'He's so brave!' – Matty McLean leaps into Wellington's freezing harbour, and doesn't look happy about it

Matty McLean went from the comfort of a sauna to a winter dip in the capital this morning.

Matty went from the comfort of a sauna to a winter dip in the capital this morning. Source: Breakfast



Ban 1080 activist denies killing native birds scattered across Parliament's steps by children - 'an act of theatre'

A Ban 1080 activist has denied killing any of the native birds that were scattered across Parliament's steps by children in a protest over the use of the pesticide.

Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard yesterday revealed five native birds were among those placed on the precinct - including two kererū which appear to have been bludgeoned to death.

He's laid a complaint with the police and the Department of Conservation (DOC). It is illegal to kill or possess native wildlife.

Department of Conservation staff say in the past month they've had their car tyres slashed and wheel nuts loosened. Source: 1 NEWS

One of the protest's leaders Alan Gurden told RNZ none of the creatures had been harmed by the protesters.

"They were dead creatures.... we're not the sort of people to go round killing birds to make a point."

The quail and weka were roadkill, but the other birds and mice had been collected from a 1080 drop-zone, he said.

"These animals were all killed from various methods but it certainly was not at the hand of us.... It was an act of theatre designed to show New Zealand what we put up with on the frontline."

He said the carcasses had been given to one of his friends to store after they were collected from drop-zones or from the roadside.

"I'm not going to divulge my source, but someone else brought those to the scene. They were laid on the steps by the children," Mr Gurden said.

"So technically I have never owned, or had in my possession, any native birds."

Mr Gurden refused to name his friend who stored the birds, but said there was "no way" he would have killed them.

"I've known him for quite a while. He's on the same cause as me and he has the same kaupapa as me," he said.

"There's no way he'd go out and kill birds to prove a point."

Mr Gurden said he had not been contacted by the police or DOC. In a statement, police said inquiries were ongoing.

Anti-1080 activists wielding placards and loudspeakers marched to Parliament over the weekend demanding an end to the use of the poison.

A vast array of conservation and farming organisations support the use of 1080, describing it is an effective pest control tool.

They include DOC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, and lobby groups like Federated Farmers and Forest and Bird.

- By Craig McCulloch

rnz.co.nz

Marama Davidson said New Zealand needs "community-led conversations" about the use of 1080. Source: 1 NEWS


New play based on The Simpsons opens in Auckland

A new show has opened in Auckland, and it’s based on The Simpsons.

Called Mr Burns, the Silo Theatre play features some well-known Kiwi performers, such as Ana Scotney from The Breaker Upperers and Joel Tobeck whose list of work includes Sons of Anarchy and Shortland Street.

Written by Anne Washburn, the story begins with an untold apocalyptic event, and how the recollection of the famous Simpsons episode Cape Feare - where Sideshow Bob tries to kill Bart - helps bind those left alive.

The message is centred around the importance of storytelling and holding onto cultural traditions.

"Something can grow into something bigger, as stories get told and things get changed," said director and life-long The Simpsons fan Oliver Driver.

"What binds us together are stories, legend, myths and the beginning of them and how they can shift and change over time, and the necessity of stories for our survival," Scotney said.

The play has previously been done in the US, UK and Australia, but this is the first time it’s been performed for a New Zealand audience.

Tobeck, who hasn’t done any theatre work for 15 years, says the show is the full package.

"It has the drama, the music, the dance and the grandness of The Simpsons,” he said.

The show is on at Q Theatre in Rangatira until the end of the month.

Mr Burns is on at the Q Theatre in Rangatira and features some well-known Kiwi performers including Ana Scotney from The Breaker Upperers and Joel Tobeck from Sons of Anarchy. Source: 1 NEWS

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Rapper Mac Miller 'dead for hours' before emergency services arrived

Mac Miller's dead body reportedly lay undiscovered for hours before police and paramedics arrived at his house.

The 26-year-old rapper's body was discovered by police and paramedics in the bedroom of his San Fernando Valley home around midday on Friday (local time), but sources told TMZ it was clear he had passed away from an apparent overdose long before they arrived.

The night before Miller was discovered, he had had friends over to the house to hang out, and they left in the early hours of the Friday morning, with police revealing no one has come forward to say they had seen him alive after that night.

A call to emergency services said the Self Care hitmaker had suffered a cardiac arrest, but it's believed that the person who found him may not have realised he was already dead.

It was previously claimed Miller's California home had been "swept clean" so there would be no evidence of drug use.

Police searching for clues were said to have found only a small amount of white powder at the property.

American rapper Mac Miller dies age 26.
American rapper Mac Miller dies age 26. Source: Bang Showbiz

Earlier this week, the rapper's body was released to his family after an autopsy on his remains was completed, though an official cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Los Angeles County coroner's spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said: "The autopsy was completed and a cause of death has been deferred pending additional tests. His body has been released."

A cause of death won't be announced until test results are released, and that could take anything from a few weeks to months, the spokesperson confirmed.

Now Miller's body has been released, his funeral will be able to take place.

Though it's currently unclear when that will happen, the Dang! star was raised in the Jewish faith, where it is preferred to have burial take place in as short an interval of time after death as possible.

FILE - In this July 13, 2013, file photo, Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Los Angeles County coroner’s spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, that investigators have performed the autopsy and released the Miller's body to the family, but a cause will not be announced until the results of toxicology tests that can take weeks or months. Miller was found dead in his Los Angeles home last week. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)
Rapper Mac Miller performs on his Space Migration Tour at Festival Pier in Philadelphia. Source: Associated Press


Woo! Wrestling legend Ric Flair ties the knot at 69

Ric Flair has married Wendy Barlow after six years of dating.

The wrestling legend tied the knot with fiancee Wendy Barlow today in a low-key ceremony at a resort in North Florida.

According to TMZ, fellow WWE icon The Undertaker was among the guests, while RAW star Dolph Ziggler walked Wendy down the aisle.

The 69-year-old wrestler donned a custom suit for the occasion and came in for the ceremony to the sound of Offset and Metro Boomin's track Ric Flair Drip.

Ahead of the ceremony, Ric had posted his excitement on Twitter.

He wrote: "It's Going To Be A Wonderful WOOOOO Wednesday!"

Wendy - who was previously known to wrestling fans as Fifi the French Maid - is Ric's fifth wife and the couple have been together for six years.

The wedding comes a year after Ric was placed into an induced coma for 11 days after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains that were later diagnosed as the early stages of kidney failure and congestive heart failure due to years of alcohol abuse and he later praised Wendy for her support during his medical ordeal.

He said: "Wendy stayed with me in the ICU every day. She got what's called ... seriously, ICU psychosis, and she never left my room for 11 days."

Ric also claimed he "couldn't walk" after he was brought out of his coma, and was sent to a physical rehabilitation centre where he had to learn the basic function.

He added: "And then when I got released from the hospital they checked me into place, because I had to learn how to walk again, I couldn't walk, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't twist the top off a Gatorade bottle or open a diet Coke. I lost 43 lbs. So they put me into a physical rehab, not an alcohol rehab. I'd already done that gig, and that really worked."

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Ric Flair (R) attends Univision's 30th Edition Of "Premio Lo Nuestro A La Musica Latina" at American Airlines Arena on February 22, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
Ric Flair and Wendy Barlow. Source: Bang Showbiz


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