Radio Show Explores Shark Science

Shark Odyssey: Michael Heldsinger hosts Murky Waters on OAR FM Dunedin.

Sharks are one of the most feared and misunderstood predators on earth. Over 400 million years of evolution a diverse group of species has emerged to become integral part of ocean ecosystems, and they are declining in numbers.

A new programme and podcast on OAR FM Dunedin seeks to explore the lives of these wonderful animals and to investigate the deep ocean, coral reef and estuary habitats they occupy.

Murky Waters is hosted by Australian shark scientist and self-described “everyday water-man” Michael Heldsinger, who is completing a Masters in Marine Science at University of Otago.

The aim of his research is to see whether marine reserves provide benefits for shark species in New Zealand. He using stereo-BRUVs (baited remote underwater stereo-video systems) in his research throughout Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Mr Heldsinger’s overarching passion in shark science is to understand the mechanisms behind human-shark interactions to help develop harmonious mitigation strategies.

He says he is on “an odyssey” to effectively research and communicate the plight of shark populations and their conservation with a focus on solutions, such as protected areas.

“A podcast and radio show is the perfect way to reach people. I’m surrounded by some really good shark scientists, people who are really passionate, so I’m able to talk to them about their research and help get the science out into the community.”

Do sharks sleep? What is their strongest sense? How do they reproduce? What’s their history? Do they have good eyesight? These questions and more are answered in an interview with Dr Sammy Andrzejaczek, a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University in California.

Another episode features a conversation with beach lifeguard and marine ecologist Kye Adams, who invented a shark blimp as a way of monitoring sharks to increase beach safety, while future shows will explore citizen science initiatives and fisheries practices.

Murky Waters airs every second Thursday at 3pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

New App Features Youth Podcasts

A new app developed in Dunedin is giving young people direct access to podcasts, video and live-streaming radio shows made by their peers.

OAR FM Dunedin recently celebrated the launch of its Youth Zone app when broadcasters joined thousands of people in the central city for Thieves’ Alley Market Day.

As well as hosting local entertainers on the Princes St stage, the station had a team of Youth Zone broadcasters on site to show marketgoers how to install and use the app on their mobile devices.

OAR FM Youth Coordinator Domi Angelo-Laloli said short videos made by people who downloaded the app on the day were quickly uploaded for sharing.

“It wasl a great way of capturing all the action and excitement of Thieves’ Alley Market Day, and for people to explore all the amazing features of our new app.

“We have some really inspiring young broadcasters involved in creating Youth Zone shows, podcasts and videos here in Dunedin, and the app will make all that great content easy to find and share.”

Development of the app ad had been made possible with funding support from Chorus and the GigCity Digital Community Trust. Young Dunedin people had been involved from the outset, contributing ideas for the app’s features at a series of workshops held in partnership with digital learning spaces Hive Dunedin and Hatch.

Otago Polytechnic School of Design staff and students had worked on the Youth Zone app design and build.

“It’s been rewarding for us to tap into local energy and skills to create the app, and important that we make something that was accessible and fun to use,” said Mr Angelo-Laloli.

“There are so many talented young people in Dunedin. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Youth Zone app for Android mobile devices is available from yznz.app and the Google Play store.

Podcasts Explore Wild Dunedin

A series of podcasts exploring our relationship with local wildlife is complementing the Wild Dunedin Festival that launches in Dunedin tomorrow.

Wild Dunedin Podcasts are the brainchild of Otago Museum science communicator Claire Concannon and University of Otago conservation biologist Jamie McAulay. The episodes air on OAR FM Dunedin and can be downloaded from the station’s website and several other podcast platforms.

Mr McAulay said the pair were “blown away” by last year’s Wild Dunedin festival and decided to seek the festival’s support to create an audio resource for this year’s events.

“We’re both big fans of well-produced podcasts where you can tell a story quite carefully, in a narrative kind of way. So we have a pretty open approach to how we do that, using sound effects, voice and music.”

University researchers and local wildlife experts had contributed to conversations over the six-episode series and had assisted with sourcing soundbites, such as bird and animal calls. Dunedin-based musician and educator Molly Devine had composed instrumental pieces for use as an ethereal backdrop to stories of the natural world.

Ms Concannon said there was a wealth of relevant knowledge that could be tapped into to promote interest in the flora and fauna of Dunedin. The podcast series and the Wild Dunedin festival were designed to encourage locals to better appreciate the “huge diversity at our doorstep”.

“The idea is to get the local community to fully embrace this incredible wildlife that’s around us, and also to understand what the wildlife needs from us so that we can share this space.”

Topics for Wild Dunedin Podcasts included migratory journeys, the work of Predator Free Dunedin, the prospect of southern right whales returning to Otago Harbour, sea lions of the Otago Peninsula, and the endemic plants and other “little things” often ignored.

Gecko smuggling would also get a mention, said Mr McAulay.

“We tell a story of why people are wanting to put these geckos in their undies and fly around the world with them.”

Wild Dunedin Podcasts air on Tuesdays at 3pm and Sundays at 6pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Podcasts are available HERE

Photo: Wild stories: Claire Concannon and Jamie McAulay host Wild Dunedin Podcasts on OAR FM Dunedin.

Election Coverage 2017

Child Poverty Election Candidate Forum

On Wednesday 23 August 2017 a General Election Candidates Forum on Child Poverty was held at Knox Church Community Hall, Dunedin.

The forum was organised by Connect South in partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers, Public Health Association of New Zealand and the Child Poverty Action Group.

Candidates to address the forum were: Metiria Turei MP (Green), Clare Curran (Labour), Paul Foster-Bell (National), Warren Voight (NZ First) and Lindsay Smith (The Opportunities Party).

The forum is podcasts in its entirety.


Dunedin Youth Debate

In this special broadcast we bring you coverage of the Dunedin Youth Debate held on Thursday the 31st of August at Otago Boys’ High School, organised by the Dunedin Youth Council.

In this debate, representatives from four political parties discussed issues relevant to young people in Dunedin.

We will hear from; Shane Gallagher (Green), Paul Foster-Bell (National), Clare Curran (Labour) and Abe Gray (The Opportunities Party).

For more information on the Dunedin Youth Council, check out their Facebook Page


Election Forum: Climate Change and Environmental Issues

In this special event broadcast we bring you coverage of the ‘Election Forum on Climate Change and Environmental Issues’, held at the Otago Polytechnic on Wednesday the 6th of September.

This event was organised by Sustainable Dunedin City and Chaired by Jinty MacTavish.

We hear from six representatives as they discuss their parties policies on environmental issues

Niki Bould – Green Party
Miriam Mowatt – Democrats for Social Credit
Lindsay Smith – The Opportunities Party
David Clark – Labour Party
Warren Voight – New Zealand First
Lachie Ashton – Conservative Party


OARsome Morning Show – 08-09-2017
Elections 2017 – Dee Vickers, Registrar of Electors

Tech Explainers

A new show on Otago Access Radio is shedding light on the often murky world of technology.

Tech Explainers is presented by self-confessed “geeks” Dan Faulknor and Mike Beattie. A shared interest in all things technological led to the friends pairing up to create podcasts for Mr Faulknor’s Interesting Radio website.

Mr Faulknor said the Tech Explainers series arose from a comment on an online forum, asking why there was little support available for those who were unfamiliar with the language used around the technology that people use every day.

“As tech people, we have a habit of not explaining things in simple terms. So this was a bit of a challenge for us, to talk about technology in a way that regular people can understand.”

The radio show, which included some content that was not available on the podcast series, was something the whole community could benefit from, he said. Topics for the first few editions included the Internet, Wi-Fi and GPS, while password security would be covered when additional research was completed.

“We’re really looking to our listeners to determine what subject we should cover, so on each show we put a call out for people to get in touch with their questions.”

Mr Beattie said the show was for people with curious minds.

“You might know that your computer hooks up to something in the wall that gives you access to web pages, news sites, the weather and your email. But what gets this stuff to us?”

He pointed to smart fridges as an example of the “Internet of Things”, the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. Grocery lists would be compiled and sent based on what items were detected as missing.

“That’s the future – more automation, delivery of things right to your door, things happening for you rather than you having to do it yourself.”

Tech Explainers airs every second Wednesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available fromwww.oar.org.nz. Questions can be emailed tofeedback@techexplainers.com.

Photo: Geek talk: Dan Faulknor (left) and Mike Beattie host Tech Explainers on Otago Access Radio.

Radio Show Profiles Peninsula People in Trust’s Golden Anniversary Year

The Otago Peninsula Trust’s 50th Anniversary year promises a golden opportunity to share the beauty, history and character of the peninsula, with a new radio series at the centre of the celebrations.

Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People launches on Friday 13 January, hosted by the Trust’s marketing manager Sophie Barker. The 50-episode series will feature conversations with people dedicated to preserving and enhancing the wildlife and attractions of Otago Peninsula.

Ms Barker, a self-described “peninsula girl”, said the time was ripe to reflect on the achievements of the Trust, which was formed in 1967 as the first charitable conservation trust in New Zealand.

“These were some keen young men and women who saw the potential for Dunedin in celebrating its heritage and developing opportunities for the visitor industry.

“Their first task was to save Glenfalloch, which was under threat of subdivision. But they were also interested in the wildlife on the peninsula and opened the first public access to view albatross, as well as working on viewing points for the yellow-eyed penguin. They had a huge number of ideas.”

The radio series would open with stories of the Trust’s earliest achievements and would include interviews with such stalwarts as Bill Dawson, who had volunteered his time with the Trust since its inception. Later episodes would explore more recent projects and include conversations with some of the school-aged children who were the “next generation” of the peninsula’s guardians.

“This series will be a really valuable resource. There are so many personal stories to tell, about people who care deeply for Otago Peninsula. We’re looking forward to sharing them on the radio show and through podcasts that can be listened to in your car or at home.”

The Trust’s attractions now included the Royal Albatross Centre, the Fort Taiaroa disappearing gun, Blue Penguins Pukekura, Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, Fletcher House and Tiki Tours. Visitors could expect some special anniversary deals and public events through the year, including an exhibition during April’s Wild Dunedin Festival and a garden party in October.

Those sharing a 50th birthday with the Trust in 2017 were line for some extra treats.

“We’ll be announcing some 50 percent discounts for various peninsula attractions, so people should check out the Otago Peninsula Trust website for news so everything we have planned.”

Peninsula People airs Fridays at noon and Sundays at 7.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from this webiste

Photo: Otago Peninsula Trust marketing manager Sophie Barker, host of Otago Access Radio show Peninsula People, with Trust stalwart Bill Dawson.

Oil Free Otago Takes To Airwaves

Oil Free Otago Radio – Wednesdays, 1pm

Local climate justice group Oil Free Otago has taken to the airwaves in an effort to inform the public about the impacts of ongoing deep sea oil exploration off our coast.

Oil Free Otago Radio, which airs on Otago Access Radio on Wednesdays at 1pm, is hosted by Rosemary Penwarden, who has been a spokesperson for the group since joining in 2011.

Ms Penwarden said Oil Free Otago was concerned about the lack of public information about oil exploration activity currently taking place, and about “misinformation and PR spin” that was creating confusion about what oil companies, Government and the Dunedin City Council had in store for the region.

“There are a lot of promises of prosperity and jobs, which, when you look closely, are very dubious,” she said.

“The other side of that is we have the skills, the people and the know-how right here in Dunedin to be a leading light in renewable energy and sustainability.”

Seismic surveying was of most immediate concern to the group.

“Right now, off our coast there are two very large, very powerful 3D seismic vessels ploughing through our ocean and sending 260 decibel explosions down into the seabed. It’s very scary, and we don’t know what damage they are doing to our sea creatures.

“We do know that we’ve got a very special part of the world here that is worth protecting. That’s a very big motivation.”

The radio show would feature interviews with experts in climate change science, including former University of Otago Energy Studies director Assoc Prof Bob Lloyd, as well as representatives of other local groups working towards a low-carbon future.

Oil Free Otago also hoped to introduce members of Seniors Climate Action Network (SCAN) to younger people keen to carry the torch on climate change issues.

“SCAN are very interested in passing on practical skills that will help us all adapt to the changes that are coming,” said Ms Penwarden.

“I’d love to bring some young people in and get them to tell the older ones what they need.”