Environmental group opposing plans for Auckland coast development

The Okura Environmental Group says plans to develop 130 hectares of coastal land north of Auckland will have disastrous effects on the nearby marine reserve.

Chairman Peter Townend says an access road built by Todd Property on the land near Okura Estuary has resulted in high levels of sediment.

"This is the last bit of coastal land available ... there's no more ... it's gone so ... excuse me getting upset about it.. but it's just ridiculous," he said.

Last week, the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel recommended moving the rural/urban boundary, allowing Todd Property to proceed with plans for 750 houses on the site.

Auckland Council opposed the proposal, saying contaminants from urbanisation were likely to have an adverse effect on the estuary.

Okura Estuary is home to a number of species including dotterels and variable oyster catchers.

Todd Property says it is helping to ease the Auckland housing crisis, and that there will be no environmental impact.

"Our proposal is focused on responsible and sustainable development - building much-needed homes for families while protecting the marine environment," it said in a statement.

The company has also pledged to put aside 40 per cent of the development for parks and walkways.

The council will make its decision on whether the proposed development goes ahead in three weeks' time.

130 hectares near Okura estuary have been earmarked for housing sparking environmental fears. Source: 1 NEWS



Hamilton Homeless Trust about to lose its own home

The Hamilton Homeless Trust helps volunteers provide food, comfort and advice to those in need, but it's about to hit hard times itself.

The building they currently use is to be demolished at the end of the month, so the team has just a few weeks to find new premises so they can keep serving the community.

Meals are served seven days a week, every day of the year to anyone who comes along - no questions asked - and volunteers give their own ingredients and time to cook the food.

Food is also rescued from supermarkets, bakeries and other food outlets by Kaivolution before it is thrown out.

About 50 people show up each night for a meal, some friendly company and a little advice, and the trust has been in operation since 2014.

The future use of the site will be car parks.

The trust prepares meals seven days a week every day for anyone who needs them, no questions asked. Source: Seven Sharp


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'Why don't I have a go?' - meet the inspirational breast cancer sufferer who races cars

At Manfield Autocourse, among the Audis, Ferraris, and luxury trailers, there's a little Peugeot unofficially called the Pink Pug.

The Pug belongs to 52-year-old Bronwynne Leech, who was diagnosed with cancer six years ago.

"It was basically the whole breast, 11 centimetres. You feel betrayed by your body. That was there and I had no idea what was going on," she said.

She'd always been interested in cars.

"I thought instead of being a spectator or timekeeping for family, why don't I have a go?"

Exactly a year on from her diagnosis and still battling the side effects of her treatment, she drove in her first rally.

Not content with racing alone, Bronwynne thought she'd form a team, and take breast cancer awareness to the race track.

The driving, fixing, fuelling and everything in between are done by women. Race 4-D Cup is the only all-woman crew in the country

Bronwynne and her team are racing against $800,000 vehicles and professional drivers, for up to three hours at a time.

The little Pink Pug carries the names of three of her friends who didn't make it through their battle with breast cancer.

Bronwynne is still taking drugs to prevent her cancer from returning, and the side effects can make racing pretty uncomfortable.

"That's been fun putting a hot race suit on, in a hot race car having hot flushes!" she says.

But if it inspires one woman to get a check-up or give the boys a run for their money, she says, it'll be worth it.

"We haven't got the big budget or the really fast car but we're having an absolute ball out there...why should they have all the fun?"


When Bronwynne Leech’s was diagnosed with the disease she decided to take up a new hobby. Source: Seven Sharp