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Thursday, February 28

Newspaper publisher wants to outsource NZ jobs

Newspaper publisher APN has told staff on Thursday it is planning to outsource the majority of its advertising production to a company in India. Up to 24 positions in Auckland and the company's major regional daily sites will be affected. APN New Zealand's chief executive Martin Simons says the changes are needed to meet the demand for more efficient production. Mr Simons says other major newspapers in New Zealand and Australia have already outsourced similar work. Affected APN staff have been asked to submit their ideas on the proposal by 7 March.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Chatham Islanders fight to keep ancestral trees alive

Chatham Islanders and the Department of Conservation are working hard to preserve the last few remaining trees with ancestral Moriori carvings before they start deteriorating any further. Ten momori trees (rakau) - which are about 400 years old - had to be removed last weekend because they were either rotting or were being harmed. Hokotehi Moriori Trust general manager Maui Solomon said there are at least another 50 trees that will need to have preservation treatment over the next five years. He said work is progressing to save as many as possible using a range of methods including fertilising around the base of the trees, erecting viewing platforms, and putting up wind barriers. Mr Solomon said it was a sad occasion to have to remove the trees, which are important to the Moriori people because the carvings depict images of their ancestors.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Rusty rolls inland

Tropical Cyclone Rusty is moving inland from Pilbara coast of Western Australia. Wind gusts of 165km per hour are expected. The eye of the storm came ashore just before 3pm (WST) on Wednesday. Communities between Pardoo and Nullagine were place on red alert late on Wednesday night, with advised to go to shelter immediately. Rusty will gradually weaken as it moves inland, but AAP reports flooding is expected in the De Grey catchment and possibly in the Fortescue catchment and in coastal streams along the Pilbara on Thursday. Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre duty forecaster Peter Clegg said the cyclone is expected to weaken over the next two days. AAP reports Port Hedland, which was initially expected to bear the brunt of the storm, appeared to have come off relatively unscathed.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Dengue hospitalises 26 people in Solomons

An WHO epidemiologist says 26 people in Solomon Islands have been hospitalised with severe dengue fever but there are no deaths from the latest outbreak. Four new cases of dengue fever were detected in Gizo yesterday and there are now more than 300 suspected cases in Honiara
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Warning over infant formula bottles

Parents using infant formula are being urged to check volume markings on bottles, as several types of bottles sold in New Zealand have incorrect markings, which could have a serious effect on babies. Some low-cost feeding bottles for babies with inaccurate markings mean babies could be getting infant formula that is too concentrated, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. In some cases the volume is overestimated by up 40 percent. Fifteen of 35 bottles surveyed by Consumer Affairs had inaccurate markings by more than five percent. These bottles tended to be purchased from discount shops, said the statement. Formula that is too concentrated can cause babies to have problems including, vomiting, diarrhoea and constipation. Untreated, it can cause serious dehydration. Over time, the over-concentrated formula will provide excess calories, which could lead to children becoming overweight or obese and could harm organs such as the kidneys, said the ministry.

Moa shipping beer to China

Moa Brewery says its beer will soon be available in Canada. The company has a presence in the United States and has appointed Aqua Vita Imports of Vancouver as its new Canadian distributor. Meanwhile, Moa has sent its fourth shipment to China, where it's keen to crack high end Chinese liquor stores and restaurants.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Salmon farms given green light

New Zealand King Salmon has been given the green light to go ahead with four controversial new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds. In its draft decision released last year the Environmental Protection Agency approved four of the nine farms applied for. It released its final decision this morning, which has given the company the go ahead to build the four farms covering six surface hectares. The King Salmon application attracted 1,200 public submissions with many opposed to the plan due to potential environmental impacts.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Cook Islands ministerial forum decides on aid

The second New Zealand Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum will take place today. Foreign Minister Murray McCully is hosting Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and his finance and tourism minister. Mr McCullly says the priorities for the New Zealand Aid programme have been agreed to - it will be focused on tourism and sectors that contribute to sustaining the tourism industry such as education, water and sanitation.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Minister launches website for international students

A new website has been launched aimed at international students in New Zealand. It provides them with a 'one-stop shop' where they can get information about their employment rights and responsibilities, health and safety in the workplace, work conditions attached to student visas and settlement resources. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says the export education sector contributes more than $2 billion each year to the economy, and the Government wants to double that. He says to meet this target, the Government needs to ensure the students are looked after.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Petition calls for tighter palm oil labelling laws

By Alexia Russell - NewstalkZB
A petition's been launched at the Auckland Zoo, calling on the Government to tighten palm oil labelling laws. Organisers say the laws let companies hide behind generic and scientific names. Currently palm oil can be labelled as one of 200 different scientific names or as the generic term vegetable oil - making it impossible for consumers to avoid the ingredient.

Monarch butterfly fails to flitter

Monarch butterflies do not seem to be about in their usual numbers this year. Researchers are to meet in Auckland next month to figure out what has happened to them. The monarch butterfly is synonymous with New Zealand summers. "We've heard from many monarch lovers in Canterbury and Otago that the monarchs haven't returned this summer - and it's something that's got us baffled," said Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust secretary Jacqui Knight. AAP reports it's thought that a tough cold winter across the South Island dampened breeding numbers. "Just what that is, though, we need to figure out," Ms Knight said.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Wednesday, February 27

Court rules in favour of Mighty River share sale

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Government's sale of shares in state-owned company Mighty River Power will have no material impact on Maori water rights. Earlier in February, the Maori Council went to New Zealand's highest court seeking to overturn an earlier High Court decision which found that there was no connection between the share sale and the need to address Maori claims to water. In a decision released on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the proposed sale of shares is able to be reviewed by the courts to ensure that it is consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Shark kills person at Muriwai Beach

A person has been killed by a shark at Muriwai Beach in West Auckland. Staff on the Westpac rescue helicopter, which was called to the scene, say the patient died on Wednesday and it has heard that the shark has been shot by police. A member of the Muriwai Surf Club says many people saw the attack. The Auckland Council has confirmed that the beach has been closed. Police and ambulance remain at the scene.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Law changed to ensure smoking ban is lawful

The Government has passed legislation to make sure a smoking ban in prisons does not break the law. The High Court last year found in favour of an inmate who took a civil case against the ban in Auckland prison, finding it unlawful. Corrections Minister Anne Tolley added a change to the Corrections Amendment Bill during the committee stages to enshrine the smoking ban in law. She said she did so to remove any potential uncertainty about the lawfulness of the policy.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Rare frog bred by zoo

Auckland Zoo has managed to successfully breed Archey's frog, whose population has dropped by 80% in the past 10 years. New Zealand fauna curator Richard Gibson said it has taken eight years to work out how to get the frogs to breed. He said the froglets, which are just a few millimetres long, eat tiny intertebrates.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Xtra email accounts hacked again

Hackers have again accessed the email accounts of Xtra customers. Previously some 87,000 customers were locked out of their accounts because of a spam attack. Telecom said at the weekend the problem had been solved - but on Wednesday it said another 1500 accounts have been potentially compromised over the past two days. Telecom said this is higher than usual, as on any given day up to 100 accounts are tagged as compromised for various reasons. It has cancelled the passwords of those accounts.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, February 26

Media restrictions for kapa haka festival criticised

Media commentator Gavin Ellis says organisers of Te Matatini placed impossible restrictions on media trying to cover the national kapa haka festival in Rotorua last week. An exclusive broadcast deal was signed with Maori Television and iwi radio station Te Arawa FM. Filming bans were placed on TV3 and Television New Zealand's news programmes for breaching Te Matatini media rules. Gavin Ellis, a former editor of The New Zealand Herald, told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme that most people have missed out on seeing the cream of Maori culture. He says organisers have overplayed their hand - and unfortunately New Zealanders are the losers. Gavin Ellis says if he was still running a newspaper he would not try to cover the festival because organisers are attempting to manipulate the media. Te Matatini has not retuned calls from Radio New Zealand's Te Manu Korihi News asking for comment.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Kiwibank set to branch out to Niue

The New Zealand bank Kiwibank is set to extend its domestic operation to Niue, with the opening of a branch on the island expected in April. Niue’s sole provider of commercial banking services, Papua New Guinea’s Bank South Pacific, is closing the branch it set up almost nine years ago. Kiwibank’s spokesperson says if the new branch goes ahead, it will offer the same deposit and withrawal services offered by Bank South Pacific. Bruce Thompson says Niue customers will be treated as though they are New Zealand bank customers and it will be as easy to transfer money between Niue and New Zealand accounts as it is within New Zealand.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Queensland hospital statistics to be published

Details about the performance of hospitals in Queensland are to published regularly by the state government. Information including emergency department waiting times, the number of infections picked up in hospitals, and the average cost of admitting patients will be published in newspapers every quarter. Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the government wants to replace a "culture of secrecy" in Queensland Health. "Being measured and judged on emergency department performance, waiting times and cleanliness of hospitals are all issues infinitely more important to health than being judged on union membership or the size of a health bureaucracy," he told the Courier Mail newspaper.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Minimum wage to increase

Labour Minister Simon Bridges today announced the minimum wage is to rise to $13.75. The current wage rate is $13.50. The training and new entrants’ minimum wages will increase from $10.80 to $11, which is 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage. The new minimum wage rates will come into effect on 1 April.

Broadcaster Phillip Leishman dies at 61

Veteran sports broadcaster Phillip Leishman has died. The 61-year-old, who had surgery on a brain tumour last year, became sick again last week and slipped into a coma on Sunday night. His family and friends were by his side as he died overnight. He leaves his wife Michelle and three children - Harry, 20, India, 17, and Lily, 15.
APNZ with Newstalk ZB

Shorty, Coro most-watched online

By Edward Swift - NewstalkZB
Local television programming is leading the way online. TVNZ has revealed its most popular programmes of 2012 on the TVNZ On Demand service, as it announces a new video app for iPad and iPhone. In 2012, the most watched programme on TVNZ On Demand was home-grown soap Shortland Street, achieving more than 4.9 million streams. That was followed by Coronation Street on 1.1 million streams, and New Zealandâs Got Talent with nearly 900,000 streams.

Monday, February 25

Cyclone Rusty building off Australian coast

Forecasters fear Tropical Cyclone Rusty will cause havoc in northern Western Australia in the next two days, warning it could bring major flooding, huge winds and a potentially deadly coastal tide. The slow-moving cyclone, which is currently a category two, is about 300km north of Port Hedland, moving south and still building. The Bureau of Meteorology say the storm front could be as intense as a category four as it crosses the coastline later this week, which could bring wind gusts as high as 230km/h. WA's State Emergency Service (SES) is advising people in communities between Broome and Mardie, including Port Hedland and Karratha, to prepare an emergency kit including first aid provisions, a torch, a portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
Source: AAP

Quake victim's family gift $100k to students

By Newstalk ZB staff - NewstalkZB
A Japanese family who lost their only child in the CTV building collapse has gifted $100,000 for students in Christchurch. Rika Hyugam was at Kings Language School when the February 2011 earthquake hit. This morning her father awarded six scholarships to CPIT students studying nursing and Japanese. CPIT chief executive Kay Giles says it's an amazing gesture.

Claims constitution review panel is biased

By Laura Heathcote - NewstalkZB
There are claims the government panel appointed to review New Zealand's constitution is biased. The government panel is co-chaired by John Burrows, QC, and former Ngai Tahu chairman Sir Tipene O'Regan, and will begin taking submissions tomorrow about the country's constitution. But an alternative group has set up in opposition, calling itself the Independent Constitutional Review panel. Chair David Round thinks the government's advisory group is only engaging with Maori interests. "The panel itself - it's racially stacked - it's terms of reference are slanted already, talking about treaty principles and treaty partnership." David Round says his group is appealing to all New Zealanders to make submissions, after which they will present what he calls a truly independent report.

PM to head trade delegation to Latin America

The Prime Minister will lead a trade delegation to Latin America next week. The group will visit Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil during the nine day trip. John Key says Latin America is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic regions in the world, and the Government wants to capitalise on trade opportunities there.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Kiwis lose $2.2m in online dating scams

By Grayson Ottaway - NewstalkZB
New Zealanders looking for love online lost more than $2.2 million in scams last year. Figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show a doubling of the amount lost compared with 2011. Netsafeâs Lee Chisholm says dating scams mostly work where someone meets someone overseas online, they chat and Skype, fall in love, then suddenly something happens to that person far away. "(Something) quite bad or tragic, or scary happens to the person overseas, and they need a bit of money. "Then they need a bit more money, something further happens and they want more money."

King returns to front bench in Labour reshuffle

Annette King will return to Labour's front bench as one of a number of changes announced by leader David Shearer this afternoon. King was the former deputy leader under Phil Goff, and returns to the front bench as spokesperson for health, taking over from Maryan Street. Announcing the reshuffle today, Shearer said Phil Twyford has also been promoted to spokesperson for health. Elsewhere, current deputy leader Grant Robertson is taking over responsibility for jobs, an issue which Shearer said is the greatest challenge facing the country. David Clark takes on Economic Development and Chris Hipkins will take on the role of Education spokesperson permanently - the senior whip has been acting in the role for several months. Andrew Little will be taking on Prime Minister John Key in the Tourism portfolio as well as being spokesperson for Justice. Sue Moroney takes on responsibility for ACC.
Source: ONE News

Pateke released on Milford Track

Seventy four pateke (brown teal) ducks have been released into the Milford Track as part of a project to restore bird life and habitats. The pateke are the first species to be returned to the wild as part of a $1 milllion Air New Zealand Great Walks biodiversity project with the Department of Conservation. DoC said that being able to encountering such a rare bird in its natural environment will underline the international reputation of the track for visitors. Te Anau area manager Reg Kemper said DoC hopes to release another endangered species, takahe, into the area sometime next year.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

16,000 Wellington homes yet to make TV switch

Thousands of Wellington homes could be without television if they don't make the switch to digital soon. Public information campaign Going Digital has this morning released figures showing more than 16,000 homes still have analogue televisions that will not work after the September 29 switch to digital. At that point, seven months away, everyone in Wellington who wants to watch television will need to have Freeview, Sky, TelstraClear or Igloo. Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said when Hawke's Bay went digital last year there were people who waited until the last minute, and then had to go without television for a time because installers were fully booked. "You don't need a new TV to go digital but everyone will need a television with Freeview built in or the right set-top box together with a UHF aerial or satellite dish,'' he said. Anyone with questions on the move to digital can visit or call 0800 838 800.
© Fairfax NZ News

Christchurch gondola set to reopen in March

The operator of the Christchurch Gondola hopes to reopen it by the end of next month, provided it can go ahead with work to remove the risk of rockfall. The gondola has been closed since the February 2011 earthquake burst a sprinkler head, causing 60,000 litres of water to flood the top station.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, February 24

NZ navy prepares for potential pirate attacks

The navy is making its presence felt in one of the world's busiest sea lanes as part of a major international exercise called the 'Bersama Shield'. Warships, submarines and aircraft from several countries, including Australia and Malaysia, will practise intensive manoeuvres in south-east Asia and the South China Sea to ensure any threat from pirates or terrorists can be met. Commander Shane Arndell, of the frigate HMS Te Mana, says their presence is a deterrent for those considering illegal activities as well as preparing the navy to help ships that may be attacked in the future. He says it's vital for New Zealand that shipping lanes are kept safe for the transportation of imports and exports.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Artist Ralph Hotere dies

The renowned artist, Ralph Hotere, has died in Dunedin at the age of 81. Once described as one of the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated artists yet produced by New Zealand, Mr Hotere had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2001. He was the first artist of Maori descent to be written into a history of New Zealand art and was appointed to the Order of New Zealand in 2011. Last year one of Mr Hotere's paintings, Vive Aramoana, sold for $183,000.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Milk in schools programme begins soon

By Grayson Ottaway - NewstalkZB
Forty-six years after it ended, free milk is set to begin again in New Zealand primary schools from the end of this term. Fonterra's Carly Robinson says more than half of the country's primary schools, from all deciles, have registered interest in the new Milk for Schools programme. She says it means around 191,000 children will get a free daily pack of milk.

Erakovic wins Memphis title

New Zealand tennis player Marina Erakovich has won her first WTA singles title at the Memphis International Indoor Tournament. Erakovich had taken the first set 6-1 against 3rd seed Sabine Lisicki before the German retired with an injury, handing the title to the New Zealander. It is the first WTA title won by a New Zealander since Belinda Cordwell's win in Singapore in 1989.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Gas supply review threat to basic food supplies

Bread and milk could disappear from supermarket shelves during crises if food companies are removed from an emergency gas supply list. A provision which allowed producers of bread, cereal and milk to receive limited gas during outages looks set to be wiped during a policy shake-up. The Gas Industry Company review is designed to cull some 370 businesses from its essential services list. During outages, hospitals, mortuaries, emergency services and water services will be prioritised with a limited gas supply. But food companies are arguing their products are also essential for human life. Fresh foods were hit hard during the October 2011 Maui pipeline disruption which lasted five days.
© Fairfax NZ News

Saturday, February 23

Death toll rises in northern New South Wales

Two people have drowned and almost 4,000 are cut off by floodwaters on Australia's New South Wales coast. The State Emergency Service (SES)says there have been 21 flood rescues across the region, stretching from near the Queensland border to Port Macquarie and Kempsey. About 20,000 people are without power and widespread road closures are in place. The New South Wales Police and Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallagher says everyone is still on alert, watching rising rivers and creeks and residents are being evacuated from parts of northern New South Wales. A spokesman, Phil Campbell, says it is likely a number of towns will have to be evacuated.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Auckland Lantern Festival lights up central city

By Jeff Bell - Online Reporter
The 14th Auckland Lantern Festival kicked off a weekend of festivities yesterday evening, with up to 60,000 people expected to fill Albert Park for the three-day event. The event marks the close of the Chinese New Year celebrations, and features stalls, music and entertainment amid a display of Chinese lanterns. Auckland mayor Len Brown calls the event “massive”. In addition to the Albert Park festivities, there are also events at Queens Wharf, Sky Tower, Auckland Library, Auckland Art Gallery, Lorne St and Khartoum Place. Mr Brown says there are no plans to move the event’s venue as its popularity grows. The event will close at 10:30pm tomorrow night with a fireworks display on the Sky Tower.
3 News

Australia to tighten temporary visa scheme

The Australian government is cracking down on a visa scheme for temporary overseas workers saying it has evidence the programme is being used to discriminate against Australians. Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said the 457 visa programme would be tightened to ensure it is only used to address genuine skills shortages, and that local workers are getting a "fair go". Under the changes, employers will be required to demonstrate they are nominating a position where there is a genuine shortage of workers, while English language requirements for some jobs will also be raised.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Sun rising an hour later as Summer nears end

The mornings are darker and the evenings shorter as summer slowly approaches its official end next week. says the sun is now rising roughly an hour later. Head analyst Philip Duncan says it's setting 30 minutes earlier in the north, and an hour earlier in the deep south. "The deep south notice it the most because they have these incredibly long days in summer and then in winter they have incredibly short days compared to the rest of the country. So they're the first to notice the change and it comes in quite rapidly for them."
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

20,000 expected at Mission Concert

20,000 concert goers will gather today in Hawke's Bay for the Mission Concert. Artists headlining the show include Bee Gee Barry Gibb and Carole King, as well as Father Chris Skinner and the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra. Peter Holley at the Mission Estate Winery isn't concerned ticket numbers are down on last year. "There's a sizable, substantial crowd and I guess there's just going to be a bit more elbow room this year so a little bit more space for some comfort." The concert gets underway at 3:30pm.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Scholarships offered for Christchurch enginering students

A Christchurch polytechnic is offering 25 engineering scholarships to attract more students to the city. The Polytechnic Institute of Technology is offering the scholarships to help meet the demand for engineering skills in the region. The insitute's head of engineering and architectural technology, Paul Elmes, says he's committed to providing opportunities for people interested in entering the profession. Dr Elmes says students will have the unique opportunity to study building responses to the earthquakes alongside engineers from around the world. The scholarships provide up to $11,000 for Bachelor of Engineering Technology students and $5400 for those working towards a Diploma in Engineering.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Friday, February 22

Councils join forces over new alcohol regulations

New alcohol regulations for the top of the South Island are close to being finalised. The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough councils are working to bring in a stricter alcohol policy allowing them to limit the location or number of liquor-licensed premises near specific neighbourhoods, such as as churches or schools. The Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012 lets councils give communities a greater say on alcohol policies. The new regulations will allow opening hours to be restricted or extended, or fix one-way door policies to be imposed on certain establishments.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

King of Tonga to visit

The King of Tonga will visit New Zealand next week. It will be his first official state visit here. King Tupou VI took over the reign after his brother, George Tupou V, died in Hong Kong last March. Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae said King Tupou would be in Wellington next Monday and would conclude his trip in Auckland on Wednesday. He will be accompanied by wife, Queen Nanasipau'u. "There are special bonds of friendship and community between Tonga and New Zealand and the King's visit marks a new chapter in the close relationship between our two countries," Mateparae said. "We look forward in the coming years to strengthening the ties between us, which are underpinned by our shared Polynesian heritage, and a range of bilateral links in the arts, sport, education, trade and defence."
- © Fairfax NZ News

Kiwi kids more active than across Tasman - survey

New Zealand children are more active than others around the globe. A new survey has found Kiwi children spend more time outside than Australian children, with 37-percent of Aussie kids spending less than 30 minutes a day being active outdoors. Only five-percent of Kiwi kids fall into this category. It found four out of five children here spend more than an hour outside each day, with most spending time playing with toys or friends.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Hawke's Bay Maori health services to get nursing director

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board plans to appoint its first director of nursing for Maori Health Services. DHB nursing director Chris McKenna says the new position will give the successful applicant a chance to make a difference to the health of Maori in the region and help boost the number of Maori nursing staff. She says the decision to create the new job is part of the DHB's commitment to providing appropriate services for all its patients and improving the health of people in the region. Ms McKenna says the appointment of Maori nursing directors in other regions such as Northland and Auckland has proved very successful.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealan

Canterbury marks two years since quake

The people of Canterbury are marking the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake with a civic service and community events. The devastating 6.3-magnitude quake that struck on 22 February 2011 claimed the lives of 185 people. A civic service, co-hosted by ChristChurch Cathedral, will be held in Latimer Square, near the site of the collapsed Canterbury Television building where the greatest single loss of life occurred. The service which begins at midday will include the laying of a wreath, readings and a minute of silence at 12.51pm, the moment the earthquake occurred. Prime Minister John Key will be among the guests, who will also include family members of those who died and people who were seriously injured. Among the community-organised commemorations is the River of Flowers in which people can drop flowers in the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the estuary during the day. Messages can be left on a Tree of Hope at more than a dozen sites around the city and people are also being asked to leave messages pinned to the Pallet Pavilion near Victoria Square.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, February 21

Royal penguin slowly improving

The health of a young Royal penguin found thousands of kilometres from its Antarctic home is improving. The bird was found critically ill on the Wairarapa coast on Sunday and rushed to Wellington Zoo for urgent medical care. Staff say their main concern is organ failure from starvation. The zoo's veterinary science manager, Lisa Argilla, said on Thursday the penguin is starting to eat more fish and getting more feisty, meaning it is slowly regaining its strength. Dr Argilla said even though the bird is getting better, it is still too soon to confidently say that it will survive.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Probiotic study aims to cut eczema and allergies

Researchers are urging women in early pregnancy to join a study aimed at reducing eczema and allergies including asthma in children. The study involves women taking healthy organisms known as probiotics. Teams of researchers at Auckland University and Otago University in Wellington are running the study. Wellington paediatrician Thorsten Stanley says an earlier study involving women in late pregnancy taking a probiotic halved eczema rates in their children. He says researchers hope that giving a potent probiotic to women earlier - starting at 16 weeks gestation - might rid their children of allergies altogether. Dr Stanley says probiotics have been shown to help a wide range of conditions, but just the right one is needed to target allergies. He says it is safe and will involve participants taking a capsule a day, which would be either a probiotic or a placebo.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Growers say crops struggling in heat

Auckland vegetable growers say prices could rise as a result of one of the driest summers on record. The North Island city experienced its driest January since 1974 this year and has had below-average levels of rain so far in February. Vegetable growers in Pukekohe say the lack of moisture means smaller yields, which could lead to higher prices. MetService says it could be the end of the month or early March before there is any significant rainfall.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Fairfax poised to bring in paywalls for NZ news sites

Fairfax Media has delayed the introduction of paywalls around its Australian news websites. Originally scheduled for the first quarter of 2013, Fairfax today revealed the introduction of metered content has been pushed back to the end of the year. Chief executive Greg Hywood indicated that the company's New Zealand news sites would be the first to go behind paywalls. "Metro digital subscriptions will start to be rolled out in offshore markets on schedule in March, with subsequent domestic launch to follow," he told analysts during a briefing on the company's first half results.
Source: AAP

Second Kereru Count survey begins Sunday

Got nothing to do on Sunday? Why not help conduct a survey of one of our native birds. Forest and Bird's junior division, the Kiwi Conservation Club, ran its first Kereru Count last year with more than a thousand recorded sightings of the wood pigeons across the country. From 9am Sunday to 3pm Monday, people are asked to visit gardens, parks and reserves and count the number they spot before going to the Kereru Count website to record their results. Co-ordinator Ann Graeme says this is a fun citizen-science project that gives a snapshot of Kereru populations and distribution in New Zealand. She says awareness is the first step to conservation and this survey is the best way for communities to learn there's a special native bird living near them.
- Newstalk ZB

Double-decker buses arrive in Auckland this weekend

Double-decker buses are on their way to Auckland, to give extra capacity to the city's public transport network. Operator of the Northern Express bus route, Ritchies Transport, expects the first 88-seater vehicle to arrive from Malaysia over the weekend, reports the New Zealand Herald. They will be painted in Auckland Transport colours, and begin operation on the Northern Busway between Albany and Britomart in mid-March.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Great British Car Rally reaches Wellington

A treat for car lovers in the capital this morning, with some of Britain's finest vehicles on display. Over two hundred British cars are in town for the Great British Car Rally. The cars are travelling from Auckland to Christchurch as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. British High Commission spokesman Chris Harrington says the cars are on display at Taranaki Wharf.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Maori told of need to fill in census form

Statistics New Zealand says it's working hard to raise the awareness among Maori of the need to fill in a census form next month. Community liaison adviser Luke Crawford says even though everyone is supposed to fill in a form, many Maori failed to do so in the last census in 2006. He says more than 565,000 people who filled in forms seven years ago identified themselves as Maori, but the figure could have been more than 10,000 higher if all Maori had filled in the forms. Mr Crawford says there's a myth that because Statistics New Zealand is a government department, any personal information it gathers can be shared with other agencies such as the police, Inland Revenue or the Ministry of Social Development. He says that's not the case and the confidentiality of personal information is protected by law.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Cricket - England cruise to ODI victory, despite Taylor's ton

Ross Taylor's brilliant comeback century was not enough to guide the Black Caps to a one-day international series victory over England at Napier tonight. Chasing 269 runs to win, the tourists achieved that target with more than two overs remaining and for the loss of only two wickets. The English enjoyed contributions from all their batsmen, with Joe Root's 79 off 56 balls providing the impetus over the final stages. Captain Alastair Cook (78) and Jonathan Trott (65no) also recorded half centuries. England were in control for most of the encounter, restricting the Kiwi top order with tight bowling at the start and knocking off New Zealand's final six wickets for just 26 runs. James Anderson recorded his second ODI "five-for" with figures of 5-34.
Source: ONE Sport

Wednesday, February 20

Thousands in Rotorua for kapa haka champs

Iwi from throughout New Zealand are in Rotorua for the biennial Te Matatini Kapa Haka championships. From Thursday until Sunday, 41 teams from New Zealand and Australia will showcase the best in singing, choreography and haka. About 2000 people attended a welcome on Wednesday hosted by Te Arawa. More than 40,000 people are expected to come to the Rotorua International Stadium for the competition. Te Matatini chairman Selwyn Parata says the event has become significant for Maori and New Zealand as a whole and he is looking forward to watching some superb haka.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Tongans who lied to Immigration face deportation

Deportation is on the cards for Tongan nationals who may have entered the country on the back of false information. Immigration New Zealand has looked at the names of 172 people who may have had their criminal convictions wiped by Tongan authorities. It has found 40 may be living here. Minister Michael Woodhouse says those who have provided false information are liable for deportation.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Government coffers looking good

Good news for the Government's books, with the latest financial update showing revenue stable, and spending and debt lower than expected. Core crown revenue, at $27.3 billion for the six months to December, was just 0.1 per cent lower than forecast. Expenses were $273 million lower than expected, because Treaty of Waitangi settlement costs were lower due to complex negotiations not being completed during December as planned. The overall deficit excluding gains and losses was $158 million lower than expected, at $3.2 billion. The operating balance was a whopping $1.7 billion in surplus, because of investment gains in the Superannuation Fund and ACC.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

NZ online job ads up last month

There has been a rise in online job vacancies. The latest Jobs Online report from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment shows that vacancies rose by 12.6 per cent last month. It follows falls in November and December. Spokesman David Paterson says recruitment activity usually starts in pick up in January, but the growth this year is higher than January 2012. Jobs advertised in Canterbury are up 22 per cent over the year, driven mainly by the construction and engineering industry.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

National no longer a sure winner - poll

Latest poll results showing Labour edging towards National were "heartening" but there was still work to do, Labour leader David Shearer says. A Fairfax Media-Ipsos political poll shows Labour making progress but support for the John Key-led National Government is holding up. Today's poll puts National on 44.9 per cent – 1.3 percentage points down on our last poll in December, and back to where it was last August. But the big story is Labour's slow rise under Shearer. The party is up 1.9 points to 36.3 per cent, 3.7 per cent higher than in August. Shearer said that as the Government became "increasingly shrill" it became clear National was out of ideas.

Crack down on benefit fraud coming

The Government is to crack down on benefit fraud, including creating a new offence for the partners of beneficiaries convicted of fraud. Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows said at the moment it is difficult to prosecute people who know or benefit from fraud committed by their partners. Mr Borrows said the law will be changed to ensure that both parties who benefit from the crime are punished. Other changes the Government will also introduce include: New ways of dealing with beneficiaries who have previously been dishonest and formalising information sharing between ACC, Inland Revenue, Housing New Zealand Corporation, police and the Ministry of Social Development.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Fewer jobs for graduates in Australia

Fewer employers in Australia are taking on new university graduates as the sluggish economy continues. One in eight organisations surveyed by Graduate Careers Australia did not take on any graduates in 2012. Since 2008 there has been a steady increase in the number of employers not recruiting any graduates. More than half of the 584 employers surveyed cited business and economic conditions as the main reason for their hiring decisions. Construction, mining and industry were the sectors most affected, with 78% saying this was the main reason. AAP reports economic conditions were also cited by the government, defence and health sectors.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Movie premiere worth $11.8m

The world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey pumped $11.8 million into the Wellington economy during premiere week. A report commissioned by Wellington City Council estimates 60,000 people attended the red carpet event and an artisan market throughout the week. The council spent $1.1 million on the premiere and other activities across the city. The world premiere of the third Lord of the Rings film in 2002 in Wellington, generated $9.5 million.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, February 19

Chinese vegetables sold to Australians as 'Made in NZ'

Frozen Chinese vegetables are being sold in Australia labelled "Made in New Zealand", the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports . AUSVEG spkesman Hugh Gurney told the ABC's AM programme that the vegetables were grown under conditions that were not acceptable in Australia. Gurney says produce can leave China as a frozen product, then be packaged or modified in New Zealand, and then sent on to Australia under the labelling "Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients". "Often this produce from China is actually grown in conditions which would not be permitted here, so we feel this is quite a deceptive practice," he told AM. "This would be mainly frozen products like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots. The product would come in maybe in a large frozen block. That would then be broken down into smaller sections, bagged up into plastic bags, frozen again, and then sent here to Australia."
Source: Fairfax

Rehabilitated turtles released back into wild

Five rehabilitated turtles have been released back into the wild at the Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve today. Auckland's Kelly Tartlon's aquarium took them to the Bay of Islands after nursing them back to health. They'd all been found and rescued by concerned members of the public, and they've been at the aquarium for between five months and two years. Most of them are found with gut problems from ingesting plastics or being tangled in rope - they lose the ability to dive for food, and it takes months to recover even when the obstruction in their stomach's been passed.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Record low infant mortality rate

New Zealand's infant mortality rate fell to record lows last year. Official statistics show 256 babies under one year of age died in 2012, compared to 290 the year before. Statistics New Zealand said that puts the infant mortality rate in 2012 at 4.2 deaths per 1000 live births, down from 4.7 in 2011. Ten years earlier, the rate was 5.6 deaths per 1000 live births. Last year's was the lowest rate ever recorded in New Zealand. The agency also said life expectancy figures are the highest they have ever been: women are expected to live till 83, and men until 79.4 years.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

MP announces resignation

Labour MP Charles Chauvel is resigning from Parliament to take up a position with the United Nations in New York. He entered Parliament as a list MP in 2006.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

New Zealand announces Pacific parliamentary meeting

New Zealand has announced it will host a forum of Pacific parliamentarians in April. The chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee, John Hayes, says it will be an opportunity for Pacific politicians and leaders, and New Zealand Members of Parliament, to strengthen their networks in the region. The idea for the Pacific Parliamentary meeting came from a recent review of New Zealand’s relationship with Pacific states. The gathering will begin with a three hour debate in the New Zealand Parliament on Pacific issues.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Monday, February 18

Parliament supports royal succession law change

Legislation has been will be introduced on Monday to help implement changes to royal succession laws. The British parliament is to change the monarchy's 300-year-old legislation that determines who can become king or queen. Aside from the United Kingdom, New Zealand is the only Commonwealth country that includes the laws of succession in its domestic laws. The change will apply to the child of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, due to be born in July this year. The new rules also allow a person married to a Roman Catholic to become king or queen, but the changes will not allow a Catholic to accede to the throne.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Govt set to announce steps on plain packaging

Prime Minister John Key says the Government should be in a position in the next few days to announce the steps it intends taking towards plain packaging for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Australia moved to plain packaging in December last year. In April 2012, the New Zealand's Government agreed to take the same approach, subject to public consultation which ended in October. Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says plain packaging would be one more step towards New Zealand becoming smoke-free by 2025.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Seven Christchurch schools to close, 12 to merge

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced that seven Christchurch schools will close and 12 will merge to create six schools as part of the government's education shake-up in the post-disaster city. The seven schools to close are: Branston Intermediate, Glenmoor, Greenpark, Kendal, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate and Richmond. About 670 children will be affected, Ms Parata said at today's announcement. Of the 18 schools originally proposed for merger, Ms Parata is proposing to proceed with 12 schools merging into six. Burwood should merge with Windsor, Central New Brighton with South New Brighton, Lyttelton Main with Lyttelton West, North New Brighton with Freeville, Phillipstown with Woolston, and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti with Discovery One. Earthquakes had affected school rolls dramatically, she said. She said the Government was committed to rebuilding Christchurch, which is why it was investing $1 billion in education in Canterbury over the next decade.

First NZ study into toddler talk to get underway

University of Canterbury researchers are about to embark on some serious toddler talking. They will survey up to 3,000 children, in the first comprehensive study on early language development in New Zealand. Professor of communication disorders, Tom Klee, says scant factual information is available on the issue. He says it is not clear when kiwi children, on average, first start using words, or when they start combining them into short sentences. The researchers also want to know how many words they know when they are two-and-a-half years old. Parents of 16- and 30-month-old children can complete a questionnaire on the website if they want to take part.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Jousting tournament

An estimated 10,000 people turned out to watch knights in shining armour at a jousting tournament in Lower Hutt at the weekend. The Harcourt Park Medieval Tournament featured competitive jousters from Canada and Sweden, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The tournament also featured archery and one on one duels, along with battles between teams of foot soldiers. The ultimate prize, the Grail of Chivalry, went to Dale Geinow of Canada.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Three oil rigs to come to NZ in 2013

The oil sector is set for an unprecedented year, with three rigs lined up to come to New Zealand and an estimated $3 billion worth of industry money committed. A few companies have chosen to opt out of exploration activity over the past few months which has raised questions about the potential of frontier basins. But Edison Investment says 2013 will be a huge year for onshore and off-shore activity across the country. "There's now a total of three offshore rigs which are scheduled to come to the New Zealand sector over the second half of next year and probably into 2014, so that's very exciting.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

NZ able to support Australian whaling case

The New Zealand Government has been told it will be able to support Australia in legal action against whaling. The case is due to be heard at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, possibly in July. Australia says Japanese whaling is in breach of its obligations under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, as well as others seeking to preserve marine mammals and the marine environment. New Zealand has been granted the right to take part. Legal experts say New Zealand is not a party to the dispute, but is getting involved under the legal title of intervener.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Sunday, February 17

Cricket - Black Caps beat England

New Zealand has beaten England in the first one day cricket international at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday. The Black Caps were set a target of 259 by the English batsmen and they were able to reach it with seven balls remaining for the loss of seven wickets. Kane Williamson top scored with 74 before being run out before Brendan McCullum, who scored 69 not out, and Martin Guptill, who scored 27, took New Zealand to a hard fought win.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

NZ First attacks Maori healing spending

New Zealand First is accusing the Ministry of Health of spending $1.9 million annually on traditional Maori healing without knowing how many people are being treated or if it is even working. "Keeping alive traditional Maori healing is important but it shouldn't be at the expense of proven, effective modern medicine known to help and save lives," the party's leader Winston Peters said on Sunday. Information obtained from Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia revealed a glaring lack of transparency over funding for Rongoa Maori traditional healing service, he said. The ministry did not know how many individual patients were being treated, only that there were 57,000 "client contacts" over four years. That equated to about $133 for each client contact. "There is no way this should be part of the government's health budget," Mr Peters said. There were also no statistics kept on the success rate.
© 2013 NZN, NZCity

Asset sales an 'extravagant waste'

The Greens say New Zealanders are being ripped off by the asset sales programme. The party says the Government has already spent $26 million on the programme, before any shares have been sold. It says the figure does not include Treasury's estimate of $100 million a year being added to the deficit. Co-leader Russel Norman says it's not worth it. "If they go ahead with this privatisation, not only will we have the cost of selling the assets, maybe $200 million taxpayer dollars, but also we will be worse-off every year, according to Treasury, by $100 million." Russel Norman says the whole thing is an extravagant waste.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Prize for NZ film in Berlin

A New Zealand film has won a prize at the Berlin film festival. Shopping picked up one of the festival's second tier awards, the Grand Prix of the Generation 14+ international section for best feature film. The movie was made by Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston of Wellington and financed mainly by the New Zealand Film Commission. It was shot in Wellington and on the Kapiti Coast and was set in 1981. It tells the story of two brothers from an unstable family background who are drawn into a world of crime.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

New law to give local suppliers preference

The Australian Labor Party is to put up a new law that will make major project developers look to domestic suppliers first. The federal government says this will be worth $A1.6 billion per year in extra work. Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the measure on Sunday. The federal government says major project developers have been importing materials and equipment rather than exploring what is available in Australia. An Australian Jobs Act will give legislative requirements for the use of domestic suppliers and materials for the first time.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

British car fans rev up for rally

Hundreds of British car fans are expected at Auckland Domain this morning for the return of the Great British Car Rally. Mayor Len Brown will host a civic event before waving off around 150 cars on the nationwide tour. The convoy will head to Tauranga, Gisborne and Wellington before crossing to the South Island next week. High Commissioner Vicki Treadell is driving a classic Jaguar in the rally, and says the rally features classic and modern British cars on great kiwi roads. "This is very much a sort of kiwi lifestyle thing, to have that wonderful classic or vintage car, and to enjoy it." It is the first time the event's been held in 15 years.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Treaty cases earn top dollar for 'top team'

A Crown Treaty negotiator has pocketed $1.5 million, another more than $1m and several others large six-figure sums as the Government ramps up the settlement process. NZ First leader Winston Peters has slammed the "colossal" payments as unjustified and accused Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson of giving huge contracts to his "favoured mates". "Settling justifiable Maori grievances is one thing, but National has turned the settlement process into something ugly - a gravy train to financially benefit their chosen ones," Peters said. Finlayson released details of the payments in response to parliamentary questions from Peters about who the Government had appointed to assist with Treaty negotiations since taking office in 2008 and how much they had been paid. The answers reveal that $5.5m has been paid to 14 individuals in that time, several of them former Cabinet ministers and MPs.

Apple picking due to begin

The main picking of apples in Hawke's Bay orchards will start next week. It's a big crop and sugar levels and firmness are looking good, Country Life reports there's a little nervousness about labour. This year growers will have to rely more on domestic pickers as fewer seasonal workers from the islands are coming.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Free school milk programme gets fridges

Whiteware manufacturer Fisher and Paykel is joining Fonterra's free milk in schools programme. Fonterra will begin delivering free milk to all primary schools that register an interest this year, following a successful pilot at 120 Northland schools last year. The programme will start in Southland in April. Fisher and Paykel will provide Fonterra with specially designed fridges at a discount. It's expected that by the end of Term 1 next year all schools who want to take part in the programme will have access to milk every school day.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Saturday, February 16

Research shows obesity starts young

By Susie Nordqvist
Parents could be condemning their children to a life of obesity without even realising it. Latest research shows if a four-year-old is obese, he or she is more likely to remain that way than a child of a healthy weight. Auckland researchers say four years is the cut off date for parents to sort out their child's weight. Any later and their attempts may be fruitless. The study involved 870 children, 10 percent of which were either overweight or obese by the age of four. That figure jumped to 25 percent by the age of 11. “I think as the children get older it becomes harder, because the children make a lot more choices for themselves, which are influenced by their surroundings,” says University of Auckland researcher John Thompson. Mr Thompson has spent 16 years measuring how everything from TV, poor diet, stress and lack of exercise affect body weight. He found they all have an impact and early intervention is crucial. Cure Kids funded the study and says parents need to get back to basics. “Make sure we are having our fruit and veges at a young age and that parents are leading by example. If this research reminds Kiwis to do that, then that's fantastic,” says chief executive Vicki Lee.
3 News

Telecom cancels passwords of Yahoo email accounts

Telecom on Saturday night begun cancelling the passwords of about 60,000 Yahoo! Xtra email accounts it believes have been compromised following a cyber attack last weekend. The 60,000 customers are additional to the 15,000 that Telecom has been contacting over the past few days. They will now be required to enter new password information when logging into their email account. A Telecom spokesperson says the move is aimed at protecting customers and preventing information contained within their emails being accessed. The spokesperson says changing passwords from a locked account is quite simple and account holders will get a message to do so next time they log in. Five percent of Telecom's 450,000 Yahoo! Xtra accounts were corrupted in the latest attack, in which hackers sent infected messages to third parties.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Government should regulate unhealthy products

Governments should regulate multinational companies that push tobacco, alcohol and highly processed food, to protect their citizens from preventable diseases, researchers say. Non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and diabetes are now the largest global health threat, and multinational companies selling unhealthy commodities are being blamed. Cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases are the country's biggest killers, accounting for two-thirds of all deaths in 2009, according to the latest Ministry of Health figures. The paper Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries found alcohol and food industries used similar strategies to the tobacco industry to undermine public health policies and programmes. It also found that industry self- regulation and public-private partnerships to improve health did not work. For this reason, governments had to intervene and make sure policy on NCD was not influenced by the companies that are feeding the epidemics, the paper said.
© Fairfax NZ News

Cycle trail openings continue

Several hundred people are expected to mark formal openings of sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail this weekend. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are planned at Mt Cook Village on Saturday and Twizel on Sunday and Mackenzie District Mayor Claire Barlow, Waitaki District Mayor Alex Familton and National MP Jacqui Dean will speak at a dinner on Saturday night. The Old Ghost Road Trail near Westport, the Tasman Great Taste Trail near Nelson, and the Homestead Run near Hanmer opened in January. The Queen Charlotte cycle trail is opening in March followed by the Timber Trail through the Pureora Forest Park. "That is a total of up to 960 kilometres of new cycleways.
Source: NZN

Sea Shepherd activists 'confront whalers'

Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd says a killing of a minke whale in Australian Antarctic waters has led to a confrontation with Japanese whalers. The group alleges the Yushin Maru No 2 harpooned the whale on Friday inside Australia's Antarctic Territory, some 92 kilometres from Australia's Davis research station, AAP reports. The Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker positioned itself between the whale and the mothership Nisshin Maru to prevent the transfer of the dead whale from the harpooning ship. Japan and some other countries do not accept Australia's claim over Australian Antarctic waters.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Census form delivery start

Census officials want the help of leaders from the Maori, Pacific, Asian and Indian communities ahead of next month's census. Members of these ethnic groups, as well as the country's youth, are the least likely to fill out their forms for census day on 5 March. More than 7000 collectors began delivering forms at homes throughout the country on Saturday. Community liaison team leader Luke Crawford said census officials are reaching out to community leaders to remind people about the importance of filling out the forms. He said young people are being targeted through social media to encourage them to take part. Everyone in New Zealand on census day, including overseas visitors, must fill in a form.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Friday, February 15

NZ seabed eyed in search for new antibiotics

British researchers spending £8 million to discover new antibiotics say they will search for undiscovered chemicals among life which has evolved in New Zealand's deep sea trenches. Professor Marcel Jaspars says the team led by Aberdeen University hopes to find "the next generation" of infection-fighting drugs, the BBC reports. Medical authorities have recently warned of an "antibiotic apocalypse" with too few new drugs under development. Researchers believe there is great potential for discovering antibiotics in tiny organisms which have evolved in ocean trenches - deep, narrow valleys in the sea floor that can plunge down to almost 11km.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Napier ready for an Art Deco weekend

Napier is abuzz ahead of the city's annual Art Deco celebration this weekend. Hundreds of vintage cars and people clad in 1930s clothing have lined the streets to soak up the Hawke's Bay sun. Local menswear retailer Chris Wigg says it is the biggest trading day of the year, with people scrambling for costumes ahead of the weekend. "I think today, we're seeing people coming in to town looking to buy some gear to dress up in. "Tomorrow, the atmosphere builds because everyone is wearing it." The festival is the city's largest event, attracting around 25,000 people who enjoy toe-taping to jazz, watching the vintage aeroplane show and reminiscing about the city's heritage.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Concerns over link between painkiller and heart disease

By Grayson Ottaway - NewstalkZB
A warning to the more than 530,000 arthritis sufferers in New Zealand, not to suddenly stop taking their anti-inflamatory medication. A drug, sold as Voltaren here, has raised concerns about heart disease in Britain. Sandra Kirby of Arthritis New Zealand says tens of thousands of people rely on medication to be able to move. "Links between heart disease and potential stroke, and these kinds of painkillers, have been quite well-documented." Sandra Kirby says patients should discuss any concerns with their doctor.

Christchurch on track for 'great future'

By Hamish Clark
Cordons around central Christchurch are set to shrink dramatically as the rebuild finally gets underway. A week out from the two-year anniversary Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced that the CBD red zone will be no more, as construction cranes replace demolition crews. Almost two years to the day of the deadly earthquake and how things have changed. The red zone has been renamed the rebuild zone. Damaged buildings have gone, leaving behind empty spaces before new buildings go up. “We are on track for a great future,” says Mr Brownlee.

Positive economic news drives up NZ dollar

The New Zealand dollar rose above US85 cents on Friday - its highest level against its American counterpart in 18 months. The rise of about half a cent follows a 2.1% increase in retail sales volumes in the final quarter of last year which recorded their fastest growth in six years. Official figures show seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 1.7% to nearly $18 billion in the last three months of 2012, led by hardware, building and garden sales and bolstered by high sales in Canterbury. Westpac Bank currency strategist Imre Speizer says the dollar is being driven higher in the wake of stronger economic data emerging from New Zealand. Mr Speizer told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday there aren't many developed economies in as positive a position as New Zealand where growth of 3% is expected this year, and slightly more than that in 2014.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Telecom ban if email passwords not changed

People with hacked Yahoo! Xtra email accounts will be barred from accessing their emails by the end of Friday if they have not changed their passwords to prevent further spamming. Five percent of Telecom's Yahoo! Xtra 450,000 accounts were corrupted in the latest attack last weekend, where hackers sent infected messages to third parties. A Telecom spokesperson says 10,000 people were notified on Thursday that their accounts had been targeted and were asked to change their passwords to prevent further spamming. The spokesperson says two-thirds of those warned ignored the prompt. She says by the end of Friday, they will be barred from their accounts and forced to change passwords before being allowed access to emails again. The spokesperson says another 10,000 targeted accounts will be emailed to change their details today.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Australia on track for 23 million people

Australia's population is set to hit 23 million by early May. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) online population clock, the nation had 22,919,956 residents as at 10am (AEDT) Friday. The overall population increases at a rate of one person every one minute and 24 seconds, the ABS estimates. ABS demographer Guy Jennings told AAP the population clock was a "simplified projection", but on current estimates the 23 million mark could be hit in early May. The 22 million mark was hit in September 2009.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Census forms delivered this week

Census forms will be delivered to every home in New Zealand from tomorrow as the Government gears up for its first population survey for seven years. The census will be carried out on March 5 after being postponed for two years by the Christchurch earthquakes. Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson said the forms would include an internet access code for people to complete online. "It's a secure, quick and easy option. If everyone in a household completes forms online then the census collector will receive a text saying they don't have to return that address to collect them," Mr Williamson said. Official collectors can be identified by yellow identification badges and blue bags. Statistics New Zealand expects more than two million forms to be completed online.

Allegations criminal convictions wiped for Tongans

There are allegations 33 criminal convictions have been wiped from the police records of some Tongans who may have come to New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand is working with Tongan Police, who are investigating whether there's any substance to the allegations. It's working through its office in Nuku'alofa and the New Zealand High Commission as well. Pacific and Americas regional manager Alan Barry says Immigration NZ relies quite heavily on police certificates when clearing people for long-term visas.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Nets, trawling threatening rare dolphins - scientists

A society of two thousand scientists dedicated to research on marine mammals, is asking for an immediate ban on gill nets and trawling in New Zealand to avoid Maui's dolphins becoming extinct. The Society for Marine Mammalogy says the Maui's dolphins only live in New Zealand, and that fishing in coastal waters near Hector's and Maui's dolphins puts their numbers at risk. In a letter to the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Primary Industries and Conservation, the society says that under current protection levels and fishing, gill and trawling nets are killing about nine percent of the population a year. They say that will mean the Maui's will be virtually gone by 2030. The Maui's is the world's rarest and smallest known dolphin.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Biodiesel company plans to at least double production

Green Fuels NZ is planning to at least double production of biodiesel at the former Solid Energy plant to 1 million litres a year or more. Managing director Martin Johnson says it will continue to produce its Biogold fuel from recycled cooking oil. He says using fresh oil pressed from rapeseed grown on South Island farms is not economic at this stage. Lyttleton-based fishing, ship repair and transport company Stark Brothers, a long time user of biodiesel, is a partner in the venture.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Thursday, February 14

Olympians star in Halberg Awards

New Zealand's Olympians have taken out the Halberg Awards held in Auckland. Rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray were named Team of the Year after their gold medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics, before claiming the Supreme Award on Thursday night. The Sportsman of the Year award went to rower Mahe Drysdale, who won gold in the single sculls. Shot putter Valerie Adams has been named Sportswoman of the Year for the seventh year in a row. Adams won gold in the shot put at the 2012 London Olympics following the disqualification of the Belarussian Nadzeya Ostapchuk and took gold at the Beijing Games in 2008. Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe won the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year award after claiming six medals at the 2012 Paralympic Games. It is the second time she has won the award. Coach of the Year went to Richard Tonks for his work behind the rowing success at the 2012 Olympics.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

British imports checked for horsemeat

New Zealand authorities say they have investigated nearly 200 British meat imports and none are connected with the horsemeat scandal. Britain and several European countries have been rocked by revelations that products claimed to contain beef actually contained horse. The Ministry of Primary Industries says it has tracked down importers of 181 consignments of British meat that arrived in New Zealand in 2012 to make sure they did not include any of the products involved in the scandal. A ministry spokesperson says there is no evidence that any of the consignments contained tainted products.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Queenstown river surfing 'best water adventure in the world' - Lonely Planet

River sledging down the Kawarau River in Queenstown has been named by Lonely Planet as the best water adventure in the world. In the popular travel guide's new book, Lonely Planet Great Adventures, the activity tops the list of water-based adventures for thrill-seekers around the world. The glossy new coffee table book says the Kiwi adrenaline rush beats other phenomenal experiences, such as rafting the Amazon River and kayaking with Orca whales in British Columbia. River sledging has been pioneered by New Zealanders since the late 1980s, with local Queenstown companies Serious Fun River Surfing and Frogz White Water Sledging the only two operators on the Kawarau River. Serious Fun River Surfing managing director Neil Harrison said it was an "amazing" compliment for river surfing to have been chosen alongside some of the world's best adventure activities. "We and the Milford Track are the only two New Zealand activities included in the book which makes it an even bigger achievement.
Source: ONE News

Shearer shows support for living wage campaign

By Kate Shuttleworth
Labour Leader David Shearer says he supports the campaign for a living wage hourly rate of $18.40. He said it would allow a lift in the incomes of New Zealanders to better support their families. Mr Shearer said the Labour Party would champion the living wage alongside community groups "to do what we can to support the movement." "Too many New Zealanders are working hard but not getting ahead. Many people I meet say they simply can't earn enough to pay the basic bills, and are having to take on two or three jobs to support themselves." Mr Shearer said the National-led Government's hands-off approach to the economy is hurting families.

NZ's dairy farmers still leading the world

The country's dairy farmers are still leading the world, despite being gripped by drought-like conditions. The latest Rabobank monthly survey has named New Zealand as the top global milk supplier along with the EU. Rabobank senior analyst Hayley Moynihan says New Zealand is in a strong position, despite a fall in production. Hayley Moynihan says New Zealand's milk production should remain ahead throughout the rest of the dairy season.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Agriculture needs new generation of workers - report

Rabobank's latest agribusiness report Agriculture in Focus 2013, says finding and attracting the next generation of New Zealanders to agriculture must be a top priority for the sector. Senior Rabobank analyst Hayley Moynihan says it's crucial New Zealand identifies where the next farming generation is coming from. She says it's been an ongoing challenge though the tide is starting to turn with graduates in agricultural disciplines increasing in New Zealand. Ms Moynihan says there's still more to be done in terms of ensuring agriculture is an attractive industry to enter, as well as improving succession planning and looking at where the next generation of farm workers, farm owners and agribusiness leaders will come from.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Greens target charter schools

Charter schools are a "deliberate attack" on the public education system and the Greens say they will reintegrate them if elected next year. The Green Party reshuffled its portfolios today and co-leader Metiria Turei is now in charge of speaking on education for the party. She came out swinging saying the Government was undermining the public school system through national standards, Novopay, the Christchurch schools announcement and charter schools. Charter schools were a "deliberate attack on the public education system" and Turei said the Government should be on notice that she would seek their reintegration.
© Fairfax NZ News

Manuka honey beats others against bacteria

New research by Sydney scientists has found honey that bees make from the pollen of New Zealand's native manuka tree is better than other honeys in fighting bacteria in wound infections. The University of Technology Sydney study published in the PLOS ONE science journal also supports the theory that bacteria won't become resistant to honey - unlike antibiotics. Lead researcher Professor Liz Harry says the study examined manuka, kanuka and clover honeys to find which was the most effective at inhibiting growth of four types of bacteria commonly found in chronic wounds. The study found manuka-kanuka blend honeys were the next most effective, followed by kanuka honey and then clover honey.
© 2013 NZN, NZCity

Chinese film corporation inviting Kiwi pitches

There's another opportunity for New Zealand film makers to tap into Chinese funding. The China Film Co-production Corporation is inviting New Zealand film makers to pitch their film projects by March 8. Film Auckland, which is part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development says China is actively seeking more products for Western markets and sourcing new production partners. Spokesman Michael Brook says last year almost a third of the international projects selected to pitch came from New Zealand.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Richard Prosser will not resign over anti-Muslim controversy

The New Zealand First MP at the centre of controversy over anti-Muslim comments is refusing to step down. Richard Prosser sparked outrage when he wrote in a magazine column that he thought young Muslim men, or those who looked like Muslims should be banned from Western airlines. MPs from across the political spectrum have called for Mr Prosser to resign, even though he has apologised unreservedly for the comments. Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says her party does not want to work with him in any future government. Labour Party leader David Shearer said he would not have Mr Prosser as a minister in any government he leads. Neither party would rule out a deal with New Zealand First, however.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Labour, Greens could govern - new poll

Labour and the Greens will be in the box seat to form a Government if the numbers in a new political poll are matched on election day. The latest Roy Morgan poll had Labour up three points on 34.5 per cent while the Greens were steady on 13.5 per cent. National was down two at 44 per cent in the fortnightly poll. Among its support parties the Maori Party was down 1 per cent at 0.5 per cent, ACT was steady on 0.5 per cent and United Future failed to register. Among other minor parties NZ First slipped one point taking it below the threshold for list seats at 4 per cent. Hone Harawira's Mana Party was on 0.5 per cent (unchanged) and the Conservative Party was up 1.5 at 2 per cent in the poll of 1008 taken in the two weeks to February 10. The combined opposition vote was 52.5 per cent against 45 per cent for parties backing the Government.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Benefits of early childhood education for Pacific people promoted in NZ

The New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs hopes to boost Pacific enrolments in early childhood education centres by promoting it as a good foundation for learning. Under the Pasifika Education Plan 2013-17, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, aims to lift Pacific participation in early childhood education from 86.8 percent last to 98 percent by 2016. A spokesperson from the Ministry, Reno Paotonu, says a series of workshops will be held in main centres in New Zealand to emphasize the benefits of early learning.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Forestry export business to China 'booming'

A Maori-owned forestry firm in Kawerau says its export business to China is booming after North America all but pulled out of the market place. KFL says China likes New Zealand wood because it is stable, easy to work with and is priced right. Managing director Jacob Kajavala says he has taken on new staff to keep up with demand. KFL employs about 50 staff in Kawerau.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

US$40m urban development project launched for Vanuatu capital

A huge redevelopment of Port Vila has been launched by the Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, and the Director General of the Asian Development Bank’s Pacific Department, Xianbin Yao. The Port Vila Urban Development Project is worth 40 million US dollars. The Australian Government is providing about half the money with the balance from the ADB in the form of a soft loan. The project involves the modernisation of the sewerage system and the redevelopment of Port Vila Wharf to cater for the increasing number of visiting cruise ships.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Wednesday, February 13

Swimmers who survived rips wanted for survey

Beachgoers who have survived being caught in a deadly rip are being sought for a new survey that aims to save more lives on New Zealand beaches. Rip currents claim around half of the 22 lives lost each year on the coastline. They're also a key factor more than 52 per cent of all rescues performed by surf lifeguards, amounting to an average of 800 lives each year. Now, Surf Life Saving New Zealand has developed an online survey about rip currents that aims to improve rip education and awareness. The New Zealand Rip Current Experience Survey, in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and Surf Life Saving Australia, comes after an extensive campaign in Australia which queried the general public on their knowledge and experiences of rip currents. Participants were asked to identify rip currents in beach photographs, detail how they would escape a rip and recount any rip current messages they may have heard.
To take part in the survey visit

Hawkes Bay student wins top $30,000 scholarship

By Rebecca Quilliam
Talented Hawkes Bay student George Nelson has a bright future ahead after winning a New Zealand Scholarship Premier Award. The prize will net him $10,000 a year for the next three years to go towards his tertiary education. The 18-year-old was one of 10 students to win the award after achieving top marks in scholarship exams last year. George, who finished Year 13 at Lindisfarne College in Hastings last year, received an Outstanding Scholarship in agriculture and horticulture, design and economics. He also achieved a scholarship in accounting and media studies. His favourite subject was design and last year for his portfolio, he designed an independent clothing brand. "I made a poster and a website and a logo and did an installation for it. And then for my scholarship I did eight pages explaining it all." During the year, George also completed and got top marks in a first year economics paper through Canterbury University and a first year philosophy paper through Waikato University.

Supervolcano forming north of New Zealand

By Rebecca Quilliam
A supervolcano forming north of New Zealand could spell the end of the world - but there is no need to panic, it won't happen for at least 100 million years. Researchers from the University of Utah have warned of impending doom after discovering that two or more continent-sized piles of rock are colliding as they move at the bottom of Earth's thick mantle, 2896km beneath the Pacific Ocean near Samoa. They said the movement could be the beginning of a vast eruption that could threaten life on earth in 100 million to 200 million years. "What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that - if it ever happens - could cause very massive destruction on Earth,'' said seismologist Michael Thorne, the study's principal author and an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah. "This is the type of mechanism that may generate massive plume eruptions, but on the timescale of 100 million to 200 million years from now. So don't cancel your cruises,'' he said. The new study is due to be published this week in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Aboriginals declared first people of Australia

Lawmakers have passed legislation recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first inhabitants of Australia. The bill is considered an interim step on the path towards an eventual referendum for constitutional change. The ABC reports its passage coincides with the five year anniversary on which former prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to Stolen Generations - children who were removed from their families by state agencies. Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has described the legislation as a "sign of good faith" that parliament is committed to righting the wrongs of previous actions.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

New wave of NZ firefighters to help in Vic

By Anna Cross - NewstalkZB
A fresh wave of New Zealand firefighters leave tomorrow to help fight the bushfires that have extended firefighting resources in remote areas of Victoria. The team of 44 will be New Zealands second-largest deployment of rural firefighters. The largest, 109 firefighters, was deployed to Victoria in 2009. National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield says firefighters in Victoria are feeling the strain of almost two months of hard, hot, difficult work. He says our guys are fresh and raring to go and will help give the locals a break. In January 13 firefighters were sent to help fight bushfires in remote areas of Tasmania.

PNG plans fivefold increase of military

Papua New Guinea is planning a fivefold increase in the size of its military. The Defence Minister, Dr Fabian Pok, has told Parliament that over the next ten years Defence Force personnel will be increased to 10,000. He says the Force had been downsized from 4,000 to 1,900 under an Australian funding reform in 2002. The newspaper, The National, reports the minister as saying the government plans to recruit about 1,000 men and women each year for the next ten years. He says the government has already approved the purchase of new patrol vessels, aircraft, and firearms.
News Content © Radio New Zealand Internationa

Hope for big attendance at anti-asset sales rally

By Newstalk ZB staff - NewstalkZB
Organisers hope thousands will attend a rally against asset sales in Wellington this evening. The Say No To Asset Sales rally will be held at 6pm at Frank Kitts Park. Organiser Richard McIntosh believes opposition to asset sales is spread across the political spectrum. "We're drawing together a whole lot of different speakers because there are lots and lots of very different and equally valid reasons for opposing the sale of state assets." Mr McIntosh says the rally will create a space where those against asset sales can speak without being aligned to a political party.

Niue leader mum about assets after Reef collapse

The premier of Niue says he is not prepared to discuss what will happen to assets his government co-owns with the collapsed Reef Group. Niue and Reef were partners in a noni farm and a huge fishing plant that has lain idle for several years. The US shipping operator, Matson, has bought the shipping assets and assumed most routes that Reef had previously serviced. But it remains unclear what will happen to the other assets, including those on Niue and the premier, Toke Talagi, says he will not comment on the matter in the media. A trade in noni that the company established in China collapsed last year amid allegations that Reef’s partner in the enterprise was facing corruption allegations.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Russia and Fiji to agree on military assistance

Fiji’s military plans to get technical help and equipment from Russia. Fiji’s interim government has announced it will enter into an agreement with Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation. The interim Minister for Defence and National Security, Joketani Cokanasiga, says the deal will help Fiji’s military forces improve their capacity and capability.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

New Katherine Mansfield works discovered

Previously unseen works by Katherine Mansfield have been discovered at the National Library. UK expert Gerri Kimber uncovered the story and will present it at a special announcement today. The find has been described as 'immensely important', with Mansfield one of New Zealand's best known authors. Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain will also attend the presentation at the Alexander Turnbull library later this morning.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Tuesday, February 12

Rare birds protected after discovery near Gisborne

Four rare New Zealand birds are being protected in a forest near Gisborne after being discovered by crew members from a logging company. The karearea falcon fledglings were found nesting in the Waitahaia River Valley in early January this year. The Department of Conservation has installed traps to kill predators in the area. John Lucas, a manager for DoC in Gisborne, says the birds are vulnerable to feral cats, stoats and rats and it is important to protect them as they are unique to New Zealand. Mr Lucas says the birds have left the nest.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Sanitarium announces Marmite return

Sanitarium has announced Marmite will return to shelves March 20. “It’s been a long 15 months,” says Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden. “Thank you for waiting this long. We’re almost there.” Production of the yeast spread was suspended in March after earthquake damage meant operations could not continue in the company’s Christchurch factory. Repairs on the factory were expected to be completed last year, but the discovery of more quake damage pushed that date back to November.

NZQA releases scholarship results online

Students are today finding out if their hard work has paid off with the release of the New Zealand Scholarship exam results. The results have been posted on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website. More than 400 students have gained outstanding scholarships in 32 subjects. English and statistics and modelling had the highest number of top recipients, with 63 and 60 respectively. Subjects such as agriculture and horticulture, Chinese, German, and sculpture were less popular, with just one person in each subject gaining the top scholarship. The names of the country's best students, who won Premiere Awards worth $10,000, will be released tomorrow.

Thousands expected to 'Go By Bike' tomorrow

Drivers beware - tomorrow thousands of cyclists will take to the road as part of Go By Bike Day. A series of events will be held across New Zealand, with many places providing free breakfast to those who arrive by bike. The New Zealand Transport Agency's Network User Behaviour Manager Jennie Gianotti says it is a fun and popular event, which encourages people to get on their bikes again after the festive season. Last year more than 54,000 New Zealanders took part, and NZTA is expecting a similar number this year.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Telecom to review email service in wake of attacks

A wide-ranging review of Telecom's outsourced email service could result in provider Yahoo! being dumped. Telecom said on Tuesday that its Yahoo! Xtra service has been attacked twice: once in a phishing scam and a second scam that prompts customers to inadvertently send emails to third parties with potentially corrupting messages. The company outsourced Xtra to service provider Yahoo! in 2007. Telecom retail chief executive Chris Quin told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme the review would assess all options and he would not rule out dumping Yahoo! and bringing the service back in-house. "We've looked back over the last few months and the experience our customers have is not satisfactory. We're not happy about it, so it's important we now do a full review with our own business and customers and with Yahoo! to see what is the appropriate step forward.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Information on career opportunities released

More information is being made available about which careers hold what opportunities. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has published a report on the country's 40 most common occupations, and their employment prospects. Employment Minister Steven Joyce says there has previously been a shortage of demand-side information. "Young people, and also those who want to re-skill, need to have ... the information to make well informed decisions about what skills are and will be in demand, and what they should train for or study."
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

DHB releases video of common heart procedure

A video showing first hand what a patient experiences during a common heart procedure, has just been released on YouTube by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. It shows a man undergoing a percutaneous coronary intervention, also known as angioplasty. Over one hundred PCI's have been performed at Tauranga Hospital since being introduced last April, with patients travelling out of the region for the procedure before that. Peter Joyce, whose heart stars in the video, says he was happy to be be filmed so others could see how simple the procedure was and to help ease the minds of anyone undergoing the procedure.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Agricultural apprenticeships now easier

More young people will have the opportunity to take up agricultural apprenticeships following a Government move to remove age from the criteria for the scheme. In January, Prime Minister John Key announced that all the separate industry apprenticeship programmes were being rolled into a single programme called New Zealand Apprenticeships. The Primary Industry Training Organisation said there's no age barrier in the new scheme and she expects more people to take on apprenticeships as a result. Standard manager Tracey Shepherd said there are about 650 primary sector apprentices in New Zealand at the moment.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Federal money for Queensland flood victims

Farmers and business owners hit by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in Queensland can start applying for federal government grants to rebuild. Clean-up and recovery grants of up to $A25,000 are now available. AAP reports the grants are designed to help cover clean-up costs, replace damaged equipment and stock, and ensure business aren't disrupted longer than necessary. The funding does not compensate for income losses and is not intended to replace insurance.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand

Monday, February 11

Hamilton Zoo now home to rare pandas

Hamilton Zoo is now home to three rare Nepalese red pandas. Zoo curator Sam Kudeweh says the triplets are progressing well since their birth on the 20th of December. When they were first weighed at 19-days-old they were only 225 grams, but now they weigh in at 400 grams. The cubs are currently in the den with their mother, where they're expected to spend up to three months, before venturing out into the public space. The three cubs bring the total number of red pandas at the zoo to six.
Copyright 2002 - 2013, TelstraClear Ltd

Tongan noble dies in hospital in Auckland after long illness

A Tonga noble, Baron Fielakepa, died at the weekend at an Auckland hospital. Matangi Tonga reports that 51 year old Baron Fielakepa had been ill for some time. He had served Tonga in a number of roles, including as a private secretary to the King, the Governor of Ha’apai, a Cabinet Minister, a Law Lord, and had been the chair of the Royal Lands Commission.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International


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