Navigation for Sunday Morning

7:10 SpaceX rocket launch -- live from Florida 

The ground-breaking launch of a SpaceX rocket ship from the International Space Station was called off at the 11th hour during the week because of the danger of lightning. The second attempt at a launch takes place in a matter of minutes and we're joined on the ground in Florida by space reporter Joey Roulette.  

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken head to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA will try again on Saturday for the inaugural flight that will be the first manned US soil-launched mission since 2011.

Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images / AFP

7:18 Covid-19: Survey suggests Kiwis are being blasé

The 10th weekly report by Research New Zealand on the impact the Covid-19 virus is having on New Zealanders' lives has just been released, with results suggesting that one in three Kiwis are only occasionally listening to official advice and information, if at all. Research NZ managing partner Emanuel Kalafatelis joins the show to cover off the main findings. 

Glasses of rose wine seen during a friendly party of a celebration.

Photo: 123RF

7:24 Is this the end of Hong Kong? 

The Chinese parliament approved the controversial Hong Kong security law this week, sparking outrage which led to Hong Kong riot police arresting more than 300 people and firing pepper pellets in the CBD. Pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong believe this is the end for the semi-autonomous territory. Senior CNN producer James Griffiths is with us from Hong Kong with all the latest. 

Riot police in the Central district of Hong Kong on 27 May. Police fired pepper-ball rounds and arrested hundreds as they clamped down on protests against a bill banning insults to China's national anthem.

7.32 The House Photo: AFP

A weekly digest of the events in Parliament with Daniela Maoate-Cox and Phil Smith.

7:45 Calling Home: Laurence Larson in Taipei, Taiwan

Musician Laurence Larson has carved out a name for himself in China and Taiwan with his electronic C-Pop ballads that have garnered millions of views on social media. Originally hailing from Auckland, the 26-year-old writes his songs in a mix of Mandarin and English, and is about to release his new album. He's Calling home this morning from the Taiwan capital of Taipei. 

Laurence Larson

Laurence Larson Photo: Supplied

8:10 Tenor Simon O'Neill still upbeat despite losing a year's work 

Globally-acclaimed tenor Simon O'Neill had a whole year of work lined up around the world, and due to Covid-19 it is all on hold or cancelled, which means a complete loss of income. But despite that he has been enjoying spending time with his family and just being 'a normal Kiwi'. With the NZ Opera's cinematic production of Tosca being broadcast on TVNZ1 this weekend, O'Neill reminisces with Jim about one of his favourite roles of all time.

Simon O'Neill in Tosca

Simon O'Neill in Tosca Photo: Supplied

8:25 The Panel: Linda Clark & Richard Harman on George Floyd's death 

Recent politics -- both here and overseas -- and the death of George Floyd in Minnesota are on the agenda for this week's panel discussion, with guests Linda Clark and Richard Harman. Linda is a former broadcaster and is a partner with Dentons Kensington Swan law firm, and Richard Harman runs the Politik website, and was formerly in charge of TV shows like Agenda and The Nation as well as being chair of the parliamentary press gallery.

Protesters in front of the burning Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis, in a third day of demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd.

Photo: AFP

8:40 New blood est shows how quickly you are ageing

A new blood test has been developed to indicate a person's "pace of ageing", meaning it can estimate a person's biological age and help indicate whether they are more prone to develop chronic disease. While it may be a long way off from being commercially available, the blood test is simpler, faster and cheaper than using traditional biomarkers of ageing. Professor Richie Poulton from The Dunedin Study joins the show to tell us more.

A lab technician holding blood tube test.

A lab technician holding blood tube test. Photo:

8:50 Why aren't we encouraging more rain water harvesting? 

With water restrictions being placed on Auckland and Northland due to drought, should urban dwellers be storing rainwater for irrigation and non-potable use when the weather gets dry? Auckland Council's Water Strategist Andrew Chin joins the show to look at the available options and how the water use landscape could look in the future. 

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Photo: 123RF

9:06 Mediawatch

This week Mediawatch looks at the fight against a disease overshadowed by Covid 19 - and why readers aren’t happy about two magazines back on the market. But first: the new owner of the publisher Stuff wants her staff to have a stake in it. Is that a good idea?

Sinead Boucher

Sinead Boucher Photo: supplied by

9:38 3MM: Brad Olsen on building pipes, not pipe dreams 

Three Minutes Max, succinct opinions from New Zealanders on topics of their choice.  Here's Brad Olsen, Senior Economist at Infometrics, on investing in the foundations of New Zealand 

Cement pipes used for drinking water and sewage

Photo: 123RF

9:43 Professor Michael Baker answers your Covid-19 questions 

Public health physician from the University of Otago Wellington, Professor Michael Baker has been a constant and reassuring presence on Sunday Morning throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period. He returns to answer your questions and ours about the pandemic. Text your questions to 2101 or email 

Professor Michael Baker

Professor Michael Baker Photo: Supplied

10:06 Writing romance bestsellers from a Te Puke farm 

Covid-19 has ravaged many industries, but romance novel sales have been soaring through the lockdown period, including titles from Te-Puke based mother of four Joanne Wadsworth. Joanne has been writing romance since 2009 and her books feature on the New York Times and USA TODAY best-seller lists. 

Some of the titles by Kiwi romance novelist Joanne Wadsworth

Some of the titles by Kiwi romance novelist Joanne Wadsworth Photo: Supplied

10:40 Why do people freak out when they get lost? 

Fresh on the heels of one of the most successful search and rescue operations in recent New Zealand history, Professor Kenneth Hill -- a psychologist who has dedicated his career to studying how lost people behave -- discusses his decades-long research into why people lost in forest and wildlands react the different ways they do.   

Police Search and Rescue looking for Mr Davies.

[nocap] Photo: Supplied

11:05 'China is facing its own worst nightmare' 

While trying to convince the rest of the world that the Covid-19 crisis isn't all and only their fault, China is facing big decisions about choosing between its expenditures and economy and keeping its own people happy. Professor Jane Golley, an economist and director of the ANU's Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW), says this is China's worst nightmare. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a Chinese Lunar New Year reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a Chinese Lunar New Year reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: AFP

11:40 Why our brains want to believe certain things 

The human brain is pre-wired to accept certain types of explanations, no matter how wacky they might seem. And we're prone to endorse those beliefs that match up with the way our brains are made. Jim Davies is a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University and the author of Imagination: The Science of Your Mind's Greatest Power. 

69425127 - opening mind - conceptual vector illustration of cage in head with brain inside and hand opening it with key

Photo: 123RF