hilary Chung about her battle to get drugs for terminal breast cancer patients funded.  Espiner has had a 20 year career in journalism and has worked in both print and broadcast media. Before joining RNZ, he worked for TV3 as an anchor and journalist on 3rd Degree and The Vote, and continues to write a political column for The Listener.

11.04   Andrew McConnell - The everyday life of the people of Gaza

An image from GAZA

An image from GAZA Photo: Supplied / Doc Edge

Andrew McConnell

Andrew McConnell Photo: Supplied / Doc Edge

Andrew McConnell is an award-winning photographer who has been covering world events for over 15 years. His work often focuses on themes of conflict and displacement and has appeared many of the world's top publications.

Andrew has worked in-depth on issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis, conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the forgotten Sahrawi people of Western Sahara, for which he was awarded 1st place at the World Press Photo awards.

Based in Beirut, Andrew has worked throughout the Middle East for the past 8 years.

His first work as a filmmaker, GAZA has made the official selection for Sundance 2019 and will make its Asia Pacific premiere at the Documentary Edge International Film Festival (Doc Edge), coming to Auckland 20th May - 9th June and Wellington 13th - 23rd June.

11.40 Hannah Burgoyne - Special Anniversary Heritage Tour of the Former 1YA Building 

1YA Radio in action in 1946

1YA Radio in action in 1946 Photo: Supplied/ Gus Fisher Gallery

Hannah Burgoyne

Hannah Burgoyne Photo: Supplied / Gus Fisher Gallery

On Saturday 1 June, Auckland University's Gus Fisher Gallery will be hosting a special anniversary heritage tour of the former 1YA Building on the anniversary of the first television broadcast in Aotearoa.  

On 1 June 1960, a small team brought together the first official television broadcast in New Zealand inside the beautiful brick building that is now home to the Gallery; a makeshift setup the culminated in a live performance downstairs in Studio One by the Howard Morrison Quartet.

This was just one chapter in 74 Shortland Street's rich history, which began in 1935 as the purpose-built broadcasting studios for Radio 1YA before being converted for television in the 1960s. It was acquired by the University of Auckland in 2000. Gus Fisher Gallery Assistant and in-house heritage expert Hannah Burgoyne talks to Noelle about the momentous broadcast.


Books mentioned in this episode:


by Ruby Porter

ISBN: 9781925773552

Text Publishing 

The New Zealand Wars/ Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa

by Vincent O'Malley

ISBN: 9781988545998

BWB Bridget Williams Books    

Music played in this show

Song: He War
Artist: Cat Power
Album: You are Free
Played at 11:40