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      • Crowd funding gets serious, but there is still chance of potato salad
        • 31 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        •   PLEDGEME: Anne Guenther. IMAGE: Mike Metcalfe PLEDGEME has entered the world of business equity funding – and even raising $55,000 for a potato salad is a possibility. Almost 7000 people contributed $55,492 to a United States Kickstarter campaign to make potato salad earlier in August. PledgeMe’s Anne Guenther says the potential exists for a similar campaign in New Zealand, which only reinforces the idea behind crowd funding – the crowd deciding what to support. An equity crowd funding license, issued by the Financial Markets Authority this month (August), makes PledgeMe among the first in New Zealand to host campaigns offering financial rewards. Kiwi entrepreneurs will be able to raise capital up to $2 million a year by selling shares on the crowd funding platform. “Equity crowd funding means companies can now raise capital more easily, transparently, and interactively than making a public offering of shares or running a private seed round through friends,” says Guenther in an interview with Techday. However, Pattrick Smellie, from The Business Desk, is sceptical about equity crowd funding. He says start-up companies are not likely to be raising enough capital to really make a difference in their prospects, and managing a large number of small first-time investors will add extra work. The amount of disclosure required of companies seeking crowd-funding is very low compared to most investments. “That’s the idea, of course, and reflects the generally small sums they are seeking to raise and the small individual sums that are likely to be invested by individuals,” Mr Smellie says. He says investors need to recognise what they want to achieve by investing, and that there is risk involved. “If their aim is not to invest for a return but to support a business or cause that they like, then that won’t matter. “But if it’s in the hope of making a return, they would need to go into it with open eyes and an expectation of high risk that they won’t see their money again,” Mr Smellie says. PledgeMe does basic background checks on company directors to ensure they have not had shady dealings in the past. Investors will also need to register in acknowledgement that start-up investment is risky. Ms Guenther says it is not up to PledgeMe to determine if a project is good or bad. “We just check if it’s legal and the rest is up to the creator and their crowd,” Ms Guenther says. She says the other growth area for crowd funding is matched funding. This initiative pairs campaigns with organisations that will match the funding raised. Two campaigns have already successfully worked with matched funding this year – documentary filmmaking, and smart energy solutions in Wellington. There are no equity campaigns currently running. PledgeMe has raised nearly $2.7 million with 644 successful projects since its creation in 2011.

      • Builder puts heart on the pavement in search for true love
        • 29 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • OFFLINE DATER: Rob Cope says sometimes you have to go out on a limb to get what you want IMAGE: Tess Nichol SOME people wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Wellington builder Rob Cope has put his on the street. The latest of several hand-drawn signs propped up outside a construction site in Courtney Place reads like an ‘offline’ dating profile for the self-employed contractor. Mr Cope says he’s had mixed responses to the sign, including a couple of dates but hasn’t yet met the right person. “It’s just a creative way to meet people,” says Mr Cope, adding that both online dating and striking up a chat in the pub don’t appeal to him. He’s no stranger to creative ideas. In  2013 he hitchhiked around New Zealand with a 1.5 metre tall fridge to promote his book, Men Wanted For Hazardous Journey. The book tells the story of Mr Cope’s life and his struggles with the constraints set by rigid gender roles. In it he criticises the traditional model of masculinity in New Zealand, claiming the current way we teach boys to be men is unhealthy and needs to change. Mr Cope says he’s having a lot of fun with the sign, with hundreds of people taking photos and many popping their heads round the door to chat with him. He says that most of his interactions haven’t been romantic, but he’s just enjoying giving people a chuckle in their day. “I’m always open to meeting someone if someone awesome comes along,” he says although he does admit that he has very high standards when it comes to choosing a partner. While the majority of people’s reactions to his signs have been positive, Mr Cope says one person found the content offensive. When asked what he plans to do next, Mr Cope says he’s thinking about knocking together a wooden picnic table and giving speed-dating a go. He says he recognises some women might feel too shy to take him up on his offer and that it can be hard to go out on a limb when you’re looking for love. “It takes courage to do something like this, even though I’m having fun with it there is an element of vulnerability to it,” he says.

      • Fire danger stalks Newtown kitchens
        • 29 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Fig 1 – Causes of Serious Fires in Newtown 2014 BREAKFAST, lunch and dinner cooking fires help make Newtown Fire Station one of the busiest in the country. Call-out times show an increase in calls at meal times. Fig 2 – Time of Fires in Newtown 2014 Newtown Station recorded 581 incidents from more than 1200 calls in the 12 months to August, making it the 11th busiest fire station in the country. Well over half of the serious incidents were caused by carelessness, with more than 30 related to kitchen fires, says senior station officer Michael Dombroski. The New Zealand Fire Service has identified kitchen fires as a significant hazard. To address the risk, national and local programmes have been developed targeting improved fire safety, knowledge and behaviour when cooking. National programmes include Don’t Drink and Fry and Keep Looking While You’re Cooking. “By far the highest cause of any fires, by huge amounts, is unattended cooking” says Mr Dombroski. “People put their dinner on and go and have a shower. If the shower is long enough, the whole thing will get going.” “They go and watch TV, they just get distracted. People cook and leave the kitchen.” Dombroski says people can get severely burnt by trying to put out cooking fires. “You shouldn’t put water on a cooking fire, you should smother it in a wet tea towel or slide a lid over the top. “It will go out, because it will be starved of any oxygen, and then flick off all the switches so that there’s no heat. “You shouldn’t pick it up and try and run with it outside, that’s got a lot of people burnt. “Once the heat’s off it will make it easier for us to put out.” At least two of the properties were severely damaged by blazes. The French Door Factory in Mansfield Street was severely damaged by fire in June and a nearby house in Millward Street was almost destroyed in September 2013.

      • Bright new books for bright new minds in Porirua
        • 29 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • YEAR 4 students at Ngati Toa School will be able to broaden their vocabulary thanks to Wellington North Rotary Club. The pupils were presented with the illustrated dictionaries as part of a Rotary International initiative to improve children’s reading. Alan McMaster, project co-ordinator, says the dictionaries are a good learning tool for the children, and also for their families. “It’s a really worthy school, the kids are all lovely. So anything we can do to help has got to be good,” he says. Barbara Smith, acting principle of Ngati Toa School, says it Is wonderful that the children will have an educational resource that they can use at home and in school. “These dictionaries are visual, attractive, very easy to read and it will last them for years,” she says. The school has also received a $1000 donation from the Rotary club to put towards an activity they could not usually afford. Smith says the donation will allow the school to take the children on trips or give them experiences they would not otherwise be able to have.

      • Wellingtonians lit up by city’s latest art festival sensation
        • 27 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • WELLINGTON is “going insane” over this year’s Lux Festival. The free outdoor night lights festival has 32 installations on display across the Wellington waterfront area, double last year’s number. Artistic Director of the festival, Chris Bennewith says the feedback from the public has been overwhelming. “It’s becoming bigger and bigger each year as the city becomes more involved,” Says Mr Bennewith, who started the event two years ago with four installations. “People are going insane for it,” says Mr Bennewith. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are being flooded with imagery and commentary from the festival. He says the range of artworks has enabled people of all ages to appreciate the experience. “There is a mix of serious artworks and more accessible ones for kids,” he says. We wanted to include everyone in the festival he says. “Rather than shutting art away in galleries we wanted it to be something that was enjoyable for people of all ages.” Mr Bennewith says the interactive installations have been a big hit. “We found last year that the most successful and engaging works were the interactive ones, so we have tried to get a lot more into the festival this year,’ he says. He believes Lux has the potential to be something major for Wellington and hopes it can continue to grow. “We want to continue to expand throughout the city and have more artwork on display,” he says. He hopes the festival can become big enough to attract international attention, but says funding is a problem. The festival is funded by Wellington City Council and Massey University but Mr Bennewith says they need more to expand and they are currently seeking a big corporate sponsor. Mr Bennewith says the Lux festival’s success would not have been possible without the support they have received from the international and local artists and the sponsors. “We have managed to put on a million dollar festival for less than it would cost because of the support we have received,” he says. The Lux began on Friday (August 21) and runs till Sunday (August 31). Visit the festival’s website for more information http://lux.org.nz/       Created with flickr slideshow.  

      • Any questions for your politicians? Ask Away thanks to Meg Howie
        • 26 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ASK Away is giving voters the opportunity online to ask politicians the questions that really matter and so far it’s been a huge success. The site has hosted over 500 questions and 200 answers in the 17 days since it went live for the run-up to next month’s General Election. Massey University student Meg Howie (Above) has designed the site so individuals can ask politicians questions which have political relevance. Members of the different political parties have the opportunity to answer each question and viewers are able to compare their responses and vote for their favourite questions. Ask Away is aimed at young would-be voters who feel disengaged from politics and Ms Howie says it could help reverse the low voter turnout in this election. “It gives voters a chance to raise the issues that are important to them and provides an entry point into the political conversation on their own terms. “It also makes it much easier for the uninitiated to get a sense of where the parties stand,” she says. “I think that creating a space where youth can see that their voice is heard and valued has powerful potential for their political engagement,” she says. It enables them to focus directly on political ideas rather than having to filter through the dirtier side of politics, she says. “In contrast with the political spin that has been influencing mainstream media, Ask Away offers a more direct, transparent way of interacting with our representatives and that’s really exciting.” The parties have been responding positively and Ms Howie says the politicians also have something to gain from Ask Away. “We’ve had a great response from almost all the parties. National and the Green Party have been especially consistent in answering” “They definitely see it as a good way to connect with young voters, and a helpful way of prioritising the questions to respond to,” she says. Here are a few examples of questions which have had a range of responses across the political spectrum. “What will you do to change New Zealand’s climate change policies so that our gross emissions don’t continue to increase?” Which received 266 votes. “Is it time to stop measuring progress by GDP and start to think about national well-being instead? 141 votes. Both had responses from five or more politicians from different parties. The Ask Away project began last year as part of Ms Howie’s undergraduate in design at Massey University. She wanted to help eligible voters feel engaged and says she felt like there were better ways for them to access information. “We needed to be involved in a conversation, not just on the receiving end of long lectures about why we should care.” Although the current focus is the September election, Meg wants Ask Away to continue to provide a direct form of communication for voters and she says it could be effective at local body level as well. She hopes to inspire others to enhance her concept and make their own versions. “It’s an open source project, which means anyone, anywhere in the world, can download the code and run their own version, and can also contribute to the existing code,” she says. To ask a question visit https://nzelection.askaway.org.nz/

      • Fundraiser for her dog blows away Ailsa
        • 24 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • A LADY’S BEST FRIEND: Ailsa Lipscombe with her assistance dog at the City Market. IMAGE: Shirleen Oh MORE than $1400 of generosity has eased some of the pain that Ailsa Lipscombe lives with every day. The money was raised for assistance dog Connie, who Ailsa (right) needs because she is legally blind, as well as dealing with chronic pain. “I had no idea what to expect, I was aiming for $500 as it’s a nice round number,” Ailsa says. “We received over $1400, I was blown away. It totally surpassed my expectations.” Ailsa set up an awareness stand inside the foyer of New World Wellington City and at City Market, Saturday and Sunday respectively. ‘Please Ask To PET ME’ was the message on Connie’s harness, as she lay on a rug beside her owner. “She was in her harness so she knew she was working. We allowed people to pat the dogs this week, which we don’t normally allow under normal circumstances,” Ailsa says. The cost of getting the Labrador retriever is $20,000, a goal Ailsa is still working towards. “I’m currently on $8000, I have another $12,000 to fundraise,” she says. Ailsa, Connie and others around the country fundraised during Assistance Dogs International Week. She is studying for a Master’s in Music degree at Victoria University, so Ailsa had to do her fundraising over the weekend. It was also a good opportunity to raise the profile of Assistance Dogs New Zealand (ADNZ) as a charity. PLEASE ASK TO PAT ME: Connie was well-behaved during the fundraisers. IMAGE: Ailsa Lipscombe “It’s important to do more variety of campaigns to reach a more widespread appeal.” Since the fundraisers, Ailsa has been back at university and is brainstorming future fundraiser ideas. Ailsa’s Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an incurable nerve condition that leaves her in excruciating pain her ankle from a fall she had when she was 13. ADNZ released this week that the fundraiser week raised $26,000 nationwide. Anyone who wants to donate to Ailsa’s cause can do so at www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/ailsalipscombe

      • Tai Chi a gentle, and cheap, way to keep fit in Wellington
        • 24 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • PUSH THE MOUNTAIN: Tai Chi instructor Chris Mori leads the session. IMAGE: Matthew Lau EMBRACING the tiger and pushing the mountain happens every Friday in Mt Victoria – and it only costs $5. Enliven Tai Chi is aimed at improving balance and strength for older people, but it has been struggling to attract members. Enliven is a community service aimed at promoting older people to do more in their lives. The modified Tai Chi is a type of martial art that has many health benefits. Jodi-Barracloughs-Coates of Presbyterian Support Central, which runs Enliven, says the Tai Chi classes were originally subsidised by ACC eight years ago. Since ACC cancelled the contract four years ago Enliven has continued to provide classes to the public for a nominal fee of $5 per class, 10 sessions for $45 or 16 classes at $70. “Often people who come are a bit dubious the first time, and then after a few sessions they start really noticing the difference,” says Ms Barracloughs-Coates. “One of our participants in Island Bay, he says that it’s just fantastic, the doctors told him there’s nothing he can do for him that he can’t remedy through Tai Chi.” Instructor Chris Mori, 67, has a certificate in teaching Tai Chi for health to the community. “It has come from the Chinese martial art, where it’s been adapted to for health purposes.” The form of Tai Chi taught by Mr Mori (right) is designed for elderly people, especially those who have trouble moving and getting down in low positions. He says Tai Chi is mainly aimed at people over 65, but all ages are encouraged to participate. “There’s also the social aspect in it as well for people who possibly don’t get out much.  It’s a good way to make friends.” Mr Mori says they need at least 10 to 12 people each week to make it viable. “Maybe it’s not as popular as it could be.  In Wellington there’s so many other things you can get into, maybe some people just want a bit of exercise and a bigger social type of activity,” he says. He uses visualisation to help participants with their movements – “Embrace the tiger, push the mountain,” as he describes his actions. One member, who asked not to be named, says she partakes in Tai Chi for improved balanced and falls prevention. “I had hip replacement 18 months ago and I did a course of physiotherapy at the hospital afterwards.  I found it interesting how many of the exercises at the physiotherapy program were similar to the ones that we were doing here. “Obviously [Tai Chi is] good for muscle strengthening, balance and coordination,” she says. Another member says he does it because it is hassle-free to participate, and he gets gentle exercise while being able to socialise. Tai Chi classes are provided at Quaker Meeting House in Mount Victoria every Friday from 9.30am to 10.30am and participants can just turn up. MEDITATION IN MOTION: Tai Chi in action. IMAGE: Matthew Lau

      • Newtown push to prepare locals for the worst
        • 22 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • NEWTOWN has no emergency response plan and civil defence organisers want to help the community develop one. Having the ability to respond to a natural disaster will strengthen the community, says Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO). Jason Paul, emergency management advisor at WREMO, is organising a meeting with Newtown’s business and resource owners to start planning. “The goal is to empower the community to be able to respond quickly and look after themselves in the event of a disaster rather than waiting for the officials,” he says. The plan will look at how to use resources and skills already in the community. “It’s important to build relationships within the community so that people are familiar with each other and know what skills and resources are available,” says Mr Paul. “We want to bring the community together and create a plan of action,” he says. The emergency response plan will focus on dealing with the effects of an earthquake particularly within the first 72 hours, however Jason Paul says the planning will be effective in other emergencies. It could be useful across a number of different problems ranging from the most simple DIY jobs to large storms. “However realistically we are looking at events which will cut a community off,” he says. “The plan will identify how specific challenges from the emergency will be handled.” The Christchurch earthquake showed that connected communities are better equipped to effectively respond in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Mr Paul uses the Lyttelton community as an example. They came together, sharing resources and skills and were able to move forward. Claire Pettegrew, an emergency response volunteer, pitched the idea at a residents meeting in Newtown last month and says there was a lot of interest. She says the plan will be in the form of a living document which will receive ongoing updates. Martin Hanley, President of the Newtown Residents Association, says a community driven emergency response is a powerful idea and it can succeed in Newtown. “Newtown is already quite connected which will make it easier to bring people together,” Mr Hanley says. “Although it will rely on volunteer energy, it’s an important issue and I think people will want to get involved.” WREMO has consulted with a number of communities in the Wellington Region about emergency response planning including Tawa, Wadestown, Otaki, Waikanae, Plimmerton and Eastbourne. For more information contact Jason Paul, emergency management advisor at WREMO on 04 830 2132.

      • Book fair raises $100,000 and they are planning a 20th birthday
        • 22 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • BUSY CUSTOMERS: Members of the public look at the range of books. IMAGE: Matthew Mawkes ABOUT $100,000 has been raised in this year’s Downtown Community Ministry Book Fair in Wellington. Online sales could increase the amount, says fair coordinator Matthew Mawkes. About 5000 people attended over the weekend at TSB Bank Arena. Attendance and money figures were similar to last year, when $105,000 was raised. “Thank you so much to all the supporters, volunteers, shoppers and other friends of DCM who made it all happen again this year,” Mr Mawkes says. “Another very special team effort, which makes it possible for DCM to continue the important work we do with vulnerable and marginalised people in our city.” Mr Mawkes is looking forward to 2015, which is the 20th anniversary of the book fair. Politicians who helped out at the event included Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, Cr Mark Peck, Cr Iona Pannett, Cr Nicola Young, Jack Yan, Wellington Central Green Party candidate James Shaw, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and Wellington Central Labour Party MP Grant Roberston.  

      • Bowling club sale to benefit community but some locals unhappy
        • 20 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THE SALE of Vogelmorn Bowling Club could put a million dollars into a community trust – but some locals would rather have the building. The bowling club, put on the market two weeks ago, wound up earlier this year but residents are keen to keep it for the community. Club Committee Treasurer Paul Burgess says all proceeds would go into a foundation. The foundation would benefit the community and be used for scholarships or grants for sporting, art, or academic opportunities, he says. But Vogeltown resident David Bagnall says the sale of the club would be a missed opportunity because the community lacks facilities. The need for more space for social and educational activities in the community is great, says Mr Bagnall. “We think there’s a far better outcome for the community than simply selling the property.” The 1012 sq m property includes clubrooms and a separate two-bedroom cottage, both valued at $980,000 according to the Harcourts listing. The site does not include the green however, which is owned by the Wellington City Council. South Ward Councillor Paul Eagle says if the club is sold, the green could be used as additional space for the adjacent Vogelmorn Hall or for affordable housing options. But Mr Eagle would like to see the club retained as a community facility and is looking into options that include buying the property. “I think the key priority is to try and secure the purchase of it,” he says. But he says any sale of the club will not affect the Vogelmorn Hall. The hall was to be sold off in 2012 by the council but backed down after residents opposed the sale. “It’s not going anywhere,” Mr Eagle says. The bowls club committee has heard the residents’ concerns. “We let them hold an open day. They’ve had meetings down in Brooklyn Village, and they’ve had meetings in the community hall here,” says Mr Burgess. But he says the council will no longer lease the green to them because the council says it is underutilised. “Without a green, we don’t have a bowling club.” Mr Burgess also says ongoing costs like insurance, maintenance, rates, utilities, and earthquake repair costs have all contributed to the decision to sell. As well as a local resident, Mr Bagnall is involved in the Kaka Project, a community-led consultation group that looks at community facilities in the wider Brooklyn area. The group has met with both the city council and the bowling club committee about saving the club. There are various people in the artistic community interested in being tenants and using it for rehearsal and workspace, says Mr Bagnall. He says the club could be used for wedding receptions and other occasions, which can generate income, he says. “That’s what we’re suggesting, there could be an underlying tenancy agreement providing for flexible community use space.” Another local resident, Jo Randerson runs a drama company which uses the club for storage and rehearsing. “For us it’s been great because it’s created a space that otherwise wasn’t there,” she says. Mrs Randerson would like to see the space shared by a variety of groups in a way which brings people together in the community. Grants are great, but they would most likely just use the money to rent space, she says. The bowling club committee says membership started falling about 10 years ago. “All clubs are struggling because no one wants to belong. It’s not a case of bowls are dying, it’s a case of all clubs are dying,” says club committee member Paul Hooper. Everyone belonged to clubs and gave up their time and weekends for it but these days nobody wants to belong, he says. “Society has changed,” says Mr Burgess.

      • Political pledges to support a review of student benefits
        • 20 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        •   STUDENT poverty will be an election issue this year thanks to a campaign by student unions. Increasing housing costs and the struggle to meet basic living costs under the current benefit system are the reason for the campaign. The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) campaign is designed to inform and mobilise students in the lead up to the General Election on September 20. Daniel Haines, president of NZUSA, says there are a number of policies in the tertiary education area that students and their families should be mindful of when voting. “The current situation is unfair and students need to be able to access at least the same support which is offered to everyone else,” he says. The NZUSA has released information raising their concerns over the imposed $40 cap on the student accommodation benefit which was set in 2001 and which doesn’t take into account the variation in living costs across different cities. Tara-Dawn Harris, a student at Victoria University of Wellington, says removing the cap would take away a lot of stress while she’s studying, especially living in such an expensive city. “It would mean I wouldn’t have to work 30 hours a week and I could actually study and sleep,” she says. Ms Harris, who is originally from Wanganui, says back home she could get a whole three bedroom house for $180 a week, but in Wellington she pays the same for just one tiny, cold room. Max Zillwood, a student in Auckland, says he would benefit hugely from more money because the cost of living in the inner city of Auckland is high. “I just need to survive,” he says. The call for change has so far been met with a positive response from political parties, with all but National and ACT pledging to support an immediate review. Mr Haines says student associations will hold these parties to their promise. “It is incredibly unlikely that a Government can be formed without any of the Greens, Māori, Mana, United future, Labour or New Zealand First so as long as these political parties honour their promise, the legislation will be reviewed,” he says. Students wanting to get involved in the campaign can do so here. What the parties say: The following are statements from political parties sourced by NZUSA for its campaign: Tracey Martin, New Zealand First: “Absolutely we would want an immediate review of that cap. It is starting to look like 17th and 18th century Europe where the academics had to have the patronage of a king or noble man to study.” Holly Walker, Green Party: “This is a call that we support – we’d like to see all allowances available to students be reviewed and to increase the accommodation benefit to the same level as what’s available to those receiving other sorts of benefits.” Maryan Street, Labour Party: “A review of the student accommodation benefit would be included in Labour’s full review of student support… the accommodation benefit is one of those [aspects] which make the system unfair.” Te Ururoa Flavell, Māori Party Co-leader: “The Maori Party supports a review of the student accommodation supplement as one of many actions to address the high levels of student debt in Aotearoa.” Hone Harawera, Mana Party Leader: “Student’s don’t need a lot to get by but they do need an allowance that covers the real costs of being a student, including rent. Rents have skyrocketed over the past ten years but students still have a $40 cap on their accommodation grants. Students should not be forced to abandon their education because they can’t afford rent. MANA supports the call to lift the accommodation cap.” Peter Dunne, United Future Leader: “We need to ensure there is an appropriate level of fairness and equity. For those studying in our larger centres where rent is significantly higher the current arrangement is unfair. We will commit to a review of the accommodation supplement and the wider tertiary student support scheme”.

      • Airport security breach forces hundreds to be re-screened
        • 18 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • DOUBLE SCREENING: More than 500 passengers wait to go through security a second time. A SECURITY breach at Auckland Airport on Sunday morning meant more than 500 passengers were delayed and rescreened by security. The source of the breach was a passenger trying to re-enter a secure area through the arrivals door. The aviation security service duty sergeant attended immediately and located the passenger in less than three minutes. The walkway to the gate lounge was evacuated and fully searched, along with two aircrafts. Mike Richards from the Civil Aviation Authority says about 514 passengers were affected with flights delayed 15 to 30 mins. He says they are sympathetic to the passengers who were inconvenienced but the safety risk of the passenger potentially leaving a dangerous or prohibited item in a secure area was their priority. “We had to make sure there was no risk. There was absolutely no way we could compromise on aviation safety. “ There has only been one other similar reported incident in March this year. “Given the number of passengers that come through the domestic terminal at Auckland Airport each year this is comforting,” says Mr Richards. DELAYED: Passengers wait as flights are slightly delayed as a result of a security breach. Police were involved, speaking with the passenger and assisting aviation security with crowd control. It is understood the passenger left an item on the aircraft and was trying to collect it. The man was cautioned and allowed to make a connecting flight. Mr Richards says the situation was part of a debrief with the airport and Air New Zealand about measures they will implement to ensure a breach does not happen again.

      • Futsal fans can follow national team on YouTube next week
        • 5 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • FANS DELIGHT: Leo Bertos engages with young players. IMAGE: Lize Immelman New Zealand’s Futsal Whites are competing in an invitational tournament in New Caledonia next week and futsal fans will be able to stream matches from the OFCfootball Youtube Channel. The event follows the successful ASB Trans-Tasman Cup in the capital last month. Futsal fever is rising in New Zealand for the five-a-side game played in a smaller area than a football pitch, and which legends, including Pele and Lionel Messi, credit with their football development. LUCKY FANS: Front row seats to Leo Bertos in Futsal action. IMAGE: Lize Immelman There are more than 9000 college students involved in leagues and programmes across the country, says Futsal New Zealand development manager Dave Payne. Earlier this month fans flocked to the three-match Trans-Tasman Cup at ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie. New Zealand Futsal Whites, ranked 71 in the world, were beaten by the 23rd world ranked Autralian Futsalroos three nights in a row. During the day the stadium bustled with 55 teams from across the country competing in the fourth ASB Junior Festival and Youth Championships. Mr Payne says the two events were a success. BIGGEST FAN: Jagan Buckman and his grandfather Michael Chadwick warming up before the first game. IMAGE: Lize Immelman “Huge. We have had fantastic feedback by all involved and these events always bring the best out of the futsal community.” Nine-year-old Jagan Buckman attended all three international matches. “I’m here for Leo Bertos,” he says. As a life-long player and lover of football, his grandfather Michael Chadwick was happy to bring him. After the matches, fans took the rare opportunity to get up close and shake hands with former All Whites star Bertos, debuting at his first Futsal event. Ball-boys, Charlie Bayly (12), Harry Lack (12), Sam Lack (9) and Jesper Edwards (8), agreed.  They say it was inspirational and exciting to see the game played by the national teams but also to chat with the players afterward. RISING STARS: From left Jesper Edwards (8), Sam Lack (9), Harry Lack (12) and Charlie Bayly (12) are eager assistants. IMAGE: Lize Immelman “We love Futsal,” the boys said together. Charlie Bayly (12) says players have to be incredibly fit and focused to play the game. Newly converted fan, Matt Appleby came to the opening match with his wife and three children and was surprised to see how fast the game is played. “It’s fast, there’s always something going on, you go backwards and forwards watching it and really appreciate the skill set of both teams.” The Brazilian ambassador, Eduardo Gradilone, congratulated the prize winners of the Junior and Youth tournament.  He says he enjoyed the events and saw good quality Futsal played.

      • Principal’s first year a cultural experience
        • 5 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Juggling cultures such as Pakeha, Filipino and Samoan has allowed Mary-Angela Tombs to marry her first year as a principal with her post-graduate study. Mrs Tombs (right), principal of St Teresa’s School in Karori, has included cultural responsiveness in her education studies. “Our push has been to look for ways where we can give children confidence in their own cultural beliefs, values, customs, and rituals so we’re not having to put everybody into a box,” she says. She acknowledges the difference in cultures within the school – Europeans focus more on individual achievement, Filipino’s on bettering the family, and Samoan’s on bettering the community. The school challenges itself to think about the impact certain rules have on the cultural values of the students. “If we’re saying that the senior children can only play in the senior playground and not in the junior playground, how does that impact on their belief about supporting one another,” she says. She uses as an example of Samoan and Tongan students leading assembly as a group. The Year 7 students performed a Sasa and greeted peers in their own language. “We’re a really culturally exciting place to be,” says Mrs Tombs. In addition to cultural responsiveness, a newly developed leadership programme gives opportunities to Year 8 students to foster leadership qualities. Working with community role models gives the students the opportunity to experience leadership in Wellington and then put that into action at the school. Reflecting on the past year, Mrs Tombs says the school has always been a welcoming place with a high-quality learning programme. “I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a daily joy, and a daily challenge,” she says reflecting on her first year. Coming from a deputy principal job at a school in Blenheim, she says she was prepared for her step up into the role of principal, with the biggest challenges being only administrative duties. “The teaching and learning, and leading a team, ensuring that the children were being provided with a high-quality learning environment, I was familiar with that,” she says.  

      • Here’s to 25 years of speaking at Cook Strait Toastmasters
        • 5 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • IMAGE: SUPPLIED FIFTEEN original members of the Cook Strait Toastmasters club will attend its 25th anniversary celebration this week. One of those founding members, Mr George Wilkinson, is still with the club. He says the club has come a long way. “I was one of the founding members and I haven’t left yet,” he said. A celebration dinner will be held at the Spruce Goose restaurant in Lyall Bay on Friday. The evening will include short speeches and entertainment. The celebration has been organised by club members George Wilkinson and Sarah Glasgow. “If you have been involved with the club at some point or know someone who has been involved, we really do encourage them to come forward and celebrate with us,” Mr Wilkinson says. Current member and vice president public relations Owen Winter (above) says toastmasters much more than just public speaking, it is also about creating confident communicators. One of Mr Winter’s key roles for this year is to launch a new website for the club to create an online presence. Mr Winter says through learning the skills for public speaking, so many areas of life are improved, from talking on the phone, to being able to clearly deliver a message, as well as the path to being an effective leader, through the work club members do. “We are a friendly bunch and always welcome guests to join our meetings and learn all about what we do,” he says. Meetings are regularly attended by a diverse group of up to 20 members of all ages. The club meets every second Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the Anchorage building next to St Giles Church in Kilbirnie.

      • Pheonix optimistic about reaching A-League finals
        • 1 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • POSITIVE THINKING: Manager Ernie Merrick speaks with the press. IMAGE: Matthew Lau WELLINGTON Pheonix are on course to reach the finals of the A-League after a successful Football United tour, says Ernie Merrick Merrick’s confidence will be tested immediately in the inaugural FFA Cup pre-season knock-out tournament against Adelaide next week. “The players set the targets, and what they have set is they want to be in the finals. “Once we get into the finals, we’ll sit down, take stock, and set our goals from there onwards,” the Pheonix manager (right) said after training on Friday morning. “The Football United tour was just wonderful for the club, the fans and the players,” he said of the event hosting English clubs West Ham and Newcastle last week. “It was great preparation for the proper league, but the bottom line is they’ve got to really carry that on now and play with that level of confidence [and] that sort of inter-passing.” The Pheonix fly to Adelaide on Sunday for the inaugural 2014 FFA Cup kick-off on Tuesday. There are 32 Australasian clubs in the competition. “It’s all for nothing if we don’t play that style [and] that brand of football even better in the A-League, so the FFA Cup against Adelaide is very important to us,” he added. Merrick says he is waiting on the McGlinchey saga to finally come to a conclusion, and is happy with the strength in depth of his squad. Michael McGlinchey was off limits to the media after training, his playing future is still unresolved with the matter due to go to arbitration. McGlinchey has been locked in a contractual tug-of-war between the Pheonix and former club Central Coast Mariners. Key striker Jeremy Brockie believes he can lead the frontline of attack this season. “Obviously I’ve shown before that I can get into the 15 [goal] range.  You always probably need one striker to dominate the goal-scoring tally and I’m happy to take that pressure.” Brockie scored 16 goals in the 2012/13 season with the Pheonix, but only managed five last season in the same number of appearances. “I pride myself on scoring goals and that’s what I’ll be doing again this year,” says Brockie. The Football United tour concluded last week with Newcastle maintaining their winning record on tour by defeating The Nix 1-0, after a header from Man of the Match Yoan Gouffran. KEEPING SPIRITS UP: Sam Allardyce (left) and Winston Reid share a laugh after defeat. IMAGE: Matthew Lau West Ham ended a disappointing outing with a lacklustre 3-1 defeat to Sydney FC. All Whites and West Ham captain Winston Reid (left) was disenchanted with his team’s performances. “We came down here and we expected to do well, we didn’t do so well and now we’ll go back home and we’ll try and work on some things. “Thank you to New Zealand for having us down here, and I look forward to coming back,” says Reid. The Pheonix’s victory over West Ham in Auckland makes them the first New Zealand football club to defeat an English Premier League team. New Zealand-bound Newcastle United supporters – Liam Sweeney and John Alder – were acknowledged in front of nearly 31,000 football fans last Saturday at Westpac Stadium. They died with 298 others on the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over Ukraine. Included in the acknowledgement was the Kapa Haka performed by students of Seatoun’s Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna school (below) before kick-off in the centre of the pitch. A moment of silence was held prior to the matches in Auckland and Dunedin respectively. Newcastle players and staff wore t-shirts saying “In Memory Of John & Liam” when they entered the pitch. Tributes were also made at minutes 28 and 63 (the respective ages of Liam and John) with a minute of applause for each and were both honoured on the big screens in the stadium at the time of applause. KAPI HAKA: Seatoun’s Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna school. IMAGE: Peter McDonald

      • Cuba street rally wants factory farming phased out
        • 1 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • GRIM FACES: Animal lovers point the finger at NZ’s pork industry. IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier PEOPLE all over the country turned out on Saturday for a national day of action against factory farming. Animal rights group SAFE, held rallies in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. The aim was to inform voters of moves by Labour to phase out factory farming, and to gain public support for increased political pressure in the lead up to the election. Over 100 people gathered on Cuba St in Wellington where they were addressed by Labour MP Virginia Andersen. The Labour party is prepared to introduce legislation to end factory farming by 2017, and will stand by that commitment she told the crowd. SAFE has been working with the Labour party and the Green party providing information about the issues surrounding factory farming. Intensive farming methods have been put under scrutiny since Farmwatch, an animal advocacy group, released behind the scenes footage of a Canterbury pig farm on national television last month. Jasmine Gray from Farmwatch says the pork industry’s come out and said they’re going to put better security in to stop them from getting the evidence out to the public. “It shows you what their priority is. It’s keeping the public in the dark rather than actually improving conditions for animals,” she says. Meanwhile Virginia Andersen told rally-goers that at least one of the big parties is prepared to step forward and say no this is not good for New Zealand, this is cruel and it’s not right. “It’s really the uglier side of capitalism, when you see people putting money and greed ahead of morality,” she says. One of those attending the rally, Kassie Brosnahan from Roseneath, thinks it’s important that these things are taken to the government. “It’s important that the people stand up and show them what we want, and we don’t want our animals in cages.” ANIMAL AGENDA: Over 100 people gathered in Wellington to speak up for the animals. IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier  

      • Hutt Valley hosts huge weekend of Rugby
        • 1 Aug 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THE Hutt Old Boys Marist rugby club hosts the finals of  the Jubilee Cup, Hardham Cup and Under 21 Colts  Sunday in what is traditionally one of the biggest days in the Wellington rugby calender. It’s the first time they have made it to the Jubilee Cup finals since their win against Marist Saint Pats in 2007. Big crowds are expected at the Hutt Recreation Ground with Hutt supporters, who have two teams in the finals, expected  to fill most of the Park. Head Coach Matt Lee says there will be supporters from all over Wellington there.   Rachel Rasch

      • Falun Gong protest Chinese paper slur
        • 31 Jul 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • POLICE and advertising complaints have been laid in a dispute between a Wellington Chinese newspaper and Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong protesters outside a Newtown shop have prompted the owner Kevin Zeng to lay a police complaint against the group. The group want a public apology from Mr Zheng for an open letter published earlier this year which they claim printed incorrect and discriminating information. Falun Gong members made complaints to the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority, however the authority announced last week the complaint had not been upheld. The protesters say they will appeal the decision.  Followers of Falun Gong, a worldwide spiritual practice, have been protesting the letter for more than a month outside Rainbow Bridge, a convenience goods store in Newtown and also the listed address for Home Voice newspaper. Newtown community constable Brittany Allan says police have received a complaint from the owner of the store, but the protestors are within their rights and have been peaceful and compliant. Mr Zheng, who is also deputy chair of the Wellington Association for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China, published the letter addressed to the Chinese community of Wellington on April 4 on behalf of the association. Mr Zheng says the association is an independent organisation that advocates for the reunification of China and Taiwan and aims to promote change by influencing the Chinese community in Wellington. The letter accuses Falun Gong, and the closely related Shen Yun performing arts show of “deception” and “lies”. It was released four days prior to the Shen Yun performing arts show held in Wellington at the St James Theatre and urged the public not to attend. The letter states: “These so called shows are simply not theatrical performances, but political tools of Falun Gong cult to amass wealth and engage in cult activities and anti China propaganda. It not only taints and distorts Chinese culture but also deceives, fools and poisons the audience.” “The purpose of the show is not to display real traditional Chinese culture, but to smear Chinese image and damage China and New Zealand’s relationship.” The letter also accuses Falun Gong of cult activities and social disruption. Falun Gong practitioner and protestor Yan Jiang says Mr Zheng’s claims are false and he is using the name of freedom of speech to discriminate other’s freedom of belief. “The article defames both Falun Gong and Shen Yun,” she says. “It is the persecution of Falun Gong that has pushed practitioners to come out and stop the persecution.” A pamphlet handed out by the protesters describes Falun Gong as a peaceful practice of the mind, body and spirit where by practitioners cultivate themselves according to the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. They say Shen Yun Performing Arts is not politically motivated but is a world class arts show which aims to revive and celebrate 5000 years of traditional Chinese culture. “We local Falun Gong practitioners believe the open letter published in Home Voice is unjust, unfair and completely lacking in principle. “We therefore seek a public apology from the Home Voice publisher.” Kevin Zheng says he has been on the receiving end of verbal attacks and has been harassed by protestors. At this stage he says a public apology will not be made to Falun Gong because he has done nothing wrong and Home Voice newspaper is within its legal rights. Dr Michael Radich, a Victoria University lecturer in Art History, Classics and Religious Studies says, the issue echoes Falun Gong’s treatment in China. “The criticism was in the form of an open letter from a community organisation, and was not presented as journalistic coverage of the facts of the matter,” Dr Radich says. “It could therefore perhaps be argued that the newspaper was merely providing a space for the voicing of a legitimate private opinion, as part of open public debate.” However he says it is concerning that Falun Gong have been criticised in this manner, and the language of the letter echoes characterizations of Falun gong by the Chinese Government since the practice was declared illegal in 1999. Westerner and Falun Gong practitioner, Margo MacVicar says Home Voice is spreading Chinese Communist Party propaganda in an attempt to turn the public against Falun Gong. “It’s blatant slander and defamation and its happening worldwide,” she says. Protestor Winny Ling says in China Falun Gong practitioners are hated because of the propaganda spread by the Chinese Communist Party. She is protesting the letters criticism because she does not want that influence to spread in New Zealand. “Many people will have read the letter, we don’t want people to hate Falun Gong in New Zealand because of it,” Ms Ling says.    

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