Leopard seal left badly bloodied in suspected dog attack near Wellington

The Department of Conservation is appealing for information about a suspected dog attack on a leopard seal in Porirua.

Rangers were called to Ngāti Toa domain on Saturday, where large amounts of blood, seal tracks and dog prints were found.

A two-metre long injured seal was later spotted with a badly bloodied face at Mana Marina.

Leopard seals are protected under the Wildlife Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

Usually residing in Antarctic waters, it's not known the exact number of leopard seals on our coastline, but Leopard Seal New Zealand is currently aware of eight staying on New Zealand's mainland.

Ranger, David Moss said the injured seal was last seen swimming into Porirua Harbour on Sunday, and DOC is appealing for any information on its current whereabouts.

"Due to its size, vets are unable to treat this animal for its injuries without sedation. Therefore, the best we can do is ensure it is not harassed again if it comes ashore," he said.

Mr Moss said DOC's next goal will be to find the dog responsible, which is likely to be injured.

The dog owner could face penalties of up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $20,000, and an order for the dog to be put down.

But Mr Moss said the priority is to ensure the dog and the seal are in good health.

"We're also interested to to find out what happened, because sometimes dogs aren't under control even though under the Dog Control Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act, it is an offence if your dog injures protected wildlife," he said.

Anyone who sees the seal is being advised to call 0800 LEOPARD (0800 237 7273) or the DOC hotline.

Mr Moss said if anyone comes in contact with the seal, to keep a distance of 20 metres.

"These are like getting into a cage with a lion or a tiger, they are a large predator, they're really quite impressive," he said.

The Department's marine science advisor Laura Boren said leopard seals are becoming more common on our coasts and owners should always have control of their dogs in these areas.

"To prevent this kind of tragic event, always check the rules before you go, keep an eye out for wildlife and always carry your leash and make sure you can recall your dog," she said.

- By Charlie Dreaver

Rnz.co.nz

The leopard seal seen injured at Mana Marina.
The leopard seal seen injured at Mana Marina. Source: rnz.co.nz



'She was extraordinary' - Jacinda Ardern hails mother as 125 years of women’s suffrage celebrated

Hundreds of celebrations are taking place across the country to mark 125 years since Kiwi women received the right to vote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern marked the historic occasion from Auckland's Aotea Square this morning, where she acknowledged her mother as just one of New Zealand's many inspirational women.

Acting Minister for Women Eugenie Sage also acknowledged the work of women such as Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia and others who tirelessly campaigned for women's suffrage.

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

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


South Auckland charity The Aunties takes home top Women of Influence Award

The founder of a South Auckland charity group dubbed The Aunties has won the top honour at the Women of Influence Awards.

Jackie Clark set up the not-for-profit organisation six years ago to help vulnerable women and children who've experienced domestic violence.

The group's primary aim is to provide material needs to those they support.

"The Aunties believe everyone has the right to be safe, to have shelter, to be fed, to be loved, to dream, to read, to write, to have their say, and to be heard," the group proclaims on its Givealittle page. "Where any of those things are missing, the Aunties mission is to help provide them - the practical things, and also in terms of advocacy and pastoral care."

The group says it believes in manaakitanga - protecting the mana of the people they help so that they can find their way towards living independently, and with dignity and joy.

"Jackie and her fellow Aunties give without seeking anything in return and without judgement," said Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean, whose company co-sponsors the Women of Influence Awards. "She, and her core of other Aunties, ask vulnerable women what they need and then set about making it happen, in a completely selfless way.

"They have made an enormous contribution to our local communities at grassroots level."

The award ceremony was held last night at SkyCity in Auckland.

Here's the full list of winners:
Supreme Winner: Jackie Clark
Lifetime Achievement: Theresa Gattung
Arts and Culture: Miranda Harcourt
Board and Management: Dr Farah Palmer
Business and Enterprise: Angie Judge
Rural: Rebecca Keoghan
Public Policy: Charlotte Korte
Community/Not for Profit: Jackie Clark
Innovation and Science: Professor Wendy Larner
Diversity: Sarah Lang
Global: Sarah Vrede
Young Leader: Maddison McQueen-Davies

Jackie Clark set up the non-for-profit six years ago, which aims to help vulnerable women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Source: Breakfast


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Eleven Glenorchy homes still without power 48 hours after early spring snowfall

Some resident in Central Otago's Glenorchy are still without power 48 hours after a spring snowfall caused major disruptions in the deep south.

Eleven properties remains with power this morning.

Aurora Energy is hoping to have power restored to the area by this evening.

Around 360 households in the central Otago town are affected, with Aurora Energy hoping to have electricity back on by this evening. Source: Breakfast

In many places power was cut, schools were closed and flights cancelled. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Artist uses pyramid in central Auckland to spread some joy around town

A Kiwi artist are architect is using a pyramid in central Auckland to spread some joy.

Matt Liggins has made it his mission to ask people what makes them smile, but instead of rolling up to you on the street he's built a pyramid to help lighten people's moods.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp's Lucas de Jong went along to take a look and share a laugh in the video above.

Matt Liggins has made it his mission to ask Kiwis what makes them smile. Source: Seven Sharp