Episode 12: Proof of Love

“They hurt me so bad I wanted to die... you wouldn’t do that to a rabid dog.”

Bruce and Veronica’s chance meeting on a Hastings street was the start of something big – but they were up against something even bigger. The remarkable story of girl in foster care trying to find her way through the abusive state care system in the 1970s and a guy who promised to protect her.   

Music credits for this episode: Clay Pigeons by Novi Split; Bitter Water by Big Haunt; Kentucky Mule by Tate Peterson; Back of Your Hand by Annalisa Tornfelt; Brutal Heart by Michael Howard; Little Picture by Alialujah Choir; Homeward Bound by Annalisa Tornfelt; Unlove You by The Singer and the Songwriter; The Rose by Annalisa Tornfelt.

“I’d made her a promise that nothing would ever hurt her again and suddenly I couldn’t do anything about it.”

You can find The Lip on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139

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Episode 11: Cult

A real-life Handmaid's Tale

 When Lilia Tarawa fled from the religious cult of Gloriavale, she turned her back on the only life she’d ever known. The deeply moving story of a girl who grew up in an isolated community where women exist to serve the men, give birth and perform domestic chores… and what happened when her thirst for truth and knowledge became too great to ignore.

“Mum freaks out, like, ‘God has cursed us’. Dad’s like, ‘Don’t be silly, woman!’ and I’m sitting here thinking, ‘Are there people from Gloriavale coming to get us? Will they come and force us to go back? And I’m scared out of my wits.”

Lilia’s memoir, Daughter of Gloriavale is published by Allen & Unwin New Zealand.  It is available in selected book stores ($NZ36.99) and also on ebook: Daughter of Gloriavale .  

You can find The Lip on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139

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Music credits for this episode are: Bury a Mountain by Michael Howard; The Girl from the Dogwood Forest by Michael Howard; Cold Weather by Alialujah Choir; A Soft Place to Land by Annalisa Tornfelt; No Need to Know by Alialujah Choir; You Got Served by Novi Split


Episode 10: Unbroken

“I could see my green eyes. I could see my brown hair and my height. I said, ‘Is this who I really think it is? Are you my dad?’”

After the childhood from hell, Red 11 talent agency co-founder Amanda Betts was on a path to destruction when an unwelcome gift transformed her life…

Music credits for this episode are: Sputtering to Spin by Alialujah Choir; Raven King by Michael Howard; After Life by Annalisa Tornfelt; Child Come Home by Michael Howard.

Click here for Bridge the Gap

You can find The Lip on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139


Episode 9: Dead Man Walking

“He picked up some fish and chips and a bottle or two of champagne… and devoured his first meal as a dead man”

Harry Gordon successfully faked his own death and had been living a brand new life under an assumed name for five years – until he accidentally bumped into his brother.

The final song in this episode is: Oh No, by Monarques

You can find The Lip on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139

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Episode 8: Nadia's Promise

What kind of 11-year-old girl makes a promise to a complete stranger… and keeps it for a lifetime?

 An insane romance on an Italian cruise ship ultimately led Liz Lawrence to the greatest tragedy of her life. Then, a young girl called Nadia – who she didn’t know from a bar of soap – made her a promise…  

The final song on this episode is: Hymn by Starover Blue

“I saw the birds in the trees and thought, ‘How can they keep on singing? Don’t they know? Don’t they know what just happened?’”

You can find The Lip on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139

Episode 7: The Boy Who Was Mistaken for a Sheep

“How could I sit back and watch him die, when there was something I could do about it?”

One minute Michael Batista was riding in the cab of the removal truck. The next, he was lying in a ditch, watching his grandfather drive off into the night… Twenty-five years later, the consequences of that night threatened to claim his life again, until a remarkable act of generosity and kindness came his way.

Music: Tiny Birch Basket, Michael Howard; Shimmery Harmonics, Jack Burgess; Bury a Mountain, Michael Howard; Part of Me, Alialujah Choir

You can find The Lip on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139

Episode 6: The Double-edged Sword

“Once I realised, ‘I’m actually going to die’, it was a relief… and also other random things, like, “I’m so glad I put the rubbish out.”

She always knew it would end in carnage. She was right. The Simonne Butler story – as you’ve never heard it before.

Simonne’s book, Double-Edged Sword is a powerful read. You can find it on Simonne’s own website http://www.simonnebutler.co.nz . It’s also available in NZ book shops and online at Amazon


Music: The songs at the beginning and end of this episode are both by Hazel Ra:  The Wild and Gentle Wolves Are The Most Dangerous of All. Other music: City of Doves, DL Sounds, Random Selection, DL Sounds, Lat Den Ratte Komman In, by Dani Paz, Binaural Beat Hypnagogia, DL Sounds, Clair de Lune, DL Sounds, and Secret Places by Alex Fitch.

You can also subscribe to The Lip on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/the-lip-podcast/id1193840439?mt=2&i=1000385412139


New Zealand

Women’s Refuge 24-hour crisis line phone:0800 REFUGE (0800 733 843)

Shine web:  www.2shine.org.nz   phone: 0508 744 633


phone: 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732

web link: www.au.reachout.com/domestic-violence-support


web: www.thehotline.org  phone:  8088 799 7233


web:  http://endingviolencecanada.org/getting-help/

web: http://www.dawncanada.net/issues/issues/we-can-tell-and-we-will-tell-2/crisis-hotlines/


web: www.victimsupport.org.uk  phone: 0808 1689 111

web: www.refuge.org.uk  phone: 0808 2000 247


web: www.safeireland.ie  phone: 1800 341 900

Episode 5: Blurred Lines

“Part of me was delighted by the photos, by the exposure, but I wasn’t delighted by the text ... calling me a luscious horn bag.”

Leigh Hopkinson was leading the perfect double life… until a neighbour discovered her secret and dobbed her in.

Music credits for this episode are: Full Bird Music, Heist and Fight; Gary ONeal, Bump and Grind; Loops Lab, Funky Detective; The Dirty Moogs, Tight Tight Pants.

To find out what happened to Leigh after we left her story, her book, Two Decades Naked (Hachette) is available in bookshops and on Amazon. 

Episode 4: Back From The Abyss

“We decided, ‘This work lark is cramping our lifestyle’, so we quit our jobs and became full-time outlaws”

Locked up in Mt Eden prison on charges relating to meth, guns and kidnapping, Janet Balcombe had to admit: her life hadn’t gone quite as she expected. A story from the edge of the abyss.

Music credits for this episode: I’ll Become Everything, Nick Jaina; Pill Spectre, Grandparents; Kids In The Alley, Grandparents; YYOOUU, Grandparents; All The Way, Grandparents

Janet’s book is available from a selection of book shops and also on Amazon. You can also find out more about Janet Balcombe at www.wildsidepublishing.com

Episode 3: The Singing Cowboy

“He started burrowing into his sack and drawing out $20 bills. Crickey! I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

Suffering from debilitating anxiety and depression, as a young man Jock Hume could have fallen through the cracks. Instead, he bought himself a studded shirt and tan boots and carved out a place for himself in the world.

Music credits for this episode: All tracks performed by Jock Hume – Marianne; When The Rain Tumbles Down in July; Falsom Prison; Sweeney. Thank you to Michael Colonna for permission to use audio from The Variety Artists Club of New Zealand’s 2005 awards.          

Episode 2: The Butterfly Effect

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“He was a real sensation... People were coming over just to meet this butterfly.”

Tracy Pepper of Mt Maunganui was pulled out of a low patch by a guy called Fluffy – who showed her that life is always worth living, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Music credits for this episode: Dream 1, Tonality Star

Fluffy is just one of Tracy’s amazing stories. You can find Tracy on her Facebook page, One Mountain at a Time and also at: www.tracypepper.com

Episode 1: Murder Under the Mountain

“I said to Niki, ‘We’re in the shit aren't we?’ And she said, ‘Yep.’ I said, ‘Will they go through with it?’ And she said, ‘Yep.’”

Accomplices Mark Goodwin and Jan Yorke planned to murder two people in one night – only to discover that one of the women they thought they’d killed had risen from the dead. This is the story of that woman, Barbara Bishop.

Music credits for this episode: Improvisation in D,  Tate Peterson: All Alone in the Cellar, Lost Harmonies

Episode 0 : Trailer


“I looked into those eyes that once terrified me and went, 'Have.You. Finished?'”

The Lip is a podcast in which people tell stories of the unforgettable events in their lives. It launches mid-January, 2017 and a new episode will be released each month. You will be able to download us from iTunes or wherever else you find your podcasts. You will also be able to stream us from this website. For a taste of things to come, listen to the trailer below. Looking forward to seeing you back in January!