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Monday, September 30

Warm weather to continue for next three months

Climate scientists expect the warm weather to continue for the next three months, with a good chance of average or above average temperatures from October to December. But the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says despite the warmer weather, frosts may still occur in some areas. NIWA says there's a 50% chance temperatures will be above average in the east of the North Island and the north of the South Island over the period. The institute says rainfall is most likely to be at, or near, normal levels around the country, although there could be more rain in the north of the North Island.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

International education a big earner

International education brought in $2.6 billion and generated 28,000 jobs during the last financial year. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said that was a $100 million increase on 2008. "This is despite a fall in international student enrolments in New Zealand over that period due to the impacts of the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes," he said today. Auckland was the most popular destination for international students and the city's economy reaped $1.65b. That was followed by $195M for Canterbury, $177M for Wellington, $165M for Otago and $152M for Waikato.
Source: NZN

Seeing static means you missed the switch

If all you have got is static when you switch on your TV today, that's because the change to digital has finally arrived. Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said technicians essentially "pushed the button" about 3am yesterday, meaning analogue televisions in the lower North Island would no longer pick up a signal. Viewers now need a Freeview box or an in-built UHF aerial set-up to get free-to-air channels, but Mr Harford said many people had already made the change. "The proportion of unconverted actually don't watch much TV and they'll lose access to it, but in our experience those people will get themselves digital at some point." The South Island and Hawke's Bay have already gone digital, while the upper North Island will change on December 1.
© Fairfax NZ News

Wellington schools to go solar

Sixteen Wellington schools will get solar panels installed over the next three years in a bid to build young people's understanding of energy efficiency and climate change. Wellington City Council and Genesis Energy are splitting the cost of the $288,000 project, which will see 16 primary and intermediate schools kitted out with solar photovoltaic panels over the next three years and supported with an education programme called Schoolgen. Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the project would help reduce schools' costs and encourage more people to take up solar power.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Female astronaut in Chch next week

A female astronaut who has been on five space shuttle missions will be talking in Christchurch next week. Marsha Ivins, who has recently retired after travelling almost 27 million miles in space over more than 55 days, will be the star speaker at Tekapo's inaugural starlight festival on from October 11 to 13. Ahead of this she will be in Christchurch to give a public talk at Canterbury University on October 9. The Starlight Festival is being held to celebrate the creation of the International Dark Sky Reserve in the Aoraki-Mackenzie area. The area was approved as a dark sky reserve by the International Dark Sky Association last year, recognising its pristine skies and freedom from light pollution. It is the biggest dark-sky reserve in the world and the first to be "gold-rated", meaning the darkness of its night skies is almost unbeatable.
© Fairfax NZ News

Bird of the Year voting begins

Competition could be fierce for the title of 2013's Bird of the Year. Voting opens on Monday in the poll to find New Zealand's favourite native bird. The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand says celebrity power may decide the winner.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Greens alarmed over tenders for platinum search

The Green Party is alarmed about new tenders for platinum exploration involving nearly 400,000 hectares in the South Island. The tenders include more than 1100 square km on the West Coast as well as another 2600 square km in the Tasman area and 300 square km in Southland. But Greens mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty says the tenders involve areas with high conservation and recreational values. In the tender document, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment says companies submitting tenders must operate in an environmentally responsible way. But Ms Delahunty says platinum extraction is extremely toxic and would involve new roads and dumping sites, in areas previously protected from logging. Forest and Bird says it believes the public will oppose any bid to explore for platinum and gold in conservation areas in Westland and the Tasman region.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Calls for stricter food labelling

Renewed calls are being made for stricter food labelling and regulation. Concerns have been raised around New Zealand's food safety and labelling systems this year following controversies involving meat, milk powder and most recently apples. Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei told Q&A New Zealand simply couldn't afford to be slack about food issues. "In New Zealand we know after the last few scares how important food safety is, both to our own community and overseas, how important our clean, green image is in food safety," she said. "We can't afford to take any risks." Ms Turei said it was important New Zealand took a stand on tougher labelling requirements.

Sunday, September 29

So it's come to this has it !

Daily New Zealand News has been published since October 2004
Every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday
That is a long time.
Daily New Zealand News will close on the anniversary of its founding in October 2004.
There will be no more news updates after 1st October 2013.
I hope you have enjoyed reading Daily New Zealand News

Rugby - Hard work but All Blacks get past the Pumas

It was never going to be easy - that's the nature of Los Pumas. But after slugging it out for 50 minutes the All Blacks showed their class to claim a 33-15 win and a crucial bonus point to keep the defence of their Rugby Championship crown on track in La Plata today. There are concerning issues for Steve Hansen's men, particularly at scrum time, but they will be satisfied to fly out to Johannesburg tomorrow having banked five points in their ninth consecutive win of the year. Three second-half tries saw the All Blacks put away the gutsy yet limited Pumas, who never gave up. It seemed a long wait but the final 30 minutes featured the now customary black wave enveloping everything in sight. With the Springboks having pummelled the Wallabies 28-8 hours early in Cape Town, but failing to score four tries, the All Blacks went five points clear of their closest rivals. The tournament will be decided in a mouth-watering clash at Ellis Park next week. The Boks need to win with a bonus point and ensure the All Blacks don't finish within seven points to have any chance a claiming the title.
© Fairfax NZ News

Cook Islands PM in Auckland hospital

The Cook Islands' Prime Minister has been flown to New Zealand for treatment following concerns about his health. Henry Puna, 64, arrived in Auckland on Friday afternoon and was admitted to Middlemore Hospital straight away. He has since been transferred to Auckland Hospital where he will undergo cardiac tests. The Prime Minister's advisor, Trevor Pitt, says Mr Puna could be in New Zealand for a further two weeks while he receives treatment for angina. During the his absence, his portfolios will be handled by finance minister, Mark Brown.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Economic recovery beating Australia: economist

New Zealand is on the road to economic recovery and is outstripping Australia, according to ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie. He told delegates at the NZ Property Investors Federation conference in Wellington yesterday that it's not just the Christchurch rebuild and the Auckland property market. A lot of little things are going right. The economy was in a phase of expansion that began about nine months ago, Mr Bagrie said. Businesses particularly had cleaned up their act. New Zealand had traditionally been seen as the junior partner trying to keep up with Australia, but that is changing, Mr Bagrie said. The next three to four years looks more healthy for New Zealand than Australia, he said.
Source: NZN

Saturday, September 28

NZ to open High Commission in Barbados

New Zealand is opening a new high commission in Bridgetown, Barbados to increase its diplomatic presence in the Caribbean. Prime Minister John Key announced the move after a meeting with foreign ministers of the Caribbean community at the UN General Assembly in New York. New Zealand's honorary consul network in the Caribbean region is also being extended.

Christchurch trams back on track

Christchurch's famous trams will soon be back on their tracks, after suffering damage in the 2011 earthquake. One of the historic tram cars was hit by falling debris in the quake, while others suffered exposure damage while they were stuck in the cordoned-off CBD. Repairs have been underway at a Ferrymead workshop and in a few weeks three trams will be operating again.
Source: ONE News

Prostate cancer research: human trials next

A breakthrough in research into No 1 cancer killer of New Zealand men has buoyed this year's Blue September for the University of Otago's Dr Elspeth Gold. The anatomy department lecturer and prostate cancer researcher and her team are about to begin human trials to test breakthrough treatment for men with aggressive prostate cancer. The findings, which are being collated for publication, are the byproduct of three years of research out of Gold's medical sciences department lab. "If we can get really good quality end-stage therapies then there is absolutely no reason that a man need die of it, Gold said. One in 10 New Zealand men develop prostate cancer and more than 550 die every year.
© Fairfax NZ News

Local winner takes top WOW honour

Two Christchurch sisters have taken out the supreme World of Wearable Art award. Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry's entry "The Exchange" won the overall award at the 25th World of Wearable Arts show in Wellington. It is the first time in four years a New Zealand entry has won the supreme award. The sisters describe their entry as a portrait of an historical exchange of gifts, adorned with ceramic feathers and coins. Natasha Meharry says it was amazing to win and they did not go into the competition expecting to do so. "You don't really ever think you're going to win I don't think, you just hope that it looks great and everybody likes it," she says. "There's so many amazing garments, so many talented people." The women say the design took them about six months to make and they worked on it every day.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Asylum seekers drown in sinking

At least 22 people are dead and dozens are missing after an asylum seeker boat sank south of Indonesia. The boat sank in big waves off Argabinta on the south coast of West Java on Friday but Indonesian rescue authorities do not have the capability to search at night or in big seas. Rescuers have since found 25 people alive but 22 bodies have been recovered from the water, the ABC reports. The survivors have been taken to a local school for shelter but it is expected they will be moved to an immigration detention centre on Saturday. The sinking comes amid a continuing diplomatic row over Australia's plans to turn back asylum boats, with Indonesia saying the policy is in breach of international law. Meanwhile, Australia is trying to return a second group of asylum seekers to Indonesia after rescuing them at sea.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Friday, September 27

Scientists discover link between bats and motor neurone disease

Australian scientists have discovered what could be one of the few known causes of motor neurone disease. The researchers have found that a toxin in blue-green algae can cause problems in the central nervous system leading to difficulty walking, breathing and swallowing. Lead researcher Dr Rachel Dunlop from the University of Technology Sydney says the discovery comes from observing Guam's indigenous people, who are diagnosed with motor neurone disease at a rate 50 to 100 times more than the general population. Dr Dunlop says those people were ingesting a large dose of the algal toxin through eating fruit bats. She says the toxin can also be found in seafood. Dr Dunlop hopes the discovery could lead to better treatment of the disease.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Daylight Saving begins this weekend

By Patrice Dougan
It's time to start enjoying long summer evenings as Daylight Saving begins this weekend. Clocks will go forward one hour from 2am on Sunday.

Justice Minister says some judges taking too long

The Justice Minister says proposed court reforms will stop judges from taking too long when they decide to reserve their judgement on a case until a later date. Judith Collins says she is concerned by the length of time some judgements take and wants to pass a law requiring chief judges to set protocols for their courts about reserved decisions. Ms Collins says the courts shake-up will be its biggest overhaul in more than 100 years. She says as part of the Government's proposed changes to the Judicature Act 1908, the country's seven courts will have to publish their own rules about what is a reasonable time to deliver judgements. The proposals also aim to give the public more information about judges' decisions. All written judgements would be published online and audio-visual links would be used more for court procedures so that prisoners do not leave prison grounds. Ms Collins says New Zealand's court system is one of the last areas of the public sector still operating a paper-based model and needs to be more efficient. She says the country is experiencing its lowest crime rate in 30 years and now is the time to do things differently.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

New apprenticeship scheme on the way

A new apprenticeship scheme will be in place by January next year and the government has brought a bill to parliament that puts a framework around it. Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says it will be called New Zealand Apprenticeships, replacing Modern Apprentices and other apprenticeship-type training. He says that during the 10 years to 2010, government funding for industry training organisations (ITOs) almost trebled but wasn't matched with sufficient accountability. "Under the previous government, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact `phantom trainees' who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive," he said. "The government has overseen a move to a results focus in industry training because it is results that determine the skill levels of the workforce, not intentions."
Source: NZN

Paper snipes at 'colonial clot'

By Claire Trevett
The Prime Minister's royal weekend at Balmoral keeps on giving. Britain's Daily Mail has put its own spin on Claire Trevett's picture of Mr Key with the Queen in the castle sitting room. The Herald's deputy political editor got a snap that British photographers would gladly swap for their long lenses - which might explain the criticism that has followed. Yesterday, the Mail sniped about Mr Key: "He is totally chuffed to bits, glowing nuclear pink with pleasure, at being snapped with the Queen in her private sitting room. "She, on the other hand, has her head bowed, deep in thought. Perhaps she is having second thoughts about letting this galloping colonial clot through the front door?" The Mail couldn't resist a dig at the sitting room decor, saying the image showed how dated the Queen's residence seemed, with special mention to "the wild profusion of china knicky-knackies and a general air of mothballs and pet hair. Readers - who lives in a house like this?"

NZ activists face two months in jail

Thirteen Greenpeace activists, including two New Zealanders, have been jailed in Russia for two months while authorities investigate whether their protest action amounted to piracy. The activists' ship Arctic Sunrise was seized and towed to shore late last week after two people tried to scale an oil platform belonging to state-owned energy company Gazprom to protest against Russian plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. A district court in the city of Murmansk has ruled that 12 of the 30 detainees must remain in custody until 24 November. Those jailed include New Zealanders Jon Beauchamp and David John Haussmann, as well as activists from the United States, France, Canada, Britain, Denmark and Poland. Three Russian citizens have also been jailed. The group includes the ship's captain Peter Willcox who was the captain of the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed by the French secret service in Auckland Habour in 1985. Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid told Morning Report the New Zealanders are crewmen and were not in the group which scaled the drilling platform.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Opposition demands halt to dam process

The Government has been facing questions for the past two weeks about why critical submissions on the Hawke's Bay project appear to have been suppressed. Radio New Zealand News revealed last week that the Department of Conservation discarded a highly critical draft submission on the Ruataniwha Dam in favour of a few lines. It later emerged that the Ministry of Primary Industries had also watered down its criticism. The Green Party is now suggesting that GNS Science lost a contract with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council after it expressed serious concerns about the council's information on the dam. Greens co-leader Russel Norman says that means the concerns of the Department of Conservation, the Ministry for Primary Industries and GNS Science have all been suppressed. Dr Norman told Morning Report the scientific information should be on the table so an informed decision can be made. He says it is hard to see how that can happen, and the process should be started from scratch. Labour Party conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson also believes the Government should halt the process and start over.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, September 26

Winds fan bush fires in Australia

Winds of up to 100kmh are fanning bush fires in Australia, causing blackouts across large parts of the east of the country. Emergency warnings have been issued for bushfires in northern New South Wales, while more than 1000 calls for help have been made in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. In New South Wales, about 20 homes are under threat from an out-of-control fire which has closed the Pacific Highway near Taree. The winds have also caused major blackouts in Sydney, with trees toppling on to power lines, and Melbourne has also been hit.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Govt to fund family care for disabled

By 3 News online staff
New Zealand has become the third country in the world to pay a wage to some family members caring for their adult disabled children. Details of the Government's $92 million policy were gazetted today and set out the terms and conditions under which disabled adults are allocated Ministry of Health funding for family carers. Health Minister Tony Ryall says the funding will be available for around 1600 disabled adults to pay family carers. It will take the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination organisations several weeks to complete assessments and for family members to start to receive payments. The $92m will be paid over four years and the policy will take effect from October 1.
3 News

Neighbours oppose oil, gas well site

A group of neighbours near a cluster of oil and gas well sites in central Taranaki is opposing a further site going ahead. A contested hearing at the Stratford District Council is under way into Tag Oil's plans to establish the Cheal G well site. The proposed site, 4km from Stratford, would involve earthworks, drilling 12 wells and building a production station. It would add to five other oil and gas sites within the space of a few kilometres. The council's district plan says the company needs permission from those within living 1km of a proposed site. But Murray Blue, a veterinarian who runs a horse breeding business, says he won't agree as he believes the site will disturb his horses and create noise and vibration. He is giving evidence at the hearing today.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Record number of votes ahead of Chch elections

A record number of votes have already come in for Christchurch's upcoming local body elections. More than 12 weeks ahead of the October 12 elections, which will choose the rebuilding city's next mayor, councillors and community board members, voters have already been having their say. As of yesterday, a total of 16,735 votes have been processed, meaning 6.93 per cent of the population eligible to vote has done so. It compares with 3.63 per cent at the five-day mark in the 2010 elections, 5.70 per cent in 2007 and 6.75 per cent in 2004.

Yachting - Oracle complete amazing America's Cup comeback

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker said losing the America's Cup final was "hard to fathom ... hard to swallow" and he's gutted at not being able to bring the trophy back to New Zealand. He was proud of the way his team fronted in the last race today but conceded the inevitable happened with Oracle's superior boats speed giving them the edge and a 9-8 win on the points table. "It's very hard to fathom," Barker said. "But we felt we didn't leave anything on the table today. "We knew that upwind we had a fight on our hands against a boat that's fast, it's hard to swallow. "We got the start we wanted and led around the first two marks but they got us upwind." Barker said Oracle's improvement had to be commended. "Look back two weeks ... the gains they have made were phenomenal. We're probably lucky they didn't do it earlier." Tactician Ray Davies said the crew gave it all today but admitted they simply weren't good enough in the end as rivals Oracle claimed the America's Cup.
© Fairfax NZ News

Wednesday, September 25

New hospital planned for Greymouth

The government has announced plans for a new $60 million hospital in Greymouth, to be completed by late 2016. The hospital will replace the existing Grey Base Hospital, which has "significant seismic issues", Health Minister Tony Ryall announced today. "The greenfield development will replace Grey Base Hospital with new wards, an emergency department and operating theatres," he said. "The plan also includes an integrated family health centre which will co-locate general practice on the Grey Base site." Design work on the hospital is expected to be made soon, with recommendations made to the Government early next year. Construction is expected to begin next year, and is set to be completed by the end of 2016.
© Fairfax NZ News

NZ research set to improve care of thousands of babies

New Zealand researchers have shown a cheap gel can be used on newborn babies to treat low blood sugar levels that might otherwise result in them being admitted to neonatal intensive care. Using the gel, which costs $2 per baby, means the newborns can remain with their mothers at a crucial time, without needing expensive neonatal intensive care. The research was carried out at Auckland Hospital's Liggins Institute and Waikato Women's Hospital and published in the British medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday. It was based on a two-year study at the Waikato hospital known as the Sugar Babies Study, involving 514 newborns. Low blood sugar, or neonatal hypoglycaemia, affects up to 15% of otherwise healthy babies and can cause brain damage.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Fungus puts China apple exports on hold

Apple exports to China have been voluntarily suspended after the discovery of a fungus causing post harvest rot in three consignments of apples. The Ministry for Primary Industries says the New Zealand Government and the apple industry are working with Chinese quarantine officials on technical information about the fungus. The ministry says Chinese authorities have identified some production sites and pack houses in Hawke's Bay where the consignments came from, and have requested that apples from those sites be suspended from export to China. The ministry says the request is not targeted at all apple exports to China.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Samoan PM vows village blacklist

By Vaimoana Tapaleao
Home towns of seasonal workers who behave badly in New Zealand will face official punishment. Samoa's Prime Minister has warned villages that they will be blacklisted from the seasonal employment scheme if those chosen behave badly in New Zealand. Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi last week announced that a blacklist was being compiled because of bad behaviour by workers who had travelled to New Zealand and Australia under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme launched in 2007. Under the scheme, thousands of people from the Pacific - including from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea - travel to New Zealand each year to help ease seasonal labour shortages. The village of anyone who carried out "shameful behaviour," would be blacklisted - meaning no one from that village could apply to work under the scheme for up to four years, Tuilaepa told local media.

Specialist pharmacists' roles increase

Some pharmacists are now able to prescribe medication, check laboratory tests and vaccinate patients. Fourteen pharmacists have received the specialist training and another seven will complete their training by the end of the year. Some work for pharmacies while others are part of a hospital or district health board. Health Minister Tony Ryall says while the specialist pharmacists won't have supervision, they will still be required to act under the same legislation and guidelines as their other colleagues.
News Content © Radio New Zealand International

Labour rockets in poll

By Audrey Young
Labour's support has jumped under new leader David Cunliffe to the extent that he could form a coalition government and become Prime Minister, if today's Herald-DigiPoll survey figures were translated to an election result. It is the first political poll conducted entirely since he became leader. The poll also shows a marked dive in the popularity of John Key, to the lowest level since he became Prime Minister. Labour has gained 6.8 points to 37.7 per cent of decided voters which would give it 48 seats. With the Greens' 14 seats and the Mana Party's one seat, it would be able to form a government of 63 seats in a Parliament of 124 seats.

Tuesday, September 24

Air NZ to test Antarctic trip

Air New Zealand could soon be resuming regular flights to Antarctica, but the seats will only be for scientists. An unmodified Boeing 767-300 will carry out a trial flight from Auckland to Pegasus Field on Ross Island next month to prove it can make the trip. The airfield services both the US McMurdo Station and New Zealand's Scott Base. Unlike the RNZAF 757s which currently fly to Antarctica, the 767 can make a return trip without refuelling. "This will fundamentally change our capability on the ice," said Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. Antarctica New Zealand chairman Rob Fenwick says it invited Air NZ to provide air services to Antarctica, and regular flights could offer both the New Zealand and US Antarctic programmes more flexibility. The two countries transport about 2200 scientists between New Zealand and Antarctica each season. Most of the flying is done by the US Air Force from Christchurch, using either Boeing C17 or Hercules aircraft.
Source: NZN

Greenpeace activists accused of piracy – reports

By 3 News online staff
Reports say Russian prosecutors have accused around 30 Greenpeace activists, including two Kiwis, of piracy and will prosecute all of them for trying to board an Arctic oil platform. The group has been held on ship the Arctic Sunrise since it was boarded by Russian authorities on Thursday. Greenpeace says the ship is close to arriving in the port of Murmansk, where it is being towed by Russian authorities. Greenpeace lawyers are demanding immediate access to the activists on board, who have been held for four days without legal or consular assistance. Russia's Investigative Committee will question the activists and a spokesman says all will be prosecuted, reports BBC News.

Schools face takeover if pupils failing

By Nicholas Jones
Schools where children are failing exams could be taken over by the Government as the Education Minister warns staff need to be held accountable for students' performance. The availability of more data on how schools are faring, such as national standards results, would help that happen. The scenario has been dubbed "frightening" by one principal, while another said schools should not be blamed for situations beyond their control. School interventions - where powers are taken away from a board and put in the hands of a statutory manager or commissioner - usually take place after major staffing, safety or financial issues. But Education Minister Hekia Parata signalled a different approach could be needed. "It's interesting that we are not putting in interventions when learning is not occurring ... I think we need to be moving much closer to that."

Unfortunate wild encounters for Kiwi travellers

By Teuila Fuatai
Run-ins with monkeys, seals and a camera-chewing leopard are some of the unfortunate events Kiwi travellers encountered overseas in the last year. Medical claim information from Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) revealed a range of incidents involving wild and domestic animals had led to a variety of claims in the past 12 months. "We've had people claim for medical treatment after being stung by a jellyfish or poisonous fish when snorkelling, through to claims for property that's been chewed up by puppies in the home of someone the insured is staying with," SCTI chief executive Craig Morrison said. Claims lodged included one fisherman whose rod was taken by a seal. Another photographer had his camera chewed by a leopard in Africa. Mr Morrison said animal bites, particularly from dogs and monkeys, made up a large number of claims requiring medical treatment. Information from the World Health Organisation supported the claims figures - with dogs accounting for between 76 and 94 per cent of animal bite injuries, followed by monkeys.

Prince Harry to visit Australia

Prince Harry will make his first official visit to Australia in October to attend a navy commemoration event. Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the visit on Monday. AAP reports the prince, 28, will attend numerous events marking the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy fleet into Sydney, which is being held from 3 - 11 October. Eighteen visiting warships and 16 tall ships from around Australia and the world will take part with 19 RAN ships. Captain Wales, is an operational Apache helicopter pilot with the British Army Air Corps. Although he visited Australia during a gap year in 2003, this will be his first official visit representing the Queen.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Monday, September 23

Labour Party: Cunliffe reveals front bench reshuffle

By Adam Bennett
Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta have stepped up in prominent roles in new Leader David Cunliffe's front bench reshuffle. Ms Ardern takes the police and corrections portfolios, "because she asked for them'', Mr Cunliffe said. Ms Mahuta takes the Treaty Negotiations and Maori Development portfolios. However unsuccessful leadership contender Shane Jones retains the Maori Affairs role. As expected, new Deputy Leader David Parker as finance spokesman will lead a "beefed up'' economic team including Mr Jones as economic development spokesman and Grant Robertson as spokesman on employment skills and training. "They will be at the core of the next Labour Government, delivering policies that will make a real difference to people's lives.'' Former leader David Shearer takes foreign affairs from Phil Goff. Annette King retains the health portfolio and Chris Hipkins, who last year criticised Mr Cunliffe as speculation arose over his leadership aspirations, retained the education portfolio.

Severe weather warnings for the North Island

By Matthew Backhouse
More stormy weather is set to pound the North Island this week. A rapidly deepening low of tropical origin has prompted MetService to issue severe weather watches and warnings for the entire North Island. The low was expected to approach the Far North tomorrow and would bring heavy rain, strong to severe easterly gales and large waves to northern and eastern parts of the country over the next few days. Intense rain and severe easterly gales would spread down the North Island and reach the top of the South Island from late tomorrow, said MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett. "This major low will carry an abundant supply of tropical moisture with it, bringing a heightened risk of flooding, especially across northern and eastern regions in the next day or so."

NIWA scientists heading to Antarctica

A group of NIWA scientists will spend a month camping on Antarctic sea ice while studying marine ecology and the effect global warming is having on the ocean. NIWA says more than a dozen scientists will head to Antarctica for the summer research season. Seven will be conducting marine ecology experiments under the ice at a coastal site in McMurdo Sound. Marine ecologist Drew Lohrer will be diving under the ice. He says it is important to understand the changes in seawater temperature and ocean acidification caused by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Another NIWA team will measure the ozone hole over the Antarctic. The expedition leaves on 23 October.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Queen drives the Keys around Balmoral

John Key and his family have spent the weekend with the Queen at Balmoral. The Prime Minister played golf, while his son Max went hunting with Prince William. The Queen even drove them around the estate herself, before they all went to church. They entered Crathie Church through a side door to the cushioned royal pew. The Queen sat in the middle – and largest – seat, joined by her family – Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The Queen of Norway was also there. Mr Key and his family sat just behind the Queen, in the second row. There was special mention of them made in the service, the reverend talking about the "distinguished guests" that had come from "very far away". Mr Key met with the Queen yesterday and discussed a range of issues, particularly the Christchurch recovery. Mr Key says it was a remarkable experience. Mr Key now flies to Paris for a meeting with President Francois Hollande, before flying to the United Nations in New York.
3 News

Surgery needed by NZ man after mall attack

The employer of of a New Zealander injured injured during the attack on a mall in Kenya, says he is stable, in good spirits but will require an operation. Andrew McLaren 34, of Kerikeri, has been in Kenya for five months managing a factory for Olivado, an avocado oil company. Olivado general manager, Sarah Nicholls said Mr McLaren and his wife were having coffee at the mall, somthing they do every weekend, when the attack began.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, September 22

Anglican Diocese votes to divest from fossil fuel companies

The Anglican Diocese of Wellington has voted to remove all of its investments in companies which extract or produce fossil fuels. The decision came at a meeting of delegates in Palmerston North this weekend and follows a similar decision by the Anglican synod in Auckland. The Wellington diocese says the church is concerned about the effect of carbon emissions on climate change and also about the long term health of investments in the fossil fuel industry. It says the share holdings will be divested within the next two years.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Programme for young emergency workers extended

A programme which helps young people participate in emergency services will be extended to six locations after a funding boost. Youth Affairs Minister Nikki Kaye today announced $60,000 in funding for the Youth in Emergency Services (YES) programme. Ms Kaye said she was impressed with a pilot scheme in Rotorua this year. The new funding would allow the programme to be extended to Kaikohe, Mangakino/Taupo, Gisborne, Alexandra, Kaikoura, and a second project in Rotorua. Up to 15 young people in each community will learn from representatives from Civil Defence Emergency Management, fire brigades, ambulance and search and rescue.

Arrested Kiwi protesters in good spirits

Two New Zealanders arrested by Russian authorities on board a Greenpeace ship are well and in good spirits. About 25 people were arrested on board the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized by the Murmansk Department of Coast Control on Friday (NZ time). Two New Zealanders were among those arrested. New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in contact with the Russian Foreign Ministry and the coast guard regarding their detention. "The Murmansk Department of Coast Control have advised the New Zealand Embassy that all detainees are well and in good spirits," an MFAT spokesman said today. Two Greenpeace activists were arrested on Thursday (NZ time) after they tried to board an oil platform owned by Gazprom to protest against planned drilling on the arctic shelf.
Source: NZN

Saturday, September 21

NZ trains first female PNG army officers

By Rebecca Quilliam
The first female Papua New Guinea army officers have just completed a rigorous training exercise, with the help of a New Zealand Army Captain. Captain Anika Tiplady was deployed for two weeks to PNG to help train the 24 officers - four of which were the first women officers to serve their country. It was the first officer training the country had run for 10 years, and trained locals to be officers in the Papua New Guinea Defence Academy. Captain Tiplady said it was great to be able to help mentor the women and inspire them to be the best they could be.

US universities launch bid to attract Kiwi students

Leading universities from the United States are in Auckland trying to attract more Kiwi students. The US Embassy is hosting the inaugural USA Universities Expo, giving potential students access to recruiters from some of the world's top academic institutions. Nearly 40 universities including Stanford, Yale and UCLA will be represented at the expo at Aotea Centre. Recruiters will be available to talk about the best ways for potential students to gain admission to universities and access to financial aid and assistance. They will also cover student visas, athletic scholarships, and university selection. US Ambassador to New Zealand David Huebner says there has been a great deal of interest from the public.
Source: ONE News

Kiwi 'motorcycle in the sky' is revving up to jet away

A New Zealand company is getting ready to send the first of its world-leading jetpacks out the door. Christchurch-based Martin Aircraft Company expects the first run of its P12 jetpacks - labelled a "motorcycle in the sky" - to be ready by around the middle of next year. A prototype is capable of a 30-minute flight traversing 30km, buyers from around the world are already queuing up and the invention has recently featured in the Wall Street Journal and Telegraph. "We are still in testing mode, and are waiting for the upgraded engine to be fitted," said Peter Coker, chief executive of the company. The jetpack is designed for an altitude of 1.5km, a cruise speed around 56km/h and a top speed of 74km/h. The jetpack was one of Time magazine's top 50 inventions for 2010.

Friday, September 20

It has been a long time.

Daily New Zealand News has been published since October 2004.
Every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Never missed a day.
That is a long time.
This news blog site will close on the anniversary of its founding.
I will stop posting on 30th September 2013.
The website will remain open, the archives will be available and side bar links will still work but will not be updated.
I hope you have enjoyed reading Daily New Zealand News

Economist warns against expecting Cup windfall

One of the country's leading event economists says if the America's Cup does return to New Zealand, it won't bring a flood of money into the country. Shane Vuletich says the feel-good factor should top the list of reasons to host the cup, not financial gain. He says we would be lucky to break even and politicians and the public need to be realistic about any economic benefit. "If we could get the event and hype and two years of America's Cup buzz and we don't pay anything for it, that's the goal for the Government," he says. "I don't think there's any question we want the event, it's about figuring out how little we have to pay for it and how we can get other people to fund it." Putting on an event on the scale of the America's Cup is expensive - San Francisicans were promised the cup would bring $1 billion to the city, but in reality they'll be lucky to see a third of that. Auckland would need a new village to house the race teams. But the cup would also bring work for the marine industry. "[This year's] teams [are] building their boats and designing them in New Zealand, it's been over $350 million spent mostly in New Zealand so we've done pretty well out of this to date," says the NZ Marine Industry Association's Peter Busfield. While the cup may not dramatically boost the New Zealand economy, local manufacturers will still benefit.
3 News

Local body election voting starts

Voting has opened for this year's local body elections. Postal voting forms for city, district and regional councils, and District Health Boards are being put in the mail on Friday. They have to be returned by midday on 12 October. Local Government New Zealand says on average, about 50% of those eligible cast a vote in local body elections. It says research shows a large proportion of people who don't vote are too busy or simply forget. It's reminding the public to not put voting papers aside when they arrive, and return them as soon as possible. Local Government's chief executive Malcolm Alexander says the election is an opportunity to play a part in picking the people who will make important community decisions.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Fewer NZers flocking to Australia

By Tina Morrison
New Zealand net migration rose in August, continuing the trend for every month this year, as the number of people moving to Australia continued to decline. New Zealand gained a seasonally adjusted net 2100 migrants in August, Statistics New Zealand said on Friday. The seasonally adjusted net loss of 1140 migrants to Australia was the smallest net loss since November 2009. Net migration to Australia has declined since December last year as fewer New Zealanders move to Australia, the agency said. Canterbury gained 3600 international migrants in the year to August 30, turning around net losses in the 2011 and 2012 years following the region's earthquakes. "There is now clearly a positive feedback loop between net immigration and New Zealand's economic upswing," Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck said in a note.
Source: NZN

NZ activists held at gunpoint on ship

Environmental group Greenpeace says 29 of its activists, including two New Zealanders, have been held at gunpoint by armed Russian men, believed to be members of the FSB security service. The Russians stormed the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, which is in international waters in the Pechora Sea north of Russia. The BBC reports that the confrontation began when Greenpeace members tried to board an Arctic drilling platform owned by Russian company Gazprom. The Russian coastguard immediately detained two activists who managed to get onto the side of the platform. All the other activists returned to their ship. A helicopter flew to the Arctic Sunrise and about 15 armed men in balaclavas abseiled onto the deck. One of the activists on the ship told the BBC that the armed men were holding 29 of them in the ship's galley while the captain was being detained on the bridge. The environmental group says it cannot release the names of the two New Zealanders involved, but their families have been advised of the situation.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, September 19

Netball - Australia beat Silver Ferns to level series

Australia have fought back to level the Constellation Cup netball series, beating the Silver Ferns 47-45 at Auckland's Vector Arena. After winning the opening test in Invercargill, New Zealand were looking to cement their dominance in their last home match but struggled to get themselves into the contest against a much improved Diamonds side. The Silver Ferns had to fight back twice from five goals down in the first half, but managed to level things up at half-time 21-21. But the Australians took the ascendancy after the break to lead by four heading into the final quarter. New Zealand fought hard to get back into the match, but left their run too late falling two goals short. It was a sloppy shooting night for the Ferns, as they made only 72% of their attempts, with the regular sharpshooter missing 10 of her 30 shots. The final three tests are in Australia, beginning in Adelaide on 4 October.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

New way to settle family disputes

Most family disputes will in future be settled outside court under a new system set out in a bill that has been passed by parliament. Justice Minister Judith Collins' bill, which passed its third reading today, enacts the most significant changes to the Family Court process since its inception in 1981. A Family Dispute Resolution Service (FDR) will be established and it will be mandatory for most applicants to use it. If they can't settle their differences through the FDR, they will still be able to apply to the Family Court. "We're supporting people to resolve care of children matters out of court where possible, to free up the court to focus on more serious cases and the needs of the most vulnerable," Ms Collins said. "This will reduce the stress on children and families by avoiding the conflict, delays and expense that court processes can involve." It has been estimated the FDR will be free to about 60 percent of people who meet the subsidy eligibility test.
Source: NZN

Fulbright scholar to study energy efficiency

A Waikato University chemical engineer awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the United States says his research on energy efficiency at dairy factories in California will have benefits for dairy plants in this country. Michael Walmsley will be based at the University of California Davis for five months from early next year. California is the largest milk producer in the United States, producing about 17 million litres of milk a year, which is similar to this country. Dr Walmsley says the way the industry operates in California is different to New Zealand. He says the thrust of his research is going to be looking at how New Zealand and California can reduce fossil fuel dependency in dairy factories.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Teenage boys need more sleep - study

Teenage boys who don't get enough sleep are at higher risk of having excess body fat, according to new research from the University of Otago. In contrast, the amount of sleep teenage girls fit in each night has no discernable effect on their level of body fat or waist circumference. In the study, researchers from the university's Department of Human Nutrition looked at 386 boys and 299 girls aged between 15 and 18, from 11 different secondary schools in the Otago region. They found teenage boys who sleep up to eight hours a day have 9 percent more body fat and waists 1.8cm wider than those who slept 10 hours, on average. The group who slept less also have more bone and muscle mass, but at an increase of only 1.4 percent, this is dwarfed by the increase in fat. "Our results suggest that for older teenage boys, making sure that they get adequate sleep may help to maintain a healthier a body," says lead researcher Dr Paula Skidmore.

Key urges UK to slash departure tax

New Zealand has made a renewed plea for the British government to slash the departure tax for British long-haul passengers flying to New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key raised the issue at a meeting with his UK counterpart David Cameron in London on Thursday morning (NZT). The British government hiked long-haul departure tax eight per cent in April 2012 to STG94 ($NZ181) per person.
Source: NZN

Kiwi job change in world's highest

By Jessica McAllen
New Zealand has one of the highest job turnover rates but experts say this shows people are willing to take job risks in a recovering economy. According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, New Zealand had the fifth-highest number of people changing jobs in the past year out of 31 countries, with 55 per cent of Kiwis surveyed saying they had switched employers. A further 30 per cent were also considering ditching their workplace and only 14 per cent were completely happy with their job. Respondents cited opportunities for personal growth and advancement as the main reason for leaving their job - only 11 per cent had changed for better pay.

Wednesday, September 18

Massey set to offer free cyber study

Plans to make some of New Zealand's academic expertise available for free is creeping closer, as Massey University puts the finishing touches to launching its massive open online courses. Massey's first three MOOCs courses are confirmed and ready to be released to the cyber world within a month - with sustainable agriculture, emergency management, and indigenous cultures courses on the agenda first. Massey's future education expert, Professor Mark Brown, the architect of the university's MOOC programme, said months of work and development were coming to fruition. "The open movement more generally is about bringing the education to people who might not ordinarily get it or at least giving them tasters of what they could do if they're interested in particular areas. Waikato University is launching a computer science MOOC this week and Massey's first online course is set to start on October 7.
- © Fairfax NZ News

Niue prepares for elephant quarantine

Authorities on Niue are preparing to hold two elephants in quarantine for New Zealand's Auckland Zoo. Auckland Zoo has confirmed work is continuing to import two elephants from an orphanage in Sri Lanka and if the deal is successful the earliest they will arrive on Niue is November. Radio New Zealand International reports it is proposed that land near the village of Avatele at the southern end of the island will become an enclosure for the three month quarantine period.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Growers benefits from seasonal employment scheme

Growers using the Government's recognised seasonal employer scheme (RSE) say it's played a part in allowing them to expand their operations. The RSE scheme which has been running for about six years allows migrant workers, mainly from the Pacific Islands to come here for seasonal work, especially fruit and vege harvesting. A survey of growers using the scheme shows they're getting increasing value out of it. They say they're getting a more productive and stable workforce. And Horticulture New Zealand's chief executive Peter Silcock says that's having a spin-off for the local workforce as well.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Suffrage Day marked in New Zealand

Many people around New Zealand will celebrate Suffrage Day on September 19. It will be 120 years since Kiwi women became the first in the world to win the right to vote in national elections. Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Women's Affairs have marked the anniversary by creating a graphic illustrating women's participation in New Zealand life and society over the past 120 years. It shows and compares things like the working-age women in employment, the average age of first birth and average number of children in 1893, 1953 and 2013. The National Council of Women NZ traditional annual celebration of women's suffrage is taking place at the Suffrage Memorial at Khartoum Place in Auckland CBD from 12:30pm Thursday.

UK report backs Canterbury health changes

A British report says major changes to the health system in Canterbury have reduced waiting times for patients, in some cases dramatically. The report also says patients who don't need to be seen in hospital are now receiving care in the community. The report has been done by British think-tank The King's Fund, an independent charity which is focussed on healthcare. It has been studying health changes in Canterbury that began before the earthquakes but were accelerated to reduce the burden on damaged hospitals. The changes have aimed to provide more care in the community, thereby freeing hospitals for more urgent and specialised work. The King's Fund says patients who are admitted to hospital are treated more swiftly before being discharged safely to good community support.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Eight new O&G exploration areas up for grabs

The Government has unveiled eight new areas for oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. Consultation will start on Thursday with local government and iwi and the areas will be auctioned for exploration next year. The blocks include 9,900 square kilometres of the upper west coast of the South Island. Other areas include add-ons to existing blocks onshore and offshore in Taranaki, as well as off the coast of Northland. The announcement was made by Minister for Energy and Resources Simon Bridges at a conference in Wellington. About 120 protesters chanted outside the meeting calling for a halt to exploration.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Fingerprint data shared with US

By Audrey Young
New Zealand police will provide United States authorities with legal access to New Zealand's fingerprint database under an information-sharing agreement to combat crime and terrorism. The US, similarly, will provide New Zealand access to its fingerprint database under specified conditions. The agreement will also allow each country legal access to the other's DNA database, at a future stage

Tuesday, September 17

Grand old lady giraffe dies at Orana

Workers at Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park are mourning the loss of one the zoo's oldest giraffes. Nathalie, a 25-year-old giraffe, was only the second ever to be born at the park and gave birth to six calves herself. Exotic mammals head keeper Rob Clifford said Nathalie was a grand old lady and one of the nicest giraffes he had worked with. Thousands of visitors had had the chance to hand feed Nathalie over the years, he said. A post mortem was carried out this afternoon and staff were waiting on pathology results to confirm the cause of death.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Downstage Theatre closing down

The country's longest-running professional theatre company Downstage Theatre, in Wellington, is to close permanently. A board meeting on Monday night made the decision to close when the season of the current show finishes on Saturday. Chief executive Hilary Beaton has told donors the theatre cannot continue without adequate and stable funding. Downstage, which opened in 1964, was bailed out by the Wellington City Council in 2011. Subsequent attempts to pursue a new model based on partnerships with artistic companies have proved unsuccessful.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Sir Peter Jackson gets NZ's highest order

Sir Peter Jackson says he feels honoured to have been made a member of New Zealand's highest honour. The acclaimed director received the insignia of the Order of New Zealand at an investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington this morning. The order is limited to a maximum of 20 members at one time. Sir Peter was made an additional member in the Queen's Birthday honours last year, two years after being knighted for his services to film. He said it felt great to receive the insignia from Governor-General Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae at this morning's ceremony. "It's an incredible honour - fantastic to be here with the family and share it with them."

Government health spending will eventually be adopted by European countries

New Zealand-style rationing of government health spending will eventually be adopted by European countries whose coffers have been stripped bare by the global financial crisis, says Pharmac's outgoing medical director, Peter Moodie. Moodie, who has announced that he will leave Pharmac in December after 14 years in the job and return to being a fulltime GP, said New Zealand's way of public funding of medicines had become increasingly sophisticated since Pharmac was set up in 1993. He said it was inevitable that arrangements similar to Pharmac's - where an independent spending agency sets priorities for spending a capped drug budget - will eventually be adopted in countries that currently have uncapped drug spending. "It's going to happen in countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, Ireland - all those countries that are effectively bankrupt."
© Fairfax NZ News

David Parker confirmed as Labour deputy leader

David Parker has been confirmed as deputy leader of the Labour Party. ''David Parker will make an outstanding deputy,'' leader David Cunliffe said in a statement. ''He is a man of intellect and integrity, with the Labour values of opportunity and fairness at his core. I could not be happier with his elevation. Parker will remain as the party's finance spokesman, with Grant Robertson taking the employment portfolio, and Shane Jones remaining as economic development spokesman. Sue Moroney will be senior whip, with Iain Lee-Galloway as junior whip. The reshuffle means Chris Hipkins and Danien Fenton have been dumped from their roles as whips, although Cunliffe thanked them for their "enormous contribution". A full caucus will come in the next week, Cunliffe said, after he had held one on one meetings with all the Labour MPs.
© Fairfax NZ News

Beer bottle joke backfires on friends

By Lynda van Kempen
A man who asked his mate to hit him over the head with a beer bottle to see if it hurt was "one of the more bizarre incidents we've attended recently", Alexandra police said yesterday. It happened in an Alexandra hotel on Friday night and neither man was intoxicated, Central Otago sub- area supervisor Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said. "It appears to have been a joke that backfired somewhat, as the 21-year-old man received a small cut to his head, that required medical attention," Snr Sgt Kerrisk said. The empty stubbie beer bottle smashed on impact and police happened to walk into the hotel shortly afterwards on a routine check of licensed premises. "However, after making inquiries, police ascertained that the two men were involved in a bit of a practical joke. One had asked the other to hit him with the beer bottle to see if it hurt." "At the time, the man said he didn't feel anything, but I suspect he'd have felt it later," Snr Sgt Kerrisk said.
- Otago Daily Times

Govt announces first charter schools

The Education Minister has announced the first five charter, or publicly-funded private schools. The schools, which will initially enrol about 370 students, will open in February next year. Vanguard Military School will be set up in Albany, Auckland, and use the ethos and training methodology of the military. Two secondary schools will be Maori bilingual - Te Kura Hourua o Whangarei Terenga Paraoa in Whangarei and Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru in Northland. South Auckland Middle School will offer project-based learning based on Christian philosophy and values. Also in South Auckland will be the only primary charter school, the Rise Up Academy. Education Minister Hekia Parata says the applicants were assessed against criteria including their ability to improve the education results of children currently being left behind. The Government received 35 applications from organisations wanting to run the charter schools.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Insurers settling nearly $5 million of Canterbury claims each day

The Insurance Council says insurers have been paying out $4.7 million a day in Canterbury residential claims over the past month. Chief executive Tim Grafton says insurers have injected $8.33 billion so far into the Canterbury recovery. He says $5.41 billion of that has been used to settle commercial claims and nearly $3 billion for residential claims. Mr Grafton says settlements for residential customers were running at about $3 million a day earlier this year, so the latest figures are an indicator the recovery programme is continuing to ramp up.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Monday, September 16

Funeral live-streaming connects absent loved ones

An online live-streaming system in New Zealand is allowing family members and friends to attend funeral services from anywhere in the world. The automated webcasting solution One Room allows a venue to stream live events via a private broadcasting system on the internet. One Room general manager Greg Hahn said the system is now installed in about 30 major funeral homes nationwide and had already webcast to over 100 countries, from the Middle East to China. One Room installs a number of cameras into a venue to provide different viewing options, from a close-up shot of the lectern to the faces of the mourners. Each family is provided with a unique code to view the online webcast and they have unlimited access to the footage for the following 90 days. One Room is currently installing systems in Australia and last month the Kiwi company signed a partnership with American company Front-Runner Professional, which is one of the largest distributors of funeral software in the world.
Source: Fairfax

Samoan tree bark could cure Aids

A cure for Aids could be less than two years away thanks to extensive analysis of a tree bark used in Samoa to make medicinal tea, a major US scientific conference has been told. Dr Paul Wender of Stanford University has told the American Chemical Society an Aids medicine made from Samoa's mamala tree could be available in 18 to 24 months. "Aids has changed from a death sentence to now you can live with Aids, but do I think we're in a position right now where we can ask the next question, 'Can we actually eradicate the disease? Can you lower the load efficiently, minimise exposure, and limit transmission?' Absolutely," Wender told Healthline. Wender and several other scientists, including Aids researchers Paul Cox and Stephen Brown, first heard about mamala use as a remedy for viral hepatitis in Falealupo at the most western point of Samoa. The US National Cancer Institute analysed the bark and identified prostratin as a key ingredient.
Source: Fairfax

Key set for Balmoral visit with Queen Elizabeth

By Matthew Backhouse
Prime Minister John Key says he's not worried about running out of things to discuss with the Queen when his family visits Balmoral Castle in Scotland this weekend. Mr Key and his wife Bronagh were first extended a rare invite to Balmoral three years ago, but had to call off the trip at the last minute due to the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake. The visit is part of Mr Key's trip to London, Paris and New York, where he will speak at the United Nations General Assembly. Mr Key told Newstalk ZB he was not worried about running out of things to talk about. "No, she's a fabulous person and very well-versed in her knowledge of New Zealand."

Sunday, September 15

Netball - NZ vs Australia

Silver Ferns edge Diamonds
FULL-TIME: Silver Ferns 55-51 Australian Diamonds
Too close for comfort with the Silver Ferns given a fright in the first of five Tests against the Diamonds. The Ferns played well but have improvement in them while the inexperienced Australians surprised with their solid combinations and intensity.
Source: ONE Sport

Record giant tuna caught off West Coast

By Juliet Speedy
A New Zealand fishing crew has an unconfirmed world record for catching the biggest fish ever to be caught on rod and reel. The gigantic blue fin tuna was hauled in off the coast of Greymouth and weighed in at a whopping 352 kilograms. The modest looking boat pulling up into a quiet port in Greymouth was boasting a rather proud story, because taking up a fair bit of room on board was the fish. And the crew couldn't wait to confirm what they were hoping. As far as fishing stories go, this is a good one – a world record, 352.5kg of tuna, the heaviest fish ever caught on a rod and reel.

David Cunliffe wins battle for Labour leadership

Frontrunner David Cunliffe has won the race to lead the Labour Party despite suggestions he doesn't have the complete backing of his caucus. Mr Cunliffe, Grant Robertson and outsider Shane Jones have spent the last two weeks travelling the country gathering support for their leadership battle. Mr Cunliffe won in the first round with 51.15% of the vote. Mr Roberston won 32.97% and Mr Jones 15.88%.
Source: ONE News

Melbourne babies in quarantine due to mystery illness

Newborn babies in a nursery at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne have fallen ill to a mystery bug. AAP reports 15 babies in the hospital's intensive and special care nursery were quarantined when the illness emerged nine days ago. Two had to have surgery for an inflammatory bowel condition. A hospital spokeswoman said there was no danger to new arrivals. Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said more than 1900 specimens had been taken to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Ivy League recruits Downunder

By Russell Blackstock
Leading universities from the United States are launching an unprecedented bid to attract Kiwi students. Ivy League giants Stanford, Yale and UCLA will be represented at a US Embassy-hosted education expo in Auckland. Up to 1,000 students and parents are expected at the event - the first of its kind in New Zealand - at the Aotea Centre on September 21. Universities of New Zealand chair Professor Roy Crawford believes the initiative indicated a more aggressive approach by American universities to lure talented foreign students.
Herald on Sunday

Syrian deal welcomed by NZ

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the US-Russia plan is the best hope for a resolution to the wider Syria crisis. Speaking from San Francisco, Mr McCully told the Q+A programme on TVNZ the plan was welcome and overdue. Mr McCully said New Zealand hopes the issues can be resolved through the United Nations Security Council. He said working through the UN should be exhausted before the United States takes unilateral action, but New Zealand understands the US position.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Rugby - All Blacks beat Springboks

A two-try performance from captain Kieran Read helped New Zealand beat South Africa by 29 points to 15 in their Rugby Championship Test at Eden Park on Saturday night. South Africa had Bismarck du Plessis sent off for two contentious yellow cards and New Zealand finished the match with 13 players after Read and Ma'a Nonu were yellow carded in the last 10 minutes. The All Blacks' bonus point victory - courtesy of tries to Read, Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane - gave them the lead in the championship. However, it came at a cost with first five eight Daniel Carter appearing to suffer a bad collarbone injury. New Zealand moved to 17 points having achieved their fourth victory, while the Springboks remained on 13 points. They next host Australia in Cape Town while the All Blacks travel to La Plata to meet Argentina, with both games on 28 September.
New Zealand - Tries: Read (2), Retallick, Cane; Conversions: Carter, Beauden Barrett (2); Penalties: Barrett
South Africa - Tries: du Plessis, Pat Lambie; Conversion: Morne Steyn; Penalty: Steyn
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Saturday, September 14

Final day in Labour leader race

The countdown is on for Labour's leadership candidates with the last full day of campaigning underway. David Cunliffe, Shane Jones and Grant Robertson are vying to be opposition leader following the resignation of David Shearer in August. Postal voting has closed and online votes close at noon on Sunday. The Labour Party's 34 MPs hold 40 per cent of the vote, 40 per cent is split between more than 50,000 party members, while six affiliated unions have the remaining 20 per cent. The new leader will be announced at 2.45pm on Sunday. The candidates have toured the country to gain support at 12 husting meetings over 11 days from August 31.

Friday, September 13

More mums opting for caesarian section

New research shows nearly one in four babies are born by caesarean section and that the rate is rising. The data is a surprise to researchers who thought the switch to a midwife-led maternity service from a medical-led service 20 years ago would have slowed down that growth. A study by the Women's' Health Research Centre at Otago University reveals that the number of caesarean sections has increased 50% over 14 years. Researchers say the increase is partly because more older women are having babies and they are more likely to have complicated pregnancies. And they say New Zealanders are also getting fatter which brings its own risks. The threat of legal action has also apparently made midwives and doctors more risk adverse. Dr Emma Parry from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says caesareans are estimated to cost $5000 each and they are all publicly funded.
Source: ONE News

Slight bump for Labour in new poll

Labour's leadership contest has given the party a slight boost, widening the lead an alliance on the Left would have on National. The latest Roy Morgan poll puts Labour on 32.5 per cent (up 1 percentage point from last month), with the Greens also rising to 15 per cent. This would put the two parties on 47.5 per cent, holding its biggest lead since April. National has fallen three percentage points to 41 per cent, and support for its coalition partners has barely moved. Roy Morgan Research executive chairman Gary Morgan said a Labour-Green alliance would "win easily." "Whoever emerges as the new Opposition leader on Sunday stands
© Fairfax NZ News

Bay of Plenty iwi embrace telemedicine link

Te Whakatohea Maori Trust Board says a telemedicine project in Eastern Bay of Plenty, which provides medical advice via video link, is a fantastic idea. Telemedicine has become available in parts of the region to improve access to health services for those living in remote communities. It's thought the initiative will provide benefits including reduced travel and costs. The trust board is based in Opotiki and its chief executive, Dickie Farrar, says the initiative is a good thing for the community.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

US investors snap up one of NZ's largest farms

A massive farm the size of Christchurch has been sold to a North American investment group for an undisclosed sum. Mt Pember station in the Lees Valley, about 85 kilometres from the city, is among New Zealand's largest farms at 27,242 hectares. Until the change of ownership the farm was owned by John and Bernice Ramsey and is an amalgamation of seven runs and stations - Mt Pember, Wharfedale, Kingsdown, De Bourbles, Island Hills, Snowdale and Okuku Hills. The couple have other farming interests in the North Island. Approval had to be given by the Overseas Investment Office for the North American company to buy the property and livestock, understood to be 53,000 stock units, through their New Zealand-registered company Lees Valley Station LLC.
Source: Fairfax

Weekend weather: Winter is back

Strong winds, heavy rain and possibly even small tornadoes could be on the way for the north of the country this weekend, while snow is expected in the south. Two weeks into spring, winter is fighting back. Following this week's damaging winds and heavy rain, MetService is warning of snow showers to sea level tomorrow in Southland, Clutha and Dunedin and tornadoes in Northland. A cold southwesterly flow was spreading over the country in the wake of a low pressure system crossing northern New Zealand tonight, MetService said. An associated front moving on to Northland had a moderate risk of embedded thunderstorms. "These storms may produce localised heavy rain, strong wind gusts of 90kmh to 110kmh, and the chance of a small coastal tornado," MetService said.

Christchurch chief executive resigns

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt has accepted responsibility for the consenting crisis and resigned. He was placed on leave on full pay in July while an investigation was carried out into his role in the council losing its accreditation to issue building consents. The investigation found that in normal times Mr Marryatt would have been expected to be aware of the problem and his failure to do so was because of the pressure he was under following the earthquakes and the rebuild. Despite these mitigating factors, Mr Marryatt said the final responsibility for the loss of accreditation rests with him. Mr Marryatt was the highest paid council executive in the country. He departs with almost $270,000 including severance pay.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Thursday, September 12

Juice and fizzy may bring on gout

New Zealand scientists have discovered fizzy drinks and fruit juice increase the risk of gout by interfering with a gene that normally helps prevent the disease. Gout is New Zealand's most common form of arthritis and is most prevalent among Maori and Pacific Island men, more than one in ten of whom have the disease. Researchers at Otago and Auckland universities found too much fizzy drink or fruit juice affects a variant of a gene that normally helps prevent gout by removing uric acid from the blood. Tony Merriman of Otago University says his team found that when people consume sugary drinks the gene acts in reverse, adding more uric acid, which forms crystals in people's joints, causing painful inflammation. The researchers say for every can of fizzy drink a person consumes a day, the risk of gout rises by about 13 percent.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Thousands of senior citizens to get lower power bills

By Kurt Bayer
Thousands of senior citizens are set to get lower power bills with the launch today of Grey Power Electricity. Grey Power has teamed up with independent electricity retailer Pulse Energy to give Grey Power members access to low-cost power. "All of our members are experiencing increased power prices," says Grey Power National President, Roy Reid. "So this partnership with Pulse will give our members some respite to the increased cost of living. The alliance allows them the flexibility to acquire low cost power from competing generators and pass the benefit on to Grey Power members. The service will include easy-to-read monthly bills and access to a New Zealand-based call centre dedicated to serving Grey Power customers. Grey Power Electricity can be contacted at 0800 GREY POWER (0800 473 976) or by email at

Wednesday, September 11

Prince George makes post stamp history

Prince George is the first royal baby to have a New Zealand stamp issued in honour of his birth. New Zealand Post has issued a range of commemorative stamps featuring the prince the day after his birth, seven weeks ago. The four designs picture the newborn with his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, outside St Mary's Hospital in London. The images have been specially approved for use on these stamps by the Queen, George's great-grandmother. NZ Post says pictures of royal children have featured on stamps before, but this is the first time in the service's 170-year-history that a birth has been marked. A limited edition 1 oz silver coin with selective gold plating has also been produced to mark the royal birth.
Source: ONE News

UK house hunters fuel NZ market

By Alanah Eriksen
First-home buyers priced out of the British market are increasingly looking to buy property in New Zealand, research shows. Experts here say increased immigration is adding fuel to an already-inflated market, putting a strain on local house hunters. A study by foreign exchange specialist Moneycorp showed New Zealand was the fifth-most popular place to buy for young Britons, behind the United States, Spain, Australia and France. Italy, South Africa, Portugal, Canada and Brazil rounded out the top 10.

High tech help in paua harvest

As many as 150,000 baby paua (abilone) are set to be released on the Wairarapa coast. The reseeding is the second phase of a joint initiative between local commercial paua divers and Ngati Kahungunu iwi, with this phase funded through the Paua 2 Association. The tiny paua, about the size of a 10 cent coin, will be grown from local broodstock and will be released once ready, sometime in the future. "We are looking to work alongside a local beach community with the project to encourage local ownership and protection," Tony Craig, Paua 2 Management Group chairman, said. "The research will only be valuable if we can ensure the area chosen allows us to watch and monitor progress as the young emerge from way under the rocks or crevices to become adults."
Wairarapa News

Storm sparks fires across Canterbury, 30,000 without power

Off-duty firefighters have been called back to work in Canterbury to fight blazes sparked by the wild weather and more than 30,000 properties are without power. Christchurch police are warning people not to travel at all around Canterbury because so much debris is flying around and weather and road conditions are so bad. Electricity lines crews are unable to work because conditions are too dangerous. The spate of fires stretches from North Canterbury to Timaru, started by trees falling on lines, as well as lines arcing. Severe electrical storms are also hitting much of the region. A Fire Service spokesperson says all available engines and firefighters are working.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Tuesday, September 10

Maori voters still prefer Labour

Maori voters are still backing Labour over any other political party, an opinion poll shows. TVNZ's Te Karere programme released its latest poll on Tuesday. It asked 1016 Maori voters which party they would give their party vote to if an election was held now. Labour was well in front with 39 percent, followed by the Maori Party on 17 percent, the Greens on 15 percent and National on 10 percent. Hone Harawira's Mana Party gained only six percent and NZ First four percent. The poll results are similar to the party vote counts in the Maori electorates in the 2011 election. When they were asked who they would choose as their local MP, Labour was still in front on 34 percent but the Maori Party was a close second on 29 percent. Mana was third with 10 percent.
Source: NZN

Gales bringing down trees, power lines

Damaging northwesterly gales are moving up the South Island, bringing down trees and cutting power. Severe weather warnings are in place for all of New Zealand south of Taranaki and Gisborne. MetService meteorologist John Law says Dunedin is experiencing gusts of 110 kilometres an hour, as the active front moves up the country. Areas in northern Otago, including parts of Oamaru, are without power after trees crashed on to lines.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Prisoners to fix quake-damaged houses

Prisoners will soon be repairing quake-damaged state houses in Christchurch. The houses will be moved from red zones to a new construction yard at Rolleston Prison and relocated to Housing New Zealand land when they've been repaired and refitted. Housing Minister Nick Smith says it's a better deal than demolishing them - properties on red zone land can't be repaired or rebuilt because of instability. More than 400 offenders will be involved in the work, repairing 30 houses a year over the next five years at a cost of about $20,000 each. Police Minister Anne Tolley says they'll gain skills such as carpentry, plastering, painting and decorating, roofing and joinery. "We know that offenders with employment and skills training are less likely to reoffend," she said.

Govt depts to move into Chch CBD

About 20 Government departments and agencies are going to move into Christchurch's central business district. Prime Minister John Key says the move will bring 1700 Government employees into the CBD, working in offices covering 24,000sq km. The aim is to make the move in 2016 and Mr Key says it will be a catalyst for more economic activity in the rebuilt CBD. The departments are at present in temporary offices, which in some cases will be vacated before leases have run out. Mr Key says the departments will move into four new buildings around the retail precinct. "This will help support the recovery of the central business district and offers a long-term solution for government office accommodation," he said in a speech to the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
Source: NZN

Monday, September 9

John Key to spend weekend the Queen

By 3 News online staff
Prime Minister John Key will meet the Queen at her royal residence in Scotland on his trip to Europe next week. Mr Key will travel to the United Kingdom and France on his way to the United Nations (UN) in New York, a visit which will include high-profile meetings with a number of world leaders. During the trip he will also make a private visit to join Queen Elizabeth II at her invitation to her royal residence in Balmoral. During the trip, Mr Key will meet with French president Francois Hollande, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and also attend the opening week of the UN General Assembly.
3 News

Spring storm set to lash New Zealand

A spring storm is set to lash the country with heavy rain and gale force winds from tomorrow. The MetService has issued severe weather warnings for the lower half of the country, as an active front is set to approach the South Island tomorrow before moving over the lower North Island on Wednesday. The storm is forecast to bring wet weather to the west, and strong winds gusting up to 140km/h in the east. Meteorologist John Law said the best advice was to keep a close eye on forecasts and weather warnings this week. "It's a real smorgasbord of weather this week, with gales, heavy rain and some pretty active thunderstorms in places,'' he said. The front would bring heavy rain to the South Island's West Coast, which would spill over the Southern Alps into the Otago and Canterbury headwaters from tomorrow and Wednesday. Heavy rain warnings have been issued for Fiordland, Westland, Buller, Nelson Lakes, the Tasman mountains, and Canterbury and Otago lakes and headwaters.

Govt funding for Hurunui irrigation

A large scale irrigation and water storage scheme in north Canterbury is the latest to receive Government funding. The Hurunui Water Project will receive $2.4 million from the Irrigation Acceleration Fund to help with planning and design work. The scheme will take water mainly from the Hurunui River to irrigate up to 60,000 hectares of land on several hundred properties. It will include four dams on a tributary of the Hurunui, the Waitohi River, for water storage as well as hydro power. The Government funding will help to cover the cost of feasibility investigations for the Waitohi reservoirs.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Christchurch demolitions draw to end

Christchurch is 108 buildings away from the end of the demolition phase in the city. Latest figures from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) show 1503 full or partial demolitions have been carried out since the September 2010 earthquake - 984 in the central city and 519 in the suburbs. A further 108 partial or full demolition jobs are scheduled but a handful more could be added to the list when owners and insurance companies reach decisions on whether to repair or knock down. Big jobs left on the books include the 13-storey Victoria Apartments in Armagh St and Cathedral Square's Government Life building, while the fate of the 17-storey Forsyth Barr building is still under negotiation. Recovery experts agree the rebuild will accelerate over the next 12 months but say anchor projects will be the vital building block.
© Fairfax NZ News

Key expects Australian relations to stay strong

Prime Minister John Key says the relationship between New Zealand and Australia will not change with a new government across the Tasman. Tony Abbott's Liberal-National Coalition won this weekend's election and takes a majority of more than 30 seats in the 150 seat Parliament. Mr Key says he talked to Mr Abbott on Sunday and they discussed getting together to meet before next month's APEC meeting in Bali. He says at some stage New Zealand government ministers will also want to sit down formally and talk to the new Australian administration. The economies of New Zealand and Australia are already closely integrated and commentators expect that process will continue under the new administration.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Equestrian - NZ takes top honours at Burghley

New Zealand equestrians have swept the podium at the Burghley Horse Trials in England with Jock Paget taking the honours. Paget won on Clifton Promise, while Andrew Nicholson took second place on last year's winner Avebury and third on Nereo. Paget dropped just one rail in the showjumping, adding the Burghley title to his maiden victories at Badminton and the British Open this year. It was a good weekend for the New Zealanders at Burghley, with Jonelle Richards finishing 6th and Sir Mark Todd 7th, while Nicholson was 8th on his third horse, Calico Joe.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Campaign to get rid of councillors

Hawke's Bay growers have launched a so-called third party political campaign aimed at getting rid of regional councillors they do not like. The group, campaigning under the banner of the Grower Action Group, says people are annoyed and frustrated with the regional council and its management of water in the region and a lack of detail around the proposed Ruataniwha Dam. Third party campaigns, which do not have their own candidates, are not covered under the Local Electoral Act meaning there is no limit to how much money can be spent. Spokesperson John Bostock says growers are angry that the regional council limited the amount of water they could take during last summer's drought, causing the loss of crops and trees. He says the council's attention and resources have been on Central Hawke's Bay and the Ruataniwha Dam, but the interests of growers on the Heretaunga Plains have been forgotten. Mr Bostock says the group wants the incumbent councillors thrown out, but is backing candidates who it believes will bring sensible water management to the region.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Sunday, September 8

Hospitality NZ supports plan to make public drunkenness illegal

Hospitality New Zealand says it supports a plan by the Wellington City Council to make public drunkenness illegal, and wants the police to have the ability to fine people. The council has released the final version of its Local Alcohol Policy, which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm in the city. It recommends an investigation into making public drunkenness an offence, either through a bylaw or local bill.
© Copyright Radio New Zealand 2013

E-cigarettes no better than nicotine patches - study

E-cigarettes are as effective as nicotine patches as an aid to quit smoking, a new study has found. University of Auckland researchers recruited 657 smokers to take part in the trial to test the effectiveness of e-cigarettes over other treatments to stop smoking. The world-first study found 7.3% of participants using e-cigarettes managed to quit smoking, only slightly higher than the 5.8% of those who used nicotine patches or gum. However, e-cigarettes proved to be more effective than the other options at helping participants smoke fewer cigarettes, said associate professor and lead researcher Chris Bullen. "While our results don't show any clear-cut differences between e-cigarettes and patches in terms of quit success after six months, it certainly seems that e-cigarettes were more effective in helping smokers who didn't quit to cut down," he said. Government-funded Quitline uses nicotine patches, gum and lozenges, but with their support programme around 20% of smokers give up.
Source: ONE News

Synod to end investment in fossil fuels

The Anglican synod in Auckland is to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. The synod has decided to move away from fossil fuels because it encourages companies to find and exploit more oil, gas and coal. A spokesman said the church is concerned about the long term health of investments in the fossil fuel industry and also the effect of carbon emissions on climate change. The synod said it does not know how much money it has invested in energy companies.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

NZ PM congratulates Abbott on election victory

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has congratulated Tony Abbott on his victory in the Australian election. Mr Key said he looks forward to working with Mr Abbott to build on New Zealand's close and unique relationship with Australia. He said he plans to speak to Mr Abbott on Sunday, after passing on his congratulations by text on Saturday night. Mr Key said there will be several opportunities over the next few months to speak to Mr Abbott about how the two countries can continue to work together. "Australia is our most important relationship. Our common interests span trade, economic, defence and security matters and we cooperate closely in our region and on the international stage.'' Mr Key also thanked outgoing ALP prime minister Kevin Rudd and his predecessor Julia Gillard.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Clipper ship to be moved to Australia from Scotland

The world's oldest surviving clipper ship is now the property of a group which intends to move it from Scotland to Australia. The City of Adelaide is due to arrive in South Australia in spring this time next year. It was built in Sunderland in 1864 and has been at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine since being salvaged in 1992. The BBC reprots a ceremony to mark the ship's formal handover took place on Friday morning at the museum. The new owners, Clipper Ship City of Adelaide, are preparing what remains of the vessel for its journey to Australia. The City of Adelaide was built to carry people emigrating to southern Australia. In 1893 it became a hospital ship, and then was converted into a training ship at Irvine in 1924 and renamed HMS Carrick. In 1991 the ship sank at the Princes Dock, Glasgow, and lay on the bottom of the River Clyde for a year before being raised and taken to Irvine.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Saturday, September 7

Rugby - All Blacks beat Argentina

The All Blacks have beaten Argentina 28-13 in the Rugby Championship test in Hamilton on Saturday. Argentina got points on the board first after an intercept after the first five minutes. Shortly after the Pumas had a player sin-binned, the All Blacks got the first of two tries in the first half, both to Aaron Smith, with Daniel Carter converting one of them. Successful penalties to both sides saw the half-time score 15 - 10 to the All Blacks. In the second half there was one penalty to Argentina and an All Black try to Julian Savea, Carter converted that and kicked two penalties. All Black captain Richie McCaw limped off in the second half putting him in doubt for next Saturday's game against South Africa. All Black coach Steve Hansen has described the game as frustrating in the slippery conditions, but one with a number of positives. It was a slow uninspiring game before 22,000 people.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Australian opposition poised for victory

The polls have closed in Australia's eastern states with exit polls suggesting a big victory for opposition leader Tony Abbott's Liberal-National Coalition. A Roy Morgan-Ten exit poll gives the coalition 43% of the primary vote - a fraction short of the result in 2010. But Labor's primary vote is 33.5% - down 4.5% on the 2010 result. The Sky News/Newspoll exit poll just after 4pm (AEST) shows the opposition will win 97 seats, a 25 seat gain, while Labor will lose 21 seats and have only 51 MPs in parliament. AAP reports that polling booths in western states will not close until 8pm local time because of time zone differences. The ABC reports that two senior Labor figures have already conceded defeat.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Auckland branch for Te Papa museum

A major announcement has been made about a new Auckland branch for the national museum Te Papa, currently based in Wellington. "Our place", Te Papa, will have a second place at Hayman Park in South Auckland. The initiative has been announced by MP Chris Finlayson, Mayor Len Brown and CEO of Te Papa Michael Houlihan. The new facility will have three focuses; storage for art and museum items, exhibition space and an education centre.
- Newstalk ZB

NZ website translated to attract tourists

Tourism New Zealand's website,, has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesian to attract tourists from Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia. The four website editions are part of Tourism NZ's investment in the emerging markets of Latin America, Indonesia and India. The initiative received $44.5 million of funding over four year in the government's 2013-14 budget. The editions would enable Tourism NZ to communicate clearly with potential travellers, Tourism NZ's brand and international PR general manager Catherine Bates said. "Our focus is on capturing future growth opportunities to secure a strong long-term position for the New Zealand tourism industry." The website, which was visited 14 million times in the last year, now has more than 20 market versions, including nine that are partially or fully translated.

Rugby - Ranfurly Shield on the move - again

The Ranfurly Shield has its third home in as many weeks. Counties Manukau lifted the coveted trophy from Hawke's Bay on Saturday afternoon, beating the home side 27-24 in their ITM match at MacLean Park in Napier. Hawke's Bay led 16-14 at half time. Hawke's Bay took the shield from Otago last weekend. The southerners won it from Waikato a week before.
Copyright © 2013 Radio New Zealand

Collection of rarities up for auction

Hundreds of centuries-old rare books and maps belonging to an intrepid doctor and war hero will reveal slices of New Zealand's past as they go under the hammer at an auction. Wairarapa professor Tim Maling, formerly of the Wellington School of Medicine, will bid farewell to relics of his father Peter Maling's "wonderful" life. A total of 290 books and maps that document pivotal points of New Zealand's history are for sale, ranging in value from $30 to more than $10,000. Among them are rare volumes of expedition accounts by discoverer James Cook, and Dr Maling's own book of New Zealand atlases that took him 60 years to compile. A treasure of Dr Maling's library is the original first map ever made of Canterbury. The Maling family will keep that, along with Antarctic expedition journals belonging to Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott. The antiquarian auction is on September 19 in Wellington, by Dunbar Sloane.
© Fairfax NZ News


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