'Nobody is comfortable' with NZ having worst homelessness record in OECD - Finance Minister

A move to measure well-being, alongside GDP, will "paint a full picture" of the success of New Zealand, says Finance Minister Grant Robertson. 

Grant Robertson told the Debt Capital Markets Summit this morning that he wants to see Kiwis, "no matter where they live, given the opportunity to flourish". 

"GDP alone does not paint a full picture of New Zealanders' wellbeing or living standards," he told the audience. 

He was asked if it was a "hard-sell" to the business community, to put emphasis on measuring well-being alongside GDP. 

"No, not really," he answered. "My interactions with business have shown me that actually they want to see a wider set of success measures."

"Business people are members of society and nobody is comfortable if the OECD is telling us we've got the world's worst homelessness. 

"We will still measure and use GDP, but we'll have a much wider range of success measures for the country. 

He did not think it related to business confidence. "Those surveys are sentiment surveys and some of that I acknowledge in the speech." 

During the speech, Mr Robertson spoke about developing infrastructure, transitioning New Zealand to a "sustainable economy" and for the desire for an "inclusive economy"

The Government will deliver its Wellbeing Budget next year. Success measures will include the state of New Zealand's health, the environment, and the connectivity of communities. 

Grant Robertson was asked if a focus on well-being, instead of GDP growth was a “hard-sell” to the business community. Source: 1 NEWS

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Lotto winner gets $11 million - Second time Powerball struck in less than a month

$11 million is not a bad pay check and on Saturday night a lucky Auckland Powerball player got just that.

The winning ticket was sold at New World Albany in Auckland. The prize money was made up of $10 million from Powerball First Division and $1 million from Lotto First Division.

This is the second time that Powerball has been struck in less than a month, with two lucky players from Hastings and Christchurch sharing a $5 million Powerball jackpot in mid-September.

Meanwhile, in the Bullseye Must Be Won Draw, the $400,000 jackpot rolled down to Division Two and was shared by two players who each take home $210,001.

The winning tickets were sold at Halswell New World in Christchurch and Westport New World in Westport.

The winning $7.2 million Lotto Powerball ticket. Source: Supplied

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West Auckland church using movie theatre for services

While the big screen is usually reserved for tales from Hollywood, one West Auckland church is using their newfound home at the cinemas to also retell stories from the Bible.

Members of the City Impact Church West branch now regularly attend their Sunday morning and afternoon services at a local theatre in West Auckland.

Families come in to the Westgate Event Cinemas, in Massey, treating themselves to movie snacks such as popcorn and ice-creams while listening to the pastors speak.

Pastor Joe Manase told the New Zealand Herald the unconventional idea makes sense.

"We’d heard that there are churches around the world that started to use cinemas and we thought: You know what? They’ll have comfy seats, the best air conditioning, the greatest screen and the best surround-sound system.

"There are people lining up to come to church and people lining up to buy tickets to Avengers at the same time."

City Impact use two rooms, one for main church and one specifically for children’s worship but there are also moves to hire out a third theatre by next year for their youth group.

Kirsty Bourke of the Hawera Cinema says restaurants and clubs have had dress codes for years and no one complained.
Source: 1 NEWS

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North Canterbury thermal pools masters art of turning methane gas from thermal water into electricity

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools have achieved a New Zealand first - by converting waste product into power.

After years of trial and error, the North Canterbury pools have now mastered turning methane gas from the thermal water into electricity.

Hamner Springs operations manager Neil Wilson said, "It is a waste and we were continually getting asked what it was and why we were doing it and why we weren't using it".

The machine, operated by a cell phone app. is the result of 11 years of work and a $300,000 investment.

Mr Wilson said the contraption, which has a "turbine and capacitors and stuff that control the power", turns the methane from a deep thermal water bore that supplies the hot pools into electricity.

"It's pretty exciting, yeah - pretty special. Hopefully, some other people will follow suit," he said.

The generator stops 100,000 cubic metres of methane or greenhouse gas form being pumped into the atmosphere, which accounts for 15 per cent of the thermal pools's electricity use.

Worth around $35,000, the electricity is the equivalent of how much 43 average Kiwi homes would use.

"[It's] really cool that we're a tiny authority. We're a tiny operation on a world scale but to be leading this technology is really special."

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), which helped the pools secure the world's smallest petroleum mining permit for the project, believes the innovation could be applied elsewhere.

The ECCA's Eddie Christian said it could be used "in the agriculture sector, for example, on large scale dairy or other large methane users".

Mr Wilson said they’re happy to share their discovery, saying, "Anyone’s more than welcome to come and have a look at what we've done here".

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools have achieved a New Zealand first converting waste product into power. Source: 1 NEWS


Cultural competency training hopes to bring down crime rates

Senior Māori police officers in Auckland are running cultural competency training sessions for their colleagues in an effort to bring down crime rates.

Staff of all ranks learned this week not only about protocol, but New Zealand history.

The history included dawn raids, Bastion Point, abuse in state care and urbanisation.

“It can build our empathy in our police organisation as well as to why people may present the way they are and not take them for face value,” says Inspector Scott Gemmell, Māori Responsiveness manager.

For some like Auckland police officer Gordon Campbell, learning some of the history was confronting.

“I found that really quite disheartening.”

Leaders are aware cultural competency’s been viewed negatively in the past.

“If it's touchy feely, so what? We want to engage with our communities, we want to do better, we want to do better than what we've done in the past,” says Superintendent Karyn Malthus from Auckland City District.

Police will train 1,000 Auckland based officers over ten weeks and they're hoping it'll help reduce Māori and Pacific offending 25 per cent by 2025.

“If we have a mindset whereby we are ready to engage in alternative resolutions or we are ready to engage in discretionary powers as well then by having an understanding of our collective history, then we're also in a very powerful position to be able to change,” says Mr Gemmell.

This training is not restricted to Māori culture, staff are also getting training in Chinese culture competency.

Māori police officers in Auckland are running cultural competency training sessions. Source: 1 NEWS