More record warm years ahead unless greenhouse gas cuts enforced, expert warns

New Zealand is in store for more record warm years unless cuts to greenhouse gas emissions are strictly imposed, says a climate expert.

NIWA has just confirmed that 2016 was New Zealand's hottest year on record ever. Source: 1 NEWS

The country has just come through its hottest year on record with a mean temperature of 13.4 degrees Celsius, 0.83 degrees above the long-term average.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research principal scientist Chris Brandolino says NIWA expects this will continue unless there are strict implementations of carbon emission reductions. 

"Our atmosphere will continue to warm. So yeah, it's our expectation. It depends on basically which carbon emission scenario occurs. It depends what we do as well as a society," Mr Brandolino said.

He said this will mean "more extreme weather events, more days in drought, more heavy rainfall events, more extremes basically".

Mr Brandolino says three things caused the record.

The winds were from the north and north west more times than usual, our ocean temperatures were quite warm especially in the first half of 2016, and carbon emissions.

He says Co2 emissions have allowed long-term warming over the past 100 years.

Stats out today show that a nearly one degree temperature rise was recorded in NZ in 2016. Source: 1 NEWS

"Our atmosphere has warmed in New Zealand about a degree over the past 100 years. So that long-term warming combined with what we call natural variability - which way the winds are coming, how the oceans are looking -  when those things are aligned you can get a record breaking year."

'More pests and more dead birds'

Forest and Bird says the warmer climate is putting native species at risk.

"We get more beech seeds falling in the forest. And that means more food for rodents, and that means more pests and more dead birds," said Geoff Keey of Forest and Bird.

The Government says it is aiming to reduce emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

But critics want more urgency.

"We can electrify our transport system, we can farm smarter, we can plant more trees. There's a lot we can actually get on with right now," Mr Keey said.

Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick says New Zealand trades on the "clean, green 100 per cent pure" image.

"And when you look at what's happening with greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand we're going in totally the wrong direction," he said.



One man dead after reported street fight in Lower Hutt

One person has died in Lower Hutt this evening reportedly after a fight broke out.

Police have confirmed one man has died from "injuries sustained in an assault" at an incident on High Street in Taitā this evening.

Police say they were called to reports of a fight between a group of men at around 7:45pm.

When they arrived, they discovered the man he had suffered critical injuries and he died shortly after at the scene.

Police have taken one person into custody and have set up a detour between Macky and Burcham Streets with a scene guard expected to be in place overnight.

Police on scene after a man died from an assault in Taitā.
Police on scene after a man died from an assault in Taitā. Source: 1 NEWS


'False and ludicrously untrue' - Trevor Mallard threatened with legal action by anti-1080 campaigner over dead native birds claim

An anti-1080 activist is threatening to take the Parliamentary Speaker Trevor Mallard to court over comments that dead native birds laid on the steps of Parliament as part of a protest appeared to have been bludgeoned.

Five native birds, including kererū and weka, were strewn across Parliament's steps on Wednesday, in what activists labelled "an act of theatre."

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Mallard said he had received expert advice the birds had been bludgeoned to death.

"I've been briefed today that the birds died from blunt force trauma," he said.

"There's work that is going on to finally establish that, and that will involve an investigation at Massey University followed by lankier research doing a toxicology check on the birds but the expert advice is that the birds were almost certainly bludgeoned to death."

But, anti-1080 protester, Alan Gurden, said that statement was ridiculous and said he would be suing for slander.

"I will definitely be taking him to court for defamation and slander of my character and that of my fellow protesters if he does not talk to Jacinda [Ardern] and make her agree to give me a meeting with a full parliamentary sitting, for a full day, to give them a presentation of the truth," he said.

"If they are forthcoming with this meeting that we were promised then I may reconsider not taking him to court."

Mr Gurden said there was no way the birds had been bludgeoned.

Department of Conservation staff say in the past month they've had their car tyres slashed and wheel nuts loosened. Source: 1 NEWS

"Trevor Mallard has made an absolutely false and ludicrously untrue statement in saying they were bludgeoned," he said.

"Now we took photographs and footage of those birds, none of them appeared bludgeoned to me."

Some of the birds were roadkill, while others were picked up from a 1080 dropzone in 2014, Mr Gurden said.

However, he could not say for sure if they died as a result of 1080.

"My acquaintance that kept those animals in his freezer since then was hoping to be able to get a pathology report or whatever you call it to get them tested for 1080 residues," he said.

"So he had kept them in his freezer but he has not had the vast sums of money available to him to be able to get an independent test."

In a written statement today, after being advised by RNZ of Mr Gurden's defamation threat, Mr Mallard said he was not going to be bullied but would make no further comment.

The Department of Conservation said they had been the target of threats and violence by some anti-1080 activists, with 16 incident reports being lodged by staff in August 2018.

- Katie Doyle

Rnz.co.nz

Speaker Trevor Mallard has taken the matter to the police and DOC. Source: 1 NEWS

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Fletcher's terrace homes to provide solution to Kiwi housing demands

Fletcher Building has shown off a row of five terrace homes constructed in as many days and claim this could be a remedy to the the country's housing demand.

Fletcher's prefabricated method means it takes around one to four days to weatherproof a home compared to 50 days for a standard built duplex home.

The trial is a proof of concept for the construction giant's factory which will open next year, producing around 500 prefabricated houses annually.

Chief executive Steve Evans said, "we wanted to make sure that we could do it for a variety of homes."

"We've moved from a cottage industry to a production line industry," said Auckland mayor Phil Goff.

Once the basic modules are up, the homes can be finished off in six weeks, that's so all the interiors and exterior claddings can be personalised, said the company.

For now the cost of construction is about the same as conventional homes.

"What I would hope in time is that as you get scale, then the pricing should come down and that's certainly our aspiration," said Mr Evans.

"We need 14,000, 15,000 houses a year. We're struggling to do that. with panelisation, we can do it quicker. we get better quality assurance." said Mr Goff.

The company plans to set up a factory in South Auckland, the first panels coming off the line by mid next year.

The aim is to build around 500 homes a year, with the KiwiBuild market in mind.

It’s hoped the use of preconstructed panels will speed up the building process, delivering more affordable homes over time. Source: 1 NEWS


Furore erupts after young kids wearing temporary moko told they couldn't perform at Christchurch Cultural Festival

A furore has erupted after young children wearing temporary moko were told they couldn't perform in the Christchurch Cultural Festival last week.

The festival decided to ban moko last year, following complaints about incorrect use.

The story got attention when a teacher from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whanau Tahi School made an emotional statement on social media about three children being told to take their moko off at the festival.

"The young boy, who was the original boy that had a moko on his face, he was our leader, it was him that was going to be stood down, told he couldn’t perform, the other two girls were to fix it," the teacher said in a Facebook video.

In 2016 children were allowed to perform with temporary moko, but last year the rules changed and schools signed an agreement that children wouldn't wear the facial tattoos.

Kapa haka leaders have told 1 NEWS the ban followed 30 complaints that the moko weren't authentic, but some are questioning the blanket ban.

"They go with absolute pride in their hearts and on their faces with the intent to showcase their culture and themselves and they potentially got shot down," Mokopapa organiser Huata Martindale told 1 NEWS.

Both the school and the Christchurch Primary Schools Festival Trust didn't want to comment, but said they're working through a process together.

The festival decided to ban moko after complaints about incorrect use, but it has left some in the school community upset. Source: 1 NEWS