Haka on the frontline! Lone Kiwi man's stirring haka against Dakota Access Pipeline gets rapturous applause

A lone Maori man, on the protest frontline at Standing Rock in North Dakota, has emerged on social media after performing a powerful haka against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Kiwi raised the protesters' spirits at the weekend when he performed the Ngati Kahungunu tribal haka Tika Tonu to those on the frontline.

He received a rapturous applause for his effort.

Native American citizens and environmentalists at Sioux Tribe's land have recently stood up to Tasers, pepper spray and rubber bullets, protesting against the underground proposed pipeline.

The pipeline project, which is proposed to run across four US states, is expected to cost $US3.8 billion and the Sioux Tribe says it threatens local water supplies and sacred sites.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa and into Illinois.

An estimated 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil is believed to be in the US portion of the Bakken Formation, according to the US Geological Survey.

The Sioux Tribe has been protesting since April but last week things escalated when police descended on the Northern camp blockade.

About 140 people were arrested - footage of the confrontation showed police in tanks with rifles and using pepper spray and mace on protesters.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal court alleging that "the construction and operation of the pipeline... threatens the tribe's environmental and economic well-being".

The tribe said it would also damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the tribe.

There are also concerns that digging the pipeline under the Missouri River would affect the tribe's drinking water supply.

The tribe, represented by Earthjustice (a not-profit environmental law firm) has asked for an injunction.

Meanwhile, back here in New Zealand, Kiwis have flocked to a Facebook support page called Haka with Standing Rock.

Maori Television personality Te Hamua Nikora set up the page to post messages and haka in support of protesters in North Dakota.

The idea to compose a haka for those in Standing Rock was inspired by a post from a Native American activist at Standing Rock calling for Māori to support them.




Most watched: Hundreds of metres of Greek coastline blanketed by spider webs

This story was first published on Saturday September 23. 

A recent increase in the mosquito population has resulted in perfect conditions for spiders to thrive and multiply. Source: Associated Press

It's not quite the World Wide Web - but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start.

Spurred into overdrive by an explosion in the populations of insects they eat, thousands of little spiders in the western Greek town have shrouded coastal trees, bushes and low vegetation in thick webs.

The sticky white lines extend for a few hundred meters along the shoreline of Aitoliko, built on an artificial island in a salt lagoon near Missolonghi, 250 kilometres west of Athens.

Experts told local media that the numbers of lake flies, a non-biting midge, have rocketed amid humid late summer conditions. Spiders, which fancy the flies, reproduced fast to take full advantage of the feast.

Residents say the extensive spider webs have another benefit: keeping down mosquitoes.


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Mount Ruapehu crater death prompts warning

A second death at Mount Ruapehu's crater lake in 12 months has prompted calls for people to take extra care at the top of the mountain.

A man's body was pulled from the lake by members of the group he was with yesterday afternoon.

Another man died at the lake one year ago.

Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron said the snow was becoming soft around this time of year, and people needed to be extra vigilant at high altitudes.

"I understand it's a skiier that's fallen in, but also apparently someone climbing also slipped on the ice and lost their ice axe," he said.

Mr Cameron said people venturing near the crater lake should take extra advice before heading up, or stick to well known trails.

Yesterday's death is being referred to the coroner.

An American tourist also died while skiing on Mount Aspiring yesterday.

Police said the 35-year-old man was skiing downhill toward the Bonar Glacier when he fell and died.

Another person they were skiing with attempted first aid but the man died at the scene.

An investigation into his death is now underway.

rnz.co.nz

Good news for skiers and snow boarders as a $10 million grant helps the project get off the ground.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Plane substance drop ruled out in mystery school illness

The 10 students from Carterton's South End primary school that were hospitalised due to an unusual smell will be back at school tomorrow.

Police now believe they can rule out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school. Source: 1 NEWS

Multiple students fell ill on Friday afternoon following reports of an unpleasant smell.

Originally the smell was thought to have come from a plane that flew near the school but police have ruled that out after speaking with the pilot.

South End board of trustees chairman Brian Chin said it will be business as usual tomorrow for everyone at the school, including the children who fell ill.

"All children were discharged on Friday evening. They were sent home with information about what to do if they feel unwell again.

"They have contact numbers on hand if they feel unwell again and at this stage we envisage all those children will be at school again on Monday," Mr Chin said.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said the police were turning their focus to neigbouring properties and the surrounding area to find the source of the smell.

"There will be a couple of people in the [neigbouring] houses that we haven't spoken to and we'll be looking closely at the area to see whether there's anything in our police intelligence systems that may indicate where this smell may have come from."


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New charges revealed: Jobseeker with 'Devast8' across his face is back before the courts

A man with 'Devast8' tattooed across his face, who last year opened up about his job struggles as he tried to turn his life around, is back before the courts.

Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo.
Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo. Source: Screenshot/NZ Herald

Mark Cropp, 21, will face two charges of assaulting a female and threatening to kill.

The NZ Herald reports Mr Cropp will face a judge alone trial in November.

Mark Cropp became internationally known last year after he approached the Herald about not being able to get a job because of his inked face.

He said his brother tattooed the nickname 'Devast8' on his face during a heavy night drinking in jail.

On his release from jail, Mr Cropp wanted to get off the employment benefit so he could put food on the table for his family and to do that he needed a job.

But, employers didn’t take him seriously.

"One employment place said to me 'I wouldn't employ you with that on your face, I wouldn't even take a second look at you'," he told the Herald last year.

"I've had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me."

Last year the 21-year-old revealed his regret over the tattoo., saying:  "Once it was started, I thought, I can't go back on it now," he said of the night his brother tattooed the word on his face,

"I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest."

Despite the regrets he initially wanted to keep the tattoo and hoped potential employers could look passed it.

However, after his Herald interview the story went viral and he decided to have it removed.

He accepted an offer from Sacred Laser in Kingsland to have it removed for free and he attended one appointment but did not return for further work.

New Zealand Herald