Navigation for Summer Times 2020/2021


8:10 Bumper spend

You'll have heard the statistics on Boxing Day sales and very possibly been part of them - a whopping 11 percent increase on last year and that's following the biggest Black Friday spend up just a month ago. At the same time there was record demand for food parcels over the Christmas period. 

So is the big spend up a sign of prosperity and consumer confidence, or are more people going more heavily into debt?

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8:20 Southern Albatross

An extremely hot spring and summer meant the last breeding season was heartbreaking for all those involved in guarding the Royal Albatross colony at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head.

Only 13 chicks fledged. There is a silver lining though, with a record (check) number of more than 50 eggs laid this season, after many of the unsuccessful breeders from 2017/18 returned for another attempt.

Sophie Barker is the Royal Albatross Centre's marketing manager and she updates us on how the season's progressing and measures taken to reduce the impact of the next long hot summer on the precious albatross.

8:30 Catfish killers

Catfish have been here since the 1870s, plaguing our waters, stirring up sediment, eating up native fish and just being a general nuisance. William Anaru works with the Te Arawa Lakes Trust to try and stem the fishy tide. 

8:45 Secrets of the universe

The successor to the Hubble telescope, the $10 billion and counting James Webb Space Telescope, is designed to uncover the secrets of the universe when it is launched in 2021. It's the latest estimate for the world's most powerful space telescope that was initially due to be launched back in 2011.

Hubble telescope

Pictures captured by Nasa's Hubble telescope. Photo: NASA

Whenever it happens, Dr Megan Donahue can't wait - she is an American astronomer who studies galaxies and galaxy clusters, is a professor of physics and astrophysics at Michigan State University, and the president of the American Astronomical Society for the 2018-2020 term. She is fascinated by black holes, the gas that lurks around galaxies, and the lessons learned about galaxies by studying how they cluster. 

9:08 Beatrice Fihn 

Has New Zealand's nuclear free stance actually made any difference on the world stage over the past three decades? And is the nuclear threat at risk of being all but forgotten as the world focuses on climate change and global trade wars.

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Photo: Supplied

 Long time campaigner Beatrice Fihn is the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in bringing about the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  

9:25 Fire safety for 2019

Peter Gallagher is in from FENZ to fill us in on what we can do to reduce fire danger over the turn of the new year. 

The scrub fire over Wanaka consumed about 200 hectares before it was contained yesterday.

The scrub fire over Wanaka consumed about 200 hectares before it was contained yesterday. Photo: FENZ

9:30 Underwater Hockey 

We sent producer Robert Kelly to the pool to find out what's going on with Underwater Hockey in New Zealand. It's the first in a series looking a sports that have a low profile here but at which we're excelling at on the world stage. 

Under 18 Inter Regional Trials 2018

Under 18 Inter Regional Trials 2018 Photo: Robert Kelly

9:50 Tracy Neal 

It's time to check in on what's going on in New Zealand and today we're talking to RNZ's Tracy Neal in Nelson. I started by asking Tracy about the long build up to the new airport. 

The new design for Nelson Airport.

The new design for Nelson Airport. Photo: Supplied

10:05 Dan Slevin 

Every Friday morning on SummerTimes film critic Dan Slevin will share his thoughts on the new movie he's seen the night before. Today it's Aquaman and The Favourite.

Hawaiian actor, Jason Momoa

Hawaiian actor, Jason Momoa Photo: AFP

10:20 Youth Enterprise Awards

Introducing another SummerTimes series, interviews with young leaders in their diverse fields, from business and education to science and culture. We start by meeting finalists in the 2018 Young Enterprise Awards as they pitch for funding to their version of The Dragon's Den.     

Caitlin Joy

Caitlin Joy Photo: Supplied

We feature:

10:30 Choristers on Christmas Eve

For most people, things tend to ease up in the lead up to Christmas.

But for the country's cathedral choristers - many of whom aren't old enough to drive - a weeks-long crescendo culminates in the Midnight Mass service - one of the biggest, and most important of the year. We went to catch up with the choristers of St Paul's Cathedral to check in on how preparations are going, and to try to figure out why a 13 year-old kid would sign up for this. 

22828714 - sheet music for silent night, christmas song

Photo: 123RF

10:45 Aunty Dana's op shop

Continuing our series on volunteering, we head to Aunty Dana's Op Shop in central Wellington. Set up to support transgender communities by offering a safe environment, it's also home to a fabulous selection of donated clothing and accessories.

You'll hear from a couple of the volunteers and an enthusiastic shopper and learn about the transgender hero the op shop's named after.

11:05 Cargill's Castle

There are only two castles in all of New Zealand, and they're both in Dunedin. Most people will be familiar with the more illustrious of them, Larnach's Castle, with its immaculately kept grounds but the other, Cargill's Castle, sits in a state of regal disrepair. 

That's something the Cargill's Castle Trust is trying to fix. The Trust, which was formed in 1997, wants to restore the castle to its former glory and open it up to the people of New Zealand, and the world. 

11:20 Vintage car clubs 

Diana and Keith Humphries have seen more of New Zealand than most of us, and they've done so in style, driving their vintage cars.  In all weathers and over rough and smooth roads, vintage car touring is their joint passion.So is photography, just take a look at decades of  photos in our photo gallery.

11:50 T20 Cricket 

RNZ podcaster and cricket afficionado Zoë George joins us live from Wellington's Basin Reserve to talk a T20 double header.