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Dunedin artist proving just how good Kiwi company’s prosthetic limbs are

A New Zealand company is leading the world in prosthetic limbs and a Dunedin artist is proving how good they are.

The TASKA bionic arm connects to user's muscles, performing unique movements like holding a knife.

In Gavin Wilson's case, it even allows him to sculpt. The Dunedin artist changes a once shapeless block of Oamaru stone with the most basic tools.

"When you use a tool such as a chisel and a hammer you can go into it slowly."

But the hand that holds the hammer is itself a work of art.

"It's more like a really advanced tool than it is a hand," says Mr Wilson.

"Since the Taska team have taken onto the world stage there's been a lot of interest around the world in it," says designer David Lovegrove.

The hand is reaching out to the world as a 100 percent Kiwi invention, and is tested by blokes like Mr Wilson.

"We've been very lucky to have those guys in New Zealand that really don't give it any respect at all. They just get out and use it and abuse it and we need that as designers and engineers - you need to get people using it properly," says Mr Lovegrove.

Mr Wilson has been testing the hand for two years, and it's been six since he lost his flesh and bone.

Despite the injury, he was quick to adapt with almost everything in his backyard created and built with one hand.

In Gavin Wilson’s case it even allows him to sculpt. Source: Seven Sharp


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University or a trade – what’s the best option for school leavers?

University or entering a trade? A recent study suggests the trade route is far more fruitful than once thought.

Tauawhi Bonilla is 19-years-old and is a first year law and business student at university.

"I want to be a lawyer but I also want to be an entrepreneur," he says.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Luke Williams is training to become a builder, "I'm a hands on kinda guy so paper work is not really my thing."

While it'll take Mr Bonilla five years to finish his course, Mr Williams is looking at training for three years before he can start earning money.

Economist Ganesh Nana, who completed a study on career paths reckons they're both neck to neck until around the age of 25.

"At that stage pretty much both of them are starting from scratch, but the trades apprentice programme earns a bit more while you learn. So there will be a bit of a head start for the person who takes the trade option," he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

Fast forward a few years, Mr Williams is building houses and in the lead. Mr Bonilla on the other hand, is packing up his study books but racking up his debt.

"The university student is catching up but the trades and apprentice is still a little ahead by that stage. The university student is busy paying off the student loans so you're not quite accumulating financial wealth," says Mr Nana.

"Over the latter part of that period the university graduate in terms of their extra earnings begin to kick in quite strongly. Over the end of the period you get the university graduate fractionally ahead, but it is marginal."

At the end of their careers, both are expected to end up at the same place, retirement.

"So financially it's an even balance if you are going to make a career choice, don't just focus on the dollars, make sure it is something you are interested in and something you enjoy," Mr Nana says.

"The big finding really is that you are way ahead of anybody who leaves school and goes straight into work," says Mr Nana.


It’s always been one of those big decisions in the game of life. Source: Seven Sharp

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Much loved Wellington costume shop shuts its doors after 25 years

A much-loved Wellington costume shop is shutting its doors after 25 years.

The Costume Company has been a fancy-dress institution in the capital, but that's come to an end.

For the past eight years Russell and Maggie Freeman have owned the store, managed by their daughter Gemma.

"I think it's sad, but it will live on in people's memories, the photographs, all the memories of all the parties people went to.

"It'll survive in the hearts of Wellington's best," Gemma told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

After Wellington lost the country's biggest costume party - also known as the rugby sevens - business slowed. Online shopping also played a part.

"The younger generations tend to be more internet driven, whereas the older generations would prefer to come in and see what they're hiring, try on, touch, feel, but unfortunately it's a bit of a dying business," Gemma said.

There's still a chance for loyal customers to claim a memento in the store's closing down sale and say goodbye one last time.

The Costume Company has been a fancy dress institution in the capital. Source: Seven Sharp


Helicopter rescues man with broken leg from central North Island conservation park

A man who suffered a broken leg was rescued from a conservation park, east of Taupo this afternoon.

Police say the man was airlifted to Hastings Hospital from Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park.

A rescue helicopter was alerted to the incident after a beacon was set off about 3.50pm. 

The man was located about 1.5km from Skips Hut.

High-banking Agusta helicopter.More helicopters:
Helicopter (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS