Paddleboarder 'disgusted' by Kiwis throwing their rubbish into the ocean

“Kiwis aren’t doing their bit to keep New Zealand beautiful”.

That’s the opinion of amateur paddle boarder Billy Lewis.

He took to Facebook to express his disgust at how polluted New Zealand’s oceans are, after completely filling a tote bag and two buckets with trash in just one hour.

While it was just a typical day on the water, he quickly came across discarded condoms, straws, chip packets and bottles.

He told 1 NEWS that New Zealand is not living up to its clean green image.

He said the issue is definitely a lot bigger than people think, and it’s going to take a lot more “firepower” to clean up New Zealand’s oceans.

It has become routine for him and his family to take out bags when on the water,  aiming to recover as much rubbish as possible.

“I just don’t see the sense in chucking rubbish out of the window” he said.

It’s estimated that more than 12 million tons of plastic enter oceans annually, and New Zealand has been named the 10th most wasteful country in the developed world.

Paddleboarder Billy Lewis says Kiwis need to step their game up when it comes to throwing rubbish into the ocean.
Paddleboarder Billy Lewis says Kiwis need to step their game up when it comes to throwing rubbish into the ocean. Source: Supplied

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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

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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

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Tuatara surprises staff at National Kiwi Centre by giving birth

Some surprise arrivals in Hokitika have delighted staff and visitors at the town’s kiwi centre.

At some point in 2017, the centre’s female tuatara became pregnant and buried her eggs, but no one knew until now.

It was the smallest of movements that caught animal handler Karen Smith's eye when she was checking on the National Kiwi Centre’s tuatara.

“[I was] thinking it may be a mouse and then when I got a better look at it I realised it was a baby tuatara.”

Staff at Hokitika’s kiwi centre were unaware their female tuatara was even pregnant until the eggs hatched.

“I managed to scout around and find another three - so we ended up with four live baby tuataras,” says Ms Smith.

The tiny tuataras are kept separate from their parents and for good reason.

Adults tuataras will eat their offspring as soon as they hatch.

While tuatara births in captivity aren’t rare, here in Hokitika the odds were against them.

Tuatara are native to New Zealand, descended from the dinosaur period and can live to 100 or beyond.

Henry at Southland Museum became a first-time father at 111, and he’s the granddaddy to the new West Coast arrivals.

Karen Smith is certain there are more infants on the loose and is asking visitors to keep an eye out.

“I have been telling people to look for movement in here and if they see anything to come tell us up the front."

The tuatara became pregnant last year, buried her eggs, but no one knew until now. Source: 1 NEWS


Homicide investigation launched after person found dead in Canterbury

Police have launched a homicide investigation after one person died in Charing Cross, Selwyn this afternoon.

One person has died in the rural area of Selwyn this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

Emergency services were called to the scene on Grange Road about 3.30pm.

Police believe an altercation took place between two men.

They say a number of people are assisting them.

A scene guard will remain in place overnight and a full scene examination will take place in the morning.