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Friday, November 30

Rugby - All Blacks laid low with gastro problems

The All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has revealed his squad has been hit with a gastro virus this week and the majority of them are only just getting over it. Hansen has named his side to take on England at Twickenham with lock Brodie Retallick replacing Luke Romano, Dan Carter replacing Aaron Cruden and Keven Mealamu replacing Andrew Hore. The coach says they've had upset stomachs ever since Wales, but all but a few now appear to be over it. He says they are very focused on finishing the tour on a high note with a performance they can be proud of. New Zealand haven't lost to England since 2003.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Member of Fiji regime allowed into New Zealand on humanitarian grounds

The sanctions against members of the Fiji regime have been temporarily lifted to allow a member of the government into New Zealand on humanitarian grounds. Fairfax reports that 76 year Filipe Bole, the interim Education Minister, suffered a severe heart attack last week. A Foreign Affairs spokesperson has confirmed the smart sanctions imposed since the military coup in 2006 had been lifted for Mr Bole on humanitarian grounds. The sanctions ban people associated with the regime and their families from entering New Zealand and Australia
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

NZ seventh best place to be born in the world - survey

New Zealand is the seventh best place in the world to be born in terms of wealth, health and trust in public institutions, according to a new survey. Switzerland topped the survey, with Australia coming in second. Three of the four Scandinavian countries - Norway, Sweden and Denmark - were ranked in the top five, with Singapore, the Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong rounding out the top ten. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) measures which countries provide the best opportunities for health, safety and prosperity in the years following a child's birth. The unit's research links the results of life-satisfaction surveys - how happy people say they are - to objective indicators of quality of life across countries. One of the most important factors is wealth, but other factors such as crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life have also proved to be key. Other indicators include factors such as geography, demography, social and cultural characteristics, and the state of the world economy. Small economies dominate the top 10 countries, while economic powers Germany and the USA tie at 16, with France and Britain further down the table at 26 and 27 respectively. Nigeria is ranked the worst place for a baby to be born in 2013.
Source: ONE News

Blind drunk diabetic given whisky as cure

A blind drunk diabetic man was given whisky by doctors to cure him of alcohol poisoning. Denis Duthie, 65, was admitted to Taranaki Base Hospital after he went blind during a heavy vodka drinking session at a 50th wedding anniversary in July, Fairfax Media reported. Mr Duthie said he wanted to share his story so people, particularly those with diabetes, knew the risks of heavy drinking. Doctors suspected the Taranaki chef had formaldehyde (methanol) poisoning, and opted to start alcohol infusion into his stomach through a tube. However, as there was no medical alcohol in the hospital, a medical registrar had to purchase a bottle of Johnnie Walker (whiskey) from a nearby liquor store. The unorthodox treatment was detailed in Mr Duthie's medical records, which he supplied to the Taranaki Daily News. He was hospitalised for 10 days before his eyesight returned and he was discharged.

Heavy rain, gale force winds to hit over weekend

A severe weather warning has been issued for the South Island this weekend, with heavy rain and gales force winds expected to move north on Sunday. Metservice forecasters are predicting a cold front will move over the Tasman Sea to Fiordland late on Saturday night, across the South Island on Sunday morning and onto the North Island by Sunday afternoon. Heavy rain warnings are already in place for Fiordland and South Westland, and severe gale warnings in Otago, Canterbury, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay.

Simple approach wins big for Cancer Society

The Cancer Society's being hailed for its commitment to clear communication. It was the big winner at last night's Plain English Awards, which recognises and praises the companies that do away with jargon and gobbledygook. The panel of international judges told the audience many health organisations would benefit from adopting the Cancer Society's approach to keeping the message simple. Nova Energy picked up the dubious prize of worst communication with what the judges called an "illegible and inaccessible" document about terms for gas and electricity supply. For their efforts, Nova was awarded a stainless steel bin filled with sour worm lollies. And Beef and Lamb New Zealand was also a winner - it picked up Best Plain English website for the private sector.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ makes responsible government top 10

New Zealand has made the top 10 in a list of the world's most responsible governments. New Zealand comes in at sixth, one place behind Australia, in the report published by Forbes magazine. The findings say New Zealand is not a bad place to be governed. "Their overall score is 0.87 out of a perfect 1.0. New Zealand ranks behind Australia and ahead of Japan for most limited government in Asia Pacific." Forbes used a lengthy World Justice Project's report to work out the rating. The Washington-based project annually reviews governments of 90 nations. "To make it into the top 10, national laws must be enforced and accessible, let alone efficient and fair," Forbes said. "Moreover, justice is delivered by competent, ethical, and independent representatives who are non partisan, have adequate resources to judge a case, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve."
The top 10 1. Denmark 2. Sweden 3. Norway 4. Finland 5. Australia 6. New Zealand 7. The Netherlands 8. Austria 9. Germany 10. Japan
- © Fairfax NZ News

NZ to support UN status for Palestine

New Zealand voted in favour of a United Nations resolution giving Palestine independent observer status within the UN. The vote went before the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday (EST). The result was 138-9 in favour, with 41 abstentions. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said a UN resolution was "a poor substitute for direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel. Mr McCully said the main reason for supporting the resolution is that it reflects a long-standing policy of the New Zealand Government supporting both Israel and a Palestinian state.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Hottest November night in Melbourne

Melbourne sweltered through its hottest November night in more than 100 years, with temperatures staying above 24 degrees on Thursday night for the first time since 1901. The lowest temperature recorded in the city was 24.6 degrees Celsius (76F). The ABC reports Ouyen in north-west Victoria recorded a high of 45.8C (114F), the hottest November temperature ever recorded in the state.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Maori Battalion members to have last get-together

Surviving members of the 28th Maori Battalion will meet in Wellington on Saturday for a last official get-together. Only 25 veterans of the battalion who fought in World War II are still alive and it was felt now is the right time to wind-up the Maori Battalion Association. Some 3600 men served in the battalion in campaigns across North Africa, Greece, Crete and Italy. The battalion's losses were the highest of any in the New Zealand Division with 649 deaths, either killed in action or from their wounds.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Doctor exodus numbers now down

Senior hospital doctors have heard that the loss of New Zealand-trained doctors to Australia has slowed dramatically. Auckland University Medical School head John Fraser made the comment in an address to members of the Senior Doctors Union in Wellington on Friday. Professor Fraser told the conference the loss of doctors reached a peak of 450 in 2007. He did not have a current figure for the outward flow of New Zealand doctors, but said it was dramatically less, at about a tenth of what it once was. But the union afterwards said it disagrees that the fall in numbers has been dramatic. Professor Fraser also said medical schools in Auckland and Otago have approval to each train 60 more medical students a year from 2013.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Cricket - NZ Black Caps defeat Sri Lanka

The Black Caps have defeated Sri Lanka by 167 runs in the second test in Colombo. Sri Lanka made 195 in their second innings, in reply to New Zealand's 194 for nine declared, levelling the series 1-all. The hosts won the opening Test by 10 wickets in Galle.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Thursday, November 29

Google, Facebook rorting NZ tax system - MP

Labour revenue spokesperson David Clark says the internet company Facebook has 2.5 million customers in New Zealand but paid just over $14,000 to Inland Revenue last year, while Google paid just 2% tax on its earnings. Mr Clark says the companies appear to be using what's known as the "double Irish" tax technique, using low-taxed Irish-based companies to funnel revenue and expenses. He says while Australia and Europe are clamping down on the loophole, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne describes it as legitimate tax avoidance.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Councils re-jig signals major changes

Legislation to overhaul the way local councils are run is set to be passed into law. The Local Government Amendment Bill is intended to control local body spending and debt by requiring councils and other local authorities to focus on core services. It also allows government ministers to more easily intervene in a council's affairs if a problem is identified. The bill passed its final reading in Parliament today by 61 votes to 59, supported by National, United Future and Act.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Hundreds remain on benefit following 'boot camp'

Hundreds of young people who took part in the Government's six week boot camp were still on a benefit three months after completing it. Figures reveal that of the 1342 young people enrolled in the Limited Service Volunteer programme over the last year, 405 failed to complete it, while 639 remained on a benefit. Labour's Jacinda Adern asked minister Paula Bennett whether the figures were evidence the programme was failing, leading to a rowdy exchange in Parliament. "Or that her government isn't making a difference and that the jobs just aren't there," Ms Adern said. Ms Bennett replied, "Mr Speaker actually LSV is making a difference and we've seen the numbers... Well if you want to listen to the answer then zip it sweetie, I'm getting there." Labour MP Trevor Mallard claimed the term "zip it sweetie" was offensive, but the Speaker rejected that.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Analysis tips NZ shares as averaging 14% return

An analysis of the New Zealand sharemarket has found it to be one of the top-performers since the global financial crisis. The sharemarket's benchmark NZX 50 index rose another 5 points on Thursday, or 0.1%, to 4017 points on turnover of $108 million. Sharebroker Forsyth Barr says the NZX-50 index of shares has outperformed the world's major sharemarkets since they reached their nadir in March 2009. Since then the local market has made an annual average return of nearly 14% when share price gains and dividends are combined. That is second only to Australian shares, and beats returns from American, Japanese, and British shares, as well as the average for global markets.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Sth Australia on bushfire alert

Total fire bans are in force across all of South Australia, which is braced for a heatwave, lightning strikes and strong winds. For the first time in more than a year, the bans cover all 15 districts including the Adelaide metropolitan area. AAP reports a top temperature of 40 degrees for the state capital on Thursday, giving the city its seventh consecutive day above 30 degrees. Other parts of the state are expected to reach the mid-40s. Lightning strikes are predicted later in the day and SA Power Networks has warned residents to be prepared for their electricity to be turned off it as conditions worsen.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Troops begin Solomon Islands farewell

The New Zealand Defence Force is beginning to pull out of the Solomon Islands - nearly 10 years after going to help with the Regional Assistance Mission. The last platoon of close to 40 Kiwi troops will be officially farewelled from their base in Honiara today, before flying home tomorrow morning. Only eight New Zealand personnel will remain. They're expected to head home in July.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Former Australian winger asks 'why is a girl is covering rugby?'

The Australian rugby great David Campese has been heavily criticised by current and former players for questioning whether a female newspaper journalist should write about rugby. In a tweet posted yesterday Campese refers to Fairfax journalist Georgina Robinson, who is covering Australia's current tour of Europe, asking why the Sydney Morning Herald has a girl writing about rugby. The Wallaby flanker David Pocock has defended Robinson saying it was sad to see a journalist attacked on the basis of their gender. Campese, who's Australian rugby's record tryscorer, has since deleted the tweet. The former dual international Wendell Sailor has also criticised the comment saying Campese needed to realise it's 2012.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Wednesday, November 28

Lexicographer deleted thousands of words from OED

A New Zealand lexicographer working on the Oxford English Dictionary has been found to have got rid of thousands of words with foreign origins. Another former editor of the dictionary discovered the changes made by Robert Burchfield when researching for a book Words of the World. Mr Burchfield was the first non-British chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and worked on it from 1957 to 1986. He died in 2004. Former editor Sarah Ogilvie says the versions she compared covered nine varieties of English, including American, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and South African. Dr Ogilvie says the policy is to never delete a word from the dictionary, but to indicate those that have become obsolete. She says Mr Burchfield blamed previous editors when people realised words had gone missing from the dictionary.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Mayor says report justifies city's frack-free status

Mayor Bob Parker says a report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on fracking justifies his council's decision to make Christchurch New Zealand's first frack-free city. Fracking involves pumping fluids under pressure into rocks underground to expand cracks and get at trapped pockets of oil or gas. The report found the extraction process caused only small earthquakes and was safe provided that it was properly regulated. Mr Parker says the South Island city has experienced 12,000 aftershocks in the past two years and does not need to open its doors to a process which might make the situation worse. He says Christchurch's frack-free status is largely symbolic, as the council has little say over whether fracking takes place in the region, but welcomes greater regulation.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Cold snap forecast for end of week

New Zealand is in for a bitter cold snap at this end of this week, forecasters predict. The unseasonably cold southwest change is expected to hit the South Island on Thursday and the North Island on Friday, MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett said. "This cold snap is late in the season and will have some bite, bringing snow to some of the South Island high country and overnight frosts in places. "Mercifully, we expect it to be short." Corbett said the biggest impact of the cold snap will be frost, with inland parts of both the North and South Islands to suffer the most. However, a north westerly will be on its way on Saturday, with warm and windy weather expected across the country on Sunday.

Thousands turn out to celebrate Hobbit premiere

A huge crowd has built up in Wellington's Courtenay Place precinct to celebrate the premiere of the first Hobbit film and catch a glimpse of the stars. Up to 20,000 people packed the entertainment district on a warm, sunny day in the capital for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - the first in the Sir Peter Jackson-directed trilogy. Stars arrived on Tuesday and from 4.30pm on Wednesday walked the 500-metre-long red carpet to the Embassy Theatre where the film will be screened at 7pm.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Wellington one of the "most liveable" cities

Wellington has been named one of the world's "most liveable" cities. The accolade comes in the UN's International Awards for Liveable Communities in the category for cities with a population of up to 400,000. Abu Dhabi was named the most liveable city with a population of over 400,000. Wellington is the only New Zealand city to be a finalist in any of the categories.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ won't oppose Palestine's status bid at UN

By Newstalk ZB staff - NewstalkZB
New Zealand will not be opposing a bid by Palestine to gain a higher status at the United Nations. The vote is expected to take place tomorrow in New York. It seeks to raise Palestine's status from an observer to nonmember observer state. Prime Minister John Key says a final decision will come within the next 24 hours. But he says it will either be yes or abstention and not a no vote. Australia will abstain on the vote after Labor MPs overturned a decision by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to oppose the Palestinians.

Fieldays society signs deal with India counterpart

The National Fieldays Society which runs the Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek has signed a memorandum of understanding with its counterpart in India. The Confederation of Indian Industry is the organisation behind India's largest agricultural technology trade event Agro Tech. The memorandum, which was brokered by ANZ bank, will provide the opportunity for collaboration between the two organisations and their members in their international trade activities.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Anonymous donation for Timeball Station repair

The Historic Places Trust has received a large anonymous donation towards the repair of the earthquake-damaged Timeball Station in Lyttelton. The 136-year-old heritage building partially collapsed during the Canterbury earthquakes. It is one of a handful of similar buildings left in the world. The trust's heritage destinations southern regional manager, Paul McGahan, would not say how much money has been donated, only that it is a very significant figure. Mr McGahan says the trust is proposing to build a replica of the station's tower on the site using new and original materials. A recent geotechnical report found the land underneath the station is safe to be rebuilt on.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

New Zealand rates highly in law index

New Zealand is the top-ranking country in the East Asia and Pacific region when it comes to the rule of law, according to an index. The World Justice Project's 2012 Rule of Law Index places New Zealand ahead of Australia, Japan and South Korea in the assessment of the absence of corruption, open government and fundamental rights. It rates in the top-10 globally in seven of eight measurements of 97 countries assessed by the non-profit organisation. "New Zealand stands out as the best performer in the region. Government agencies and courts in the country are efficient, transparent, and free of corruption. Fundamental rights are strongly protected," the report said.
Source: NZN

China travel agents to visit

China's top travel agents are headed this way, with 250 of the country's leading travel agents will come to New Zealand for six days next month. They will visit various tourist hotspots such as Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, and Waikato. Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood, says China is one of New Zealand's fastest growing inbound tourism markets, and the opportunities that offers are far-reaching.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Greens renew call for fracking moratorium

The Green Party says a moratorium on fracking is still needed as too many doubts remain over the safety of the practice. In an interim report released on Tuesday, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment found there was potential for fracking to contaminate water and cause earthquakes, but did not recommend a moratorium. Jan Wright said fracking can be done safely in New Zealand as long as it follows best practice, though she raised concerns about what she called fragmented, complicated and light-handed regulations. Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes says he is surprised and disappointed by the report, and maintains there should be a moratorium.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, November 27

National Library reopens after $65m refurbishment

The National Library in Wellington has reopened following a three year $65 million refurbishment. The project has involved renovation of the building as well as the digitisation of the library's vast array of records. National Librarian Bill McNaught says digitising the records involved more than 250,000 images, two million historical newspaper pages and thousands of hours of recordings which are now available online.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Raw apple not for babies

By Philippa Ormrod - NewstalkZB
New research is calling on parents to avoid raw apple when letting their babies feed themselves with pieces of food. Baby-led weaning, when infants pick up and feed themselves fruit, vegetables and sometimes meat instead of being spoon fed, is a growing trend. University of Otago PhD student Sonya Cameron has interviewed a number of mothers and health professionals and discovered the method can cause choking if foods aren't soft enough. "We do recommend strongly that parents do not introduce raw apple, because that was the only thing that parents reported in our study that children did choke on."

Govt launches online tool for company names

The government has launched an online search tool to allow businesses to establish the availability of a company name, domain name and trade mark in one step. ONECheck is on the website. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the tool meant New Zealand businesses would no longer have to visit three separate websites to check the availability of a new business name. It was part of the government's planned one-stop online shop for businesses, he said.
Source: ONE News

Asset sales referendum possible

The Prime Minister says a referendum on asset sales will be held if opponents get the numbers to force a citizens initiated referendum. John Key is critical of the way opposition parties are using parliamentary resources to collect signatures for the petition. But he promises proper process will be observed. "If and when they can get the numbers and if and when the clerk verifies those numbers then the legality of that is quite clear - the government has to hold a referendum within 12 months, and it will do so."
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Belgian royalty in Wellington

Belgian Royalty is set to hit the capital today. Belgium's Crown Prince will be in Wellington as part of a Belgian business delegation. Crown Prince Philippe is to meet the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and will be the guest of honour at a dinner tonight hosted by the Governor-General. He is also due to visit Auckland later this week.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Fiji government asks for fine, imprisonment for Fiji Times

Fiji’s acting Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma has asked the High Court to impose a half a million Fiji dollar fine on the country’s oldest newspaper, and send its editor to jail. The Fiji Times, and its editor and former publisher, were found guilty of contempt of court, over an article containing a quote attributed to the General Secretary of the Oceania Football Federation, Tai Nicholas.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Monday, November 26

No TPP deal unless dairy and Pharmac are in - Key

New Zealand won't sign up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal unless it includes an agreement to progressively abolish tariffs on agricultural products exported to North America, Prime Minister John Key said today. With international negotiators for the trade pact due in New Zealand next week for the next round of talks on the TPP, Key also said it would "not a good look" if New Zealand made concessions that undermined the status of its drug-buying agency, Pharmac. Pharmac, which buys medications distributed through the public health system, has been a target of "big pharma" American drug manufacturers, who object to the fact New Zealand is sourcing lower cost generic pharmaceuticals which save the taxpayer money, but deny sales to the American producers of the original drug formulations. Key gave no detail of New Zealand's negotiating position at his post-Cabinet press conference in Wellington today, but said New Zealand was "not prepared to see dairy excluded" from the deal. Both Canada and the US impose high tariffs - as high as 300 percent in some cases in Canada - along with small quotas for total imports, and American dairy farmers have lobbied vigorously against opening their market up to competition from Fonterra, which they paint as monopolistic and anti-competitive.
Copyright 2012, APN Holdings NZ Limited

Newborn baby giraffe gets to know his mum

Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park has welcomed the birth of a baby giraffe today. The calf, already standing at 1.7 metres, was found by animal collection manager Ian Adams this morning. "It is a strong and healthy calf, and mother, Tunu, is doing really well too. The calf is drinking like it's going out of fashion. We are yet to determine the sex of the baby." The new arrival is the fourth giraffe at Orana, joining three other females.

Susan Devoy to be awarded honorary doctorate

Former world squash champion Dame Susan Devoy will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Waikato University. Dame Susan is a four time world champion, and won the British Open Squash Title eight times between 1984 and 1992. Since retiring from the sport 20 years ago, she became involved with plenty of volunteer and paid work. Based in Tauranga, she's been the CEO of Sport Bay of Plenty and a member of the Auckland DHB. Dame Susan will receive her doctorate at the university's graduation ceremony in April next year.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Newspaper election coverage study finds bias

By Laura Heathcote - NewstalkZB
A political marketing expert says four of the country's biggest newspapers were substantially biased in their coverage of last year's election - mostly in favour of John Key. Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson assessed all the election images run in The New Zealand Herald, the Herald on Sunday, the Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times. She says Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated. The research has found Mr Key's picture featured 138 times while Mr Goff featured 80 times. The Prime Minister also dominated in terms of image size, at an almost 2:1 ratio. Professor Robinson says in general, the The New Zealand Herald and Herald on Sunday were more positive in their treatment of Mr Key, whilst the Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times were kinder to Mr Goff.

Mayor promotes new campus to attract young people

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker wants to investigate combining the city's universities and its polytechnic on a single "University of Oceania" campus in the central business district. Mr Parker says the city's ageing population means there's a need to attract young people into the central city and one way to do this would be to set up a campus there. He says the Government's blueprint for central Christchurch risks becoming a wasted opportunity and could result in a city resembling nothing more than a glossy rest-home.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Treatment now more accessible for women

From today women will be able to skip the doctors and head straight to the pharmacy to get antibiotics for urinary tract infections. The treatment is available to women aged between 16 and 65, who aren't pregnant and only show uncomplicated symptoms. Pharmacybrands professional services manager Alison Van Wyk says this is a distressing condition and women know if they've had it before, that they need to get it treated. "This is really about convenience and accessibility, where they can now access a pharmacist who has done the appropriate training and accreditation to be able to provide treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections."
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Christmas flight reschedule angers Jetstar passengers

The travel plans of scores of New Zealanders in Melbourne are in turmoil after Jetstar told them it was cancelling their pre-Christmas flight home and offered them a Boxing Day flight instead. The airline is now promising to get the 80 or so passengers home before 25 December, but the move was too late for some who had already paid hundreds of dollars more to rebook on other airlines. Jetstar has refused to say why it cancelled the 23 December flight from Melbourne other than to say rescheduling happens from time to time. Many customers have vented their frustrations on Jetstar's Facebook page.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

New TranzAlpine carriages launched

New carriages allowing for the ultimate passenger viewing experience will get their first run on the TranzAlpine service this morning. The carriages feature 52 sq m of glass giving panoramic views around the side and through the roof, as well as HD screens and GPS triggered commentary. KiwiRail General Manager of Passenger Services Deborah Hume says the new carriages will provide an even greater experience for the passengers. The new carriages mark 25 years since the service between Christchurch and Greymouth began.
CLICK HERE for the Tranzalpine website
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

2011 dairy season biggest on record

Dairy production last season will go down in history as the biggest ever. Statistics released by DairyNZ and LIC show milk production leapt 11.3%, with milk companies processing 19.1 billion litres of milk. The number of cows milked rose by more than 100,000 to 4.6 million nationwide. Milk production per cow also shot up 9% to an average of 364 kg of milk solids. It's expected this season's dairy production will top last year's, with production predicted to rise by around 2%.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Review finds uneven distribution of Whanau Ora funding

Documents show people in the electorate of Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia are receiving the most money from a Whanau Ora fund. Between 2010 and 2012, $12.6 million was paid out under the Whanau Integration, Innovation and Engagement Fund. Families can apply to the fund for up to $20,000 for help in achieving goals such as a healthier lifestyle or giving up gambling. A review by an outside consultancy and released under the Official Information Act says the distribution of money is quite uneven. It notes nearly a quarter of all individuals who received funding applied for money in the Te Tai Hauauru region, which is represented in Parliament by Tariana Turia and has 8% of the Maori population. By comparison, the Tamaki Makaurau region, home to a quarter of all Maori, has the lowest number of individuals getting funding.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Sunday, November 25

Report targets Pacific debt problem

Loan sharks and cultural obligations to donate money have been identified as the main culprits in crippling levels of debt among some Pacific Island families. Research carried out jointly by the Families Commission and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs examined the impact of the debt, with figures showing 885 low-income Pacific Island families owe more than $24 million, on average more than $27,000 per family. Families Commissioner Dr James Prescott said many families couldn't afford to adhere to the cultural practice of giving money to churches and at family and community events. Pacific Islanders were also vulnerable to predatory fringe lenders and often did not understand loan terms and conditions. Another significant issue was a reluctance to approach budgeting agencies although help was welcomed once it was offered.
Source: NZN

NZ to vote against governments taking over internet

Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says New Zealand will try to block an international move by some governments to take over the running of the internet. Mrs Adams says New Zealand will vote againt the move, because the not-for-profit agencies including ICANN, which organise the worldwide web, are doing a good job. She says the current system allows stakeholders from governments, academia, business and the wider internet community to have input and has proven itself flexible enough to cope with rapid changes in technology. Internet New Zealand chief executive Vikram Kumar applauded the New Zealand Government's stance, saying it is a huge step forward as government control of the internet would kill its openness and innovation.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Snell would have stayed, if we wanted him

Running great Sir Peter Snell believes New Zealand should have taken more advantage of his expertise. The former Olympic champion made the comment at the International Association of Athletics Federations centenary celebrations in Barcelona. He says when he was named the New Zealand athlete of the 20th century people asked why he was in the US, and he told them no-one here seemed interested in his talents. Sir Peter says he was originally going to do an undergraduate degree in the US, and then return home to become a fitness consultant. But he was drawn into research and after seven years, New Zealand wasn't interested in him although the US was - so he took up a fellowship he was offered in Dallas, and married a Texan.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Hundreds and Thousands our favourite biscuit

New Zealand's favourite biscuit has been identified, and it's the little pink one with the sprinkles on. Hundreds and Thousands took out top spot, in a poll run by Griffins which more than 5000 people took part in. Voters chose Macaroons as their second favourite, followed by Hokey Pokey Squiggles. Toffee Pops and Mallow Puffs round out the top five.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Santa Parade to raise much-needed funds

The spirit of giving will be very much part of the country's biggest Santa Parade in Auckland today. 120 volunteers for Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand will be out with their collection buckets before the parade begins. Chief executive Pru Etcheverry says last year's parade raised $14,000, and she's hoping people will be just as generous today. "We allocate all our fundraising to all our services, our patient support in particular. "That's being at the end of the phone line for patients when they need help or want information." The not-for-profit organisation relies solely on donations to help the 2200 New Zealanders who are diagnosed with leukaemia and related blood cancers each year.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Rugby - All Blacks overwhelm Wales

The All Blacks have beaten Wales 33-10 in their penultimate test of the season at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium - but a high tackle from New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore could overshadow the win. Hore is certain to be cited after his swinging arm from behind on Welsh forward Bradley Davies in just the second minute. The New Zealanders scored three tries to Wales' two and led 23-0 at half-time, with Liam Messam and Tony Woodcock crossing the chalk. Then Luke Romano scored again before Wales got one back through centre Scott Williams. Aaron Cruden kicked four penalties and three conversions for the All Blacks for his personal haul of 18 points.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Saturday, November 24

Carrington takes top honours at Maori Sports Awards

Lisa Carrington of Ohope has won the supreme Maori Sports Person of the Year award tonight at the Maori Sports Awards in Auckland. She was the country's first Olympic gold medal winner in women's sprint canoeing, and first ever winner of the women's K1 200m title. The senior Maori Sportsman is rower Storm Uru of Cambridge. Maori Sports Team of the Year are Joanne Kumeroa of Australia and Joel Henare of Gisborne for woolhandling, and Sports Coach is Waimarama Taumaunu of Wellington for netball.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

New wing opened at charity hospital

A new wing has been officially opened at the Canterbury charity hospital to provide urgent surgery and mental health services to those who cannot afford them. The hospital in Christchurch is funded by private donations and has more than 70 volunteer surgeons and dentists on call. About 100 people were at the opening of the new wing which has doubled the size of the hospital, providing space for new surgery rooms, counseling, and teaching spaces for medical students. Governor General, Sir Gerry Mateparae, who opened the wing, said the hospital is world class and it is special to see so many professionals gifting their time to it.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Funding for more engineering students

The Government is creating an extra 1000 places for engineering students next year. It will directly fund an extra 700 places and tertiary institutions will have to reprioritise resources to create an additional 300 places for engineering students. Tertiary Education Skills Minister Steven Joyce said New Zealand does not have enough engineers, and trains only half as many as other OECD countries.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Processing of student visas suspended by agency

The processing of 21 student visas has been suspended at four private training establishments by Immigration New Zealand. The agency says the National Institute of Studies, EDENZ Colleges, Aotearoa Tertiary Institute and the New Zealand School of Business & Government failed to comply with their obligations in respect to international students. The breaches include misleading or poorly maintained attendance records and fee discrepancies. Immigration general manager Peter Elms said some individuals are also being investigated for suspected immigration fraud and they could face a lengthy prison sentence. Investigation is expected to take up to two months.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Friday, November 23

Myanmar president set to visit NZ

Myanmar president Thein Sein is due to visit New Zealand in December following an invitation from Prime Minister John Key. Mr Key has ended a two-day historic trip to the south-east Asian country, also known as Burma, which has undergone radical social and political reforms over the past 18 months. He is the first New Zealand prime minister to visit the country which for years has been run by a military junta. Earlier this week, Barack Obama also became the first president from the United States to visit. Mr Key says the president is expected to visit New Zealand on 13 December. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent nearly 15 years under house arrest before being freed in 2010, has also been invited to New Zealand and is hoping to visit in 2013.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

NZ Sharemarket at highest level since 2008

The New Zealand sharemarket closed at its highest level in nearly five years on Friday and is up 22% so far in 2012. The benchmark NZX 50, which covers the top 50 stocks by market value, was up 11 points at the close to 4008 on turnover of $97 million - the highest it has been since January 2008. A stockbroker at Hamilton Hindin Greene says the level of companies' dividends are boosting interest in buying shares.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

NZ to take whaling case to international court

The New Zealand Government has confirmed that it will take its case against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean to the International Court of Justice. Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says it has formally lodged an intervention before the court in the case brought by Australia. Intervention is a procedure that enables a non-party to the case to put its legal views before the court. Australia took its case to the International Court of Justice in 2010, questioning the validity of Japan's so-called "scientific" whaling programme. Mr McCully says New Zealand has worked hard with Japan for more than three years to try to find a permanent solution to whaling in the Southern Ocean.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Student-loan debtors face bankruptcy

Fourteen Australian-based Kiwi student-loan borrowers may be bankrupted or stripped of their assets for repeatedly failing to repay their debts. Inland Revenue is pursuing the Kiwi expats through the courts as part of its drive to collect overdue repayments from overseas borrowers. The first legal action against student debtors overseas was prefaced by a warning letter sent out to 45 people late last year. That was enough to galvanise most into action, but some remain recalcitrant. "These borrowers continue to ignore their repayment obligations despite numerous contacts with them by our staff," said Inland Revenue collections manager Richard Owen. Mr Owen said judgment would be obtained in New Zealand, and Inland Revenue would apply to have it sealed in the Supreme Court of Australia if the borrowers continued to renege on their debts. Mr Owen said judgment would be obtained in New Zealand, and Inland Revenue would apply to have it sealed in the Supreme Court of Australia if the borrowers continued to renege on their debts. Inland Revenue has collected $42 million in the two years since the start of the repayment drive, or about 10 per cent of the $418m owed by students living overseas that is overdue.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Woman honoured for aiding Hitler's downfall

Ursula Frost remembers the day Winston Churchill arrived at Bletchley Park to tell her and other Enigma codebreakers they had helped end World War II. ''Churchill came down and told us we'd ended the war by two years. We were very pleased to hear that,'' the 95-year-old Aucklander says. ''He came down and saw us twice which we always thought was great, rather. He didn't have all that time to do those sort of things.'' Frost will be thanked for her services when Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman presents her with a special badge from the United Kingdom next Friday at Auckland rest home. Frost worked for section M18 during the war, cracking German army and air force codes under computer maverick Alan Turing. Frost moved to New Zealand in 1952.
© Fairfax NZ News

NZ support of Afghan govt questioned

Questions are being raised about New Zealand's continued support of the Afghan government, following the resumption of executions in Afghanistan after a moratorium of almost four years. Jon Stephenson, a New Zealand journalist in Kabul, says eight men were hanged at a prison in the city on Tuesday and a further six were executed on Wednesday. He says human rights groups are calling on governments like New Zealand's - which oppose the death penalty - to condemn the executions.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Hotere painting sold at auction for $183,000

A painting by Ralph Hotere has been sold at auction for $183,000. Vive Aramoana celebrates a successful campaign to stop an aluminium smelter being built at Aramoana on the Otago Peninsula. It was sold to an unnamed bidder at the International Art Centre in Auckland on Thursday night. Thirteen Hotere paintings were offered for sale. They were part of a collection that formerly hung at Carey's Bay Hotel in Port Chalmers.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

New law allows NZers to bring retirement funds home

New Zealanders living in Australia will soon be able to transfer their Australian retirement savings to KiwiSaver when they return home. The Australian Senate has passed legislation allowing the change, which would take effect from July next year. New Zealanders who work in Australia must contribute to an Australian superannuation fund and their savings are locked into those funds until the saver reaches retirement age. Under the new rules, savings from certain Australian superannuation funds will be able to be transferred into New Zealand KiwiSaver funds - and vice versa.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, November 22

Admin fee wiped from fundraiser website

An online site which helps to fundraise for charity is offering no fees for donors. The Telecom Foundation has purchased the online site 'givealittle' and has wiped the five percent administration fee. Givealittle founder Nathalie Whitaker says that's a great move. "I think what we have with givealittle is an opportunity to develop an awareness for the website, a place where Kiwi donors can feel 100 percent certain that what they give gets through to the cause that they're wanting to support." In less than four years 'givealittle' has raised more than two million donations for a variety of causes such as the Christchurch earthquake, the Cancer Society's Relay for Life and Samoa's tsunami.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

PM to announce $6m aid project for Myanmar

New Zealanders are set to help the people of Myanmar improve their agricultural expertise and educations. John Key is visiting the country, and says itâs extremely rich in terms of oil, gas, minerals and gemstones. But it needs help in other areas. Mr Key says he'll tell the President when they meet this afternoon that weâre providing six million dollars over five years to help build up a farm. "They're largely importing their agricultural products, particularly milk powder and the like from New Zealand, so we're going to be announcing an aid project for them. We will be essentially developing a farm for them over the course of the next five years."
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Government seeks more Pasifika teachers

The Government aims to increase the number of Pasifika registered teachers by 20 per cent as part of wide-ranging targets to lift the achievement of Pasifika students by 2017. The Government released a five-year plan today pushing for a dramatic improvement in Pasifika student performance in education - from early childhood to tertiary education. The plan aims for more Pasifika students to be enrolled in early childhood education in a drive for higher rates of literacy, numeracy and achievement of qualifications in schools.

Summer heat about to hit NZ

If you're sick of the slow start to summer - fear not, the heat's about to rise. believes the hot, gusty nor'westers which have been for the most part avoiding New Zealand this spring - may arrive in the final days of November. It's thought they may becoming from as far away as inland Queensland where the air is much hotter. Head Weather Analyst Philip Duncan says while the air will cool on its journey across the Tasman, the nor'westers can pick up heat when the rush down the eastern side of New Zealand's main ranges. However he says the windy, windy weather could spell cloudier, cooler and wetter weather for the western coastline.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Govt admits big increase in asylum boats

The Australian government denies it's losing the fight against people smugglers, despite a big rise in arrivals of asylum-seeker boats. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Wednesday declared all asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat will be denied permanent protection visas for up to five years. AAP reports this is even if they are found to be genuine refugees and regardless of whether their claims are processed in Australia, Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. However, AAP reports he conceded that more than 7500 people had arrived in the three months since Labor adopted its tougher policies. "We've seen a big increase in arrivals, particularly from Sri Lanka," he told ABC Radio on Thursday.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Migrant numbers up again

A rise in the number of people arriving to live in New Zealand long term has led to a second month of migration gains. Official figures show a seasonally adjusted net gain of 260 in October. On an annual basis, there was a net loss of 2300, mainly due to people going to Australia to take advantage of higher wages and greater job opportunities. But the flow of people to Australia slowed slightly to a net annual loss of 39,300, offset by migrants from Britain, China and India. ANZ New Zealand senior economist Mark Smith said the number of people heading to Australia is also slowing.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

South Korea honours 50-year alliance

By Lincoln Tan
Two South Korean warships have docked in Auckland's waterfront for a visit that marks 50 years of diplomatic relations with New Zealand. The warships Chungmugong Yisunshin and the Daecheong arrived at Queens Wharf yesterday. The 620 crew members including 133 midshipmen, were welcomed by Korean consul general to New Zealand Yilho Park, and will be meeting counterparts from the Royal New Zealand Navy during their stay here. Both ships will be open for public tours between 10am and 4pm today and tomorrow.

Push for huge free trade agreement by 2015

By Audrey Young
A new giant Asian free trade negotiation was launched last night at the end of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, with a goal to complete the deal by the end of 2015. The same day, countries in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership talks at the summit met and set an informal deadline of the end of 2013 to complete their 11-country deal. New Zealand is part of both trade talks and Prime Minister John Key attended both. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is being driven by Asean, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which hosts the East Asia summit. The 16 countries involved in RCEP, the 10 Asean countries plus China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 21

Mt Tongariro may soon erupt again - scientist

Mt Tongariro has stopped spewing ash, but scientists warn that there is now a higher probability of more eruptions in the next few months. A picture posted on Twitter by a GNS scientist shows ash and steam pouring from a crater high on the mountain's slopes, and it travelled as high as 4km. Air New Zealand has cancelled flights to or from Taupo, Rotorua and Gisborne airports on Thursday morning. Department of Conservation officials say the area around Mount Tongariro remains closed to the public while they decide - with help from GNS Science - when it will be safe for the public be able to return to the slopes. It is the second eruption on the mountain this year - Mt Tongariro erupted at 11.50pm on 6 August. That eruption widened and deepened the crater and re-activated vents which had been covered up in the 116 years since its last previous eruption started in 1896 and finished in 1897.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

NZ donates to Cambodia war crimes fund

The Government has pledged a extra $200,000 to support Cambodia's war crimes tribunal. Prime Minister John Key announced the funding during a visit to the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh today. Cambodia is notorious for its Khmer Rouge ''killing fields'' and the genocide of up to two million people under the brutal Pol Pot regime in the 1970s. Since 2007 the UN-backed courts have worked since 2007 to bring the living Khmer Rouge leaders to justice. Former NZ Governor-General Dame Sylvia Cartwright has been a judge since 2008. The cash injection adds to $100,000 pledged by Foreign Minister Murray McCully earlier this year taking New Zealand's contribution to $1.2 million. Key said the tribunal is helping Cambodians move on "from a particularly dark period in their history".
© Fairfax NZ News

Trawler ban applauded

The Green Party says the confirmation of a two-year ban by the Australian government on a super-trawler fishing in Australian waters is a clear signal such a vessel would be inappropriate in New Zealand waters. The vessel in question is the Abel Tasman, operated by Seafish Tasmania. The Greens say any move by the company to fish in New Zealand waters with the vessel should be resisted by the Government. Egmont Seafoods says such a ship operating around New Zealand's coasts would destroy the livelihoods of inshore fishing companies.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Interest in NSW uranium exploration

The state government in New South Wales has received 39 expressions of interest for uranium exploration. A ban imposed 26 years ago on the granting of licences has been overturned. State Resources minister Chris Hartcher said a panel will assess the 39 applications "on the basis of the best interests of the state". Mr Hartcher said creating a uranium mining industry will contribute significantly to the NSW economy. "It is time for NSW to look at every opportunity to join the mining boom which is delivering enormous profits and jobs to Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Latest - Mt Tongariro erupts

Mt Tongariro in the central North island erupted at 1.25pm on Wednesday. There are few details at this stage. GNS Science vulcanologists are promising more facts later on Wednesday. No information is yet available on what if any damage has occurred. A picture posted on twitter by a GNS scientist shows smoke or steam pouring from the crater at the top of the mountain. It is the second eruption on the mountain this year - Mt Tongariro erupted at 11.50pm on 6 August. That eruption widened and deepened the crater and re-activated vents which had been covered up in the 116 years since it last erupted in 1896.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

David Parker handed demoted Cunliffe's portfolio

David Parker has been given Labour's economic development portfolio following the demotion of David Cunliffe yesterday after a leadership spat within the party. Leader David Shearer today announced Parker would be in charge of the portfolio in the interim, and will be assisted by Clayton Cosgrove and David Clark. The party is trying to shut down all talk about its leadership after a messy public spat that ended with Shearer getting full endorsement from the party caucus to stay in the role yesterday afternoon. The caucus unanimously supported him, ending weeks of speculation that rival Cunliffe was making a bid for the top job.
Source: ONE News

Uni students warned about energy drink consumption

By Anna Cross - NewstalkZB
University students living on caffeine and energy drinks are being warned they're doing more than just helping them get through long study sessions. Overseas research shows up to 60 percent of New Zealanders could be suffering dental erosion, which is the dissolving of tooth enamel caused by acidic food and drinks. Auckland dentist Dr Andrea Shepperson sees new cases every day with her practice just down the road from Auckland University. Andrea Shepperson believes the problem has become an epidemic.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Australian monitors wanted for Malay poll

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim wants Australia to send electoral monitors to watch preparations for a forthcoming national election. Mr Ibrahim is concerned the election, which must be held by June 2013, will be rigged, citing evidence the electoral roll includes a large number of people eligible to vote but who were not allowed to vote. Others far too young to vote, between age two and 12, are also on the roll, he says.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, November 20

Church formally commits to cathedral on same site

The Anglican church in Christchurch has formally decided there will be a cathedral on the existing ChristChurch Cathedral site. The decision to demolish the severely earthquake-damaged building has been halted by the High Court after an injunction was sought by a group of campaigners trying to save it. As well as committing to providing a building, the church's owner, the Church Property Trustees, also says it will halt the demolition of what is left of the cathedral. It has asked its engineers to review the information presented to the court in support of saving the existing building. The trustees have asked the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority for its opinion on the restoration proposal made to the court.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Cyclone developing north of New Zealand

Summer's first tropical cyclone is brewing up north of New Zealand, weather forecasters say. The large system, 2800 kilometres north of Auckland - and between the Solomons and Fiji - is yet to be declared as a cyclone. But both the Fiji Meteorological Office in Fiji and the Hawaii based Joint Typhoon Warning Center say it could become a significant tropical cyclone within 24 hours. The director of Fiji Meteorology, Alipate Waqaicelua, this afternoon warned the public to beware of the system says the weather band is expected to affect the Fiji Group within 24 to 48 hours. In previous years storms that have formed in the area have often developed into cyclones that move southward - occasionally hitting New Zealand. Any serious storm would be a major problem for Fiji which earlier this year saw a succession of storms inflict serious damage on its tourist belt in the western side of the nation.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Number of births drops

Births have dropped 3% in New Zealand this year. Figures from Statistics New Zealand show 60,462 children were born in the year ending in September, 1799 fewer than the previous year. The biggest drops were in Auckland, where the number of births fell by 3% or 409 births and Canterbury, which dropped 6% or 390 births. The drop in Canterbury is being attributed to the earthquakes, with the badly hit eastern suburbs of Christchurch having the largest decreases. The number of deaths rose by 249 this year, giving a natural population increase of 30,500 people, the lowest since 2005.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Shearer wins vote, Cunliffe demoted

Speculation of a leadership challenge within the Labour Party has been laid to rest as MPs gave David Shearer unanimous support at a caucus meeting in Wellington today. Shearer easily won the ballot at Parliament this afternoon after what has effectively been a failed leadership bid from David Cunliffe. The leader thanked members of the party for their support. "I wanted to end any speculation and doubt about my leadership, and that has now happened," he told reporters after the meeting. Shearer said would demote Cunliffe because Labour would not be able to win the 2014 election without unity. "David Cunliffe has not been able to show that loyalty. His actions at the weekend were disappointing, not only to me but to many party members. "His repeated failure to quell speculation about my leadership means I no longer have confidence in him. "He has lost my trust." As a result, Shearer said Cunliffe had been demoted from the front bench and stripped his economic development portfolio from him.
Source: ONE News

New phase for Student Volunteer Army

The highly-acclaimed Student Volunteer Army which mobilised in the immediate aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes is moving into a new phase of community service projects, its new president says. University of Canterbury law student Bridget Williams said the days of shovelling liquefaction were hopefully over for Student Volunteer Army (SVA) students, with new 'platoons' marching into action. "We are no longer bound by earthquake-related tasks as we are open to everything and anything that betters the community," said Miss Williams, who takes over from SVA founder Sam Johnson, the 2012 Young New Zealander of the Year. Using Facebook, Mr Johnson rallied students onto the streets of Christchurch after the February 22, 2011 killer quake to help with the clean-up and co-ordinate the army's efforts. Now, the SVA has introduced platoons which will "align students' passions and skills" with what is needed in the community.

1800 vineyards now in NZ

New Zealand Winegrowers says there are now nearly 1850 vineyards in the country, which have a combined area of more than 34,000 hectares in grape production. The statistics form part of the organisation's first vineyard register report, designed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about grape plantings and production. Sustainability manager Philip Manson says the register is compulsory for growers and replaces the annual vineyard survey which was voluntary. Mr Manson says the register shows that Marlborough continues to be the largest producing region with two-thirds of the grape production. Hawke's Bay takes second place, but for the first time the Otago region has edged out Gisborne as the third largest producing area of grape vines.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Support for productive Maori land plan

Dairy, beef and sheep farmers are supporting a joint Maori-Government plan to lift Maori economic performance over the next 30 years. The primary sector is backing the new strategy which also has an emphasis on education, training and boosting exports. There is a lot of customary land - 1.5 million hectares - but not much happening on it. The Crown estimates that 80% of Maori freehold farming land is not even close to reaching its potential. Dairy cooperative Fonterrra and Beef + Lamb New Zealand say they will help make it profitable.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Top of Mt Ruapehu off-limits

The Department of Conservation says the top of Mt Ruapehu will be off-limits for some time as pressure builds within the central North Island mountain. GNS Science says it looks inevitable that the mountain will erupt in coming months due to a vent being blocked. A number of earthquakes have also been recorded on the mountain over the past few weeks. DoC's volcanic risk manager Harry Keys told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Monday that people should not go up to the summit hazard zone, about 2km from the centre of the crater and above the Whakapapa ski area, for the foreseeable future.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Monday, November 19

APN to quit South Island

APN is selling its South Island newspapers. APN New Zealand Media Chief Executive Martin Simons says while the company has enjoyed a long association with the South Island, it sees more expansion opportunities in the North Island. The publications being offered for sale are The Star, Canterbury community newspapers, Oamaru Mail and the Capital Community Newspaper group in Wellington. Mr Simons says the company is proud of the role The Star played after the Christchurch earthquake, when the newspaper was converted from a bi-weekly broadsheet to a daily compact, to keep the community informed.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Labour MPs to vote on leadership on Tuesday

Labour Party MPs are to meet on Tuesday to vote on the leadership after David Cunliffe failed to pledge his unqualified support to leader David Shearer. Mr Shearer is expected to ask for a vote of confidence from more than 60% of his MPs to secure his leadership. Mr Shearer's supporters, including senior whip Chris Hipkins, said on Monday it is time for Mr Cunliffe to put up or shut up. Mr Hipkins accused Mr Cunliffe of disloyalty, saying the MP for New Lynn has spent the past year undermining Mr Shearer and did the same to former leader Phil Goff and is clearly campaigning to be leader.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

New $10m lab to open in Christchurch today

By Newstalk ZB staff - NewstalkZB
A new $10 million laboratory will be opened in Christchurch today. The Canterbury Southern Community Laboratories lost its building in the February earthquake and has moved four times in the past 18 months. Its new medical laboratory in Harewood opens today and will employ eight pathologists and 150 other staff.

Woman accidentally roasts charity money in oven

By Kaye Albyt - NewstalkZB
It was a recipe for disaster, until hubby came to the rescue. An Auckland woman placed donations from an SPCA fundraiser in the oven for safekeeping, but - you guessed it, forgot it was there and turned the oven on. She ended up with a melted plastic mess through the oven and a charity hundreds of dollars out of pocket. But enter hubby, who's made an artwork out of the shredded money. It's for sale on TradeMe and has reached $350 so far.

Sunday, November 18

Shearer's new direction

By Claire Trevett
Labour leader David Shearer has promised to take New Zealand "in a new direction" under his leadership, speaking at his party's annual conference today. Mr Shearer pointed the finger at National for what he described as a "path of disappointment, decline and constant struggle". "The new direction under Labour will be a hands-on government that's willing to get involved and back businesses and Kiwis who are working hard to get ahead. It's not the hands-off, leave it to the market approach of the current government which has failed." Shearer's speech was met with a standing ovation from the Labour Party faithful.

Huge ship bringing 3000 to capital

The second largest ship ever to enter Wellington Harbour is scheduled to berth at Aotea Quay tomorrow morning. The 137,270 gross tonne Voyager of the Seas is owned by Royal Caribbean International and is 42,000 tonnes larger than the United States Navy's largest aircraft carrier. Voyager of the Seas, at 311 metres long, is the third longest ship to visit Wellington Harbour. The ship carries about 3,000 passengers and is on a 16-day cruise from Fremantle to Sydney via Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Fiordland, Port Chalmers, Picton and Wellington. The biggest ship to visit Wellington Harbour was the Queen Mary 2, weighing in at 148,528 gross tonnes, which sailed in on a cruise last year.
© Fairfax NZ News

Labour announces major housing policy

Labour Party leader David Shearer has announced a new housing policy he says would result in the largest building programme in 50 years. Mr Shearer says it aims to put 100,000 New Zealand families into new, affordable homes within the next 10 years. He made the announcement at the party's annual conference being held in Auckland this weekend. Mr Shearer says the start-up cost of the building programme would be financed through issuing government stock called Home Ownership Bonds. The money made from selling the homes would be invested back to build more homes.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Gandhi's grandson to speak in Auckland

The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi will be a special guest at an Auckland celebration of Mother Teresa's life and work this afternoon. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former governor of the Indian State of West Bengal, will speak at the multi-faith ceremony at Christ the King Catholic Church, in Mt Roskill. The gathering will be hosted by Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland, and the Mayor of Auckland will attend along with the Indian High Commissioner, who will travel from Wellington. A spokeswoman says the colourful ceremony will include music and dance.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Rugby - All Blacks account for Italy

The All Blacks have beaten Italy 42-10 in the second test on their end of year Northern Hemisphere tour. It an at times disjointed match, the All Blacks scored five tries to one, with Julian Savea scoring two and first time captain Kieran Read, Ma'a Nonu and Cory Jane one each. The All Blacks led 13-7 at halftime.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

NZ taking lead on project against obesity

By Jacqui Stanford - NewstalkZB
A New Zealand-led global network against obesity is pledging to hold governments and the food industry to account. Auckland University is leading the project, which will begin when 23 leaders in the field meet in Italy next week, to form INFORMAS. Obesity prevention expert Boyd Swinburn says unhealthy food is driving the obesity epidemic worldwide. "And we need to have much closer monitoring of what's happening with the food composition, the prices, marketing to children, all those sorts of things and what Government and the private sector are doing about it." Professor Swinburn says the members of the network are driven by a collective goal to tackle the alarmingly high rates of obesity - and related diseases including diabetes, heart problems and cancer. He says the project will be coordinated in New Zealand.

Saturday, November 17

Trampers warned to stay clear of Mt Ruapehu summit

Trampers and climbers are being warned to stay away from Mt Ruapehu's Summit Hazard Zone following warnings the volcano could be on the verge of eruption. Scientists monitoring the volcano say pressure is building under the volcano's crater lake. The Department of Conservation (DoC) said people should not enter anywhere that falls inside 2 kilometers of the Crater Lake. Climbers and trampers should refer to a Summit Hazard Zone map or GPS to determine when they are approaching the zone, DoC said. "We recommend that guiding companies do not take people into the zone. Any other climbers, trampers and walkers should not enter the zone," said DoC Ruapehu Area Manager Jonathan Maxwell.
Source: ONE News

Auckland Theatre Company nears fundraiser target

Auckland Theatre Company is closing in on its fundraising target for a new waterfront theatre. The 600 seat facility would be built at North Wharf in Wynyard Quarter. Auckland Council has promised to put in $10 million, if the theatre company can raise $35 million. $25 million is in the bank so far, including a contribution of $3 million from Creative New Zealand. Discussions are continuing with the Lottery Grants board and other funders for another $7 million. Construction should get underway in the second half of next year.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Ministry pushing Gardasil vaccine for young women

Health officials hope New Zealand will have as much success with the Gardasil vaccine as Australia. Figures from Victoria show a 77 percent reduction in some types of human papillomavirus, five years after the vaccine came in. They're responsible for almost three quarters of cervical cancers. The Ministry of Health's Dr Api Talemaitoga says while Gardasil is controversial, its introduction was always about protecting young women. "We'd just like to encourage young women that are listening to this to please go and have your Gardasil injection, because you will protect yourself for the rest of your life."
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Charles and Camilla leave New Zealand

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have waved goodbye to New Zealand and are winging their way back home to Britain. The royals departed Christchurch Airport late last night, having spent six days in the country on their Diamond Jubilee tour representing the Queen. The final day of the tour was spent in quake-ravaged Christchurch, where the couple checked out work being done to rebuild the city. The tour also included visits to Auckland, Wellington and Feilding.

Govt freezes Burma youth scheme funding

By Audrey Young
Government funding for a programme that brings young people from Burma to New Zealand has been suspended after the Immigration Service granted asylum to the leader of last year's course, Thura Oo. It is understood that Foreign Minister Murray McCully was furious that asylum had been granted without Immigration consulting Foreign Affairs about it. "Our funding of the scheme is in limbo while we sort out a basis on which we can ensure that those who come will not be able to successfully apply for refugee status," Mr McCully told the Weekend Herald. Mr McCully said people should not be accepted into the scheme who could then claim refugee status in New Zealand.

Friday, November 16

3.25% growth for Australia seen by IMF

The International Monetary Fund is forecasting growth in Australia of 3.25% in 2012 - faster than any major advanced economy. The report - the 2012 IMF Article IV Staff Report and Financial Sector Assessment Programme - also found that Australia's financial regulatory and supervisory framework exhibited a high degree of compliance with international standards. However, AAP says the report makes it clear that Australia is not immune from the fallout from future intensification of the European debt crisis, or turmoil in international financial markets.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Nearly 700 rail jobs to be cut in NSW

The state government in New South Wales announced on Friday that nearly 700 jobs will be cut from Railcorp when it is split into two separate operators, Sydney Trains and New South Wales Trains, next July. The ABC reports a new organizational structure has been issued for consultation which would see 240 back office positions and 450 maintenance jobs cut over three years. Earlier, AAP reported that the Australian Services Union said it believed 116 train stations in Sydney could be closed. "Every local station is in jeopardy," said NSW assistant secretary Asren Pugh in a statement.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Rugby - Famous fullback dead

Bob Scott, widely regarded as the greatest All Black fullback since George Nepia of the 1924 Invincibles has died. Scott, 91, was a prominent member of the New Zealand Army rugby team which toured Britain at the end of World War II. He made his debut for the All Blacks against Australia in 1946. He retired from first class rugby in 1951, but was asked to make himself available for the 1953-54 All Black tour of the British Isles and France. Scott was chaired off Cardiff Arms Park after the All Blacks beat the Barbarians at the end of the tour and returned to New Zealand a hero. Scott was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and was awarded the MBE in 1995 for his services to sport.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Labour to change its election process

Labour is poised to change the way its future leaders are elected by giving ordinary party members the vote in any leadership contest. A constitutional change, along with giving members more say in policy development, will be adopted at the party's annual conference in Auckland this weekend. Former leader Phil Goff welcomed the proposal, saying it will make Labour a more democratic and open party. Mr Goff said it will also make Labour a much more modern party, particularly compared with National.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Pressure heightens Ruapehu eruption risk

Pressure is building up in the Crater Lake on Mt Ruapehu, increasing the likelihood of an eruption in the coming weeks, scientists say. GNS Science said recent measurements taken on the volcano over the last few weeks indicated that eruptions were more likely "over the next weeks to months". The Aviation Colour Code has increased from green to yellow as a warning for those flying over the region, but the Volcanic Alert Level remained at level 1. Pressure was believed to be building up under the Crater Lake, and a sudden release of that pressure may lead to an eruption. GNS Science believed the temperature a few hundred metres beneath the crater was about 800 degrees Celsius but the lake itself was only 20degC. "This suggests the vent is partly blocked which may be leading to a pressure build-up beneath Crater Lake.'' Small earthquakes have been occurring about 5 kilometres beneath the summit of Ruapehu since late October, GNS said.
Source: Fairfax

NZ, Australia share criminal information

Employers in Queensland and New Zealand will continue to have access to the criminal history records of potential staff under an extended information sharing trial. State Justice Minister Jason Clare and his New Zealand national counterpart Judith Collins announced on Thursday an extension to the six-month trial due to end in December. "The trial is progressing well and will continue to help employers to make decisions about who they hire and will protect our communities from people who may pose a risk," Mr Clare said in a statement. Ms Collins said the trial was limited to Queensland and New Zealand but both governments are considering how the arrangement can be extended to criminal history information requests from employers across the two nations.

NZ tops list of best countries for business

Forbes magazine has rated New Zealand the best country on the planet to do business in. It ranked "tiny" New Zealand at the top of its list, bumping it up from the second place last year. Forbes called the nation a "stable" business climate, with transparency and an environment that encouraged entrepreneurs. New Zealand also came first for a lack of corruption, a low level of red tape, a high level of personal freedom and strong investor protection. Denmark was ranked second for its trade freedom and technology, and Hong Kong third for its "vibrant" economy. It ranked the United States at No 12.
Source: Fairfax

Research institute to strengthen NZ/India ties

New Zealand may soon tap into India's research capabilities, thanks to a new institute being established at Victoria University. The New Zealand India Research Institute aims to deepen educational ties between the two countries. Director Sekhar Bandyopadyay says there's huge room for improving our bilateral relationship with India, especially when it comes to research. He says some of the best student researchers in the world come from Indian universities. "It is a market which is not only a vast market but it is also a very quality market. New Zealand universities need to tap into that market."
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Lessons for NZ seen in BP fine

An environmental group says New Zealand needs to learn lessons from BP's fine for oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and significantly increase the current 'pathetic' penalties. BP is to pay more than $US4.5 billion to settle criminal charges stemming from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and subsequent oil spillage in 2010. ECO co-chair Cath Wallace says New Zealand is grossly underprepared for an environmental disaster. She only $10 million could be recovered after the Rena stranding because New Zealand's regulations were well behind the rest of the world. Dr Wallace said the Government needs to get far more serious about potentially damaging activities,
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Royals in Christchurch

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are now in Christchurch on the final day of their tour of New Zealand. The couple landed at 11.35am and were taken to the city council offices for an official welcome. They are to visit parts of the central business district damaged by the earthquakes. Later in the day, they will attend the Canterbury A & P Show. The Prince and Duchess leave New Zealand at 10.30pm.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Thursday, November 15

Reinstatement of QC title passes

Legislation reinstating the legal title of Queen's Counsel has passed its third and final reading in Parliament. In 2008, the Labour-led Government removed the rank of QC, replacing it with the title of senior counsel for top-tier lawyers. The Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill reverses the change.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

High Court halts cathedral demolition

The High Court at Christchurch has granted an application to halt the demolition of the quake-damaged ChristChurch Cathedral. The Great Christchurch Building Trust went to court in October to seek a declaratory judgement to prevent the church demolishing the heritage building. The trust, led by former MP Jim Anderton, argued that under the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch Church Protection Trust Act 2003, the church was obliged to repair and maintain the cathedral. The Anglican Church argued the building needed to be deconstructed to make it safe in accordance with a notice from the Canterbury Earthquake Authority. In a ruling released on Thursday, the High Court ruled demolition should stop until further notice.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Golden Bay

By Cassandra Mason
Volunteers are heading to Golden Bay this afternoon to help with a mass stranding of pilot whales. About 30 pilot whales are stranded at the high tide mark on Farewell Spit. Programme manager for biodiversity at DOC, Hans Stoffregen, said the situation is looking "a bit dire". Within the first hour of the whales stranding this morning, 11 of the 28 had died. Project Jonah chief executive Kimberly Muncaster said both DOC and marine animal rescue organisation Project Jonah are calling on volunteers from the Golden Bay and Malborough regions, she said. Project Jonah will be updating their volunteer need on their Facebook page over the next few days.

Another two tourism awards for NZ

By Alexia Russell - NewstalkZB
Another couple of tourism awards for New Zealand. We've been named 'Favourite Country - Worldwide' at the Telegraph Travel Awards in London. New Zealand edged out finalists Maldives and South Africa in the public vote done by more than 17,000 of the paper's readers. Tourism NZ CEO Kevin Bowler says the award is a huge honour. And Rugby Travel and Hospitality has won a prestigious International Sports Event Management Award for best hospitality. That award was also handed out in a ceremony in London.

Bottle with note washed up after 76 years

A Far North beachcomber has found a bottle with a note inside that was apparently tossed into the sea from a ship 76 years ago. Geoff Flood, who found the bottle on Sunday on Ninety Mile Beach, told the New Zealand Herald, "It could easily have been two or three times around the world." The note inside, dated March 17, 1936, was handwritten on a sheet of paper bearing the P&O shipping company's logo and a picture of the liner SS Strathnaver. It read, "At sea. Would the finder of this bottle kindly forward this note, where found, date, to undermentioned address." It is signed H E Hillbrick, 72, Richmond Street, Leederville, Western Australia.
Source: NZN

Sunbed ban plan for teens, fair skinned

Teenagers and fair-skinned adults may be banned from sunbeds under a proposed member's bill. The Health Skin Cancer and Trauma Prevention Amendment Bill calls for enforced regulations on sunbeds and cosmetic lasers. A voluntary standard is all that prevents people with very fair photo type one skin from using sunbeds. They would be barred, along with teenagers, from using the cosmetic tanning devices under National MP Dr Paul Hutchison's bill. UV light from sunbeds is twice as harmful as sun radiation, New Zealand Cancer Society health promotion manager Jan Pearson said. "Sometimes they're three to four times as strong. It has the support of The Cancer Society, University of Otago, Consumer NZ, Melanoma Foundation and New Zealand Dermatological Society under the umbrella organisation Melnet. "Sunbed use is widely associated with an increased risk of early onset melanoma," Hutchison said. "It's also associated with skin burns, premature aging, corneal burns, cataracts, ocular melanoma, and photodermatitis."
© Fairfax NZ News

UK looking to NZ for civil service reform tips

A British government minister is in New Zealand to pick up ideas for public service reform. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude believes the government can do more for less by making efficiency savings and moving some of its work with the public online. He told Morning Report he wants to pick New Zealand's brains about its reforms 25 years ago. Mr Maude said the idea of making chief executives of departments and agencies more accountable through fixed-term contracts, is attractive to British ministers who get frustrated when their decisions are not implemented.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

NZ told to protect social welfare system

United Nations Development Programme administrator Helen Clark says New Zealand must protect its social welfare system as a safeguard against future shocks. The former prime minister made the comment during a lecture on poverty and inequality in Dunedin on Wednesday night. Miss Clark said New Zealand should never underestimate the value of its social welfare system, which pulls people through economic shocks and natural disasters.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Wednesday, November 14

First woman commander for Navy tanker

A Navy woman will take command of a Navy tanker for the first time during a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base on Friday. Gisborne born Commander Sandra Walker will be the first woman to drive a major fleet unit when she takes charge of the 138 metre replenishment tanker HMNZS Endeavour. Walker will be the second woman to be given command of a NZ Navy ship. In June 2010 Lieutenant Alex Hansen took control of the Inshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Pukaki. Women were first enlisted into the Navy in the seagoing career trades in the early 1990s, and Commander Walker joined the Navy soon afterward.
Source: ONE News

Prince Charles celebrates his birthday in the capital

Prince Charles says he cannot think of a happier place to spend his birthday than in New Zealand. The Prince and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are here for six days as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. Prince Charles officially opened a new visitor centre at Government House - New Zealand's Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen. "I couldn't think of a better, happier place to spend my birthday than here with all of you in New Zealand, and we've been so touched by the welcome we've been given here, and of course in Auckland, and by all the kind New Zealanders who have shown us such warmth and friendliness." Prince Charles is celebrating his 64th birthday with a party at Government House hosted by the Governor General, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, whose birthday it is also.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Victoria intends to prohibit criminal bikie gangs

The government in Victoria has moved to outlaw criminal bikie gangs with new legislation introduced into the state parliament. AAP reports the legislation introduced would give police the power to apply to the Supreme Court to order criminal bikie gangs and other gangs to be declared banned. Once an organisation is declared illegal, the court can then make control orders banning members of that group from associating or participating in gang activities, including riding together and wearing their club colours and emblems. AAP reports individuals who breach a control order will face up to five years in prison. Organisations can be fined up to $A400,000 and have their assets confiscated.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Rugby - Maori All Blacks beaten by Leicester

The Maori All Blacks have been beaten 32-24 by English club Leicester in their British tour opener. Leicester led 26-17 at half time. The Maori scored 3 tries to 2 with Frae Wilson, Tim Bateman and Charlie Ngatai touching down for the tourists. The result ends an 8-match winning streak for the Maori, their last loss was against the England Saxons in 2007. The Maori's next match is against an RFU selection in Doncaster this weekend. In other internationals this morning Gloucester beat Fiji 31-29 and Newcastle beat Tonga 24-13.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

New kind of health worker in rural trial

Five rural hospital and community health organisations are about to begin using a new kind of health worker in a two-year project. American-trained physician assistants were first used in an Auckland hospital and will now be trialled in community healthcare. Physician assistants receive two to three years' medical training then carry out clinical tasks under doctors' supervision. Health Workforce New Zealand says the adoption of the idea in New Zealand is inevitable and it has committed $367,000 to a trial in Gore, Te Awamutu, Tokoroa, Hamilton and Huntly.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Youth award given to cellphone site programmer

A computer programme that makes it easier to set up mobile phone networks in mountainous or difficult terrain has won a Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award for its designer. The awards recognise outstanding achievement by five young Pacific people. Douglas Quensell, 23, who is the only Tongan studying electrical engineering at Auckland University, has designed a computer simulation that works out the best locations for cellphone towers on Pacific islands.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, November 13

'Live' broadcasts for all Maori All Blacks games

The Maori All Blacks test match against Canada being played on their short tour of England on 24 November will now be televised live in this country. The game being played at Oxford University is the last game of the team's three match tour. Earlier Sky Television said it wasn't possible to broadcast the game because there was little local interest in the United Kingdom and it wasn't being filmed. Sky now says it now working with Maori TV and will show the match live on its pay-channel, with a repeat screening on Maori TV later in the day. The team's other two matches, against Leicester on 14 November and a Champion Select XV on 17 November are also being shown live.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand

Solar eclipse to block out sun tomorrow

By Josh Martin
Tomorrow morning will present a rare opportunity for novice and professional astronomers alike - a partial eclipse of the sun that won't be repeated in New Zealand skies for another 16 years. It occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the Earth. The effect will be most impressive in the north, as more of the sun will appear to be covered by the moon. Aucklanders will see the effect reach 87 percent coverage and the sun will appear as a brilliant bright crescent, while the east coast of Northland will see 91 percent. The next eclipse with similar coverage will not occur over New Zealand until 2028, and Auckland will not see a better solar eclipse until 2035. From Auckland, the partial eclipse will reach maximum coverage at 10:28am and end at 11.44am. These times will vary at a bit in other centres.

Tenders called for military satellite

New Zealand's Defence Ministry has begun calling for tenders for a sophisticated wideband military satellite system that will guarantee "a seat at the top table" with any US led military activity. The ministry launched a request for tender asking for companies to bid on the provision of certified Wideband Global Satellite Communications (WGS) equipment, necessary training, and associated support to the New Zealand Defence Force. It will also include ground stations in the North Island and on ships. New Zealand has already committed to spending $82 million for a ninth satellite in a Washington-controlled satellite constellation system that gives highly secure global coverage for data transmission and reception. Earlier this year the Asia Pacific Defence Reporter magazine reported that Australia joined the system in 2007 for $1.22 billion. Canada, Denmark, the Netherland, Luxembourg and New Zealand clubbed together to fund the ninth satellite.

That Christmas e-card could be spam

Watch out - that cute looking Christmas e-card may be spam. Symantec says spammers have been sending emails with a Christmas Card '.zip' attachment. If the attachment is opened a malicious code is downloaded onto the user's computer. Spammers are also sending fake offers including products, health, internet, finances and replicas. Symantec says updating anti-spam signatures regularly can help prevent personal information from being compromised.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Work underway to restore historic Canterbury church

Work is underway to restore the historic St Paul's Church in Papanui. The Anglican Church, which was built in 1877, was badly hit during February's earthquake, causing around $650,000 damage. The church has been closed since the quake due to the danger of falling debris, with services having to be held in the tiny parish lounge. Reverend Andy Carley says the work being done was a combination of insurance repairs and restoration work. He says the large windows were to be returned to their original style and timber which had deteriorated over time would also be replaced.
Copyright 2002 - 2012, TelstraClear Ltd

Pacific unemployed lack training and skills

Agencies helping unemployed Pacific people say many lack the training and skills to compete in the job market, despite the fact that there are jobs out there. Statistics New Zealand figures show the number of Pacific unemployed rose to nearly 19,000 in between June and September - a rate of 25.6%, more than twice the national average. InWork director Adrian Roberts says many Pacific jobseekers are ill-prepared to compete in the job market. High youth unemployment, nearly 30%, is because many tend to leave school early and don't go on to further training. Mr Roberts says Pacific jobseekers often struggle with English and lack computer skills to fill out job applications online. And they're often shy about promoting themselves to an employer.
Copyright © 2012 Radio New Zealand

Cook Islands hopes NZ’s Pharmac can solve its drug supply problems

The Cook Islands health minister has asked for New Zealand’s help to improve the country’s stock of medical supplies. The Minister of Health Nandi Glassie says he has recently told his New Zealand counterpart, Tony Ryall, about the shortages the country regularly experiences. Cook Islands medical supplies drugs are ordered through the Netherlands and Mr Glassie asked Mr Ryall if New Zealand’s drug buying agency, Pharmac, could also supply the Cooks. Mr Glassie told Parliament that the chairman of Pharmac has indicated the request would be given some consideration.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Monday, November 12

Homeless increasing in Australia

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of homeless people in the country rose by 17% between 2006 and 2011. According to the bureau, much of the increase was accounted for by migrants. Welfare charities in Australia say the rental housing market has become increasingly unaffordable, pushing accommodation beyond the reach of those at the bottom of the ladder, the ABC reports. When overall population growth is taken into account, the rate of homelessness is estimated to have risen 8% over the five-year period.


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