'I'm hooked!' - Blenheim pilot on a WWII fighter plane racing mission in Nevada Desert

A Kiwi commercial pilot is setting off for the Nevada Desert in the US to fly World War II fighters more than 500km/h a mere 20 metres above the ground.

That's what happens at the famous Reno Air Races, and Graeme Frew is all in for a second straight year this September.

"She's got great lines, sounds sounds and just beautiful to fly, beautiful to fly and performance to burn," Frew says of his plane.

During his rookie year, Frew made it to the Grand Finale "Gold" Race at Reno, and he's optimistic it can be repeated.

"The aeroplane is capable of over 400 miles an hour and I'm confident I can race it at over 400 miles an hour," he says.

For Frew, the racing is almost an out of body experience.

"You are alive for the 10 or 12 minutes on the course, you are alive. The turbulence is something fierce out of the bigger planes I am racing against," Frew says.

"I'm hooked, I struggle to convey what it's like out there on that race track, it's just living life."

How about this adrenaline rush for a pastime? Source: Seven Sharp



Construction worker injured in workplace accident above Auckland's city centre

A construction worker has been injured in an accident on top of a construction site in Auckland’s city centre.

One person was transport to Auckland Hospital in a moderate condition, said St John spokesperson Mark Deoki.

Two fire department vehicles were also sent to the scene, near the intersection of Victoria St West and Graham Street.


St John Ambulance (file picture).
St John Ambulance (file picture). Source: St John.


Māori youth labelled 'plastic': 'I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white'

Young Māori have spoken out about being labelled "plastic" because they can't speak the language - saying the hurtful term is used to imply they're fake or less Māori.

This week we've seen New Zealanders everywhere embracing te reo, sharing their stories, and encouraging others to learn the language.

But for many Māori who can't speak it, Te Wiki o te Reo Māori can be a stark reminder of the guilt and shame they feel not knowing their own language.

Eve Duncan Spring is from the iwi of Ngāruahine, but she's never learned how to speak her language.

Growing up it wasn't spoken in her home, and it wasn't offered as a language at the schools she went to.

"Where do I fit because if I say I'm Māori I'm not Māori enough but I'm not white, so if anything it just makes me sad," she said.

According to the 2013 census, just over 127,000 Māori can hold a conversation in te reo.

For Emma Brown, from Ngāpuhi, Māori was her first language as she went to Kohanga Reo.

But she was then enrolled into mainstream education for the rest of her schooling.

Now, she said, she could hold a conversation with a 5-year-old - anyone older and she feels out of her depth.

"We stopped using it around home and obviously stopped speaking Māori at school.

"I found that the better I got going through the westernised education system, the less I was able to retain that Māori that I learnt as a young kid."

She said through high school she often seemed worlds apart from the other Māori.

She had different interests from her peers, she enjoyed physics and she didn't hang out at the school marae.

As a result she was labelled 'plastic' by them, a term which still makes her angry.

"I don't know who came up with the standard."

"I've never heard a Pākehā be called plastic, but it's applied to every other culture like we've got standards to meet that someone else set for us."

Both Ms Duncan Spring and Ms Brown said the main reason they're not able to speak Māori has been their surroundings.

'It comes from within'

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart had the same experience and she said she has been called plastic several times.

That's further complicated by her Pākehā-Chinese father and his stance on learning te reo Māori.

"I actually got discouraged by a couple of people. There's a outlook about it like 'it's not a global language, why's it so important to learn?' My dad was like, 'you should learn mandarin'."

However not everyone around them has been judgemental.

Tumanako Fa'aui said despite not being able to speak Māori he has had support from his elders.

"I've had enough kaumātua and fairly influential people tell me that it comes from within, it shouldn't be what's on the outside.

"You're Māori because of your whakapapa, it's not something for someone else to tell you."

Despite the label and the names, they're all taking steps to learn their reo. They've enrolled in courses and are learning from those around them who speak Māori.

Ms Brown said she still needs to put in more effort.

"We did a course at Unitec, the free Māori courses. My nana was fluent and my dad is so there are opportunities around for me to learn."

Mr Fa'aui said speaking with his mum at home has been the biggest help.

"I've been doing correspondence te reo courses and my mum has picked it up again so we're trying to speak as much as we can to each other at home."

- Reporting by Radio NZ's Eden More

rnz.co.nz

Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'.
Jaymi Hirawani McTaggart, Emma Brown, Tumanako Fa’aui and Eve Duncan Spring talk about being labelled 'plastic'. Source: rnz.co.nz

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Christchurch City Council gives $220 million covered multi-use arena the green light

Christchurch City Council has voted in favour of using $220 million for a multi-use arena - with a roof - in the central city.

After a lengthy discussion, the city officials voted to take the money from the Governments $300 million Capital Acceleration Fund.

The majority of the Government’s $300 million regeneration fund will go towards the stadium, but not everyone is happy with the move. Source: 1 NEWS

The Crusaders Super Rugby team are among those who will benefit from the project, after years of enduring their chilly temporary stadium in Addington.

"It's not going to be in my lifetime playing, but awesome to take the kids along to concerts and rugby," Crusaders captain Kieran Read said in June. "It's great to the whole community down there - it's a rugby stadium but it's more than that. It's for the Christchurch community so it'll be great."

The arena renews hope that Christchurch won't again be snubbed for All Blacks Tests and major crowd-pullers like Ed Sheeran.

Four options for the stadium have been shortlisted. Source: 1 NEWS

City officials decided to parcel out the other $80 million of the Capital Acceleration Fund to the Avon Rover Red Zone green spine and to transportation projects.

"We can't afford not to build a stadium," developer Richard Peebles told councillors today, according to Stuff.

He described the decision as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"If you don't build the multi-purpose arena in the CBD you will have lots more restaurants and bars closing," he said. "We need our engine running smoothly and we need it running well, and our CBD is that engine."

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

But not all agreed, with protestors calling for the money to be spent on "warm dry homes for our kids".

The key message is a new sports arena should not only have a roof, but also a retractable playing field. Source: 1 NEWS


Man charged after loaded gun pointed at Auckland police officers fails to fire during violent late night incident

A man faces multiple charges after a loaded gun was aimed at police officers in Auckland last night.

Police allege the man presented a cut-down rifle at the officers and pulled the trigger twice but it did not discharge as the safety catch was on.

The incident happened in Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu at around 9.35pm.

The 36-year-old is accused of two counts of using a firearm against law enforcement, along with charges for unlawful possession of ammunition, causing injuries, unlawful possession of a pistol and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

And more charges are possible, police said.

Police were attempting to pull over a stolen vehicle when the driver jumped out and ran up to the police car, pointing the weapon and pulling the trigger before the officers could respond, police said in a statement.

The man dropped the gun after police tasered him, but he had to be tasered a second time when he tried to get inside the officers' vehicle, police said.

One of the officers was punched twice in the face as they attempted to subdue the man, according to police. He was tasered again while attempting to run away.

"Our community will be horrified by this alarming incident, which could have easily had a tragic outcome for our police officers," said Inspector Naila Hassan, the area commander for Counties Manukau West, as she praised the officers for their quick thinking.

"Our brave staff come to work every day to keep the public safe and the absolute last thing they deserve is to be threatened with a firearm."

Deputy Commissioner Districts John Tims echoed the sentiment.

"Our staff should not have to deal with these types of situations, but the reality of policing means our officers are put in dangerous situations every day," he said.

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

The man is expected to make an appearance in the Manukau District Court today.

The two officers were saved by the fact the safety catch was on. Source: 1 NEWS