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The week in detail: Volcanoes, elections, shipping and apples

every weekday, the details makes sense of the big news stories. This week on the podcast, we’ve covered what made the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano so explosive, why pulling products out of Russia isn’t as easy as it seems, and New Zealand’s role in Timor Leste gaining independence.Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed.

What we know about the Tonga eruption, four months on

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption in January devastated the Tongan community, with tsunamis and shock waves felt thousands of kilometers across the globe. Four months on, the scientific community is still figuring out what happened.

University of Auckland volcanologist Shane Cronin has studied the volcano for years and says the scale of the eruption was so supercharged, it led scientists to question what they thought they knew about its structure.

Traveling to Tonga to investigate, Cronin discovered the volcano’s caldera – the depression formed when a volcano erupts and collapses – was hundreds of meters deeper than expected.

“What’s happening is because there’s magma erupting out the top, the shallow part of the volcano starts to collapse in on itself … this fracturing allows the seawater to get in,” he says.

“We’ve got the perfect conditions for our very large explosion.”

Australian election: Is Scott Morrison’s time up?

It’s election day across the Tasman and Australians are trudging to the polling booths to cast their votes in this year’s federal election, one that’s being tipped to spell the end for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Coalition’s nine years in power, and the ascendance of Labor and its leader Anthony Albanese.

Scott Morrison addressing the crowd at the Liberal Party campaign launch. Photo: Getty Images.
Scott Morrison addressing the crowd at the Liberal Party campaign launch. Photo: Getty Images.

But New Zealand ex-pat and political scientist Ross Stitt says it’s not impossible for Morrison to stick it out.

“There’s no question that he is seen as untrustworthy, tricky, slick…but by the same token, when you see him campaign in person he seems to have more of a human touch than most of the recent Australian prime ministers have had, “Hey says.

“But there’s too much against him. His lack of popularity, particularly with women; criticism from his own colleagues; the problems with the cost of living and inflation; if he would win this election it would be a remarkable turnaround.”

Stitt takes the details through the issues, the personalities, the Australian voting system, and the impact the election night result will have on New Zealand.

Forgotten highway: Reviving a domestic coastal shipping service

It’s a good time to be in shipping. Demand is sky-rocketing, charter rates are high, and international vessels are scrambling to keep up amidst pandemic-era supply chain chaos.

Swire Shipping country manager Brodie Stevens at Ports of Auckland. Photo: The Detail/Sharon Brettkelly.
Swire Shipping country manager Brodie Stevens at Ports of Auckland. Photo: The Detail/Sharon Brettkelly.

So why do we only have one New Zealand-flagged ship sailing our domestic coastal route?

Co-host Sharon Brettkelly joins Swire Shipping country manager Brodie Stevens on a tour of the Ports of Auckland to discuss the increasing calls to build New Zealand’s domestic shipping fleet.

The complexities of pulling products from Russia

New Zealand has followed the lead of other Western nations in heaping billion dollar sanctions on Russia to decry its ongoing war in Ukraine. Global producers have fallen in line with boycotts, including Apple, McDonalds, and our own Fonterra.

File photo: Lynn Grieveson.
File photo: Lynn Grieveson.

the detailss Sharon Brettkelly revealed that New Zealand’s largest organic apple grower Bostock is still exporting its products to Russia.

It’s not illegal to sell food products to Russia, but the apple and pear industry has been backing off nonetheless; besides ethical concerns, there have been difficulties with shipping and processing payments with Russia due to international sanctions.

One grower, Freshco, stopped its Russian exports in March, taking a voluntary hit. Freshco partner John Mangan tells the details about the decision.

Twenty years on: New Zealand in Timor-Leste

May 20 marked 20 years since Timor-Leste declared independence following decades of violent conflict under Indonesian rule.

New Zealand troops arrive by helicopter in Timor-Leste. Photo: Supplied / NZDF.
New Zealand troops arrive by helicopter in Timor-Leste. Photo: Supplied / NZDF.

New Zealand played a significant role in establishing a stable democracy on the ground – but as former Minister for Foreign Affairs Phil Goff tells the details, our involvement was not always honorable. For years prior, both National and Labor governments failed to intervene to help the Timorese people.

“The invasion and the killings – it was a bit like Ukraine really, but this time the West chose to turn a blind eye,” says Goff of that time.

Major General (Rtd) Martyn Dunne recalls when New Zealand troops arrived in 1999 and the lasting bonds that were forged there.

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