Rare footage captured of tuatara hatching

Extremely rare footage of a tuatara hatching has been filmed at Victoria University of Wellington.

Young tuatara

Last to hatch, the egg was one of 23 being incubated in captivity this year as part of a joint initiative that helped to save a threatened population of tuatara from extinction.

Sue Keall, a technician in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University, says the tuatara filmed was an offspring from the programme.

"We never get to see the moment when they hatch because they do it in an incubator in the dark it just happens when we're not looking so to see it happen on film is very exciting."

Using a low-cost microcomputer and infrared camera, her team filmed seven hours of footage and then compressed it into a short video clip. The tuatara caught on video is the 255th to be hatched at Victoria.

Since the early 1990s an intensive conservation recovery plan for tuatara has been run on Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier Island, partly-funded by The Hauturu Supporters Trust and Auckland Zoo. Ms Keall was in the first team 23 years ago and recalls searching day and night for tuatara, which are found only in New Zealand and had not been seen on the Island for 10 years.

"Amazingly we found four tuatara in a week on that first trip."

A disused aviary had to be adapted to house them and they remained in captivity for their own safety while an agreement was made to eradicate kiore (Pacific rats) from the island.

A second trip found four more tuatara and shortly after a 'tuatarium' enclosure was built to house the four male and four female tuatara.

Over the years, the tuatara laid eggs which were sent to the university to be incubated and hatched. The young tuatara were then returned to Hauturu o Toi/Little Barrier to be reared in a 'headstart' programme, where they were kept in special enclosures, safe from kiore.

"For the Little Barrier population, this programme stopped their near certain extinction in the presence of kiore, and boosted their recovery by increasing the numbers more quickly than could have happened naturally," says Ms Keall.

Hauturu o Toi is a nature reserve located 80 kilometres north-east of Auckland, which is now home to around 300 tuatara, most of which have been incubated at Victoria University.

Extremely rare footage of a tuatara hatching has been filmed at Wellington's Victoria University. Source: 1 NEWS


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Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp


Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp

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Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp


Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS