Expedition underway to rid Antipodes Islands of pests

An expedition is underway to cleanse the remote Antipodes Islands from pests after Kiwi backing helped get it on the road.

A team of thirteen will make the trip in what will be the biggest island pest eradication program since the Campbell Islands in 2002.

There is no jetty at the antipodes, so helicopters carried on board ships will need to be assembled before being flown onto the island about 800km south of New Zealand.

The campaign has been led by the Morgan Foundation, and supported by WWF New Zealand and island Conservation.

Thousands of New Zealanders have donated to the cause, with about a quarter of a million dollars gifted.

"The public responded really well, they're fantastic, kids held their sausage sizzles and stuff like that," Morgan Foundation head Gareth Morgan said.

The operation will take somewhere between two and five months to complete.

The group will spend the coming winter on the island in the sub-Antarctic Sea after many Kiwis contributed to funding the journey. Source: 1 NEWS



Christchurch mums band together to help fight against cancer

A group of Christchurch mothers have formed a group dedicated to raising funds for cutting-edge Otago University research into the genetics behind cancer.

Each week, three New Zealand families receive the news that their child has cancer, and REACH - Research, Education and Awareness of Child Cancer and Haemotology - is looking to cut down on the number of tragedies endured.

There is only one laboratory doing child cancer research in New Zealand, which is led by Professor Parry Guilford.

"To find some new money to do child cancer research is really wonderful for us," he said.

Professor Guilford is hoping to spend the funds raised to extend his current adult cancer research to include child cancer.

"The idea is to develop a simple blood test which would be tailored to each individual patient," he said.

"It would be looking for tumour DNA which has spilled into the bloodstream, and we can use that to monitor the patient's progress and response to drug treatment."

The mums, who have experience a devastating cancer diagnosis first-hand, are raising funds for cutting-edge Otago University genetic research. Source: 1 NEWS

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Internet-famous albatross chick bothered by feral cat

The chick, which lives in front of a webcam at Taiaroa Head, was set upon by the sneaky cat - but was too big for it to manage. Source: 1 NEWS