This Saturday Morning: Kim starts the morning with Iain Macwhirter, gauging how independence-minded Scots are reacting to the new UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who was installed this week; Scott Donaldson on how he was third-time lucky in crossing the tempestuous Tasman solo in a kayak; Jamie Morton on his dad, who has a penchant for writing terrible erotic fiction that has kept the world laughing for a few years now; Florian Graichen with ideas on how to erode our massive amounts of plastic waste; author Elspeth Sandys on her cousin Rewi Alley, and retracing his steps in China; anthropologist Dave Veart on the historical significance of the hotly contested land at Ihumātao; Edo de Waart is the NZSO's musical director and a world authority on Beethoven - and may also be a friend of Frank Zappa, and finally, Melbourne food writer and critic Dani Valent on how three Australian Masterchefs quit the hugely influential cooking show this week.     



8:15  Peeni Henare - Government reversal on stoush at Ihumātao

MPs Peeni Henare and Willy Jackson will be heading to Ihumātao in South Auckland today, to listen to, and speak with, protestors on the site of land they consider sacred.

Until very recently the Government had vowed to remain at a distance from the stoush, but last night PM Jacinda Ardern said no building will take place at Ihumātao while the government and other parties try to broker a solution.

Friday July 26

Photo: Supplied


08:25   Scott Donaldson - the first person to kayak the Tasman solo

Scott Donaldson in his kayak

Photo: supplied

Last year Kiwi adventurer Scott Donaldson achieved a world first, crossing 2200 km of the Tasman Sea in a kayak solo.

Over 61 days he battled 'frisky' sharks, massive ocean swells, and physical and emotional exhaustion.

It was his third attempt - a failed effort in 2014 saw him fall short by just 80 kilometres.

He has written a book about his experiences, called  Relentless: A Story of Grit and Endurance from the First Person to Kayak the Tasman Solo.

Scott Donaldson - Solo kayak across the Tasman


09:04 Jamie Morton - My Dad Wrote a Porno

Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper

Alice Levine, Jamie Morton and James Cooper Photo: My Dad Wrote a Porno

Jamie Morton was horrified to discover his father had written very explicit and very bad erotic fiction under the nom-de -porn Rocky Flintstone.

He enlisted his friends - James Cooper and Radio 1 host Alice Levine - to help read it aloud, creating the massively successful My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast.  

The podcast is now one of the most successful ever made, with over 180 million downloads, and will tour New Zealand as a live show in 2020, details here.





09:30  Dr Florian Graichen - Tackling plastic waste 

Florian Graichen

Florian Graichen Photo: Supplied

Dr Florian Graichen is Science Leader, Biopolymers and Chemicals, at Scion in Rotorua.

Scion is a Crown research institute that specialises in research and technology development for the forestry and wood industries.

Dr Graichen has an extensive background in developing renewable and sustainable 'green' resources, including helping develop bioderived materials for the chemical industry to use instead of those taken from the petrochemical industry.  

Recently, Dr Graichen spoke at the Royal Society Te Apārangi Parliamentary Speaker's Science Forum about how New Zealand could tackle plastic waste through circular economy approaches.


10:04  Elspeth Sandys - Author of A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley 

Elspeth Sandys

Elspeth Sandys Photo: Helen Mitchell

In 2017, author Elspeth Sandys travelled to China with other family members to mark the 90th anniversary of her cousin Rewi Alley's arrival in Shanghai.

The book she wrote about that journey is called A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley.

Elspeth Sandys has published nine novels, two collections of short stories and two memoirs as well as writing for TV, film and stage.

Rewi Alley teaching at Shandan School, Gansu, China 1940s [Alexander Turnbull Library]

Rewi Alley teaching at Shandan School, Gansu, China 1940s [Alexander Turnbull Library] Photo: New Zealand-China Friendship Society



10:40  Dave Veart -  Ihumātao - 'like building houses next to Stonehenge'

Dave Veart at Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve

Dave Veart at Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve Photo: RNZ/ Tim Watkin

David Veart worked as a Department of Conservation historian and archaeologist for over twenty-five years.

He belongs to the Auckland Heritage Committee of the Institute of Professional Engineers and has been appointed as a member of the Auckland Council's Heritage Advisory Panel.

An expert on various Auckland landmarks of historical or archaeological significance, he is well-known for his public guided walks of these areas.

He'll speak to Kim about the significance of the site of protests at Ihumātao in South Auckland - and why the current situation a "complete bloody mess".


11:04  Edo de Waart: World authority on Beethoven brings all nine of his symphonies to NZ audiences

Edo de Waart began his career as an Assistant Conductor to Leonard Bernstein and is now a world authority on Beethoven. Frank Zappa has called him "the Paul McCartney of classical music".

He is Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.

He was previously Music Director of the the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony orchestras; he was also Chief Conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.

He has conducted at Bayreuth, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra de Bastille, Santa Fe Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera.  

He will lead the NZSO in a Beethoven Festival in August that will see the Orchestra perform all nine of Beethoven's symphonies in Auckland and Wellington.

Edo de Waart

Edo de Waart Photo: ©Stephen A'Court Photography



11:40  Dani Valent - A food critic's take on the Masterchef Australia brouhaha

MasterChef Australia judges

MasterChef Australia judges, from left, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston. Photo: Facebook / MasterChef Australia

This week it was announced that all three MasterChef Australia judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris will be leaving the show after a contract dispute.

Calombaris has also been under fire from the media after it was revealed he had underpaid staff working for his Melbourne restaurant empire more than $7.8 million.

So who will replace them, and will the show survive without the trio?

Dani Valent is a journalist, restaurant critic, cookbook author, travel writer and screenwriter based in Melbourne. She contributes recipes and reviews to a host of publications, including Good Food, and has a column in The Age.




Books mentioned in this episode:


Relentless: A Story of Grit and Endurance from the First Person to Kayak the Tasman Solo

by Scott Donaldson

ISBN: 9781775541455

HarperCollins NZ


A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley

by Elspeth Sandys

ISBN: 9781988531601

Otago University Press 

Music played in this show

Artist: Wilco
Song: Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
Played at: 10:25

Artist: Tash Sultana
Song: Can't Buy Happiness
Played at: 10:57

Artist: Mandolin Orange
Song: The Wolves
Played at: 11:44