Local iwi impose rahui in the Auckland's Waitakere Ranges

Local iwi have imposed a rahui - a total ban - on entering Auckland's Waitakere Ranges because of kauri dieback. But what does a rahui mean?

Maori expert, Professor Pou Temara says: "It's a custom that bans the use of, that restricts certain areas so that area can be conserved."

"Rahui is also imposed from when there is contamination by association with death."

Traditionally there were consequences for disobeying rahui.

Mr Temara says: "The worst that could happen was that people would die from transgressing that kind of tapu".

Such penalties do not exist today, but the challenge is getting the public to understand and respect the significance of rahui.

The Auckland Council have opted for a partial rahui for the Waitakeres, saying that a total ban would be too difficult to enforce.

Mr Temara says Maori concepts are often difficult for non-Maori to accept because they don't understand the reverence Maori have for the trees.

According to the Māori worldview, people and the environment co-exist.

"When you see a kauri immediately you recognise the mana, you recognise tapu. It's so different from all the other big trees."

"Maori actually see Tane - the lord of the forest embued in the personage of the kauri and I talk about personage because Maori think of the kauri as a living person."

Wayne Mackenzie who manages Whatipu Lodge has refused to take bookings that would break the rahui.

"For me it's really important just to be respectful for the rahui and not walk in this forest until safe protocols are really put in place."

Rewi Spraggon of local iwi says "For us that's a living ancestor - as simple as that - It's a living ancestor and we have to protect them as much as they protect us."

Seven Sharp's Maiki Sherman investigates. Source: Seven Sharp


Social agencies may be forced to shut their doors as wage gap sees social workers leave for government jobs

Social agencies working with the country's most vulnerable are warning they may be forced to shut as social workers leave for better-paid jobs with the Government.

They say a recent pay equity settlement will fuel the crisis, widening the wage gap by up to 50 per cent.

One of Auckland's oldest charities, Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC), offers support like parenting classes to 3,000 families.

One mother told 1 NEWS she wouldn't have had her child without the support of ATWC. But in the last year, the organisation has lost 47 staff - over one third of their team.

ATWC general manager Judy Mati'a said, "The staff turnover has taken a hit. I had one colleague, she described it as 'haemorrhaging.'"

Her organisation is not alone, with larger social agencies like Barnardos also feeling the pinch.

Barnardos CEO Jeff Sanders said, "We are in a situation where turnover is higher than what we'd like, and attracting new staff in the market is harder than what we hope for."

Social workers are mainly leaving for higher-paid jobs at ministries like Oranga Tamariki.

Social Services Providers Association (SSPA) national manager Brenda Pilott said there is a massive pay gap.

Currently, Oranga Tamariki social workers are paid around 20 per cent more than their counterparts at other social agencies. That gap is set to widen even further - up to 50 per cent - after a pay equity settlement offer last month.

"That's within a single occupational group, essentially doing the same work, working in many cases with the same families. Simply, it's not a sustainable picture," Ms Pilott said.

Oranga Tamariki CEO Grianne Moss agrees the entire sector needs more funding.

"There are cost pressures and challenges coming up both for the core public sector and also the NGO sector," Ms Moss said.

But those affected say the solution is simple – ensure 30 per cent pay rises for all social workers. Otherwise, social agencies will struggle to stay afloat.

Social workers are mainly leaving for higher paid jobs at ministries like Oranga Tamariki. Source: 1 NEWS


Herbicides contributing to antibiotic resistance - study finds

The prolific use of herbicides is contributing to antibiotic resistance at rates faster than first thought, a new study shows.

A University of Canterbury study found repeated exposure of antibiotics and bacteria to herbicides was causing bacteria to develop a resistance to antibiotics up to 100,000 times faster than if the herbicide was not there.

Study author Professor Jack Heinemann said there were many places the three could come together.

"If your neighbour treats their lawn with a herbicide and your cat walks through that lawn it can come into your home with application rate exposures on its fur which can influence your household as you pet the cat and then touch your mouth.

"They're covered in bacteria and you might have someone in the house who's on antibiotics.

"Most of the antibiotics that people and animals take isn't metabolised so it comes out in their faeces and urine which means that in many different places herbicides and antibiotics come together, like a cow pat on a field which is then later covered in herbicide."

The study focused on three herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D and the bacteria Escherichia coli (E-coli).

Mr Heinemann said low-level exposure allowed for a resistance build-up over time.

"So we get this magic mix of bacteria, antibiotics and herbicides, and if the herbicides are helping those bacteria to develop into populations that have higher levels of tolerance for antibiotics, then those bacteria become more difficult to treat if they're causing an infection.

"This could be driving up higher uses of antibiotics in those situations as we add more and more antibiotic to try and kill the bacteria who are becoming more and more resistant."

He said this could mean people stayed sick or were infectious for longer.

Exposure between all three could have the reverse effect and make some antibiotics stronger, he said.

"We are inclined to think that when a drug or other chemical makes antibiotics more potent, that should be a good thing.

"But it also makes the antibiotic more effective at promoting resistance when the antibiotic is at lower concentrations, as we more often find in the environment."

He said this meant higher levels of antibiotics would be needed to combat the resistant bacteria, but eventually something would have to give.

"Antibiotics are effectively a non-renewable global resource and once bacteria become resistant to them it's very hard, if not impossible to purge the earth of those resistant forms.

"If we misuse those antibiotics or use them in ways in which they become neutralised we've taken away this resource not just from people now but for future generations."

He said an outright ban of chemicals might not be the answer but minimising opportunities for bacteria, antibiotics and herbicides to be exposed to each other was important.

"We may very well have to use less of a whole host of chemicals in our normal routine environment."

While the immediate impacts of herbicides were being taken seriously, more work was needed on their sub-lethal impacts.

"When chemicals are tested for their safety for use in different kinds of environments - we should be including in those safety assessments their impact on bacteria, other than just their lethal impact on bacteria."

- By Emma Hatton

Source: News


Two seriously injured after car is hit by wave on Auckland beach

A teenage girl has been seriously injured after a car rolled on Auckland's Muriwai Beach this afternoon.

The vehicle involved in the incident on Auckland's Muriwai Beach. Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

It's believed the car, which had seven people inside, was hit by a wave after it rolled with the passengers still inside at 4.20pm.

Emergency services attend the scene on Muriwai Beach after a car rolled with seven people inside. Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

The teenage girl was flown to Auckland City Hospital after receiving injuries to her chest.

Six others, ranging in age from teens to 20s, are said to have minor to moderate injuries.

Emergency services attend the scene on Muriwai Beach after the incident. Source: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

Emergency services, including a helicopter, are still at the scene.

Three people were seriously injured after the incident on Muriwai Beach this afternoon.

'Go out and give blood' - Jacinda Ardern urges Kiwis to sign up to bone marrow donor registry after young mum's leukaemia returns

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken to social media to urge New Zealanders to give blood and to be put on the bone marrow registry after a woman discovered her leukaemia had returned after giving birth.

Ms Ardern posted a photo of the woman and her young family on Instagram, captioning it, "This is Jo. You might have read about her in the paper this morning. Jo had a baby around the same time as I did, but after her baby arrived she found out that her leukaemia was back".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging Kiwis to give blood and to be added to the bone marrow donor registry. Source: Instagram / Jacinda Ardern

"I know Jo, and I also know that it's going to take finding a donor to help her get well. And this is the bit where we can make a difference to her, but potentially to lots of other people too.

The Prime Minister implored her followers to "go out "go out and give blood, and when you do, ask to be added to the bone marrow donor registry".

"Because of a whole range of complexities, I'm told that if you're a man with ancestry other than European, you're most likely to be added to the list because that's where the greatest need is. So please, spread the word. You could help save a life."

Jo and her young family. Source: Instagram / Jacinda Ardern