Nelson region holidaymakers drenched as heavy rain pummels upper South Island

Golden Bay locals and holidaymakers are being advised to stay alert as the region gets a soaking.

Heavy rain has pummelled the Upper South Island since yesterday afternoon, causing rivers to swiftly rise and surface flooding on roads.

Despite the downpour, fire services have confirmed there were no weather-related calls overnight.

There were two blocked roads earlier this morning, but they have since been cleared.

A flood warning remains in place on SH60 between Takaka and Collingwood, near the Little Onahau River.

One Spec Road in Takaka was impassable before the Anatoki River last night.

Campers at Pohara campground remain undeterred, having already stuck out stormy conditions last week.

Holidaymaker Oscar Evans told 1 NEWS the front of his tent had flooded, but it hadn’t dampened his love for his "favourite place".

He described how a "lakes" worth of water had also built up outside his tent during last week’s downpour.

"We actually got the kayak out and we were actually paddling in it."

MetService has predicted heavy rain to ease in the region by early this morning, but expects a further 60 to 90mm of rain about the ranges west of Motueka and 30 to 50mm elsewhere, on top of what has already fallen.

One holidaymaker in Golden Bay said he was able to kayak outside his tent where rain had built up at Pohara campsite. Source: 1 NEWS

Ministry for Vulnerable Children today drops 'vulnerable' from its name

The name change for Oranga Tamariki-Ministry for Children, dropping the word "vulnerable", officially takes effect today.

The name change from "Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki" was announced by the Government in December.

Children's Minister Tracey Martin says what the ministry does is far more important than its name.

"However, we want the Ministry's name to reflect that we have aspirations for all children and young people."

Ms Martin says Oranga Tamariki is only nine months old and it has to focus on its core work - improving the quality and range of care available to children most in need, lifting social work standards and improving youth justice outcomes.

But she says over the Government's term, Oranga Tamariki-Ministry for Children will widen its view. 

"We want a plan and measures in place so that as a country we make sure that we are doing the right thing for all of our kids."

The minister says the name change has had no impact on funding for services.

"Oranga Tamariki had a budget for its establishment, including new signage for its buildings. The chief executive rightly focused on getting services running before getting signs up, so that money is going to be used now," Ms Martin said.

"The name change is a symbolic step, but it means a lot for those in care and the people who work with and care for our tamariki and it signals where we are heading," the minister said.

The NZ First MP wouldn't say who the party would be forming a coalition with today.
Source: 1 NEWS


Calls for more support for diabetic mums after study finds they're more likely to develop heart disease

New research has found women who develop diabetes during pregnancy are significantly more likely to develop heart disease.

A British study authored by Auckland University lecturer Barbara Daly found women who have gestational diabetes are 20 times more likely to develop type two diabetes, have almost twice the risk of hypertension, and - the most significant discovery - are almost three times more likely to develop heart disease.  

"It's actually quite logical that you would expect woman who have all the hallmarks of gestational diabetes to have a higher risk of heart disease," Ms Daly said.

The study is particularly significant for New Zealand where diabetes rates are among the highest in the world.

"One reason we have higher rates is due to our obesity epidemic," Ms Daly said.  

Diabetes New Zealand says the solution is post-pregnancy support.

"It's really difficult for them. They've got a brand new baby, they've got children, and they don't tend to look after themselves," said Heather Verry, Diabetes NZ chief executive. "There really needs to be a support sytem in place that's ongoing."

Stella Mackey, a mother who had gestational diabetes in her first and second pregnancies, says support is currently non-existent.  

"There's a big focus for making sure baby comes out healthy and stuff, but there's not as much focus on the mother, or the woman, at the end of the day carrying on," Ms Mackey said.

Ms Mackey said she thought type 2 diabetes was all she had to deal with. 

"But, heart disease being on the list, it's not really a surprise, but it's just another thing that you have to think about. No one wants to be unwell for the rest of their lives."

Ms Daly wants a New Zealand study to be conducted so that mothers like Ms Mackey can carry on with the best care possible. 

That's according to new research led by a New Zealand academic. Source: 1 NEWS