This week, we get the scoop on the once-in-a-generation coronation of King Charles III, dive into what paying a ‘fair share’ of tax really means, visit one of the schools dining in on the Government’s free lunch programme, look at the stigma that still surrounds single parents, and Sharon Brettkelly touches down on Great Barrier Island to look at conservation efforts for one of our precious seabirds.

Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed.

King Charles III’s coronation: A day of pomp and glory

On May 6, King Charles III will be the 40th monarch crowned in London’s Westminster Abbey. 

It’s a ceremony steeped in traditions – some of them dating back a thousand years – but changes are widely anticipated as the King continues his bid to modernise the institution, and better reflect the United Kingdom – and Commonwealth – of today.

Sarah Robson talks to New Zealand Woman’s Weekly royal correspondent Donna Fleming.

Tax: Weighing up what’s fair and what’s next

The Inland Revenue Department’s report on taxing the rich – or the High Wealth Individuals Research Project to give it its official name – got a lot of backs up about how much tax the rich don’t pay

Revenue Minister David Parker. Photo: Lynn Grieveson

Alexia Russell talks to the NZ Herald‘s Wellington business editor Jenée Tibshraeny.

“David Parker is of the view that the tax system is not fair,” she says. “He would like to make it fairer and I think if he had his way, he would. But there’s always that view to balance with politics – and the politics of being re-elected. 

“What’s fair for one person might be different to what’s fair to someone else. Tax is inherently values-based and it is not clear cut. So you could just say ‘we’ll hand this issue over to some policy experts’ but that does not solve the issue because while you might come up with a beautiful policy that is efficient, simplistic and works, it might not be considered fair by some people.” 

Inside the government’s school lunches programme

All 650 pupils and teachers at Rowandale School in Manurewa eat the same meals – they are part of Ka Ora, Ka Ako, the government’s $130 million free school lunch programme.

Lunch is served at Rowandale School. Photo: Sharon Brettkelly

Started in 2019, the programme now reaches more than 222,000 students at 989 schools – about a quarter of all school students.

But with record food prices putting households under continued stress, some teachers and staff at Rowandale say the lunches should be provided to every child at every school – even the wealthiest.

Sharon Brettkelly pays a visit.

The single parent stigma that should be consigned to history

You would think that in 2023, the stigma of being a solo parent would be a thing of the past. 

But as a new report outlines, we are far from that. 

Photo: RNZ

The report, the Mako Mama Mangopare Single Parents Project, talked to 3500 single parents, and the authors say a fundamental shift is required in how the Government, businesses and society think about and engage with single parents. 

Alexia Russell speaks to one of the focus group’s participants, Emma Donnelly.

“I would ring up [the landlord] to find out where the property was and what time [viewings were],” she says, “and they would vet me. When they found out I was a single mum, they would tell me that the house wasn’t for me, and they’d refuse to tell me what time or whereabouts the viewing was. I couldn’t even apply for those properties.” 

Banding together to protect Aotea’s precious seabirds

As the last storm was hitting the top of the North Island and Jono Ridler was setting off on his record-breaking swim, a small group of conservationists were clambering through dense bush on Aotea Great Barrier Island in pouring rain and howling winds to check on endangered little black petrels.

Reaching into a burrow. Photo: Sharon Brettkelly

Its team leader Biz Bell’s 28th year on Hirakimatā, monitoring the petrel, or tākoketai, and it’s looking grim.

Climate change, pests, and other life-threatening forces put these manu at risk, but Bell is optimistic Aotea can be pest free and thinks the best hope so far is Tū Mai Taonga, a multi-million dollar, mana whenua-led project that aims to restore birdsong to the native forests.

Sharon Brettkelly is on the ground on Aotea Great Barrier.

The Detail’s Long Read: Come Together

This week, it’s Come Together by Eric Trump, published in North & South‘s May edition.

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

Is communal living a wiser use of resources and a counter to societal ills like loneliness? With the cost of both newly built and older homes rocketing and a lack of supply, proponents of shared or co-housing say it’s time to reconsider once-radical options.​

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Bonnie Harrison is a producer of The Detail.

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