From explaining Russians’ support for their strongman leader Vladimir Putin to the on-going clean-up in the flood-hit East Coast town of Tokomaru Bay, it’s been a busy week on The Detail. Catch up on any episodes you might have missed.
Behind the story: David Farrier on Arise Church
Since journalist David Farrier’s bombshell reporting on Arise Church dropped earlier this month, more and more ex-members have come forward alleging emotional and physical abuse and exploitation at Aotearoa’s biggest mega-church.
No one from Arise has been interviewed in the media, but it’s issued a statement acknowledging “the hurt and pain that continues to be expressed”. Two independent reviews are underway and lead pastor John Cameron has ‘stepped away’ from the church.
The Detail‘s Emile Donovan caught up with Farrier about his journey reporting the saga on his platform, Webworm.
“If you are pastoring 10,000 people, that comes with responsibility. If you’re pastoring 10,000 young people, I’d argue that comes with more responsibility,” Farrier says.
Explaining Putin’s grip on power
We’re nearly three months into Russia’s war on Ukraine.
From here in New Zealand, it’s hard to understand why so many Russians would continue to support Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Western world has cut off all trade ties, Russian media is being strictly controlled, and evidence of the torture and killing of Ukrainian civilians continues to pile up.
The Detail‘s Alexia Russell speaks to University of Otago PhD student Onat Isik, who explains the Russian mentality that has roots all the way back in the ninth century, when fear of invasion stoked a culture of undying faith in a supreme leader.
Tokomaru Bay: The town that keeps on flooding
The Detail‘s Sharon Brettkelly is on the East Coast of Te Ika-a-Maui for a kōrero with the people of stricken Tokomaru Bay.
The township was hit by three massive floods in nine months, causing state highways and bridges to collapse and damaging whānau homes. The government’s promised $175,000 for flood relief, but the community working on the ground says it won’t be enough.
More than anything, they want action where it counts. The bay’s precious kaimoana has been destroyed by silt. The rugby field is awash with it, too, with an important match not far off. Several much-loved businesses have been hit with the fatal red sticker, and that means job losses – like publican Paul Kennedy, who had to leave Te Puka Tavern.
“There’s no-one on the coast who wasn’t affected by this,” he says. “Not a soul.”
The cameras watching over us
When you’re out and about walking the dog, waiting for the bus, or catching up with friends, you might just be being watched.
There are more than 10,000 publicly funded CCTV cameras operating across Aotearoa, RNZ In Depth data journalist Farah Hancock has revealed.
Local councils and government departments are forking out millions of dollars on CCTV surveillance, mostly for security reasons. This week’s brazen mall ram raids were all captured on camera, and it was CCTV footage that was essential in bringing Grace Millane’s killer to justice.
But Hancock’s investigation shows that crime rates in CCTV zones aren’t going down – if anything, they’re going up. Is the expense and the invasion of privacy still justified if it’s not keeping us safe?
Join Hancock and co-host Sharon Brettkelly for a stroll down the bustling Fort Street in central Tāmaki Makaurau, where more than 21 cameras watch their every move.
Find out how to listen and subscribe to The Detail here.