Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a plane before takeoff from Germany bound for Moscow.

Photo: AFP

8:10 Anti Putin campaigner Alexei Navalny: poisoned, arrested, but still defiant

Anton Troianovski

Anton Troianovski Photo: Twitter / @antontroian

Alexei Navalny has been outspoken in his criticism of the Russian government for years.

The former real estate lawyer became a shareholder activist and anti-corruption campaigner before running for Moscow's mayoralty, and pushing for changes to Russia's political system.

None of this endeared him to the federation's premier, Vladimir Putin.

After being poisoned last year, almost certainly by Russian agents, last week Navalny returned to Moscow and was arrested.

His return sparked anti-government protests leading to thousands of arrests across the country.

To discuss the latest we're joined by Anton Troianovski, the Moscow correspondent for The New York Times.

8:35 Rebecca Mead: The metal detectors who struck gold, and trouble

Rebecca Mead

Rebecca Mead Photo: supplied / James Prochnik

In 2015, a metre under English soil, two metal-detector enthusiasts (or detectorists) literally struck gold .

They discovered an underground Viking treasure trove: a bangle, pendant and a ring, with a silver ingot plus hundreds of silver coins.

Everything pointed towards their find being a hugely valuable 'hoard': a collection of valuables typically hidden to avoid looting by raiding parties.

Such collections are subject to far tighter treasure-seeking controls than those applying to individual finds.

So with question marks over their search rights over the land in question, they were faced with a dilemma.

Their bumbling attempts to conceal the find are documented in Rebecca Mead's recent article 'The Curse of The Buried Treasure' in The New Yorker.

Mead is a New Yorker staff writer and author of the critically acclaimed My Life in Middlemarch; a celebration of George Eliot, and the joys of literature.

Kim also spoke to English actor Mackenzie Crook who wrote, directed and stars in the BBC comedy-drama series Detectorists, set around the lives of two members of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club. You can listen to the interview here

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Photo: Photo by Jack B on Unsplash

9:05 Simon Winchester: how land ownership shaped the modern world

Prolific writer and journalist Simon Winchester is best known for his historical bestseller The Surgeon of Crowthorne, about an inmate in a prison for the criminally insane who was also a major contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Formerly an award-winning newspaper journalist, Winchester's books have covered maps, the Krakatoa volcano, the Yangtze River, the 1906 Californian earthquake, engineering, the British hereditary peerage, and more.

His latest book is called Land: How the Hunger For Ownership Shaped the Modern World. It traces our relationship with land from the beginnings of agriculture to the present day.

Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester Photo: supplied

10:05 Dr Chris Smith: Covid-19 vaccines and variants

This week; the UK reached the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, new, more contagious UK, South Africa and Brazil virus variants are being linked to rising case numbers, and a row has surfaced between the UK and the EU over the speed of vaccine supply.

In brighter news, Novavax has just released UK trial results showing their vaccine to be almost 90% effective. This is good news for New Zealand, which has an agreement to buy 10.7 million doses in mid 2021.

Our regular commentator Cambridge University consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith joins us with the latest Covid-19 science, and answer your questions. You can text them to 2101 or emailing us

Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 disease vaccine are displayed at the regional corona vaccination centre in Ludwigsburg, southern Germany, on January 22, 2021.

Photo: AFP

10:30 Oscar Kightley: the story of Dawn Raid records

Oscar Kightley

Oscar Kightley Photo: supplied

Dawn Raid, a new feature length documentary film, tells the story of the rise and fall (and eventual rebirth) of the influential New Zealand record label.

Founders Andy Murane and Tanielu Leaosavai'i (aka Brotha D) turned their bootleg T-shirt business and hip-hop night at an Otara bar into an entertainment empire.

Dawn Raid Entertainment was responsible for launching Savage, Aaradhna and Adeaze.

The film is directed by Samoan-born New Zealand actor and comedian Oscar Kightley.

He is a founder of comedy group The Naked Samoans, whose members are behind the hit TV animation series bro’Town.

Kightley also acted in and co-wrote the popular 2006 film Sione's Wedding.

Dawn Raid premiered last week and is now on general release across the country.

11:05 Sarah Johnston: archival recordings of our WW2 troops in battle

Christchurch based audio historian and researcher Sarah Johnston (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rākaipaaka) recently won a Judith Binney Writing Award to study the National Broadcasting Service's Mobile Recording Units.

Between 1940 and 1945 these units accompanied New Zealand forces during The Second World War and recorded thousands of men and women talking about their experience of war and sending messages to loved ones back home, to be played over the radio.

Around 1600 fragile lacquer discs make up this collection recorded throughout the fighting in North Africa, the Middle East, Italy and the Pacific

You can follow Sarah's blog about the project here.

John Proudfoot and Charles Lewis recording repatriated POWs Egypt Nov 1943

John Proudfoot and Charles Lewis recording repatriated POWs Egypt Nov 1943 Photo: suppied / (Alexander Turnbull Library)

11:35 Stephanie Dowrick: Intimacy and Solitude

Stephanie Dowrick is a psychotherapist and interfaith minister who co-founded publishing house The Women's Press.

She has written several personal development books including international bestseller Intimacy And Solitude, which was first published around 30 years ago.

The title has now been updated to reflect a post-COVID experience of "...finding new closeness and self-trust in a distanced world".

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Photo: supplied

Books mentioned in this show:

Land: How the Hunger For Ownership Shaped the Modern World
by Simon Winchester
ISBN: 9780062938336
Published by HarperCollins

Intimacy and Solitude: Finding new closeness and self-trust in a distanced world
By Stephanie Dowrick
ISBN: 9781760879556    
Published by Allen & Unwin

Music played in this show

Song: Down time
Artist: Aaradhna
Played at 8:30

Song: Pareidolia
Artist: Buck Meek:
Played at 9:05

Song: Never Gonna Let You Die
Artist: Adeaze
Played at 10:30