Burgeoning Opotiki mussel farm operation a dream come true for local iwi

Growing mussels is proving to be big business in the small Eastern Bay of Plenty town of Opotiki.

The country's first commercial open water mussel farm began in 2009 after the local iwi, Whakatohea, was given consent to farm in the area with the help of some large seafood companies.

When the companies' backing was pulled out, around 100 Opotiki residents pooled in money to help.

After a small harvest last year, business is now blooming.

Now, Whakatohea Mussels have consent for another 3,200 hectares of farm.

Robert Edwards of Ngati Ruatakena, a board delegate for Whakatohea, says the company's success is a dream come true for local iwi.

"Three or four years back, they would say you're dreaming. And now, it's a dream that they are starting to see and they are starting to become a part of.

"We are all moving forward to build and rebuild Whakatohea and Opotiki as it was once upon a time," Mr Edwards says.

With plans to develop a wharf and processing factory, Opotiki locals are expecting to see money and jobs pour back into the town.

The whole town got behind the iwi initiative which was sourced through crowdfunding. Source: Seven Sharp

NZ Palestinians to hold rally over Trump's plan to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

New Zealand's Palestinian community will hold a rally tomorrow over US president Donald Trump's plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The march, organised by the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network, will see protesters march from Aotea Square to the US consulate on Auckland's Queen Street at 2pm on Saturday.

It comes after the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Source: 1 NEWS

The rally is being supported by Auckland's Palestine community, Kia Ora Gaza, as well as Palestine Human Rights Campaign and Global Peace&Justice.

NZ Palestine Solidarity Network spokesperson Janfrie Wakim says, "Donald Trump's announcement to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem is a catastrophic provocation which will have worldwide ramifications."

"Fortunately his announcement has found no support from US allies and we hope the New Zealand government will condemn it too," they said.

The Israel Institue of New Zealand has welcomed Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.


'Some days, I hate the way I look' - Winner of New Zealand's Curvaceous Top Model entered 'for a laugh'

A wedding company which put out a call for New Zealand's Curvaceous Top Model has found its star.

After receiving entries from more than 400 women across the country, Auckland-based Daisy Brides has found its curvy 'it' girl.

The winner, 25-year-old Alex Wood from Kerikeri, says she "entered for a laugh" and didn't expect to win.

"I didn't think this would happen. It was red wine night with my flatmate," Ms Wood says.

Ms Wood says feeling proud of her size has been a work in progress.

"Some days, I hate the way I look because I'm so tall and I stick out like a sore thumb, and then some days, someone will come up to me and be like -  'You're so tall, that must be so amazing,' and I'm like - 'Sometimes, it actually is. I don't have to wear heels.'"

Ms Wood is now on the books at 62 Models.

They were inundated after putting out a call for less traditional models. Source: Seven Sharp