Sad end for magnificent creature as stranded humpback whale put down on Northland beach - 'She didn't suffer'

A whale stranded on a Northland beach has had to be put down today.

The Department of Conservation made the decision to euthanise the 20-metre humpback after attempts to refloat it failed and it became distressed.

It was a sad end for a magnificent creature. 

"Last night it was very hard on her. There was a lot of surf and she was buffeted around a lot. And now of course we have the problem with the sun being out she's overheating," Ingrid Visser, a marine biologist said earlier today.

After nearly three days battling to get the whale back out to sea, DOC made the decision to euthanise her. 

"It's not a nice decision to make. But for the sake of the well-being of the whale it was a decision that we made, and it wasn't taken lightly," said Stephen Stoole, DOC operations manager.

The saga began on Sunday when two humpback whales became stranded on Ripiro Beach.

The calf died on Monday and frantic efforts to refloat the adult were unsuccessful. 

Experts believe the whale may have resisted the refloat because of the calf up the beach. 

The beach was closed off out of respect and for safety. The whale was shot several times by an expert but media were told she didn't suffer. 

The whale remains will be handed to local iwi.

"The remains, the bones will be shared and buried for a period of time. It's called cleansing," said Alan Nesbit, Te Ruroa Iwi chairman.

"The flesh on the good one is edible. But you know you're asking difficult questions. Nothing will be going to waste."

DOC made the decision to end the whale’s life after it became distressed, following failed attempts to refloat it. Source: 1 NEWS

Feuding Aussie and NZ ministers brought together in Lombok earthquake

After trading barbs over Australia's deportation regime, Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and New Zealand's Justice Minister Andrew Little have been brought together during the deadly earthquake that's struck Indonesia's island of Lombok.

Mr Dutton and Mr Little were evacuated together after the 6.9 magnitude quake that killed at least 98 people on the island on Sunday, sitting two seats apart as they were taken to an airport.

The pair had been in Lombok for a conference and Mr Little today told reporters of their shared experience.

"After the earthquake, gathering in front of the hotel, we saw each other and checked that each other was okay, checked that our respective delegations were okay," he said.

"I think the Anzac spirit is strong."

Mr Little said the pair and officials had earlier had a robust discussion about Australia's deportation of New Zealanders, and that while he accepted the law wouldn't be changing, the air had been cleared.

"One of the things we both agreed on was that some of the language and expression that has been public on the issue probably hasn't been helpful in trying to move the thing forward.

"As a result of a one-on-one meeting we had, as well as the meeting with officials, as well as the events that followed, the Anzac spirit is well and truly in play," he said.

Mr Little said Mr Dutton had offered him a lift out of the country but they returned on separate planes.

The two have both described themselves as lucky to be safe after being caught in the upper floors of a swaying hotel, with people being thrown to the ground.

Last month, Mr Little criticised the deportation of hundreds of New Zealanders from Australia on character grounds and said the regime lacked "humanitarian ideals".

Mr Dutton replied that New Zealand didn't "contribute really anything to the defence effort" and that Australia was doing a lot for its neighbour in terms of regional security.

The Justice Minister experienced this morning's 7.0 magnitude quake in Lombok - where he is for a conference. Source: Breakfast


Whanganui High School opens Joseph Parker visit to 'entire school' after boxer's camp threatens to pull out

Whanganui High School has apologised to Joseph Parker and now says a speaking event by the New Zealand heavyweight boxer will be open to all its students and staff, after Parker's camp indicated he wouldn't appear unless this happened.

A promotional flier which described the event on August 21 as "a closed motivational session for Māori and Pasifika boys" and their fathers sparked outrage among some parents and residents who interpreted it as barring girls, and male students from non-Maori and Pasifika backgrounds, from attending.

The critics described it as racist and sexist.

The Whanganui High School board board of trustees had claimed it was the Parker team who had requested the event be closed.

But Parker himself said he had "absolutely no idea at any stage" that such attendance restrictions were in place when he signed up and was disappointed by both the restriction and the claim it was done at his request.

Parker's promoter David Higgins had said, "we probably wouldn't support that particular visit if it's not inclusive and if changes aren't made".

Whanganui High School principal Martin McAllen says in a statement this afternoon the entire school is looking forward to Joseph Parker's visit.

"At all times we have wanted to respect the wishes of Joseph Parker when he visits Whanganui High School on Tuesday, 21 August," Mr McAllen said.  

He said a completed ‘Visit Itinerary’ was formally presented to a combined Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team planning meeting last Saturday.

"At this meeting, we were under the impression that the itinerary for Joseph Parker’s visit had been co-constructed with the knowledge of Joseph and his team.

"This impression is now clearly incorrect and we apologise for the misunderstanding that has been created," Mr McAllen said.  

"Our entire school of 1500 students and 150 staff members are looking forward to having this wonderful opportunity to meet Joseph Parker on Tuesday, 21 August," he said.

We now look to firming up the details of Joseph's visit to the school - David Higgins, Joseph Parker's promoter

Parker's promoter David Higgins released a statement this evening on behalf of Parker, saying any misunderstandings have been cleared up.

"I can confirm that I have a had a fruitful conversation with Whanganui High School principal Martin McAllen this afternoon. We very quickly cleared up any misunderstandings around Joseph Parker's planned visit to the school and both parties are now on the same page," Mr Higgins said.

"We've expressed that we would like a more inclusive event that was originally proposed and the school is very much open to that. We now look to firming up the details of Joseph's visit to the school - which is something he is very much looking forward to," he said.

The Kiwi heavyweight is unlikely to speak at a Whanganui “closed motivational session for Māori and Pasifika boys” if changes aren’t made. Source: 1 NEWS