Black Sheep

Black Sheep

2023 NZ PODCAST AWARDS - PODCAST OF THE YEAR (GOLD) The shady, controversial and sometimes downright villainous characters of New Zealand history, presented by William Ray.

Episodes

July 7, 2023 53 mins
From the 1840s onward, Frederick Maning would become an increasingly bitter and angry man who demonised Māori who opposed colonisation. So what explains this radical transition from a romantic early Pākehā settler? RNZ's Black Sheep podcast investigates.
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Frederick Maning was one of the first Europeans to settle in Aotearoa, he married a high-ranking Ngāpuhi woman, and wrote two books filled with romantic anecdotes of his time living alongside Māori. So why did so many of his private letters express such violent, racist attitudes towards Māori? RNZ's Black Sheep podcast investigates.
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In the 1910s, Hjelmar Dannevill wowed high society with gripping tales of adventure as a medical researcher and journalist. But suspicions over her fantastical stories and insistence on wearing men's clothing saw her locked up as a German spy during WWI. RNZ's Black Sheep podcast investgates the mystery of "Dr" Dannevill.
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June 16, 2023 52 mins
In 1935, a series of extraordinary newspaper articles claimed a backyard inventor called Victor Penny was trying to build a Death Ray for the New Zealand government. But were these claims true? RNZ’s Black Sheep podcast investigates the mystery.
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Dr Alfred Newman may be the most notorious scientific racist in New Zealand history. His 1882 paper "A study of the causes leading to the extinction of the Māori" was so extreme that it scandalised not just Māori, but also New Zealand's wider scientific community. So what can Newman's story tell us about the history of scientific racism in Aotearoa?
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In the second of a two-part episode on Charles Mackay Black Sheep investigates the mysteries surrounding the Whanganui Mayor's attempted murder of D'Arcy Cresswell - a former soldier who threatened to out the Mackay as homosexual if he didn't resign the mayoralty. 
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For more than 50 years the name of Mayor Charles Mackay was all but forbidden in Whanganui. In 1920 Mackay shot a man through the chest after he threated to expose the mayor's homosexuality. RNZ's Black Sheep podcast investigates the downfall of Charles Mackay, and how his story is being reevaluated in modern New Zealand.
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May 17, 2023 3 mins
RNZ multi award-winning podcast Black Sheep returns on May 26th with a new cast of mysterious misfits, violent villains and controversial characters. 
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When flamboyant orchestra conductor Eric Mareo was convicted of murder for a second time, the judge raised grave concerns about the verdict with the Attorney General. So, did 1930s prejudice and sensationalist media sentence an innocent man to death?
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Kiwis rose to their feet and cheered when the flamboyant orchestra conductor Eric Mareo was found guilty of murdering his wife in 1936. But 85 years later, the verdict seems less certain. Was justice done? Or was Mareo an innocent man? RNZ's Black Sheep podcast investigates.
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George Wilder is an accidental folk hero. He never sought the spotlight, but his three escapes from prison in the 1960s made him a national sensation. Black Sheep investigates his story.
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In 1863 half the population of a small Tongan island called 'Ata boarded a ship captained by Thomas McGrath. They were never seen again. In this episode, Black Sheep investigates the story of a slave raid which destroyed a small civilisation.
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In the second of Black Sheep's two part episode on Sir George Grey, Aotearoa is launched into the worst conflicts of the New Zealand Wars. For more on the Waikato War, watch and listen to Stories of Tainui.
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Sir George Grey led Aotearoa into some of the worst conflicts of the New Zealand Wars. But at the beginning of his career many saw him as a defender of indigenous rights - including some Māori! So... What happened?
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April 14, 2021 1 min
Black Sheep returns for a Sixth Season!
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August 31, 2020 56 mins
Minnie Dean must rank as one of New Zealand's most infamous figures. The only woman to be judicially executed in New Zealand history. For years she was portrayed as a cold-blooded killer who murdered babies for cash. More recently, attitudes towards Minnie have shifted, but she's still a controversial and complex figure. Black Sheep dives into the story of the baby farmer of Winton. 
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The case breaks wide open, two key witnesses come forward with critical information. But the most interesting part of the Bassett Road murders is what happens after the conviction...
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It's 1963 and two bodies are found in a house at Bassett Road in Remuera. Detectives are shocked to discover they were killed by a submachine-gun. Newspaper headlines read "Chicago Comes to New Zealand". Black Sheep investigates a true crime story that scandalised New Zealand
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August 10, 2020 48 mins
Flora MacKenzie is one of the most colourful characters in New Zealand history: A hard drinking, hard talking brothel owner from the 1960s and 70s who won the affection of sex workers, police and punters alike. In this episode of Black Sheep, we look at the legend of Madam Flora
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August 2, 2020 43 mins
Between the 1960s and late 2000s Stewart Smith went on a one-man crusade, releasing thousands of invasive fish into New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and streams. In this episode of Black Sheep, we investigate his story.
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