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Saturday, October 31

Rugby-All Blacks beat Australia in Tokyo

The All Blacks have beaten the Wallabies 32-19 in front of over 45,000 fans at the Japan Olympic Stadium on Saturday night. Five minutes out from halftime Wallabies winger Peter Hinds raced in to score in the corner, and after some confusion with the Japanese video official, South African referee Mark Lawrence awarded the try. The Australians led 16-13 at halftime. Conrad Smith took the All Blacks out to a 20-16 lead with a try in the 46th minute. Fulltime: All Blacks 32 Australia 19.
Copyright © 2008, Television New Zealand Limited

Key continues to dominate polls

The National Party and John Key continue to dominate in the latest poll out today. The Herald-Digipoll shows National continuing to gain support at 57.3 percent while Labour has slid even further back and is now at 32.4 percent. Of the minor parties, the Greens are on 4.6 percent, the Maori Party 2.8 percent, New Zealand First and Act 0.9 percent, Progressives 0.1 percent and United Future 0 percent. John Key is still preferred the Prime Minister at 55.3 percent.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Peanut butter smeared veges a hit with teens

Parents who have trouble getting teenagers to eat their greens could try smearing peanut butter on them. Research presented at an obesity conference in the States shows adolescents who do not usually eat vegetables at all, can change their minds. Raw carrots, celery, and broccoli were offered to the teens, either with or without peanut butter to dip them in. Not surprisingly, the offerings with peanut butter went down well, while those without were shunned. The research was sponsored by The Peanut Institute.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Christmas Island detention centre to double: report

The Australian government is reportedly planning to double the size of the Christmas Island detention centre. Nineteen boats have been intercepted in Australian waters since the start of last month and 46 since August 2008. News Limited newspapers report that Immigration Minister Chris Evans has confirmed that his Government is preparing to significantly boost the capacity of the detention centre. The ABC reports the detention centre can accommodate about 1400 people, but the facility has been operating at close to capacity following an influx of asylum seekers over the past month. There are currently about 1156 asylum seekers on the island.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

73 days alone in a wrecked boat

By MICHAEL FORBES - The Southland Times
Even with his yacht near crippled in the Indian Ocean, dismasted and without a radio, Phillip Zwies showed how much of a Kiwi bloke he is – refusing to ask for help. The 27-year-old Bluff sailor's attempt to solo navigate around the world was cut short on August 24 when his 10m sloop cutter yacht Caval rolled in heavy seas about 1500 miles off Cape Town, South Africa. Mr Zwies' friend Anna Crooks, of Invercargill, said his mast effectively snapped in two after enduring about a week of intense storms. He also lost the aerial off his VHF radio, severing his ability to radio for help, Ms Crooks said. But Mr Zwies knew setting off his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) would mean having to abandon his boat upon rescue – something he could not bring himself to do, she said. nstead, Mr Zwies fashioned a makeshift rig out of a spare sail and attempted to limp the rest of the way to Bluff, she said. Easterly winds ended up pushing him into Hobart, Tasmania, on Thursday last week, after 73 days alone at sea. "He nearly died, but it was just one of those things that if you keep your head and do the right thing then you can get through it." Ms Crooks said Mr Zwies arrived in Hobart in surprisingly good spirits.

Cat survives six-storey fall

A tabby cat has fallen six storeys from an Auckland waterfront apartment building - and lived to tell the tale. Amazingly Camo escaped with just a broken jaw and three lost teeth, her onwers Graeme and Alison Pike said. They said they were were surprised Camo did not fall on to a diner's plate in a restaurant on the waterfront below their apartment. Her fall may have been broken by a balcony on the bottom floor which juts out, Mrs Pike told The New Zealand Herald. She said their vet said Camo was one lucky cat.

Late start to summer expected

Early summer is not expected to be especially warm. NIWA says an El Nino weather pattern until the end of January is expected to produce average temperatures throughout the North Island, Nelson and Marlborough. The rest of the South Island will be below average. The National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research says summer will be late and probably won't fully begin until January. The institute says conditions in eastern parts could be dry, particularly in the North Island. Hawke's Bay has had drought for three consecutive summers.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Friday, October 30

Contract awarded for Cook Strait power link

The upgrade of the Cook Strait power cable has taken another step forward with the awarding of the main construction contract. The national grid operator Transpower is building a new high voltage cable, to be known as "Pole 3", to carry power between the North and South Island. The $672 million project will lift the capacity of the underwater link from 700 to 1200 megawatts in the next five years.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Rugby-Canterbury to defend Cup

The Canterbury rugby team will get to defend its Air New Zealand Cup title after beating Hawke's Bay 20-3 in the first semi-final in Christchurch on Friday night. Canterbury led 12-3 at half time through tries to lock's Sam Whitelock and Isaac Ross, while first five Stephen Brett scored their third early in the second half. Brett kicked the rest of their points. Matt Berquist kicked a penalty for Hawke's Bay which have now been beaten in the semi-finals for the past 3 years. Wellington host Southland in the other semi-final on Saturday night, with the winner travelling to Christchurch for the final.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

China's Vice-Premier to visit New Zealand

China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang will visit New Zealand from Sunday. He would be accompanied by a 50-strong delegation and visit Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said. "We have just celebrated the first anniversary of the China-New Zealand free trade agreement and trade between us is growing well," Mr English said. "The visit offers an excellent opportunity for us to discuss a range of issues of importance to the relationship." Administrative agreements on educational cooperation, dairy products, temporary workers and meat products would be signed during the visit.

Expressway extension begins

Work has started on a major roading project in Hawke's Bay. The $12 million dollar Hawke's Bay expressway's southern extension was officially started by Transport Minister Steven Joyce on Thursday morning. The road will run between Hastings city - Flaxmere. Mr Joyce says it's the second major roading project in the region to be brought forward at least six months. The other is a $30 million realignment of State Highway Two through the Matahorua Gorge, about 50km north of Napier.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Drought beats giant cotton farm

The largest cotton farm in Australia - Cubbie Station in southern Queensland - is to be placed in voluntary administration. Group chairman Keith De Lacy says Cubbie has been beaten by the drought - which he says, has gone on "two years longer than it should have. The ABC reports Cubbie was put up for sale in August with a rumoured price tag of $A450 million. Cubbie Station is the largest property under irrigation in Australia. It is on the upper reaches of the Murray-Darling river system. The ABC reports its water storage capacity is equal to that of Sydney Harbour and is often blamed for a lack of water downstream. New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia all consider it takes too much water from the Murray-Darling system.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Last edition printed of "Trading Post"

The Trading Post paper has been printed in Australia for the last time. After more than four decades of adverts for cars, furniture and pets, the publication is going on-line. The ABC reports it was an Australian institution. Due to a huge drop in the number of people placing print advertisements, Telstra has now turned it into an exclusively online business. Telstra bought the publication in 2004 for $A636 million. Founder Charles Falkiner says it is a sad day, but concedes that the rise of online classifieds made it inevitable.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ contractor wounded by Afghan road bomb

The employers of a New Zealander involved in a bomb explosion in Afganistan, while repairing a road, says he's in a stable condition in a hospital in Germany with multiple injuries. Peter Gerrard, a road construction manager for Australian company, Professional Service Solutions, was wounded and an Afghan workmate killed, when a landmine went off in the province of Helmand this week. PSS chief executive Craig Coleman says he wanted to talk with doctors and Mr Gerrard's wife, Barbara, before releasing information.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

World rowing championship tickets on sale

The countdown to the 2010 Rowing World Championships on Lake Karapiro began on Friday with tickets going on sale to the public. Cambridge celebrated exactly one year to go until the first day of racing, by holding a parade. At this stage only eight-day grandstand seating is for sale.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

World Teachers' Day celebrated

Thousands of children throughout the country are putting their hands up for learning as part of World Teachers' Day celebrations today. Events are happening in schools, kindergartens and early childhood centres with plans for a nationwide Hands Up for Learning." In a number of areas, MPs will be joining in the celebrations. In Dunedin, a large group of children from MacAndrew Intermediate will be in the Octagon where they will put their hands up for three minutes when the clock chimes at midday. In Christchurch hundreds of people, including a number of politicians will be at Aorangi Primary for a mass Hands Up at 12.30pm.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Tivo to launch next week

Tivo ditigal television will be launched next week. The set top box acts as a Freeview decoder allowing people with analogue TVs to watch free-to-air high definition television, as well as allowing them to download movies on demand over the internet. It will be sold exclusively through Telecom from next Friday. Customers will be able to access pay-per-view entertainment only if they have a broadband subscription through Telecom.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Best chip shop named

Oceanz takeaways at Silverdale, near Orewa, has been named the top chip shop in New Zealand. The outlet beat hundreds of others entered in the annual competition decided by public voting, mystery judging and analysis of chip fat. Paul Frances told Morning Report that snapper is the favourite choice of customers. He said Oceanz has its own boats, which means the fish is "only four to five hours old" when it's placed in the vat.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

New ice-cream may combat side effects of chemotherapy

By Charlotte Tonkin
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may soon be able to combat some of the most debilitating side effects of the treatment simply by indulging in a few scoops of ice cream each day, thanks to a joint project by Fonterra and the University of Auckland. The strawberry ice cream is called Recharge, and its developers hope it will eliminate diarrhoea and anaemia, which are not only side effects of chemotherapy but can also interfere with the effectiveness of the cancer treatment. Recharge was developed at Fonterra’s innovation centre in Palmerston North. Researchers discovered that two of the thousands of components found in milk, combated diarrhoea and anaemia in mice. The project has been in the pipeline for seven years and has cost $2 million so far.

Thursday, October 29

Indonesia won't allow asylum seekers off Australian ship

The Indonesian government says it will not allow 78 Sri Lankans to be removed from the Australian customs ship Oceanic Viking by force. The ethnic Tamil asylum seekers were to be taken to an Australian-funded detention centre at Tanjung Pinang near Singapore. But the refugees say they will not get off the ship. Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the asylum seekers will not receive any cash payments from the his government. The opposition had queried whether the government was planning to hand out cash incentives to the group, as they wait to make landfall on Indonesian soil.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ medical team to help in Zambia

New Zealand medics have launched a plan to carry out life-saving heart surgery in Zambia. A team of medical experts aim to save over 100 lives in Zambia by setting up the country's first ever cardiac unit. The 35 person unit was inspired by Munanga Mwandila in Christchurch who has related tales of his homeland's health system to colleagues. "There is a huge burden with conditions such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. These are conditions which take up the bulk of the health resources," Dr Mwandila told ONE News. With most of Zambia's 12 million people living in poverty, the team plan to make five trips to Zambia over the next five years to perform the country's first ever heart operations.
Source: ONE News

Eden Park grass turf for sale

The hallowed turf of Eden Park has been witness to many great sporting moments including the highs of New Zealand's only World Cup rugby victory and lows of a semi-final cricket defeat in 1992. Now Kiwis can have their own piece of Eden Park's turf and it will only cost them some loose change. The park is selling off all of its grass turfs for bargain prices, taking orders of $4 for a square metre. Buyers can negotiate over bigger deals if they want to. A third of the grass is already gone, but two thirds remains and the sale will continue till Wednesday.
Source: ONE News

Rare stamp set to fetch thousands

A rare, unissued 1949 New Zealand stamp that escaped the furnace when the set was ordered to be destroyed, is expected to sell for about $25,000 at an auction in Wellington next month. The three penny stamp, bearing an image of the 46,000 tonne British battleship HMS Vanguard, would be offered for sale on November 7. Auctioneer John Mowbray said it was only the second Vanguard stamp to be sold. The stamp was issued for the 1949 visit to New Zealand by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth but the tour was cancelled because of the king's poor health. The royal party was to have travelled on the battleship. The stamp series was ordered to be destroyed but four stamps escaped destruction when the rest were thrown into the furnace.

Kiwis suffering 'green fatigue'

A survey has found New Zealanders are suffering "green fatigue" through constant warnings of an approaching environmental armageddon. Researchers questioned 1000 people and in their findings noted: "We know global warming is a problem. But incessantly remind us that we'll ruin a perfectly good planet if we don't half-flush, ride to work, or recycle and - guess what - there's a real danger we'll just zone out. "While 97 percent said they were doing their bit for the planet, only 3 percent claimed to be "totally committed". Readers Digest, which commissioned the survey, spoke with an advertising executive who said "Green" was a "damaged brand" and media saturation had led to "green fatigue".

Kiwis happy with their lives - survey

The vast majority of New Zealanders are happy with their lives, according to a new survey. The first New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS), conducted by Statistics New Zealand, found that 86 percent of those questioned were content with most aspects of their lives, including their health, environment, and social contact with family and friends. The survey canvassed traditional measures such as income, employment, and education, along with fields where little information has been available, such as volunteering, emergency preparedness, and housing problems. "The focus of the survey is a broad view of how New Zealanders are doing across many areas of life," said Statistics New Zealand spokesman Conal Smith. The overall satisfaction rating of 86 percent compared broadly with Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Rural language dictionary launched

Fancy a job dummying? You might take to it like a merino to salt lick. Then again, there's always the danger that the land will be so poor the rabbits would have to take a cut lunch. Don't know what this means? You're probably not alone, and there's a chance you live in one of the areas of New Zealand defined as 'urban'. The phrases are part of a new book focusing on the evolution of rural language in New Zealand. In the Paddock and on the Run was written by Victoria University lexicographer Diane Bardsley. A sort of rural language dictionary that draws on diaries, manuscripts, newspapers and journals since 1832, it is believed to the first book to focus solely on this vernacular and its origins. In the Paddock and on the Run was released this month.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Ban on smoking outdoors in western Bay of Plenty

Western Bay of Plenty District Council is declaring a ban on smoking outdoors. The ban covers 30 beaches including the popular holiday spots of Waihi Beach, Maketu and Athenree - and the towns of Katikati and Te Puke. Signs will be put up informing smokers to stub out on playgrounds, sports fields, parks, reserves and land around public halls. Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia says she takes her hat off to the council for making public spaces safer and healthier for children and families, but she admits she foresees issues with policing the ban.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ's best sports venue is...

Wellington's Westpac Stadium has been voted the best sports venue in the country. A nationwide survey has found most New Zealanders rate the cake tin tops for overall satisfaction. The venue leads the field in seating comfort and layout, toilet facilities, transport, pre-event entertainment and overall value for money. Westpac Stadium spokesman Steve Thompson is grateful for the loyalty but says ultimately the success of the stadium lies in the sports codes it hosts. "We're very privileged in Wellington that we've got the Hurricanes, the Wellington Lions, the All Blacks sevens for rugby and the Phoenix for football.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Snow in central North Island

Not as much snow has fallen in the South Island as forecast, but it has started to snow in the central North Island. MetService warns the snow could cause problems. Snow is falling on the Desert Road, with 5 - 8cm expected on higher parts of the road by midday. Some snow may also settle on the Rimutaka Hill Road north of Wellington. However, the Transport Agency says it does not expect any road problems. MetService says snow showers have cleared from South Island passes.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

PM's Awards presented to writers

Three writers have been recognised for their contribution to New Zealand literature, each receiving $60,000. C K Stead, Brian Turner and Dr Ranginui Walker were honoured at the Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement on Wednesday night in Wellington. Turner was recognised in the poetry category, CK Stead for fiction, and Dr Walker for non-fiction. Mr Key says it was a pleasure to honour them and New Zealanders should celebrate success more often.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Wednesday, October 28

Tonga ferry sinking inquiry shown evidence of vessel’s poor condition

The inquiry into the sinking of Tonga’s Princess Ashika ferry has seen graphic photographic evidence of the poor condition of the vessel. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the August 5th tragedy, which left 72 passengers dead, got underway in Nuku’alofa this week. A government marine engineer, Mosese Fakatou, showed slide photos of the ferry which revealed massive holes in the cargo deck, heavily corroded sides and floor and blocked vents that stopped water running off decks. Mosese, who inspected the MV Princess Ashika to establish seaworthiness the day it set sail on its final voyage, also took photos of worn safety rails and ropes and the entrance gate which was broken and badly rusted. Many Tongans have claimed that the boat, which was bought by the government from Fiji just six weeks before the tragedy, was not fit for use.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Internet sale alerts museum to missing war medals

More than 30 war medals have gone missing from the Te Awamutu Museum in Waikato. The museum realised they were gone only after one of the medals was seen for sale on eBay, prompting an audit of the museum's inventory including 175 historic medals. Waipa District Council museum and heritage manager Jan White says a police investigation is under way and the museum is trying to recover the medals. Ms White says their sentimental and historical value is huge. She says the medals went missing over a 20-year period before the council took over the running of the museum from volunteers in 2005.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Bumbling burglar turns himself in

By Lesley Deverall - NewstalkZB
A red-faced burglar has turned himself into North Shore police after realising he had left so many clues they would find him anyway. Police say the man, in his twenties, took a bus to a North Shore suburb, found a house where no-one was at home and broke in through a rear window. Only when he had piled a heap of goods near the front door did he twig he had no way of carrying the haul away. He left with just an ipod, then realised he had left his pre-pay cellphone in the house. In the meantime the owners had returned home, so the burglar notified the cellphone company to cancel his connection. Then he realised that meant police would be able to trace him, so he gave up. The man is now due in court on Monday.

Samoa launches campaign to draw tourists

Samoa is rolling out campaigns in New Zealand and Australia to attract tourists back after last month's tsunami. The Samoa Tourism Authority started a New Zealand newspaper and televison campaign over the weekend and will launch a similar effort in Australia later this week. Tourism is the country's lifeblood, contributing 25% to the total gross domestic product.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Aussies control review of food labelling laws

By Martin Johnston
A wide-ranging review of New Zealand's labelling laws for packaged food is likely to be run entirely by Australians. The year-long review has a broad brief and food-safety campaigners hope it will look at contentious matters such as the disclosure on labels of genetically modified ingredients and a "traffic-light" system to show if a food is healthy or unhealthy. Current rules covering packaged foods require at least a nutrition panel, a list of ingredients and the disclosure of various allergens. But consumer research indicates these are poorly understood and many people rarely read them. The review was instigated by the Council of Australian Governments and the transtasman Food Regulation Ministerial Council.

Sue Bradford's last day

It is the last hurrah for Green MP Sue Bradford. Today's her final day in Parliament after a decade in central government politics. Ms Bradford announced her resignation last month after missing out on the party's co-leader's job earlier in the year and will deliver her valedictory speech at 5.40pm. She will be replaced in Parliament by the next candidate on the Green Party list, Auckland based eco-consultant David Clendon.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Police get new powers to take DNA

Police will have wider powers to take DNA samples, under a law passed by Parliament today in the face of strong opposition from the Green Party. The provisions of the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill will be introduced in stages. The first stage allows police to take samples from people charged with a range of serious offences, wider than the present category. The second stage, to take effect in 2011, will allow police to take DNA samples from anyone they intend charging with an imprisonable offence. Police won't need to gain consent and they will be able to take samples without judicial approval.

Kiwi-developed pain relief drug

A new pain relief drug, developed in New Zealand, will be available in pharmacies this week. Maxigesic is a combination of 500mg paracetamol and 150mg of the anti-inflammatory Ibuprofen. Dr Hartley Atkinson, founder of the Maxigesic supplier AFT Pharmaceuticals, said people were surprised the combination had not been used before. "With big drug companies they have favourite products and people don't get together and look at combinations," he told the New Zealand Herald. Alan Merry, professor of Anaesthesiology at the University of Auckland, said a trial involving 135 patients who had their wisdom teeth removed found the combination offered more effective pain relief than either ingredient by itself.

New Zealand scores well for gender equality

New Zealand has been ranked fifth in the world in gender equality, according to a new report, with Iceland and three other Nordic countries occupying the top four slots. The United States, which prides itself on civil rights progress during the past half century, fell four spots from last year to stand behind Lithuania and ahead of Namibia, according to the World Economic Forum, a nonprofit group based in Switzerland. The report ranked countries according to how much they reduced gender disparities based on economic participation, education, health and political empowerment while attempting to strip out the effects of a nation's overall wealth. Iceland, which has been rocked by financial crisis, rose from fourth place overall a year ago to top the list and was followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden.
© 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited

Soccer-Extra World Cup tickets sold in seven minutes

The last 500 tickets for the 2010 Soccer World Cup qualifying match between Bahrein and New Zealand were snapped up on Wednesday morning. Sales opened at 9am and all were sold within seven minutes. The match is on 14 November at Westpac stadium in Wellington. A plan for an extra 3000 temporary seats on the ground was rejected by FIFA for security reasons. New Zealand need to win the match to qualify for the finals in South Africa.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Hiring on the rise - survey

The latest survey by Hudson Recruitment has found an increasing number of companies are intending to take on temporary employees amid signs the economy is on the mend. Hudson says the number of firms considering adding staff rose from 16% to 22% in the three months to September, while those planning to cut employee numbers, fell from 15% to 11%. About two thirds of companies intend maintaining their current levels.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, October 27

Daily New Zealand News is 5 years old this month...15,566 news items posted and more to come...

Rugby-Thousands welcome Ranfurly Shield back to Southland

Tens of thousands of people have turned out to celebrate the return of the Ranfurly Shield to Southland after 50 years. The Stags claimed the log o' wood last Thursday, beating favourites Canterbury 9-3 at AMI Stadium. There were jubilant scenes on the streets of Invercargill on Tuesday as the team slowly made its way along a parade route in an open top truck. Fans threw some nearly 40,000 rolls of ticker-tape and strained to see and touch the Shield.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Opium poppy trials positive

Small-scale trials of opium poppies in South Canterbury have impressed an Australian pharmaceuticals company, although it's too soon to tell whether larger plantings will get the go-ahead. Tasmanian Alkaloids have been looking to expand production to New Zealand in order to get more secure supply, after years of drought followed by wet weather in Tasmania. Three companies in Tasmania produce half of the world's legal opium-based pain relief, and it's worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Tasmanian economy. Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff says the growing conditions - free-draining and slightly acidic soil - seem to be suitable in South Canterbury, although it's very early days for the trial crop. It will take several years of study before a decision is made on planting the crop in New Zealand, he says. If the company decided to go ahead, it would plant several thousand hectares. The morphine variety of Papaver somniferum would not be grown in New Zealand, because of a requirement of the New Zealand government. Mr Rockliff says the company would grow other types, such as the codeine variety.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Chilly weather expected to continue

The cold spring weather is expected to continue with rain, snow, thunder and chilling winds set to hit the country from Wednesday. Sweeping across the South Island, the cold southerly flow could be accompanied by snow down to 300m, MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt says. Conditions are expected to clear in the South Island on Thursday, but the cold weather would reach the North Island on early Thursday. The weather is likely to persist in the North Island through Friday, he says. MetService forecaster Oliver Druce said the cold flow would bring thunder, hail and rain to Canterbury and would hit Wellington in the early hours of Thursday.
Copyright © 2008, Television New Zealand Limited

Over-65s to top one million by 2020s

The number of New Zealanders aged over 65 is expected to top one million within 20 years. According to population projections by Statistics New Zealand those aged over 65 will by the late 2020s comprise one in five New Zealanders, exceeding the number of children aged under 15. There are currently 550,000 people aged over 65 and 890,000 children under 15. The ageing population trend largely reflected the higher fertility rates of the 1950s and 1960s, the much lower fertility rates since then, and the continuing gains in life expectancy, said acting Government Statistician Cathryn Ashley-Jones. New Zealand's population was projected to reach 5m in the mid-2020s and 5.75m in 2061.

Robert F Kennedy Junior to visit NZ

A member of the Kennedy family is coming to New Zealand. Robert F Kennedy Junior will address a select audience in Auckland in December on environmental concerns. He is the nephew of President John F Kennedy and son of Senator Robert F Kennedy. Mr Kennedy is also a trained lawyer and is a former Assistance District Attorney in New York City. In recent years he has dedicated himself to the fight for the environment.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Australian navy removes WWII explosives in Solomons

The Australian navy has rid Solomon Islands of a large quantity of explosive ordnance left over from the Second World War. Mine hunters pinpointed 15 explosive objects on the seabed off the island of Malaita and in Shortland Harbour, off Shortland Island. Navy clearance divers then located and disposed of the ordnance, which ranged from artillery shells through to a large British sea mine. This was the latest deployment in Operation Render Safe to help Pacific countries remove explosive remnants from some of the bloodiest battles of the war.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Teen sailor in NZ rescue territory

The 16-year-old Australian attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world is currently in the New Zealand search and rescue region. Jessica Watson is near Norfolk Island, 800 kilometres north of New Zealand. New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre spokesman John Ashby says updates on the teenager and her yacht's position are coming in every ten minutes. Despite controversy over her age, Jessica sailed her yacht out of Sydney Harbour last week. She is planning to return in eight months after navigating 28,000 miles through some of the world's most dangerous seas.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

From sewage to biofuel - coming soon

Algae from Christchurch's sewage ponds will be made into biofuel from next month. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)says the scale of the project and the type of ponds used make it a world first. The scheme is a partnership between the Christchurch City Council, NIWA and a private South Island company, Solray Energy. The council has provided land for the ponds and carbon dioxide from its wastewater treatment plant. NIWA has provided the ponds and the technology to use the carbon dioxide to stimulate the naturally occurring algae. And Solray's patented technology will turn it into biofuel. Solray says enough crude bio oil will be made to meet 15% of Christchurch's needs.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Northern flu season threat to New Zealand

By KERRY WILLIAMSON - The Dominion Post
Health officials are bracing for a jump in swine flu cases as the northern hemisphere moves into its flu season. Britain, the United States and Canada have all seen an upsurge in H1N1 cases in recent weeks, with fears it could lead to major disruptions in schools, workplaces and hospitals if the flu season takes hold. A report last week in the US showed that swine flu was spreading from school-aged children to the rest of the population, while in Canada – which has begun a mass vaccination programme – cases were on the rise.

Inquiry into Tongan ferry sinking set to start

An inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika opens this week in Tonga amid continuing controversy over who is to blame for the tragedy. The royal commission of inquiry will consider what caused the ferry to sink in August, with the loss of more than 70 lives. Two key areas the commission will canvas are whether any criminal act contributed to the disaster, and whether there's evidence of civil responsibility. Investigators will also look into why the death toll was so high. The commission will hold public hearings over the next few months before presenting an interim report at the end of November. A final report is expected by the end of next March.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Monday, October 26

Police ready for texting drivers

New laws banning drivers from using handheld cellphones come into force in a week and while most people are aware of the changes they are not so definite about whether they will obey them. Latest figures show 96% of drivers know about the changes which take effect in just six days and police say they will be enforcing the new law. Drivers caught texting or using handheld phones are set to lose $80 and gain 20 demerit points.
Source: ONE News

Rugby-Tickertape for Stags

The streets of Invercargill will be lined with well-wishers cheering on the rugby boys who won the Ranfurly Shield for Southland last week. A parade begins at 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. Nearly 40,000 rolls of tickertape are expected to rain down on the Stags, who will be led by captain Jamie Mackintosh. Partying's been going on in Southland ever since the win, with some schools even suspending classes to celebrate.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Eden Park turf for sale

There is chance for people to own their very own piece of Eden Park rugby ground in Auckland as the turf goes on sale this week. Turf manager Mark Peram says the grass is in good condition and could be good for a home lawn or just for a rugby fanatic. He says the grass is being stripped and resurfaced in preparation for the Rugby World Cup. Mr Peram says they are using the opportunity to do something with the grass and anything that does not get sold will be going to the dump. Mr Peram says anyone interested should contact Greg Shaw at TIC Contracting to negotiate a price. The cost of the grass will be based on the labour involved in getting it out.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Drone planes considered for guarding NZ waters

The Defence Force is considering the use of remote-control drone planes to patrol New Zealand's waters, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has confirmed. Dr Mapp said the Defence Force was keeping a "watching brief" over the use of drones and that they may be considered in upcoming policy papers, the New Zealand Herald reported. Their ability to spend up to 32 hours in the air meant New Zealand's Air Force could use drones to monitor domestic and neighbouring waters for illegal fishing boats and lost vessels, with a range as far as Southern Ocean around Antarctica, and the Pacific Islands.

Pacific flavours wow Manukau

By James Ihaka
A Pacific-flavoured extravaganza of dance, music, fashion and art is wowing the crowds in Manukau. And organisers say there's still a lot more to come. The second annual Manukau Festival of Arts has seen hundreds attending exhibitions, shows and concerts at venues around the city. Festival marketing manager Leisa Sitene said the idea was to build up an arts scene from a local level. The Manukau Festival of the Arts runs until November 15.

Healtheries children's vitamins recalled

Healtheries is recalling a batch of children's vitamins after metal shavings were found in a tablet. Healtheries KidsCare Immuno-Plus from batch number 25323 with an expiry date of May 2012 should not be used. Healtheries' parent company Vitaco Health said it had sought Ministry of Health advice which confirmed there was a low risk of harm if the tablets were swallowed. Healtheries spokeswoman Ondine Waddle said customers should return the product to the retailer for a refund.

Hopes for India deal boosted

Prime Minister John Key is hopeful of progress towards a free-trade deal with India. The vast, developing country, which has a middle class of about 450 million people, has always been off limits to trade deals with developed countries. However, Key said the election of a new prime minister had changed things. Key had his first meeting with new Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday, and emerged positive about the chances of negotiations. Officials have been working on preliminary talks with India, but progress has been slow. "He made it quite clear he's been personally looking at the trade position with New Zealand and is pleased with the progress being made," Key said.
The Press

Sunday, October 25

6000 picnic on Sydney Harbour Bridge

Six thousand people found the best picnic spot in Sydney when they sat down to breakfast on the Harbour Bridge on Sunday morning. The city's Breakfast on the Bridge, held as part of a Sydney-wide food festival, saw the eight lanes closed to commuter traffic as picknickers spread their blankets despite the threat of rain. The ABC reports the bridge was covered in thousands of metres of real turf, there was music and free food and even 15 cows grazing on the grass. Participants were drawn from a ballot of 45,000 people.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Solo sailor heading past New Zealand

Australian Jessica Watson, who is attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo around the globe, is today passing north of New Zealand on her way to the Pacific Islands. The 16-year-old was halfway between Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island yesterday evening and said conditions were good. "Well, perfect is about the only word for it out here today, we're doing 6.5 knots," she wrote on her blog at 8pm yesterday. Watson's 38,000km voyage began on Sunday and her blog entries have so far described an easy run of things, avoiding the occasional ship and encountering dolphins and jellyfish.

East Asian bloc mooted at meeting

Prime Minister John Key is hoping to get New Zealand a place at the table, if a European Community-style group of Asian nations is set up. Mr Key has been in Thailand, attending the East Asia Summit, where Japan put forward the idea of the East Asian Community. It would include Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand, along with the ASEAN countries. Mr Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser are now due in Malaysia to sign a free trade agreement, while Foreign Minister Murray McCully will be in South Korea where he will meet new Prime Minister Chung Un-chan. Mr Key and Mr McCully will visit Japan next week.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Rugby: Auckland denies Waikato semi-final place

Auckland has ended Waikato's hopes of a semi-final place in the provincial rugby competition, beating the hosts 26-18 in Hamilton on Saturday. The result means defending Air New Zealand Cup champions Canterbury will host Hawkes Bay, and Ranfurly Shield holders Southland will travel to Wellington for next week's semi-finals. In Saturday's other match, a late Michael Witt penalty gave Otago a 22-19 come from behind win over bottom-placed Counties Manakau.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Saturday, October 24

Tens of thousands turn out for climate change campaign

Tens of thousands of people around New Zealand have taken part in an international campaign to fight global climate change. More than 170 festivals, group photos and other events have been held as part of three-fifty-dot-org, an internet-based environmental movement. The campaign's name comes from a call from some climate scientists to bring the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back down to 350 parts-per-million. They say this should keep global warming to within two degrees. The biggest event was held in Dunedin where an estimated 12 thousand people attended a spring food festival.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Lifeguards back at some beaches

Surf lifesavers are back at the beach again this weekend. Three and a half thousand volunteers man New Zealand's beaches over the summer months. Beaches in Northland, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty will be manned by 1500 volunteers this weekend and hundreds of others will join them as summer heats up. Lifeguard Manager Brent Sullivan says beachgoers rely heavily on the volunteers to keep them safe and the lifeguard teams are very dedicated. He says swimmers need to take extra care this weekend as water temperatures are still very low.
© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Ban on NZ Tamarillos lifted

An 18-month ban on exports of tamarillos to Australia has finally been lifted. However, with the end of the season fast aproaching, it's not yet known if growers will be able to take advantage of it. Australia banned imports of New Zealand tamarillos, tomatoes, capsicums last June, after the discovery of a bacterium, Liberibacter, which is passed on to the crops by an insect called the potato/tomato psyllid. The Tamarillo Growers Association says growers were hurting. The Australian market previously took about 40% of New Zealand's total exports, with the remaining 60% going to the United States. The ban was relaxed for tomato and capsicum growers last year.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Cricket-Daniel Vettori to stand-in as Black Caps coach

Daniel Vettori will effectively take over the coaching duties for the New Zealand Cricket team during their 5-game series against Pakistan next month, following the resignation of coach Andy Moles. The chief executive of New Zealand cricket Justin Vaughan confimed the resignation at a media conference on Saturday. He says no head coach will be appointed until after the tour. Vaughan says his organisation is disappointed with the outcome but feels Moles' resignation is in the best interests of New Zealand Cricket.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

New Zealand quail remains extinct

Quail on Auckland's Tiritiri Matangi Island are not remnants of a New Zealand species extinct for more than 100 years, a Massey university researcher has discovered. The birds were suspected of being survivors of the New Zealand quail, but they were actually genetically identical to Australian brown quail, PhD researcher Mark Seabrook-Davison from the Institute of Natural Sciences at Albany said. He made the discovery after a two-year project analysing ancient DNA from museum specimens of the extinct New Zealand quail and living Australian brown quails. New Zealand quail were declared extinct by 1875. The Australian brown quail was introduced as a game bird to replace it.

Increased treament dose may improve gout

A more effective treatment plan could be on the way for people who suffer from gout. Researchers at Otago University believe increasing the standard dose of allopurinol for gout patients will better combat their symptoms. The increased dose had a positive impact on 86 percent of patients over a 12 month period. But Dr Lisa Stamp says individual patients should not start giving themselves a higher dose, without going to see their doctor first. She says a larger study is needed to trigger changes to the national guidelines.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

ASB Showgrounds hosts Armageddon Expo

It is never been as cool to be a sci-fi, animation or video game buff as it is this weekend. More than 35,000 fans are expected at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds this weekend for the fourteenth Armageddon Expo. The pop culture event gives fans a chance to see some well known faces, such as Seth Green from Austin Powers. And some not so familiar, the voices of their favourite animations characters. It is the first year the expo has been held at the showgrounds, having outgrown its usual venue of Aotea Square.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Friday, October 23

Parents to get progress charts

By NATHAN BEAUMONT - The Dominion Post
Parents will be able to follow their children's progress on the Government's new national primary school standards with a Plunket-style chart that shows strengths and weaknesses and alerts parents to problems. The reports, which will come out twice a year, will also include sections with teachers' comments, practical steps parents can take to help their children improve, learning goals and whether they need extra support at school. The reports will be unveiled today when the national standards are issued by Education Minister Anne Tolley and Prime Minister John Key at an Auckland primary school. They will be in place from the first day of school next year.

Netball-Jamaica beat Silver Ferns in Kingston

Jamaica has shaken a second netball superpower inside a week, adding a rare 53-50 victory over New Zealand to their one-goal defeat of world champions Australia. The world No 4 issued an ominous warning ahead of next year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi by winning the second and final test against the Silver Ferns in Kingston - only Jamaica's second test win over New Zealand in 44 attempts. Trailing by six goals early in the opening period, Jamaica forged an identical advantage at halftime after outscoring the Silver Ferns 13-5 during a dominant period to halftime. They held their nerve to carry a 40-36 lead into the home stretch at the National Indoor Stadium and comfortably protected the buffer. Jamaica's previous test success against the Silver Ferns was a 53-44 win, also at Kingston, in 2002. The win capped a memorable week for the Sunshine Girls, who pipped Australia 56-55 on Monday to also share their two-test series.

End to self government in islands urged by NZ MP

The head of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the New Zealand Parliament wants to end self government in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. National MP John Hayes says self government in the islands is 'nonsense stuff' and it should be sorted out. The former diplomat says New Zealand currently gives $NZ40 million from its aid programme to the islands. He told Morning Report this money is being wasted in the political systems there. If New Zealand had the same number of politicians as the Cook Islands, Auckland would have 2000 MPs. Mr Hayes said the aid programme should be scrapped and the only people who would be annoyed were "the leaders and a few bureaucrats living off the backs of hard working people". He said this idea is his own thinking at the moment, but he hopes the select committee will pick up on it.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

One of NZ's most vital charities captured

A new book which has hit the shelves today brings together the history of one of country's most vital charities. First to Care: 125 Years of the Order of St John in New Zealand, has been especially released just ahead of its 125th anniversary next year. The work by Graeme Hunt was launched at a function last night in Christchurch. It is described as capturing the sprit of the organisation which was formed in 1885, and outlines the innovation, disputes and triumphs it has had since then.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Annual coastal classic race underway

A fleet of 200 yachts is sailing up the east coast of Northland in near-perfect conditions. They left Auckland at 10am on Friday for the 28th annual Coastal Classic race to the Bay of Islands. Race organiser Zoe Hawkins says the 30-metre, super-maxi Alfa Romeo took an early lead as predicted. With 20-knot sou'westers and blue skies, many could arrive in Russell by Friday evening.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Inaugural science prizes announced

Prime Minister John Key has launched the inaugural Prime Minister's Prizes for Science. There will be five categories of prizes worth a total of $1 million. Mr Key says New Zealand scientists are doing high-quality research in many areas, but too often their achievements receive little public acclaim. The inaugural winners will be announced in February and subsequent winners will be announced in November each year.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Southern blue fin tuna stocks at crisis levels - report

A secret report prepared by Australian marine scientists estimates that the spawning stock of southern blue fin tuna is at 5% of 1940's levels. The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna is currently meeting on Jeju Island in South Korea. Australian officials there think the species is in crisis and are debating whether southern bluefin tuna will be able to survive current fishing levels. The ABC reports that a confidential scientific report before to the commission shows the stock is heading towards a total collapse. The commission includes Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, New Zealand and Indonesia. It decides the total allowable catch and what each country can take from the ocean.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ population grows

The population of New Zealand is estimated to have grown in the year to June to 4,315,800 people. Statistics New Zealand estimates the population grew by 46,900, up 1.1%, due in part to a large increase in permanent and long term migration. Population growth by region was strongest in Auckland and Christchurch, but the growth in Tauranga is the fastest for an urban area. The largest population growth in territorial authorities is estimated to have occurred in the Selwyn and Queenstown Lake districts of the South Island.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Monte Carlo date for ice cream entrepreneur

Ice cream maker Diane Foreman has been named entrepreneur of the year. The judges said they were impressed with the diversity of the industries she has been involved in, which include food, health and property. Foreman's company, Emerald Group, makes the New Zealand Natural ice cream brand. The product is sold in 680 stores in 21 countries. Foreman will now represent New Zealand in the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

More than a million signed up for KiwiSaver

A new evaluation of the KiwiSaver (retirement) scheme has been released revealing almost 1.2 million New Zealanders have signed up to one of the scheme's retirement funds. Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is applauding the uptake (membership is 1,189,597 as at end of September, 2009), with growth of 54 percent in the second year. He says that is at the rate of around 32,000 people a month, showing how well the scheme is being embraced by the public. Mr Dunne is heartened about the sign up of young adults aged 19 to their mid 20s, saying it is good to see them saving for their future.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ Monopoly champ 2nd at world champs

New Zealand Monopoly champion Geoff Christopher has finished second at the world championships in Las Vegas. Also known as the Nimble Thimble, Christopher, 25, a risk analyst from Auckland, was competing in the final round against 41 national champions at the 13th edition of the World Monopoly Championships at Caesar's Palace casino. The event was screened live online by ESPN on Thursday. Christopher saw off a challenge from Russia and the United States, before going bankrupt, handing the title and a cheque of $US20,580 to a player from Norway.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, October 22

Rugby-Sweet victory for Southland in Ranfurly Shield

Southland have won rugby's Ranfurly Shield for the first time in 50 years, beating Canterbury 9-3 in Christchurch. Canterbury dominated territory and possession, but superb defence by Southland held them out at AMI Stadium on Thursday night. The score was 3-3 at halftime, with the difference being two second-half penalties to Southland first five-eighth Robbie Robinson. The last 10 minutes saw desperate attempts by Canterbury to score the converted try they needed, but Southland's defence held. Southland last held the shield in 1959 and the win should secure them a semifinal spot in the Air New Zealand Cup next weekend.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Key backs 'three Rs' move

Prime Minister John Key is backing a move to channel education funds into reading, writing and maths. The Ministry of Education has told schools they will not get extra support for teaching arts, science and physical education next year. The money will instead go into teaching reading, writing and maths, ahead of the introduction of national standards in those subjects. Teachers will not get any help from advisory groups, provided by six universities, for anything other than those core subjects. Teacher unions have objected but Mr Key said unless young people could read and write properly their future opportunities would be closed off.

Large-scale EU research project in NZ

A large-scale European research project aimed at improving animal health and product quality by using low-input systems will use New Zealand expertise to help with selecting animals with desirable genetic traits. The LowInputBreeds Project, run by Newcastle University in Britain involves 20 other international insitutions. It aims to develop livestock breeding and management strategies for producing milk, meat and egg production that's either organic or has few inputs.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Study highlights difficulties of same-sex attraction

More than a third of high school students attracted to people of the same sex seriously considered attempting suicide, a new report shows. The report, Results for Young People Attracted to Both Sexes, was led by the University of Auckland. Its findings were made public at Auckland's School of Population Health on Tuesday. The report analysed data from a 2007 study of secondary school students, in which more than 8000 answered questions about sexual attraction. It shows higher rates of drug and alcohol use, sexually transmitted infections and mental ill-health among same-sex-attracted students than for their opposite-sex-attracted peers. The report shows about half of the students attracted to the same sex deliberately harmed themselves in the previous year.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ law firm to open office in United Arab Emirates

Kensington Swan is to open an office in the United Arab Emirates. It will be the first New Zealand law firm to have a presence in the Middle East and outside of Australasia. Chairman Clayton Kipton says Kensington Swan has been working with clients in Abu Dhabi for the last five years and this is a natural progression. He says the firm hopes to benefit from the export-led recovery that is anticipated in New Zealand, as well as look for opportunities for investment in New Zealand from the Middle East.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

MP hits out at failing Pacific states

A government politician has spoken out about New Zealand's Pacific neighbours, saying their people are fleeing after experiments in self government have gone wrong. National Party MP John Hayes - a former diplomat - said in a speech that self-government had failed in the Cook Islands and Niue and was failing in the New Zealand colony of Tokelau, north of Samoa. He said over 90 percent of Cook Islanders and 98 percent of Niueans had left their islands for New Zealand. "I think the actions of the majority tell us what they think about governance at home and show us the relevance of sovereignty to them," Mr Hayes said. The Cook Islands and Niue are constitutionally "self governing in free association" with New Zealand but the model had failed to deliver New Zealand levels of income and social services "though it does work for the political and bureaucratic elite". He was critical of the high numbers of politicians the islands had. He said New Zealand provided almost $40 million a year to less than 3000 people living in Tokelau and Niue which is absorbed by dysfunctional systems. Mr Hayes said some of the leaders of the Pacific countries were acting on the edge of corruption while travelling under New Zealand diplomatic passports. "Communities in Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau are choking on the trappings of pseudo sovereignty which benefit a very few."

Immunisation campaign to target Samoan children

A measles immunisation campaign is being launched in Samoa, amid fears that children living in crowded conditions following the tsunami are more vulnerable to communicable diseases. More than 30,000 children will be eligible for measles vaccinations and provisions of vitamin A from next Monday, as part of the Ministry of Health and Samoan National Health Service campaign. Children aged six months to five years old will be targetted in the campaign, which is being supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

ACC workplace account to be open to competition

The National Government has announced it intends to open up the Accident Compensation Corporation's workplace account to competition as part of a deal with the ACT Party. ACT wants the account to be opened up to private insurers and will now vote for the first reading of the Government's Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill in Parliament next week. The Maori Party earlier this week lent its support to the Government. Prime Minister John Key says he is confident a review of competition within ACC will find it is worthwhile. Mr Key says when competition was in place in the 1990s there were real benefits and he expects it will deliver cheaper premiums. Labour says the move will result in people paying more to fund the profit margins of private insurers and getting less cover.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Niue to offer casino licences

Calling tenders for a casino licence is being considered by the government of Niue, following a report on the island's tourism industry commissioned by the New Zealand Government. Radio New Zealand International reports it details what needs to occur to ensure a flourishing tourism industry, Premier Toke Talagi says the report will now go to a committee selected by both governments, to consider what needs to be done. Mr Talagi says Niue is already working on a number of projects to increase visitor numbers.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

New light bulbs being used

Most people are now using energy efficient lighting in their homes. A survey by the Building Research Association has found that 84%of households have at least one energy efficient light bulb. The association says use of the bulbs has picked up significantly since 2004. The central and lower North Island have been the biggest users.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Swine flu jabs for Kiwis next year

For the first time, the government has confirmed New Zealand is ready to administer widespread swine flu vaccinations. Health Minister Tony Ryall told ONE News we have the vaccination in storage which will be offered next year with the regular winter flu jabs. There have been over 3,000 confirmed cases of swine flu in New Zealand and 19 deaths here. Overseas, Britain is beginning a massive swine flu vaccination campaign as the number of confirmed cases there continues to increase. More than 11 million people most at risk of contracting the virus will be vaccinated, including health workers and those with severe illnesses. In recent weeks, English cases of swine flu have doubled about every fortnight.
Source: ONE News

More freedom to spend kids' inheritance

Superannuitants will have greater freedom to spend more time overseas to spend their kids' inheritance. The Social Assistance (Payment of Superannuation and Veteran's Pension Overseas) Amendment Bill passed in Parliament last night. It revamps the previous policy that has been in place since 1990 by allowing superannuitants and people who receive a veterans' pension who travel or live overseas to claim their full allowance instead of the current flat payment of 50 percent.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Australia-Another asylum boat intercepted

Another boat carrying asylum seekers has been intercepted off the north coast of Australia. The boat was first seen by a Customs and Border Protection aeroplane, before being intercepted by HMAS Albany just north of Ashmore Island on Wednesday afternoon. It is the 34th intercept reported this year. The Federal Government believes 22 asylum seekers and two crew are on board the boat. They will be taken to Christmas Island for security, identity and health checks.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Primary schools told to focus on "3 Rs"

Primary schools have been told that art, PE and science are to take a back seat to the three Rs. The Ministry of Education has told schools they will get no extra help next year to teach subjects other than reading, writing and mathematics. The ministry says support services for schools that it funds through various advisors will now focus on a smaller number of critical priorities, including literacy and numeracy, as well as help implement the Government's national standards policy.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Wednesday, October 21

Wellington playwright wins literary award

A Wellington playwright has been announced the winner of the 2010 New Zealand Post Mansfield literary prize. Ken Duncum is the 40th New Zealander to be awarded the $100,000 scholarship, formerly known as the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. The prize provides an opportunity for writers to work at the Villa Isola Bella in France where famed writer Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote in the early 1900s . Mr Duncum has been writing for theatre and television for more than 20 years and is the Director of Scriptwriting at Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ's largest mussel farm approved

The green light for a huge mussel farm in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has been hailed as a major boost for the region's economy. A High Court decision clears the way for the Eastern Sea Farms project to go ahead near Opotiki. Environment Bay of Plenty chairman John Cronin says the 3,800 hectare mussel farm will be the largest in New Zealand, built in stages about 8.5 kilometres off the Opotiki coast. Mr Cronin says it will bring significant income and jobs into the Bay of Plenty.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Hundreds of jobs to go in health sector shake-up

The Government has announced up to 500 administration jobs will be cut as it streamlines the public health bureaucracy, saving $700 million over the next five years. Health Minister Tony Ryall says the money will be used to provide more frontline health services, such as heart bypass operations. About 180 of the job losses are to go from the Ministry of Health Ministry, which is to be downsized. Mr Ryall says other job cuts will come as back-office administration roles in district health boards, covering things such as payroll and bill payments, are combined. More than $12 billion goes into health every year - more than 12% of total Government operating funds - at a time of major belt tightening.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Netball-Ferns out shine Sunshine Girls

The Silver Ferns have beaten Jamaica 61-56 in a tight first Test in Kingston on Wednesday afternoon. The Sunshine Girls, fresh off their second Test win over Australia on Monday, fought hard throughout and only trailed NZ by 31-29 at halftime. The second and final Test is on Friday.
Source: ONE Sport

Checks on recall of dummies in Australia

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs will investigate whether baby dummies recalled in Australia are being sold in New Zealand. The New South Wales Government has issued an urgent recall on 14 brands of dummies that were found to pose a choking hazard for babies. The New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs is liaising with Australian authorities to clarify the situation. The dummies, which were sold across Australia in discount stores, have been removed from the shelves.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Christchurch Conservatorium cost revealed

Christchurch City Council has revealed how much funding is needed for the Canterbury University's National Conservatorium of Music, on the advice of the Ombudsman. The figure is several million dollars more than previously reported. The council wants to fund the building of the conservatorium and lease it back to Canterbury University and has said it won't cost ratepayers anything. The public was able to make submissions but was not told how much the project would cost. Earlier estimates ranged from $14 - $20 million, but the figure issued by the council on Tuesday night is more than $24.3 million.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Mick Jagger's signature on wall?

The Invercargill City Council has found what it hopes is the iconic signature of Rolling Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger - written on a wall at the Invercargill Civic Theatre. The inscription "Mick Jagger 65" was found engraved on a wall in the theatre's band room while renovations were underway. The council asked the contractors to preserve that piece of wall and it has now been put in the archives at the Invercargill Public Library. Council spokesman Lindsay Feween says they will probably never know whether the signature is real, but he likes to think it is.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Migration numbers rise

The number of people migrating to New Zealand reached a five year high in the year ending September. Statistics New Zealand says there was an annual net gain of 1743 permanent and long-term arrivals, compared with 4403, a year earlier. During September there was a net gain of 1800, compared with 1600 in August. Visitor numbers in September were up 9.3% compared with September last year, led by more visitors from Australia and the United States.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Car crushing legislation passed by Parliament

Legislation targeting boy racers, which will allow the cars of repeat offenders to be seized and crushed, has been passed by Parliament. The Greens were the only party to object, on the grounds that it's a waste of resources to destroy people's property. Radio New Zealand's parliamentary chief reporter says the Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill strengthens the powers of the courts to confiscate and destroy the cars of persisent boy racing offenders. It also toughens provisions covering the collection and enforcement of unpaid fines and reparations. The new provisions will take effect at the start of December.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Sharebroker taps into the record books

A Wellington sharebroker has been named the fastest tap dancer in the world. Tony Adams won the Guinness World Record for tap dancing for the second time, smashing his own previous record. In the latest attempt he recorded 1,056 taps per minute which averages out to 17.6 taps per second. Mr Adams says even the Guinness adjudicators had trouble keeping up with his feet and requested a slow motion version of the video because they found it difficult to view the feet in full speed. "It's difficult to imagine, 17-odd beats a second." Mr Adams says his knees had trouble keeping up with his feet and he has torn a number of ligaments.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Govt still committed to 90% energy goal - Smith

The Government says it is still committed to making New Zealand's energy production 90% renewable by 2025. This goal was advanced by the previous Government. Climate Change Minister Nick Smith told an energy conference in Wellington on Tuesday that the 90% goal is still being pursued.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ dollar expected to keep rising

Speculators buying New Zealand dollars to take advantage of rising domestic interest rates look set to push the currency higher. The kiwi is already the best performer against the US dollar of all major currencies in the last six months. It has been pushed up since the end of February chiefly on the back of US dollar weakness. Bouyed by the strengthening Australian dollar, the kiwi surged past 75.6 US cents on Wednesday.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Aussies trying pink cabs which failed here

There is a push in Australia to start up a women only taxi service. The taxis will only stop for female passengers and are based on a successful model operating in Mexico, where 35 pink cabs have been equipped with a beauty kit, satellite navigation and an alarm button. Some women's groups think the idea is a winner for safety reasons. A women-only taxi service in New Zealand folded after failing to find enough drivers.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Tuis breeding on Chatham Islands

A successful transfer of 14 Chatham Islands tui (a native bird) has resulted in the species breeding on the main island of the Chathams. The birds were transferred from a nature reserve on Rangatira Island earlier this year. Chatham Islands tui are bigger than other tui and were last seen on the mainland in the early 1980s. The were about 350 in the late 1990s.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Aid chopper grounded over paperwork

A New Zealand doctor running airborne medical missions in Indonesia has had his helicopter grounded because he does not have the right paperwork. Dr Derek Allen is working in Padang, following an earthquake in the region. The helicopter was impounded for not having airspace clearance. Dr Allen told Morning Report the aircraft is desperately needed and he's working to get it in the air again.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, October 20

Marine farm in Firth of Thames approved

The Ministry of Fisheries has given final approval for a 520-hectare shellfish farming space at Wilson's Bay in the Firth of Thames. The outcome follows a preliminary consent decision made six months ago. Ministry aquaculture manager Dan Lees says though there will be some impact on commercial set net fishing, he is satisfied the marine farm will not unduly affect sustainability. The marine farm will occupy nearly 1800 hectares, of which about 1300 hectares will be access-ways between farm blocks.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Severe thunderstorm watch for BOP, Rotorua

MetService has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua. Thunderstorms are already occurring around the Bay of Plenty and there is a risk they will become severe, producing heavy rain which could cause surface or flash flooding, particularly in low lying areas. Forecasters also warn of the possibility of heavy rain and hail of up 25 millimetres in diameter in some areas. They say that could cause significant damage to crops, orchards, glasshouses and vehicles.
Source: Newstalk ZB

NZ dollar still climbing

The New Zealand dollar hit a fresh 15 month high on Tuesday morning. The kiwi is now up more than 1 cent to 75.6 cents US. It last reached that level in July 2008. The kiwi also hit a one year high against the Japanese yen. A fresh 12 month high on Wall Street on Monday as third quarter company earnings continue to be stronger than expected, caused investors to dump the greenback. US Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke fueled more buying of the Australasian currencies when he said on Monday that Asia is now leading the world economy's recovery from recession. BNZ currency strategist Mike Jones says high domestic interest rates are boosting the kiwi against all currencies. At 12.43pm on Tuesday NZT, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 75.56 US cents, 81.35 Australian cents, 46.2 08 pence, 68.55 yen and 0.505 euro.

Paul Newman still helping NZ charities

Six New Zealand charities are to receive a share of $100,000, thanks to Paul Newman's Own foundation. The actor philanthropist died at the end of last year but his foundation continues to give grants to charities. The main recipients from the six New Zealand charities to benefit include the Cholmondeley Children's Home in Christchurch, the Palmerston North Methodist Social Service and Wellington's Women's Refuge.
Source: ONE News

Indians plan $20m Taj replica for Auckland

By Lincoln Tan
An Indian group has come up with a bold plan to build a replica of the Taj Mahal in Auckland. The group wants to spend $20 million creating a miniature version of the world-famous mausoleum at its existing Mahatma Gandhi Centre in New North Rd, Eden Tce. What we want is a building that will reflect the grandeur and the rich Indian culture and history, and be the pride of the community here," said Kanu Patel, the centre's chairman. The replica could include a marble mausoleum, reflection pool and gold-plated ornaments.

Road finder website launched

A new website has been launched to help emergency services find roads and suburbs which are sometimes more commonly known by alternative names. It follows the death of a motorcyclist on The Forgotten Highway, southwest of Taumarunui, which is also known as Ohura Rd or State Highway 43. A witness who called 111 only knew the colloquial name for the road and an ambulance was sent from Stratford to Douglas, 50 kilometres away from the accident. Terralink International, which provides addresses and local data to emergency services, has launched a new website (, where people can enter details about how to find them or how to access a property.
© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Seaweed now open for commercial harvesting

Commercial harvesting of seaweed is to be allowed on many beaches in Taranaki, Wairarapa and Northland. The seaweed in question is referred to as brown and green beach-cast - basically, seaweed that's washed ashore during a storm. Beach seaweed is mainly a fertiliser ingredient but is also used in some medicinal, pharmaceutical and food products. The Christchurch-based company NZ Kelp says New Zealand has five or six very edible, nutritious seaweeds that little is being done with.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

PM talking trade in Asia

The Prime Minister will travel to Asia this week to discuss trade and tourism with his Asian counterparts. John Key will be in Thailand on Friday for the East Asia Summit where he says creating the world's largest free trade area in the region will be up for discussion. He then heads to Malaysia to sign a free trade deal. Mr Key will come home via Japan, where he will promote tourism and publicise the 2011 Rugby World Cup
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

International audience for moves to get young Maori into work

What New Zealand is doing to help young Maori into work will be highlighted at an international careers conference in Wellington next month. A capacity crowd of 800 delegates from around the world has booked for the event. Government agency Careers Services Maori general manager Linnae Pohatu says innovations like including whanau in career decisions have sparked widespread interest. She told Waatea News that the rest of the world views New Zealand as real leaders in terms of indigenous development.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Council to finance domestic solar hot water systems

Nelson City Council has launched a scheme to finance the installation of 1700 solar hot water systems in homes. The council intends to spend $9 million over four years in a move it says will save residents $500,000 annually in electricity costs. Residents won't pay anything upfront, but will repay the cost to the council over 10 years. The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority says the system could become a New Zealand model.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Te reo Maori added to Google translation toolkit

One of the developers of the Google translation toolkit says it will greatly help those who want to use te reo Maori. Waikato University computer science lecturer Te Taka Keegan has spent six months at Google's headquarters in California working on how the translation technology can help minority languages. Dr Keegan told Waatea News the company's original focus was on the world's top 10 languages, but the technology is readily adaptable to smaller languages. Maori was one of 284 languages added to the Google translation toolkit last week.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Hall of fame membership for Maori development lecturer

A University of Waikato Maori development lecturer has won international recognition for her work promoting adult education in the Third world. Sandy Morrison of Tainui and Te Arawa will be inducted into the international adult and continuing education Hall of Fame at next month's conference of the Association for Continuing Higher Education in Philadelphia. She told Waatea News that working in marginalised and illiterate communities in Asia and the Pacific, she saw how a little learning could be a dangerous thing, as "governments can be held accountable for what they doing and what they're not doing." She is the first New Zealander to be inducted into the hall of fame.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Home baking ingredient sales rise

Supermarket shoppers are buying more home baking ingredients. Old Fashioned Foods, the owners of the Hansells brand, say supermarkets sold 16.7% more baking goods in the year to 5 July, compared with the year before. Lower Hutt Pak'n Save supermarket manager Mike Grey says sales of baking items were declining before February. But since then, more eggs and sugar have been sold than any other item in the store. Sales of other baking goods, like cocoa, have almost doubled. Mr Grey says there has also been a sharp increase in sales of ready-to-use baking mixes.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Monday, October 19

Most of Nelson left without power

A power cut has affected the city of Nelson, leaving approximately 32,000 households without electricity. The power went out at approximately 8.20 Monday evening after a problem at the Stoke sub-station just outside of Nelson. Technicians are working on the problem, but it is not yet known when power will be restored.
Source: ONE News

"Godfather" of Chinese blogging in NZ

The man credited with writing China's first recorded blog is in New Zealand. Isaac Mao wrote his history-making blog on August 5, 2002 and is spending a week in New Zealand, speaking to journalists and students about the feat. Mao told ONE News' Garth Bray about the importance of blogging in China. "You can never get the whole story from mainstream media in China, because it is totally controlled," he says. "That's a problem we want to solve." Mao's work can be found on
Copyright © 2008, Television New Zealand Limited

Samoan tsunami 'I Love The Islands' gig - live updates

At 7pm tonight the 'I Love The Islands' Samoan tsunami relief concert kicks off.
Some of the country's top musicians will take to the stage at Auckland's Vector Arena, including Neil and Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn, Scribe and Savage will perform at Auckland's Vector Arena - with all proceeds going towards the tsunami relief effort. There will also be concerts in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington over the next week.

Prince Edward to visit New Zealand

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, will visit New Zealand from November 2-5, Prime Minister John Key says. He will attend the Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award ceremonies in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, visit the International Antarctic Centre and the Windsor House Retirement Community in Christchurch, attend a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister, view the Whitireia Community Polytechnic Performing Arts programme and visit Weta Workshop. Prince Edward will also attend a British New Zealand Business Association lunch, sail on the Spirit of New Zealand on Waitemata Harbour and have dinner with the Governor-General and Lady Satyanand at Government House.

Rugby-Everyone on board with All Black coaches changes

The All Black coaches are putting a positive spin on the changes to their roles within the squad, but our rugby reporter isn't so sure. In naming their European tour squad, head coach Graham Henry also announced he'd be taking over the forward pack, Steve Hansen will look after attack and Wayne Smith defence. Hansen, who was under pressure with the forward effort during the Tri-Nations, says it is something they have thought about doing for a long time. However the question is, if things had been working well, then there probably wouldn't be any need for changes.... Graham Henry says everyone is on board with the change.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Antidepressants actively benefit only a few - review

Health researchers say most patients who take antidepressants don't benefit directly from the active ingredients in the drugs and should consider other lifestyle changes instead.The researchers, led by Auckland family doctor and academic researcher Bruce Arroll, reviewed international studies on the use of antidepressants. They found that both older and newer generation antidepressants work, but not for as many people as might be expected. Professor Arroll says the drugs' ingredients provide active benefit only to about 10% to 15% of users. Overall, he says, 65% of those on antidepressants report feeling better as a result, but most of that can be attributed to a placebo effect. Professor Arroll says those who feel depressed should consider doing exercise, altering thought patterns and keeping a "gratitude diary".
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Hockey-Gold for Black Sticks at Champions Challenge

Victory for the New Zealand women's hockey team at the Champions Challenge tournament in South Africa. The Black Sticks have beaten South Africa 2-1 in the final in Cape Town. New Zealand led 2-nil at halftime with Anita Punt and Clarissa Eshuis scoring the goals. But, Kate Woods pulled one back in the 84th minute for the hosts, to set up a tense final five minutes. However, the Black Sticks held on to secure gold and a spot in the Champions Trophy next year.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Kiwi experience for tourists

An award winning tourist attraction in Rotorua has a special arrival. Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter has welcomed the birth of its 750th kiwi. Husbandry manager Claire Travis says the chick hatched in front of a tour group, making it particularly exciting. She says around 80 percent of all the kiwis hatched under Operation Nest-Egg are born at Rainbow Springs. Ms Travis says the hatching season runs from August right through until April. Over the last week around two to three chicks have hatched every day, with a total of 32 this season.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

People-smuggler aboard intercepted boat

Sri Lankan asylum-seekers still on board a boat intercepted by Indonesian authorities have confirmed that one of their Indonesian crew members is a well-known people-smuggler. The man, known as Abraham Lauhenapessy or Captain Bram, is believed to be responsible for smuggling 1,500 people to Australia since 1999, the ABC reports. He is among the six Indonesian crew members detained in western Java for attempting to smuggle 255 asylum-seekers to Australia. According to the Sri Lankans' spokesman, known only as Alex, Captain Bram betrayed the group because he missed a pick-up to take him back to Indonesia and feared being jailed for up to 20 years if he ended up in Christmas Island. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is due to arrive in Jakarta on Monday evening.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Story emerges of bank safe recovered off Tonga with money still inside

It’s emerged that a bank safe that was swept into the sea by the September 30 tsunami at the Tongan island of Niuatoputapu has been recovered with the money wet, but fully accounted for. The safe belonged to the Tonga Development Bank whose little office was completely wrecked by the tsunami that swept most of Hihifo township away. The branch manager Mafi Lutui Hoa told Matangi Tonga Online that she found the safe on the reef with the island’s cash holding of over over US$500 still intact.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

NZ Foreign Minister backs fishing for Niue,but not necessarily processing

The New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully, says his government is backing a fishing industry for Niue, but not necessarily processing. Fishing has been identified as one of the keys to bringing some economic independence to the island, but a fish plant, which opened in 2004, has been out of operation for the past two years. Mr McCully is travelling to the island today for the Constitution Day celebrations and will discuss a wide ranging new report on tourism development with interested parties there. He says fishing also remains vital for Niue’s future but re-opening the plant may not be the best option, given the closure of one of the canneries in nearby American Samoa.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

NZ short film wins top prize

A New Zealand short film has taken top spot at the Middle East International Film Festival. The Six Dollar Fifty Man, which was written and directed by Wellingtonians Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston, won the Black Pearl Award yesterday for best narrative at the Abud Dhabi festival, The Dominion Post reported. In May, the film received a special distinction in the short film competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and Sutherland and Albiston said they hoped the latest award might push the film towards an Oscar nomination.

Maritime NZ monitors teen attempting to sail round world

Maritime New Zealand will monitor the progress of Australian teenager Jessica Watson as she passes by New Zealand in her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. The 16-year-old yesterday set off from Sydney in her yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, with a plan to be back around the middle of next year without having touched land . Her voyage will remain largely in the Southern Hemisphere, covering about 23,000 nautical miles or 38,000 kilometres. She first sails into northern New Zealand waters before heading to Fiji, Samoa, South America and South Africa, and then on to the final 7400km leg back to Australia. Maritime New Zealand spokesman Ross Henderson said once the yacht entered the New Zealand search and rescue area they would be watching its progress. The attempt has been the subject of much controversy, with many, including the Queensland Government, calling for the teenager to abandon it.

Taranaki Maori urged to share their stories

Taranaki Maori are being encouraged to tell their stories as part of the 150th commemoration of the start of the Taranaki Land Wars. The community liaison coordinator at Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth, Jocelyn Millard, says the exhibition in March 2010 will be an opportunity for iwi to share their stories. She says as well as looking at the past, the exhibition will focus on how Taranaki descendants are faring 150 years on. The exhibition opens on 17 March 2010, the anniversary of the first clash at Waitara, and runs for six months.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Labour distant second in latest poll

Labour leader Phil Goff says his party will be "sticking to its guns" - despite the latest opinion poll showing it trailing National by more than 30 percentage points. The 3-News Reid Research poll puts National at 59.9% and Labour a distant second on 27.2%. The Green Party attracted 6.9% support, the Maori Party 2.4%, ACT 1.7%, and New Zealand First 1%. National's dominance is also reflected in the preferred Prime Minister stakes. John Key was favoured by 55.8% of those polled, while the Labour leader Phil Goff registered just 4.7%.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

NZ banks get good report from IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) researchers think New Zealand banks have weathered the international economic storm well. While weaknesses may exist, a sixfold increase in loan defaults would be needed to push the banks' capital adequacy ratios below required levels, they say. The IMF research found New Zealand's banks remained profitable with low levels of impaired assets and aggregate capital well above the regulatory minimum during the global financial crisis. The report concludes the mortgage default rate would need to increase from less than 1% at present, to between 6% and 8% for all loans, to reduce bank capital below the 8% regulatory minimum.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, October 18

Queensland fire threatens 100 homes

About 100 homes are under threat in central Queensland where a large bushfire continues to burn. Residents at Mount Archer near Rockhampton are preparing for a fire front and some have been told to leave if the way is clear, reports the ABC. The fast-moving blaze is expected to be whipped up further as winds pick up in the next few hours. There are warnings that electricity and water supplies and mobile phone signals could be lost in the area over the next few hours.
New South Wales, Western Australia.
A fire at Brooms Head in northern New South Wales was still burning but good weather had helped the backburning effort. The state's rural fire service hoped to have the blaze extinguished on Sunday. The fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon and has since burnt more than 5,500 hectares of bushland and prompted the evacuation of three campsites in the area. In Western Australia, a fire in Broome which has burned through 60,000 hectares has been contained though there were concerns it may flare up again.
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

Moko delights Gisborne

Moko the dolphin is delighting a crowd in Gisborne with a frolic in the city's river system. Reporter Murray Robertson says Moko is playing 1.5 kilometres from the sea, where the city's three rivers meet. He says it is something Moko has never done before. Murray Robertson says the dolphin is having a ball with someone's boogie board. He says it is a wonderful scene and a crowd of people have gathered to watch.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Latest-Fires burn across Australia

Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB
Nearly 600 firefighters are tackling more than 50 bushfires in Australia. The ABC reports that an emergency situation was declared in central Queensland overnight on Saturday where a large bushfire damaged properties and forced residents to evacuate Homes and property have been threatened in the area of Mt Archer National Park near Rockhampton, but locals have now been told it's safe to go back. Firefighters in New South Wales and Western Australia are also battling blazes. They say the blazes are moving quickly, and the safest option is for people to get out of the way.

No ukulele recital record, but great fun

Hundreds of people from around the North Island have failed to break an unusual Guinness World Record. They had all travelled to Hastings to take part in a mass ukulele recital. Six-hundred-and-six ukuleles, in all shapes and colours, tried to break the record, with members of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra participating, including one of their on-again, off-again members, Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie. "I thought it looked better than it sounded, but it was great," McKenzie says. But the effort was in vain. The number to beat was 851, but participants were not downcast, saying they would just try again next year.
Source: ONE News

Groser off to Indonesia

The Trade and Associate Foreign Affairs Minister leaves today for the Indonesian President's inauguration for his second term in office. Tim Groser will be representing New Zealand at the inauguration on Tuesday. He says his visit will give him a chance to talk with senior officials there about aspects of New Zealand's and Indonesia's trade and economic relationship.
Copyright 2002 - 2009, TelstraClear Ltd

Rugby-Four new caps named in All Blacks squad

All Black selectors have sprung surprises in their squad to tour the northern hemisphere, naming four new players.
The new caps are Bay of Plenty first-five eighth Mike Delany, Hawke's Bay wing Zac Guildford, Wellington utility back Tamati Ellison, and Otago fullback and wing Ben Smith. There are recalls for lock Anthony Boric, hooker Corey Flynn, and halfback Andy Ellis, who are all coming back from injury. The team's tour will take them to Tokyo, Cardiff, Milan, London and Marseille from 31 October to 5 December.
Full squad: John Afoa (Auckland), Anthony Boric (North Harbour) Dan Carter (Canterbury) Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury), Mike Delany (Bay of Plenty), Stephen Donald (Waikato), Tom Donnelly (Otago), Jason Eaton (Taranaki), Andy Ellis (Canterbury), Tamati Ellison (Wellington), Corey Flynn (Canterbury), Owen Franks (Canterbury), Zac Guildford (Hawke's Bay), Andrew Hore (Taranaki), Cory Jane (Wellington), Jerome Kaino (Auckland), Tanerau Latimer (Bay of Plenty), Brendon Leonard (Waikato), Luke McAlister (North Harbour), Richie McCaw (Canterbury - captain), Liam Messam (Waikato), Mils Muliaina (Waikato), Ma'a Nonu (Wellington), Kieran Read (Canterbury), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Waikato), Ben Smith (Otago), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Rodney So'oialo (Wellington), Adam Thomson (Otago), Brad Thorn (Canterbury), Neemia Tialata (Wellington), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour).
Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand


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