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      • Youth delegate happy to accept fossil award on behalf on NZ
        • 10 Dec 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Photo: Mattea Mrkusic. Zoe Lenzie-Smith accepting the ‘Fossil Of The Day’ award. NEW ZEALAND youth delegate Zoe Lenzie-Smith was all smiles accepting the embarrassing Fossil Of The Day award on behalf of New Zealand at the Paris climate change talks.  The award was presented to New Zealand after it was revealed the government handed out $80 million in subsidies to the oil, coal, and gas industries. Prime Minister John Key made a speech on Monday which condemned those kinds of tax breaks. Ms Lenzie Smith said she was embarrassed but pleased she could be part of an action which highlighted New Zealand’s “hypocritical stance” on the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. “I felt pretty disappointed in the New Zealand government which has so far not been honest about our awful climate action track record,” she said. “We are a small country but per capita our emissions are higher than a lot of countries in the OECD and in 10 years we will have a more carbonised economy than the USA.” The award was presented by the group Climateaction.org. Ms Lenzie Smith is part of the New Zealand Youth Delegation which was formed in June to campaign on climate issues at the international UN Forum for the climate change conference. She said the New Zealand Youth Delegation would like to see a real commitment to climate change action. “It’s simple; we want to be able to trust the government to protect New Zealand from the threat of climate change.” “Droughts in our agricultural areas, rising sea levels on our coastal cities and the threat to our snow tourism industry are all things the government need to be acting on.” World leaders have converged at the Paris talks this week in an effort to come to an agreement on climate change action. New Zealand says it will make a commitment to reducing carbon emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 carbon levels by 2030. Green Party Energy Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said in a press release yesterday New Zealand was being internationally recognised for all the wrong reasons. “National has increased subsides to fossil fuel industries sevenfold since it was elected in 2008, yet John Key has the gall to stand up on the world stage and talk about his commitment to reducing fossil fuel subsidies.” According to an APEC report New Zealand’s subsidies include tax breaks for oil rigs, oil exploration ships and other petroleum activities. Taxpayer money is also being given to the oil and gas industry for research and development. Mr Hughes said if National was serious about tackling climate change they would scrap subsidies for outdated fuels and support clean, local energy instead. “My colleagues in Paris are telling me that New Zealand’s international reputation is as one of the worst performers when it comes to real action on climate change – it’s embarrassing,” he said.

      • Student thinks NZ education more rounded due to pressure in China
        • 10 Dec 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Lexi Ding, 20, student at Victoria University Permanent and long-term arrivals in New Zealand have risen by 12% since 2014 and over 27,400 are students. Student visas show the most significant increase by almost 25%, according to figures from Statistics New Zealand. Almost 72% of those on student visas were from Asian countries. Over 10,800 were from India and 5300 from China in the year to October 2015. International student Lexi Ding arrived in New Zealand at 14 years old. Ding’s parents saw value in the country’s educational system and having their daughter grow up in a different culture. “My parents think that the education system in China is not fully developed yet and give too many pressures to the students. “They just want me to grow up happily and learn something from real life, not only learn the knowledge from books,” says Ding. After completing high-school in Hamilton, Ding also saw the benefits of studying in New Zealand and continued on to media studies at Victoria University. “I didn’t even think about going back to China or moving to other countries.” Ding says her parents stick by their decision sending her to New Zealand and have grown a curiosity about the country themselves. “They always want to travel to here because I post photos to share my life all the time. “New Zealand’s beautiful nature always amazes them.” Ding acknowledges communication as a big issue to many international students when arriving in another country and advises them to approach locals regardless. “Don’t just stick around with students who speak the same language like you do, be open-minded, make more friends and most importantly, think about why you come here and what you want to achieve” Statistics New Zealand’s monthly Travel and Migration report says the median age of migrants from India was 23, while from China it was 19. Philippines had the largest growth in student visa arrivals by almost 90%, 925 more students than last year. United Kingdom is the only nation out of Asia mentioned in the statistics with 573 arriving on a student visa. However the British had the most working visas issued (6100). The median age of migrants arriving from the UK was 26. Work visas were the most common visa type for migrant arrivals, which include working holidaymakers. All regions throughout New Zealand had a net gain of international migrants in the October 2015 year. Auckland had a net gain of 29,000 migrants, followed by Canterbury with 6800, ahead of Waikato, Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Otago. Over half of all migrants who stated an address on their arrival card were moving to the Auckland region. Ding also plans to move there after her Wellington studies. “After I graduate my plan is move up to Auckland to study one year of diploma. “As for a job, I hope I can successfully find a job in NZ in the media and art field,” says Ding. Student visa arrivals by country of last permanent residence

      • NZ’s tourism growth not necessarily heading to Hawke’s Bay
        • 10 Dec 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • A Hawkes Bay Vineyard bathed in their famously good weather (wikipedia.com) HUGE increases in tourists visiting New Zealand over the past few years have coincided with a change in the Hawkes Bay tourist population, but not necessarily an increase. While general and especially Chinese visitor numbers have been rising steadily nationally, Europeans, Australians and Americans were the most common foreign patrons to local businesses Gannet Beach Adventures and Clearview Estate winery. “We’ve seen a change in the demographics of it but we haven’t seen an increase,” said Colin Lindsay, the Manager of Gannet Beach Adventures. Mr Lindsay said that while European visitors had always found it a popular spot, Germans had a strong presence now, while more Dutch were choosing to visit a few years ago. As for why they come? “The weather, definitely.” World events could put off numbers in tourists. Mr Lindsay said they saw dips in numbers after large scale terrorist attacks. “With the September 11 bombings we saw a big drop off in people travelling that season.” He said the latest ISIS attacks were a “wait and see” scenario. Charles Gear, the General Manager at Clearview Estate winery said Australians, British, Europeans and Americans were their most frequent foreign visitors. They got a lot of patronage from cruise ships, but also from independent travellers and smaller groups. The winery worked with groups like Hawkes Bay Tourism and other local tour operators, but Mr Gear agreed the weather was a real drawcard for Hawkes Bay. “Sunshine, food and wine, it literally ticks all the boxes.” They saw a bit of a dip after the global financial crisis, but have noticed an increase in tourists since. Graph showing visitor numbers to New Zealand by source region, for the past six years. Figures are for the year to October. Continuing ongoing trends, the number of Chinese visitors is up 38.3% to 27,000 for October this year compared to October 2014 according to this month’s travel and migration report from Stats NZ. Visitors count as those who travel to New Zealand for a period of twelve months or less. Overall visitor travel to New Zealand was up 9% in the year to October, with 1.3 million Australians making up a third of the 3.06 million visiting our shores. The year to September marked a record 3.04 million visitors to New Zealand and October’s numbers have beaten this by 20,000. Most of the increase comes from people on holiday, but those visiting friends or relatives also made up 20% of the visiting numbers in October. The year to October also marked the first year since 1991 that for number of migrants from Australia to New Zealand has exceeded those moving the other way, with 25,000 crossing the ditch in this direction over the past year.

      • Beer launch for cheetah charity
        • 27 Nov 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Garage Project head brewer Pete Gillespie (left), Wellington Zoo CEO Karen Fifield and Trade Me spokesman Daniel Bridge at the Zoo Brew beer launch. GIRAFFES watched over a Wellington Zoo brewing beer operation to raise money for cheetahs in the wild. Zoo Brew was launched last week at Southern Cross Bar, where Garage Project head brewer Pete Gillespie shared the story of his brewing with the animals. “We originally did the brew up at the zoo,” Pete says. “We kind of took our little miniature brew kit and went up there for the day which was awesome. So we kind of made the beer with the giraffes watching.” Pete says once they had the idea the rest was straight forward. “It’s sort of African themed we tried to go with that, it’s got a very high proportion of sorghum which is not a grain we use very often. It’s kind of almost milky and quite delicious. We also used Rooibos which is a bush that grows in South Africa that you can make tea out of.” “It’s quite clean and crisp which might be dangerous because it’s 6.6 percent.” Zoo Brew was launched in collaboration with Trade Me to raise money for Wellington Zoo’s conservation effort. Pete was approached last October to create the beer. “When we came up with the project we wanted it to go towards something so we picked Cheetah Outreach that basically tries to make sure there are some cheetahs left in the wild because there really aren’t that many.” Cheetah numbers in the wild are at record lows of less than 10,000. Karen Fifield is CEO of Wellington Zoo says efforts like this are very important for conservation. “It is a first for a New Zealand zoo doing something like this. This money is very important. It enables us to be a good zoo and to do really great conservation.” There were several activates at the launch which included raffles and live music from Wellington band The Nudge. A work from Wellington artist Seraphine Pick fetched $250 at auction. All proceeds went towards the cheetahs. “We just want people to have a good time, enjoy the brew and think about the fact that they’re doing something good while they’re having a nice drink”, said Karen. “I think it’s a really innovative way to highlight the importance of conservation but in a really funky Wellington way”, she said.  

      • More Kiwis take flight in ‘Golden era of travel’
        • 27 Nov 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Image: stuff.co.nz THE Rugby World Cup is behind a record number of Kiwis travelling to the United Kingdom during October. Kiwis made 9200 departures to the UK in October 2015, double the 4580 that made the same trip last year. Statistics New Zealand says the spike in the number of people travelling to the UK coincided with the Rugby World Cup which ran between September 18 and October 31. Dana Duxfield, from Flight Centre, said the travel agency experienced a rise in customers booking tickets to the UK when compared to October last year. “We did experience a bit of a spike for Kiwis travelling to the UK in October.” Duxfield attributed an increase of about 50 percent to customers travelling to the World Cup. She also said Kiwis are travelling more in general, due to lower prices for airfares. Prices have been driven down because of more airlines flying in and out of New Zealand which has increased competition. “We are in a bit of a golden era for travel at the moment,” she said. The Statistics New Zealand International Travel and Migration report shows New Zealanders made more overseas trips in the year to October than in any previous year. New Zealand residents departed on a record 2.39 million trips in the 2015 October year, 131,800 more than the same time last year. The record number of departures is six percent more than 2.26 million overseas trips Kiwis made in the 2014 October year. Almost half of all overseas trips taken by Kiwis were to Australia. New Zealanders made 1.13 million trips across the Tasman in the year to October, an increase of 49,000 departures from the same time last year. The number of Kiwis travelling to other destinations during October also increased with 16,800 more trips to both Fiji and United States than the same time last year. A rise in the numbers of New Zealanders travelling to Asian countries in the year to October was also recorded. Kiwis made 7600 more trips to China and 6200 more to India was than in the year to October 2014. A record for visitor numbers for the year to October was also reached with 3.06 million. Visitors from Australia (1.31 million), China (335,400) and the United States (237,700) contributed 62 percent of arrivals in the October 2015 year. New Zealand also made a record net migrant gain of 6200 migrants in the October 2015 year. In October New Zealand had 10,920 permanent and long-term arrivals compared to 4710 departures. The report also shows the first net annual migration gain from Australia since November 1991. Statistics New Zealand says the net migration gain is due to fewer New Zealand citizens departing for Australia and the arrival of more New Zealand and non-New Zealand citizens.

      • WATCH: A stitch in time could help Porirua
        • 25 Nov 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • SHAREMART is a project aiming to challenge the Porirua community to see  clothing stores in a new light. The project is part of TEZA week in Porirua, a festival of activities held in vacant commercial spaces to promote art and community connectivity. NewsWire spoke to Vannessa Crowe about her project. Sharemart, TEZA Porirua, November 2015 from Brad Flahive on Vimeo.

      • Puppy walkers help guide dogs take first steps
        • 25 Nov 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • PUPPY walker Jo Brown’s ultimate goal is to see her puppy, Ned, help give a better quality of life to someone who is blind or has low vision. Jo Brown sits with Nasa, who like her puppy, Ned, is destined for guide dog training. After 18 months of love and attention, the Blind Foundation’s puppy walkers are almost ready to let their puppies go to become fully fledged guide dogs. In two months’ time the puppies will be sent to Auckland to begin guide dog training. “It will be very hard to say goodbye, but I know what he is going to do and I know I’m not just giving him up. I’m giving him back to do something pretty amazing,” Brown says. Puppy walkers receive their dogs when they are eight to 10 weeks old and introduce them to situations they will encounter in their future role. “As puppy walkers we do everyday living. Trains, planes all these sorts of things. Food courts, traffic, pretty much everyday stuff that a blind person would do,” Brown says. Brown says the puppies quickly learn they are there to do a job. “Once he’s got his jacket on he knows he’s working.” Though the puppies are with their walkers to train, Brown says they become part of the family. “When he gets home and takes his jacket off, he’s just a normal dog. He goes to the beach, he goes to dog parks, he plays, he’s just a family dog when he gets home.” Chris Orr, Access and Awareness Adviser for the Blind Foundation, who is blind and has experience with guide dogs says the puppy walking stage is extremely important. “If the guide dog has been well socialised, it makes the life of a blind person a hell of a lot easier,” he says. Once the puppies leave their walkers they spend six months harness training in Auckland where they are assessed for their temperament and ability. Only about 50 percent of puppies in the programme go on to become guide dogs. Dogs that do not complete the program are offered to other services such as the Ministry of Primary Industries, Aviation Security or can become mobility or assistance dogs. Anyone interested in becoming a puppy walker can register their interest by contacting the Guide Dog Puppy Development Programme.  

      • Countries in conflict to come together at WOMAD 2016
        • 20 Nov 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Crowd at WOMAD 2015. IMAGE: Clementine Smart MUSICIANS from countries in conflict will share the stage at WOMAD 2016. The three-day festival showcases international music, art and dance from March 18 to 20 next year includes artists from China, Greece, USA, Mali and Syria. WOMAD’s artistic director Emere Wano stressed the idea of 2016’s programme having artists from far flung regions and countries that are in conflict with one another. “WOMAD is a perfect platform for them to be able to be showcased for you and to the world and for their freedom of speech to be seen and heard,” Wano said. She said it is an opportunity to see performers from places New Zealand does not have a lot of exposure to, and “hear their stories through the music”. WOMAD was co-founded by English musician Peter Gabriel in 1980 and New Plymouth has been one of the international hosts since 2003. Gabriel’s chief operating officer, Mike Large, said New Plymouth’s WOMAD is unique because of its venue, the Bowl of Brooklands. He said the Bowl can transport people around the world” for the three days of WOMAD. “You turn up on the Friday and forget everything else until you leave on Sunday night,” Large said. International acts include Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa, John Grant from the USA, Tulegur from China and previous crowd favourite, Calexico from USA. New Zealand performers range from Julia Deans, Katchafire, Bic Runga, Tiny Ruins and Thomas Oliver. This will be the 12th WOMAD hosted at the Bowl of Brooklands and the event is secured until 2019.    

      • Whippy chases dream long way from Fiji, Porirua, family
        • 5 Oct 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • IMAGE: http://www.liuathletics.com/ BASKETBALL star Letava Whippy’s heart is split between Porirua and Fiji, but her head is at Long Island University in the US. The Fijian international has started her fifth and final year of studies at Long Island after spending her US summer break with her son and partner in Porirua. Whippy, 24, played four years of division one basketball at the New York, college and was named MVP in her senior year. She has represented her country since the age of 14 where she debut at the mini South Pacific games in Palau, winning gold. She returned to the games in Papua New Guinea in July this year where Fiji again won gold. “Playing for Fiji is the greatest experience I believe I’ll ever have in my sporting career. IMAGE: https://www.facebook.com/vcreativefj#!/vcreativefj/timeline “It’s difficult to put into words how much pride and emotion you feel when you get to represent every person and aspect of your country and culture on a national stage,” Whippy said. She grew up in Suva, Fiji where she was coached into the sport by her parents. “My parents were both national representatives for Fiji in the sport so my siblings and I had no choice but to be around it. “I grew up running around basketball gyms and outdoor courts with my cousins and it wasn’t long before I was totally in love with it all.” Her father Michael coached the Fiji women’s national basketball team before retiring in 2011. In 2006 Whippy moved to New Zealand to attend Church College in Hamilton. It was there where she made a name for herself. Whippy won three consecutive national championships from 2007-2009 and was named tournament MVP each year. During year 12 she was offered a full scholarship to play basketball at Long Island University. “I chose LIU over the other colleges because my elder sister, Mickaelar, attended LIU and still worked and lived there. “I thought the transition into the college setting would be easier if I was around family,” Whippy says. Her dreams of playing college ball almost ended when she became pregnant her final year of high school. After giving birth to her son in 2010, Whippy was determined to take up her basketball scholarship at LIU. “I think I had a big chip on my shoulder after having my son. I never imagined myself as being a mother that young, so I felt like I had something to prove to myself and my family. “I was now responsible for someone else’s future, and I thought completing my education was an important part of being able to provide him with a life that wasn’t limited or restricted in any way,” Whippy said. She is completing her Masters in Athletic Training this year and hopes to work at a high school or college where she can be involved in sports. Letava Whippy with her family. IMAGE: Supplied Whippy says living in a different country to her son has been the hardest part about studying abroad. “I remember the first time I had to leave him was the worst experience of my life. After spending a year and a half of being a stay-home-mum and spending all my time with him I struggled not having him around me. “I wish I could say it’s become easier to leave each year but it hasn’t.” Her son lives in Porirua with his father where she visits every summer break. “Living in Porirua is comforting to me because it reminds me of my home in a way and I know that my son loves it there. “I like that everything is close and the town center is relatively small and you’re not overwhelmed by large buildings and crowded streets like here in New York,” Whippy says. She hopes to continue playing basketball at the international level for as long as possible but is unsure if she will play on the professional stage after graduating. “My family and career in athletic training comes first but if the opportunity presents itself, my family and I will seriously consider it,” Whippy says. Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsOMEg4Tiuk

      • Neighbours question proposed suburban dog park in Lower Hutt
        • 3 Oct 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Local residents are questioning the placement of a proposed dog park in Woburn. Monty the golden retriever at Pohutukawa Reserve, site of the proposed dog park. The public reserve on Pohutukawa Street has been selected by the Hutt City Council as the possible site for a dog park in a year-long trial. Residents were made aware of the proposed plans in a flyer dated August 4. The council says the park would be a fenced area within the existing reserve with water made available for dogs, and seating for owners. Juliane Ludwig, who lives opposite the proposed site, says she supports the establishment of a fenced dog park but thinks it should be away from residential areas. She says residents in the immediate vicinity of a dog park would have to contend with noise, smell and dogs fouling in the area. President of the Massey Avenue Bowling Club, Paulette Carr, which is across the road from the proposed site, has concerns about the impact on car parking in the area. Carr says members of the bowls club already compete for parking with commuters at the nearby Woburn Railway Station. “The way car parking is now, we are virtually parked out. Once the dog park people arrive, we will [have to park] further away.” The proposed park is part of a review of the Hutt City Council’s Dog Control Bylaws which is carried out every 10 years. Geoff Stuart, Regulatory Services Manager for the Hutt City Council, says the need for a fenced dog park came through a focus group. He says smaller dogs are often less trainable and need a place where they can exercise off-leash. However, the park will also be open to larger dogs, and younger dogs which need training. “It’s just a matter of catering for different parts of the community,” Mr Stuart says. If the park is green-lit, it will run as a trial for up to a year. “If it’s not working we’ll re-evaluate in a year and see how it’s going.” Mr Stuart says the Pohutukawa Reserve was selected by the council for its central location and its non-status as a sports ground. He says the council does not expect parking to be an issue around the reserve. “We’re not expecting hundreds and hundreds of people to turn up. Probably 10 or 15 at any time.” Locals were given an opportunity to make submissions on the proposed park as part of the Dog Control Bylaws review. Submissions closed on September 7. Of the 85 submissions which addressed the fenced dog park, 63 agreed with the proposal and 22 were against it. Submitters will have a chance to voice their opinions to councillors about the bylaws at a hearing on October 8 and 22. Councillors will examine the information presented to them and consider submissions before they make a decision on establishing the trial dog park.  

      • Careers expo inspires students from colleges in Porirua
        • 30 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • INSPIRING conversations had Mana College’s hall buzzing with hundreds of local students and career advisors at a major careers expo ahead of the end of term three. The New Zealand Defence Force’s Isaac Hastings was typical of the recruiters at the event. “I love inspiring kids to do something with themselves and get out there and make the best. That’s more motivating than getting people to sign on the dotted line,” Mr Hastings says. Mana College teamed up with Foundation for Youth Development – Career Navigator, and The Learning Shop, to host the event for Porirua secondary school students. The expo included many pathways for students to choose from. Mana College head boy Anthony Collins, pictured, says the expo helped him and other students decide which path they want to take when they finish school. “Everyone seems so interactive and it looks like most of the students are enjoying it,” Mr Collins says. Mr Hastings says they are always a popular industry among students. “We have 105 different trades available across the three services so there’s generally something for everyone. “I guess our main focus now is helping others, so when u start driving those two combinations together you tend to get a lot of traction,” Mr Hastings said. The New Zealand Police Force was at the event and Senior Constable Simon Bygate, pictured, assured students that it is not only older people who join the police. “It’s the young ones who get interested earlier on and it really is achievable. You don’t have to be a super human. “We just want people especially young ones who are keen, have clean records and are enthusiastic about helping somebody,” Mr Bygate says. Event manager, Kathleen Frost is responsible for organising the expos with her team at The Learning Shop. She says the Learning Shop helps students develop skills and attributes that will enable them to have choice in their career pathway. “The whole idea of it was to inform the kids and introduce them to different industries along with what requirements they need to meet,” Mrs Frost said. Mana College student Iafeta Risati noticed one particular industry that stood out. “I saw that most of the students liked the Air Force, so I think they want to be a part of that,” Risati said. Career Navigator is a ready-for-work programme that’s designed to help secondary school students in need of direction and supports teens in their decision-making around future employment.

      • WATCH: Giant scrabble gets capital thinking about adult literacy
        • 28 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • A GIANT game of scrabble met commuters at the Wellington Railway Station to help raise awareness on International Literacy Day. Adult literacy affects over one million people in New Zealand and the event organiser, Literacy Aotearoa Wellington, has been helping Kiwis with it for 25 years. UNESCO started the day in 1966 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. The NewsWire team went along to document the event.

      • WATCH: Capital park friends honoured for stream work
        • 25 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THE honours just keep coming for Upstream: Friends of Central Park, which has been named as a runner-up in the Wellington Airport Regional Community awards. The award – the fourth this year for the group – was presented by Mayor Celia Wade-Brown during their last gathering. “Upstream very deservedly got a runner-up in the heritage and environment category,” says Ms Wade-Brown. “It’s great because a lot of the news you hear is pretty disheartening. It’s good to balance it up with all the good things people are doing.” The group meets once a month in Central Park to maintain Moturoa Stream Track. In addition to planting and weeding they take on building projects and organise community events. Member Lynne White says the group has used grants towards an art trail. “We had 12 different artists all build a piece under the theme of shelter. Something else we’re doing is pest control.” This is not the first time the group has receive recognition for its work. They have received three other awards in the past year including Community Volunteer Champion Award, Community Champion Award and Best Visual Arts Award for their inaugural Arts Trail. “This year we’ve been really lucky. It’s fantastic actually, it’s been really good at reinforcing that what we’re doing is actually worthwhile,” says Lynne. She would like to see a wider group of volunteers, particularly younger people. “It’s a fantastic way of getting people together and participating in the community.” For further information see the group’s website: http://upstream.org.nz/  

      • ‘No thinking about anything else when you fight’
        • 25 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ANGUS Lindsey enjoys the honesty of the fight. “Just being two guys fighting and kicking, staring at each other, I like the straight up action, there is nowhere to hide,” says the Muay Thai kick-boxer. Lindsey (below) chose to take up his choice of sport five years ago. “I was working part time at Countdown and was watching dvd’s on internet of fights UFC [mixed martial arts] freestyle fighting. I was overweight and wanted to tone up with fights to pass time.” When the Wellingtonian is not fighting or training he studies criminology and sociology at Victoria University. Lindsey, 23, has been training hard for the past six to eight weeks leading up to his most recent bout. He eats lots of salads and protein in the days leading up to the fight. He fought Matt Sutherland in Saturdays’ Capital Punishment,  an event organised by Muay Thai Wellington. Lindsey beat Sutherland unanimously and his trainer and organiser Mark Hampton said Lindsey is now ranked fourth in his weight group in New Zealand in full Thai rules. The young men are fighting each other, but there is great respect involved Lindsey says. “I love it, you walk in the ring and you’re scared, but you are prepared. “You can’t just take someone down if you get punched in the face. You have to figure out the problem and solve the problem.” Lindsey says the sport is important to him. “Main thing I really like is that I am placed in the moment. “There is no thinking about anything else. There is no thinking about bills, or what your girlfriend said the other day, just in the moment right now. “That is probably the best feeling,” he says. Muay Thai, referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”, makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight points of contact. In comparison, boxing uses two points (fists) and other combat sports use four points,  (hands and feet). Trainer Hampton says there are no nationals, just champions. “Only people in the top five can fight the champion in a one-off fight to see who is best.” Thai boxing draws a mix of people fighting and the audience of 800 on Saturday also included people from all walks of life. Many were supporting their preferred contestant. As one members of the crowd said: “Every fighter is well mannered gentleman”. There was a real sense of what he meant in the arena. Lindsey said the win felt amazing. He overcame injuries and the flu and he says he got through some personal struggles. “Just to get in there is a mission. Winning is just the icing on the cake.”      

      • Food trucks beat Kapiti bylaw system
        • 24 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • FOOD trucks from Kapiti attracted hundreds of diners to the first time Friday evening event on a piece of private land in Waikanae next to SH1. They are operating under a Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI) food and hygiene licence and thus bypassing a Kapiti Coast District Council bylaw. Under Kapiti bylaws, food trucks have to go through different and more laborious food safety licence procedures than in other parts of the region. The council says it is discussing the issue with MPI and the food truck operators. To date it has been easier for the food trucks to trade and obtain licences in Wellington or Poruria than on their home turf in Kapiti. Paul Barris from Paella Boys said they want to operate in Kapiti where they live. “The MPI licence is recognised anywhere in the country so I can now trade in Kapiti.” “I haven’t got a licence in Kapiti because  I wasn’t prepared to hook my trailer to a sewer and to running water, but I was able to achieve a much better licence through MPI than through the Kapiti Coast District Council. ” The MPI licence allows the food operator to set up on private land without the local council’s permission anywhere in New Zealand. Councillor Gavin Welsh said he welcomes a change in the bylaw in Kapiti. He challenges the modus operandi of the current staff and congratulates the food trucks for bypassing the council. “These guys have got themselves an MPI licence. This means they are outside of council’s jurisdiction” However the council are missing out twofold. They have been missing out on the business and ambience of local produce and are now missing out on the licence fees, Mr Welsh said. “Many of the food trucks originate from Kapiti, but they don’t trade in Kapiti, I see that as a problem. “We have KCDC setting a motto of being vibrant, diverse and thriving. “In my view, without doubt, there is a very arduous journey for food producers and restaurateurs to go through here.  More so in my belief than in other areas in the region,” Mr Welsh said He said there is work happening with the new food and safety bill coming out of the Ministry of Primary Industries, which is moving towards the idea that food producers manage their own risk. “I don’t want a situation where people are eating unsafe food.” Kevin Currie, group manager, regulatory services at Kapiti Coast District Council said the council welcomes food trucks, provided they comply with relevant rules, particularly regarding food safety. “We have met at management level with Mr Barris and other food truck operators to discuss issues they have raised. Those discussions are on-going, with another meeting scheduled for next week.” “In light of the points the operators have raised,  we have reviewed our food safety practices and I am satisfied we are acting fairly and responsibly on behalf of the public to ensure best practice  food safety protocols are adhered to.” He said the council was not approached about the Waikanae event and they are checking with MPI about the licences being used. “We understand the food cart operators may be operating under food safety plans, set up by the Ministry of Primary Industries. “We are liaising with the MPI to establish what approvals have been given and to clarify responsibilities within the new law.”  

      • Piwi Pene mad about men’s netball 31 years after first champs
        • 23 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Australian player tries to block a shot at goal. PIWI Pene’s vision is to one day have combined men and women’s netball national championships to lift the profile of the men’s competition. Last week Pene, Wellington men’s netball president coordinated the 31st men’s netball nationals at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua. “There are not a lot of opportunities for male players in the sport.” He says. Pene loves showing off men’s netball and has been doing it the past 31 years. He has a huge passion for the sport since 1979 and has been there since the first national championships in 1984. “I just love seeing the youth develop in the game.” Pene says taking the competition around the country is of major importance. “It shows where the youth in the sport can get to.” Mr Pene is glad  the sport is getting a bigger following with more regional teams and three international teams from Australia playing this year. The men’s netball nationals introduced the under 23 grade in 2013. The competition now has four grades A, B, under 23s and masters. North Harbour retained their title against Canterbury in the final winning 65-64 making them New Zealand Men’s national champions 2015. Justin Harvey a Canterbury player has played netball for three years. His province won the nationals 21 years in a row from 1993 with North Harbour winning last year. “it’s a great way to keep fit and have fun socially” he says. Harvey is not concerned about the profile of the sport. “Men dominate almost every sport so its good woman have a sport almost to themselves.” He says. “I think netball would be the second most popular sport in Christchurch for men after touch rugby” he says. The competition is held in Porirua most years and in Rotorua every 10 years because that is where the first nationals took place. Piwi Pene, Wellington Mens Netball President.      

      • Former refugees know how fleeing Syrians are feeling
        • 22 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • IBRAHIM OMER (30) is a Kiwi, a living wage campaigner and a political science student at Victoria University. In a past life he was a refugee, so Ibrahim understands the plight of those fleeing Syria. Ibrahim Omer He had similar experiences escaping his homeland Eritrea. “When a government is at war with its people, what option do the people have?” “We must help the people of Syria, it is the human thing to do,” he says. In 2004, aged 19, Ibrahim risked everything and crossed the border to neighbouring Sudan. His journey to New Zealand took a further four years and involved hardships most Kiwis will never face. Ibrahim organises a fortnightly gathering of young Eritrean men from around Wellington. They share stories and a meal. They talk about the issues facing them as migrants to New Zealand and discuss reports from home. Habtom Zeru Eritreans face enforced military service at age 18 for a period of 18-months. Conscripts work in government mines and labour camps, and the United Nations has received widespread reports of indefinite national service. The UN spoke with one man who escaped after 17 years and the agency has likened Eritrean conscription to modern day slavery. Eluding border guards with shoot-to-kill orders is a viable alternative for young Eritreans. Habtom Zeru (25) is a Wellington taxi driver. He says after 30 years of a war for independence with Ethiopia, Eritreans had become used to the culture of conflict and government control. “When you have to put survival first, democracy isn’t important,” Habtom says. He agrees with New Zealand increasing its refugee quota to help the people of Syria but recites the Sudanese proverb, the tap is turned on at the top. “You can make a bend in the hose and it will stop the flow, but the pressure remains until you turn off the tap.” Habtom says. Eritrea Map Images: Facebook, Wikipedia.

      • Red Peak, ISIL, TPP top topics for Prime Minister
        • 22 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Prime Minister John Key, who heads off to the United Nations General Assembly next week THE PRIME MINISTER is leaving the door open for the Red Peak flag design. He told journalists at his weekly press conference yesterday there is still an opportunity for the Red Peak design to be included in the flag referendum. The design has received public backing with 50,000 people signing a petition to have it included in the referendum. “If other political parties felt really strongly about change, like adding another flag or proposing to drop one of the other flags to stop the need for legislation, we are genuinely open to that,” he says. ISIL KEY CONCERN Journalists attending the regular Monday afternoon meeting with the Prime Minister also asked him what he sees as the biggest worry in the next 12 months. The Prime Minister told them it is the threat of ISIL. “If you look at the Syrian crisis, you can trace a fair bit to ISIL. You’ve got a very delicate situation in the Middle East and you can never be 100 percent sure how that’s all going to play out.” “ISIL is a global threat and requires an international response,” he says. However, he says he will not increase New Zealand’s involvement in the Middle East. OFF TO THE BIG APPLE Meanwhile, Mr Key will be heading to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week. This is his first visit to the United Nations since New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council. “The presence of so many world leaders will provide an opportunity to discuss with them New Zealand’s Security Council priorities as well as other issues including the TPP negotiations,” he says. The Prime Minister says he’s hoping to see American President Barack Obama at the cocktail party where he will grab the opportunity to bring up the TPP negotiations.

      • School Principal wants reduced traffic around the Basin Reserve
        • 22 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • St Mark’s Church School Principal Kent Favel ST MARK’S Church School principal wants a solution for reduced traffic around Wellington’s Basin Reserve. New Zealand Transport Agency’s flyover plan for the Basin Reserve has been officially scrapped and Wellington transport leaders say they plan to work with the community to help resolve traffic problems. St Mark’s Principal Kent Favel did not agree with the former flyover approach but is open to other solutions for traffic surrounding the school and reserve. He was concerned that the flyover construction would affect parents dropping their children off. The Basin Reserve also serves as a sports ground for students although the school has plans for an astro turf on school grounds. “We have no grounds. Our home ground is the Basin Reserve which we get to play our school fixtures in.” However, Mr Favel says reduced traffic flow is a health and safety benefit for the school, located beside the reserve, and believes there are many options available. He acknowledges the history of the Basin Reserve and its sentimental value. “I think the Basin Reserve is a very old, historic precinct. We should be trying to preserve and maintain in its current and existing form.” Regional Transport Committee chair Paul Swain says they are ready to hear ideas from the community to discuss traffic flow improvements. “Everyone agrees we need a solution at the Basin that allows people to get to their destination as quickly as possible. We will need the community’s help to find the way forward.” Mr Swain acknowledges the difficulties ahead of resolving transport around the Basin Reserve. “There’s no easy solution for what is a very complex situation at the Basin Reserve. “A permanent solution will take some time as we need to work with the community to get it right.” St Mark’s Church School is opposite the Basin Reserve.  

      • Kiwi accent for hire earns Ingrid Rugby World Cup gig
        • 22 Sep 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • INGRID Dyer from Kapiti has scored the role acting herself in a UK Tesco’s Rugby World Cup commercial which has had close to 500,000 views already. Dyer, 24, was one of hundreds of kiwis auditioning for the part that tells a short story of how to host an expat New Zealand rugby breakfast supporting the All Blacks. Dyer had just completed two years of full time acting and drama training in London and was on the agent’s books when the paid gig came up. “I absolutely love rugby and will be watching the world cup as I always do. This was all a bit for fun really,” she said. Dyer grew up in Wellington and Kapiti where she was involved in performing theatre and productions while completing a music degree at Victoria University. She applied and was accepted into AMTA drama school in London in 2013 which she has now completed. “This is my first commercial and it’s quite a buzz that so many people are seeing it,” Dyer said.

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