Getting to Know Maggie Tweedie

June 18th 2020

What is your day job?

I’m the Breakfast Host of Radioactive.fm!

What is your connection to Vic Books?

I love reading and was eager to discuss more books on the Breakfast show. We reached out to Vic Books and that’s where the connection began! I regularly interview their literary experts, Lisa and Sarah, on Books for Breakfast and enjoy keeping up with the week’s latest releases.

What do you enjoy most about doing the breakfast show? What are your favourite segments to host?

It’s really special being able to interview guests and host discussions with experts who I otherwise wouldn’t be able to talk to in such depth - on a daily basis.

Building connections with the community is really important to me. It’s really hit home during the pandemic, just how strong that foundation has become over the few years I have been the Breakfast Host.

During level four, it felt very rewarding reading the many emails from our audience who were enjoying the broadcast that I was running from my Aunt’s garage. It certainly made those Hawkes Bay frosts worthwhile!

It’s difficult to choose a favourite! If I look back...the “Smashable Feeds” segment still holds a special place in the catalogue. In it, I sat down with my favourite restauranteurs / small business owners in Wellington’s diverse food scene and we shared a meal together. I recorded the conversations and also delivered them as a podcast format. The head chef of each eatery provided a recipe for the listeners to create in their own kitchens; from Field and Green’s Welsh Rarebit, Good Boy’s vibrant vegan sandwich to Baker Gramercy’s cultured croissant. I would love to pre-record more dinner conversations!

Who have been some of your favourite guests so far?

Sinead Gleeson, Dr Jane Goodall, Chike Frankie Edozien.

If budget and resources were no issue, what would your dream podcast project look like?

I would love to do a podcast about rural New Zealand. There’s a lot of traditional media coverage about farming in Aotearoa but I would love to see a more nuanced approach. Having these conversations in a podcast would make this accessible to a younger community. Podcasts are easily downloadable, which is essential for those isolated in rural New Zealand, where it’s difficult to get reception or the Internet, and basic mental health needs met. 

Ideally, a project like this would create more dialogue between urban and rural communities, be an educational resource, and address conversations around changes in farming practise.

As far as resources go...“The Dream Project” would be visiting individual farms across the nation and following multiple kinds of farming practices. The podcast could address the deep divide between environmental activists and farmers - and maybe show each side they can work together to find a balance. Hey...call me an idealist!

I heard you love tea and fermented things! What are some of your favourites?

I do love all of those things! I actually taught three of my favourite tamariki to make kombucha when I moved back to Wellington. To this day, I still get given a bottle of the booch most weeks. I also enjoy miso, pickled plums and fermented chilli paste.

For a little switch in roles, we'd love for you to recommend some books to us!

Legends of Rotorua And The Hot Lakes by A. W. Reed

Chosen Boys by Petra Molloy

Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith

The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Constellations by Sinead Gleeson

Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter

What are you reading right now?

Samantha Power's The Education of an Idealist.

What do you like about it?

My friend gifted it to me, so for that reason it’s special. There are so many entry points to this book. Power’s early life in Dublin as a conservative Irish catholic, wading through her parents' messy divorce, emigrating to America, her work as a war correspondent in Bosnia, to being on the other side... working in foreign policy as a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. I have only recently started to enjoy memoir as a genre, and this is a life story that almost tells itself! I also enjoyed how she chose to tell her Mother's story within her own. 

Which literary character do you most identify with? Why?

Anna Fienberg’s character - Tashi! Escaping from the war lord on a swan appeals a lot! Tashi is definitely the character I would want to be but don’t embody. Tashi is a real explorer and mischief maker with only himself to consider. 

Hardback or paperback?

Both!

Favourite coffee?

Americano - I like the diluting part.