DOC project is tackling sub-Antarctic island's mice population

A campaign to rid the rugged and remote Antipodes Island of mice has chalked up a major milestone.

The Million Dollar Mouse campaign has completed the first half of aerial baiting; coping with many sub-antarctic challenges along the way.

After setting off from New Zealand in May, the first big challenge of their mission was assembling helicopters on the deck of the ship they'd been transported in. 

Next, they needed hangars built to protect them from the elements.

Chief pilot Tony Michelle says weather has been the major challenge.

"When we tend to get calm conditions down here, we get a lot of cloud and low fog with it," Mr Michelle says. 

Their key has been making the most of the windows in the weather; But they've been sporadic, and have drawn out the initial baiting phase. 

"We've had a baiting application going on in 12 days , with perfect weather we could have probably done it in two days," project manager Stephen Horn says. 

Yet through it all, the team of thirteen are constantly motivated by the wildlife they're there to protect. 

Mr Horn says it's a really special place.

"Walking to work we head up to the load site in the morning, past endemic parakeets species, a whole lot of seabirds round our tents at night time, so its a unique opportunity." He says. 

The project, which was partially funded by public donations matched by the Morgan Foundation, was set to take anywhere between two to five months. 

It's believed to be the most ambitions pest eradication project ever undertaken by DOC.

It's believed to be the most ambitious pest eradication project ever undertaken by DOC, with the first half of aerial baiting complete. Source: 1 NEWS



Indian student warns his countrymen over fraudulent paperwork

An Indian student in Auckland is telling his countrymen they need to be less naive about the documents required to come to New Zealand to study.

The Government is targeting private training establishments that are paying commissions to dodgy agents in markets like India. Source: 1 NEWS

Abhishek Dhiman's warning comes as the Government moves to crack down on educational institutions here which pay commissions to agents in India who recruit students for them with fraudulent documents.

New rules will allow the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to more effectively punish Private Training Establishments (PTEs) dealing with those overseas agents.

That could include sanctions for PTEs, or shutting them down altogether. 

Mr Dhiman did his research before applying to study at NTEC, a PTE that's rated Category One, the highest grade.

"This one is the best institution, I think, NTEC over here. That gives a good qualification, education," he said.

But with other establishment not as reputable, Mr Dhiman says his counterparts wanting to study in New Zealand need to be less naive.

"They're coming over here with the fraud documents. They have to face the consequences," he said.

Some Indian agents have not behaved well - Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce

More than 10,000 Indian student visa applications were declined in the past year due to fraudulent documents.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce believes the new rules will make education providers be more careful about their agents.

"I think it will make sure the providers take more care in terms of what their agents are doing and whether they are ensuring whether their paperwork is filled out correctly," he said.

"We have had some examples in recent times where some Indian agents have not behaved well."

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the clampdown is too late because "we've got all sorts of agencies that are meant to be working for this country, unlicensed, unqualified and engaged in major corruption".

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Cliff fall leaves woman hospitalised with serious injuries

Ambulance responded to an incident on Friday evening when a woman fell down a cliff at Stanley Bay on the North Shore.

The incident, which occurred shortly before 10pm has left the woman with serious injuries, a St John's spokesperson said.

The patient has since been transfered to Auckland Hospital. 

St John's were unable to confirm the height of the fall or the specifics of the woman's injuries. 

Ambulance drives down street at night Source: Seven Sharp


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