Science and environment

Pink salt found to contain high levels harmful heavy metals

Australian researchers have found, contrary to popular belief, that pink salt does not have the health benefits many claim and actually contain high levels of harmful heavy metals. Jesse speaks to Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore the CEO of NRAUS, which is the independent research company which examined 31 pink salts available in Australia.

Pink salt found to contain high levels harmful heavy metals
0:00 / 7:22
Science and environment

Tamatea/Dusky: The birthplace of New Zealand conservation

It's remote and rugged, an archipelago of over 700 islands - and the birthplace of New Zealand's conservation efforts. Tamatea or Dusky Sound's beauty and history have been captured in a new book by Peta Carey, which also documents the lengths to which people have gone to protect the wildlife living within it. Resolution Island, the biggest in the area and named for the ship sailed by Captain James Cook as he charted "Dusky Bay" and its surrounds in 1773, became New Zealand's first sanctuary just over a century later. Groundbreaking work on predator control continues in the area today, as Peta found out during her research for Tamatea Dusky: Conservation and history in Fiordland's Dusky Sound.

Tamatea/Dusky: The birthplace of New Zealand conservation
0:00 / 15:55
Science and environment

School kids looking out for pest free island

Students at Stewart Island's Halfmoon Bay School have made a film about how to protect Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara. The island, which sits just off Stewart Island/Rakiura, has been pest free since 1997, and is open for visitor to see healthy populations of kiwi, saddleback, and yellowhead.

School kids looking out for pest free island
0:00 / 7:59
Science and environment

The Problem with Climate Policy

Eric Crampton, Chief Economist at the New Zealand Initiative has been taking a look at climate policy and how this can be utilised for an effective Covid recovery.

The Problem with Climate Policy
0:00 / 20:16
Science and environment

Cooks’ boundaries protected from climate change sea level rise

The Cook Islands says a formal declaration of its sea borders protects them for future generations The far-flung island nation includes 2-million square kilometres of ocean. Many years of work to establish its maritime boundaries was finally completed this month. The director of treaties and oceans at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Josh Mitchell, says it is an important milestone for protecting Cook Islands sovereignty.

Cooks’ boundaries protected from climate change sea level rise
0:00 / 5:26
Science and environment

Dr Khoon Lim: 3D-printing human tissue

Otago University's Dr Khoon Lim is a biomedical engineer who is working towards 3-D printing blood vessel architecture - veins, arteries and capillaries. Karyn speaks with Dr Lim about his research including how this bio-ink can be used to form the basis of blood vessels and human tissues.

Dr Khoon Lim: 3D-printing human tissue
0:00 / 10:24
Science and environment

The importance of children playing outside

Advocate of outdoor nature education, Wendy Pirie says there are so many benefit of children running around outside and exploring their environment. She is the founder of an Early Learning Centre in Taradale, Hawkes Bay where children have 2 acres of natural play space. The play space called, The Den, rests on key developmental pillars, she tells Kathryn Ryan. “Those four things are well-being, belonging, discovery and education, movement and nature.” Children learn through doing, she says, but the modern world constrains them. “It’s a sequential journey that children go through without us being aware, but what we are seeing more and more for different reasons is that children are in positions that they cannot naturally get themselves in or out of. “There’s health and safety so we’re in car seats and different things like that and our bodies aren’t able to be in those positions independently.” Children would once have played outdoors for four hours a day, she says, which engages all the senses. Not just the five common senses but also things like balance. “For example, the most advanced form of balance is the ability to be still. “Being still is an advanced developmental journey so how we develop that is through our vestibular system which is taking our body out from the upright position to is things like rolling, running around and hanging upside down which we used to see all the time which was how young children were playing.” Children today are more and more in the upright position, she says. Independent or free skipping is a sign a child is developing well, she says. “If I’m working alongside children that always makes my heart sing when I see a child that’s skipping along and singing to themselves. “That gives me an indication is that they are physically organised, they have gone through a developmental journey. “Once children are able to independently sing and skip at the same time, they are able to access the executive functioning part of their brain, because the movement part of their brain is automated they are able to so movement without thinking about it.” “What an independent skipping singing child suggests to me is that they have crossed their mid line … which is how dominance emerges, left or right handed, that is a developmental journey Before they can skip independently they need to develop foundational skills, she says, from traditional play such as rolling, spinning and being upside down. “That leads to a sequential journey of stand on one foot, jump with two feet together being able to hop on one foot and putting it all together and being able to skip.” Her top tip for parents wishing to encourage a love of play and movement in a child is to engage their inner child. “For young children music is a wonderful medium, breaking out into song and bringing back your inner child is a wonderful place to start. “Find your inner child and just be present and have the time and space together.”

The importance of children playing outside
0:00 / 20:49
Science and environment

Call for ‘oceans policy’ for NZ

A Canterbury University law professor is calling for New Zealand to adopt a 'national oceans policy' and embrace a 'clean blue' image. Karen Scott says more than 30 percent of our biodiversity is located in our oceans and the marine economy generated around $7 billion in 2017 for NZ's economy. “We think of ourselves as having a clean green image, when really it should be a clean blue image where our marine environment is important to us."

Call for ‘oceans policy’ for NZ
0:00 / 5:37
Science and environment

Billy Te Kahika – the conspiracy theorist with a hidden following

The conspiracy theories espoused by Billy Te Kahika Junior are many, varied, and well-documented. The Advance NZ co-leader has claimed billionaires have developed weaponised viruses to enslave humanity. He's claimed the government was authorising military to enter people's homes, and is planning to implement forced vaccinations. He parrots misinformation about the effects of fluoridation and 5G. Many of Te Kahika's views have been discredited by fact-checkers. So why platform him yet again, as the Stuff Circuit investigative team did yesterday with the release of its False Profit documentary? On today's episode of The Detail, Emile Donovan sits down with reporter Paula Penfold to talk about the team's investigation into one of the nation's most polarising political figures unearthed, and what they hope to achieve by highlighting more inconsistencies in the narrative Te Kahika has constructed around himself. The Stuff Circuit investigation revealed new information about Te Kahika in five main areas: his claims around his army record and time at police college; his business practices; his parroting of anti-semitic conspiracies; and his behaviour around women. But with Advance NZ languishing on one percent in the polls, isn't a 47-minute documentary like this just giving Te Kahika’s profile oxygen his numbers don't justify? "I think why it matters is because ... his influence is not directly political. He has had nearly four million video views over the past two months. People are watching, hearing, listening to his messages, and some of those messages are wrong,” says Penfold. "When somebody has that much traction, we think it's a useful investment of our time to have a look at the messenger, as opposed to the messages." Stuff Circuit's treatment of these revelations around Te Kahika is forensic and factual: in a sit-down interview Penfold puts a series of facts to him, and he grows more uncomfortable as the interview goes on, eventually storming out. But none of the revelations are as explosive as the conspiracy theories Te Kahika himself espouses in his many videos on social media. So is this really proportional? Te Kahika has claimed Covid-19 is an international hoax perpetuated by governments; who really cares if he embellished his military record? "I think it's an old-fashioned way to look at it, to treat it purely politically," Penfold says. "While he might not register in the polls ... he has an audience. He's influencing people. They're spending money on his party, taking actions based on what he says. "There's another element to it. People who know him speak of politics not being his 'end-game'. He wants an influence that's wider and longer than politics." What might that end-game be? "One woman who worked closely with him speaks of his idea of buying a lot of land and building a fortress. Setting up a place where people can come and be with him. "People who know him don't think it's about a seat in the Beehive. They think he wants to have his own following in whatever sphere."

Billy Te Kahika – the conspiracy theorist with a hidden following
0:00 / 19:58
Science and environment

Researching refuges to protect myrtle trees from rust disease

Manaaki Whenua researchers have been looking at how to predict where myrtle trees can grow without being exposed to pathogens that cause the rust disease. James McCarthy's been leading the project and he talks to Jesse about finding what they call, refugia, to grow the trees so they don't get the disease.

Researching refuges to protect myrtle trees from rust disease
0:00 / 7:52

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