The Week in Detail: Live exports, trouble in Gore

Every weekday, The Detail makes sense of the big news stories.

This week, Alexia Russell looks at the enduring relevance of Anzac Day, Sharon Brettkelly talks to two nurses who have downed tools in New Zealand for greener pastures in Australia, Tom Kitchin demystifies why New Zealand farmers import and export animals, and we look at the bad blood brewing at the Gore District Council.

Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed.


Anzac Day: Stories of war, loss, peace and discovery

First person – I take a tour with the museum’s director of collections and research David Reeves.

The Anzac Day dawn service at Auckland Museum in 2021. Photo: RNZ/Jordan Bond

We talk about how the stories of war are told, why there’s been a surge of interest in researching our war dead, and the horrific date that both our families have in common – 12 October, 1917. David’s great-uncle and my great-grandfather died on the same day, in the same battle, at Passchendaele on the Western Front – what is still New Zealand’s darkest day in military history. 


The nurses ditching NZ for a better life in Oz

It took Kiwi nurse Sandra McMullan more than 24 hours to get to her first job in Australia, and there was no one to meet her at the airport, but she cannot stop smiling.

Sandra McMullan with local kids in Bamaga. Photo: Supplied

This isolated town of 2000 mainly Torres Strait Islanders or Injinoo Aboriginal community members is exactly what McMullan was looking for, after spending most of her 35-year career as a primary care nurse in Ōpōtiki. 

“My big thing was I wanted the experience and I didn’t ever want a Sydney or a Gold Coast. My dream was to be in the indigenous areas, to be more rural, to be a part of a smaller community,” McMullan tells The Detail.

Sharon Brettkelly talks to McMullan and fellow expat nurse Nikki Campbell about their experiences in Australia and why they’re not sure they’ll come back to New Zealand.


Stock trading: Why NZ farmers import and export animals

New Zealand’s agricultural sector has an image to uphold – internationally, our farmers and livestock have a top-class reputation.

“The advantage we have is we maintain a very good disease-free status in our livestock,” Lincoln University professor of animal breeding and genetics Jon Hickford tells The Detail.

“Our sheep and our cows don’t have diseases seen commonly elsewhere in the world. That places a premium on our livestock.”

He says the basis of the livestock trade these days is genetics – to improve breeding, both within New Zealand and offshore.

Tom Kitchin speaks to Hickford and Waikato dairy farmer David Fullerton about the export market in our livestock industry, and why live exports are so divisive.


Gore grief: The trouble at the Gore District Council

Country music and brown trout are the two big things that make Gore famous.

That was until six months ago, when 23-year-old Ben Bell was voted in as the country’s youngest ever mayor.

Gore Mayor Ben Bell. Photo: Supplied

Now it’s a dysfunctional council the Southland town is associated with, and a rift so wide between the two top bosses – the mayor and the chief executive – that they’re not speaking to each other.

Sharon Brettkelly and RNZ Otago-Southland reporter Tim Brown break down the saga.


The Detail’s Long Read: Counting the Beats

This is The Detail‘s Long Read – one in-depth story read by us every weekend.

This week, it’s Counting the Beats by Garth Cartwright, published in North & South‘s May edition.

You can read the article, with accompanying photos, in North & South.

Meet Grant Gillanders, the man painstakingly working his way through New Zealand’s entire popular music back catalogue — and reissuing rare sounds which would otherwise be forgotten.


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