Half of Countdown's 181 supermarkets rid stores of single-use plastic bags this week - but the move has received mixed reactions.
The supermarket chain announced in October last year they would stop using the bags by the end of this year - and two reusable options would be on offer instead.
But the cost, and the fact both reusable options are made of plastic has raised eyebrows.
Posters with the phrase "goodbye plastic bags, hello cleaner New Zealand" rest on top of every till and trolleys full of reusable bags around Manurewa Countdown.
Most shoppers were pleased about the supermarket's decision.
Stevie Macdonald, a keen reusable bag user, said she put her groceries in the boot or in a washing basket if she ever forgot them.
"I think it's awesome that they've taken [plastic bags] out and are making people more aware and pushing it on them ... saying this is what we're now doing so you help us do it too," she said.
However Jeamimah Jones, from Manurewa, described the changes as "annoying".
"They should put it back to how it was before because it is too much buying the reusable ones," she said.
Colleen Tipene, on the other hand, said having to pay for the bags should force people into the habit of buying them once and not forgetting them.
"That gets people into the habit of bringing their bags, having them on them all the time, after they get home, unload their shopping, put their bags back into the car - it took me a while to learn that!"
Countdown now offers two reusable options - a $1 bag which can be used up to 150 times before it starts to break down and a 15 cent 'emergency' reusable bag which can be used up to 20 times - both are made of plastic.
Countdown Manurewa's plastic ban action.
Engineers for Social Responsibility president Thomas Neitzert said the supermarket should be congratulated for their decision to ban single-use bags.
However, he said offering reusable bags made of plastic almost defeated the purpose.
"They could find a different material, like renewable materials, that could be for example, made of wool or cotton, or some other textile, or even hemp fibres. Then that would be better, but it is certainly a start as long as these are not single-use bags," Mr Neitzert said.
Countdown's corporate affairs and sustainability general manager Kiri Hannifin said both bag options could be recycled with other soft plastics and did not pose the same environmental threat as a single-use plastic bag.
"The problem that we are most trying to solve is getting rid of single-use bags and single-use packaging, actually."
He said the aim was to reduce the reliance on single-use and the options they provided ensured that.
All Countdown stores are set to be plastic bag free by the end of the year.
A young New Zealand fur seal is being treated for infection at Auckland Zoo after being found slumped on a rock ledge at Piha with discarded fishing line around its neck.
A young woman had spotted the injured seal and Department of Conservation rangers responded, DOC ranger Gabrielle Goodin told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.
"Literally when we got out there I saw the seal and it was over this little rock ledge and I thought it was dead," Ms Goodin said.
Auckland Zoo vet Lydia Uddstrom said the fishing line has no give, so as the seal grows with it around the neck, the line cuts deeper and deeper.
"It's not a simple matter of cut the nylon off and just chuck him back out and good luck to you. It's really that follow up and making sure that we can control any infection," Ms Uddstrom said.
The vets work in silence, trying to keep the young seal as calm as possible while treating it at the zoo.
The case is a reminder of how a little piece of human waste can cause such pain to an innocent victim.
Fur seals are a conservation success story, with their numbers up.
But so is human interaction with them.
"We have a high population in Auckland, so it's managing that success. How can we make sure we still see a lot of seals, people are interacting with them properly and we can keep them from being injured from things like fishing lines," Ms Goodin said.
Things are looking good for the young fur seal which has been showing improvement.
"We are hopeful that if we can get on top of this infection and everything else that's going on, he should be able to get out there where he belongs," Ms Uddstrom said.
Seven Sharp’s Lucas de Jong visited the mammal at the zoo.
Source: Seven Sharp
There’s no show without punch, and although Winston Peters did not say much, he said enough. Unlike the Prime Minister who was something of a disappointment.
Last Sunday’s carefully stage-managed display of unity by Jacinda Ardern and her deputy was not so much a case of fake news as one of fabricated news.
It was somehow befitting of the barmy politics emanating daily from the Government benches in Parliament that the coalition Government should half-celebrate its 12-month birthday having been in the job for just on 11 months.
A carefully-chosen audience was corralled on Auckland’s AUT campus to hear — or rather endure — Ardern taking close to half-an-hour to spell out her Government’s 12 priorities.
Source: 1 NEWS
Admittedly, it is difficult to inject excitement into a discussion of the virtues of intended alterations to the structure of the various Cabinet committees which meet weekly in the Beehive.
But one further priority would be finding a new speech writer for the Prime Minister before someone falls asleep and drowns in the verbiage. Or simply dies of boredom.
The said wordsmith's job is probably safe, however. The strict instruction from upon high would have been not to include the merest morsel of anything that those listening might find interesting — and which would detract from the whole purpose of the occasion, specifically the need for the Government to project an image as rock solid unified.
The political pantomime had one overriding objective — convincing an increasingly sceptical public that although Ardern and Peters might not always be on the same page, they are still capable of trading smiles on the same platform after 11 months of jostling one another.
While the Labour-New Zealand coalition has witnessed sporadic bouts of internal guerrilla warfare in recent times and principally on New Zealand First’s part, it is vastly over-dramatising things to suggest this so far occasional rebellion could become full-blown civil war.
So there was no chance of Peters going AWOL last Sunday. It would, however, have helped the coalition’s cause considerably had he uttered the immortal words "of course she's driving the car" during the earlier stages of the developing friction between the partners in Government. He was unwilling on Sunday to stretch the metaphor any further. But when it comes to back-seat driving or driving backwards, Peters is a master.
He has not taken on board any perceivable role as a back-room fixer for the coalition despite such a role having the capacity to alleviate some of the huge pressures weighing on Ardern’s shoulders.
He has instead exploited her inexperience as Labour’s leader and the fact that she spreads herself thin to bolster his party’s leverage within the coalition.
It is such game-play good that threatens the Government’s stability. It is not so much that the partners might clash over policy. As Ardern repeatedly notes, the coalition comprises three parties. There is always going to be disagreement over policy.
What matters is how such disputes are handled by the respective party leaderships - John Armstrong
What matters is how such disputes are handled by the respective party leaderships; whether, to use the parlance, they act on the basis of good faith and no surprises.
Ardern’s response to suggestions of disunity is to pretend there is none when she is so questioned. That is not credible.
She has now sought to brush off those claims made by her opponents by creating a distraction through repackaging her party’s priorities and relaunching them as a "coalition blueprint" under the title of Our Plan.
It would not have taken Labour’s spin-doctors long to dream up that title. It is the exact same one as used by National during the John Key-Bill English years in their similar quest to turn New Zealand into Utopia.
The only difference between Labour’s and National’s respective efforts was that Key was dismissive of such "vision documents". They might be useful in listing goals. They rarely provide detail of the means to be adopted to reach those goals. The day-to-day pressures of political life inevitably result in the prime minister of the day focusing heavily on short-term political management. Concentrating on the long-term can always be postponed to another day.
National’s various versions of vision have accordingly sunk without trace. That experience would have been a factor in Simon Bridges’ acidic observation that there was nothing in the long list of platitudes, banalities and truisms in Ardern’s blueprint which he would find hard to swallow. He isn’t wrong.
The producers of Ardern’s massive missive may have feared the same fate awaits their product as afflicted National’s equally turgid equivalent, creation.
That hurts. But Bridges is making the pertinent point that Ardern’s claim that her plan amounts to a "shared vision" of the three parties in her governing arrangement is utterly meaningless.
All it says is that the three-party grouping stretches so far across the political system that National can be accommodated with room to spare.
That makes it hard to keep the whole show on the road at the best of times.
With ministers falling like nine-pins, bureaucrats thinking nothing of splashing out $1.5 million on a justice policy summit and private consultants growing fat on the tidy sums to be made from servicing the plethora of working parties and task forces doing the work that career public servants are arguably better left to do, Labour is fast losing the plot.
But never mind. Ardern and her colleagues got what they wanted. That was a minute or two of coalition unity at the top of the six o’clock news. Given Labour’s growing malaise, that’s priceless.
The Prime Minister gave details of the Government plan during a speech in Auckland.
Source: 1 NEWS