Dunedin inventor's door-sealing gate could surpass sandbags and be a saviour for flood-prone residents

A Dunedin inventor has created a product he thinks could soon eliminate the use of sandbags, a gate to seal doors.

After witnessing several episodes of flooding in areas like South Dunedin and Mosgiel, inventor Larry Burns thought there must be an easier way to prevent flooding.

"I just thought no, there's got to be a better system than this," Mr Burns says.

Sandbags cost local councils thousands of dollars and resources every year, not to mention the need to pre-plan for a flood by weather reports.

Mr Burn's design, one he admits is about 90 per cent complete, could mean those in low-lying areas, will no longer require sandbags.

It's a step gate which locks on to the door of a building, seals off any small gaps with rubber seals and keeps out water.

The Dunedin City Council is just one of several interested parties.

"It's a great product, one that could help a lot of people across the world that have flooding problems," the council's Business Relationship Manager Des Adamson says.

The council will keep in close contact with Mr Burns and his Dunedin based team, with possible solutions ranging from the council purchasing a large chunk of the gates, to selling them individually to households in low-lying areas.

When asked how quickly he could assemble one of his creations if demand picks up, he replied "in about half an hour".

Flooding is a problem all too common for a large chunck of the New Zealand population. Source: 1 NEWS



Forestry worker dies after tree falls on him in the Manawatu

A forestry worker has died in the Manawatu after a tree fell on him.

Police received a report of the incident at Ridge Road, Pohangina at approximately 10.40am.

A helicopter responded but the man died at the scene.

Worksafe will be investigating and the death will be referred to the Coroner.

Rows of recent planted of young pine trees.
Recently planted pine trees (file picture). Source: istock.com

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Five people injured in serious crash between a car a truck near Tauranga

Five people have been injured in a crash between a truck and a car on State Highway 29 near Tauranga.

The crash occurred at approximately 12.30pm, a police spokesperson confirmed to 1 NEWS and has caused traffic delays backing back to Mount Maunganui.

NZTA is reporting that the crash is blocking all southbound lanes on SH29.

Source: 1 NEWS

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Police staff are getting snapped by speed cameras at twice the rate of last year

Police staff have received more speed camera tickets in the first half of this year than they did during all of 2017.

Police's Road Policing Driver Offence Data statistics, released this month, shows the total number of police vehicles caught speeding by cameras each year.

Some of the incidents involve vehicles being driven in the line of duty to urgent jobs, and those tickets are waived, but if police are unable to justify the camera detection, they receive a fine like anyone else.

In 2015, the total number of offences not waived was 220, in 2016 it was 263, and last year it was 244.

This year, the statistics show police staff have already exceeded last year's total as of June 30, with a total of 260 offences recorded.

If police continue to be caught speeding at this rate, the total for 2018 could reach 520, which would nearly equal the 524 recorded in 2011 - the highest number of offences recorded in a year since 2009.

A disclaimer included with the release says "police employees who travel in excess of the speed limit are treated no differently to members of the public, and depending on the circumstances may be subject to further disciplinary action".

Police say they do not maintain an internal register of the officers who receive speeding fines.

The way police decide which fines are waived changed in 2014 - before then, any speed camera photo of a police vehicle with flashing red and blue lights on was deemed to be on duty, and the fine was waived automatically, but officers are now asked to explain the situation in all cases.

This change led to a significant rise in the number of detections, but the number of offences not waived stayed about the same.

The average number of speed camera detections against police vehicles (which were not waived) between 2009 and 2017 was was 357 per year.

Police have been asked for comment.

A digital speed camera in place on a New Zealand road.
A digital speed camera in place on a New Zealand road. Source: 1 NEWS