Increase in animal abuse complaints due to vigilant Kiwis reporting unacceptable behaviour - SPCA

New Zealanders are hurting their pets more than ever before as animal welfare complaints skyrocket, statistics by the SPCA have revealed.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen spoke to TVNZ's Breakfast this morning about the reasons behind the increasing numbers.

"Well, they've just really increased, so 2011, we were sort of down around by about 11,000 animal welfare complaints. 2017, we're up to nearly 16,000," Ms Midgen said.

"I think it's a really positive thing because I think people are starting to understand what is OK and what's not OK and so they’re reporting more, which is a good thing."

That’s according to new statistics from the SPCA Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Midgen says of the almost 16,000 complaints, "about 50 per cent" are about dogs because "we're one of the highest companion animal owners in the world, so there’s a lot of dogs around".

She says there should be more rules around dog ownership.

"It's definitely a commitment – it's like having children, you know? It's a good 12, 15 years for a dog and it costs money to take care of dogs; you need vet treatment often; it's a time commitment which people struggle with these days of walking them and enriching their lives," Ms Midgen said.

Now, the SPCA is organising a fundraiser called Walk your Dog to the Moon, launching today, which outfits you and your dog with pedometers to help raise money for the animal charity through sponsorship.

"We don't get any assistance, so we have to survive on fundraising," says Ms Midgen.

"We're working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to try and increase the funding because we're a co-regulator with them. We have 70 inspectors across the country and it costs over $10 million to run that service – we get about $400,000 from the Government."

She says the best tip on how to spot animal abuse is to first "check it out", take a photo or video and provide as many facts as possible to the SPCA.

"Often, it's just an education [issue]. People don’t fully appreciate what they need to be doing for their pets and that's an easy one. Sometimes, it goes all the way through to prosecution."

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen spoke to TVNZ1’s Breakfast about the issue. Source: Breakfast



Suffrage 125: Images from Auckland celebration

Hundreds rose early in Auckland this morning to mark 125 years since women won the right to vote in New Zealand. 

suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane.

Suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern greeted the crowd in Aotea Square, telling them the story of her great-great-grandmother Catherine who a Canterbury suffragette, as well as once the greatest female pedestrian (sport walking) in the world.

The PM spoke about New Zealand’s inspirational women in central Auckland today, including one close to her heart. Source: 1 NEWS

The Electoral Act, signed into law on September 19, 1893, gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane

Today's Sunrise Suffrage Day Celebration saw speeches from Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and National Council of Women's Carol Beaumont. 

suffrage
Source: Andrew Macfarlane


Homeless in New Zealand: 'I was struggling to get a tenancy in my own country' - What's keeping the homeless on the street?

The word is getting round Auckland’s rough sleepers that housing is being made available specifically for them.

The Government has set aside $63.4m in this year’s budget to provide 1,450 places to those who have been identified as chronically homeless by Housing First.

The programme provides housing without requiring psychiatric treatment or sobriety as determinants of “housing readiness”.

Auckland spokeswoman Fiona Hamilton says it’s much easier for homeless people to deal with issues like addiction, mental and physical health once they have a safe, warm, stable place to live.

“The whole philosophy behind Housing First is housing’s a human right and there are no conditions to being housed,” she told 1 NEWS.

Clinton was living on and off the street for about 30 years before he was put into a private rental in Auckland’s CBD, organised by Housing First.

“I was struggling to get a tenancy in my own country and I feel that’s wrong because of my criminal history, because I have drug and alcohol issues.”

Clinton said that he went to the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective to ask for help and was put in touch with Housing First.

He said after a month-long application process, he was housed within nine days.

To be accepted onto the programme, people need to chronically homeless for at least a year or in and out of accommodation for at least three years.

Each client will be assigned a social worker who will start meeting with them on a regular basis to work out what they need and where they want to live.

Clinton has been given access to support services to help stay in his home and address his issues so he “can lead a better life”.

Already he’s cut back on his drug use but is still getting used to keep a budget and taking care of bills.

“At the end of the day I end up with a hundred and something dollars and I have to pay my water out of that, my power and I have to buy my food.

“So I don’t go out and do what I used to do when I was on the streets,” Clinton said.

Auckland’s Housing First programme has housed 285 families and individuals to the end of June.

Housing First began operating in Christchurch and Tauranga in May this year, funded to deliver 100 places in each city.

In 2018 and 2019, a further 700 places will be delivered across Wellington and the Hutt, Rotorua, Whangarei and Northland, Blenheim and Nelson, Napier and Hastings.

You can read more from 1 NEWS' Homeless in New Zealand series from Monday here and yesterday here.

From discrimination to an overpriced rental market and family violence, the homeless face a raft of challenges. Source: 1 NEWS

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Messages released to 1 NEWS show Massey’s Vice Chancellor had problem with Don Brash speaking long before he was barred from campus talk

Newly released documents show Massey University's Vice Chancellor had a problem with Don Brash speaking long before he was publicly barred from speaking on campus.

A trail of transcripts of voicemail messages and emails to and from the Vice Chancellor's office have been released to 1 NEWS, showing Jan Thomas citing "trails of evidence".

Her decision to block the former National and Act leader from speaking drew widespread criticism.

That decision was made public on August 7, and spoke of a great security risk to students, staff and the public. These newly released documents show the lead-up to that decision.

Emails show Professor Thomas weeks beforehand on July 13 saying, "I am still fretting about the student club invitation to Don Brash… I really want to find a way to indicate that Brash is not welcome on campus unless he agrees to abide by our values and the laws against hate speech".

Professor Thomas continued: "My strong preference is that we stop it occurring."

The next day, Professor Thomas wrote in another email: "But we still have a couple of trails of evidence, then we need to speak to [the] politics club, and then refuse entry to campus if students don’t oblige – and be proactive at that point before Brash can get to the media."

Before both those emails, she wrote in another on July 10 that she "wanted to know what our options re not allowing politics club to hold event on campus… Will hit the fan in the media if we go this way".

Newly released documents show Massey University’s Vice Chancellor had a problem with Don Brash speaking long before he was publicly barred from speaking on campus. Source: 1 NEWS

When Jan Thomas pulled the plug on Dr Brash's appearance, she said it came after security concerns surrounding a threat involving a gun.

But Police told 1 NEWS at the time they were not contacted before the decision to cancel was made.

The new documents confirm this, with Massey University saying there were no written communications sent or received from the police. In an email to staff, Jan Thomas said she arranged a meeting with local police to discuss security but "before that meeting could take place... I made the decision to cancel the booking of the event on our campus".

Included in the documents is a Facebook user comment about Don Brash's event saying "take a gun".

Mr Brash was due to speak at the university, but had his speech cancelled by Jan Thomas. Source: 1 NEWS

BARRAGE OF CRITICISM

Massey University released several hundred pages of emails to 1 NEWS, showing an onslaught of criticism aimed at the Vice-Chancellor. Some called for her resignation.

Messages left on voicemail spoke of disappointment. "I'm absolutely horrified at the decision… I am very very concerned at the lack of free speech," one caller said.

"My son is due to graduate from college very soon, and we're looking at universities and Massey was one of them, but a little concerned about what I’ve heard about some free speech restrictions on campus," another voice message said.

Emails from former students were also critical.

"As an alumni of Massey University I wish to express my displeasure at your decision to ban former leader of the National Party Don Brash from speaking at Massey University," one wrote.

The University remains at odds with police over claims of security concerns and threats of violence. Source: 1 NEWS

A "proud Massey chemistry alumni" said they were very disappointed to learn that their friend Don Brash "had been deplatformed for his talk".

"I am ashamed to have to tell my friends, associates and colleagues that I am a Massey University graduate from this day forward,"another person wrote.

Another message said they had instructed their Trust not to fund any of their children or grandchildren to attend any programme or course at Massey University. "There are always consequences when you attack the freedoms our family spent so much of our lives to protect," they wrote.

"Please do the honorable thing and resign as Vice Chancellor” another former student wrote. “Massey has lost a great deal of credibility as a learning institution and I’m embarrassed to be associated with my former university."

The former National Party leader and free speech advocate has hit out at the university over its decision. Source: 1 NEWS

A short statement drafted for the university's contact centre to reply to people with said the decision wasn't taken lightly, and that Professor Thomas made the decision taking the gun threat into account.

It further added that "recent events… suggest the current situation is potentially volatile."

A trail of transcripts of voicemail messages and emails to and from the Vice Chancellor's office have been released to 1 NEWS, showing Jan Thomas citing "trails of evidence". Source: 1 NEWS


Kiwi chocolatier Whittaker's takes leap into ice cream bars

Kiwi chocolate company Whittaker's is expanding from the lollies aisle, with an eye on dominating the freezer sections of supermarkets and dairies as well.

Starting Monday, Tip Top will offer three new flavours of ice cream bars featuring the brand: chocolate and pretzel, coffee and cacao and vanilla and cashew praline.

"It's the moment you've been waiting for...two iconic Kiwi brands coming together to combine the best of both worlds," Tip Top announced on its Facebook page this morning.

Unlike previous collaborations, the flavours are a permanent addition to the Tip Top range, a Whittaker's official told the New Zealand Herald.

"We've always had a dream to be able to create a delicious ice cream with somebody," said Whittaker's marketing manager Jasmine Currie.

Auckland fans of the brands will have an opportunity to get an early taste of the ice creams on Saturday, with a pop-up store opening at midday in Newmarket.

kiwi companies Whittaker's and Tip Top have collaborated for three new ice cream bars. Source: Tip Top