Public in favour for govt to pay to save Maui's dolphin, according to poll

A new public opinion poll has placed more pressure on the government to help the fishing industry better protect critically endangered Maui's dolphins.

A Colmar Brunton poll commissioned by the WWF conservation group asked whether the government should financially assist fishers to transition to dolphin-safe fishing methods in Maui's dolphins' habitat.

Seventy-five per cent said yes, 13 per cent said no, 12 per cent were unsure.

There's estimated to be just 63 adult Maui's dolphins left in the world and WWF campaigner Peter Hardstaff says the Government should step in to help fishermen transition away from set-netting and trawling.

"Fishing restrictions cover only about 40% of Māui habitat. The Minister for Primary Industries is out of step with public opinion and out of step with the science," Hardstaff says.

A recent report by BERL economic researchers estimated the Government could help the fishing industry protect dolphins for $26 million.

Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, said he's comfortable the Government already has effective restrictions in place, with more than 1,700 square kilometres off the west coast of the North Island closed to trawl net fishing.

There is an estimated 63 Maui dolphins left in the world. Source: 1 NEWS



Auckland school to pay reparation to students cut by razor when Sweeney Todd went horribly wrong

Auckland's St Kentigern College is to pay reparation to two students who received lacerations to their throats from a razor during the school production of the musical Sweeney Todd last year.

The incident happened on the opening night of the musical Sweeney Todd, which tells the story of a throat-cutting barber. Source: 1 NEWS

Here's part of the 1 NEWS coverage of the incident at the time.

WorkSafe New Zealand says it has accepted an "enforceable undertaking" from the St Kentigern Trust Board following the incident in April 2016.

WorkSafe says during the production on April 6, there was a scene in which two characters were being shaved by Sweeney Todd. 

After being shaved there was a simulation of these characters having their throats cut and the two actors playing these characters received very serious lacerations to their throats.

WorkSafe's investigation found that the St Kentigern Trust Board breached the Health and Safety at Work Act of 2015 by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of students was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the business or undertaking. 

This is the first time WorkSafe has used an enforceable undertaking, a provision under the act, which can be considered as an alternative to prosecution. 

Under the undertaking, the board has accepted full responsibility for the incident and the harm which was caused as a result.

It has also committed to a restorative justice process with the victims of the offending, including the payment of reparation as an outcome.

The board has also taken steps to improve health and safety within the wider education sector, through the development of health and safety guidance and the building and delivery of training, for the benefit of schools nationwide.

Stephen Cole says the prop had been filed down and bound with duct tape and foam. Source: 1 NEWS

Following the incident last year, 1 NEWS NOW reported that two 16-year-old boys received neck injuries in the performance's opening night from a razor wrapped in duct tape and foam.

WorkSafe General Manager Operations and Specialist Services, Brett Murray, said tonight the decision to accept an enforceable undertaking was appropriate as this was a serious but isolated incident.

"We have carefully considered the impact of this incident and the wishes of the three victims and their families," he said. 

Saint Kentigern Trust Board deputy chairperson Dr John Kernohan said the board sincerely apologises for the fact that the accident happened and for the harm caused to all those families involved.  

"Saint Kentigern accepts that it should have done more to acknowledge the seriousness of what happened immediately after the accident.  The injuries were not minor. The injuries were significant and life threatening," he said.

"Individual members of the Trust Board personally feel deep regret and take full responsibility for the emotional and physical harm that has been suffered by those students involved.

"Ensuring that all students can learn in a safe environment remains Saint Kentigern's first priority." 

As part of the enforceable undertaking agreement, Saint Kentigern will not comment further until the restorative justice process with the families is completed, he said.

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