Coronet Peak opens its kitchen for the 40 Hour Famine

A group of secondary school students has taken over a South Island ski resort all in the name of charity.

Wakatipu High School has come up with a unique way to participate in the 40 Hour Famine - raising money for children in Syria and making 6000 meals for the country's city missions.

Hugh Taylor, a student at the school, says they want to raise money for Syria and " gain some attention for the Syrian refugee crisis", he says.

The students plan to make 6000 meals in 40 hours and are asking the public to donate money which will be sent overseas.

They're using Coronet Peak to make the meals which will then be shipped to city missions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Beatrice Onions, a year 13 student at the school says it's taken a lot of "amazing" people to put this together including local businesses and chefs and "people with connections and contacts".

The money raised will help establish basic needs for refugees and safe play areas for children in Jordan.

Secondary school students have taken over the South Island ski resort to raise money for children in Syria while dishing up meals for Kiwis in need. Source: 1 NEWS

'What do you want to be?' is not the right question to ask young people - career counsellor

A career counsellor says she's had parents asking her to see their intermediate-age children for career counselling, but her message to them is they should let them play.

Hana Lambert told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp the pressure on school students to decide on a career can be ridiculous.

"I've had Year Eight, intermediate students, their parents wanting me to see them for career counselling. Now it's a little bit like 'let them play!'" she said.

A group of Albany Senior High School students said the pressure is on them to choose.

"You're expected to make a choice about whether or not you're going to go to uni, or if you want to take a gap year, or if you want to travel? What do I do?" one student said.

Another said: "People do say, 'You don't have to choose right away.' But the subjects you choose in Year 11 set you up for Year 12. And the ones you choose in Year 12 ones set you up for year 13."

Ms Lambert said 'What do you want to be?' is not the right question to ask young people.

"That's the quintessential question that every young person dreads. I think that when young people say, 'Yes, yes, I've got it all sorted', it's a bit of a deflection to keep people off their backs."

Some Albany Senior High School students have had enough with the mixed messages they receive.

"We're told, 'You're going to work so many careers in your life because machines are doing jobs now.' But then we're also being asked to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Those are two very different messages," one said.

Ms Lambert says many parents are not up to speed on how the workforce has changed. 

"A while ago, to have a portfolio that said you were only somewhere for two years was a bit of a flag - 'why are they chopping and changing?' Whereas now, having a long time in one industry or one job can sometimes be seen as, 'Oh, why have they been there that long. Are they afraid to tackle change?'

"It's not a career for life now, it is a starting point," she said.

A career expert says the question is putting a lot of pressure on young people. Source: Seven Sharp


'Nobody's judging them' - Christchurch's Unforgetaball brings hundreds of special needs revellers together

It's not the biggest ball in the country - but you'd be hard pushed to find bigger smiles.

The Unforgetaball in Christchurch brings together hundreds of special needs revellers for a night to remember.

The ball is the brain child of doting mums Linda te Kaat and Tania Grose.

"We thought we might only get a few people along the first year, but we completely sold out and it's just got bigger and bigger and bigger," Linda told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

Shelley Water, a mum of one of the attendees, is grateful for the Unforgetaball.

"A lot of our young ones don't get to go to their school balls, a lot do but for some it's a bit more difficult.

"I think Linda and Tanya had a vision where they thought, 'Let's have a ball where young ones can come and feel safe and nobody's looking at them and nobody's judging them' and it was so successful," Shelley says.

The ball has a DJ, band, disco ball, and, of course, a stretch limousine.

Making sure some special youngsters also get to enjoy their own special night.

Mike Thorpe met two ball-goers who like to work hard and play hard. Source: Seven Sharp


Cat lovers get their claws out to fight Auckland Council

Auckland Council has found themselves in the midst of a stoush with local cat lovers.

Auckland's proposed pest management plan has listed cats as one of the regions target species and plans to trap them in specific areas.

The move has got cat lovers from far and wide up in arms, as they fight to give a voice to the beloved pet.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp delves into both sides of the argument in the video above.

Seven Sharp’s Lucas de Jong has the story that’s shaping to be one almighty cat fight. Source: Seven Sharp

Man sexually abused from age of seven calls on Kiwis to talk 'a lot more openly' about this issue

A man who was sexually abused from the age of seven has joined calls for men to talk more openly about their experience after a group of male survivors of abuse told TVNZ1's Sunday programme opening up about their past has helped them.

Survivors also say more support is needed for male victims of abuse because while the global #Metoo movement" has drawn attention to the issue for women, many men are silently living with the trauma.  

Former police officer Geoff Cavell was sexually abused by a family member from the age of seven.

"The scab has only just been picked off this sore, so I think it's a pertinent time now that that wound has been opened up that we need to talk about it a lot more, a lot more openly," he told 1 NEWS.

"I think we really need to focus on this problem and start to deal with it in a proper way. The biggest problem is actually speaking about it and men traditionally, we haven't been very good at it."

Another survivor of abuse, Neil Sorenson, was emotional as he told Sunday: "My suggestion would be just to talk. It's amazing. It's incredible."

Jim Clemente, a child sexual exploitation expert, says the MeToo movement has brought the issue to the forefront.

"But mostly it's women who are talking about that. I believe there are just as many male victims." 

Advocates say more support is needed for men dealing with the fallout of such abuse.

"We haven't done very well into looking into the research into boys and men in New Zealand, which lets us down badly," Ken Clearwater of the Male Survivors of Sex Abuse Trust told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

The Ministry of Social Development says while it already funds services for male survivors of sex abuse it has also commissioned new research to find out which support and services works best for them. 

It's something Labour's Kelvin Davis has spoken out about. Now he's a minister, he says he is determined to do more.

"It has such a profound effect on people. As the Minister of Corrections I see it on a regular basis - men telling me about their experiences of being abused," Mr Davis said.

Geoff Cavell was sexually abused by a family member from the age of seven. Source: 1 NEWS