Hamilton unveils NZ's first fully accessible disability bathroom

The first fully accessible disability bathroom in the country was opened in Hamilton yesterday as it's revealed that many ordinary disability loos don't actually live up to their name.

"The irony is that with disability toilets is that you've actually got to be quite able in order to use one," caregiver Jenn Hooper says.

The new fully accessible loo in Hamilton Gardens is changing that for those nearby.

But the usability of most disability loos has been an issue for caregivers throughout New Zealand wanting to take their charges out.

"You've got to lay them on the floor of a public bathroom, I'd challenge you guys to walk on floor of public bathroom in bare feet, let alone lay down on it," Jenn says.

First hand experience with one of Jenn's patients, Charley, led her to create Changing Places NZ modelled on a similar campaign in the UK.

"Charley is gorgeous. She had a massive brain injury at her birth. It was a botched birth, She's 12 and a half now she can't move a muscle and doesn't know who we are,” Jenn says.

And after three years she's finally ready to show off the results of her efforts with the Hamilton Gardens loo.

"It's a height adjustable toilet," Jenn says.

"It also has space either side for a caregiver to assist. Everyone retains their dignity and privacy."

Curtains give privacy no matter who needs the loo, the carer or the cared-for.

A height-adjustable and fully automated sink has somewhere to hold on to.

But an adult-sized changing table might just be the best feature, because it enable someone with Carley's level of disability to be showered.

And if you think that's not that big a deal, it is.

"I can't shower Charley even in Starship, there's not one DHB I know of that has this system,” Jenn says.

"If I want to take my family say to Taupo for a week, Charley wont get a shower. I would take a picnic table. I'd put a yoga mat on it, and I'd bucket and ladle her."

So that all users can use all of it, there's even a hoist.

Jenn worked with the Hamilton City Council to get this funded and built, and now she’s shown what’s possible, it's hoped more rooms will follow.

"Councils haven't not built them because they've been remiss, they didn't know there was a need," she says.

"The DHBs knew there was a need though, and I'm disappointed that after decades upon decades of having high needs folk, didn't do better.

"Let's start with every city, suburb, bus stations, and train stations and airports.

"I want to be able to go with Charley everywhere that you can go, it's as simple as that really."

Seven Sharp's Carolyn Robinson went to check it out. Source: Seven Sharp

Refugee quota increase a proud moment, Red Cross says, but now it's time to prepare

Jacinda Ardern's announcement yesterday that we will increase our yearly refugee intake to 1500 by 2020 was a proud moment for New Zealand, says Red Cross official Rachel O'Conner.

But there are some things we will have to do as a nation to prepare for the increase, which will result in New Zealand having doubled its intake in less than five years, she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"We'll need people to respond, we're going to need people to volunteer, to donate items," she said. "But a lot of it is about...having welcoming communities."

Resettlement, she explained, is difficult - away from family and friends, without work and often having to learn a new language.

"Kiwis have this value of showing care and compassion, and that is what helps build that sense of belonging," said Ms O'Conner, who serves as national migration programmes manager for the humanitarian organisation.

That's 500 extra people who'll be making New Zealand home annually. Source: 1 NEWS

Under the Prime Minister's plan, six new resettlement communities will be established so that existing ones in New Zealand aren't over-burdened. The towns, however, haven't yet been chosen.

"We're going to be looking for councils and community groups to put up their hands and say, 'Yup, we want to be one of the new six'," Ms O'Conner said.

Ms O'Conner described yesterday's announcement as "a great start". But with 1.4 million people in desperate need of resettlement, "we're seeing unprecedented needs globally at the moment", she added, explaining that the Government also needs to take another good look at foreign aid and peace building activities.

Even after yesterday's announcement, New Zealand is far from being a leader in terms of refugee intake numbers.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

"But we are leaders in the terms of the quality of resettlement that we provide," she said, telling the story of a mum who had carried her disabled teen son on her back for his entire life because they didn't have access to health care in their previous country.

After arriving in Auckland, the boy was given a wheelchair and it changed both of their lives, O'Conner said.

"She kept saying, 'I can't believe I don't have to carry him anymore'," she recalled.

Jacinda Ardern’s announcement yesterday means six new settlement locations will be in the works, Rachel O’Conner told Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

'What’s up Muzza' - is it weird to call your parents by their first name?

What do you call your parents - mum and dad, or Geoff and Pam?

The idea some people call their parents by their first name was a hot topic on Breakfast this morning, with Hayley Holt saying it was a bit weird calling her parents by their given names.

‘I’d feel a bit odd, ‘hey Robin, what’s up Muzza?’”

Many viewers said calling parents by their given names was disrespectful, with one viewer saying she had earned the title of mum.

Another said when children were older, it could be a discussion families could have together.

Newsreader Scotty Morrison said in Te Reo Māori there were “beautiful terms” for older members of the whanāu.

“As our people get older they get more and more respect because of the life they have had, the life experience, the knowledge that they’ve gained," he said. 

“It’s important in Māori culture to have that respect for the older generation.”

Some Breakfast viewers thought it was disrespectful not to be called mum or dad. Source: Breakfast



Police on the hunt after man seriously hurt in Hamilton shooting

A man has sustained serious injuries after being shot in Hamilton last night

Police responded to Derby Street, Nawton at 10:25pm after receiving reports of a shooting.

An investigation is underway to establish exactly what has occurred and inquiries are being made to find the offenders, who left the scene in a car.

The man is in a stable condition in a high dependency unit at Waikato Hospital.  

A scene examination on Derby Street will continue this morning.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

Police are keen to talk to anyone who was in the area last night and may have information of interest to the investigation.

The incident took place in Nawton at 10.25pm yesterday – the offender fled the scene by car. Source: Breakfast

Record number of happy punters as two win Powerball, 40 win Lotto first division

There were a lot more ecstatic Kiwi punters than usual last night, with two lucky Powerball players winning $2.5 million each and a record 40 players winning Lotto First Division.

Never before in the Lotto's 31-year history have that many winners been announced in a single draw. The 38 first division winners (without Powerball) will take home $25,000 each.

The winning Powerball tickets were sold at a Countdown supermarket in Hastings and at New Brighton Lotto & Discounter in Christchurch.

It follows a winning $7.2 million Powerball draw just a week earlier, sold from a Pak'n Save in Silverdale. As of yet, however, no one has come forward to claim it.

Some winners might be slightly disappointed by their haul from last night’s draw, while two others claimed over $2.5 million. Source: Breakfast