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Wednesday 19 February 2020
On today’s show
09:05 Small electricity retailers celebrate end of win-backs
Small electricity retailers are celebrating after the decision of the Electricity Authority to ban the practice of offering better deals to customer who switch to a rival. The Electricity Authority's move follows a recommendation in last year's electricity price review that so-called win-backs should not be offered to customers within 180-days of them leaving. The review found the counter-offers hampered competition in the market generally, and stopped smaller retailers from expanding. Kathryn speaks with Rob Bernau, Electricity Authority General Manager of Market Design and Luke Blincoe, Chief Executive of Electric Kiwi.
09:20 Banks megaprofits fall slightly after record highs - disruption cited
After years of seemingly unstoppable growth, banking sector profits have fallen slightly, but New Zealand banks still made $5.71 billion in 2019. That's down from $5.77 billion. In 2017 and 2018 bank profits rose by 7.35 per cent and 11.21 per cent respectively. The report highlighted the disruption that fintech (the technology that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial service) is creating in the banking sector. The figures come from from KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey for 2019. KPMG's head of banking and finance is John Kensington. 2018 was a record for the sector, and prompted more questions over whether bank profits are fair.
09:45 Virus evacuation, MPs' citizenship woes return
Australia correspondent Karen Middleton joins Kathryn to discuss the evacuation of Australians and some Kiwis from the coronavirus-ridden Diamond Princess ship in Japan. She'll also look at the issue of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's possible dual citizenship, why Coles is accused of wage theft and an investigation into how a 3-year-old boy came to be left on a minibus outside a school, resulting in his death.
10:05 Aerial circus Place des Anges
The French aerial circus Place des Anges which is preparing to soar above Auckland's domain next month, encouraging the audience to look skyward and form a new relationship with a familar place. Meaning "place of the angels" - the performance is part art, dance, circus, alpinism and engineering, and finishes with one tonne of white feathers raining down on the crowd. Kathryn speaks with Artistic Director Stephane Girard and one of the 16 angels Jane Huxley who, at 54, is the the oldest aerial artist in the company.
10:35 Book review - The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith and Mat Tait
Leilani Tamu reviews The Adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith and Mat Tait, published by Allen & Unwin.
10:45 The Reading
Dan Alone by Tanya Ashcroft read by Peter Hambleton.
This week's readings are part of Page Numbers, from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University Wellington and the University of Auckland.
11:05 What to expect from WOMAD
Music 101 host Charlotte Ryan looks at three artists who are featuring at Womad this year. The three-day music, arts and dance festival runs from March 13 to 15 at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth's Pukekura Park.
11:20 Author Maria Gill awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal
Maria Gill is a prolific writer of books for young New Zealanders, and her efforts have earned her one of this country's highest literary honours for children's writing. Maria Gill has penned more than 60 books, articles and short stories, many of them non-fiction works with a strong focus on New Zealand history and the environment. Her latest book, Ice Breaker, is about the Antarctic expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton on the Endurance - captained by New Zealander Frank Worsley - and how it turned into a race for survival when the ship became trapped and wrecked by the ice. She joins Kathryn to talk about what winning this year's Margaret Mahy Medal means for her.
11:45 Art you can tramp to
Cherished for its national parks and great tramps, surely if anywhere in the world might get a reputation for public art you have to walk to it would be New Zealand. Over the summer arts commentator Mark Amery has been checking out just such art, including the work of West Coast duo Kemi and Nico who for the New Zealand Festival 2020 have placed a series of bespoke ’Urban Huts’ in discreet bush locations on the Kapiti Coast. It all started for Mark with an encounter with a public artwork tramping with his family in the Tararuas in January. He’d hoped to reach this work by Billy Apple, marking the centre of New Zealand on a tramp that is marked ‘difficult’, but by nightfall had stumbled on the rogue anonymous work pictured above (any information as to the artists who put it here please email us). In our visual arts slot Mark also talks briefly about another public art trend that seems tailormade for New Zealand in summer, the mobile art gallery with the appearance in a truck in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington of the Nomadic Art Gallery (also pictured), a project that sees Christchurch’s The Physics Room go to the beach at New Brighton - Silvercity, an installation by Mark Schroder - and Performance Arcade on Wellington’s waterfront.