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      • Kapiti meeting pines for the way journalism used to be
        • 26 Aug 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • JOURNALISM was better in the old days according to a panel of veteran Journalists who attended a public meeting in Paraparaumu. The aim of the meeting was to create awareness and debate about New Zealand journalism and where it is heading, said organiser and Labour Party electorate candidate for Otaki, Rob McCann. The panel included former TVNZ reporter Kevin Milne, head of local radio Beach FM Corran Crispe, former TVNZ and Radio NZ journalist Kevin Burke, Massey University journalist tutor Cathy Strong, communications manager of UNICEF Patrick Rose, Graeme Joyes of Coast Access Radio, Labour press secretary Chris Harrington, Mana MP and former journalist Kris Faafoi. Kevin Milne started the meeting, held earlier this month, by telling the audience of 200 the state of journalism today is confused. “TV is a mess, the golden days of TV are over,” Mr Milne said. Journalists wrote better investigative stories in the past when there were subeditors and when news was written to make the world a better place, he said. Kevin Bourke brought his old manual typewriter and explained he still buys printed newspapers and continues to write for printed news today. “Don’t blame the journos, blame the bean counters,” he said. “Its crap, taking someone’s plight and put it on the front page “. He drew a laugh from the audience when he said social Media was not new. “We had social media in 1963. It’s simply a bunch of journalists having a drink together.” The panel generally agreed journalists in the past wrote better investigative stories. They believed demise of balanced journalism was a result of instant news delivered unedited on smartphones. Criticism was also directed at corporate owners of larger media companies that only look at the bottom lines and how many views the digital sites receive. Where are the balanced stories in today’s news, most of them asked? Cathy Strong was more positive. She said technology itself was not the enemy. There are plenty of new young journalists in New Zealand. We need to look at who is using the technology and what the audience want. “I think Journalism is in a good state right now. I love all the platforms available.” She said owners of the various media need to make a profit which is where the demise and quality control sometimes gets lost. Corran Crispe and Graeme Joyes represented the only local media present. Mr Crispe said local news and community information was vital. Recent flooding and local emergency issues were prime examples of this. “We are here on air and provide information, news and support as it happens when networks based overseas or in Auckland won’t broadcast provincial incidents.” Corran said. Kris Faafoi said he was passionate about all things broadcasting. He and Kevin Milne advocated for a government-led alternative and leveler in the jungle of information. “Get rid of TVNZ and develop and progress Radio New Zealand with all the modern platforms available,” Mr Milne said. Each panel member spoke to the audience for about 10 minutes. Patrick Rose said the job of a journalist was to make the important interesting. He talked about the less fortunate, the hungry in the world and in New Zealand, and his lack of respect for current media owners where only profit matter. During the question and answer session, a young journalism student in the audience made the point that it would have been better if the panel also had a representation from a younger active journalist. The suggestion prompted the panel to looked at each other slightly uncomfortably. When asked after the event why young and active journalists were not included in the panel, Rob McCann said they would have been muzzled. “They wouldn’t have been allowed to speak honestly and freely here by their corporate employers”.    

      • Long list of flag designs fail to get people excited about change
        • 11 Aug 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Silver Fern (left) by Kylie Lockwood was the most popular choice with Black Jack (right) by Mike Davison coming in second. THE RELEASE of 40 possible Kiwi flag designs has failed to change public opinion. Of 114 people spoken to on the streets of Wellington yesterday, 63% (72) of them were against any change in the national flag. A “long list” of 40 designs chosen from more than 10,000 options submitted by the public was released this week by the Flag Consideration Panel. The Newswire team posed two questions for members of the public: Now you’ve seen the final 40, what do you think about changing the flag? Which design do you prefer? Just 20% (23) of people were for the change, 10% (12) were undecided and 5% (6) did not care. Respect for history and waste were common themes in the responses. “It is atrocious and disrespectful to our ancestors,” says Dunedin farmer Murry Oaten, left. Upper Hutt swimming teacher, Shelley Nightingale, right, (33), says the $26 million spent on the campaign could be better spent and any change would betray former soldiers. “I have my grandad’s soldier number tattooed on my wrist and I think that it’s very disrespectful to the World War Two veterans because they fought under the current flag.” Te Aro barista Nik O’Connell says there should be a purpose behind any change. “If we change the flag, we may as well become a republic.” Arguments for changing the flag ranged from breaking from British history to unifying the nation. “It’s a great idea. It’s good they want a new national symbol that unites everyone, I think the Unity Koru is the best,” says Paremata mother Alice Nash (50). Four-year-old Albert O’Reilly of Khandallah, right, interrupted an interview with his nanny to give his emphatic opinion: “No. Keep the flag the same. I like [that] it’s blue. Of the 40 options, the Silver Fern (black, white and blue) was preferred by the biggest number (16), and Black Jack was next with 12, during yesterday’s street poll. New Zealand will find out in the middle of next month the four which will join the current flag as part of a referendum in March next year. The four will be chosen from by the Flag Consideration Panel. Some of the responses from those questioned were: Chris Ross, left, locksmith, Lower Hutt: “No. Nothing there to vote for. I want to keep what we had”. Christine Haynes, house cleaner, Auckland: “No”, “What a waste of money.” Louis Whittaker (19), student, Paraparaumu: “No. I’m not for changing at all. I’m fine with what it is now. All the same, they look like corporate logos.” William Morris, right, (19), student, Paraparaumu: “No. I would vote for the old flag if (the poll) was nearby.” Alex Ross-Smith (21), butcher, Newtown: “No. It’s ridiculous. Put something Lord of the Rings related on the flag.” Lily Kim (21) receptionist, Te Aro: “I think it’s good. New Zealand is its own country and should have its own flag.” She also thought a new flag would show New Zealand’s independence from the UK. Peter Love, left, (22) hospitality, Te Aro “I’m for it. Sick of seeing the Union Jack, sick of people queuing up to see the royal baby, who cares. New Zealand has enough going for itself.” David Wallems (31) barista, Karori. “I hate being reminded that I’m part of a colony, and I’m for changing the flag. But what they end up going for can’t be pandering to interest groups. It would need to reflect modern New Zealand, and all of the people in it.” David most enjoyed Mike Archer’s Land of the Long White Cloud because “it shows the sea, the sky, and the people”. Carl Gordon, right, project coordinator, Johnsonville “ I don’t mind the original but I think we need a change to feel a source of independence.” Usha Paul (46) chef, India: It’s like a new beginning, representing the country in a modern fashion. It gives the people freedom to pick their own flag that they think represents them.” Liam Hockings, freelance journalist, Newtown: “Definitely a good idea, 68% of New Zealanders never go to Britain so why should we have another flag in the corner of us.” Elliot Gonzales (20) student, Aro Valley: “I think the reason for changing the flag doesn’t have too much rationale behind it. We’d be losing the connotations associated with the old flag, like people waving it at positive events in our history, such as the nuclear power protests.” Daphne Bone, left, (56) shop manager, Porirua: “I don’t really like it – it’s a waste of money.” She didn’t really like any of the flags. Suzan Fritz (26) bar manager, Newlands: “It should stay the way it is, if we change it would be confusing. Both for New Zealanders and others.” Daniel Cotton (20), Petone, Whitireia student, “It’s quite a costly change but I agree because our flag is confused with Australia’s and as a Kiwi I don’t want that.” Don Anuruddha, right, (33), student, Mount Cook: “The previous flag looked too Australian. It’s a good idea to change the flag”. Siva Sivanantham, (55), immigration adviser, Karori: “It’s a bold move. Initially, I wasn’t keen because of the cost involved but in the last few days I have changed position and I think it’s good. My family and I haven’t discussed it but one of my daughters says the flags look like logos, but a flag is kind of like the logo of a country. I am very against the black and I think the Union Jack, the Koru, the stars and the silver fern should be included somewhere to keep continuity. I think that it should be very easy to know that it is New Zealand’s flag..” Caitlyn Parslow (19), student, Newtown: “I don’t really want it changed. I just didn’t like his (John Key) reasoning.” Shane Williamson, left, (28) retail worker, Tawa: “To be honest, we should keep it the same. The money should be going to our friends on the street. There’s a lot of people in need, but that’s just me being straight up”. Max Dupre-Smith (18) bartender, Scotland: “I feel like New Zealand shouldn’t change their flag, although it is very similar to Australia’s. If Scotland were to change their flag, I wouldn’t be very happy, it’s a long standing symbol. If they were to change the flag, it should have the fern and stars, because they are identifiable symbols”. Thomas Fitzgerald (25) student, Brooklyn: “I don’t really think it’s necessary. It’s costing $26 million dollars. You could do a lot with that money.” Emma Dowman, right, (20) student, Te Aro: “It’s a waste of money. It could go towards more important issues. I understand that New Zealanders want their own identity, but it could be disrespectful to those who have served in the army under the current flag.” Ankit Patel (29) customer service representative, Kilbirnie: “I think it’s a bit of a waste of money to be honest. It’s crazy, surely we can find something else around the country that needs doing.” Tait Burge (21) barista, Brooklyn was concerned about the cost involved in changing the flag and said “It’s not huge on my priorities. If it’s got to be done, it’s got to be done”. Janeen Holmes, right, (56) Nurse, Queenstown: “I think we should keep the current flag as the cost to change it is too much. Ariel Garden (19), Student, Newtown, “It’s such a big deal to change the flag. I think this is just John Key trying to make a legacy. Why do we need to make this change now?” Ariel felt all the designs were “Ugly”. Nonnie Brown (23) hair and make-up artist, Wellington: “It’s an absolute waste of money. The government should be using it on more important things than a different flag.” Bronwyn Scott, event manager, Northland: “It’s a big waste of money. There’s people starving.” Robin Maud, right, (80s), Lower Hutt, retired, “I’m not impressed. I would’ve considered it if the design was by a flag designer, which is an actual skill. These have been done by graphic designers and seems immature. I find it hard to make a decision under duress and not being able to compare it to other countries flags.” Tekaka Henry (49), Porirua, parking warden, “Don’t change it. I’ll be voting for the current one.” Callum Ross (23), Haitaitai, bill sticker, “It’s not necessary to change but I would prefer Maori representation if there was one.” Lou Sinclair, left, (27) software developer, Newtown: “I don’t like any of them. I think the money can be put into better areas like education and food. Then again I saw on Facebook that all the Commonwealth have changed so would’ve spent similar amounts of money but they weren’t given a choice.” Mark Aimishev (19) student, Kazakhstan says it depends how much is spent. If it does change he wants One with a fern. “It’s on the passport, why not the flag?” Mika Saniuela (21), Hataitai: “It would be cool to see our own identity, but that looks more commercial, we sell that. I’m for it to have our identity, I read up on it but a lot of these flags seem like they belong on a weetbix box.” Derek Stirling Kerr, right, (50), author, Central Wellington: Undecided, it would be “good for Commonwealth countries to have something not British focussed.” Olleen Bato (19) student, Newtown: “I understand why they want to change the flag, because ours is so similar to Australia’s. But we’re still a part of the commonwealth, and I think that should be a main part of the flag. Most of these [designs] are too contemporary-looking.” Kieran Armstrong (30) accountant, Kelburn: “I really don’t care”. Connor Berry (21) student, Aro Valley: “The spending could be used on other things but I like the silver fern or black jack.” Jason Krivan (40) business analyst from Wellington: “I think it should be put to a vote.” Zque Masters, (20), barber, Newtown: “I’m not really that fussed. I think there are better things they could be spending the money on other issues but there are some cool designs.” The NewsWire team: Clementine Smart, Virginia Fallon, Kennan May, Matt Tso, James Baker, Colin Englebrecht, Joanna Piatek, Alia Overend, Emma Moody, Larissa Toelupe, Brad Flahive, Andrew Johnsen, James Lobban, Jade Maisey, Te Huia Moke, William Griffith, Darcy Morgan, Alysa Vercoe.

      • Toa rugby has hopes for future despite not fielding a team in 2015
        • 8 Jul 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • GOOD MEMORIES: Toa Rugby Club celebrate after winning the 2014 Horowhenua/Kapiti reserves competition. Image supplied PORIRUA’S Toa Rugby Club has failed to field a team in the Horowhenua/Kapiti competition this year for the first time in 18 years due to lack of numbers. The club joined the competition in 1997 after playing under Porirua club Northern United for several years. President of Toa rugby, Taku Parai, says the decision behind the change was simple. “It was to allow our players a pathway into the representative squad, Horowhenua/Kapiti, and to help lift the quality and standard of rugby in the region, which I believe we have done,” Parai says. The Horowhenua/Kapiti representative team plays in the Heartland Championship, a competition for New Zealand’s amateur and semi-professional provincial unions. All Black greats, Carlos Spencer and Christian Cullen both played for the representative side as young teens before moving on to higher honours. Toa Rugby Club is based in Elsdon, Porirua, but due to their involvement in the Horowhenua/Kapiti Competition, instead of the much closer Wellington competition, they must play all their home games in Paraparaumu. The travel is a sacrifice that has paid off as the club has won nine championships in both premier and reserve grades combined. Toa won back-to-back titles the last two seasons in the reserve grade, and were hoping to make it a third consecutive this season before the lack of numbers forced the club to withdraw from competition. ALWAYS WELCOME: Horowhenua/Kapiti, chief executive officer, Corey Kennett. Image: Stuff.co.nz Toa rugby coach Mathew Solomon says he believes some players left the club to play elsewhere while others weren’t sure what was going on. “I think what it was is there was talk about some players going somewhere, someone going somewhere else and they must’ve said, ‘oh well we haven’t got a team’,” Solomon says. Despite not being in competition this year, Solomon hopes the club can return next year because of the proud history and relationships they’ve built with all clubs in the Horowhenua/Kapiti district. Chief Executive Officer of the Horowhenua-Kapiti Rugby Football Union Corey Kennett says the union hopes to have Toa back next season. “We’re keen to support them with whatever we can do. Hopefully we’ll be able to get them back here next season with at least one team,” Kennett says. Horowhenua rugby was established in 1893 as the Horowhenua Rugby Football Union before changing the name to Horowhenua Kapiti in 1997. Despite its status as one of the minnows of New Zealand rugby this region has produced a number of outstanding players.

      • McCullough makes jump to world champs team
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • BASKETBALL is taking Nikau McCullough to the other side of the world at just 18 years of age. McCullough (right) has been selected for the New Zealand Under-18 team for the FIBA 3×3 World Championships in Hungary. Next month’s trip is another achievement to add to McCullough’s long basketball resume. The Waikato native has travelled the world and participated in prestigious global basketball camps such as Basketball without Boarders and Adidas Nations, which cater to the top under-18 basketball players around the world. McCullough, who was named Waikato secondary school sportsman of the year in 2014, moved to Porirua to play for the defending National Basketball league (NBL) champions, the Wellington Saints. He made the move to the capital so that he could train with the best and prepare himself for the more physical side of the game against grown men. “I just finished school so I think it would be good to train with men. Just that physical and professional aspect, training every day, just getting out of that schoolboy mentality,” McCullough says. Like most young aspiring basketballers in New Zealand, McCullough hopes to earn a basketball scholarship to play college ball in America. He believes his time with the Saints, along with his selection to the New Zealand U-18 3×3 team, will help his chances of getting to the US. Aside from the talent pool in America, there is another hurdle all kiwi athletes face when competing for places in US colleges. “A lot of it is education. Like my SATs. I’m just trying to study for those,” Nikau says. The SAT test assesses a student’s readiness for college. All student athletes must pass the test. The dream to play basketball started at a crossroads when Nikau was contemplating other sports he was involved in at a young age, like rugby and touch rugby. Once he realised his love for basketball, he chose to solely invest his time into the sport. McCullough will travel with his New Zealand teammates to Colorado Springs on May 27 to train with the USA 3×3 team before heading to the world championships. The world champs are in Debrecen, Hungary June 4-7. New Zealand won the competition in its first year of 2011 with a team which starred current Tall Blacks Isaac Fotu and Tai Webster. Both players went on to receive US division one basketball scholarships following the tournament. Much like the rugby sevens is to the fifteen a side game, 3×3 is a form of the more commonly known five-a-side game of basketball, but played three-a-side using only one hoop. This basketball discipline is currently being promoted and structured by FIBA, the sport’s governing body.   Video: https://youtu.be/NDjabL-0ccs

      • Higher life expectancy for Maori not good enough
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • LIFE expectancy is increasing for Maori, but there is still a lot of work to be done say two Porirua men working in the health field. The gap between Maori and non-Maori life expectancy at birth has narrowed to 7.1 years (average of male and female combined) in 2012–14. This compares with 8.2 years in 2005–07, according to the New Zealand Period Life Tables: 2012–14 released by Statistics New Zealand last month. Life expectancy at birth is 77.1 years for Maori females and 73.0 years for Maori males, compared with 83.9 years for non-Maori females and 80.3 years for non-Maori males. Ngati Toa Kaumatua Taku Parai (right) works in primary health and says the statistics for Maori living longer has improved, but it is still nowhere near as good as non-Maori. “I think it has come down to a variety of factors. One is that we are living longer because we are more aware of the importance of eating better.” “Exercise is another one, taking better care of our self,” Parai says. However Mr Parai would like the gap between Maori and non-Maori life expectancy to be a lot better. “It still doesn’t take away the fact that we are, by enlarge, still suffering the most in our country through all determinates of health, such as cardiac, asthma, and diabetes.” “Obviously non-Maori are in the higher income bracket. “They can afford better food, they are more aware than we are in terms of how important it is to get to a doctor without any delay, and that’s all around affordability and costs, as a barrier for our people,” Parai says. He says some of the barriers Maori face today could have been avoided. “The Treaty of Waitangi says in Article Three, that the Queen promised our people that we would have the same opportunities as British subjects, which means, why don’t I have equal or the same health outcomes as my Pakeha Treaty partner?” “Colonial government, through to the governments of the last century, have dragged their feet in terms of realising the resource’s that is required for our people to get up to the same level as non-Maori.” “They have never been forthcoming with those resources which is why we still lag behind them in terms of our health parity.” “If we signed the Treaty we should have the same outcomes as British subjects, so I don’t know what happened there,” Mr Parai said. Nearly one-quarter of the gains in life expectancy were due to decreased death rates for both males and females aged 60–69 years. Females in particular experienced lower death rates at the older ages (70+), while males made greater improvements than females in ages 20–49 years. According to Mortality and demographic data 2011, age-standardised death rates from chronic rheumatic heart disease and diabetes were substantially higher for Māori than for non-Māori. Age-standardised death rates were also significantly higher for Māori from lung cancer, cervical cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and hypertensive disease. In contrast, Māori had lower age-standardised death rates than non-Māori from melanoma, and pneumonia and influenza. Cancer Society New Zealand’s National Men’s Health Coordinator, Steve Kenny, says the state of Maori health depends on other economic and social factors around them, such as employment and housing. “It’s good to have community led and run programs and it’s also about improving our places to walk, cycle, and run, while improving our urban design so we’ve got really good lights to be able to walk at night time. “We need wider bicycle paths, walking paths and things like that.” “If you go into the poorer areas of Porirua, they don’t have any of that, there’s just houses and houses and no safe way for them to be walking and running around.” Mr Kenny also works as a Ngati Toa representative for the Takapuwahia Village Strategy committee.  

      • Statistics show marriage may be back in vogue after long decline
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • MARRIAGE may be coming back into fashion. Last year more New Zealand couples decided to tie-the-knot, ending a steady decline in marriage rates. Statistics New Zealand shows an 8.8 percent rise in the marriage rates of New Zealanders for the year ending in December 2014, compared to the previous year. Prior to 2014 marriage rates of New Zealand residents had been dropping since 1989. A total of 20,125 New Zealand marriages took place last year, rising from 19,237 the year before. Of the 20,125 marriages in 2014, 486 were same-sex marriages. Celebrants spoken to by Newswire said that the rise was due to gay marriage being legalised in New Zealand. However, same-sex marriage only accounts for half of the rise. When asked why more Kiwi couples were tying the knot, local celebrant Rachel Dudfield said the weddings she had performed were not spontaneous acts of love. All of the couples Rachel has worked with have been together for a minimum of three years, with the longest being 18 years. She also performs many second marriages. “Around half of the weddings I’m performing are second marriages,” says Rachel. She suggests the idea of marriage had gone out of fashion and New Zealanders were content with living together, but recently the tides have turned and marriage is back on the table. “The thing to do now is to get married,” she says. The most marriages in New Zealand occurred in 1984 when 25,272 residents wed. Former Celebrants Association president Elizabeth Bennett says several factors affected the number of marriages. “If you compare the rate of marriage 20 years ago to now, it’s decreased,” she said. “A lot of people are delaying when they get married. Women are having a more prominent role in the workforce, people travel more than they used to and so on.” The divorce rate has also dropped in the last 10 years. In 2014, 8171 divorces were passed by the Family Court, dropping from 8279 in 2013. The drop equates to 9.1 divorces for every 1000 estimated existing marriages and civil unions in 2014.

      • International visitors rise boosting Hawke’s Bay economy
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • ON THE MOVE: Takaro Trails founder Jenny Ryan. Image takarotrails.co.nz HAWKE’S BAY is cashing in on the rise of international visitors in New Zealand. Bay tourism operators says overseas visitors numbers are up and they are bigger spenders than Kiwis. Nationally visitor arrivals were up 6% in April, compared to April 2014, according to the latest international travel and migration figures released by Statistics New Zealand. In April 2015 there were 238,000 international visitors, up from 224,194 in April 2014. The total was a record high for an April month. In the year to April 2015 numbers rose 6.7 percent to a total of 2,961,673. The total for the year to April 2014 for overseas arrivals was 2,775,868. Hawke’s Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas says the amount that overseas visitors spend is the most measurable benefit. Visitors contribute $554m into the Hawke’s Bay economy each year, up from $400m in 2009. Ms Dundas says in times of prosperity new businesses will emerge. “The introduction of the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trails has meant a number of cycling related businesses have opened,” she says. One such business, Takaro Trails, has been running for six years and is located in Napier. Owner Jenny Ryan says the business gets 60% international and 40 percent domestic visitors. “International visitors stay longer. They also book higher standard accommodation,” says Jenny Ryan. International visitors stay five to seven days, and domestic visitors stay three to four days, she says Black Barn Vineyard manager Francis De Jager echoes Ms Ryan comments. “Overseas visitor’s guests have a higher spend, it benefits the business.” Black Barn Vineyards is a boutique vineyard located five minutes from the village of Havelock North, Hastings. Mr De Jager says the business gets 30% international and 70% domestic visitors. The business markets internationally with inbound tour and cruise ship operators. “We get international visitors mainly from Australia, United Kingdom, The United States and Central Europe,” he says.    

      • Employed Kiwis happier – but it has to be the right job
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • JOBS make Kiwis happy, but it has to be the right job. The fourth annual survey about the wellbeing of New Zealanders show those with jobs are more satisfied and have more purpose in life than those without. In the Statistics New Zealand survey just over 7 in 10 (70.5 percent) of those unemployed rated their overall life satisfaction highly (7-10 on a 0-10 scale) and just under three quarters (73.1 percent) of those unemployed rated their sense of purpose highly using the same scale. In comparison, over 8 in 10 employed people (84.4 percent) say they are highly satisfied with their lives, and nearly 9 in 10 (89 percent) rated their sense of purpose at 7 or above. The survey of the 8795 respondents focused on two parts of personal wellbeing – overall life satisfaction and sense of purpose. People spoken to by Newswire agree that employment is important to well-being, but happiness has more to do with liking your job than just having one. Michael Speights (29), left, says though he is not currently employed, employment has a “massive say” in how happy someone is and that it is dependent on why someone is working a particular job. “I think people find out very quickly that they need to do things that they like, and I think that’s what may bring self-purpose.” Photography business owner Michael Valli (30), right, thinks life satisfaction and sense of purpose is “extremely” affected by employment. “It affects it in a large way. It’s my driving force. If I don’t work, I don’t earn, I don’t support my family.” Student and retail worker Hannah Symonds (20), left, says employment can affect someone’s sense of purpose: “If you feel like you’re not doing well at work it feels like you’re kind of failing.” Retiree Judith Brennan (78) says employment is vital in having a sense of purpose: “It’s important to be employed otherwise they just don’t really get around to doing anything.” Café Owner Simon Edmonds (52) says his job makes him happy: “I think I feel good about my sense of purpose, providing something that enriches people’s lives, and really trying to minimise my impact on the environment.” Engineer Jordan Glasby (28) thinks whether a job is enjoyed or not reflects on overall life satisfaction: “It’s kind of what it’s all about. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing you’re just not a happy person.” The New Zealand General Social Survey also found people aged 65 and over were more likely to be satisfied with their lives than younger age groups, with 85.9 percent rating their overall life satisfaction highly and 89.8 percent rating their sense of purpose highly. Statistics New Zealand says financial security and a better work/life balance may be the reasons for the age factor. Sole parents have lower sense of purpose and overall life satisfaction than other family types, with just over two-thirds of those in sole-parent families (69.6 percent) rating their overall life satisfaction at 7 or above. In comparison, Statistics New Zealand says those living in couple family types, with or without children, had the highest self-rated well-being of all family types. Between 85.2 and 90.2 percent of people in these two groups reported overall life satisfaction and sense of purpose at 7 or above. According to the survey, Māori and Pacific people are less likely to rate their well-being at 7 or above. Just over three-quarters of Māori (77.8 percent) rated their overall life satisfaction highly, and 83.6 percent rated their sense of purpose highly. Almost 8 in 10 Pacific people (78.1 percent) rated their overall life satisfaction highly, and 81.7 percent rated their sense of purpose highly. People with no qualifications have a lower self-rated well-being with just over three quarters (76.8 percent) rating their overall life satisfaction over 7, and 81.8 percent rating their sense of purpose over 7.

      • Drivers adjusting their travel as fuel prices start to bite
        • 18 Jun 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • FUEL SPENDING with electronic cards in the last month has increased by 4.8%, the biggest increase in the last 12 months. The increase has seen $28 million more being spent with electronic cards on fuel in the month of May 2015 compared to April 2015. May’s increase of $28 million almost triples the increase of $10 million in April 2015, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest Electronic Card Transactions data. After dropping late last year, many parts of the North Island saw huge jumps in fuel prices during May, with 20 to 30 cent increases as prices rose to match the rest of the country. Newswire asked members of the public if they change their fuel spending habits as fuel prices change. Shane Roberts (48): “Definitely, as fuel prices have risen we have gone on fewer trips because we have other bills to pay”. Jane Baxter (45): “No, but we did buy a Diesel 4WD to replace our petrol one because it costs $160 to fill up with petrol weekly, which was too much”. Kirk Hodgson (26): “Yes because I ride my bike most of the time and only drive when necessary”. Christine Vorster (25): “My fuel spending usually stays rather consistent but I do spend more if prices go up to keep up with my weekly demand”. Yutian Liu (28): “Yes, I usually go away more if petrol is cheaper”. Dina Patel (47): “No, I work 7 days a week so I have to be spending enough to get me to work every day”. Fuel spending helped increase overall electronic card spending after a decrease in April 2015. The total value of electronic card spending, including two non-retail industries (services and other non-retail), rose 1.4 percent in May 2015. This rise follows a 1.2 percent fall in April, says Statistics New Zealand. Retail spending using electronic cards rose by 1.2 percent in May 2015, following a 0.7 percent fall in April and 0.7 percent rise in March this year. In actual terms, card-holders made 125 million transactions across all industries in May, with an average value of $49. The total amount spent across all transactions was $6.2 billion. Electronic card systems have recently been upgraded making them easier to use. Most debit and credit cards now have the contactless payment such as Pay Wave, Pay Pass). Newswire asked the public if new contactless payment systems made it more likely to spend money with an electronic card. Twyla Gillan (27): “No I don’t think it makes people use their cards more because people just use eftpos anyway”. Kitty Hart (30): “Yes, I come from Melbourne and everyone over there uses it all the time because it’s so much quicker”. Kirk Hodgson (26): “No I don’t think it makes you any more likely to use a card”. Yutian Liu (28): “Yes I do because it’s a lot easier than paying with cash”. Dina Patel (47): “I have never used it because I don’t trust it, any person off the street could use it, I always put my pin in”. Shane Roberts (48): “Yes I think it does because it’s just so easy”.

      • PHOTO ESSAY: Hurricanes closing in on finals appearance
        • 15 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THE HURRICANES battled it out against the Crusaders at Westpac Stadium on Saturday May 2. The Hurricanes hoped for a win on their home ground while the Crusaders needed a win after a string of losses this season. A cold night didn’t prevent fans from filling half the stadium with the Hurricanes coming out victorious 29-23, taking them a step closer to the play-offs. To view photo essay click here

      • Karori’s local library may be getting more than a new coat of paint.
        • 15 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • KARORI people might see more than a new paint job when their library reopens on May 25. Library manager Karl Gaskin says the 10-year-old building is getting its first make-over. “This is the first scheduled major renewal of maintenance for this building and the first time we have had to close the library. “While we have the opportunity while we’re closed we are going to put a lot of thought into how the library is laid out,” Mr Gaskin says. Asked if he had any ideas for the library, Mr Gaskin said he would “like to achieve a living room effect”. “Perhaps having all the gardening books in one place so customers sit down and browse, instead of marching along rows and rows and rows.” Mr Gaskin says groups of friends hang out at the library. “We want to make more comfortable seating areas for our customers.” While closed the nearby community centre will be receiving Karori Library’s newspapers so regular customers can read them. “There are people who come in purely to read the newspaper or to use the internet,” Mr Gaskin says. Before their closure the library issued items well past the closure date so users did not have to return them during the closure. Mr Gaskin also says the library is waving the fee for returning books to other Wellington City libraries. Library users spoken to by NewsWire were mostly aware of the closure, and used the venue in a range of ways. Raymond (89) visits “maybe once a week, to have a look at the Auckland papers”. Dave McPhee comes to the library “a few times a week to have a read”. Trish Scot (46) is an occasional user. “Just occasionally when I’m in Karori, it’s just down the road from my daughter’s drama class.”  

      • City cyclists in for safer ride, but there’s still more talk before action
        • 15 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • The future of cycling in Wellington is looking safer judging by the city’s proposed new cycle framework – but sign-off will depend on public feedback which closes at the end of May. The proposal was been a long time coming and was given one final push by local Wellington cyclists. Over 300 cyclists came together to ride from the train station to Civic Square last month to show the council a safer cycling infrastructure needs to be in place in the city. Cyclists can comment on the cycling framework until consultation closes on May 29. Cycling Advocates Network had been using the slogan ‘Get on with it’ to promote the rally, as well as volunteers handing out flyers to cyclists. Patrick Morgan, (top), the spokesperson for Cycle Aware Wellington, says there is so much talk from the council but so little action. “Cycling is a bit of a political football and they have let that get in the way of protecting Wellingtonians that ride bikes,” says Patrick Morgan. The proposed full cycle network which will connect the central city to the suburbs as well as connecting to the Hutt Valley. The network will over 10 years connect more than 50 schools and 20,000 businesses making for a more accessible city by bike. Councillor David Lee was at the rally and supports the framework. “They have finally put together a plan for a safer cycle network in the city,” Mr Lee says. He hopes the Island Bay cycleway in his Southern Ward will not be delayed by the proposal of a full city network. The Island bay cycleway has been a political issue with constant delays over the last few years. He says it has been hijacked by politics and if they weren’t involved, the cycleway would be done already. “For the Island Bay section there is a group being set up to sort out traffic resolutions, work could physically start in late June or early July,” Mr Lee says. The framework proposes $45 million dollars will be put into a new cycle infrastructure in Wellington over the next 10 years. Traffic in the city will also be affected but Mr Lee believes safer speed zones should be put in place with the network to make the city safer. “Cycling is faster and easier for a lot of people. It’s a no brainer that we provide a safer cycle network.”

      • Crowds still pouring into Te Papa for Anzacs
        • 15 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • HAUNTING, EMOTIONAL AND stunning are some of the words being used by the thousands of people lining up to see the ‘The Scale of Our War’ exhibition at TePapa Museum. Two thousand people visited the exhibition each day over ANZAC weekend following the opening. With only 200 people allowed inside the exhibition at one time, thousands of people have been queuing outside TePapa, leading to wait times of up to two hours. Senior communications advisor Rachel Bruce says the numbers coming through the display have been overwhelming. “Most mornings there is a large line across the Wellington foyer queuing to see it and weekends have been exceptionally busy since opening,” she says. TePapa collaborated with Weta Workshop to create and house the display which opened on April 18. The exhibition consists of an interactive timeline beginning with the ANZAC troops landing on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915. At the end of the exhibition there is the option to write a message on the back of memorial poppies and place it on one of the exhibits. A recent comment from a young visitor reads: “Thank-you soldier. I’m so sorry. I want to make it better for you. Sleep well.” Although parental guidance is recommended, there have not been any reports of frightened children. The Scale of Our War has received positive feedback, with many impressed by the detail. BRILLIANT EXHIBITION: Helen Painter (left) and Hilary Southen. Senior citizens Hilary Southen and Helen Painter described the exhibition as absolutely brilliant. “”We just think it’s great. We can’t get over these big figures,” Hilary says. “They went to an awful lot of trouble,” Helen says. Both women understand the Gallipoli landing a lot more and think it is beneficial for kids learning about the war. “Now they really know what ANZAC’s all about,” says Hilary. Mother Angela King found the exhibition realistic. “Some of it is quite confronting,” she says. Rachel Bruce says the general public has responded positively to the exhibition. “Comments like the ‘best exhibition ever’, ‘it gave me goosebumps’, ‘haunting’, ‘emotional’, and ‘stunning’ have become the norm,” says Rachel. The exhibition has also become a tool for teachers across the country. Last week more than 200 teachers visited TePapa guided by museum educators to explore the exhibition and the connections to student learning. The Gallipoli Education Program is also run by TePapa and involves guiding children through the exhibition to learn and understand what happened at Gallipoli during the war. The free exhibition will run until November 11, 2018.

      • New theatre company aims to help bring life to Hutt city centre
        • 12 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • A NEW theatre company in Lower Hutt is aiming to bring life back into the city, says one of its founders Carmel McGlone. “When you bring theatre to a city, you bring cafes, you bring restaurants, when you bring theatre to a city, you bring life,” Ms McGlone says. The company, called NextStage, is using the old Little Theatre as its home. “It is a gorgeous space. It has an orchestral pit and a curtain and is perfect for what we want,” says Ms McGlone (right). Ms McGlone says the company is the vision of Geraldine Brophy, who was born in the Hutt and is best known for her work on Shortland Street. Along with Ms Brophy and Ms McGlone, who have worked together on many other projects, Catherine Downes and Ross Joblin, Ms Brophy’s husband, are also involved in the creation of NextStage. “Gerry and I have worked together and Cathy and I have worked together, but this is the first time the three of us are all together,” says Ms McGlone, who is also an acting tutor at the Whitirea Polytechnic Performing Arts. She says the company is like the next stage in their lives. The Little Theatre was built by a theatrical architect in 1954, next to the War Memorial Museum, and was built because people thought function spaces would benefit the community more than a monument. “It will be wonderful to have Little Theatre used to its full potential, with a very welcome resident professional theatre company. This is a great addition to the city’s cultural and artistic assets,” says Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace. The company’s inaugural production was written by Ms Brophy and is called Sleeping Around, which runs from May 11 to May 14.

      • Kiwi wins sci-fi trip to US for L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of Future
        • 11 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • IMAGE: Supplied Amit Dutta. IMAGE: Colin Engelbrecht. AN UPPER HUTT freelance illustrator has won a major prize in an international illustration competition. Amit Dutta, who is a self-taught freelance illustrator, won the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of The Future competition and a prize including a cheque and a place at an illustration workshop in America. He started teaching himself three years ago after attending a two day concept design workshop in Wellington, run by Paul Tobin, a senior concept artist at Weta Workshop. The Illustrators of The Future competition is run every three months and three winners are selected each time. At the workshop in Los Angeles, the winners meet with big names in the industry. Amit Dutta who returned from the workshop last month says the schedule was pretty intense, some days they worked more than 11 hours. He says one of the best experiences at the workshop was doing the 24 hour illustration. During this they met Cliff Nielsen, an illustrator who worked on The Chronicles of Narnia and the Cirque Du Freak series. Other big names present at the workshop included agents and members from renowned art colleges like the Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena. One of Amit’s winning illustrations. IMAGE: Supplied “The great thing about this completion is that no pros are allowed,” Amit Dutta says. Entrants cannot participate if their work has been published in three or more publications or if they have been paid for it, meaning that this is a great opportunity for amateurs to get some experience. Despite being named after the founder of Scientology, the competition is not linked to it. “It’s a shame people automatically link the two,” says Amit Dutta. You can see Amit’s work on his blog at http://monkeybreadart.tumblr.com/

      • Hawaiian group feel right at home in NZ
        • 4 May 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Michael Lanakila Casupang (center) with former hula students after their performance at Te Papa Marae. A HAWAIIAN dance group visiting New Zealand has noticed a definite resemblance between their culture and Maori. Pūpūkahi I Ke Alo O Nā Pua is a hula group from Honolulu, which spent a little under a week in Wellington. They were hosted at Maraeroa Marae in Porirua, and performed at Te Papa. The group is made up of students attending Mid-Pacific Institute, and their families, and is led by Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Michael Lanakila Casupang. Mr Lanakila Casupang says the main similarity the group noticed between the two cultures is the language. “There are so many similar words that further cement that we are from the same place, and at one time were the same people,” he says. Historically, hula has been used to document stories and traditions, and Mr Lanakila Casupang says the dance cannot exist without the language. He says the travel the group does gives them a chance to discover the culture of the places they travel to. “Beyond the culture, it allows them to develop themselves as individuals.” It’s important for them to share Hawaiian culture and traditions with the world because it lets them show who they are, and to let people know Hawaiian dance is not just like “the hula girl on the dashboard”. The group’s name means “united as one in the presence of the flowers.” Mr Lanakila Casupang says unity among the students is something they collectively strive for. “You can see when they get along and love each other that their performance has a higher level of pureness to it, and spirituality.” “When we come together, we come together in unity and acceptance of all people no matter how they were raised.”        

      • Police deploying more officers to high risk areas across region
        • 30 Apr 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • A SHIFT in focus to crime prevention has seen police resources moved away from community based constables to specially focused teams placed in high risk areas. Crime Prevention Team Supervisor, Sergeant Jonathan Westrupp, says high risk areas like Cannons Creek , Naenae and Courtenay Place all have dedicated policing teams consisting of six officers, responsible for crime prevention and policing . A team of four officers will take responsibility for policing the lower risk wider Porirua area. “This doesn’t mean that there will be fewer officers in lower risk areas, there are still the same amount of police officers as before, they’re just being deployed more effectively,” sergeant Westrupp says. The smaller crime prevention team is currently running a project in the Porirua CBD aimed at preventing shoplifting and lowering rates of offending in public places. “We’re focusing on boosting public perception of the CBD as being a safe place,” he says. They’ve partnered with agencies like the Porirua City Council and Ngati-Toa to help achieve this goal. Family violence is another area to see change. It used to be the responsibility of just one officer, the community constable, but will now be covered by the constable and two others, a Detective Sergeant and a Detective. Police officers now have iPhones with specialised police apps allowing them to be more mobile. They can be dispatched to a callout via the phone, and also dictate details to a typist based elsewhere and have those details emailed back to them. Part of the new preventative measures include police referring victims on to services that can help prevent future problems. Sergeant Westrupp says, for example, if there was a burglary at a government owned property, the officer could refer the victim to Housing New Zealand to have window latches installed, or whatever was required to stop it happening again. “Prevention should be the first thing we consider,” he says.

      • Anzac weekend chance to get on war footing in Wrights Hill tunnels
        • 22 Apr 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • KARORI’S Wrights Hill Fortress will open to the public this ANZAC weekend By 1943 the war had turned against the Japanese and the fort’s construction slowed. The guns at the fortress were only ever fired six times  and never used against an enemy. During the ANZAC weekend open days the society will screen a film showing how the guns at the fortress operate. “But ironically the fort’s guns were scrapped and sold to the Japanese in 1960,” says Mike Lee, chair of the Wrights Hill Restoration Society. Concrete used for the construction came from nearby Makara and was mixed at the site. Since 1992, The Wrights Hill Restoration Society has maintained site and is responsible for the many open days at the fort. Proceeds from the open days are used to fund the restoration work. Mr Lee says restoration work is ongoing, and restoring the fortress to its original state is still a long way off. Since restoration work began the society has fully rewired the fort enabling interior lighting to be installed. They have also recreated the fort’s command room using historically accurate items. In the future they hope to have a sound system installed in the fort. Although the fort’s interior is fully lit, people are encouraged to bring torches for self-guided tours. “I’m bit anxious about people wearing unsuitable footwear, moisture can make the floors slippery.” While the society has never had an accident they just want people to be safe Mr Lee says. There will be food and drink available to buy as well as a view of Wellington and picnic sites. The fortress will be open to the public from 10am till 4pm on April 25 and 26. There is an entry cost and the society is reminding the public that it’s cash only, as there is no EFTPOS facility  

      • Principal of Porirua’s Ngati Toa Primary School gets to walk the talk
        • 22 Apr 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • KAYE BRUNTON who spent five years advising other people on running a school is now running her own. The new principal of Porirua’s Ngati Toa Primary School gets to walk the talk, and is hoping to make a huge impact on the school’s success. Kaye, right, who took up the reins in October says she’s happy to be sitting on the other side of the fence now. “I had a lot in my head around how the job should be and how the job should look, I just actually hadn’t done it, which is what brought me to the school,” she says. The principal is embracing technology as a learning tool for her students. “Our year four class is going to become a digitised class where the children will largely work with their devices rather than with books and pens,” she says. Kaye Brunton says they’ve been preparing this term by getting the kids learning about email, google docs, and how to share their work, as well as how to be cyber safe. Ngati Toa is also facing another challenge. The school recently had its decile rating raised from two to four, and the board of trustees is planning to appeal the decision because they say it’s not a true representation of their school community. “We’re not hopeful really that there’s going to be much of a change but we’re appealing it because we felt we probably would go up, but not as significantly as we did,” she says. A rise in decile rating means a loss of some government funding which will force them to look at alternative funding options. The appeal will go through at the end of the month after they have collected the information they need from student’s families. Meanwhile it’s business as usual, and the school has plans to visit Takapuwahia Marae at the end of the month to give the students an understanding of where the name of their school comes from, and an insight of the history of Ngati Toa and its community.

      • Council happy to know students are aware of The Pack app for partying
        • 22 Apr 2015
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THREE years after being released, The Pack app is still being used to keep people safe in Wellington at night. ‘Stick with the pack’ is a safe drinking initiative aimed at 18-25 year olds out for a night on the town. When programme organisers at Wellington City Council surveyed university students this year, a majority of the students recognised the app and the message. “Going up to unis this year and talking to people, people recognise it and they know the message” says City Safe Advisor Sophie Parsons (26). “People responded well to that message, but we kind of wanted to go a bit deeper than that,” Mrs Parsons says. “Research went into establishing how young people behave in groups, which is where the pack concept comes from.” The Pack, a phone application made by Rabid Technologies, was made to help people keep track of their friends who they added to their “pack” on the app. The council worked with Rabid Technologies and five design students from Massey University to help develop the application. “Initially, it did really well. We had 3000 downloads, up to 200 people in the weekend using it,” says Mrs Parsons, left. Mrs Parsons says the main thing was that people know the message, a fact backed up by Victoria University students spoken to by NewsWire. Jack Armstrong (20), right, says it is a good concept to keep safe, although he had never used it. “I probably should as I always walk off.” Jarrod Shera (20) was told about it in his first year. “But I never had to or needed to download it. I think it’ll be a good way of keeping informed about your friends though.” Sophie Cunningham (19) says would use it but I did not think her friends would when we’re in town. “It’s a bit impractical because people will probably be too drunk to use it.” Emily Devaney (19) does not use the app. “I really liked the advertising they did for it though.” Alice Mercep (18) thinks it’s a good idea. “But I’m not too sure it would be that effective because everyone would be drunk. I would be willing to try the app though.” Fady Girgis (20), left, says was told about it in his first year but lives in town so does not need to use it.  

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