'My son is getting blood noses' - petition to alter hot and heavy Auckland high school uniform

Students at a west Auckland high school have formed a petition to introduce a summer uniform to combat the city's "humid, hot summer weather".

More than 650 people have signed an online petition to allow Massey High School pupils to be "physically comfortable".

"The new uniform at Massey High School looks sharp! But let's face it, it's a winter uniform - definitely not suitable for Auckland's humid, hot summer weather," the petition reads.

"Sweating profusely, or just plain distracted by the heat - these things stop us achieving our educational potential.

"We're calling on the Board of Trustees to implement a common sense solution to this problem: a summer uniform. Lots of well-regarded public schools (such as Auckland Grammar School) have a summer uniform. Why can't we?"

One student commented at the bottom of the petition: "I have to wear this uniform and whenever I walk to school I sweat profusely. Having to spray deodorant when I reach Massey High. I also feel that some students may suffer from the heat in classes with this uniform in summer. Making it harder for students to perform and think at their peak."

One student's mother also said: "The new Massey High School uniform is totally inappropriate for summer! I want to see a summer uniform option available for both males and females. The blazer should only be compulsory in the winter time!"

She said her son had "suddenly started to get blood noses and my daughter is getting headaches and having to get panadol from the school nurse" due to the heavy clothing.

The Massey High School website states the "uniform is a symbol of the school to which pupils belong and of which they can be proud".

"The school expects students to maintain a high standard of grooming at all times. It follows that the uniform should be worn complete and in a way that reflects credit on both the wearer and the school."

The uniform was changed at the start of 2016.

The Massey High School uniform.
The Massey High School uniform. Source: Supplied

Foreign buyer ban to impact Kiwi house prices and squeeze more Kiwis out of apartment market - Westpac economist

The Government's upcoming foreign buyer ban will "clearly" impact Auckland and Queenstown house prices and may squeeze locals out of the apartment market, a Westpac economist says.

The bank's chief economist Dominick Stephens told the NZ Herald today that the market may react in a similar way to Toronto, Canada, when a stamp duty on foreign buyers was introduced.

"Toronto house prices fell around 5 per cent soon afterward," Mr Stephens said.

However, he believes that prices in Auckland and Queenstown are unlikely to fall as much as those in Toronto due to the "watered down" nature of New Zealand's foreign buyer ban.

The main reason for this is that the ban still allows Singaporeans and Australians to buy Kiwi homes and other nationalities can buy 60 per cent of apartments available in complexes with 20 units or more.

Mr Stephens told the NZ Herald this may lead to more foreign buyers in the apartment market, effectively squeezing Kiwis out.

We discuss how changes to foreign buyers legislation will impact homebuyers. Source: 1 NEWS

The economist says the areas that would feel most impact from the ban will be the North Shore, Central City, Howick and Henderson, Massey districts in Auckland and the Queenstown Lakes District.

"These are the places in which foreign buyers account for more than 5 per cent of sales at present."

In terms of the overall market, Westpac thinks house prices will decline at a modest rate in New Zealand over the next few years.

"This is because the New Zealand housing market faces a menagerie of negative forces, including tax changes, slowing population growth and the foreign buyer ban," Mr Stephens said. 

Phil Twyford says the new legislation will not affect genuine migrants, and is designed to dampen speculation when the housing market picks up again. Source: Breakfast

Should mānuka honey standards be more strictly regulated in NZ? Consultation closes today

Public consultation on the new standards for mānuka honey closes today.

Since February, all mānuka honey exported from New Zealand has had to meet scientific tests to ensure it's authentic.

Those standards were created in the wake of concerns from international trading partners about the authenticity of New Zealand mānuka honey.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) believes a significant amount of honey is sold as mānuka, with prices ranging from $12 per kilogram to over $140 per kilogram.

MPI wants to protect the industry from counterfeit product, but producers say the DNA test isn't working. Source: 1 NEWS

The test implemented earlier this year involves looking for five markers, four of those chemical and one DNA.

MPI is now considering whether honey sold in the domestic market should meet those strict standards too.

They've released a consultation document which looks at the current system, and assesses whether a voluntary or mandatory testing would work best.

Problems with MPI's testing of Manuka honey is worrying Kiwi producers who don't want to lose reputations. Source: 1 NEWS

The deadline for public feedback closes at 5pm.

You can have your say here.

The Ministry of Primary Industries has today announced a chemical and DNA definition for Manuka honey, to protect its trade reputation overseas. Source: 1 NEWS


Weekend's most read: Noisy street racers disrupting terminally ill Timaru hospice patients' final days

This story was first published on Saturday September 16.

Timaru’s Hospice is pleading for quiet and some respect after noisy night time drivers have been disturbing their terminally ill patients.

Timaru’s Hospice is pleading for quiet and respect for their patients. Source: 1 NEWS

After a long battle with throat cancer Charles Roebuck’s been given just days to live, but he says his final nights are being disrupted by street racers speeding down the road around the Hospice.

“Here I am quietly getting some rest and next thing this is a race-strip,” Hospice patient Charles Roebuck told 1 NEWS.

He’s not the first patient to complain about the disruption.

“We thank him very much for raising this issue of the traffic around Hospice, because we work here and we’re not as conscious often as the patients are,” says Hospice South Canterbury general manager Peter O’Neill.

Hospice staff are asking driver for a little consideration for their patients.

"To think that is might be one of their relatives one day or one of their friends and just that due respect for common decency I suppose," says Mr O’Neill.

Mr Roebuck has even written a letter to the Timaru District Council with his concerns.

“This place is soundproofed, I mean it's got double glazing, but with those cars zapping backwards and forwards."

The council says they’ve only just become aware of the issue and are now looking at options for putting up signs to encourage people to slow down.


DOC staff face more abuse after anti-1080 protests

Department of Conservation staff are facing a torrent of online threats and abuse following a recent spike in anti-1080 protests.

The escalation is being put down to people being captured by fake news spread on social media and has forced DOC to seek advice from Netsafe.

Just last week anti-1080 activists put dead birds, including kererū and weka on the steps of Parliament, claiming they were poisoned by the toxin.

After police were called in to investigate if the birds had in fact been bludgeoned, one of the protesters admitted some were actually road kill.

There is also the picture of dead kiwi doing the rounds on social media with a claim they had fallen victim to the poison.

DOC's threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki said those kiwi were either killed by dogs or cars.

She believes many people opposed to 1080 are joining the bandwagon without fully understanding what it is, and do not know about the decades of science behind its use.

This is having a consequence for frontline DOC staff, Mrs Toki said incidents of threats and abuse in August were significantly higher than usual.

"We had eight incidents in just one month alone where staff were physically confronted, abused or harassed and then we had seven abusive phone calls and emails"

She said in addition to that there were countless harassment threats and abuse via social media which were followed up with Netsafe and the police.

Mrs Toki told Morning Report a large proportion of New Zealanders genuinely cared about native wildlife and were interested in how pests were controlled using 1080.

DOC was doing its best to bring them the facts but when they were being bombarded by an "irresponsible avalanche of fake news, it's very difficult for the ordinary average New Zealander to get a real understanding of what's at play" she said.

In recent months anti-1080 groups have been spamming live news feeds of major organisations in a bid to get more attention on the subject, which has succeeded.

Lawyer Sue Grey represents protesters who have won a temporary court injunction against a poison drop in the Hunua Ranges.

Last November a video of her explaining how to get more media traction on 1080 was uploaded to YouTube, her advice included jumping in on news stories with 1080 comments even if the story had nothing to do with the toxin.

Mrs Toki said she had heard it all when it comes to fake news on 1080, from the Illuminati to Agenda 21.

"The theories are endless, none of them have any factual basis whatsoever and what's at stake is our precious native wildlife, which we just can't afford to lose."

Nick Smith held both the Conservation and Environment portfolios under the previous government in which time 1080 use was expanded from about 100,000 hectares a year to more than 800,000 hectares.

He said his government spent over $5 million looking at alternatives, but 1080 came out as the safest and best tool.

Dr Smith said the 2011 report from the-then Environment Commissioner Jan Wright substantially shifted public opinion on the toxin.

He said the activity was ramping up and on current projections someone would get hurt, he believes untrue claims and misinformation are feeding a fringe conspiracy group.

"With social media sites people are able to get a real rage and a conspiracy theory and think that there is the majority of New Zealanders are opposed to the use of the poison."

Dr Smith said the fact that the Ban 1080 political party only managed 0.1 percent of the vote at last year's general election and had de-registered showed how little support the movement had.

The current Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, said the huge predator free movement across the country showed the anti-1080 group had lost people's hearts and minds, and they were having an extreme reaction.

"We've had previously things like wheel nuts on vehicles being loosened causing a real risk to staff ... they need to be able to get on with the job without being intimidated and abused."

DOC is monitoring the anti-1080 activity and work is going on to ensure the safety of frontline staff and contractors.

By Kate Gudsell


A 1080 protest outside Parliament last week. (VNP/Phil Smith) Source: rnz.co.nz