SH1 north of Kaikoura closing to stabilise rock face

State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura will be closed today to allow workers to stabilise a rock face.

SH1 will be closed to help stabilise a rock face north of Kaikoura at Ohau Point. Source: NZTA

The New Zealand Transport Association (NZTA) last week announced three daytime closures between Monday and Wednesday in order to stabilise a rockface north of Kaikoura at Ohau Point, but they were unable to do so due to bad weather.

The transport agency was forced to close the road today, as work cannot be completed while vehicles are on the road as a safety precaution.

Ohau Point, north of Kaikoura. Source: NZTA



Meet the Whangārei quartet believed to be first Māori group to win prestigious chamber music contest

In what's believed to be a first, a Maori quartet has taken out a prestigious secondary school chamber music contest, and the four Whangārei teens are still buzzing a week after their win.

The string quartet group, Te Ahi Kaa, is made up of three siblings from the Martin Whanau: Maia-Dean's the lead violinist, Atawhai's on second violin, their brother Purotu's the cellist and their mate Isaiah Kaiawe is on the viola.

"I like chamber music with them because it's a special kind of connection when you've know them," Isaiah Kaiawe told 1 NEWS.

That close connection saw them beat 400 ensembles to win the country's top chamber music competition.

"We were just moved by the natural honesty of their music-making," said adjudicator Wilma Smith.

"It feels like we've revolutionised what it is to play chamber music, people of a different kind of ethnicity because it's usually like European groups that win the competition," said Isaiah.

"Hopefully we start a trend, encourage more Maori to take it seriously and get hard out into it instead of playing Twinkle once and gapping after that," said Maia.

But after months of intense practice, the aftermath of a win is strange.

"We do not know what to do after it because we worked really hard. What do we do now?" said Purotu.

The Whangarei string quartet are still buzzing a week after their win. Source: 1 NEWS

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Man who survived being run over by train as toddler helps raise awareness for Rail Safety Week

In 1985, 22-month-old Dan Hanara was called the "miracle baby" after he survived being run over by a train, escaping with just an injured leg.

Now an adult, Mr Hanara is raising awareness for Rail Safety Week, which kicks off today.

When he was just a toddler he managed to escape from his mum while she was busy with the other kids.

The train driver was unable to stop in time and the engine ended up running over him, knocking him onto the track.

While he was recovering in hospital his father said it was "a super miracle".

Thirty years later, Mr Hanara is working as a mechanical engineer in Sydney - where safety is a huge focus - but he's home for Rail Safety Week to urge caution around tracks.

"There are a lot of stories where the person in the incident isn't here today and isn't talking. I'm lucky - we don't want to rely on luck."

In the 12 months to June, there have been more than 30 collisions at level crossings involving vehicles or pedestrians, and almost 300 near misses.

Just this month, two people inside a car were killed near Palmerston North.

Safety experts say it's more important than ever to heed the warnings.

Kiwirail's Zero Harm general manager Katie McMahon says, "In urban areas like Auckland and Wellington, we've got electric trains which are very quiet. We've got growing populations, so you're seeing more trains."

While daredevil behaviour has decreased, complacency is still an issue.

"We've seen an increase in people using devices, listening to music on their phones," Ms McMahon said.

However, she says it's not just the victim that suffers.

"It impacts our drivers and our drivers' family and colleagues. In those situations, there's not a lot a driver can do."

Mr Hanara's experience hasn't put him off trains, but he hopes no more families will go through what his did.

"Look both ways. Be aware of trains. Take your headphones out. It's always a different day. Anything could happen. It could happen to you," Mr Hanara said.

More than 30 years ago Dan Hanara escaped with an injured leg after being run over by a train. Source: 1 NEWS