This week, the investigation into a three year old’s death in Gore, the Pacific teams looking to make their mark on the Rugby World Cup, a multi-national defence operation aimed at illegal fishing in the Pacific, how police are adapting to a new era of crime, and sports commentators share their insights into the big job of calling games.

Whakarongo mai to any episodes you might have missed.


Quest for answers over three year old’s death

Years of effort to solve the mystery of the death of a toddler in Gore have taken two major steps in the past two weeks with the police ordering a review of their investigation and the coroner ordering an inquest.

Three-year-old Lachie Jones was found dead in a sewage pond near Gore in January 2019.

Lachie Jones was only three years old when his body was found floating in an oxidation pond in Gore. Photo: Supplied/Newsroom

The police said he had drowned accidentally with no suspicious circumstances after wandering off from his home, but his father, Paul Jones, refused to accept the finding and has doggedly challenged the police work.

“Like anybody who feels like there hasn’t been a proper investigation, people can fight very long and very hard if they can’t get some sort of answer to the questions that don’t seem to be being answered ,” says Melanie Reid, Newsroom‘s investigations editor.

Reid and Newsroom colleague Bonnie Sumner made The Boy In The Water podcast series and have written extensively on the many twists and developments.

Reid joins Sharon Brettkelly to break down the case, and her own investigation.


Our Pasifika Rugby World Cup teams

Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, the three Pacific Island nations in this year’s Rugby World Cup, may have a chance of going further than they have ever gone before.

Vinaya Habosi of Fiji scores the team’s second try during the Summer International match between England and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London. Photo: Getty Images

Ranked seventh, 12th, and 15th respectively – despite all the promise, fandom and hope, these Pacific nations have struggled to get the resources they need.

But support for the teams in New Zealand and across the Pacific is booming.

Tom Kitchin speaks to RNZ Pacific sports journalist Iliesa Tora and a range of fans about the teams and their chances.


New Poseidons zoom in on illegal fishers

“Diplomacy, geo-politics and fish.”

RNZ Pacific editor Koroi Hawkins sums up the Forum Fisheries Agency, the organisation tasked with keeping a close eye on a fishing fleet spread across a vast area of the Pacific Ocean. 

And New Zealand’s fisheries officials and Defence Force play a big part in helping with this massive job – documenting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, or IUU. 

On The Detail today we’re looking at the hands-on reality of the job, going on board the HMNZS Taupo – recently returned from a mission around Samoa’s exclusive economic zone – and talking to the Air Force’s 5 Squadron, just back from patrolling 18.2 million square kilometres of open seas. 

Alexia Russell speaks to Hawkins, Royal New Zealand Air Force squadron leader Stephen Graham and Flight Lieutenant Stuart Glendinning, and the Navy’s Lieutenant Samara Mankelow.


Policing in a new era of crime

Two new models for nationwide policing are being rolled out as the force adapts to soaring rates of assaults on officers, and an upswing in call-outs that fall into the jurisdiction of mental health, not crime. 

‘The environment’s changed dramatically over the years and that change, and the level of risk to officers, has increased dramatically in more recent years.’ Photo: Lynn Grieveson

“The environment’s changed dramatically over the years and that change, and the level of risk to officers, has increased dramatically in more recent years,” says Police Association president Chris Cahill.

“We had over 2000 officers assaulted last year … nearly 500 of those were physically injured because of those assaults, some of them were very serious assaults.” 

Jessie Chiang speaks to Cahill and to Superintendent Kelly Ryan, director of the Frontline Safety Improvement Programme, about the changes being made to how policing is done.


The most privileged chair in sport

Surely no one is more of a sports fanatic than the fast-talking fan who makes it their job. 

“This team is representing its country, but the players are representing their families. It’s really crucial that the historical document of that match – of that player’s career – is accurate,” says rugby commentator Scotty Stevenson. Photo: Getty Images

As the Rugby World Cup kicks offThe Detail talks to three sports commentators about what they do, how they got their starts and the perks and peaks of the job.

TVNZ rugby commentator Scotty Stevenson, Sky netball commentator Jenny Woods and tennis commentator Matt Brown speak to Alexia Russell.

Long Read: What happened to Wellington – Live?

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

One user said there was a “severe lack of quality in their reporting … posts are often now increasingly political, sensationalist, very cryptic, very anti-cyclist.” Photo: The Spinoff

This week, it’s What happened to Wellington – Live? written and read aloud here by Janhavi Gosavi and published on The Spinoff.

Wellington – Live began in 2015 as a Facebook page for important notices about Wellington and its people. In 2021, the page was taken over by a new owner, and many followers aren’t happy with the changes they’ve seen. Janhavi Gosavi investigates.


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