The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin

The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin

News, opinion, analysis, lifestyle and entertainment – we’ve got your Sunday morning listening covered with The Sunday Session with Francesca Rudkin on Newstalk ZB.


July 14, 2024 5 mins

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore. I loved her previous novel Long Bright River which came out a few years ago, and now she’s done it again. The wealthy Van Laar family own a summer camp on their property, from which their teenage daughter Barbara disappears - sixteen years after her eight year old brother also went missing. How could one family lose two children in such a way? There are a lot of questions, as years of grief and my...

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Travel and photography go hand-in-hand - so how can you make the most of taking pictures on your trip?

Bloggeratlarge's Megan Singleton unveiled how to get the perfect landscape photo, all while utilising what your phone can do.

Read more of her tips here.


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This week on the Sunday Panel, producer and journalist Irene Gardiner and partner at Freebairn and Hehir Lawyers, Liam Hehir, joined in on a discussion about the following issues of the day - and more! 

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We're well and truly into winter now - which means we're more at risk of colds and other infections.

From sniffles to influenza to even Covid-19, everybody's looking for a solution to fight off seasonal illnesses.

Wellness expert Erin O'Hara recommends resting up and eating well to beat the symptoms of winter bugs.


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July 14, 2024 116 mins
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Lamb Neck Rillette

1kg lamb neck

1 onion, halved

1 carrot, peeled

½ bunch thyme

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 small lemon

1 cup water

1 tsp vegetable stock cube

1 cup parsley chopped

1 tbsp capers, chopped

Place the lamb neck into the pressure cooker with the rest of the ingredients and bring up to pressure. Turn down and allow to cook for 35 minutes.

Remove from the heat, de-pressure, le...

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Is the reason we have great wine today thanks to the dinosaurs going extinct?

That’s what scientists conclude in a paper published in the journal Nature Plants.

Humans have loved grapes for thousands of years, whether eaten fresh, dried as raisins, or fermented into wine. However, during the time of the dinosaurs, their large bodies knocked down trees, resulting in less dense forests than we see today.

After the dinosaurs went exti...

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The Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) kicks off at the end of the month, with plenty for Kiwis to check out.

Organisers have unveiled a full programme of feature films, documentaries and short films, leaving film fans plenty of options to choose from. editor Steve Newall unveils his picks here today.


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Bill Edgar's managed to make a solid living through working with the dead.

He made a name for himself as the 'Coffin Confessor' through gate-crashing funerals and carrying out associated requests left by the dying.

This brought him fame and admiration - and inspired him to write a b...

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Former US President Donald Trump was rushed off the stage at a rally in Pennsylvania after the sound of gunfire disrupted the event.

The Secret Service stepped in and whisked Trump into a car - with blood clearly visible on his face.

US correspondent Katherine Firkin says Trump is fine and being checked at a local medical facility.

"Interesting though - as his security tried to drag him off the stage, he seemed to protest for a mom...

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George Dodson has been named the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

The 22-year-old competed against six other regional finalists in the Grand Final in Hamilton, which wrapped up last night.

Their quick thinking, practical know-how and farming skills were tested across three days.

Dodson says he's finding it hard to find the words to describe how he's feeling.

"It's such an incredible competition with such a deeply-rooted history - so I...

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Australian actress Rachel Griffiths has touched down on our shores to help lead the nation's newest big TV venture.

Griffiths is an executive producer - and lead actress - in Three's new comedy series Madam, which managed to bring in some awards before airing on July 4.

The series sees a married woman in small-town New Zealand start an ethical brothel, following her husband's af...

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The Prime Minister has wrapped up his week-long diplomatic tour of the US - saying he’s achieved what he set out to do.

Despite the world media being focused on President Biden's suitability for the Oval Office, Luxon managed to work his way into some important discussions at the NATO summit.

NZ Herald political reporter Adam Pearse says Luxon met with several world leaders - and opened doors to possible future trade deals and addi...

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That's two wins in tight circumstances for the All Blacks in consecutive weeks to start coach Scott Robertson's All Blacks tenure.

The 24-17 win over England at Eden Park came with the side needing to turn around a four point deficit and the game swinging the tourists' way.

Former All Black and Sky rugby commentator Justin Marshall says the All Blacks had braced themselves for a tough rematch against England.


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Rising business costs and cash-strapped consumers have forced a number of Kiwi hospitality businesses to close their doors.

Auckland's SPQR recently closed its doors for good, following liquidators being appointed to the establishment.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says the last three years have been particularly challenging for the hospitality industry. 

"To be frank, we're still in a recovery position. You saw the impa...

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Ever had one of those weeks when things just go from bad to worse? We all have, right – so we can appreciate how bad things got for KiwiRail this week.

It was like watching an episode of Utopia or The Office as more details about the Aratere ferry grounding came to light. Then, to top it off, the Transport Minister refused to confirm or deny whether an advisory group has suggested KiwiRail no longer run the Cook Strait ferries. The...

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Knife River by Justine Champine: When Jess was 13 years old her mother disappeared, which is something she and her sister Liz struggled with for years. Now living in NYC, Jess receives a phone call one day to say that her mother’s remains have been found, which takes her back to the small town of Knife River where she grew up. She moves back into her childhood home where her sister has been living as if frozen in...

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Free airport wi-fi could cost travellers in other ways, as some unlucky users found out the hard way.

An Australian man has been arrested for setting up fake public networks to harvest people's data and steal sensitive information.

BloggerAtLarge writer Megan Singleton says people need to be cautious and not sign in via social media - and only check bank information on personal networks.


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This week on The Sunday Panel, Coast day host Lorna Riley and senior PR consultant at One Plus One Communications, Damien Venuto, joined in on a discussion about the following issues of the day - and more!

What did we think of Stuff's new Three News bulletin? Do we think more people will tune in?

Experts have voiced concerns with the Government's new plan for housing, with some claiming it will lead to Read more

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Dry July is here again, with Kiwis going alcohol-free for the month to examine their drinking habits.

Binge-drinking is a lingering part of Kiwi culture, and more and more people have felt inspired to step back to consider the health risks.

Naturopath and wellness expert Erin O'Hara says binge-drinking comes with short-term complications - and long-term risks of brain and liver damage.


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