8.10 Dr Ashley Bloomfield: nationwide Super Saturday Vaxathon kicks off

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield

Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

The country’s first ever ‘vaxathon’ is taking place today with the target of getting 100,000 eligible people vaccinated with either their first or second dose. 

The event has got communities around the country pulling out all the stops with icecream, rugby tickets and even free wax treatments on offer to lure people - and it all culminates with a telethon-like broadcast coming out of Avalon Studios in Lower Hutt, screening on multiple platforms including TV3, TVNZ2 and Māori Television.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield joins Saturday Morning to discuss the vaxathon.

Close up of teens girls in the shoulder with plaster on arm after vaccination in hospital

Photo: 123RF

8.20 Professor John Potter: why we can’t be complacent about living with Covid

Massey University Professor John Potter.

Photo: Supplied

With daily Covid case numbers climbing, there is mounting concern from health workers about the strain facing our ICU wards. But it’s not just the immediate hospitalisations that are a cause for worry, says Professor John Potter. He says if Covid-19 becomes endemic to New Zealand it could cause massive wider problems for the health system.

According to a new study from Oxford University, 37 percent of people were diagnosed with at least one long-Covid symptom 3-6 months after initial infection. Long-Covid symptoms are varied, but can include breathing problems, abdominal symptoms, fatigue, pain, anxiety and depression.

Potter is a Professor at the Research Centre for Hauora and Health at Massey University, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology at the University of Washington, and from 2016-2019 he was Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Ministry of Health.


8.35 Dr Charles Berde: algae-based pain relief to replace opioids

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Photo: Supplied

Researchers have long searched for an alternative to opioids for pain relief, with few results so far. But that might all be about to change. Dr Charles Berde and his colleagues have been working with teams in the US, Chile and New Zealand for more than 10 years to develop a local anaesthetic made from neosaxitoxin, an algae-derived pain medication with the power to replace opioids. With no known side effects or addictive properties, neosaxitoxin has the potential to revolutionise post-operative pain relief.

Dr Charles Berde is a senior associate in Pain Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. He will be the keynote speaker at the 78th Annual Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture on Tuesday 19 October. Register to attend online at cawthron.live

Algae similar to this magnified dinoflagellate could be the source of a powerful local anesthetic.

Algae similar to this magnified dinoflagellate could be the source of a powerful local anesthetic. Photo: Supplied


9.05 Meg Lowman: the arbornaut exploring the world’s eighth continent 

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Photo: Supplied

A global pioneer in the science of canopy ecology, Meg Lowman has been dubbed 'Einstein of the Treetops' by The Wall Street Journal. In other circles she is affectionately known as Canopy Meg.

Lowman invented one of the first treetop walkways and is considered one of the world’s foremost arbornauts — someone who explores the expansive forest canopies that comprise what Lowman describes as the Earth’s “eighth continent”.

A mix of memoir and fieldwork accounts, Lowman’s new book The Abornaut chronicles her story from nerdy tree climber to groundbreaking field biologist.

Meg Lowman on a canopy walkway in Peru

Meg Lowman on a canopy walkway in Peru Photo: Supplied


9.35 Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson: surviving menopause at work

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Jeanette Kehoe-Perkinson believes far too many successful women give up their jobs midlife because they find it too difficult managing the effects of menopause, as well as juggling work and family. And Kehoe-Perkinson should know: a few years ago she resigned from a top executive job after 12 months, on the tail of moving from the UK to New Zealand.

After her experience, Kehoe-Perkinson established Power Pause, a social enterprise that works with all sorts of organisations - from big banks to city councils - to help get policies in place so they can retain women through this time in life. She joins us ahead of the awareness-raising World Menopause Day on Monday. 


10.05 Playing Favourites with artist Lisa Reihana

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Multi-disciplinary artist Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi - Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū - Te Auru) is the Artist In Focus for the upcoming Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts. She will be bringing a series of her most celebrated pieces alongside new works to the Wellington region for the festival.

Among the works on display is the critically acclaimed in Pursuit of Venus [infected], which has travelled to London, San Francisco, Estonia, Taipei and further, but never to Wellington – until now. The large-scale video installation has just opened at Te Papa for a special extended festival season, coinciding with the release of the festival programme.

Reihana joins the show to discuss her work and play a few favourites.

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in Pursuit of Venus [infected] multi-channel video (still) Lisa Reihana Photo: Supplied


11.05 Julie Cohen: new film celebrates unlikely kitchen icon Julia Child 

With her unmistakable warble and towering figure, Julia Child was an unexpected icon of the kitchen. With her hugely popular show The French Chef, which aired from 1963 to 1973, Child changed the way Americans think about food, women and even television.

A new documentary from Betsy West and Julie Cohen — the directorial duo behind 2018 Ruth Bader Ginsberg documentary RBG — uses unseen footage of Child along with chef interviews and mouth-watering cinematography to tell the story of her surprising rise to cult sensation and champion of French cuisine.

Julia opens in New Zealand cinemas on 21 October.


11.35 Kate De Goldi & Susan Paris: Skinny Dip poetry collection for kids

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Rainy day lunch times, kapa haka practice, first crushes and classroom pets are all captured in Skinny Dip, a new poetry anthology curated by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris.

Keen to see more poetry published for young readers, the pair set about commissioning pieces from some of Aotearoa’s top contemporary writers including Renee Liang, Vanessa Mei Crofskey, Ashleigh Young, Sam Duckor-Jones and Victor Rodger. The result is a collection of 30 poems designed to appeal to readers of all ages.

Kate De Goldi works with children in schools throughout New Zealand, promoting reading and teaching creative writing. Susan Paris has edited the School Journal for 15 years, producing more than 50 journals.

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Books mentioned in this programme:

The Arbonaut
By Meg Lowman
ISBN: 9780374721022
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Skinny Dip
Edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris
ISBN: 9780995140769
Published by Massey University Press


Music featured on this programme:

Menopause Rhapsody
Shirley Șerban
Played at 9.35am

Elvis Presley
Played at 10.15am

Yothu Yindi
Played at 10.25am

He Taonga
Whirimako Black
Played at 10.41am

Deep in Vogue
Malcolm McLaren
Played at 10.49am

Get Paris Another Chance
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
Played at 11.30am

Get it 'Fore It's Gone
Pokey LaFarge
Played at 11.35am