Jacinda's OMG moment is part of a growing DNA trendby Sally Blundell
Jacinda Ardern met her near-identical fourth cousin for the first time on DNA Detectives.
Last year, viewers were drawn into the discovery by Jacinda Ardern (in a show shot when she was a mere “political bright spark”) of a near-identical fourth cousin in Athens – that smile, that hair, who knew? – and a highly genetically similar artist-technician “DNA-cousin” in Canada called, simply, White Feather. “My God – you have my teeth,” Ardern said. “I didn’t expect you to look like me. This is amazing … why couldn’t I get the teeth and the olive skin?”
Musician Anika Moa was shown the headstone of ancestor Susannah Martin, hanged as a witch in Salem in 1692 – “OMG!” – and met a third cousin in Hawaii. As she said, “You feel connected to them straight away.”
Actor Erik Thomson was taken to a long house in Haugesund in Norway where his Viking heritage was confirmed – the giveaway clue, a type of Y chromosome variant, is not uncommon in modern Scandinavians and those in the north of the UK. As he said, he had long been drawn to pine forests and snow clad lands.
Whisked over to the Shetland Islands, Thomson visited the croft where his mother was born, in the land his ancestors – Viking and a suspected hint, explained host Richard O’Brien, of Saami – plundered or settled about 1200 years ago. He said he planned to bring his children back. “I feel I have a right to be here and it’s good. It’s really good.”
Video: TVNZ OnDemand
The easy availability of DNA testing has prompted millions to shake their family trees, but what falls out is not always welcome. For more on the new ancestry obsession, pick up a copy of the new Listener.
Ms Ardern pledged the day after the terrorist massacre that "gun laws will change" and would be announced within 10 days of the attack.Read more
There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of security agency documents.Read more
As the face of anti-smoking lobby group ASH, Deirdre Kent played a vital role in the smokefree New Zealand movement.Read more
Māori leaders are calling on New Zealanders to reject the notion that 'this is not us' in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks.Read more
The sci-fi sound of the ondes martenot is playing a key part in the upcoming performance of an epic symphony.Read more
A Canterbury gunsmith living and working says he told police less than six months ago they needed to look at the rise of white supremacists with guns.Read more
In the following days after the Christchurch terror attacks, New Zealand has come together to support the victims of the shootings.Read more
The works of the English contemporary composer feature in the NZSO’s forthcoming The Planets series.Read more