Hospitality training scheme help long-term unemployed get back to work - 'A purpose to get up in the morning'

Personal hardships have meant they haven't worked in years, but a bunch of new hospitality school graduates can't wait to get going.

One graduate, Laures Tumata, told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she "went through 12 years of depression, through losing a child" and "couldn't find my way out".

"It creates your own dark space - your thinking stops for everybody else, the loneliness, no one to talk to."

"I couldn’t think. didn't eat for months. Got up to give my kids' breakfast, send them off to school, then went straight back to bed, then make sure I was up at 3 o'clock for their dinners. It's been like that for 12 years."

Her wake-up call was a programme between the Government and private hotels which help people like her get back to work.

The programme gives students two weeks of classroom learning, several weeks of on-the-job training and guaranteed hospitality work at the end of the course.

"Every day's a smile, every hour's a smile. [My family are] so proud, and I'm not used to that faced to me from my children."

One new graduate, Gabby Wairiki, is one of the few people in her family to have a job.

"I'm the oldest so I set the examples for my siblings, and just being a role model, really," Ms Wairiki said.

"Just having a cause gives you an opportunity to show yourself, to show who you really are."

For Courtney Tangihaere, who became deaf and was later diagnosed with cancer, laundry service is his security blanket.

"It's actually put me back in the workforce, I've got a purpose to get up in the morning, to come to work," Mr Tangihaere said.

Mr Tangihaere was unemployed for five years after the diagnoses, sending his life spiraling.

"I actually lost my hearing first. I suffered depression, from anxiety attacks, panic attacks, stopped eating, closed myself off from the world. No one knew what I had - I actually had to google my symptoms," he said.

"I basically shut myself out from the world, and I lived in darkness 'cause I couldn't hear. I started getting to a stage where 'urgh, this is my life, [I'm] just gonna wait 'til benefit day."

Mr Taingihaere, Ms Taumata and Ms Wairiki join 800 other participants who have since graduated from the programme.

Seven Sharp’s Arrun Soma has been in Rotorua to hear the new workers’ stories. Source: Seven Sharp



The 140-year-old Christchurch suburb that may disappear from the map

Where we are born and raised is a big part of our identity, but imagine if your hometown was gradually disappearing?

The suburb of Sockburn in Christchurch has been around, in name at least, for the past 140 years.

Over 6000 people still live there, but the surrounding suburbs are quickly engulfing it from all sides and the Sockburnian culture threatens to disappear altogether.

TVNZ1 Seven Sharp's Julian Lee visited the proud little suburb. To find out more watch the video above.

Surrounding suburbs are quickly engulfing Sockburn from all sides. Source: Seven Sharp

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Researcher talks 'positive knock-on effect' to animal welfare keeping us and our pets happy

Animal professional advocates and scientists are in Auckland for the 2018 Animal Welfare Conference.

Animal Welfare Conference organiser Professor Natalie Waran spoke to TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning about the links between human and animal welfare, and how treating animals well can help improve our lives and the lives of our beloved pets.

Professor Waran says her research in 'one welfare', which focuses on "exploring the links between human and animal welfare", particularly in "parts of the world where we’ve got enormous human welfare concerns and lots of competing human agendas".

She says the idea is about "really trying to emphasise the fact that you’re not just focusing on the animal end of the story, but you're also trying to make the reasons why we need to improve our animal welfare relevant to those people".

"The way that you make things relevant to humans is looking at it through a human lens and saying, 'If you improve things for animals, you will also have a knock-on effect – a positive knock-on effect – from improving the world for humans."

Professor Waran says one example is in developing countries, where you "can see that you have animals that are being kept in quite horrible conditions in many places of the world".

"You also find that you've got humans living alongside those who are dependent upon those animals, [and] dependent on those being productive. But actually, because of the way those animals are being kept, they're stressed, their immune systems are not great, they're more susceptible to disease, have higher welfare problems, and that then means that they don't produce as much food for those humans.

She says while it may appear like a 'chicken or the egg' situation, it also depends on a number of contributing factors which aren't always readily apparent.

"Although we're very familiar with what animal welfare is, in many parts of the world, there isn't even a word for animal welfare.

"There's not a real history or a culture of real care for animals, so you’re trying to make animal welfare relevant to people, and so, yes, you are going to end up with competing human agendas, but you also have to recognise that you provide the evidence, you provide the mechanisms through human behaviour change to show people how they can improve things for animals and why that matters for their welfare."

However, she acknowledges that the shift in thinking can be "very difficult, like boiling an ocean".

"It is a huge effort and lots and lots of different animal welfare charities around the world and in New Zealand - lots of government agencies - spend quite a lot of time trying to work out how to do this.

"I think just saying that people are cruel to animals is really not the story at all. What the truth is is that many people don't know how to improve animal welfare for animals, they don't know why it's important and it's up to us to look at ways that we can change the lens that they're looking through – change their behaviour so that they can see why it's important to improve conditions for animals."

Animal Welfare Conference speaker Professor Natalie Waran spoke to Breakfast about changing our approach to animal welfare to improve the lives of our pets. Source: Breakfast

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'Some links to the Mongrel Mob' – seven charged after BOP police sting sees guns, Hilux vehicles, $21k cash, drugs seized

Police have arrested and charged seven people after executing a number of search warrants in the eastern Bay of Plenty as part of Operation Notus II.

Speaking to media today Senior Sergeant Richard Miller said the operation had "some links to the Mongrel Mob".

Operation Notus II is the second phase of a long-running investigation, led by the National Organised Crime Group, into organised crime and the supply and supplying of methamphetamine and cannabis in the eastern Bay of Plenty region.

Acting Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Miller briefed media today. Source: 1 NEWS

Search warrants were conducted this morning in properties in Kawerau, Whakatāne and Te Teko.

The seven are facing a number of charges, including possession for supply, and supplying, methamphetamine and cannabis, as well as firearms-related offending.

They will appear in Whakatāne District Court this afternoon.

Along with methamphetamine and cannabis, 26 firearms and more than $21,000 in cash has been seized.

Three stolen Toyota Hilux utes were recovered from one address in Kawerau, along with a number of power tools.

A stolen Toyota Hilux Surf and trailer were recovered from another address.

Operation Notus, launched in October 2017, revealed the Kawerau Mongrel Mob's involvement in the commercial distribution of meth and cannabis to the community.

As a result of the investigation, 48 people were arrested and almost $3 million in assets were frozen in March 2018.

Acting Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Senior Sergeant Richard Miller, said, "This was a major disruption to organised crime and methamphetamine supply in EBOP".

Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty
Guns seized during Operation Notus II in the Eastern Bay of Plenty Source: NZ Police


McDonald's workers across US protest sexual harassment

McDonald's workers are staging protests in several cities in what organisers called the first multistate strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

In Chicago, several dozen protesters rallied today in front of McDonald's headquarters while a plane flew overhead with a banner reading, "McDonald's: Stop Sexual Harassment."

In New Orleans, current and former employees chanted, "Hey, McDonalds, you can't hide — we can see your nasty side."

Those are among 10 targeted cities. Other protests were held in St. Louis; Kansas City, Missouri; and Durham, North Carolina.

Protesters are demanding that McDonalds require anti-harassment training for managers and employees. The fast food chain defends its policies.

Another demand is forming a national committee to address sexual harassment, made up of workers, management and leaders of national women's groups.

Current and former McDonald's employees wear tape with "#MeToo" over their mouths as they up to one of their restaurants for a protest in New Orleans. Source: Associated Press