Navigation for Sunday Morning

7:10 Grant Robertson on Covid-19 crisis and new border measures 

Finance minister Grant Robertson joins us first this morning to discuss the drastic new border restrictions imposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday -- effectively closing New Zealand's borders -- in reaction to the unfolding Covid-19 health crisis. 

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Photo: RNZ / Yvette McCullough

7:19 Kiwis' Italian honeymoon from hell ends in self-isolation 

Christchurch woman Therese Mitchell has just touched down at Auckland International Airport after a harrowing experience in Italy as part of a New Zealand tour group with the TripADeal company. Worse still, it was her honeymoon. She is about to return home to Christchurch, where she will be self-isolating for the next 14 days. 

New Zealander Therese Mitchell in Italy.

New Zealander Therese Mitchell in Italy. Photo: Supplied

7:45 Calling Home: Kim Brice in Bangkok 

Kim Brice's second stint in the Thai capital began in 2017, when he and his Thai partner Gap and their cat Milo returned to Gap's homeland from Nelson so he could help his mother run their family restaurant. Kim's technically Calling Home from Bangkok but this morning we find him in the seaside resort town of Hua Hin. 

8:41 Kiwi professor warns Covid-19 mortality rate could be '20 or 30 times worse than flu' 

New Zealander Gary McLean is a Professor of Immunology at the London Metropolitan University. He joined us last week to discuss the Covid-19 outbreak and his work trying to find a cure for the common cold. Seven days later, he says the news on the Covid-19 front continues to be a lot less than promising. In fact, he says this outbreak is unlikely to peak for another 12-14 weeks.

Gary McLean

Gary McLean Photo: Supplied

9:06 Mediawatch 

There’s been lots of coverage right across the media this week commemorating the attacks in Christchurch a year ago - but not everyone wanted it. Mediawatch asks reporters and editors if the balance and tone was right. Also: how local media reflected rising anxiety over COVID-19.

Farid Ahmed giving his eye witness account to Newshub's Thomas Mead on Friday.

Farid Ahmed giving his eye witness account to Newshub's Thomas Mead on Friday. Photo: screenshot

9:37 Widow shares journey of healing after Christchurch mosque attacks

New podcast Widows of Shuhada shares the journey of four Muslim women widowed by the Christchurch mosque attacks that took place on 15 March 2019. Speaking from Jordan, Farah Talal talks  to Jim about life after losing her husband Atta, and Christchurch-based podcast creator Lana Hart discusses the making of the series.

Atta Elayyan is survived by his two-year-old daughter, Aya, and wife Farah Talal, who says "I feel like I became homeless and he used to be my home."

Atta Elayyan is survived by his two-year-old daughter, Aya, and wife Farah Talal, who says "I feel like I became homeless and he used to be my home." Photo: Photo / Janneth Gil

9:55 3MM: Dai Henwood reflects on 25 years of Warriors fandom

The country's first professional rugby league team, the Auckland Warriors, played their debut match 25 years ago this week. The team, captained by Dean Bell, went head-to-head with the Brisbane Broncos on 10th March 1995 at Mt Smart Stadium in front of 30,000 fans - not to mention the hundreds of thousands watching on television. Comedian and Warriors mega-fan Dai Henwood reflects on the highs and lows of a quarter century of Warriors fandom as the team celebrates this milestone.

Warriors mega-fan Dai Henwood at the 2011 Grand Final in Sydney.

Warriors mega-fan Dai Henwood at the 2011 Grand Final in Sydney. Photo: Supplied

10:04 Professor Michael Baker answers your coronavirus questions 

In the light of the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday that from midnight tonight every person arriving in New Zealand will have to isolate themselves for 14 days, public health expert Michael Baker returns to the show to answer your questions about Covid-19. Email us at 

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Photo: RNZ/Philippa Tolley

10.25 Bringing New Zealand's lost wonders back to life 

Author Sarah Ell's new book Lost Wonders: Vanish Creatures of Aotearoa is an all-ages introduction to the vanished creatures of Aotearoa New Zealand, from the long extinct species to those now on the brink. Sarah joins the show to discuss her new book, why she believes the South Island kokako is not actually extinct, and why we shouldn't be eating whitebait in restaurants. 

Author Sarah Ell

Author Sarah Ell Photo: Will Calver

11:05 New Zealander Angus Vail on the NYC coronavirus threat 

Former INXS business manager Angus Vail is no stranger to Sunday Morning, having featured on the show last year when he helped organise a US fundraiser for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks. He lives in Jersey City, just across the river from the World Trade Centre, and is with us to look at the coronavirus outbreak impact in NYC, where a state of emergency was declared on Thursday evening.  

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 09, 2020 in New York City. As global fears from the coronavirus continue to escalate, trading was halted for 15 minutes after the opening bell as stocks fell 7 percent.

Photo: 2020 Getty Images/AFP

11:12 3MM: Robert Griffiths on keeping Latin alive 

Now it's Three Minutes Max, New Zealand commentators with succinct opinions. Here's Latin teacher Robert Griffiths on the importance of keeping what some consider a 'dead' subject alive.

A Latin class at Wellington College.

A Latin class at Wellington College. Photo: RNZ / John Gerritsen

11:17 Pell legal case 'the most spectacular in Australia since Lindy Chamberlain' 

Australia's top court has reserved its ruling on whether Cardinal George Pell's bid to quash his sexual abuse convictions has been successful.Jeremy Gans is a Professor in Melbourne Law School, where he researches and teaches across all aspects of the criminal justice system. He's with us to analyse the appeal.

Australian Cardinal George Pell (C) is escorted in handcuffs from the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne on August 21, 2019.

Photo: AFP

11:30 Kiwi forced to close the gates at Bethlehem University  

New Zealander Brother Peter Bray is the Vice Chancellor and CEO of Bethlehem University, the only Catholic university in the Holy Land. He joined the show earlier in the year to share his fascinating story. On Thursday, he was forced to send out a notice to say the university will be closed until further notice due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with Bethlehem itself now also in lockdown.  

Brother Peter Bray, Manger Square, Bethlehem

Brother Peter Bray, Manger Square, Bethlehem Photo: Supplied

11:37 Comedian Stephanie Laing brings her Butterfingers to Fringe 

English stand-up comic Stephanie Laing falls down... a lot. But she always gets herself back up again. And then sometimes falls down again. Stephanie's back in Wellington to perform her new show, Butterfingers, at the New Zealand Fringe Festival. She joins the show to discuss her current show and the power of comedy.

Stephanie Laing

Stephanie Laing Photo: Supplied

11:48 Former All Black Kieran Crowley in Italian coronavirus lockdown 

New Zealand rugby coach Kieran Crowley is living in a state of lockdown in the northeast Italian province of Treviso, where he coaches the area's professional rugby side, Benetton Rugby. The former All Blacks fullback and selector is with us to discuss how the coronavirus outbreak has changed life in Italy. 

Kieran Crowley, head coach of Italy's Benetton Rugby team.

Kieran Crowley, head coach of Italy's Benetton Rugby team. Photo: NPHO/Ryan Hiscott