8:10 Sister Helen Prejean: Fighting to end the death penalty

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean Photo: supplied / Scott Langley Photography

81 year old Roman Catholic Sister Helen Prejean is a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, and a spiritual adviser to men and women on Death Row.

The New Orleans-based Roman Catholic sister is best known as the author of Dead Man Walking, which was made into a film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

She is also the subject of a recent documentary, Sister.


8:40 Virologist Dr Chris Smith: Covid variant and vaccine news

Our regular commentator Cambridge University consultant clinical virologist Dr Chris Smith joins us with the latest Covid-19 science, and to answer your questions.

This week; a worrying new variant emerges in New York,  the latest on the UK variant at the centre of New Zealand’s community outbreak, should children get a vaccine, and a huge new study to look into “Long Covid”.

A health worker prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19.

Photo: AFP

9:05 Judy Belushi: The brilliance of John Belushi

Judy Belushi

Judy Belushi Photo: Supplied

The short but stellar career of the late comedian John Belushi is celebrated in a new documentary featuring previously unseen footage from those nearest and dearest to him.

Born and raised in Chicago, Belushi worked with the improvisational comedy group Second City before writing, acting and directing for The National Lampoon Radio Hour.

Working with the likes of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, he went on to find fame in the TV show Saturday Night Live and in films like Animal House, 1941 and The Blues Brothers which became a global hit.

Belushi died In 1982, aged 33, following a drug overdose. The documentary Belushi reassesses the late comedian's life and work in the words of colleagues, friends and relatives including Aykroyd, his brother Jim, Carrie Fisher, and Chevy Chase.

We speak to his high school sweetheart, and later wife, Judy Belushi, who also contributed to the film. Belushi is available now on DocPlay.com

9:35 Girol Karacaoglu: Public policy founded on love for future generations

How would we design, implement and evaluate public policy if it were based on our love for future generations?

This is the question at the centre of Dr Girol Karacaoglu's new book Love You: Public policy for intergenerational wellbeing.

Now the Head of the School of Government at Victoria University, Dr Karacaoglu was born in Turkey and studied in Hawaii, gaining a PhD in Economics and a Master's degree in Business Administration, before moving to New Zealand.  

He held senior roles in the banking industry and became chief economist at Treasury in 2012, before taking up his current role at VUW in 2016.

Girol Karacaoglu

Girol Karacaoglu Photo: Supplied

10:05 Emory Douglas: Black Panther artist marks Polynesian Panthers' milestone

Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas Photo: Supplied

Emory Douglas is an American graphic artist and member of the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s.

As a 'revolutionary artist' and the Minister of Culture for the BPP, Douglas created iconography to represent Black-American oppression and his work became symbolic of the movement.

He continues to create new art and to exhibit and lecture around the world.

He has been working with the Polynesian Panthers on their 50th Anniversary celebrations this year, and will collaborate on painting a mural to celebrate the links between the organisations as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

Educate to Liberate Panthers Mural_Credit Chris McBride, Tigilau Ness, Emory Douglas, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Toa Tahi Taihia and Numangatini Mackenzie

Educate to Liberate Panthers Mural_Credit Chris McBride, Tigilau Ness, Emory Douglas, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Toa Tahi Taihia and Numangatini Mackenzie Photo: supplied / (C)2012 {Chris McBride}, all rights reserved

10:35 Andy Stanford-Clark: Autonomous ship traces passage of the Mayflower

Andy Stanford-Clark

Andy Stanford-Clark Photo: Supplied

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is a grass-roots initiative lead by the marine research non-profit organisation ProMare and backed by IBM.

The MAS spends months at sea collecting data and providing information on issues such as global warming, pollution and marine mammal conservation.

The autonomous ship is now preparing for its big expedition - it will launch from Plymouth in the UK and trace the passage of the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts, spending six months gathering data about the state of the ocean.

Andy Stanford-Clark is chief technology officer for IBM in the UK.

11:05 Janja Lalich: how normal people end up in cults like NXIVM

NXIVM has been the subject of huge media and public interest, with documentaries such as The Vow and Seduced exposing how a company purporting to be a self development organisation became a manipulative criminal cult.

It was headed by Keith Raniere and it drew Hollywood celebrities and rich listers. Several of them are now in jail for sex trafficking, fraud and racketeering, and other offences.

How was it that ostensibly intelligent people gave themselves over to such an organisation?

Dr Janja Lalich

Dr Janja Lalich Photo: Supplied

Dr Janja Lalich is a professor emeritus in sociology who specialises in cults, extremism, and coercive influence and control and has spent decades helping people escape and recover from such manipulative groups.

She's the author of several books including Bounded Choice, Take Back Your Life : Recovering from cults and abusive relationships, and Escaping Utopia: Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out, and Starting Over.

She is the founder and director of The Centre for Research on Influence and Control.

No caption

Photo: Keith Raniere Conversations / Youtube

11:45 Thomas Monckton: From Patea to Helsinki - circus star returns to Aotearoa

Thomas Monckton is an award-winning physical theatre and circus performer originally from Patea, South Taranaki.

He trained at Christchurch circus school CircoArts, and the physical theatre school Lecoq in Paris.

He's returned to Aotearoa from his base in Helsinki for performances of The Artist, a solo a physical theatre comedy show he created.

You can see him in March as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, and in April at Wanaka's Festival of Colour, and  Dunedin's Arts Festival.

Thomas Monckton

Thomas Monckton Photo: supplied / Antti Saukko © 2017

Books mentioned in this show:

Dead Man Walking - The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate
By Helen Prejean
ISBN 9780679751311
Published by Vintage

Love you: public policy for intergenerational wellbeing
By Girol Karacaoglu
ISBN : 978-0-473-55789-8
Published by The Tuwhiri Project