A church minister is one of two Gisborne men fined more than $10,000 for crayfishing offences.
Methodist minister Sunia Ha'unga was fined $4500 after admitting possession of excess crayfish and breaching the Fisheries Act.
The 66-year-old had 130 crayfish - more than 21 times the daily limit - ready to distribute to family members in Auckland.
Aaron Andrew McKay, 39, was fined $6000 after he pleaded guilty in the Gisborne District Court to selling 35 crayfish and being in possession of crayfish for sale.
The vehicles and equipment used to commit the offences were forfeited to the Crown.
Ministry for Primary Industries spokesperson Adam Plumstead said the law was clear and there was no excuse for this sort of offending.
McKay was ordered to pay $3000 to have his car released.
War of attrition being waged on Manus; Fiji-backed initiatives agreed on at COP23; The cross-country pooling of resources could be an option for tackling an epidemic of cancer; 10,000 Christmas presents for South Auckland children, and in Sport; Pacific nations rewriting rugby league's established world order.
Dateline Pacific evening edition for 20 November 2017
Julia Milne is having a moment.
She’s the Project Coordinator for “Common Unity Project Aotearoa”, a charity supporting local enterprise and at their home in Wellington’s Remakery’s, she’s thanking the many volunteers who make it all work. “We love you!”
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The Remakery is a two story warehouse-turned community centre in the culturally diverse community of Epuni, Wellington and is home to a movement of people committed to creating authentic change where it’s needed most. Common Unity Project Aotearoa is one of 22 (and growing) initiatives at The Remakery, and have launched The Sew Good Cooperative an initiative that repurposes old fabrics and textiles into brand new, useful items as well as creating new employment opportunities.
Singled out for special praise by Julia is Salona, who she credits with helping to keep the Sew Good volunteers and its part-time employees (known as “Mamas”) warmly woven together as a team. They’re a diverse group of women from many different parts of the world but Salona says it’s all about being there for each other no matter what.
“The Syrian Mamas, they’ve been here since the beginning … And then there’s the likes of me, who is Maori and Niuean and Dah who is Malaysian.”
“We get together once or twice a week. But because we have so much fun we want to come every day. It’s almost a home away from home.” Salona says. “We gather upstairs [and] because there’s so much demand for it, we also open a sewing collective downstairs thanks to Jill who is wheelchair bound. We’re always open, with open arms – except Sunday, Sunday is a rest day.”
At the food stall homemade Malaysian dishes sit next to traditional Syrian treats. The Malaysian food comes from Dah, a survivor of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia and now the Epuni Primary School cook while Habiba, a former-refugee from Syria, has contributed the treats from her homeland. Habiba comes to the Remakery every week to offer her sewing skills and to catch up with new friends like Salona.
Kelly Ewing, an accountant by trade, is a core member of Common Unity and she shows me around. Each project has been allocated a room to display their home-community-made creations, with offerings from newcomers the Affordable Food Cooperative as well as the more established Urban Kai Gardens and the Honey Beeple Collective.
The Sew Good studio is upstairs, a colourful and homely space filled with made-new items from recycled material. All the materials are donated; old New Zealand Post uniforms that had been destined for the landfill are transformed into grocery bags.
Cloth bags made from op-shop clothing are ideal for foods like pasta, rice and beans while net curtains make breathable bags for fruit and vegetables. The aim is to reduce waste and ultimately make plastic bags unnecessary. Delightfully, baby bibs made from recycled vintage cloth are a huge hit with the public attending the launch.
Kelly introduces me to film and television costumer Sally Gray who works two days a week here as a sewing instructor. Next door to the sewing room is the nursery, staffed by volunteer baby-wranglers, usually elderly people or senior students keen on nanny experience. “There’s a lot of babies hanging out usually” says Sally, “so to keep them safe and away from the machines they can hang out in that room over there.”
During a sewing session, Sally and another tutor Linda show Syrian mama Safaa how to make bags from recycled advertising billboard banners. Around them, sheets of billboard plastic destined for landfill are now being repurposed into water-proof laptop, swimming and make-up bags.
The laptops bags were tutor Linda’s idea. She’s running a new alterations/mending service for Common Unity. She tells me she suffers from depression and finds the warm environment of the Remakery a joy. Linda recently knitted 100 childrens’ jerseys to sell at the Remakery “For $20 each, or I’ll give them away if a needy person would like one. Size two to three years.”
Safaa has found the meaningful work and new friendships she has formed at the Remakery to be vital towards her resettlement. Safaa learned to sew as a child but the new skills she has gained here plus regular English (ESOL) lessons held nearby mean the end of the social isolation she felt as a new migrant.
“I am from Syria, go learn sewing machine – now – learn more. I like sewing machine. People, friends, because – learn speak English.”
The Sew Good Mamas: Salona, Habiba, Aisha, Mona, Safaa, Dah, Rose, Ennemiek and Amanda
Tutors: Sally Gray and Linda
Common Space Unity Project Team: Kylie Ewing and Julia Milne.
It's the thing that adds a bit of spark to your costume, but experts say it's a stinker for the environment.
Glitter, which is a microplastic, and like microbeads causes a devastating impact on humans and animals, especially marine life.
Anthropologist and senior lecturer at Massey University, Trisia Farrelly, has been looking closely at the harm caused by chemicals in consumer plastics.
The emergency closure of some fisheries along the Kaikōura coast is being extended.
Fishing was banned along 130km of the coast soon after last November's earthquake, to help the marine environment recover.
Steve Halley from the Ministry for Primary Industries said the earthquakes had a devastating effect on the coastline and it needed more time to heal.
The restricted area is from between Marfell's Beach, 43km south of Blenheim down to the Conway River, south of Kaikōura.
Mr Halley said the loss of the fishing grounds had added pressure to surrounding areas, and asked that people take only what they need.
UN climate talks in Bonn have concluded with progress on technical issues, but with bigger questions about cutting carbon unresolved.
Delegates say they are pleased that the rulebook for the Paris climate agreement is finally coming together.
But these technical discussions took place against the backdrop of a larger battle about coal, oil and gas.
It means that next year's conference in Poland is set for a major showdown on the future of fossil fuels.
This meeting, known as COP23, was tasked with clarifying complex operational issues around the workings of the Paris climate agreement.
One of the most important elements was the development of a process that would help countries to review and ratchet up their commitments to cut carbon.
Fiji, holding the presidency of this meeting, proposed what's being called the Talanoa Dialogue.
Over the next year, a series of discussions will take place to help countries look at the promises they have made under the Paris pact.
"A key element in Poland is this Talanoa dialogue, to make sure it doesn't result in just a talk show," said Yamide Dagnet with the World Resources Institute.
"In Poland, ministers will have to look each other in the eye and say they will go home and enhance their actions, so that by 2020 we end up with national plans that will be a much more ambitious set of climate actions."
Looming over these discussions in Bonn was the question of coal, oil and gas.
US coal and nuclear companies organised a presentation here arguing that fossil fuels should be a key part of the solution to rising temperatures.
Their meeting was interrupted by dozens of singing protestors, who echoed the feelings of many delegates that unabated fossil fuels shouldn't be part of the future energy mix.
The US seemed to have a divided presence at this gathering.
Leaders from states and cities that want to stay in the Paris agreement were highly visible.
President Trump could "tweet his fingers off, but he won't stop us," said Governor Jay Inslee from Washington State.
White House special adviser on climate change, George David Banks, told reporters that President Trump was still open to staying in the Paris pact.
"The President has said multiple times that he is willing to consider re-engaging if he can find or identify terms that are suitable, that are fair to the United States," he said.
That line didn't seem to impress many attendees who said there could be no re-negotiation.
Even the US official negotiating team struck a different tone from the White House when they made their national statement to the meeting. There wasn't a single mention of coal or fossil fuels.
Instead, it stated that the while the US might be out of the Paris deal, it wasn't walking away from international climate discussions in one form or another.
"The United States intends to remain engaged with our many partners and allies around the world on these issues, here in the UN Framework Convention and everywhere else."
In a further rebuff to those who came here to promote fossil fuels, the UK, Canada and Mexico, close allies and neighbours of the US, led a new global alliance to move away from coal.
Some 20 countries have signed up to end their reliance on unabated coal as an energy source. The Powering Past Coal Alliance hopes to have 50 members by the time of next year's meeting in Poland.
2018's summit in Katowice is seen as a critical junction on the road to making the Paris agreement work effectively when it comes into force in 2020.
By next December, the rulebook needs to be finished and there is to be a key review of carbon-cutting commitments made in 2015.
Many delegates are concerned that Poland's widespread and continued use of coal makes it unlikely that there will be decisive steps taken at the meeting.
Some observers believe that measures are being taken to ensure that Poland doesn't derail the momentum that has built up since Paris, and generally maintained here in Bonn.
"We had to leave Bonn with the process intact," said one seasoned observer.
"We now need a series of ministerial meetings in the coming months to make political progress on the key elements, so that we box in Poland over the next year."
Greenpeace is warning the seismic survey ship Amazon Warrior will be challenged when it enters New Zealand waters.
The ship is coming to undertake a seismic survey, which involves sending sound blasts into the ocean to test for the presence of oil and gas, off the Taranaki coast this summer.
Earlier this year, the ship was intercepted by Greenpeace activists near the Wairarapa coast.
A campaigner for the environment group Amanda Larsson said New Zealanders did not want the survey to proceed.
"The Amazon Warrior...is not going to be able to enter New Zealand waters without expecting public resistance.
"Seismic blasting is torturous for whales and dolphins [and] if they actually find what they're looking for - that has an incredibly severe impact on the climate."
Ms Larsson said the government needed to turn the ship back.
Meanwhile, Climate Justice Taranaki said research had shown the seismic blasts from the tests could have physiological effects on marine mammals and other creatures.
The area was home to both Maui's dolphins and pygmy blue whales, it said.
Three members of a family being treated for botulism in Waikato Hospital were infected by eating wild boar in a curry they'd prepared, although tests are still being conducted in Australia to confirm the source.
Family being treated for botulism have long road to recovery
Scientists from the University of Warwick think they've unlocked some important keys to understanding our appetite and how some foods can make you feel full more quickly than others.
The team identified that brain cells called tanycytes can detect nutrients like glucose and amino acids in our food, and send signals that we should be feeling full and stop eating.
Some foods rich in two key amino acids are better at stimulating these tanycyte cells than others; so foods like pork shoulder, sirloin steak, avos, plums and mackerel could make us feel full more quickly.
It raises the prospect that we can eat certain foods to short circuit our normal eating patterns, potentially eating less and keeping our weight under better control.
There's new evidence that schizophrenia could be related to our immune system – a discovery which could radically change the way the condition is treated.
No one really knows what causes schizophrenia, the mental disorder that distorts a person's behaviour, ideas and moods. It's a condition that affects 1 percent of the population here in New Zealand.
Symptoms include delusional thinking, paranoia, hearing voices and a lack of motivation, and the prevailing theory is that it's caused by too much dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine is a chemical messenger that's released when something unexpected happens: it's a chemical alert to pay attention, get ready to respond, and then learn from the experience. This experience then helps you model the world around you and function in it. It's the ability to update these models that lets us get on in life, especially in the social world.
So if the dopamine signal isn't working properly and it becomes overactive, the brain is constantly on high alert and ready to respond when there's nothing going on. This can lead to delusions and a detachment from reality, as the brain tries to work out what's happening.
This explains some of the symptoms, but it doesn't explain others like difficulties with planning, memory and motivation, and new research suggests that our Immune system could be a factor.
Microglia, which are immune cells, wash around the brain and act like cleaners, taking away wasted and unused neural connections and protecting the brain from infection. In schizophrenia, especially in the early stages, there's a surge in the number and the activity of these cells.
The thinking is that this leads to an 'over pruning' of connections between neurons, damaging links that are needed for the brain to function properly.
Oliver Howes is a professor of molecular psychiatry at the Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences and he and his team have been researching the link between the immune system and schizophrenia.
"This is one of the most exciting things I think that's happening in brain science in the last few years, the realisation that microglia aren't just there to defend against infection or deal with damaged and decaying cells but actually play this really key, fundamental role in pruning away the connections that we don't need." Professor Oliver Howes
Outside an old church hall in a small Waikato town there is a distinctive sculpture on the lawn.
It's a three metre high, stainless steel UFO. Originally made for an exhibit in the Ellerslie Flower show, it now greets people arriving at Kihikihi's Space Museum.
Local man Dave Owen loves space and has been building up a collection of memoriablia since childhood. He used to write to the American embassy asking if they could send him things, "and they did. They were fantastic".
Initially he shared his collection and passion for space just with visitors to his home. Then he realised it would be a wonderful hobby to share with the local community; an educational resource which would be good for school children and adults, so he moved into an old Presbytarian church hall.
The space experience is a great mix of hands-on activities, posters, collections of things from space, and lots of real time videos and data streams from satellites and the international space station.
Dave says when it came to space equipment it was a toss up whether to have the genuine article, or a replica. "You can do so much more with replicas (like try on a space suit) but I went for the genuine thing."
He's hugely proud of his space sleeping bag, two astronaut suits, a space pen and a control card that came from an Apollo moon mission.
There's a virtual reality trip around a space craft, and I found out I was born on a Wednesday, would be 232 years old if I lived on Mercury, but only one year old on Saturn. On Jupiter I'd weigh a lot more.
Dave says it seems like fun, "but there's a physics or gravity element to that information too".
The Space Museum's been open for three years and is just in profit now. Funding remains a constant problem.
Dave says it seems as though sports teams get grants from local organisations or businesses, but educational facilities don't. "I could do with more customers". Or sponsorship? "Sponsorship definitely. If anyone out there's keen to sponsor a really cool educational, scientific project, come and talk to us".
Happy birthday to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust which turns 40 this year. Since its formation it has helped landowners to create 4,400 covenants to protect native biodiversity – ranging from forest to salt meadows – on private land throughout New Zealand.
The area of land protected by QEII covenants is now more than 185,000 hectares, equal to the area of Stewart Island.
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James Guild is chair of the QEII Trust. He farms in inland Canterbury, and has added covenants to a number of wetland areas around the river that runs through the property.
James says that the QEII Trust is basically “a collection of people with an enthusiasm for protecting native biodiversity on private land.”
The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, to give it its full name, was created 40 years ago with its own Act of Parliament.
Its official aim is to 'encourage and promote, for the benefit of New Zealand, the provision, protection, preservation and enhancement of open space'.
Dame Anne and Jeremy Salmond have three QEII covenants on their rural Gisborne property. One covers a patch of original forest on the shores of the Waimata River, which is known as Longbush. The couple bought Longbush, which played a significant role in Anne’s childhood, along with a further 110 hectares of rough farmland in 2000.
Since they stopped grazing, the steep hills surrounding their house have regenerated naturally, and are now covered in tall kanuka. Anne says that kereru travelling between Longbush, an arboretum of native trees that they have planted in their garden and the surrounding hills are effectively and naturally dispersing seeds.
This area of regeneration is now protected as the Waikereru Ecosanctuary.
The Salmonds have a third QEII covenant over a building they call the Welcome Shelter and the 1769 Garden which has been planted to commemorate Captain Cook's landings in the Gisborne area in 1769. The 1769 Garden features in a sister story on Our Changing World.
In the long run, Anne says she is keen to explore how rural land owners can more effectively claim carbon credits to cover regenerating forest, which provides very good land cover in parts of the country prone to erosion.
Carol and Steve Ring bought their Waimata Valley property, White Rose Organics, two years ago to raise Dexter cattle. The farm, which they are converting to organic, includes an area of bush that had been protected under a QEII covenant by a previous landowner. That legal protection remains binding even when a property changes hands.
Judith and Gary Shields bought a rural property near Karitane, just north of Dunedin, and have covenanted an area of salt meadow that borders the local estuary. They say it is a low-lying, subtle landscape that wading birds and waterfowl enjoy. The streams on the property are home to whitebait.
The 1769 Garden is a botanical commemoration of the first encounters between local Tairāwhiti Māori and the crew aboard Captain Cook’s ship the Endeavour.
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The Endeavour made landfall at Gisborne, Anaura Bay and Tolaga Bay in late 1769, and when they came ashore ship botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected the first scientific specimens of New Zealand plants.
The 1769 Garden has been created near Gisborne on land owned by historian and Captain Cook expert Dame Anne Salmond. It will be used as part of the 250th celebrations of the first encounters between Māori and Pakeha, in 2019.
Landscape architect Philip Smith says the 1769 Garden has been designed to give a series of impressions: for example, in 1769 the Europeans were greeted by a mass of yellow flowering kowhai, so the first plants that garden visitors encounter are kowhai.
Philip points out that Banks and Solander saw New Zealand native plants as exotic, so he has tried to create a sense of this in the plantings. As they grow larger, Philip says the heart-leaved kohuhu or Pittosporum obcordatum, which has tiny leaves hidden in a tangle of twigs, will create shadowy columns that he expects most people will find surprising.
Philip says the gentle sloping garden site is already wonderful in its own right, and to complement it he has added several some strong sculptural design elements. Long barrows of stone, planted with sprawling Muehlenbeckia, are reminiscent of early Māori garden walls, while a series of rock mounds arranged in a quincunx pattern like the number five on a die, reflect the strict geometry of Māori gardens.
East Coast DOC botanist Graeme Atkins has always been passionate about plants, and he has a knack for finding rare and unusual plants.
He has been pivotal in choosing and sourcing local plants for the garden. The plantings include short-lived herbs that don’t often feature in botanical gardens, but which were among the first plants collected by Banks and Solander in 1769.
The native puha, Sonchus kirkii, was a favourite food for Māori before Europeans arrived.
These days, the accidentally introduced European sow thistle is more commonly eaten, as Graeme says most people reckon it’s sweeter. But he has lots of the native puha planted in his East Coast garden, and much prefers it.
“This is the puha that is from this country, and I might be a bit one-eyed but I favour it.”
Graeme says that the native geranium Geranium solanderi would have once been “really common – as common as grass.” These days it’s rare, due to competition from introduced plants and being eaten by rabbit and hares, and is often found on cliffs, out of reach of introduced herbivores.
Banks and Solander collected it on their first day ashore in 1769.
Senecio banksii is a member of the daisy family, and is named after Joseph Banks.
The 1769 Garden is protected by a QEII Trust conservation covenant - you can hear more about the Trust, including two further covenants on the Salmond's land in a sister story on Our Changing World.
Protecting nature on private land with the QEII Trust, and creating the 1769 Garden to mark the first encounter between Māori and Captain Cook.
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Predator-Free 2050 has developed a four-part research strategy to save New Zealand's biological heritage.
The plan is strategises how the organisation could achieve its interim 2025 goal of eradicating a mammalian predator from the mainland.
To explain exactly what's involved in the plan and why it's a milestone in the fight against pests is project manager, Dr Dan Tompkins.
You can find more information about the strategy here.
Almost 70,000 people have signed a petition calling for the government not to back away from its commitment to reduce mass irrigation.
While the new Labour-led government has decided to scrap funding for new irrigation schemes, concern remains that some schemes will still proceed under funding from the Regional Development Fund.
The petition was presented by Greenpeace to Environment Minister David Parker and Associate Minister Eugenie Sage outside Parliament this afternoon.
Mr Parker said the government would be honouring existing irrigation schemes started under the previous National-led government but would not fund any new ones.
"We should not be subsidising irrigation schemes which we know lead to increased intensity of land use which adds to the problem."
He said there could be a "perfect outcome" for farmers and for water-quality, if New Zealand did not rely so heavily on dairy exports.
"There is an incredible opportunity for New Zealand to move towards higher-value land uses, other than livestock, in parts of New Zealand."
He added that greater use of technology could foster diversification. "If we can use robotics and sensor technology, our wonderful soil and our growing techniques to bring forward more profitable land uses that have a lower environmental impact we will get richer as a country, the same time we get cleaner."
Greenpeace spokesperson Genevieve Toop said they had collected signatures for almost a year and there was strong public support for reducing big-irrigation.
"New Zealand is in the middle of a freshwater crisis, there are already too many cows and big irrigation schemes drive more intensive dairy conversions, which just mean more cows and our rivers just can't cope with that anymore."
Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said it was too simplistic to say mass-irrigation caused water pollution.
He added that cutting funding for new irrigation systems was not the answer.
"We're already seeing quite high growth in the horticulture area at the moment, and that's where the future is heading to be honest, is New Zealand producing high value viticultural and horticultural-type products and that's got to be underpinned by irrigation."
Mr Curtis said irrigation was vital for economic growth in many of the regions.
"There's a number of regional economic growth strategies that have been done in places like the Bay of Plenty and Northland, which have very much identified how key, water infrastructure is to their future."
He was unsure whether new irrigation schemes could be applied for under the Regional Development Fund.
"That's the conversation we'd like to have with this incoming government."
A police error in taking a DNA sample seven years ago has created a hurdle in prosecuting a serious assault involving two tomahawk-wielding men years later.
The assault involved a raid on a house in Christchurch by two men armed with a tomahawk.
But the Court of Appeal has ruled DNA taken from the Christchurch case cannot be used.
That is because the sample it was matched against was improperly taken in the first place, according to a judicial ruling upheld in the Court of Appeal.
The case began with the arrest of 17-year-old Ian Toki in Kerikeri in 2011, on a charge of taking a car.
A swab from his mouth was taken for DNA records at the time.
But the Court of Appeal has upheld lower court rulings that the DNA sample taken at that time was obtained in a defective manner.
That is because the police used the wrong form and because Mr Toki was not told about the rights he had to refuse consent for his DNA to be stored and used.
These relate to the seriousness of the changes against him.
In subsequent years, Mr Toki was prosecuted several times, for burglary and driving offences.
In 2015, a serious assault occurred in Christchurch, involving two men armed with a tomahawk.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeal said they were looking to buy cannabis, which was refused, and then the pair destroyed a table and stole cellphones.
The court said the principal offender then assaulted three of the occupants with varying degrees of severity.
Apart from punching them, he struck one in the head with a frying pan.
The court said a man identified by witnesses as Mr Toki was later seen drinking beer and his DNA was found on the bottle.
But Justice Harrison said that DNA could not be used, because Mr Toki had not given informed consent to the original DNA sample four years earlier, so the later DNA could not be legally matched against it.
"We acknowledge that the alleged offending is serious, the evidence is of a high quality, and that the prosecution will likely fail without Mr Toki's 2011 bodily sample," Justice Harrison wrote.
"However, an effective and credible system of justice will not tolerate lightly the reliance of the police on the DNA profile databank if the underlying sample was taken contrary to clear legislative prescriptions and in abrogation of the person's rights."
Justice Harrison went on: "It is trite that DNA is not a mere fingerprint: it contains a wealth of genetic information about a person with unlimited future utility.
"The one-off intrusion of the procedure thus permanently erodes Mr Toki's privacy and freedom, which would usually remain beyond the reach of the state apparatus.
"Without Mr Toki's informed consent, the bodily sample now stored on the DNA profile databank was obtained in serious, permanent and ongoing breach of his rights."
This week, scientist Dr Siouxsie Wiles talks about the danger of wind turbines, at least if you are a bat; the neurons that may be the key to treating some forms of infertility; and the surprising finding that daytime wounds heal more quickly than those suffered at night.