The week in detail: In and around the Reserve Bank, Ukraine and the Pacific Ocean

Every day of the week, The detail makes sense of big news.

This week we explored the gilded halls of the Reserve Bank and the flak facing Governor Adrian Orr, how a sinking island in the Pacific goes about getting its people to safety, the disinformation peddler group seeking to cash in on our local election apathy, how Tova O’Brien landed her landmark interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the legendary female basketball player locked up in a Russian prison used as a bargaining chip in the Ukrainian invasion.

Whakarongo may all the episodes you might have missed.

The Reserve Bank and the War on Inflation

Every three months, the Reserve Bank opens its doors on the ground floor of 2 The Terrace in Wellington to journalists to talk about its monetary policy.

It’s an event that doesn’t usually get much attention – except from the business media and economics nerds – but lately the Reserve Bank and its Governor Adrian Orr have come under scrutiny. far more scrutiny for the bank’s role in fighting runaway inflation.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr.
Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Last week, the bank raised the official exchange rate by half a percentage point for the fourth consecutive time to three percent and, despite intense criticism, signaled two more hikes to come this year.

Sharon Brettkelly examines the work of the Reserve Bank and why it has faced so much criticism, including from Orr’s predecessors, for its handling of monetary policy during the pandemic.

Getting out of a drowning island isn’t easy

For more than 13 years, Ursula Rakova has been fighting to relocate her people from the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea, which are slowly being submerged by the sea.

A group of villagers from the Carteret Islands wade into a bay to receive a supply boat.

Carteret Island villagers receive a supply boat.
Photo: Supplied / Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand

They do not want to abandon the way of life of the generations that preceded them, but they have no choice.

More than 3,000 people are stranded on the low, shrinking islands, waiting for the government to fund their resettlement on the Bougainville mainland.

Sharon Brettkelly talks to Rakova from Bougainville where she now lives, as well as Martin de Jong and Sirino Rakabi from the charity Caritas, which helps fund resettlement efforts across the Pacific.

Local elections: what do we know about municipal candidates?

If you think councils pretty much run themselves and the group of community-minded individuals who nominate their names for local councils and council seats will have your best interests at heart, this year could be the year to revise this idea.

Auckland Council Election Candidate Billboards

This year’s local body elections will be open for voting from September 16 to October 8.
Photo: The Detail/Sarah Robson

A few weeks ago trick circuit released a documentary titled Fire and Fury.

“What it revealed was that Voices For Freedom, or VFF, intended to infiltrate decision-making positions – to make, in their own words, New Zealand ungovernable,” said Andrea Vance, senior reporter at Stuff.

She talks to The detail about the work she and her colleagues are doing to verify the credentials of candidates running for office. We also hear from Rotorua Daily Post local democracy journalist Félix Desmarais on the issues of this year’s elections.

Land an interview with Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky

Earlier this month, Today FM Host Tova O’Brien traveled over 40 hours to Kyiv in Ukraine – via Kuala Lumpur, Warsaw, and an eight-hour van ride alongside a security guard – to interview one of the most recognizable to the world.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Tova O'Brien of TodayFM.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Tova O’Brien of TodayFM.
Photo: Supplied/MediaWorks

The result: a 34-minute interview with President Volodymyr Zelensky, plus a companion documentary showing what life in the war-torn country is like for Ukrainians and overseas volunteers.

But behind the scenes, six months of hard work and preparation.

Emile Donovan talks to O’Brien and his producer Tom Day about the historic interview.

Basketball star Brittney Griner: a pawn in Putin’s war games

Brittney Griner is an American basketball superstar. In February, about a week before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, the 31-year-old woman was arrested at a Moscow airport after vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.

American WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner looks on from inside a defendants' cage before a court hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow on July 26, 2022. - Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion, was arrested at Moscow airport in February on charges of carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in his luggage, which carries a 10-year prison sentence.  (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko / POOL / AFP)

American WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner looks on from inside the defendants’ cage before a hearing at the Khimki court outside Moscow on July 26, 2022.
Photo: AFP / Alexander Zemlianitchenko

Griner later pleaded guilty to drug-related charges and earlier this month was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony.

The basketball player’s case has sparked high-level diplomatic talks between the United States and Russia, with a possible prisoner swap on the table.

The detail talks to Robert Patman, professor of politics at the University of Otago, about the case, how it unfolded and how it relates to the war in Ukraine.

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