'Maori are clever' - Kaitaia woman starts Facebook support page to infuse self-esteem into her community

A TV news story about Annie Tauroa's home of Kaitaia being the criminal capital of New Zealand spurred her to try and do some good for others in her community.

She started a Facebook page to share her stories of struggle and to help others who were going through the same struggles she had, such as learning to survive on a benefit and managing money.

And Annie's now celebrated throughout her community because of it.

"What I wanted to do is to show whanau that they can do things because we're clever," Annie says.

"Maori are clever, sorry about it. We are clever across the board."

She has over 28,000 likes on her Facebook page - Annies Way Of Life.

"It engaged with a lot of the right people. Knowing that I could do that I find my dot looking at me all the time and reach out to thousands of people was cool," Annie says.

"You get to relate. They related to some of the topics. They shared their views."

Annie is a beneficiary and she says her goal is to help other beneficiaries who are struggling.

"They go to wait for a pay day on a Thursday, however, that's not going to tie them as a whanau so what can they do productively to get them out of that situation instead of thinking I'm going to wait till pay day."

"Or I'm going to go borrow off the cuzzy."

She believes the community needs to help itself to get stronger and hopes by doing what she does it will help Kaitaia get out of the negative news and become a more positive place to live.

And through Annie's Facebook page, many community initiatives have sprung up to help - such as Awhi Kaitaia which prepares food parcels for the homeless.

"Basically drives that we get given or we get given koha to be able to make many little things for whanau," she says.

Annike Tauro''s home town being the criminal capital on TV spurred her to try and do some good for others in her community. Source: Te Karere

Community demands answers over what caused kids to become seriously ill at a Carterton school

The Wairarapa community are demanding answers to what caused children at Carterton South End's school to become sick, after a strange smell wafted over the school yesterday afternoon.

Police ruled out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school.

Parents at the school are angered and want answers as to what caused the illnesses.

Cody Pratt's daughter was one of the students who vomited after smelling a sulphur like substance.

"It was scary having my daughter in the school premises and being told I couldn't go in to get her was pretty daunting," said Mr Pratt.

"I definitely want to know what has gone on.

"Children came in after lunch and reported feeling unwell after the substance, or smelling a smell," he said.

Ten students were taken to hospital but returned to their homes last night.

The school was cleared to be re-opened for classes on Monday.

Police say they have conducted a thorough examination of the school and still haven't found a point of cause.

Police inquiries will now focus on the surrounding neighbourhood.

Police now believe they can rule out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school. Source: 1 NEWS


Council trees in central Otago being chopped down by people helping themselves to the timber

The Central Otago council has called on police help to crack down on people illegally cutting down council trees.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan argues that the stumps in central Otago are evidence of illegal felling of trees by members of the public.

"Randomly coming up and knocking trees down without taking any safety measures in a place that the public walk their dogs, ride their bikes and so forth is actually really dangerous, as well as theft," said Mr Cadogan.

Culprits have been forced to hand the wood over to local charities when they have been caught.

But the council now says they will be handing the thieves over to police.

"We can't just keep taking that attitude so from now on it's going to be prosecutions, no questions asked, no warnings."

Families in need of timber in Alexandra are urged to use other sources, like the Salvation Army who hand out free and low cost wood, with the Rotary Club helping to split donated costs.

Alexandra Rotary president Charles French says this option is much safer.

"It is available here and there isn't really any need for people to go their own way with this," said Mr French.

The council says their concern is the safety of the public and the thieves.

It's becoming such a problem across the region the council's now cracking down and involving police. Source: 1 NEWS


Man dies after falling into Mt Ruapehu's Crater Lake

A man has died after falling into Crater Lake at Mount Ruapehu.

Emergency services were flown to the scene via helicopter at around 1.50pm.

The man was recovered from the lake by members of the group he was with before emergency services arrived.

An eyewitness told 1 NEWS that the man and a friend were having lunch, when their personal items began to slide down the hill.

They both slid down the ice to retrieve their items and one of them managed to stop, but the other couldn't and fell into the crater.

The death will be referred to the Coroner.

The man was pulled from the water by members of the public. Source: Josh Davis

Air New Zealand to ditch Vietnam flights next year

Air New Zealand will stop flying to Vietnam from next year.

The airline said that over the past year, due to engine problems, it has consistently had nearly half of its fleet of 13 787 Dreamliners grounded while their engines are serviced in Singapore.

As a result, Air New Zealand has leased three aircraft, but to prevent further disruptions it will stop flying to Vietnam next year, suspend services to Haneda in Tokyo, and reduce the frequency of flights to Argentina and Taipei.

Chief executive Christopher Luxon said he will meet Rolls-Royce management in London next month to seek reassurances the engines will be fixed soon.

Air New Zealand Dreamliner. Source: 1 NEWS