Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Farewell to New Zealand's clean and green image - very likely "green activists" claim
A cash starved National Government considers allowing mining in Department of Conservation Estates in both North and South Island national parks. Will it be farewell to New Zealand's clean and green image? Opponents claim it could; the Green Party has actually produced a list of likely sites for potential exploitation. Mining and conservation are not great bedmates. Read further:
Green campaigners are not buying the Government line that there is nothing to fear in mining Department of Conservation (DOC) land.
The Green Party has produced a list of sites at threat of possible exploitation, while Greenpeace says the countryside is under attack, and it too is preparing for battle.
The Waituna Lagoon in Southland, the Aspiring National Park and Paparoa National Park on the West Coast, Kahurangi National Park at the top of the South Island and the whole of the Coromandel are all under threat.
Geoff Keey from Greenpeace is not buying the claim high value conservation land is not at risk - saying the country is under attack.
Greenpeace is concerned the DOC estate will be stripped.
"The very things we use to promote our clean green image - our national parks, our wildlife refuges, all the really important things, are under attack,” Mr Keey says.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
This week in 1769 - Captain James Cook's "Endeavour" ship's boy sights land - now known as Young Nick's Head in Poverty Bay..
This week in 1769 Young Nick sights land. Ship's boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nick's Head named in his honour for being the first aboard the Endeavour to spot land. One hundred and twenty-seven years had passed since Abel Tasman's Dutch expedition had made the first recorded European sighting of New Zealand.
Captain James Cook noted that ‘at 2 p.m. saw land from the masthead bearing W by N, which we stood directly for, and could but just see it of the deck at sun set.’ When leaving Poverty Bay on 11 October 1769, he confirmed in his journal that the ‘south west point of Poverty Bay … I have named Young Nicks head after the boy who first saw this land.’ Research suggests that the land that young Nick sighted was most likely the mountains to the south of Poverty Bay and not the prominent landmark with which he was famously linked. Little is known of Nicholas Young. He was about 12 years old and was the personal servant of the Endeavour’s surgeon, William Brougham Monkhouse. After this voyage he became the servant of the botanist Joseph Banks, who had also accompanied Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand. In 1772 Young joined Banks on an expedition to Iceland, but no more is known of his later life.
Captain James Cook
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Former contender David Tua proves too much for NZ heavy- weight boxing champ last night...
Former No 1 contender for the world heavyweight boxing crown, Samoan born Kiwi, the "Tuaman" David Tua, returned to the ring last night and ko'd the NZ champion, Kiwi born Shane Cameron, early in the second round. Tua has been involved in legal matters outside of the ring in recent years.
David Tua has been largely forgotten in the boxing world in recent years, but the former No. 1 heavyweight contender returned to the ring after a two-year layoff last night, and he appeared to be in fighting shape as he easily defeated an overmatched Shane Cameron by second-round TKO.
Fighting in his adopted New Zealand for just the fourth time in his professional career, Tua knocked Cameron down quickly and totally overwhelmed him in the first round. After the second knockdown Tua was dangerously close to being disqualified for landing a punch while Cameron was on the ground, but the referee allowed the fight to continue, and Tua finished Cameron off in the second.
"I know I've lost a lot of weight and I think a lot of people have said I lost my speed. Now I believe I have just started my career, if anything," Tua said afterward. "So it was important for me to win this fight and win it well."
It was the proverbial mismatch, but the gallant Cameron proved no real challenge to one of the hardest punchers in the heavy weight ranks.
Tua improved his professional record to 50-3-1, with 43 wins by knockout.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Latest news in Samoa: Saturday 3 October
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has arrived in Samoa for a day-long trip touring the tsunami damaged areas.
He is to first visit the village of Poutasi, where he is to have a private meeting with a family friend who has lost people in the tsunami.
He will then head to the are worst affected by the tsumamis generated by Wednesday's magnitude 8.3 earthquake, Lalomanu, where he is to visit the New Zealand Red Cross team assisting in disaster recovery.
Later in the day he will meet his Samoan counterpart, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, before heading home tonight.
Mr Malielegaoi today said many Samoans say they will abandon their seaside homes and build inland.
Eight to nine bodies, mostly children, have so far been recovered today, Radio New Zealand reported.
Fourteen injured New Zealanders arrived home on an Air Force plane this morning as the death toll from the Samoan tsunami mounts.
KIWIS AMONG THE DEAD
An Otara grandmother, an Auckland toddler and two Waikato sisters are feared to be among the dead.
As searchers continue the grim task of finding bodies four days after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake and four waves hit the country, hopes are fading for a two-year-old boy swept out to sea and Matamata sisters Petria and Rebecca Martin, missing since Wednesday.
The family of Tauaavaga Tupuola – grandmother of Kiwis rugby league star Matt Utai – are now preparing to bring their matriarch home.
The 84-year-old was swept to her death along with her daughter Bula Okei, 28, and three-year-old granddaughter Sima.
Mrs Tupuola was visiting family at the isolated southern Samoan beach of Aganoa when she died. She had surprised family with her first visit to her homeland since emigrating to New Zealand more than 30 years ago.
Her son-in-law Tautua Eteuati showed The Dominion Post the hollow where the wave wrenched Mrs Tupuola from his grasp.
"We were rolling in the water and I lost her," he said, pointing out the spot behind a tin dinghy where Mrs Tupuola's body was found.
When the earthquake struck, Mr Eteuati yelled at his son and daughter-in-law to take the two children and run to higher ground. He stayed behind to lift his mother-in-law, who could not walk.
They were hit by the wave and he somehow managed to hold on to Mrs Tupuola.
"I had swallowed a lot of salt water. I thought I would die. I opened my eyes and put my hand up and touched a tree branch."
Ad Feedback He told his mother-in-law to "just keep breathing" but another tower of water bore down on them and he could no longer hold on to her.
Utai, who played four tests for the Kiwis and is a winger with NRL team Canterbury Bulldogs, will fly to Samoa on Tuesday to be with his family.
"He's very emotional about it," said his manager, Mark Rowan. "He was very close to his grandmother."
Three New Zealanders are now confirmed dead, including Raglan woman Mary Ann White.
The total death toll last night stood at 189 – 149 in Samoa, 31 in American Samoa and nine in Tonga, but was expected to rise further.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed last night that the toddler – who had been on a beach on the island of Upolu and was carried away while his parents managed to swim to safety – was missing presumed drowned.
Foreign Affairs also had grave fears for the two Matamata sisters, whose parents Kerry and Lynne flew to Samoa early this morning to help in the search for their two middle daughters
Mr Martin admitted hope was dwindling.
"We're going to go and see for ourselves and try and make some sense of it, and we're pretty hopeful that we'll find answers up there," he said. "Our chance of a good story isn't looking too good."
The sisters' family yesterday provided DNA to police.
Rebecca Martin, 24, teaches at Rototuna Primary School and Petria, 22, is team leader at Matamata's sports centre. Their friends Jodi McGlashan and Olivia Loeffen survived the tsunami, Ms Loeffen requiring surgery.
Foreign Affairs today said 18 Kiwis were known to be injured in the tsunami.
The high commission in Apia is still trying to locate 239 New Zealanders who are being urged to come forward.
"I'm hoping that all the unaccounted people are just people who haven't yet shown up," said Acting Prime Minister Bill English. "We can't know for sure."
Foreign Affairs today revised its travel advisory for Samoa, lowering the risk from "high risk" and advising against tourist and non-essential travel to "some risk" in parts of Samoa due to the tsunami.
The Queen last night sent condolences to the Samoan people. "I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life," she said.
Many bodies were pulled from the wreckage of Samoa's worst-hit southeastern corner, including five children.
Earth-moving machinery was helping to clear smashed timber and roofing iron stacked at the water's edge.
Acknowledgements: Dominion Post, Waikato Times, Stuff.co.nz