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Saturday, July 31

Craig Phillips, where are you?

By Brodie Kane - NewstalkZB
The search is on for a New Zealand man by the name of Craig Phillips, who's in line for a million dollar windfall. The hunt for the ''right'' Craig began in secret this year when the people who secured a $50 million ex gratia payment for Australian and New Zealand thalidomide victims started compiling a list of recipients. At least 10 people have that combination of names in New Zealand, and there are more than 100 of them in Australia. Melbourne lawyer Peter Gordon is leading the search for Mr Phillips, which will continue until his whereabouts, or his fate, are established. Thalidomide, originally used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women, caused 12,000 birth defects worldwide, with 10 or 11 survivors known of in New Zealand.

Southern Right Whales making a comeback

The New Zealand coastline could once again be home to Southern Right Whales. In the 1800s South Right Whales were common, with Wellington settlers complaining that the whales' blowing in the harbour kept them awake at night. The extensive whaling that followed virtually wiped them out. But according to researchers, they are slowly returning. "We've had encouraging signs in the last 10 years or so - there are more sightings of Right Whales every year and they're sticking around longer," said Will Rayment, of Marine Mammal Research. A team of researchers headed by the Otago University staff have left on a three-week mission to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands in order to find out what is attracting the whales back. "We're looking at the population at the Auckland Islands to try to tell us a little bit about the recovery and how the reconciliation might happen off the New Zealand mainland," said Rayment. Southern Right Whales were named because they were the "right" whale to hunt. They are slow moving and prefer inshore areas that made them easy to kill.
Source: ONE News

Northland flu patients flock to hospital

The Auckland District Health Board says it is no busier this winter than last, despite emergency departments in Northland being flooded with people presenting with flu-like symptoms. While swine flu numbers nationally are down on last year, admissions for winter illnesses hit a high for the year last week, with nearly 2,000 people visiting hospitals.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Community fights back over liquor

Dairies and small shops may soon face the prospect of not being able to sell alcohol, but a South Auckland community wants the rules to go even further. The High Court in Christchurch has rejected an appeal for a convenience store to have its licence renewed. The ruling could set a precedent for other small shops around the country. The residents of Clendon in South Auckland are staging a protest this afternoon over a decision which saw a fruit and vege shop converted into a bottle shop. Clendon community support group chairwoman Waina Emery says they want a law change which would allow locals to have a say in licensing decisions.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

From London to NZ - by jetski

Kiwi adventurer Jeremy Burfoot doesn't mind when people call him an idiot for attempting to travel 32,000km from London to New Zealand by jetski. After all, that was his reaction when he first heard the idea. The 51-year-old airline pilot leaves London on Sunday morning and will spend up to 12 hours a day for four months astride a jetski on his way down to the southern hemisphere. The idea came from his first officer, who suggested it as a follow-up to his record-breaking 2005 jetski journey circumnavigating New Zealand. Mr Burfoot will be joined on the mission by four other men as he weaves around the world's waterways, setting off from the River Thames outside London's Houses of Parliament on August 1. The team will head across the English Channel to Rotterdam, riding the rivers of the Rhine and Danube and out to the Black Sea. From there they'll head to Turkey, then on to Egypt through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, which will take them to Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and down to Singapore, where they'll break the previous jetski journey record of 18,400km. Then they'll island hop around Indonesia before moving to the top of Australia, down the east coast to Melbourne, across the Tasman to Wellington and then finally to Auckland.

NZ imports no threat, says Indian company

India's largest private dairy company, Hatsen Agro Product Limited, says importing New Zealand dairy products to cover a local shortfall will not affect Indian farmers. During the past week, members of the Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena have staged rallies and attacked milk tankers with rocks in protest against the decision to allow in New Zealand dairy products. But Shane Whittaker of Hatsen Agro Product says the imports are not a threat, because local stocks had been affected following a poor monsoon season last year.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

First of Wellington's new trains arrive

The first of the trains being built for use in the $500 million upgrade of the Wellington rail network arrived in the capital on Saturday. The 48 new two-car train units are being built in South Korea at a cost of $235 million. The first carriage was unloaded from a cargo ship at CentrePort at about 6am and was moved by trailer to nearby train tracks, then lowered onto them by crane. Wellington Regional Council says the remaining trains will arrive from Korea at a rate of about four a month over the next year or so.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Value of calcium supplements questioned

A New Zealand and American study has found the heart risks of calcium supplements outweigh their benefits in preventing osteoporosis. Researchers looked into 11 studies tracking nearly 12000 elderly people over four years. Half were given calcium pills and the other half placebos. The results found a 30 percent increase in the risk of a heart attack for people on the supplements. Auckland University Prof of Medicine Ian Reid says using supplements obviously does not stack up. Researchers recommend eating naturally calcium-rich foods, taking exercise, not smoking and keeping a healthy weight to help prevent osteoporosis.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Many cereals equivalent of junk food

Would you give your child a glass of cola and a packet of chips for breakfast? Nutrition experts say that is what some parents are unwittingly doing when they fill their children's breakfast bowl with sugar and salt-laden cereals. Canterbury Community & Public Health nutrition adviser Janne Pasco said some cereals were more like junk food than a nutritious breakfast. Cereal manufacturers used layers of "sugar on fat on salt on more sugar" to get people hooked on the product. She said cereal manufacturers should not be allowed to make health claims on the front of packs, as they were often designed to confuse people and hide the high levels of sugar and salt. Consumer NZ deputy chief executive David Naulls said people should not buy cereal based on claims on the packaging about vitamins, minerals and other nutritional benefits. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand is working on food-labelling standards and is considering the suggestion that foods that are particularly high in sugar, fat or salt should not be allowed to make health claims.

Friday, July 30

First NZ president for Zonta

The international women's rights organisation Zonta, has appointed its first New Zealand president. Wellingtonian Lynn McKenzie believes a kiwi president will be beneficial for the group. "It's good for New Zealand to have someone there, but it's good for the membership to also have a president from a small country." Ms McKenzie says her appointment is a real honour, as New Zealand represents only two percent of the group's international population. The role will help her encourage people to look at how they can improve the status of women worldwide.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Labor holds 8% lead in Australian poll survey

Australia's governing Labor Party has maintained its overall opinion poll lead at the end of the second week of the campaign for the 21 August election. The Reuters Poll Trend survey has Labour 7.8% ahead of the Opposition - up marginally from a week earlier - with 53.9% to 46.1%. Prime Minister Julia continues to outpoll Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, although her lead has fallen by three points in a week. She now has 54% compared to Mr Abbott's 33%.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Research on therapeutic value of black currants

Research in New Zealand and overseas is increasingly backing claims about the therapeutic qualities of blackcurrants. Scientists in New Zealand, Japan, France and Scotland are investigating potential benefits that range from improving eyesight focus and night vision, to helping blood circulation and mental ability. International Blackcurrant Association president Jim Grierson, of Christchurch, says human trials are starting to firm up some of that research. He says the aim is to process more of the world blackcurrant production into higher earning therapeutic products.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Big Samoa lotto prize still to be claimed

The biggest Lottery prize in Samoa remains unclaimed nearly a week after it was struck. The prize of nearly a quarter of a million US dollars was struck last Saturday, the first top prize winner in the Samoa National Lotto since it was set up by Government in October last year. It has to be claimed within 90 days or the ticket becomes void. The secretary of the TAB, Oloipola Terrence Betham, is confident the winner will come forth to claim the prize.
© Radio New Zealand International

Silver Fern closes UK meat plant

Silver Fern Farms has closed a long-established meat processing plant in England, with the loss of more than 60 jobs. It has been using the Brooks plant in Norwich for processing and packaging frozen lamb products since 1988, when it bought a half share in the business. It became the full owner 10 years later, but sold the land and buildings about two years ago and has been leasing the facilities since then. Chief executive Keith Cooper says changes in the meat export trade, mean Silver Fern can no longer justify keeping the Brooks plant going. Consumer tastes have changed, with people favouring chilled meat, and he says it's more cost effective to process the products in New Zealand.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Bangle mystery

Police in Palmerston North are trying to locate the owner of a Roman glass bangle, reputed to be about 2000 years old. The blue bangle was handed in to police about three or four months ago, and inquiries have failed to find the legitimate owner. It is mounted in an ornate silver frame with an engraved silver plaque, and experts at Victoria University have dated it back to the 1st century. Police think it's from the Waikato region and may have been taken from either a museum or a collector about 10 - 12 years ago.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Labour cuts links with Carter

The Labour Party is cutting all links with disgraced MP Chris Carter and is questioning his state of mind. Mr Carter was suspended by Labour's caucus on Thursday after he admitted sending an anonymous letter to journalists critical of Phil Goff's leadership of the party. Mr Goff says Mr Carter has been behaving irrationally, most likely due to pressure relating to his continued travel expenses, including a recent unsanctioned trip overseas. He says Mr Carter took the trip during the last Parliamentary recess without caucus approval, which is against caucus rules. Labour Party president Andrew Little says many of Mr Carter's colleagues are concerned about his wellbeing. Labour's national council will meet in a week and a Radio New Zealand political reporter says it is almost certain to suspend Mr Carter's party membership.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Elephant House no more

This weekend is the last chance for people to make a sentimental visit to the Elephant House at the Wellington Zoo. Although there has not been an elephant in the house since 1983, the demolition marks a change in the zoo's history. Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield says it is quite an occasion and they had a staff party this week to say their goodbyes. She says they have been moving animals out so there is not much to actually see in there now but it has been part of Wellington's history so she hopes people will come along and say their fond farewells.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Protests in India against NZ milk imports

Federated Farmers says political protests in India against imports of dairy products from New Zealand are disappointing. Indian media report that members of the Hindu nationalist party, Shiv Sena, drained thousands of litres of milk from six tankers, south of Mumbai this week, in protest at a decision to allow New Zealand imports. They say the imports will undercut Indian farmers. Fonterra says the protests are concerning and it's consulting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. However, the company says it's confident Indian authorities will manage the issue appropriately.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Not enough competent languages teachers about - Professor

Waikato University Reo Professor Pou Temara says the Hawaiian and Maori languages face similar challenges of finding enough competent teachers, particularly at the early childhood level. Professor Temara is in Hawaii at the moment, gauging language revitalisation projects there. He told Waatea News the (lack of) knowledge of the teachers is one of the barriers in helping the language to grow. "Teachers in Puna Leo are similar to those in Kohanga Reo, in that they aren't competent enough to be teaching the language." he said. "So what happens is you get the young children speaking bad language and this is what's also happening in Kohanga Reo back home."
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Maori music royalty deal welcomed

Maori singer-songwriter Hinewehi Mohi has welcomed a deal between the Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency, Te Maangai Paaho, and the Phonographic Performers Association of New Zealand for iwi stations to pay Maori composers and musicians royalties for use of their material. Ms Mohi told Waatea News that contemporary Reo Maori musicians struggle to get wider airplay, but the chance to get some income from iwi radio play could encourage the production of more material. She said it's a fantastic boost for Maori artists, particularly those who performing in Maori
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Radical changes needed to child support law - group

A parenting group says the Government needs to radically reform child and family law if it wants more parents to pay child support. A report by Auditor-General Lyn Provost has found the amount of child support owed will grow by nearly $6 billion in eight years, if nothing is done. She recommends a scheme that is easier to understand and new international agreements to chase up debtors living abroad. But Fathers of New Zealand says dropping late penalties and giving parents more contact with their children, will encourage people to pay. Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says he will put proposals to the Cabinet on child support, which will give the 20-year-old system a shake-up.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, July 29

Rugby-Photographer banned from All Blacks practice sessions

The photographer who took the picture of the All Blacks game plan at a training session, has been banned from covering the remainder of the side's Bledisloe Cup test buildup. The New Zealand-born Scott Barbour took the photo of a sheet paper coach Graham Henry was holding at a training ahead of the test against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday night. The NZRU's official photo agency Getty Images, which employs Barbour as a freelancer, also angered All Blacks management after the photo was reproduced in Australia and New Zealand media outlets.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Warmer weather on the way

By PAUL GORMAN - The Press
Forget the Gold Coast, the Cook Islands and Hawaii, and stay home instead this weekend. Warm weather is on the way and temperatures could even reach 20deg in Canterbury this weekend. The first big nor'westerly for months is brewing out in the Tasman Sea and should bring spring-like temperatures and buffeting winds from Saturday night until Sunday afternoon. MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said gales or severe gales were likely on Sunday, with heavy rain in the Alps and significant falls in the headwaters of the Canterbury rivers too. Tomorrow would be sunny with north-easterly winds developing, and Saturday would slowly become milder ahead of the nor'westerlies arriving at night. Another spell of north-west weather next week was likely to be followed by a cold blast towards the end of the week, he said.

Letter lands Carter in hot water

Chris Carter is back in hot water with his Labour Party colleagues. Mr Carter has been exposed as the man behind the letter given to media which claimed a challenge was imminent to Phil Goff and Annette King's leadership of the Labour Party. He was already out of favour with Mr Goff over his credit card spending. Political Editor Barry Soper says Labour's retribution has been swift. He says the party's caucus has already met and a unanimous decision has been made to suspend Mr Carter from the caucus. The New Zealand Council of the Labour Party is also set to consider his membership of the party itself. Mr Soper says, depending on how things pan out, it is possible we could see a by-election in Chris Carter's electorate of Te Atatu.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

South Island to get quake sensors

By PAUL GORMAN - The Press
New earthquake sensors will be deployed across Canterbury and Marlborough during a multimillion-dollar national project. From next year, GeoNet, a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and GNS Science, will roll out a monitoring station network across the upper South Island as part of a $45 million, five-year programme. A dense network is needed to improve public safety and understanding of earthquakes, to help pinpoint and measure tremors, and provide more details on fault ruptures. The Hope Fault near Hanmer Springs – likely to be the source of a damaging earthquake in Christchurch – will be among those in the spotlight. In September 1888, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake on the Hope Fault shook Christchurch for 50 seconds and brought down the Christ Church Cathedral spire. In the next two years, 10 new instruments would be installed in Canterbury, mainly in Christchurch. Eventually, 40 instruments would be spread across the region, with 20 around the city.

National eyes offshore student debt

The Government is considering ways to get more student debt back from Kiwis living overseas. "There are some big issues around how much we write off on student loans," Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said last night. "And one of the reasons is this long tail of borrowers who go overseas and don't make their repayments." Figures show overdue repayments from expats grew 111.1 per cent last year. And ex-students living overseas owe 20 per cent of the total amount despite making up only 14.65 per cent of all borrowers. The work to get more loan debt out of expats was revealed by Prime Minister John Key yesterday.

Govt-union relations take another hit

The Council of Trade Unions says it will no longer co-operate with the Government on trade issues and a United States union boss has cancelled a visit here in response to looming employment law changes. The Government this month announced the 90-day probation period for new employees, which covers businesses with under 20 staff and means they can be dismissed without recourse within that time, will be extended to all businesses. Other measures announced included requiring permission for union access to work places, allowing workers to trade in one of four annual leave weeks for cash and transfer public holidays on agreement, and also requiring workers to provide proof of illness on request when they take sick days. CTU president Helen Kelly said the CTU could not work with a government on trade matters when workers' rights were being undermined.

Parks in Whangarei to be smoke-free

Whangarei District Council is the latest council to ban smoking in public parks. The council this week approved a smoke-free policy for all its sportsfields, reserves and playgrounds. It acknowledges the policy can't be enforced, but says the aim is to support the non-smoking public and discourage smokers. No-smoking stickers will go up shortly on signs at parks around the district. More than 20 councils have adopted smoke-free policies for outdoor areas in the past five years.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Asylum seeker boat in distress

An asylum seeker boat in distress has been stopped by Australian Customs officials near Christmas Island. A statement from Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor says the vessel was intercepted 85 nautical miles north-west of Christmas Island. It appeared to be in distress. HMAS Broome and HMAS Armidale assisted to rescue the 81 passengers and four crew. The ABC reports the group is now on en route to Christmas Island where the asylum seekers will undergo security and health checks.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Tonga to launch recruitment drive for soldiers

Tonga is to recruit more soldiers over the next couple of months after agreeing to a British request to send troops to Afghanistan. 270 Tonga marines, in four rotations, are to provide security at Britain’s Camp Bastion base in Helmand province, from this November. Britain is to pay the costs involved in the deployment. The Tonga Defence Service’s Joint Operations Commander, Colonel Siamelie Latu, who will lead the first contingent, says they intend launching a recruitment campaign to build up numbers. There are presently around 700 personnel in the Defence Service but Tonga correspondent says the Government envisages the army doubling in size.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Companies fined thousands for biosecurity breaches

Two companies that conspired to breach biosecurity laws and import an illegal parasite have been fined a total of $40,000. Zonda Resources Ltd and Great Lake Tomatoes Ltd brought in a predatory mirid bug in 2006 to kill whiteflies which were destroying tomato crops. No harm was done to the environment and all the insects have been destroyed, but Judge Cunningham told Auckland District Court she had to denounce and deter such behaviour. She said the companies knowingly flouted biosecurity processes and kept doing so after being warned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Great Lake Tomatoes was fined $30,000. Zonda Resources was fined $10,000 because of its limited ability to pay.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Trade surplus recorded in June

New Zealand recorded its first trade surplus in June in eight years. Official figures show a surplus of $276 million dollars in the month, as exports rose and imports declined. Exports jumped 17% to $3.8 billion, led by milk powder, butter, and cheese, and logs and wood. Imports fell 2% to $3.5 billion, though Statistics New Zealand says it would have risen if a one-off import of aircraft in June last year was excluded. On an annual basis, the trade balance recorded a surplus of $639 million, a turnaround from a deficit for the previous June year of $3.1 billion.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Napier's beloved croc dies suddenly

Izzy the well-loved saltwater crocodile at Napier's aquarium has died unexpectedly. The croc came to the aquarium as a baby about 20 years ago and died well short of the 80 years the species can live to, National Aquarium manager Rob Yarrall said. "Not only are we clearly feeling the loss, but so will many of our visitors, who always loved to see Izzy during their visits," he told Hawke's Bay Today. Izzy had gone into semi-hibernation over winter but had shown no signs of ill-health. A post mortem will establish the cause of death - and Izzy's gender. Despite the masculine name, Izzy's sex was unknown because it could only be determined by internal examination.

Launch Of New-look Government Business Website

A new-look government website launched today will help save small business owners time and money, Small Business Minister Maurice Williamson says. Mr Williamson says the website has been redeveloped to be a first-stop-shop for businesses in New Zealand. "The portal will be a single repository for all the information a business person would need to start, manage and grow their business," he says. "It will also be the doorway between small businesses and government agencies, enabling business owners to go to one place to find out about government regulations, news that may affect them, and tools to help them with their business." Mr Williamson says the portal has a new look and improved functionality, which are designed to save small business owners time and money.

Seeking Malaysia veterans

A number of New Zealand veterans who served in Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s may be entitled to a medal from the Malaysian government. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is seeking veterans who served during the Malayan Emergency, who have not yet received their Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ team aims for Tour de France by 2015

New Zealand has its first fully fledged professional cycling team and it is aiming to recruit the country's finest riders. Pure Black Racing will debut in the Tour of Southland later this year, before heading to the United States to compete in the UCIs US Continental Tour next year and push a claim for a place on the roads of Europe. Team director and decorated yachtsman Carl Williams believes New Zealand has enough talent to take on the best in the world and says the objective is to field the most potent team of New Zealanders they can.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Good news for bookworms

By Blair Cunningham - NewstalkZBSoon Aucklanders will have access to millions of library books and CDs. Under the supercity that comes into effect in November, all 55 libraries in the Auckland region will be grouped together, meaning library cards can be used from the North Shore to Manukau. Auckland Transition Agency executive chairman Mark Ford says library access will remain free for ratepayers. He says that means members will have access to 3.5 million library items and will be able to return them wherever they want. Mr Ford says children and teens will not be charged for overdue items.

Wednesday, July 28

Pharmacists to manage warfarin treatment

Pharmacies will be able to manage warfarin for patients in a trial at up to 15 sites from October. Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced that community pharmacies will be able to manage the blood thinning therapy in collaboration with general practices, saying it will be more convenient for patients. Anticoagulation, or blood thinning, is currently managed in GP surgeries, often by a practice nurse supervised by the GP. "Doctors will sign standing orders for their patients and will designate the pharmacists who can manage each patient. Patients will have regular finger-prick blood tests and pharmacists will be able to modify the prescription in collaboration with the GP. "The aim of this demonstration is greater convenience for patients, making greater use of pharmacists' skills in the community, and freeing up GPs to see other patients."
Source: ONE News

Tonga soldiers to guard major British base in Afghanistan

Tonga is to send a contingent of soldiers to Afghanistan in November. Four rotations of 55 marines will form part of the guard at the main British base, Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province over the next two years. Tonga’s involvement follows a request made by the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, with Britain paying the costs associated with the deployment.
© Radio New Zealand International

The Future Of The Teaching Profession

Education Minister Anne Tolley is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the future of the teaching profession through a report currently out for feedback. "The quality of our teaching workforce, and of school leadership, is vital to the success of every student," says Mrs Tolley. "That is why I commissioned an independent report, A Vision for the Teaching Profession, which includes some bold discussion and proposals about initial teacher training, career progression and reward, and leadership in schools. "The period for feedback closes on 6 August 2010, and I encourage everyone with an interest in our children's education to take part. We want teachers in training or in the workforce, principals, boards of trustees, professional bodies and parents to have their say.
The Workforce Advisory Group's report can be viewed at:
The discussion document is available at: and

Pie lovers queue for award winner

Tauranga pie lovers are lining the streets for their chance to taste Pat Lam's award winning pies. Mr Lam, of Gold Star Patrick's Pies in Rotorua, won a slew of prizes at the Supreme Pie Awards last night. It is the fourth time he has taken out the top prize and this year it was for his bacon and egg pie. Mr Lam also has a branch in Bethlehem and staff member Nan Wang says more than 500 pies were sold in the first few hours of the shop opening. It was a big night for the Lam family with one brother from Paetiki Bakery in Taupo taking two gold awards and another brother from Owhata Lam Bakery in Rotorua winning a bronze award.

Rugby-Australian newspapers publish All Blacks tactics

Several Australian newspapers have published photographs of what seems to be the All Blacks tactics for Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup test against Australia in Melbourne. The photo agency Getty Images took photos of diagrams being held by All Blacks coach Graham Henry during a team training run yesterday and they've been run by the Australian, the Age and Herald Sun newspapers. The diagram highlights All Blacks planned moves from scrum and lineouts. So far there's been no comment from the All Blacks camp, although assistant coach Steve Hansen is due to appear at a media conference later today.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Festival fund announced for Rugby World Cup

Prime Minister John Key has announced a $9.5 million fund to support public festival events at the 2010 Rugby World Cup. Any organisation can now apply for a slice of the lotteries money to capitalise on the tournament in their area. Mr Key said the fund is designed to pay for everything from concerts to fairs, exhibitions, street markets and parades. Twenty three centres are hosting either teams or games and Mr Key says the funding will ensure the opportunities to be part of the World Cup are equally widespread.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Student loans 'a disaster'

Fresh calls have been made for interest to be reintroduced on student loans after Prime Minister John Key said student debt was a disaster economically for the Government. "If you're an investment banker – not that I am these days – you'd say it's a disaster of a loan book," Key told students at Victoria University's Weir House yesterday. "It's $11 billion, roughly, at the moment and we collect 53 cents in the dollar, that's it. Fifty-three cents in the dollar. The Government has announced changes to tighten access to student loans.

Custom courier service for Trade Me users

Freightways has launched a new service to cater specifically for customers buying and selling on Trade Me, the country's largest auction website. The service, called Pass the Parcel and managed by Post Haste, is designed to provide a solution for Trade Me members for organising the delivery of items sold through Trade Me. Pass the Parcel website will enable Trade Me users to get quotes, make bookings and pay for packaging and delivery while online.
Source: ONE News

Lanterns in remembrance

A lantern ceremony will be held in Christchurch next Friday to remember those who died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. The ceremony has been held for 35 consecutive years in the city on the Avon River. This year it happens on August 6 and starts at Victoria Square.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Tuesday, July 27

Bacon and egg pie takes supreme award

A bacon and egg pie has made baker Pat Lam four times a winner. Lam's Gold Star Patrick's Pies Bakery in Rotorua has achieved the unique feat of winning the Bakels Supreme Pie Award for the fourth time. This year, there were a record 4,336 pies from 386 bakeries entered in the Bakels contest. Lam won the Supreme Award, plus a Silver in the Gourmet Fruit category and a Bronze in the Gourmet Meat category. His brother, Lam Ho from Taupo's Paetiki Bakery, took Gold in both the Chicken and Vegetable and Gourmet Meat categories. And Pat's other brother, Mark from Rotorua's Owhata Lam Pie Bakery, took a Bronze with a mince and cheese pie. The New Zealand pie market is now worth in excess of $145 million, with Kiwis eating millions of pies a year.
Source: ONE News

Rugby-Weepu benched for Cowan, Rokocoko back on the wing

The All Blacks selectors have made just two changes to the starting lineup named to tackle the Wallabies in the opening Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne on Saturday. It's back to the bench for Piri Weepu. Joe Rokocoko returns to the left wing in the only other change to the starting lineup after recovering from a hamstring strain for what will be a significant milestone - Rokocoko will play in his 64th Test, moving ahead of All Blacks greats John Kirwan and Jonah Lomu as the most capped All Blacks winger of all time. Tony Woodcock will also join Greg Sommerville as the most-capped prop in New Zealand history with 66 Tests.
Team: 15-Mils Muliaina, 14-Cory Jane, 13-Conrad Smith, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 11-Joe Rokocoko, 10-Daniel Carter, 9-Jimmy Cowan, 8-Kieran Read, 7-Richie McCaw (captain), 6-Jerome Kaino, 5-Tom Donnelly, 4-Brad Thorn, 3-Owen Franks, 2-Keven Mealamu, 1-Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16-Corey Flynn, 17-Ben Franks, 18-Sam Whitelock, 19-Victor Vito, 20-Piri Weepu, 21-Aaron Cruden, 22-Israel Dagg
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Snowfall warning for South Island

MetService is warning motorists about possible snowfall on some major roads. Snow showers are expected to hit parts of the Lewis Pass late this afternoon. It's the same for Porters Pass, where snow showers are possible on higher parts of the road through to mid-afternoon. The AA is warning caution on State Highway Seven at the Hanmer turnoff and Springs Junction, adding chains are essential between Maruia and the Tekoa Range. Parts of the Desert Road may be affected by snow showers from nine o'clock tonight, one to two centimetres could accumulate above nine-hundred metres.
Copyright © 2010, Television New Zealand Limited

Team observing Solomon Islands elections

New Zealand is contributing nine members of an international mission to observe upcoming elections on the Solomon Islands. Led by former Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt Creech, it will include other current and former MPs and government officials. Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the August 4th election underlines the progress being made in rebuilding a peaceful and democratic Solomon Islands.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Getting easier to switch power companies

Electricity users will be able to change their supplier more quickly under a rule change approved by Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee. From October, power companies will have to switch customers within 10 working days of being asked, and half of all switches must occur within five working days. The current rule allows up to 23 working days for a switch. Mr Brownlee said the ministerial review of the electricity market indicated residential customers could save about $100 a year - or $150 million across all customers - by switching to the cheapest available retailer. People can compare the deals offered by different companies on

Grapes good, Bok Choi bad

There is encouraging news from the New Zealand Food Safety Authority over the levels of chemicals in vegetables. A study looking at chemical residues in fresh, unwashed produce has found no health or food safety concerns. The Food Residue Surveillance Programme targets locally-produced and imported crops prone to exceeding the maximum residue limit for agricultural chemicals. This year's survey looked at bananas, bok choi (also know as pak choi), broccoli, cucumbers, grapes, nectarines, oranges and wheat. The only non-compliant samples were of bok choi. However the authority says the levels of fungicide and insecticide found were not a health or food safety concern. NZFSA principal adviser for chemicals, Dr Paul Dansted said safety assessments show that an average-sized adult weighing 70kg could eat 1.7 kilos a day of the bok choi with the highest residue for the whole of their life with no effect but "This level of non-compliance is concerning and we have visited the non-compliant growers to find out why the residue levels were so high.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

50c robbery cracks up bank staff

By NICOLA BRENNAN - Waikato Times
Hamilton bank staff were left laughing after a bare-chested man demanded 50 cents from them, before crouching down then running away yesterday. TSB manager Sandra Makein told the Waikato Times it was definitely one of the more unusual attempted robberies she had heard of. "If you can call it a robbery," she said. Police said the man, in his early 20s, entered the Victoria St bank with a bandana over his lower face and demanded $10. When the teller said she didn't have any money he asked for 50c before crouching into the starting race position and running out of the bank. A passing policeman gave chase and the man was caught in Ward St. He was later assessed by medical and mental health staff.

Jan Henderson appointed NZ envoy to India

Career diplomat Jan Henderson has been appointed as New Zealand's High Commissioner to India. Ms Henderson will also be cross-accredited to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. She takes up her assignment in December, replacing Rupert Holborrow.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Key concerned at increasing foreign interest in land

The Prime Minister is worried an increasing amount of New Zealand farmland might be bought by foreign investors. John Key says the Government has to take into account the growing foreign interest in land when it considers any changes to the Overseas Investment Act. The Government is reviewing the act and Finance Minister Bill English due to report to the Cabinet soon. Mr Key says it has become evident that China has a lot of spare cash to invest and so too do many large pension funds from around the world and the Cabinet will have to take that into account. However, the Prime Minister says it is not a matter of banning foreign investment in land and it is a complex issue.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Scientists plan to drill deep into Alpine Fault

By PAUL GORMAN - The Press
Top international scientists are eyeing up a scrubby West Coast stream bed to carry out multimillion-dollar research into New Zealand's major "earthquake machine". The literally ground-breaking work, which could run over several summers, will involve drilling into the South Island's Alpine Fault to understand how large faults evolve and generate earthquakes. The Deep Fault Drilling Project has applied for resource consent to drill two boreholes about 150 metres deep and 50m apart in Gaunt Creek, near Whataroa, next year. The location atop the Alpine Fault is said by scientists to be one of only a few such sites in the world. It will involve 100 or more scientists and require funding from New Zealand, Germany, Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

More dentists register

By Jenny Woods - NewstalkZB
There has been a surge in the number of overseas qualified dentists and dental specialists registered to practise in New Zealand. The Dental Council's annual report shows there were 187 new registrations in the last financial year, 111 of which were from dentists or dental specialists who first qualified overseas. The number is the highest recorded over the past five years. Indians make up the largest number of foreign qualified specialists, with 30 gaining registration, followed by 17 South Africans.

Pacific Climate Change Fund launched

A new study to establish a Pacific Climate Change Fund has been launched with the aim of improving access to money to fight the problem. The research follows recommendations at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable held in the Marshall Islands last year. There have been concerns that while millions of dollars of funding is available at the global level, Pacific nations miss out. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s Espen Ronneberg says there’s a need to develop a process to help countries access money that can be mobilised to meet their priorities in mitigation and adaptation.
© Radio New Zealand International

No entries for Maori Book Prize Awards

A $10,000 Maori book prize will not be awarded this year after no entries were submitted in the National Book Awards' Maori language category. Judge Paul Diamond said it was disappointing, and a sign that few books were being written in Maori for adults. "My vision for the future is to see Te Reo fiction in every bookshop in the country," Diamond said. "Let's see Te Reo 'chick-lit', Te Reo mystery series and thrillers. It would be great to also see Te Reo cookbooks, histories, biographies and more." The Maori Language Award was introduced in 2008 and this year the prize money for it was doubled to $10,000.
Copyright © 2010, Television New Zealand Limited

Monday, July 26

NZ group aims to work with Thai dairy industry

A New Zealand group is proposing to help Thailand develop its dairy industry. The group's leader, Waikato lawyer Michael Grayson, says the industry in Thailand is very small compared to New Zealand's and is shrinking as the cost of production rises. Mr Grayson says his group is promoting pasture-based grazing systems as a way to reduce the cost of production. He says his group would create demonstration farms in Thailand and provide training for farm workers and managers.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Plastic catamaran arrives in Sydney

A catamaran made from 12,500 plastic bottles has arrived in Sydney on Monday after a four-month journey from San Francisco. The Plastiki was built to underline the problem of pollution caused by plastic waste. Its captain is environmentalist and banking heir David de Rothschild, who says one of the goals of the 14,800-kilometre trip was to highlight the world's problem with waste.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Zero drink limit for under-20 drivers, recidivists

Drivers under 20 and recidivist drink-drivers will face a zero blood-alcohol limit under changes planned by the Government. There will also be tougher penalties for drink-driving causing death. Legislation to give effect to the changes, which were announced by the Government on Monday, are expected to be in place by early next year. But the Government says more research will need to be done before it decides whether to lower the blood-alcohol limit from .08 to .05.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Pharmac to fund contraceptive implant

Women wanting longer-term contraception will be able to get Government-funded contraceptive implants from August 1. The long-acting Jadelle implants are small removable rods which are inserted just below the skin in the arm. They can provide contraception for up to five years. The implants will add to the range of contraceptives already funded by Government medicine funding body Pharmac, including hormonal contraceptive pills, intra-uterine devices and condoms. Pharmac expects up to 30,000 women will use the implants over five years.

Operator wanted for screening pilot

By Blair Cunningham - NewstalkZB
The Ministry of Health it looking for an operator for its bowel screening pilot programme. The new $24 million scheme will test more than 60,000 people every two years. Patients with concerning symptoms will be referred to other experts. Minister Tony Ryall wants the pilot up and running by October and is calling for expressions of interest. The scheme is likely to be rolled out nationally.

IndyCar-Dixon wins Edmonton in controversial fashion

The New Zealand Indy Car driver, Scott Dixon, has scored a controversial victory in the latest round in Edmonton. Dixon was in second place heading into the final lap, behind Brazil's Helio Castroneves, with the overall leader, Australian Will Power, in third. But heading into the finish Castroneves blocked team mate Power, and stewards decided to penalise him, demoting him from first to 10th. Castroneves was clearly frustrated with the decision, and yelled at the race officials immediately after the race. The Australian retains the championship lead, while Dixon stays third overall behind Scotland's Dario Franchitti.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

New code no to Shechita slaughter

New Zealand's Jewish community has launched legal action after the Government banned the kosher slaughter of animals. Two months ago, Agriculture Minister David Carter launched a new code of conduct for animal slaughter that aims to make the practice more humane. However, Jewish community spokesman David Zwartz says the new code means the "Shechita" way of killing, which involves slitting an animal's throat, has been banned. Mr Zwartz says he has tried to negotiate with the minister but could not reach a compromise, so lawyers are now preparing a case. "The legal case is being prepared and it's going to be reviewed by a QC to make sure that our case is the best possible case that we can present. But we don't know exactly when that will be." A spokeswoman for Mr Carter says the minister is aware of the concerns.
© 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Cook-off marks Maori Language week

Some well-known faces will gather at Wellington's Midland Park today to mark the launch of Maori Language Week. A 'cook-off' between local personalities and politicians will take place at 12.30pm in honour of the event's 'Language of Food' theme. Prof Paul Moon from the Auckland University of Technology says Maori Language Week is important to ensure the Maori language survives. He says one of the challenges the language faces is getting people to use it conversationally, rather than just at formal occasions. Prof Moon believes there is a risk the Maori language will be forgotten if there is not an annual reminder.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Sharp dressers following eco swap

Eco-conscious Wellingtonians will be looking sharp at work today following a clothes swapping event aimed at reducing the environmental harm of mass-produced garments. More than 2,000 pieces of clothing changed hands at 'The Big Shwop' yesterday, which took place at Wellington's St James Theatre. Co-director of the Shwop, Inga Boyd, says the event was designed to get people involved in ethical consumerism. She says people embraced the new way of shopping and jumped at the chance to update their wardrobes on the cheap.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Rheumatic fever rate 'a disgrace'

By KATE NEWTON - The Dominion Post
New Zealand's extraordinary rates of rheumatic fever are a disgrace and it is an embarrassment the disease even exists here, GPs and paediatricians say. About 600 children in Northland have undergone screening in the past week for heart damage caused by rheumatic fever, which is caused by streptococcus throat infections and can lead to serious cardiac problems and even death. Although research has focused on children in South Auckland and Northland, even New Zealand's overall rates are 14 times the OECD average and paediatricians say the disease needs urgent Government attention. Parts of Wellington have abysmal rates of rheumatic fever – including Porirua East, which carries the dubious honour of having the country's highest incidence of the disease.

Contractor objects to 'unsuitable' workers

The co-owner of a labour contracting firm says the Ministry of Social Development interferes too much in the makeup of the seasonal work force. David Ryder of the Hawke's Bay-based firm Agworks, says when the unemployment rate increases, the Ministry of Social Development wants it to use more local workers who may not always be suitable. Mr Ryder says the work is skilled and some of it is very demanding because contractors are trying to produce a high quality product. He says contractors are working on a commission rate of 15% to 22%, so high quality work and high productivity are essential. Mr Ryder says if there are workers who are not physically fit, not skilled and unwilling to do hard physical work then the quality and productivity is bad and the contractor will lose work.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Opposition to church plans in American Samoa to clear prime rainforest

The American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife says it will strongly oppose any application to clear prime rainforest. The Congregational Christian Church has applied to clear more than 2 hectares of rainforest in the west of the territory’s main island, Tutuila. The church plans to construct health and mission centres and two residential buildings on the land. The chief wildlife biologist at the department, Dr Lanie Berry, says they will strongly oppose any development. This 20 acres, of which the 5 acre, proposed development is part of, is the only remaining significant patch of this particular rainforest type that’s left in American Samoa.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Boy survives 16-storey fall

A teenager is recovering in hospital after falling from a 16-storey apartment building. The 15-year-old has broken bones after falling at the Proximity Apartments in Manukau City on Thursday. He lives with his family on the recently completed building's top floor. Building manager Jason Epps-Eades says the boy's fall was broken considerably by a car park roof, though residents are still stunned he survived. The teenager is in a stable condition in Middlemore Hospital and is expected to be discharged later this week.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, July 25

Goldie auction

An early portrait by renowned artist Charles Frederick Goldie is expected to raise up to $200,000 for developing world charities when it is auctioned at Art+Object, Auckland, on Thursday. The 1915 painting of Ngati Tuwharetoa chieftainess Tamaiti Tukino is being sold by an anonymous vendor who has owned it for about 20 years.

Aust election focuses on immigration cuts

Both sides of Australian politics committed to cut immigration numbers on Sunday, angering business, as the campaign for the August 21 election enters its second week. Australia is going through an immigration boom as it seeks skilled workers and in a tight labour market. Opposition leader Tony Abbott promised to curb the immigration intake from 300,000 people a year last year to around 170,000 a year, and to ensure population growth slows to around 1.4% from more than 2%. But the government hit back and said the immigration intake was already falling to around 230,000 people this year, due to a crackdown on student and temporary work visas, and would fall further to around 145,000 people by 2012. Australia is a nation of immigrants, with around one in four Australians born overseas. Both Gillard and Abbott were born in Britain but migrated to Australia as children.
Source: Reuters

Australian leaders get ready for TV debate

Australia's Labor Party leader Julia Gillard and Liberals' leader, Tony Abbott, go head-to-head in their only televised debate of the election campaign on Sunday night. Ms Gillard says she recognises her opponent is experienced in the art of debating and says she's looking forward to the contest. The ABC reports that two television stations have indicated they will be using "the worm" to track their audiences response to the leaders. But Mr Abbott says the worm does not like Liberal leaders so he is playing down his chances of winning on that measure. The election poll is to be held on 21 August.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Australian Labor party boosts redundancy guarantee

The Australian government has announced plans to increase the level of support to workers who lose their job. Labor says it will expand the Government guarantee on redundancy payments to cover up to four weeks for every year of service. The ABC reports the existing scheme is limited to 16 weeks. The Government has also announced plans to force employers to make it clear exactly how much superannuation an employee is paid. The announcement comes as Australians prepare to go to the polls in the 21 August federal elections.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Flu cases on the rise

Auckland Regional Health service says there has been a sharp increase in the number of people getting influenza, especially in the past fortnight. The service is strongly advising high risk people, such as pregnant woman, very young children and severely overweight people, to get the vaccination. Medical Officer of Health Cathy Pikholz says the H1N1 virus - swine flu - is covered in this year's jab and there are vaccines available.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Otago civil defence exercise to test snow storm response

An exercise this week will test how the Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management Group deals with a major snow storm. The scenario, to be tested on Tuesday, is of a snow storm affecting most of Otago, with road closures, disruption to power and telecommunications, and rural communities cut off. Otago Civil Defence coordinator Scott McNaughton says the exercise will test the effectiveness of emergency management in Dunedin, Oamaru, Alexandra and Queenstown. In particular, it will focus on coordination and communication between the groups.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Every step taken to ensure security

By Tim DOWER - NewstalkZB
Commonwealth Games officials insist they are taking every appropriate step to ensure security at October's Games in Delhi. NZOC boss Barry Maister says the issue is being treated very seriously. His comments follow netballs' Silver Ferns captain Casey Williams telling a Sunday newspaper she does not want her family to be there. The Star Times also reports her saying she is happy with the protection for athletes. Barry Maister says New Zealand will be represented at a major security conference in Delhi next week.

$10m Eden Park pavilion plan unveiled

By GREG NINNESS - Sunday Star Times
The organisers of next year's Rugby World Cup have unveiled plans to build a two-storeyed function centre capable of seating 5000 diners adjacent to Eden Park's new stadium. It will be the biggest entertainment facility of its type ever built in this country and will be dismantled and sold at the end of the tournament. The exterior will be a 20m-high marquee, while the interior will be more like a five-star hotel, with air-conditioning and solid walls, floors and ceilings, fitted out with plush furnishings and high-tech audiovisual wizardry. To be called the Eden Park Pavilion, it will contain 10 banquet rooms, each capable of seating 500 guests, surrounding a double-storey atrium, which will be the base for live entertainment.

$10m Eden Park pavilion plan unveiled

By GREG NINNESS - Sunday Star Times
The organisers of next year's Rugby World Cup have unveiled plans to build a two-storeyed function centre capable of seating 5000 diners adjacent to Eden Park's new stadium. It will be the biggest entertainment facility of its type ever built in this country and will be dismantled and sold at the end of the tournament. The exterior will be a 20m-high marquee, while the interior will be more like a five-star hotel, with air-conditioning and solid walls, floors and ceilings, fitted out with plush furnishings and high-tech audiovisual wizardry. To be called the Eden Park Pavilion, it will contain 10 banquet rooms, each capable of seating 500 guests, surrounding a double-storey atrium, which will be the base for live entertainment.

Rugby-Australia beat Springboks 30-13

Australia's emphatic 30-13 win over the Springboks in Brisbane on Saturday leaves the South African team all but out of the Tri-Nations title race. Defending champions South Africa head home with three straight losses, and will need favourable results from Australia and New Zealand to have a chance of retaining their crown. The Springboks had a player sin-binned at the start of each half and conceded a raft of first-half penalties to allow the Wallabies to open a 17-3 lead at the break.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Saturday, July 24

Biodegradable pens write for the environment

A group of Dunedin schoolgirls have helped make our everyday lives a bit greener, securing the sole distribution rights for biodegradable pens. They look, feel and write like normal pens but they're anything but normal. "They're made of cornstarch, and what happens is once you're finished with the pens, you take out the middle, the spring and the refill." You pop a seed into the "seed cage" in the pen, put it back on the pen, plant it in the ground, and it will biodegrade and act as a fertiliser for the seed to grow and flourish, the girls say. The young enterprise group from Dunedin's Columba College has negotiated the sole rights to New Zealand distribution.
Source: ONE News

Sir John Anderson rejects cricket job nomination

Sir John Anderson has told New Zealand Cricket he's not available for nomination for the position of vice-president of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Former Australian prime minister John Howard was jointly nominated by the Australian and New Zealand cricket authorities for the job ahead of Sir John, who was New Zealand's original choice. This time, however, the ICC rejected Mr Howard and demanded a new nominee. New Zealand Cricket chairman Alan Isaac says he approached Sir John about the role, but he was unfortunately not available to be considered as a nominee.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Fifty-year-olds to take part in study

Otago University is calling on Christchurch 50-year-olds to take part in a study on ageing and wellbeing. The study leader, Professor Peter Joyce, said the Canterbury health, ageing and lifecourse (Chalice) study would help fill a void in knowledge about attitudes to ageing and the wellbeing of people in the second half of their life. Fifty was the new "mid-life" as some of the participants would live until at least 100, he said. Initial funding was for 1000 participants, but he hoped to increase that to more than 2000. Joyce said 50 was one of the healthiest ages mentally. The study would look at possible early indicators of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, he said.

Rugby-Southland successfully defend Ranurly Shield

Rugby's Ranfurly Shield holders Southland turned on an eight-try second-half blitz to destroy challengers Wanganui 62-6 at Rugby Park in Invercargill last night. Ahead 14-6 at the break after a nervy first half, the Southlanders racked up three tries in the opening six minutes of the second spell to put their second Shield defence this season beyond doubt. The performance mirrored Southland's opening effort of the season against North Otago two weeks ago, when they turned a 10-3 halftime lead into a 48-3 victory. Their next Shield defence is against Otago on August the 7th.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Polls show Labor well ahead in Australia

With the vote in Australia now just four weeks away, Julia Gillard is on track to become Australia's first elected female Prime Minister. Her Labor Party is eight points clear of the opposition, in a poll just released. The Neilsen-Age poll shows Labor with a solid lead in the two-party preferred vote, sitting on 54 percent to the coalition's 46. Julia Gillard also remains preferred Prime Minister with an unchanged 21 point lead over Tony Abbott. Labor's primary vote has also improved three points to 42 percent ahead of the coalition which fell one point to 41 percent.
© 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

South inundated again

By PAUL GORMAN - The Press
Heavy rain on already sodden ground caused road problems and flooding in North Canterbury and coastal Marlborough yesterday, but Christchurch escaped the worst of the weather. Between 80 and 100 millimetres fell in areas from Waipara to Cheviot, but the biggest falls were on the Seaward Kaikoura Range, where the rain gauge at Snowfall recorded 180mm by mid-afternoon. MetService issued a heavy-rain warning for the Kaikoura ranges, predicting up to another 80mm by last night. The bridge over the Ashley River between Rangiora and Loburn remained closed yesterday afternoon because of rising river levels and was likely to stay closed for the weekend, the Waimakariri District Council said. Motorists were advised to use State Highway 1 instead.

Rugby-De Villiers retracts All Blacks remarks

Outspoken Springboks rugby coach Peter de Villiers has backtracked over his insinuation that there is a conspiracy to have the All Blacks winning ahead of next year's World Cup in New Zealand. De Villiers has been upset with refereeing by Irish officials in the two Springboks defeats in New Zealand and unhappy that a third referee from Ireland had been selected for Saturday's test against Australia in Brisbane. On Australian television on Wednesday he said there was a World Cup in New Zealand next year and "maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year."
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Friday, July 23

Nauru happy to reopen detention centre for Australia

Nauru president Marcus Stephen says his government would reopen the island's detention centre if Australia wanted to use it to process asylum seekers again. Nauru was the key location for detainees under the Howard government's so-called Pacific solution policy. The centre was closed in 2008 amid criticism it was an isolated prison with poor facilities. However, Mr Stephen says asylum seekers detained at the centre were well fed and could spend their time shopping, swimming or biking. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has previously ruled out Nauru as a location because it is not a signatory to the United Nations convention on refugees.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

IPads fly out the door

Apple's new iPad has gone on sale in New Zealand and one Auckland store saw 200 fly out of the door within just three hours. The portable touch screen computer costs from $800 to nearly $1400, depending on the model. Newmarket's MagnumMac store opened early today to launch the device and a queue of about 30 people were outside for the first couple of hours.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ-Russian adoptions closer

New Zealanders could be able to adopt babies from Russia within a year. Russian officials have granted a permit to ICANZ (Inter Country Adoption New Zealand) to operate an adoption programme. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today welcomed the news. "This is a positive first step, we still have to work through the details, but we are moving closer to allowing Russian adoptions." Russian adoptions were suspended in 2006 after concerns about practises by Russian agencies, including overcharging. New Zealand and Russia began work on strengthening adoption protocols, Ms Bennett said.

Chaudhry charged with tax evasion

Former Fijian prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry has been charged with tax evasion and money laundering. The interim government's media arm, the Ministry of Information, issued a release on Friday morning saying Mr Chaudhry was interviewed the previous day by the criminal investigations department and then released. In a further statement, it says charges have been laid by police and Mr Chaudhry is now in police custody and expected to appear in court in the capital Suva in the afternoon.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Three jailed over illegal workers

Three Hawke's Bay businessmen have been sent to jail for three years, after conspiring to assist overstayers and ship jumpers live and work illegally in New Zealand. The father of one of the three has been sentenced to nine months home detention. At the time three of them were directors of the company Contract Labour Services, which supplied about 600 workers to orchards and vineyards. Their arrests followed a major Department of Labour operation targeting horticultural employers in Hawke's Bay and Marlborough, suspected of assisting people from overseas to work illegally.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

The River Kitchen wins top cafe award

A Hamilton cafe has taken out the supreme prize at the 2010 New Zealand Best Cafe Awards. The River Kitchen owned by Brent and Lisa Quarrie has been open in Hamilton's CBD for nearly three years. Mrs Quarrie says it is the personal touch that makes their business stand out from the rest. She says they welcome regular customers by name which creates a good atmosphere. They also make all their food on-site. Colenso at Whenuakite on the Coromandel Peninsula is runner-up.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Flooding problems in Canterbury

Surface flooding in parts of North and South Canterbury this morning. Police say flooding is causing problems in the Amberley and Dommett areas. The Waimakariri District Council says the Ashley Bridge at Comes Road is closed until further notice due to rising river levels. In the south, there are problems on State Highway One just north of the Waimate turn off. Motorists are advised to drive with caution.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

New hygiene regulations on the cards

The Government's moving to reduce food-borne illnesses and protect consumers. Parliament last night passed the first stage of a new Food Bill, which replaces the outdated 30-year old Act. Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says the old bill contains outdated hygiene regulations and does not do enough to regulate the industry. She says the new bill includes a number of measures that assess food handlers based on the risk they pose to health and safety. That means, for example, a baked goods fundraiser will no longer be regulated in the same way as a bakery. A select committee will now discuss and propose amendments to the bill.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Copyright no barrier for kiwis

New Zealanders are some of the worst offenders when it comes to illegally downloading movies. MPs have been told New Zealand is second in the list of countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, behind Australia. The Motion Picture Association has appeared before a select committee considering legislation which would allow illegal file sharers' internet accounts to be suspended, if they are caught offending a third time. The association says New Zealanders are responsible for 158,000 infringements a month, punching far above our weight on a per capita basis.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Volunteering in the spotlight

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee expects that Rugby World Cup will put volunteering in the spotlight. A new website, , has been set up to link volunteers and event organisers. Mr Brownlee says volunteers play a key role in the success of any event, big or small. He is encouraging anyone who wants to get involved in volunteering or who needs volunteers to visit and register on the site.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Fake NZ honey being sold overseas

The honey industry says it's still trying to get on top of the fraud in overseas markets in which overseas products are being passed off as New Zealand honey. National Beekeepers Association president Frans Laas says evidence has been found of overseas producers relabelling local product, and trying to pass it off as coming from New Zealand. Mr Laas says they have found pollens in the honey that do not exist in New Zealand. He says they're still working to get those fraudulent products off the shelf, by putting in a traceability system.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Expanded drug-buying role for Pharmac

The role of Pharmac is to be expanded to enable it to buy all hospital medicines as well as those used in the community. Health Minister Tony Ryall says the move will end inconsistencies between regions in the drugs patients are able to get through their local district health board. Pharmac already manages cancer drugs and some off-patent drugs used in hospitals and will now take over management of $215 million of other hospital drugs every year. In addition, it is to begin taking over the assessment and purchase of all medical devices used in hospitals, beginning with insulin pumps.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

English rules out super changes

The Government is standing firm on its position not to change the age or entitlement for national superannuation (pension). A conference in Wellington co-hosted by the Retirement Commission has been told the Government's spending on superannuation is not sustainable in the long term. Options raised at the conference to deal with the mounting costs of superannuation include raising the age of entitlement, increasing immigration and lifting economic growth. But Finance Minister Bill English says there is no appetite from the Government to change national superannuation. Mr English says the Government can meet its current obligations to the national superannuation scheme.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Gillard to consult citizens' assembly on climate change

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard released her party's revised climate change policy on Friday, which includes the establishment of a citizens' assembly. When Ms Gillard took over from Kevin Rudd three weeks ago she said she wanted to establish community consensus before going ahead with an emissions trading scheme. The ABC reports the citizens' assembly would be made up of up to 200 volunteers and would work alongside a group of scientists appointed by the government to advise it on climate change.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, July 22

‘Kia ora!’ - SpongeBob Squarepants speaks Māori

SpongeBob - the world’s most famous sea sponge - is also a fluent te reo Māori speaker. Or at least he will be for five episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants - screening during Māori Language Week (26 July - 1 August 2010). SpongeBob Squarepants and his sea-dwelling Bikini Bottom friends will speak in te reo Māori next week on the Nickelodeon channel in New Zealand, to help promote the language to a younger audience. The Māori voice-overs for the five episodes were recorded by an award-winning Kiwi production company that specialises in Māori language children’s programming - Cinco Cine Film Productions.
Copyright 1999-2010 Tourism New Zealand

NZ's best cafes revealed

The owners of New Zealand's best cafe once wondered if they had made the right decision moving to Hamilton. But those days are gone now that their cafe, The River Kitchen, has won the top prize in the 2010 Cafe magazine New Zealand Best Cafe Awards. Owners, Brent and Lisa, met working in Auckland's inner city suburb of Kingsland. While visiting Hamilton they came across a rundown area in an old heritage building built in 1925, and the rest, as they say, is history. The other big winner is Colenso Country Cafe, 10 minutes north of Tairua on the Coromandel, which has been judged the runner-up.
Source: ONE News

Cough medicine sales to be restricted

Sales restrictions on some cough and cold medicines for children will come into force on May 1 next year. Medicines regulator Medsafe said that from that date cough and cold medicines, containing dextromethorphan and phenylephrine, for children under 12 years of age will only be sold in pharmacies. Medsafe group manager Stewart Jessamine said products containing those ingredients would only be available in supermarkets from May 1 if they were re-labelled for use in adults and children over 12 years of age. All non-compliant products would be removed from supermarket shelves from that date.

WiFi access up

More people are using wireless access to use computers. Statistics New Zealand says more than half of households with the internet use laptops or handheld computers at home in 2009, five times more than in 2006. A quarter of users accessed the internet through mobile phones or wireless hotspots while away from home, compared with 14% of users in 2006.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Festival promises to inspire

Organisers of the Auckland Arts Festival are promising their first major event for the new super city will inspire people to broaden their horizons. It will be held in March next year. Artistic Director David Malacari says there is a range of work from the challenging to the entertaining, with a dazzling concert of Rajasthani music from India, and water puppetry from Vietnam among the new acts. There will also be a new dance movement by renowned Kiwi choreographer Douglas Wright. Mr Malacari says there will be about 40 performing arts events as well as a whole lot of visual art exhibitions and activities for children and families.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Kudos for Central Otago wine label

A Central Otago wine label has added another international feather to its cap. Gibbston Valley Wines has been judged the Best New Zealand Wine at the Japan Wine Challenge with its 2009 Pinot Gris. The same wine was also awarded the trophy for Best New World White Wine at the same competition.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Wednesday, July 21

Aircraft 'black box' inventor dies in Australia

A pioneering Australian inventor whose "black box" flight data recorder revolutionised the safety of air travel and aided countless crash investigations has died aged 85, officials said Wednesday. David Warren, whose own father died in a plane crash, hit upon the "black box" idea while probing a 1953 disaster involving the world's first commercial jetliner. He first hatched the idea of cockpit voice and data recording while investigating a 1953 crash of the Comet, the world's first commercial jet, basing his design on a miniature pocket recorder he had seen at a trade fair. After an initial lack of interest from authorities, Warren built a prototype "black box" in 1956. It was able to store four hours of voice recordings and instrument readings.

Call for more effort to go into induction of Pacific Island seasonal workers in NZ

The Tonga Advisory Council in New Zealand says more effort is still needed to thoroughly induct seasonal workers from the Pacific so they know their rights. This follows a call by the Service and Food Workers Union for people coming to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme to be given more detailed agreements to ensure they aren’t exploited. The RSE scheme, which selects and hires people to come to New Zealand for seasonal employment in horticulture and viticulture, is due for a review next month. The Council’s Melino Maka says unfortunately RSE workers are often not fully aware of their rights under New Zealand labour law and can be taken advantage of.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Accountants still among top earners

An independent survey of more than 10,000 chartered accountants, shows that despite the downturn in the economy, they remain one of the highest-paid professional groups. The Institute of Chartered Accountants says the average income for an accountant in the past year was $139,000. But chief executive Terry McLaughlin says the economic recession has meant big salary fluctuations, depending on where accountants are and the type of work they do. Accountants working in Auckland have the highest average income of $151,000 a year.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Funding boost to help Kiwi kids learn Mandarin

The Chinese government is stepping up its push to make Mandarin a second language in some of New Zealand's schools. It is putting up $250,000 towards tuition so Kiwi children can learn the language. More than a quarter of the world's population lives in China and it is New Zealand's second largest trading partner. But Parnell District is just one of a handful of schools teaching its language and culture. So, the Chinese government wanted to offer the same opportunity to around 10,000 students in 26 other Auckland schools, who will receive weekly lessons in Chinese language and culture.
Source: ONE News

Visitor numbers top 2.5 million

Statistics New Zealand says 2.5 million visitors travelled to New Zealand in the year to June, up 3.7% on last year. It's the first time the 2.5 million mark has been surpassed.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Judges to wade through record number of pies

A record 4336 pies will battle it out tomorrow for the accolade of New Zealand's top pie. The entries have come from 386 bakeries, making the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards the biggest food competition in the country by far, organisers said today. Blind tasting will take place in Auckland, with television chef and cooking writer Allyson Gofton as the celebrity foodie on the judging panel. Competition is in 11 categories: mince and gravy; chicken and vegetable; gourmet meat; bacon and egg; gourmet fruit; steak, vegetable and gravy; steak and cheese; vegetarian; mince and cheese; seafood; and commercial pie. The best of the lot - the supreme pie - will be announced next Tuesday, with the winning baker getting $7500 in cash.

Whiskey on ice takes on new meaning

Frozen for a century, an icy Antarctic treasure will start to be revealed at Canterbury Museum today. Five crates of rare Mackinlay's whiskey was buried below explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island around 1909. It was only discovered three years ago. Antarctic New Zealand removed one of those crates in January to restore it. The whiskey is believed to be part of 25 cases donated to Shackleton for the first expedition he lead. Once it's contents are analysed at the museum, the whiskey crate will be returned to its home on the ice.
Source: ONE News

Growth in migration continues to slow

Migration fell to a 19 month low in June, as fewer immigrants arrived and more people moved across the Tasman to Australia. Statistics NZ says New Zealand gained a seasonally-adjusted 70 people last month, compared to a downwardly revised gain of 240 people in May. For the year ending June, there was a net gain of 16,500 permanent and long-term migrants, compared with the 12,500 the previous year. More than 1800 people left for Australia in June, up from just over 1100 last June, taking the total for the year to nearly 16,000.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Rugby-Four changes to Springboks starting fifteen

South Africa's made four changes to their starting fifteen for the Saturday's tri-nations rugby test against Australia in Brisbane. After losing their two opening matches against the All Blacks, the Springboks have brought in winger Gio Aplon for the suspended Jean de Villiers, halfback Ruan Pienaar replaces Ricky Januarie, openside flanker Ryan Kankowski replaces Francois Louw and interchange prop BJ Botha swaps places with CJ van der Linde.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Bill requires Governor-General to pay income tax

A bill that would require the next Governor-General to pay income tax has passed its first reading in Parliament. Prime Minister John Key says the bill is important and timely. There is no longer any justification for the exemption on the Governor-General paying income tax, he says, and successive governors-general have asked for it to be removed.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, July 20

Final tributes paid to unknown Australian soldiers

Moving tributes have been paid to Australian and British soldiers who died in the Battle of Frommel in July 1916. The last of 250 bodies of World War I troops recovered from mass graves have been re-interred in northern France. More than 2000 Australians were killed in two days and many were put into a mass grave by the Germans. Their grave was uncovered only a couple of years ago. The ABC reports 205 of those recovered have now been identified as Australian, three were British and 42 are still classified as unknown. DNA technology has been able to positively identify 96 Australian soldiers whose inscribed tombstones were unveiled on Monday. Thousands of Australians travelled to Fromelles for the ceremony. Prince Charles and Australia's Governor General Quentin Bryce were also there.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Cave full of strange marsupial fossils found

Fossil hunters in Australia have discovered a cave filled with the remains of marsupials that lived 15 million years ago. The rare haul of fossils includes 26 skulls from an extinct, sheep-sized marsupial with giant claws, the BBC reports. The beautifully preserved remains from the Riversleigh World Heritage fossil field in north-west Queensland have been described in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. "It's extraordinarily exciting for us," says University of New South Wales palaeontologist Mike Archer, co-author of the research. "It's given us a window into the past of Australia that we simply didn't even have a pigeonhole into before.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Cyber criminals change tactics

An internet security company says cyber criminals are changing their tactics, using major global news stories to try to entrap consumers. Symantec says events such as the FIFA World Cup are being used to encourage consumers to click on malicious links in junk emails, instead of the traditional lure of sex. Mr Martin says consumers should not open emails with scandalous or juicy headlines, as they are likely to come from cyber criminals. He says the Commonwealth Games in India inOctober and the Rugby World Cup next year are both likely to be future targets.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Kiwi tops bodypainting awards

A Kiwi designer has taken out a top spot at the World Bodypainting Championships. Dutch-born Yolunda Bartram won first place for special effects makeup. Her husband Julian Bartram says Yolunda's artwork is based on an Indian design crossed with a science fiction genre. He says the competition, held in Austria, has an audience of 30,000 with at least 1000 photographers.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Election debate may move to avoid TV cooking show

Major political parties in Australia are considering moving the time of a televised federal election debate, to avoid clashing with the popular TV show, Masterchef. A debate between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was expected to be held at the same time as the final of the series on Sunday night. Ms Gillard says it is likely there will only be one televised debate in the campaign. The ABC understands that the debate could be aired early, from 6:30pm, to avoid running up against Masterchef on Channel 10 from 7:30pm. The election will be held on 21 August.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

iPad's NZ launch date announced

The official launch of the Apple iPad will finally reach New Zealand on Friday, the company announced today. The iPad tablet, billed as a "magical and revolutionary product", launched in the United States on April 3 but demand caused delivery delays to the international market. It went on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and Britain on May 28. Along with New Zealand, the iPad will go on sale in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands and Singapore on July 23.

McCully in Afghanistan for "historic meeting"

Foreign Minister Murray McCully's in Afghanistan for what's being described as a 'historic' meeting on the country's future. He's among representatives from 60 countries who are attending the conference in the capital Kabul. President Karzai's government is expected to ask for greater control of the billions of dollars in foreign aid for reconstruction. But the international community will be seeking assurances about the Afghan government's plans to improve security and make good on reform promises.
Copyright © 2010, Television New Zealand Limited

Heavy rain predicted for West Coast

By Jenny Woods - NewstalkZB
A severe weather warning is in place for the West Coast of the South Island. MetService is warning heavy rain is spreading into the Westland Ranges from the glaciers to Otira today. The weather front is moving north with a burst of heavy rain expected in the Nelson area tomorrow. There are also snowfall warnings for the Arthur's and Porters Passes from dinnertime tonight.

Changes ahead for Historic Places Act

The Minister of Culture and Heritage wants to bring the Historic Places Act in line with the Resource Management Act to create a more streamlined application process for property developers and owners who want to modify, damage or destroy historic sites. Senior archaeologist Rick McGovern-Wilson says although the process will be simpler and shorter, protection levels should remain the same. He told Waatea News that all site applications will now go to the trust's Maori Heritage Council.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Monday, July 19

NZers joining Gaza aid convoy

New Zealand volunteers planning to take part in a Gaza aid convoy have been warned by the group they will represent that they may be putting their lives at risk. The group Kia Ora Gaza is sending a team to join international sea and land convoys setting off in September, in the hope of breaking the Israeli blockade. Nine civilian aid workers were killed in May when a Gaza aid flotilla was attacked by Israel's military. Co-organiser Grant Morgan says so far 20 people have put their names forward and are well aware of the danger. He hopes to speak to Foreign Minister Murray McCully to see what the Government could do to protect the volunteers if an emergency arises.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ's most common family.. Couples without children

Couples without children are expected to overtake two-parent families as the most common household formation by next year, according to Statistics New Zealand figures. National Family and Household Projections released today showed the number of families would increase from an estimated 1.17 million in 2006 to 1.46 million in 2031. Couples without children would account for the majority of the growth, up from 468,000 in 2006 to 721,000 in 2031. The increasing prevalence of couple-without-children families was mainly due to the large number of people born during the 1950s to the early 1970s reaching older ages, Statistics New Zealand said. Most of these couples would have had children who had left the parental home.

Boiler approved for vineyard

Yealands Estate has received funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to build a boiler that will turn vine prunings into a source of energy. Some 10% of vine prunings will burnt in the biomass boiler and used to heat water and glycol. The boiler, which is being made in the United States, will save Yealands 22 tonnes of LPG per year.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

NZ slips from first to fifth in health rankings

New Zealand has fallen from first to fifth in rankings of the world's leading health systems. However, both Labour and National are blaming each other for the drop in the Commonwealth Fund rankings. A biannual survey from the United States-based organisation compares seven top health systems in such areas as safety, efficiency and effectiveness. In 2004, New Zealand was No1. It slipped to second in 2006, and third equal with Australia in 2007. However, in the 2010 report, New Zealand is fifth, behind the Netherlands, Britain, Australia and Germany. New Zealand ranks best for high-quality care, taking the top spot for co-ordination of care and patient-centred care. Overall, the Netherlands came top, with New Zealand fifth and the US last.

Rheumatic fever screening programme begins in Far North

Cardiologists have begun testing 600 children in the Far North to find those who may have suffered heart damage, as a result of rheumatic fever. The disease is now rare in developed countries, but is still rife among Maori and Pacific Island communities in parts of New Zealand. A team from Greenlane Hospital in Auckland is working with doctors and district nurses to screen children at Kaitaia between the ages of 10 - 13. Similar testing on the East Coast and in South Auckland found up to 3% of children with damaged hearts, caused by undiagnosed episodes of rheumatic fever in childhood. Northland Health says about two children per year at Kaitaia get rheumatic fever following a sore throat.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

NZ to open embassy in UAE

New Zealand is to open an Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, who is visiting Abu Dhabi, says the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand share a diverse and growing relationship. The embassy is due to open in January and will be New Zealand's second in the Gulf region, after Riyadh.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

20,000 tickets sold so far for world rowing championships

Some 20,000 tickets have so far been sold for the world rowing championships to be held on Lake Karapiro in Waikato later this year. It's only the second time the event has been held in New Zealand. The first was in 1978. Chief executive Tom Mayo says it's hoped to sell a total of 50,000 tickets. The event will run for nine days, starting on 30 October. It is likely to attract more than 700 competitors from 50 countries.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Link found between vitamin C and tumour growth

A University of Otago researcher says a significant development in establishing a link between vitamin C and tumour growth may offer help with fighting cancer. Professor Margreet Vissers says the study is the first real evidence of the link between vitamin C and tumour growth. Her study looked at whether vitamin C levels were lowered in patients with endometrial tumours. Professor Vissers says tumours with low vitamin C levels had more of a certain protein, which allows them to thrive under stress. She says it may be beneficial for people with cancer cells to have more vitamin C, to help limit the growth of tumours.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Chinese company buys controlling stake in Synlait

A Chinese company has bought a controlling stake in the Canterbury-based milk processing company Synlait Milk, for $82 million. Bright Dairy & Food will own 51% of the company and use it to source high quality infant and whole milk powders for sale in China. Bright Dairy is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is China's third largest dairy company by volume. The sale will need to be approved by regulators and shareholders.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, July 18

Law Society fears for Fiji

The Law Society says the rule of law is under attack in Fiji and it should be of significant concern to the New Zealand government. President Jonathan Temm says five magistrates were fired without notice recently. One of them had questioned the the propriety of a prosecution by Fiji's government-appointed Independent Commission against Corruption. Mr Temm says 40 judicial officers were dismissed in the year to April, most of them for rejecting prosecution cases brought by the military government or its agencies. He says Fiji's judiciary is effectively no longer independent.
Copyright 2002 - 2010, TelstraClear Ltd

Social networking dumbs down youth

By Nina Burton - NewstalkZB
It seems New Zealanders are not too much different from their Australian counterparts whose children are being dumbed down as a result of social networking. New research shows more than half of Australian parents with children aged 10 to 17 using networking sites say their children are distracted from their studies. Ian Grant from Parenting Inc says when the decision-making part of the brain does not develop until the age of 21, parents need to ensure their youngsters are not devoting too much time to these sites. He says children need to read and develop their own learning, instead of taking the modern option of turning on a computer.

Forestry a greenhouse gas emitter - study

A global study of the forestry industry has found it is a net emitter of carbon dioxide, not an absorber. The study, by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, has found the industry in 2007 emitted about 420 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 1.4% of global emissions. The forestry industries in New Zealand and other developed countries have been promoting the carbon storage properties of wood as a way to reduce global climate change.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Boxing-Tua has lucky draw against Barrett

The New Zealand boxer, David Tua, has finished his heavy-weight bout against America's Monte Barrett in Atlantic City, with a lucky draw. Tua looked in control in the early rounds, but as the fight progressed, the 37-year-old started to tire, letting the retiring Barrett back in the bout. In the 12th and final round, 39-year-old Barrett knocked Tua to the floor for the first time in the New Zealander's career. Tua survived a standing eight count to finish the fight.
Copyright © 2010 Radio New Zealand

Australian Labor Party leads poll

The Australian Labor Party has an election-winning lead going into the first full day of election campaigning for the August 21 federal poll. A Galaxy opinion poll, published in News Ltd newspapers on Sunday, shows Labor maintaining a two-party preferred lead - 52 to 48 percent - over the coalition. But there's a worrying sign for Labor. Its primary vote support has dropped two points to 39 percent. Prime Minister Julia Gillard is in Brisbane on Sunday while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott returns to his home city of Sydney after attending the annual conference of the Liberal National Party in Queensland. Election analysts believe NSW and Queensland are the battleground states of the election with about 15 marginal seats up for grabs.


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