1 NEWS Community: 'There's a real public surge and desire for change' - West Auckland residents sewing hundreds of fabric bags to replace plastic ones

A West Auckland community group committed to making Titirangi sustainable and plastic-free are being recognised for their efforts after receiving a nomination for the Zero Waste Awards.

They love their West Auckland community, but hate plastic so decided to do something about it. Source: 1 NEWS

Michele Powles from Love Titirangi told 1 NEWS it all started when two women, frustrated by the number of plastic bags going through their community, decided to do something.

"They brought it out to a bigger group to say 'What can we do about it?', 'How can we make a change?'"

After talking to local retailers about the issue they decided they’d try and make an impact by launching Love Titirangi.

They became a Boomerang Bags' community.

The initiative that started in Australia in 2013 sees communities around the world sew bags from second-hand material to be distributed to their local community as an alternative to single use plastic bags.

"We sewed thousands and thousands of fabric bags, made bins outside the local supermarket and then launched them with a big bang," said Ms Powles.

"The idea is that we make the bags, people use them and then bring them back.

"Initially it was a bit disappointing that they weren't coming back in such big numbers, but the reality is, that they tend to go into people's cars and then they use them again when they go shopping somewhere else, so it's a win, win all round."

The Titirangi SuperValue supermarket has since reduced its plastic bag use by 60 per cent and nearly 6000 Boomerang Bags are in circulation.

"The local businesses are being super supportive. I think they are aware that there's a real public surge and desire for change."

To celebrate Love Titirangi's one-year anniversary the group decided to take part in national Bagathon over the weekend, as part of Plastic Free July. 

Positioning themselves in the local town centre with plenty of fabric and sewing machines they managed to get 100 bags sewn in just a few hours.

Along with 33 other Boomerang Bag communities around the country a total of 1808 fabric bags were sewn on Saturday.

Love Titirangi will soon be taking another step towards sustainability in the West Auckland suburb when they launch a cup recycling initiative.

"It's cupcycling basically, so you put a deposit down you get a cup and then you can bring it back to the cafe and swap it for a new clean cup and a discount on your coffee each time you go."

The IdealCup initiative was launched in Motueka last year, and has been running in a café there for a year.

"They are serving hundreds and hundreds of coffees in their IdealCups."

The work Love Titirangi has done in their community has earned them a nomination in the Zero Waste Awards’ Power to the People category. The award ceremony will be help on Wednesday 25 July.

Share your feedback and ideas with our 1 NEWS Community group on Facebook here.

First look at Wellington's 'fantastic' new social housing units

More than 100 new social housing units have been unveiled in Wellington.

The 104 unit-development, Te Māra apartments in the inner-city suburb of Mount Cook, replaces the 57-unit 1970's Arlington complex demolished in 2016.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said Arlington and Te Māra were worlds apart.

[Arlington] was very old, dated, unfit ... whereas this is brand new, fantastic.

"Everyone's comments are 'it's flash as'," he said.

Mr Lester said he was incredibly proud of the new development, which includes five units for those with accessibility needs.

"This is a fantastic development, this is the newest social housing in New Zealand and certainly some of the best."

The units range from one to four bedrooms, which Mr Lester said would help to decrease Wellington's social housing waiting list.

Interior of Te Mara apartments, Wellington. Source: rnz.co.nz

"We've got 300-odd bedrooms that can house potentially up to 600 people, so if you consider that we've got a social housing waitlist at Wellington City Council of about 400, it's a good chunk of people that will be getting into a home."

Te Māra had the seal of approval from Mount Cook resident Peter Cooke, who said he was delighted with the new development.

"We certainly think that they've been built to a very high standard, which is very good," he said.

"I've lived in the suburb for 34 years so it's nice to see the renewal of it."

Mr Cooke said he looked forward to the residents of Te Māra joining his community.


Te Mara apartments, Wellington. The development has one- to four-bedroom apartments and five are designed for people with accessibility needs. Source: rnz.co.nz

Most read: Are you holding the winning $7.2m Powerball ticket bought in Auckland?

This story was first published on Monday September 17.

Lotto Powerball (file picture).
Lotto Powerball (file picture). Source: Lotto

Lotto is on the lookout for a $7.2 million Powerball winner who still hasn't claimed their prize five days after last Wednesday's draw when a ticket bought in the north Auckland suburb of Silverdale struck the jackpot.

The winning ticket was bought at Pak'nSave Silverdale and Lotto is urging anyone who bought their ticket from that supermarket recently to check their tickets.

While the majority of Powerball winners are quick to claim their winnings, it's possible that New Zealand's latest multi-millionaire has no idea they've hit the jackpot, said Kirsten Robinson, Head of Corporate Communications at Lotto NZ.

"That's why we're encouraging anyone who bought their ticket from Pak'nSave Silverdale recently to do a bit of spring cleaning - clear those wallets, clean out your kitchen drawers and rummage through the glovebox. You never know, that little yellow piece of paper tucked away somewhere special, could be worth $7.2 million," she said.

The winner has 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prize.

While most winning Lotto tickets are found tucked in wallets, they've also been known to show up in weird and wonderful places - including underwear drawers, backpacks, in the desk at work, hidden in the car, and even tucked inside phone cases, Ms Robinson said.

Last year a Warkworth man discovered he was $19.1 million better off after checking a Powerball ticket he had stashed in his car.

In April 2013, a Christchurch man found a Lotto ticket worth $666,666 in his "odds and ends" drawer.

Anyone who bought their Powerball ticket from Pak'nSave Silverdale for the 12 September 2018 Lotto draw should write their name on the back of the ticket and check it immediately at any Lotto outlet, online at mylotto.co.nz or through the Lotto NZ ticket-checker app.

Big winners can also call the Lotto New Zealand helpdesk on 0800 695 6886 for information on how to claim their prize.


Photo Gallery: Winter has final sting in its tail, blasts Queenstown region with snow

Central Otago woke up to an early spring snow dump this morning, with the white stuff visible across the Wakatipu Basin.

Glenorchy has seen heavy snow, while flurries are light in Queenstown and on the Lindis Pass.

Queenstown. Source: Thomas Martin

Vision captured by 1 NEWS in Arrowtown shows a heavy blanket of snow. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Nineteen flights, both domestic and international, have been cancelled at Queenstown Airport, although it remains open. 

Source: James Penwell

All schools in the Wakatipu Basin are closed. 

Crown Range Source: NZTA

Power outages caused by snow-loaded tree branches have been reported in Glenorchy, Te Anau, Queenstown, Franktown, Arrowtown and Dalefield.

Arrowtown. Source: Jesse Van Grinsven

"Power will be restored as quickly as is safely possible but extreme conditions are hampering our response," an Aurora Energy spokesperson said.

Bridesdale Queenstown. Source: Kate Tonks

A spokesperson from Metservice has told 1 NEWS of heavy snow fall in the Crown Ranges, with many campervans being snowed in.

Camper vans in Te Anau. Source: MetService

Arrowtown. Source: Jess Van Grinsven

Cardrona Ski Field has had 35 centimetres of snow this morning and counting. However, graders have been unable to clear the road in time for opening today. 

Usually snow is a good thing for a ski field, but it couldn’t clear the roads fast enough to open this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

An early spring dump of snow fell on Te Anau overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Alana Pullar

"Where the snow hasn't fallen, water has. A lot of it," the Queenstown Lakes District Council warned this morning.

"We've got roads affected by surface water from all the rain so watch out for flooding and ponding wherever you're headed today."

Te Anau. Source: Phillip Robertson

Trust Power is reporting an outage in Frankton as a result of the weather. 

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Motorists heading over the Crown Range today will need to bring chains with them.

Images from viewers also show thick coats of snow in Arrowtown and Te Anau.

Snow on the Crown Range. Source: NZTA

SH94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound is closed due to a high avalanche risk. 

The road will be closed for some time due to snow and fallen trees.

Arrowtown saw an early spring snowfall overnight, 17 September 2018. Source: Sophia Purdon

Do you have a photo or video of today's snow? Send it to news@tvnz.co.nz.

In many places power was cut, schools were closed and flights cancelled. Source: 1 NEWS

Teen, 16, handcuffed in back of cop car allegedly steals it when officers leave him in vehicle at Auckland Airport

A teenager has allegedly stolen a police car that he was handcuffed in the back of at Auckland Airport this morning.

Police say they were assisting Oranga Tamariki in the transport of a 16-year-old male on a flight from Auckland bound for Wellington when the incident occurred.

The teenager was handcuffed in the back of a marked police vehicle at Auckland Airport police station when he allegedly managed to get into the driver's seat and took off while police were out of the vehicle.

Police say he then drove through a closed roller door and fled the scene.

The vehicle was followed overhead by a police Eagle helicopter, and was located by police abandoned outside an address in Randwick Park.

Police surrounded the address around 11am and the teenager was apprehended and taken into custody.

He will be appearing in the Youth Court this afternoon on charges of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and escaping custody.

Police cannot rule out further charges.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers, says this was a serious incident and will be carrying out a review to establish the full circumstances around how this occurred.

"Thankfully no one was injured during this incident.  An internal review will be carried out to ensure the officers followed best practice and to see what, if any learnings we can take from this incident."

The matter will be referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS