Navigation for Sunday Morning

7:10 Michael Baker: Wellington case identified gaps in system 

Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker from the University of Otago is back with us for a Covid-19 update. He'll discuss how the Delta variant slipped into the community from Australia, the issues we have with border workers and air crews, and whether Wellington -- and New Zealand -- has dodged a serious bullet this time around. 

University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker has won the 2020 Prime Minister's Science Communication Prize.

Photo: University of Otago

7:16 New drug billed as a 'game-changer' in obesity crisis 

A new weight-loss drug called Wegovy (semaglutide), which has been granted FDA approval in the US, is being heralded by some health experts as "groundbreaking," and a potential "game changer" in the growing epidemic of obesity. Professor Jeremy Krebs is an endocrinologist at the University of Otago's Department of Medicine. He joins the show to discuss the new so-called wonder drug. 

New drug billed as 'game-changer' in obesity crisis

New drug billed as 'game-changer' in obesity crisis Photo: World Obesity Federation

7:45 Calling Home: Steve Marshall in Chapel Hill 

North Shore native Steve Marshall lives with his wife Anna and children Aidan and Rowan in the US student town of Chapel Hill, where he works as a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, the nation's first public university and a global higher education leader. The campus draws people from all over the world, and Steve and his family love the cosmopolitan nature of the area. He's Calling Home this morning.  

 Anna Waller, Rowan Marshall and Steve Marshall in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Anna Waller, Rowan Marshall and Steve Marshall in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Supplied/Steve Marshall

8:11 How cardio health influences your coffee consumption

In a world-first study, University of South Australia researchers found genetic evidence that cardio health - as reflected in blood pressure and heart rate - influences coffee consumption. Lead researcher and Director of UniSA's Australian Centre for Precision Health, Professor Elina Hyppönen says it's a positive finding that shows our genetics actively regulate the amount of coffee we drink and protect us from consuming too much. She joins us to discuss.

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Photo: 123rf

8:22 'Suction and swallow tool' labelled instant cure for hiccups 

A new L-shaped drinking device is being heralded as an instant cure for hiccups, with 92% of 249 volunteers -- more than two thirds of whom said they had hiccups at least once a month -- who tested the device experiencing instant results. But is this new device, which retails for about NZ$20, any better than home remedies that people use when they have hiccups? Dr Rajshri Roy is a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Auckland. She discusses what brings hiccups on in the first place, and whether this now 'wonder straw' is likely to do what the makers claim. 

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Photo: Hiccaway Facebook

8:39 The Weekend Panel with Brigitte Moreton and Chris Wikaira 

Joining us on the Panel this morning are Brigitte Moreton and Chris Wikaira. Among other topics, they'll be discussing how Covid-conscious the capital is, the Dawn Raids apology, the proposed new hate speech laws, Laurel Hubbard going to the Olympics, and whether people sticking with 'New Zealand' over 'Aotearoa' could be considered racist. 

Masunu in Police Uniform taking a man away during the Dawn raids

Masunu in Police Uniform taking a man away during the Dawn raids Photo: Supplied by Vaafusaga Tupuola Masunu Tuisila

9:06 Mediawatch

This week Mediawatch looks at how our media reacted to a new Covid case in the capital - after so long without any cases in the community. Also  - the progress of the government's plan for a new public media organisation; more free-to-air sport ahead for viewers and listeners - and angst over sleaze on the small screen.

Wellington's Taranaki Street Covid-19 testing site on 24 June, 2021.

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

9:37 That stuck-in-your-head song is helping you remember 

It can be amongst the most infuriating experiences ever -- a dire tune gets stuck in your head and you just can't shake it. It's the worst. But every cloud has a silver lining. New research from UC Davis suggests these experiences are more than a passing nuisance. In fact, events like this play an important role in helping memories form. Petr Janata is a UC Davis professor of psychology and co-author of the new study. 

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Photo: cheschhh/123RF

9:50 The Great Resignation: nearly 40% of Kiwis looking for new jobs 

Texas A&M University's professor Anthony Klotz recently coined the phrase the 'Great Resignation' during an interview, predicting that people who stayed put during the uncertainty of the pandemic are now getting ready to jump ship. His comments have been backed up by a recent Microsoft study which found that 41% of the global workforce would consider leaving their employer within the next year, while in New Zealand, a study by Hays garnered similar results. Adam Shapley, managing director of Hays in New Zealand, is with us to discuss. 

A Hamilton woman says her ten year search for work has uncovered employers bad attitudes to disabled job hunters.

Photo: 123rf

10:04 Yulia returns to the stage: Edith Piaf à L'Olympia à Paris

Yulia was a rising star in the early 2000s, known for her crossover music of blending pop and opera. Now the multi-award-winning artist is making a comeback as she performs her own rendition of Edith Piaf's most powerful performances at the Auckland Civic Theatre on the 3rd and 4th July as a part of Auckland's 2021 live cabaret season. 

Yulia Townsend

Yulia Townsend Photo: Supplied

10:25 New Zealand Fast & Furious 9 star: 'None of this feels real' 

Christchurch native Vinnie Bennett landed the role of a lifetime to star as a young Dominic Toretto in the ninth edition of the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise, which premiered in theatres across New Zealand last month and had the highest-grossing opening weekend of any movie in the country over the past 18 months. The 28-year-old is currently in LA after attending the official premiere and joins us to discuss the film and his life after the whirlwind experience.

New Zealand actor Vinnie Bennett at the premiere of Fast and Furious 9.

New Zealand actor Vinnie Bennett at the premiere of Fast and Furious 9. Photo: Supplied/Vinnie Bennett

10:40 What impact does a conductor really have on an orchestra? 

Wellington's Gemma New is considered one of the brightest rising stars in the conducting world. Next month, she will conduct the next three New Zealand Symphony Orchestra concerts, but do they really need her there? Norman Lebrecht, the well-known UK musical critic, has written a recent piece claiming that the appointment of chief conductors has little impact on the performance and perception of orchestras. Gemma, who is the Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, joins the show to offer her thoughts on Lebrecht's musings and preview the upcoming NZSO season. 

Conductor Gemma New with the New Zealand Symphony

Conductor Gemma New with the New Zealand Symphony Photo: c Latitude Creative

11:05 The death-defying 'aerial queen' of flying trapeze 

Author Catherine Clarke's new book, The Only Living Lady Parachutist, tells the story of mysterious daredevil Lillian (aka Leila Adair), an unmarried mother of two who risked her life for fame and fortune by parachuting from hot air smoke balloons throughout New Zealand and Australia in the 1890s. Catherine is with us to talk about her new book and what drew her to this incredible story. 

Leila Adair in 1894 preparing for her ascent in Palmerston North

Leila Adair in 1894 preparing for her ascent in Palmerston North Photo: Palmerston North Library/Manawatu Heritage

11:35 The thriller writer who called the Covid-19 pandemic 

British thriller writer Adam Hamdy knows a thing or two about pandemics. Prior to becoming an author, he worked in the medical industry, developing expertise in pandemic response. Early in the current Covid-19 pandemic -- after seeing what was unfolding in Wuhan -- he took to Twitter to warn people of what was to come. Hamdy's new novel Red Wolves -- the second novel in the Scott Pearce series -- follows disgraced MI6 agent  Pearce as he uncovers a chilling plot to get Americans hooked on a synthetic opioid, and it has seen the writer go deep behind the scenes -- including visiting high-security prisons and meeting with far right groups -- in the name of research. He joins the show to discuss Red Wolves and how his own life experiences have shaped his writing. 

British author Adam Hamdy.

British author Adam Hamdy. Photo: Supplied/Adam Hamdy