PM receives rapturous applause at Victoria uni announcing end to NZ oil and gas exploration

Jacinda Ardern encountered an approving crowd today at Victoria University as she announced the end to new contracts for offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, after the government was met with some criticism for the move.

Addressing a huge climate change rally at the Wellington university, the Prime Minister received enthusiastic applause throughout her speech which delved into some of the details of her end to oil exploration permits.

Ms Ardern outlined this year's block offer, in which new exploration permits are offered by the government to oil companies, will be limited to onshore acreage in Taranaki alone.

The government will also no longer be issuing any new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

"This is another step on our transition away from fossil fuels and away form a carbon neutral economy," Ms Ardern said, while acknowledging this announcement alone would not be enough to combat climate change. 

The Prime Minister was also keen to reassure regions economically hit by this announcement they would not be abandoned by the government.

"We've seen before the enormous social damage done in the 1980s due to rapid, uncaring change," she said.

"I'm a child of the 80s. I grew up during a time when this country was going through a difficult economic transition in a very short period of time.

"People lost jobs suddenly, communities were gutted, families were displaced. I saw evidence of that.

"We will not let that happen again on our watch."

Jacinda Ardern spoke to a huge rally on climate change in Wellington today, after launching her historic oil exploration ban. Source: 1 NEWS



Hawke's Bay DHB refute claims vulnerable elderly forced to wait for bed at rest homes

Claims that vulnerable elderly are being forced to wait up to ten months for a rest home bed in Hawke's Bay are being refuted by the DHB.

Yesterday, the NZ Aged Care Association released findings it claims show over half of the country's DHBs are delaying rest home access to older people who have been deemed at high risk living in the community.

In the report, collated from 300,000 clinical assessments over three years, an older person living in the Hawke's Bay DHB region took 7 months longer than neighbouring DHB's to access care.

However, Hawke's Bay District Health Board said there were no queues, and that "people needing to be in an aged residential care facility usually wait only a matter of days for a bed if they need that level of care". 

Chief medical and dental officer Dr John Gommans said: "The report released by the New Zealand Aged Care Association was written by a lobby group, and did not provide the full picture. The report ignores access to services that allow older people to remain at home if they prefer that option."

Dr Gommans said in Hawke's Bay the focus and investment had been to help older people stay independent in their own homes for longer, with wrap-around care to support them and their families in that decision.

"No-one who needs to be in an aged residential care facility in Hawke's Bay is denied a bed, and neither do they wait in a queue," he said. 

However NZ Aged Care Association CEO Simon Wallace said the analysis "supports the Government's finding in its inquiry into the aged sector last year".

"We are keen to work with the Government to ensure that the interRAI assessment tools are applied and interpreted in the way they were intended - in a consistent way across all the DHBs."

He says the NZ Aged Care Association supports people remaining at home if it is safe for them to do so and they are well supported, however this analysis shows that many people are potentially staying at home too long and could be enjoying better health and well-being in a rest home.

Source: 1 NEWS

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Air NZ plane hit by green laser strike after take-off at Kerikeri, say police

Police are investigating a report that an Air New Zealand aircraft was hit by a green laser strike after take-off at Kerikeri Airport this morning.

The aircraft had just departed from the airport at 6.10am and was flying at around 1,500 feet when the laser strike occurred, said Constable Rhys Dempster of Kerikeri Police.

Police are taking the incident seriously and are making enquiries into it, he said.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information that can assist enquiries is being urged to contact Kerikeri Police on 09 407 9211.

Laser Pointer Source: Breakfast