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      • Petone will be an art gallery for the work of Thumbs Up artists.
        • 24 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ART IN PROGRESS: Melissa creating her piece, one of several to be displayed. IMAGE: Amanda Herrera   NEW art pieces by local artists with disabilities will soon be adorning the walls of Petone’s cafes and supermarkets. The new art will come from the Art in the Community project by Thumbs Up, a facility which provides week day care for young adults with physical and mental disabilities. The project involves 11 young adults paint working with arts therapist Joanna Eikenbroek to create pieces. To complete the local flavour, volunteer group Menz Shed in Eastbourne will help the young men of Thumbs Up frame the art. Thumbs Up services manager Briany Howes (right) says the project is hugely exciting and ticks all the boxes for Thumbs Up, and the community.  “It’s a win-win situation, we get to give something back to the community which so greatly supports us as well as continuing to strengthen our community links.” The places which will host the art are still a work in progress, much like the art pieces which are expected to be completed by early next year. Ms Howes says although the places are not yet confirmed, they will be places that clients often frequent with their families. “There will be quite a lot of excitement for the clients when they see their pieces while they are out and about.” The project comes after positive feedback from previous art exhibitions, says support worker Lia Haar-Strang. As well as being a community inspired project, it gives observers the opportunity to admire art pieces without judgement she says. “The project focuses on the ability of the clients, not the disability, people will look at their paintings and judge them based on artistic merit, rather than the person who created it.” The project has been made possible with funding from Hutt City Council Creative Communities grants. Menz Shed is a community focused group with sheds nationwide. The objective of Menz Shed is to create a place where men, who are generally retired can gather to share skills and work on community based projects, such as wooden frames for the Arts in the Community project.  

      • Squeezed Victoria students say new science space overdue
        • 24 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • HIGH TIME: An artist’s impression of the new science building. IMAGE: Supplied “EXCITED” students are looking forward to the overdue building of a new science block at Victoria University. There is not enough space in the current building for postgraduate students, which is directly affecting their studies, says Victoria University Students Association president Sonya Clark. “It’s high time that the biology students and staff moved to a modern, upgraded facility,” she says. “Students are excited about the new facility. It will be awesome for students and for Vic.” The major redevelopment project announced last week includes up-to-date labs in 2017 when staff and students move out of Kirk building that currently houses the science department. The Kirk building, built in the 1970’s, will be refurbished and strengthened for new use within the university. Victoria University Campus Services spokesperson Jenny Bentley says it will allow for new spaces for modern teaching methods. “The redevelopment will provide better group work, better interaction between academics and the students, with informal learning and study areas,” she says. The science field will include new jobs for five to six major researchers being employed, which will increase student intake and profitable income for NZ economy, says Faculty of Science Professor Michael Wilson. He is looking forward to the major project bringing in collaboration with other university facilities in New Zealand and around the world. “We collaborate closely with the Malaghan Institute and Zealandia. The new building will produce a real step and change of what we can achieve for science,” he says.

      • Porirua kids get a kick out of computer coding
        • 21 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • JAVA KIDS: Children programming in Java Script, clockwise from left, Eli Martin, Liam Sapsford, John Davies-Colley, Stanley Moore and Atom Gush. PORIRUA kids are earning their black belt through computer coding and information technology at e-learning Porirua – but organisers want more children from lower decile schools. Coderdojo runs fortnightly on Sunday afternoons, with about 20 children from the age of five learning computer coding and programming. The club started in March this year at the RSA in Porirua East, and will be running indefinitely as children progress through more advanced stages of IT. Tim Davies-Colley, executive programme manager of e-learning Porirua, says the club is run like a dojo. Children earn prizes, badges and belts as they progress through different skills such as learning Blockley coding, Node coding and assembling a computer hard-drive from scratch, says Mr Davies-Colley. “We show them the main components of a computer and point out specific parts like the processor, central processing unit and RAM and have them connect it all back up to the monitor and to boot the system up. “If they get it right, they earn a badge for their belt.” Mr Davies Colley says families attending are mostly from wealthier areas of Porirua, with parents who have an IT background. “We are keen to see more kids from lower decile areas that have an interest in technology, even if their parents have no prior knowledge,” he says. Eli Martin (10) says he loves using the variety of different programming languages. “Programming is like a big powerful sword that you have to learn how to use and then your creativity is unleashed,” he says. Bessie Martin (8) likes CoderDojo because it is opening new options and helps her to understand new things. The club has the strict policy of parents staying at each session to encourage their children and help as mentors. Eli’s and Bessie’s mother Emma Martin helps out as a mentor. “It’s just incredible seeing all of these kids so focused on learning,” says Emma. “It’s not even just about coding. It’s about learning logical reasoning. And they love it. “This generation has grown up playing games on iPads. The digital world is their water and they swim in it instinctively.” Steve Stanley, whose 9-year-old son attends Coderdojo, says his son who has always been attracted to technology loves it. “When he’s not at the sessions he gets into it at home too, and has worked through about 28 modules just in the past few weeks.” Mr Stanley says he heard about an initiative in the UK which is teaching children computer coding in primary schools. “In this generation many of the things kids are exposed to have been programmed by someone and if you don’t understand how it works, you have less of a choice in how to use it. “Computer coding is a valuable skill to learn, as was something like car maintenance for my generation,” he says. The club is free to attend, but a donation is encouraged if the family can afford it. However, computers are donated and the software is mostly free to use so donations are not pushed. Mr Davies-Colley says the programme teaches children IT skills, problem solving skills and logic, and gives them a head start in the digital age. He is also designing a program specifically for Maori and Pacific teenagers.

      • Zoo wants to breed tigers, and good consumers
        • 21 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • CRITICALLY ENDANGERED: Senja, the 3 year old Sumatran tiger at Wellington Zoo, might soon be producing cubs. SUMATRAN tiger cubs could be born at Wellington Zoo if a new Sumatran tiger due soon produces offspring. A new male Sumatran tiger from Brisbane’s Australia Zoo is expected within the next few months, says Paul Horton, Wellington’s carnivores and primates life sciences manager. The zoo will celebrate International Tiger Day on July 29 by preparing for the arrival of the tiger, who will form part of a breeding pair. He will join three year old female, Senja, who has been at the zoo since June. Paul says that the tigers are “fantastic creatures”. “The aim of the game is to pair them up”, says Paul. He thinks that the chances of the two tigers breeding are very good. Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers survive in the wild. The zoo is part of an Australasian breeding conservation programme of Sumatrans through its membership of the Zoo and Aquarium Association. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has classified the Sumatran as “critically endangered”. Tiger conservation organisation, 21st Century Tiger, which the zoo supports, describes the main threats to the tiger in the wild as habitat destruction and poaching. Paul says people living in Wellington can do their bit too. “At Wellington Zoo we encourage action. “One of the ways people can do that is to think about what they are buying. If you are going to be buying something, make sure that it’s come from a good place. “One of the ways that you can do that is by choosing FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) approved products. “They are widely available, no more expensive, it’s just a stamp of approval essentially. It tells you that the wood hasn’t come out of the forest.” Paul says it is all about people at the end of the day. “Wellington Zoo is trying to do really positive work with our own community, with the animals that we have here, but also with places and the communities that the animals come from in the wild. “If we can help them to do some more things to keep tigers in the wild, then we will do it.” Wellington Zoo provides financial support to 21st Century Tiger, which does community work with people who live close to natural tiger habitat so that tigers are protected from poaching.

      • Peace rallies for Israel and Palestine take to Wellington streets
        • 21 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ISRAEL RALLY: Stocy Lindon (center) and Robert Lsiana (right) stand in support for Israel. AS Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza, white doves and loudspeakers were used to support both sides of the conflict in inner city Wellington. Both rallies, pro-Israeli in Midland Park, and pro-Palestine in Brandon St opposite the Israeli Embassy, were peaceful demonstrations. Police were at the sidelines of both rallies, shutting down access to Brandon St for a short time when the pro-Palestine crowd filled the road. At Midland Park on Lambton Quay, the rally in support of Israel was held with songs, speeches and white picket signs. Church communities in Hawkes Bay, Hastings and Palmeston North brought a “busload of people” to the rally. “I am not of Jewish descent, not of Israel, but I am a fair-minded New Zealander,” said Tony Martin, from Palmerston North. Mr Martin says the view of Israel in the media and its state of war “is talking disproportionally”. “First and foremost this is a peace rally. It is about Shalom.” “If the missiles stopped this very hour, the war would stop this hour.” “If I was to shoot you and you were to shoot back but I put my family in front of me to block it – what would you think?” Among the group were a group from Flaxmere Christian Fellowship in Hastings, including Stocy Lindon. GOD DEFEND: ‘Heartlanders’ bring doves to be released for Israel at Midland Park. “We only heard about it last Saturday and decided to come down and show our support,” Mr Lindon says. The group was led by pastor Nigel Woodley (left). “Israel wants peace. Israel has the right to protect its people,” said Mr Woodley. “Israel recognises the sovereignty of other nations and is willing to negotiate but Hamas refuses to listen.” Mr Woodley says elimination of Hamas is the only way to ensure a lasting resolution. “Israel is doing its best to negotiate but it is impossible when you have to lie down with a rattlesnake.” Nearby about 200 people gathered in support of Palestine outside the Embassy of Israel. SPEAKING OUT: Dougal McNeill addresses the crowd outside the Israeli Embassy as a family recently returned from Palestine look on. Groups represented at the protest included Wellington Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), Fightback, Students for Justice in Palestine and International Socialist Organisation NZ. Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement were there in support, with a MANA flag on display. “Rallies like this are not a charity case,” says Dougal McNeill of Wellington BDS. “We do not consider them victims but stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine.” “Even before the murders [of three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian] there were issues because Israel refuses to recognise Palestine land.” “We are calling for Israel to stop firing their missiles, to acknowledge Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Palestine and allow the many Palestine refugees to return to their homeland.” Mr McNeill said Hamas was democratically elected by Gaza. “There are no excuses,” says Kat Goodman, from Wellington BDS. “The New Zealand government needs to take a stand and put pressure on Israel with sanctions, both economic and political.” “We want the New Zealand superannuation fund to stop investing in G4S [a multi-national security company] which profits from human rights abuses in Israel,” says Ms Goodman. Students and children were at both rallies. Mr McNeill says the children are often personally affected by the events. “The kids have a very good grasp of the issue.” “Many of them come from families who have been dispossessed from their homes as a result [of the conflict]. This is familiar to them.” SPLIT OPINION: Picket signs and cameras at the ready at both rallies.   STUDENT SUPPORT: From left – Hijra Fathimath from the Maldives, Masako Kawaguchi from Japan, Hadeel Salman of Iraqi-Egyptian descent and Thoraya Abdul-Rassol from Iraq.            

      • Readers have thousands of titles to choose from at Karori Book Fair
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • AN overwhelming donation of books was received for this year’s Karori Book Fair. Organisers say thousands of books await those attending the annual fair, which is jointly run by Karori’s Rotary and Lions clubs. Books range from recently published novels to more classic titles, and everything in between. Some of the unique books on sale include an antique Children’s Illustrated Encyclopaedia of General Knowledge from 1961, and the Black Star 60 years of Photojournalism. Although the organisers recognise the introduction of digital books has led to a drop in sales, Beth Anders, right, secretary of Karori Lions Club, believes books will be around for a while yet. “Being able to hold and smell books is really important,” she says. David Watt, from the Karori Rotary Club, says the fair is great way to get the community together, and people are always pleased to see the work the clubs do. “We’re the catalysts for the good going somewhere else,” he says. Proceeds from the fair will be split between Talklink, an organisation helping those with talking, writing and learning disabilities, and English language schools for new migrants. Children’s books are always in demand, so any leftover will be given to those in need in the community, the Pacific Islands, and international aid organisations. The fair starts Friday July 18 from 12pm-9pm, and concludes on Saturday July 19 from 9am-3pm, at St John’s Hall, Karori.

      • Secret to success of Brooklyn’s school holiday programme
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • From right: Jessica Davis, Luke Davis, Adam Hendry, Siobhan Costello, Adam Muir, Freya Cuthbert, Megan Muir, Riley Gifford. IMAGE: Liam Cavanagh By LIAM CAVANAGH BROOKLYN’S school holiday programme has filled up quickly and parents are crediting its success to childcare manager, Adam Hendry. The programme at the Brooklyn Community Centre attracts children from as far as the Hutt Valley and Island Bay. Activities on offer include baking, games, a model and collector’s day, as well as outings to the movies, sports days, laser force and cardboard world, where kids build anything from forts to apartments out of cardboard. The programme’s popularity means Mr Hendry is still fielding phone calls during the holidays from parents trying to get their kids in. “We had lots of people ringing me trying to get in, but we’re only accredited for up to 60 kids as part of our funding,” he says. Penny Gifford, mother of two, has been bringing her kids since last year and says the programme is affordable and well run. “I know that numbers have really grown from years past. That’s to do with Adam. He is really well liked by parents and children in the community,” she says. Penny Gifford says it is important in her community for parents to have a sense of security leaving their kids in the hands of someone else. Sharelle Peck has been bringing her kids to the centre for the last five years and agrees Adam has been instrumental to the centre’s success. She says he is a celebrity as far as she’s concerned. While Mr Hendry has been at the centre he has been able to get funding increased to allow more kids to take part in the programmes. “We got the limit increased from 50 to 60 kids which has been hugely beneficial to the community,” he says. Funding comes from OSCAR, the governments out of school care and recreation programme which funds school holiday programmes and after and before school care. In the almost three years Mr Hendry has been with the centre, he has not had to put prices up. “We just keep finding clever ways to keep the kids really happy in an affordable way,” he says. The centre also offers an after school programme. The centre has strong support from the council and community, and Mr Hendry is thinking of creating a second programme for the 10-14 year olds. For further information about the programme visit Brooklyn Community Centre’s web page.

      • International flavour as capital enjoys football final
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • LOVE FOOTBALL: (From left) Gigi McLeary, Julia Rothmann and Nyarie Muza celebrate their love of football watching the World Cup final at JJ Murphy’s yesterday. IMAGE: Steven Read A THAI, a Zimbabwean and a German walk into a bar – no it’s not a joke, it’s typical of the power of the game of football to stop the world this morning. The three young friends watching the big game this morning at JJ Murphy’s Hotel in Cuba St, Wellington, prove football really is the world game Gigi McLeary, 16, was born in Thailand but was proudly wearing Argentina’s shirt and cap and was devastated by the loss. Nyarie Muza, 18, is from Zimbabwe, but fell in love with Germany when she lived there and supports their team. She joined 16 year old Julia Victoria Rothmann, an exchange student from Frankfurt, by accessorising with red, black and yellow flowers. Victoria was thrilled by the victory, but was wishing she was at home to celebrate with friends and family. The three friends met at a Thai boxing gym in Wellington and had front row seats for the big screen this morning to watch the game. The bar was not overly crowded and even the predominantly German fans were restrained, with the early hour seeming to curtail the celebrations. Gigi cried when the game was over, but was comforted by her friends and after many selfies were taken they were enjoying a leisurely breakfast while most fans drifted off to work.

      • Wellingtonians and visitors get excited for FIFA World Cup final
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Created with flickr slideshow.     WELLINGTON’S bars were busy this morning as football fans gathered all over the city to watch the World Cup final. After a long and tense match where both teams struggled to score, German fans were finally rewarded for their patience as the winning goal was scored in extra time. With just minutes to spare, Mario Gotze scored the first and only goal of the match, winning the Cup for Germany for the first time in 24 years. At Wellington bar Five Stags, one Germany supporter was confident from the beginning that his team would win. “Germany are going to be too strong. Their defence will shut down Messi.” However German Ambassador Anne-Marie Schleich, who was watching at The Grand, wasn’t so sure and said she believed the match could go either way. The Grand hosted both German and Argentinian embassy staff and an air of friendly rivalry defined the atmosphere throughout the game. The Courtney Place sports bar was overrun with excited fans decked out in team colours. Spanish curse words flew through the air and fans held their heads in their hands as Argentina missed several opportunities to score but the excitement of the fans never wavered throughout the match. Although Argentina supporters were more vocal in their spectatorship, the elation of Germany supporters was unrivaled as they rose as one to celebrate, at last, a goal. Brazil’s Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone was quick to shake his German counter- part’s hand in congratulations (and, most likely, relief). For the fans gathered at Cuba St’s Argentinian bar and restaurant, El Matador, the day started off well. The young crowd, dressed casually rather than in team colours, enjoyed coffee and pastries while watching the game on the venue’s one television. The relaxed atmosphere became tense, though, as Argentina came close to scoring several times only to have the ball go out of play. At half time one supporter described the game as being on a knife’s edge, and many began to pin their hopes on star player Lionel Messi to bring their team victory. This faith was held to the end. “Don’t speak yet. Messi’s still out there,” said one Argentina fan as the CBD bar Bruhaus erupted in cheers around him after Germany’s goal. El Matador café owner Mike Marsland says Argentinian supporters could teach Kiwis a thing or two. “They make All Black supporters look like a bunch of wimps.” He says the passion of Argentinian football fans is incomparable. “We put up the event up on out Facebook page and then the phone started ringing non- stop, I decided not to take reservations.” The bar’s 150 person capacity was stretched to its limit with fans crammed inside. Marsland was supporting neither side, and was just content with a good game of football. “Football is the winner on the day.”   IT’S A GOAL: German fans go wild at The Grand. IMAGE: Finn Rainger     Meanwhile in the suburbs… Lize Immelman spends the FIFA World Cup Final in a house full of Germans: The Kreft-Dümlein’s warm home in Mirimar is a far cry from the rowdy crowds gathering in Wellington’s bars for the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, this morning. Wibke Kreft and Georg Dümlein hosted friends and family for a breakfast of what they hope would be champions. Guests included brother Steffen Kreft and his Wellingtonian partner, William Connor, who had to leave Greytown early to arrive on time for the 7am kick off. It was a good thing striker, Gonzalo Higuain, was off-side when he put the ball into the net – it would have been too much for the happy bunch to see the Argentinian team lead 30 minutes into the game. Grandmother Margot Kreft-Kötter, who is visiting from Germany, is delighted to have her family together. She is in New Zealand to visit her five-week-old grandson, Moritz, and she is the football expert in the room. At 07:49 defender Benedikt Howedes’ header smacks off the post and Ms Kreft-Kötter is gutted. A brief respite from the massive projector screen sees everyone enjoy warm croissants and creamy flapjacks at half-time. Fellow Germans Daniel Zettl and Brenzen Fuerst apologises that “the special German sausages weren’t ordered in time”. Words like “boring” and “slow” are bandied about as the second half gets underway. Everyone agrees though that both teams were giving their all in an evenly matched game. And finally as the game moves into extra time, there’s absolute joy and relief as midfielder Mario Götze scores the winning goal. But everyone agrees that it was always Germany who would be taking the cup home today. FINAL WHISTLE: Germans win (from left) Wibke Kreft, Margot Kreft-Kötter, Steffen Kreft, William Connor, Daniel Zettl, Mila Zettl, Leonie Zettl, Brenzen Fuerst (rear) Georg Dümlein. IMAGE: Lize Immelman. The NewsWire team included: Sam Worthington, YC Lee, Sue Teodoro, Fran Jago, Hayley Gastmeier, Jonty Dine, Matthew Lau, Nicole Adamson, Amanda Herrera, Amanda Carrington, Finn Rainger, Eddy Kerr-Hislopo, Sarah Wilson, Liam Cavanagh, Lize Immelman, Tess Nichol, Josh Price, Ashleigh Manning, Steven Read.

      • Passionate Argentinians brought to tears in their Messi shirts
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • FEELING BLUE: An Argentinian fan in his Messi shirt mourns the loss. GROWN MEN were reduced to tears and supportive girlfriends gave words of condolences as Argentinian fans in Wellington mourned their World Cup loss this morning. Tourist Ignacio Rossi said his fellow Argentinians would be feeling a huge sadness today. “We really thought it was ours, now we will have to wait another four years. Maybe then,” he said amid the crowd at The Grand in Courtenay Place. The bar hosted both German and Argentinian supporters, with the latter outnumbering the more civilised German crowd. The emotionally charged Argentinians used a variety of famous football chants and air-horns. But even Argentinians such as visitor Mauricio Torress admitted Germany were just the better team on the day. “We’re upset, but Germany played better. Next time.” Messi football shirts were the most popular clothing, while others draped the blue and yellow flag over their shoulders. Romina Bocache, Deputy Head of Mission at the Argentinian Embassy, said Messi lacked his normal spark of genius, but still played well. She said that Argentinians in New Zealand and back home would be disappointed. “I liked the game, I congratulate the Germans. I am disappointed, and I’m sure people back home will be too, but we’re proud.” At the end of the game sweatshirts zipped up for the Wellington cold also served to hide the albiceleste (the white and sky blue in Spanish) colours, as supporters hung their heads and quietly exited the bar.        

      • German ambassador celebrates World Cup win
        • 14 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • GERMAN WIN: Brazilian Ambassador H E Eduardo Gradilone, Deputy Argentinian Head of Mission, Romina Bocache (centre) and German Ambassador Anne-Marie Schleich at The Grand, Courtenay Place, Wellington. IMAGE: Francesca Jago By SUE TEODORO and JONTY DINE AN “elated” German Ambassador Dr Anne-Marie Schleich celebrated with fans at The Grand in Wellington this morning. The Courtenay Place bar erupted when Germany scored the winning goal against Argentina. Early in the first half, Dr Schleich said that she expected the game to be “very, very exciting” and that with two world class teams “anything can happen”. The ambassador attended the live screening of the final this morning with the Argentinian Deputy Head of Mission, Ms Romina Bocache. The good natured crowd of German and Argentinian fans cheered their sides on in a game which looked like it might be decided by penalites, until Germany scored the decisive goal in the 117th minute. The ambassador’s feelings were echoed by other German fans. Strings Attached Puppet Theatre owner, Norbert Hausberg, a German who has been living in Wellington for over 30 years, said after the game: “Well, it’s an absolutely fantastic, fantastic game and it’s great that Germany became the World Champion. I’m so proud. “ “That was a very good goal, very well played.” “I think that both teams were excellent, but Germany just had a tiny edge.” He said the Grand’s atmosphere was fantastic. “People were dancing on the tables.” Across the city at the Bruhaus, in Willeston St, the German victory prompted some homesickness. The Bruhaus on Lambton Quay was a hot spot for a mix of businessmen and fans, with numbers forcing the crowd outside. Among them was Nadine (24) a die hard German supporter who spoke of her desire to be in her homeland to celebrate the victory. “Germany will be going bonkers right now,” she said. As the euphoria of a world cup victory sank in so did the feeling of homesickness. “The place will be going crazy. There will be convoys, people in the streets, just so much happening I wish I was there,” she said. It has been a long wait for Germany – Nadine pointed out she was only two years old the last time they lifted the cup. “It’s been far too long but it was definitely worth the wait. “I am so happy, I don’t really have much words.”  

      • FIFA World Cup as it happened – LIVE BLOG
        • 13 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • TENSE SUPPORTS: A group of German supporters who managed to get a table at the packed and rowdy GRAND in Courtenay Place this morning for the FIFA World Cup final. This is a live blog – please refresh your page for the latest. FULL TIME – GERMANY 1 ARGENTINA 0 10:39am:  After game reaction: Proud to be German 10:33am: After game reaction: A devastated Argentinian fan. 10:21am:  It was mostly quiet on the second floor of The Grand as Germany was confirmed as the 2014 Football World Cup champions. The Argentina crowd, once the loudest and most boisterous were quiet, reserved and a few were even reduced to tears as the final whistle blew. Aqil Mosawi says although he is disappointed to see his team come second best, he isn’t shocked by the result. “They’re both great teams who deserved to be there and it was a good game,” he says. Staff at The Grand say there was a definite change in atmosphere from start to finish although everyone is still cheering and celebrating a great match. They say there is now a number of fans coming to the bar for a well needed coffee hit after a morning of excitement. 10:07am: Man of the match: Bastien Schweinsteiger.  The midfield general bossed the middle of the park, he showed grit and determination despite his knock-downs.  Even a cut to the face didn’t keep him down, no man deserves the trophy more than he does. Golden Boot: James Rodriguez.  The Colombian playmaker has been the break-out player of this World Cup campaign.  Remember the name… Golden Glove: Manuel Neuer.  No doubts about this one, Neuer has been ever-present for the undefeated Germans.  His role as a sweeper-keeper has been vital. Golden Ball: Lionel Messi.The four-time Ballon d’Or winner led Argentina to the final of the tournament.  Awarding “player of the tournament” to Messi is debatable for many. 9:52am:  9:50am:  TV1 commentators say Germany has spent $1.4 billion over the past two years to develop this team because local players were not coming through to its top Bundeslegia competition. They say the English are looking at the same system because of the dwindling local numbers in the English Premier League. 9:44am: The HERO: Mario Götze will go down in German football folklore.  Chest, volley, goal!  The little man will go to bed visualising that moment every night for the rest of his life.  9:42am: At The Grand the German ambassador says she is absolutely elated by her team’s win. The German fans are in celebration mode although now that time has finally been called people are already rushing back to work. The Argentinian fans are noble in defeat, refusing to let their spirits sink too low. 9:38am: Germany are the world champions of football! The first ever European team to win the Holy Grail on South American soil.  24 years of pain are over, this could be the beginning of a German dynasty.  Football is the true winner, we have been treated to a magnificent World Cup tournament.  FULL TIME – GERMANY 1 ARGENTINA 0 9:36am: 120+3 mins: A horrendous free-kick by Messi, that was his moment.  9:34am:  120+2 mins: Schweinsteiger takes down Messi.  It’s now or it’s never!  Messi lines up the free-kick…  9:33am: 120 mins: Final sub for Germany.  Giant centre-back Mertesacker is on for attacking-midfielder Ozil.  That surely has to be it, 2 minutes added on. 9:33am: 120 mins: Last chance now for Argentina.  It doesn’t look likely for them, they’ve only had one shot on target in two hours of play. 9:32am: Absolute jubilation from German supporters at The Grand. The fans rise as one to cheer and wave their flags as a goal is finally scored. The Brazilian ambassador Eduardo Gradilone has already shaken his German counterpart’s hand in congratulations. Argentinian fans try to keep their spirits up, increasing the volume of their chants. An Argentina supporter at the Bruhaus also remains hopeful as the bar erupts in cheers around him, “Don’t speak yet. Messi’s still out there.” The predominantly German crowd at J J Murphy’s is ecstatic. 9:30am: 117 mins: Palacio leaps high with a towering header gone just over the bar.  9:28am: Mario Götze chests down a cross from Schürrle in the box unmarked, he volleys the ball past the helpless goalkeeper on his left-foot.  He struck it so sweet with finesse and power.  The Germans have gone wild in Rio!  Surely that’s it now, Germany just have to shut up shop for 5 minutes. Can the magician Messi step up? 9:25am: 112 mins: Schweinsteiger back on with stitches.  No doubt he’ll be a key penalty candidate.  9:25am:  111 mins: No repeat of the 7-1 in the Germany semi-final. The managers will be penning down their designated penalty-takers.  9:24am:  109 mins: Schweinstiger fouled again, this time is struck in the face by Aguero during an aerial battle.  The German midfield has been forced to leave the field due to blood flow from the wound.  9:24am:  The Bruhaus crowd cringes as Schweinsteigers injury is replayed. 9:21am: The chatter has died down at Bruhaus as fans try to will their teams to victory in extra time and avoid a penalty shoot out. 9:19am:  9:17am: HT/ET (Half Time/Extra Time): The physio’s role is important now.  Ensuring players don’t get cramp can be vital for these final 15 minutes of open play.  9:16am:  105 mins: Half-time of extra-time is nearing.  You can cut the tension in the stadium with a knife.  9:13am: 9:11am:  Over at The Grand there seems to be less of an appetite for a penalty shoot. The crowd is anxiously waiting for a goal with Argentinian fans quietly hopeful that the match will be theirs. Crowds around the city react passionately to Argentina’s near miss at a goal, German fans at JJ Murphy’s cheer with relief as it misses the net. 9:10am: 100 mins: Hummels can barely run.  A possible target for the Argentinian attack?  9:07am:  97mins: Palacio had a chance on a plate, chested it and chipped Neuer, but it went agonisingly wide.  9:06am:  96 mins: Without doubt, Germany have enjoyed more possession and more shots so far.  However, it is the scoreline that matters in the end.  9:05am: The mood at CBD bars The Green Man and Bruhaus is getting tense and the crowds are getting louder as the game goes into over time. Most are anticipating a penalty shoot out and German fans feel confident that this would see them come out on top. 9:04am:  93 mins: Germany have come out with sense of urgency.  Perhaps they don’t fancy penalties?  9:03am:  91 mins: Romero saves a blistering shot from Schürrle. 9:00am:  Extra-time it is! Full-time analysis – This game definitely deserved goals, a great 0-0 for neutrals.  Tensions are running high, legs are sore, mindsets will tire in the heat of Rio.  Both sides cautious not to concede rather than go in for the kill.  The 2010 World Cup Final was won in the 116th minute by Spain’s Andrés Iniesta.  It’s not over yet, people!  8:54am:  90+3 mins: More end-to-end stuff is broken up – once again – by solid defending.  Last chance now before the referee blows for the end of the ninety. 8:52am:  90+1 mins: Götze shoots from distance but his shot was weak.  8:51am: At JJ Murphy & Co, German and Argentinian fans alike show their appreciation for Miroslav Klose, cheering as he leaves the pitch.  8:50am: 88 mins: Hats off to World Cup legend Miroslav Klose.  He closes his record goal tally at 16 goals.  Off he comes to a standing ovation, he is replaced by playmaker Mario Götze.  8:49am:  86 mins: Argentina use up all their subs.  Fernando Gago on for Enzo Pérez.  A more defensive-minded midfielder, are Argentina holding out for penalties?  8:47am:  8:44am:  85 mins: Five minutes to go (plus stoppage time).  A goal now will surely kill off the game.  Edgy stuff, extra time is on definitely on the cards…  8:43am:  81 mins: Kroos with a lackluster shot from just outside the area.  He didn’t connect with that one cleanly, he’ll be disappointed.  8:42am:  80 mins: Soft penalty shout for Germany, Müller wasn’t exactly mullered, but was knocked over by Mascherano in the box.  No penalty.  8:41am:  77 mins: Argentina make a sub, a striker for a striker.  Rodrigo Palacio on for Gonzalo Higuain, the man who thought he had scored.  8:36am:  Buddies @astro_reid and @astro_alex watching #WorldCup finals from space! pic.twitter.com/65ojxicyBl — 9GAG Troll Football (@9trollfootball) July 13, 2014 8:37am:  Staff at The Grand are thrilled to have the German and Argentine embassies at their bar to watch the final this morning.  Andy Edwards, bar staff member, says having the ambassadors there adds to the atmosphere. “But for me, it means I have to wake up super early,” he says. 8:34am: 75 mins: Messi orchestrates an long-range shot for himself, the Germans were back in numbers and did enough to put him off.  8:32am:  The mood at the Green Man Pub and Bruhaus is tense, although who is supporting who is unclear. The crowd is silent and mainly in business attire as they watch the match. 8:31am: El Matador owner Mike Marsland is impressed with the passion of Argentinian fans, “they make All Black supporters look like wimps,” he says.  He believes the Argentinians have been denied a goal, saying that at the last World Cup it would have been allowed. 8:31am:  70 mins: Nice teamwork from Germany, good one-touch passes, but a poor cross from Höwedes on his weaker foot.  If only Germany had a natural left-back. 8:28am: 64 mins: This game is getting feisty.  A yellow card for Mascherano for a terrible tackle, and a yellow for Aguero for another offence.  8:25am: 62 mins: Half-time substitute Aguero hustles Hummels to win a corner.  8:24am: BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at the Maracana: “The two coaches are an interesting study in body language. Germany’s Joachim Low is an upright figure, shirtsleeves rolled up and looking relatively calm. Argentina’s Alejandro Sabella is pacing his technical area, animated and often stooping with his hands on his knees, almost as if he is tempted to get on and join his players. Sabella never looks relaxed.” – via the BBC   8:23am:  59 mins: Klose rises for a header but is unable to direct it with any conviction.  8:22am: Live Radio Update:  8:21am:  57 mins: Neuer rushes out to punch to ball away from Higuian, completely taking out the striker in the process.  The Argentinians are furious, ref says not a foul.  8:20am:  54 mins: Schürrle tripped outside the box, referee played advantage and deemed the subsequent cleared German cross as sufficient advantage to Schürrle‘s dismay.  8:20am:  51 mins: The Brazilians in the crowd are clearly supporting the Germans.  Argentina winning the World Cup in Brazil will only add salt to the wound after a poor outing in the semi-finals and 3rd place playoff. 8:18am: STARTING YOUNG: Wibke Kreft with five weeks old Moritz Dümlein in a German shirt. Note the German colours on Wibke’s nails. 8:12am:  The German Ambassador, Dr. Anne-Marie Schleich, says that the match could go either way. Despite Germany’s trouncing of Brazil last week, she believes anything could happen between now and full time. Argentinian fans at El Matador agree, describing the match as being on a knife edge. The crowd is anxious and tense with many pinning their hopes on Lionel Messi to lead Argentina to victory.  8:10am:    Awkward moment when you think you’ve scored but it’s offside https://t.co/3RhbRRTW0J — World Cup Vines (@VinesWorldCup) July 13, 2014 8:10am: There has only ever been one entirely goalless World Cup Final, that was Brazil vs Italy in USA ’94. 8:09am: 47 mins: Messi misplaces his shot just wide of the post.  You’d expect the four-time Ballon d’Or winner to hit the target from there. 8:08am:  Reporters at The Grand say confidence seems to be dwindling coming into the second half. Rocio Alvarez, a traveller from Mendoza, Argentina, says “We’re doing okay, I just hope we can hold on. But I’m not so sure.” 8:07am: Separate territories are being formed at The Grand in Wellington as football fans band together for the second half of the World Cup Final. Argentinian fans draped in flags and face paint are staking their territory on the second floor while the Germans remain composed on the first floor, eating their breakfast and making little noise. Any attempt at blending from the Germans is shot down by Argentinian fans who are determined to maintain an exclusive party of blue and white. 8:06am: There is an atmosphere of friendly rivalry at The Grand as the score remains nil all at half time.  German and Argentinian fans sit side by side although there are clear cultural divides in their spectatorship styles. German fans remain reserved until the ball gets near the goal while the Argentinian crowd dominates the atmosphere with singing and chanting. 8:03am: From the BBC: © BBC – Andre Schurrle has 3 sub goals for Germany at World Cup 2014 (via BBC SPORT) Half time: Half-time reflection: End-to-end action, supporters have not been short-changed here at the Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, only thing missing in this game are goals.  Both sides have turned up very well organised, it hasn’t been a boring 0-0 by any means!  It will take a moment of brilliance to open the scoring…  HALF TIME:  Here’s some pics from Brazil! 7:50am:  At The Grand - Confidence seems to be taking a beating as it nears half time. Argentinians rejoice at the Germans missed goal opportunity. 7: 49am:  45+2 mins: A glorious opportunity for Germany to take the lead right before half-time.  A corner meets the head of Höwedes, who’s powerful header smacks off the post into the offside Müller.  7:47am: GO GERMANY: It was all Germany in the Miramar home of the Kreft family, from left, grandmother Margot Kreft-Kötter, Wibke Kreft, Georg Dümlein, baby Moritz Dümlein, Steffen Kreft, Konrad Kreft (3), and lone Kiwi William Connor. 7:47am:  45 mins: Two minutes of additional time added.  Neither side have a natural left-back, clearly both teams are attacking each other down that weak side.  7:46am: 44 mins: Müller whips in a cross from German right side, target-man Klose couldn’t quite get there. 7:45am: Carla Ramos, a traveler from Argentina, says “we have to win, there’s no other way. Football is in our blood” German fans are remaining composed and staring intensely at the screen throughout the ordeal while Argentinians remain boisterous and rowdy. 7:43am:  43 mins: Weak shot from Kroos.  Romero cuddles the ball with ease.  7:42am: 40 mins: German supporters are on edge, nervy stuff as Argentina are really getting into the game.  Another mazy run by Messi required some desperate defending by the Germans.  7:42am:  37 mins: Schürrle puts his stamp on the game with a bullet-shot saved by Romero.  The flag was up for offside, it wouldn’t have counted.  7:41am:  The crowd at El Matador is getting into the swing of things as Argentina comes close to scoring once again. Disappointment follows cheering as the ball comes close but goes out of play. 7:40am:  Cuba Street’s El Matador is packed with more than 50 Argentinian fans enjoying coffee and pastries while they stare, transfixed, on the restaurant’s one small screen. The mostly young crowd is dressed casually with only a few in team colours. The mood is so far relaxed but lively. Meanwhile at The Grand the mood is tense, with much Spanish cussing coming from the Argentinian camp. Fans’ heads are in their hands as Argentina is denied not one but two goals. 7:39am: 36 mins:  Messi runs at the German defence, he had options either side of him but failed to find the needle in the haystack.  7:35am: 31 mins: A dream start for Kramer has been shattered.  Injury has forced the youngster to be subbed off.  Super-sub André Schürrle is on in place.  A holding-midfielder off for an attacking winger, an interesting move by manager Joachim Löw.  7:31am: Argentinian fans at The Grand, Wellington are jumping, clapping and even jumping on tables as Argentina comes close to scoring the first goal.  7:30am: 30 mins: DISALLOWED GOAL!  Gonzalo Higuain coolly slots in a cross from Lavezzi.  The crowd goes wild, but the assistant’s flag is raised.  Higuain was clearly offside. 7:29am:  28 mins: Klose streches for the ball from a cross, but is offside. 7:28am: 7 hours of playing time since Argentina have conceded a goal, an impeccably drilled defence.  What happens when the unstoppable force meets an immovable object? 7:24am: 21 mins: Higuain gifted a one-on-one opportunity after a poor back-pass from Kroos.  He scuppered the shot wide.  Best chance of the game by country mile!    7:23am: 17 mins: Unexpected starter Christoph Kramer, goes down after a collision with Garay.  After treatment, he is fine to continue.  7:21am:  The Golden Boot is up for grabs tonight. If Thomas Muller outscores Messi he’ll become the first two-time winner pic.twitter.com/LyvZrYsObL — ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 13, 2014 7:20am:  In case you missed the #WorldCupFinal closing ceremony. http://t.co/m5sgiZXu2f — José Covaco (@HoeZaay) July 13, 2014 7:18am: 15 mins: Germany enjoying most of the ball so far, Argentina looking to get chances against the run of play.  An open game, neither team holding out for penalties.  There will be goals, folks! 7:15am: 13 mins: Delightful cross placed in by Lahm, inviting Klose but he couldn’t quite make it. 7:12am:  9 mins: Lionel Messi shows what a danger he can be, bursting past Hummels but had his cross cleared.  7:11am: 4 mins: Higuain’s attempt on goal goes wide after Argentina’s counter-attack from the free-kick. 7:09am: 3 mins in: Rojo fouls Muller, free-kick 30 years from goal.  Schweinsteiger’s shot blocked by the wall. 7:05am: At the Grand, Argentinian fan Peter Khontyngkut says football is taking over traditional sports in places such as the US. “Football is getting more popular in the USA, the number of the public who watched it in the last few years has exceeded the number watching the world series in the USA”. 7:03am:  “After 63 games, which have featured 170 goals, 10 red cards, four penalty shootouts and one bite, Argentina meet Germany in the World Cup final at the Maracana.”  - ESPN 7:01am:  The doors have opened at Wellington’s Grand on Courtenay place and the World Cup party is underway. Both the German ambassador and Argentina’s deputy ambassador are leading their country’s support groups who have gathered to watch the final live. At this point, the Argentinian contingent is making its presence felt in true argentine style with about 70 supporters chanting loudly in Spanish, “ole ole ola, cada dia te amo mas”. 7:00am: KICK OFF 6:58am: Nominees for the Golden Ball (best player) are in! From Argentina we have Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Javier Mascherano. From Germany its Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Phillip Lahm, and Thomas Muller. 6:55am: Race for Golden Boot (top scorer): Müller needs just one goal to overtake Colombia’s Rodriguez Messi can take the prize with a hat-trick or two goals and at least one assist 6:52am: The Maracana stadium now: via Snapchat 6:49am: The teams are in! Welcome to the 2014 World Cup Final! We’re all in a buzz in the newsroom! We’ll bring you the action and excitement! We may be far from Rio, but we’ll bring you the action from Wellington, from its pubs to its streets. The 2014 line up (Captains in bold) - Germany has: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Klose, Muller, Lahm, Kroos, Boateng. Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Biglia, Perez, Higuain, Messi, Mascherano, Demichelis, Rojo, Lavezzi. 6.42am: The NewsWire team kicks off online coverage of the FIFA World Cup final, following mainstream and social media coverage of the even.

      • ‘Nurdle’ pollution hits beaches, wildlife
        • 10 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • TINY plastic balls are fouling Wellington beaches, and could be harming marine life and poisoning the food chain. Wellington Sea Shepherd volunteers say they are struggling to clean up the plastic mess, especially nurdles which they are finding in abundance on Evans Bay beach. Nurdles are plastic balls, typically 5mm in diameter, and are a raw material used in plastics manufacturing. Dr James Bell, a marine biology lecturer at Victoria University, says overseas studies into micro-plastic pollution show nurdles are a threat to marine life and can impact on their feeding processes. “They strongly resemble fish eggs, which are a food source for a variety of marine life and it’s concerning to think of the quantities which are being consumed,” Dr Bell said. Media reports last year said 210,000 tonnes were imported in New Zealand in 2012. Sam Judd from Sustainable Coastlines says consumption of the plastic balls comes with further risk. “They act like a sponge in the water, adsorbing contaminants from the environment around them,” says Mr Judd, whose charity organisation cleans beaches and raises coastal awareness. “One nurdle can be up to 1 million times more toxic than the water around it.” Alan Berman, a marine conservationist and program coordinator at the Island Bay Marine Education Centre is about to conduct research into the effects of micro plastic pollution locally. He says at least 80% of sea birds, along with marine mammals, fish, sea turtles and filter feeders are all potential consumers of micro plastics. “A lot of plastic is clear and resembles the food that these animals would naturally eat.” Mr Berman says a chain of effects can occur once the contaminated plastics are consumed. “Once made, plastic absorbs toxic chemicals that end up in the water and then deposits them in the tissues of the organisms that consume them. “This means they are taken up into the bodies of small organisms and fish, which are then consumed by larger organisms such as marine mammals and people. “The killer whales that live along the Pacific coast of Canada and the north-western US are now recognised as the most contaminated animals in the world.” Mr Berman wants to test for the presence and density of micro plastic debris and associated pollutants The project will be one of the first studies done in New Zealand into micro plastic pollution and Mr Berman hopes to raise awareness about the effects of over consumption of plastic products can have on the environment. He is seeking support from anyone willing to get involved in the project and also a sponsor to help fund the research. While the source of the nurdles is unknown, Sea Shepherd volunteer Michael Coleman thinks they are coming from plastic manufacturer’s locally and are being washed down drains Wellington into waterways which filter into the sea. “People are being careless and instead of picking them up when there’s a spill they are choosing the easier option.” Wellington City Councillor and environment committee member, Sarah Free wants the source investigated. “I was shocked when I realised how much plastic was ending up at Evans Bay. “It may be that the balls are coming from a factory somewhere. It’s definitely something we need to investigate and do more to solve.”

      • Lower Hutt residents and landlords are ignoring free insulation
        • 10 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • FREE HOUSING insulation is being ignored by many Lower Hutt residents and the council is frustrated about getting the message across. The Warm up New Zealand programme message for warmer, drier and healthier homes is being pushed by the Hutt City Council through cold calling and door knocking. However not enough people are getting the information, says council eco design advisor Sarah Firth. Residents who have taken up the offer are praising the results. Wainuiomata’s Corinne Cobb (RIGHT) says having her home insulated was great for both her and her son’s health. “There was constant mould in all the bedrooms, I have wooden floors in the living area and cold air and draughts were always felt through small holes and cracks”, she says. Miss Cobb also has a heat pump which would need to be on constantly and when she woke up in the morning her blankets would be damp. “My son was constantly sick with coughs and colds, but now the house stays warm and there aren’t any wet blankets.” Miss Cobb says the heat pump now warms the whole house, her son has been sick far less and there is minimum mould. “I’m very happy,” she says. Mrs Firth says it’s been hard to find out who needs help because some home owners don’t know if their house has been insulated at all. She says the council has taken many approaches to get homes insulated including door knocking and cold calling to see if the occupant is eligible for the free scheme. The scheme has been running since 2013 and will continue to run into 2016, but because it is government funded the money is finite. “We are trying to get as many people to take up the offer as possible because there’s a limited amount of funding,” Mrs Firth says. “We want as many homes done as we can before it’s not funded anymore.” Mrs Firth says she is a firm believer that insulation makes a difference, as she moved from an uninsulated house to one that had ceiling insulation and thought it was great. The money allocations differ from region to region based on the people who want to do the insulations and there is a pool of money that will be used up says Mrs Firth. “There is also a free eligibility test, the main barrier is getting people to know about it, and getting people to be happy with someone coming into their home,” she says. The Warm up New Zealand project which started last September has insulated 720 homes in the Hutt Valley region. Homes are eligible for the Warm up New Zealand scheme if: • The home was built before 2000, and • the home owner or main tenant has a Community Services Card, and • There are children under 17 years old, or people over 65 years old, or someone with high health needs living in the home, or • a landlord with eligible tenants    

      • ‘Highway robbery’ fuel tax more of same for frustrated motorists
        • 2 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ANGER and resignation has greeted this week’s petrol price rise in a Wellington street poll today. “Robbery” and “extortion” were used to describe the 3c-a-litre increase which took prices to just under $2.24 yesterday. However, many of the same people spoken to were resigned to the price rises forced by the government increasing petrol taxes by 3 cents a litre each year for the next three years. “Oh I think it stinks basically,” says Marie Gudsell (60+), of Karori. Homemaker Tom Cranney (58) of Newlands, right, described it as “highway robbery”. Retail manager Jason Corbett (36), left, said the taxes were “borderline extortion” and unjustifiable. “I drive my car regularly with my children in it, so will have to consider budgeting.” Retireee Simon De Jong (79) of Ngaio summed up the sentiments of many about government taxes. “What can you do, you can’t fight the government. I just take the bus now.” He also said he owns a more fuel efficient car due to petrol price rises. Jane Ferguson (40), right,of Carterton is resigned to it. “It’s never going to go down,” said the programme manager. Of the 63 spoken to by the NewsWire team of Whitireia Journalism students, 21 (33%) were angry, however 18 (29%) were resigned to the increasing taxes. Their resignation was reinforced by the fact that only seven (11%) of those spoken to had changed their behaviour, for example using public transport or using cars less. One of those who has changed is lecturer Deborah Faaiuaso (34) of Auckland. “I’ve had to sort of change jobs in regards to the cost of petrol.” The cost of transport was one of the deciding factors in taking up a role closer to home. Others such as Tawa student Phoebe Alex (16) have shifted to public transport. “Such a pain in the [butt]. I’ve started bussing as a result”. Other comments from some of those spoken to were: Nick Holder (23), left, retail assistant, Pipitea: “It’s so frustrating; it costs me an extra $10 to get home to Hawkes bay compared to when I first moved here.” Martin Salamanca (33) housekeeper, Lower Hutt: “I have to drive to work, but I don’t use my car on weekends anymore.” Heinz Beierer (68) self-employed, Gold Coast: “Its bloody expensive down here, it’s about 50 cent difference from Australia.” CJ White (30), call centre operator, Island Bay: “It doesn’t even enter in my radar to be honest”. Jordan Bradbrook (18), right, student, Kelburn: “Costs quite a lot but I guess we still put petrol in our cars just cause we need it” Kam Turner (31), sales manager, Tawa: “I have a company vehicle so I don’t notice it. If I didn’t have a company car we’d be really in a bit of trouble financially.” Amanda Van Gorp (42), account manager, Ngaio: “Expensive, but just life” Jana Armstrong (30), insurance consultant, Titahi Bay “It’s priced as if it’s a luxury, but it’s an everyday expense” Simon Woolf (54), left, city councillor, Karori: “Horrendous. I filled up my tank up the other day. It was $133 for a tank of petrol.” Jo Sweetman-King (41), administrator, Wainuiomata: “Too expensive. I spend more money out of my budget so I have less money in the hand” William Mawson (26), right, auditor, Thorndon: “Too high.” But it doesn’t really affect him as work reimburses him for petrol. Glenn McStay (46) accountant, Newlands. “Too expensive, oil companies are profiteering.” Andrew Reid (64) survey driver, Mount Cook. “Over charged compared to Australia. New Zealander’s love being ripped off.” Margaret Ellis(59) dispensing optician, Glenside. “Too high. Tax way too high.” Clare Weterings (18) left, student, Wellington CBD: “You don’t know how lucky you really are. If you go to Europe, it is much more expensive there, we really don’t realise how lucky we are.” Berys Walter (70) retired, Thordon: “It’s too much, the government gets most of the money. I disapprove on the price of petrol but we do need well maintained roads. Although in the smaller areas, roads are not well maintained.” Ian Stronach (59) right, unemployed, Upper Hutt: “It is what it is. Most don’t realise how much the government takes in tax.” Phil Donnelly (33) sales, Auckland: “I don’t really look; the company I work for gives us a company car.” Ann Mckain (50+) test analyst, Waikanae: “I’ve got a scooter and it costs me $7 to fill up every 3 weeks, so petrol doesn’t really bother me”. Anthony Price (60+) retired, Wairarapa: “I drive, I just don’t pay attention to the prices, there just going to keep rising”. Catherine McMullan (53), left, IT manager, Wellington: “It’s too expensive. We have a holiday home in Martinborough, and thinking of car pooling to go there instead. My husband used to drive to Masterton for work every month, but now goes every other month to cut down the cost of fuel.” Kirstin Davie (50) physiotherapist, Khandallah: “Doesn’t bother me but reasonably high. Out of my control.” Cathy Dench (55), right, receptionist, Tawa: “It’s just costing more and more to fill up the car. I have to be driven. My husband has to bring me into the city for work and then out to Petone for his work, it’s a lot of travelling.” Amy Muir (29) marketing, Wellington: “No, it won’t really affect me. I’ll just budget better.” John Joseph (52) salesman, Ngaio: said that the price was ‘terrible” and as he is a salesman, he travels a lot. Simon Edmonds (52), left, café owner, Island Bay: “The sooner we don’t have any petrol left the better really”. Helen Wilson (67) researcher, Mt Victoria: “Maybe it’s a good thing? It’ll stop people driving cars?” Tip Varna (17) student, Christchurch: “It’s awful for a lot of people, including myself. It’s not affordable. The price is too high.” He doesn’t use his car much and uses the bus instead. June Latham (68) Ticketek employee, Miramar: “Terrible. They keep going up all the time. I have got to use the car to come to work and go home, but there’s nothing you can do about it.” Natasha Mead (24) graphic designer, Auckland: “As a car owner, it’s frustrating but inevitable until we find a more sustainable solution.” Minki and Tao Nguyen (15), right, high school students, Tauranga: “Mom says it’s ridiculous” but it won’t stop her from driving the girls around town. Yohan Wards (21) student, Te Aro: “It’s too high for what I would like it to be.” However when asked if he thought it would change the way he travelled Johan said he didn’t think so, “because it’s essential to how we travel, the prices won’t change our consumption very much.” Anthony John (27) hospitality duty manager, Aro Valley: Anthony initially thought the New Zealand petrol price was comparable to his home country, India. When told it was $2.23 a litre he was very surprised. “Oh that’s high, that’s definitely high. I thought it was one dollar or something.” NewsWire team: Tessa Nichol, Ashleigh Manning, Lize Immelman, Francesca Jago, Susan Teodoro, Amanda Carrington, Jonty Dine, Hayley Gastmeier, Liam Cavanagh, Samantha Worthington, Josh Price.          

      • Warning new auction laws will lead to waste, but Trademe happy
        • 20 Jun 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • NEW laws to protect people bidding at auctions have come into force – but not all auction business agree with the changes. The laws will cover traditional auctions, and online auction sites like Trademe and Wheedle and the traditional businesses warn it will increase waste. Sellers now have to disclose their trading status to customers, making the buying of all goods and services subject to the same laws as those bought in a store. T he new laws will also cover sales made using text message, email, websites, smartphone applications, and social media. The changes to the way Kiwis are buying goods and services has changed drastically says Joanne Kearney Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. “The change reflects the very different world that we are living in now, previously we hadn’t factored in the amount of online selling that would go on.” Trademe has welcomed the changes, saying in a media statement this week that they are more than happy with the changes. Paul Ford, head of communications at Trademe, says they first started campaigning for reform eight years ago, and lodged a submission to the commerce commission in 2012. However, some believe that the laws should have only been applied to internet auction websites. “TradeMe has been instrumental to the changes according to Allan Fisher, co-owner of Central Markets in Lower Hutt. “As a traditional auction house we had our own laws and they always worked. It’s made things murkier,” he says. “There is a strong need for auctions. If there was no way of getting rid of things, the amount of chipped TV’s and other goods would be epic. We joke that if our business goes under, we would buy a waste disposal unit,” he says. In another change to the act, shill-bidding, where sellers bid on their own auctions to hike up prices, has also been made illegal. Paul Ford, head of communications at Trademe says shill-bidding has always been regarded as an illegal practice in Trademe’s eyes, and  he’s pleased there is clarity in what was once a grey area. Other changes to the law include changes to extended warranties which according to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs senior advisor,  Joanne Kearney is the most welcome change to the laws. The new law now includes a cooling-down period where consumers can change their mind on the purchased warranty. And if you flout the law it’s going to cost more. Fines have been increased from $60,000 to $200,000 for an individual and up from $200,000 to $600,000 for businesses. Information on the new laws can be found at http://www.comcom.govt.nz/fair-trading/fair-trading-act-fact-sheets

      • Push to Attract More Visitors From Different Places
        • 3 Jun 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • AT FIRST glance, India, Indonesia and Latin America seem unlikely choices to be swamped with advertising promoting New Zealand’s charms as a travel destination. But they are being targeted by Tourism New Zealand because of their growing economies as well as increasing cultural and sporting ties with this country. Hosting both the Cricket World Cup and U-20 Football World Cup next year will be free kicks to New Zealand in marketing terms. Tourism New Zealand has an additional $30m per year for the next four years to increase visitor numbers and says it has also chosen to target these regions primarily because of their expanding economies and growing middle classes. But despite TNZ’s optimism, there are also major obstacles to greatly increasing visitor numbers, with a lack of direct flights from Jakarta and only Chile’s LAN airline flying to New Zealand from South America. And it’s not clear whether advertising and marketing really have much effect on people in countries so far away. Mauricio Molina, (Left) 32, from Mar de Plata, Argentina, has been living in Wellington for six months and doubts that increased advertising will have a big effect on the number of his fellow Argentinians deciding to visit these shores. “There are two types of people in my country. Those who love to travel and want to go everywhere and those who are into their careers and not interested in leaving Argentina at all,” he says. He says he was persuaded to visit by a friend who had been here and had loved it. “I am more inclined to be influenced by word of mouth and social media,” he says. So how will success be measured at the end of three years of additional funding, marketing and strategy? Tourism NZ Communications Manager Deborah Gray says the three year marketing strategy sets targets for each of the three emerging markets. “They include targets for visitor arrivals as well as the number of people who consider New Zealand as their first or second preferred destination. “Achieving these goals will be a measure of our success,” she says.    

      • More female same-sex couples exercising their right to marry
        • 29 May 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • More female couples are choosing to tie the knot than male couples since the Marriage Equality bill was passed in April 2013. Female couples account for 58% of same-sex marriages with 488 couples recorded as being married or transferring from a civil union compared to only 351 male couples. The Marriage Amendment Act 2013 came into force on 19 August and specifies that two people can marry regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The first same-sex marriages were celebrated on the same day and since then over 800 couples have exercised their newfound freedom to marry whoever they chose. Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General at Births, Deaths and Marriages, says it is too early to draw any conclusions on the number of male or female couples getting married. Same-sex marriages account for 4.8% of marriages since the definition of marriage was changed.  The rate of same-sex marriages is increasing each month, although it is too soon to predict any trend. Amanda Hill, co-chair of Rainbow Labour, agrees, saying many of the couples who have married since the law change waited a long time for the legal right and recognition to do so. “While civil unions were available, many people waited until full marriage was an option for them and so I would suggest that the number of marriages, and the gender of the people who got married, might be different in the first year than in years to come,” she says. In regard to higher numbers of female same-sex marriages, Hill says she doesn’t know that there is any social or scientific basis to the difference. “One of the important things about marriage equality is that everybody should be treated the same and have the same options, so I guess the statistical difference just came down to the individual’s decision whether to marry or not. Whether they are women or men, we are really happy that they were able to do it,” she says.                     Figures sourced from Statistics NZ.    

      • Is Wellington the country’s clever capital?
        • 29 May 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • WELLINGTON could be the most intelligent region in the country, according to census figures recently released by Statistics New Zealand. The census data shows Wellington has the highest percentage of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher at 28.1% of the region’s population. This compares with Auckland region at 24.7% and Canterbury region having 18%. Percentage of people with Degrees: Matthew, a Wellington recruitment agency worker, says a reason for Wellington’s high percentage of degree holders is because of the number of political jobs available. “It’s a lot to do with the government sector being in Wellington,” he says. People who work in this sector need to be highly skilled, he adds. Chantelle, a worker at Capital Recruitment, agrees that government jobs could be a factor in the region’s higher than average degree count. She says this is because people who have a degree have greater earning power. “I’ve dealt with the invoices of people who work in the government sector and they earn lots,” she says. However, she adds that experience is also vital. “What I’ve found is people who have work experience have a better chance than people who have a degree,” she says. However, if you live in Wellington and don’t have a degree, there’s no need fret. Apple founder, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, never got a degree and both became billionaires.

      • Is it too soon to make a movie about flight MH370?
        • 27 May 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • WELLINGTONIANS aren’t likely to be queuing for tickets to any movie about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, MH370. The airliner, with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, disappeared without trace 10 weeks ago over the South China Sea. The disappearance remains a mystery and the multi-national search effort has now been abandoned. Indian film director Rupesh Paul is currently in Cannes, seeking funding for a movie about the flight which will be called Vanishing Act. He’s adamant he won’t be cashing in on the tragedy, saying “People do not want a documentary, they want a thriller.” The film is due for release in September. On the streets of Wellington however, there is no appetite for a movie about MH370 yet. 74% of the 40 people questioned thought it was too soon. Here’s a selection of what they said: “It’s inconsiderate to the families and to the people who don’t know what’s happening.” Bruce Johnston, 57, Kapiti [RIGHT]     “It’s a really good idea because it gives people information of what happened. It’s  a really unusual case. I’d watch it.” Amy Howard,21, Roseneath. [LEFT]       “It’s too soon. It’s not resolved. It’s too raw.” Charlotte, 38, Brooklyn [RIGHT]       “No I don’t think it’s too soon to make it, but the sooner you make it, the more sensitive you have to be about it.” Alex Heardman, 33, Te Aro [LEFT]         “They’ve not found the plane, so there’s no closure for the families. A bit insensitive.” Paul Bolton, 32, England. [RIGHT]     “It’s never too early to make a movie. They made one about 9/11.” Daley, 28, Kilbirnie. [LEFT]       Vox-pop created by Ruby, Lydia, Yuka, Amy, Krystal, Sera, Hannah, Sofie, Natasha, Kiave, Ashley, Tayla and Marie, Year 12 students on the Journalism STAR course.   

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