Social networking website Reddit to the rescue as Dunedin woman suffers seizure

An online social networking website has been used from the other side of the globe to alert emergency services to a Dunedin woman experiencing an epileptic fit.

Two lovers, Melody Madiland in Dunedin and Anna Messner in the US state of Tennessee, were on a video call on Tuesday afternoon.

However, Ms Madiland, who has a history of epilepsy, began to have a seizure.

"She slams back into her pillow because she’s lying on a mattress, and her mouth starts frothing," Ms Messner said.

"She's breathing irregularly and I can see her lips turn blue."

Ms Madiland was home alone, and her finance couldn’t call internationally to raise the alarm.

But, social networking site Reddit came to the rescue.

Ms Messner’s brother, also in Tennessee, comes up with the idea to post the emergency to Reddit.

The call for help is seen online in Christchurch by Jana Hayes and a call for help is made.

"I looked at it and I was like I'm not really sure if it’s real or y'know if it’s a joke," she said.

She dialled 111 and an ambulance was sent to MS Madiland’s home just 45 minutes after the seizure began.

Ironically she hadn’t had a seizure in 10 years, roughly the same time Reddit was created.

The social media site was used as a way of raising the alarm in NZ after a Dunedin transgender woman suffered a seizure while skyping with her partner in the US. Source: 1 NEWS

Taxpayers splurging $500k on TPP promotion

The Government will spend almost $500,000 selling the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership to the public.

Figures released to ONE News by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade reveal officials have budgeted $495,000 for a series of 16 roadshows and hui across the country.

It works out at $23,750 per meeting and MFAT says that will cover venue hire, accommodation, transport and other costs.  The remaining cash will cover other communications about the TPP.

MFAT says it is preparing to accommodate several hundred guests in the Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington events.  It said registrations "are tracking well" but didn't respond to a request for exact numbers. 

A new ONE News/Colmar Bulton poll suggests the Government still has a lot of selling to do - 42 per cent of respondents were concerned that the TPP may impact on New Zealand's sovereignty. Of that catergory, 82 per cent were Maori.

Trade Minister Todd McClay admits that number for Maori is "quite high".

"There has been a lot of misinformation about the ability for the government to meet its obligations to Maori under TPP. We can absolutely meet our obligations," he said.  Mr McClay says the deal will be "good for Maori business".

National support is unchanged in the first ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll of 2016. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr McClay says the roadshows are good value for the taxpayer, and those with strong opinions should come along and "be constructive and to voice their concerns calmly." 

He said the public should also make submissions to select committee once legislation ratifying the deal comes before Parliament.

Greens co-leader James Shaw was shocked by the roadshow costs but says people should go along and "challenge the Government".

The poll reveals that of the 46 per cent who weren't concerned about the impact on New Zealand's sovereignty, 52 per cent were male and 61 per cent have an annual household income of $100,000 or more. 

With the TPP already signed and sealed, critics are questioning if the half a million dollar sales pitch is too late? Source: 1 NEWS


'I'll decide when I get my voting paper...' - Flag change minister coy about alternative

The minister overseeing the flag change process, Bill English, has repeatedly avoided saying whether he likes the alternative flag in a humourous exchange with reporters.

With voting papers about to go out for the second binding referendum, Mr English would only say he's "leaning towards change".

There's been a funny exchange between journos and Bill English who's not exactly giving his bosses' flag choice a ringing endorsement. Source: 1 NEWS

He says he'll decide how he'll vote when he gets his voting papers.

The minister's stance was hardly a ringing endorsement for Prime Minister John Key's favourite flag - the silver fern and Southern Cross on blue and black background.

It was chosen as the best alternative design in the November referendum and will be in a run-off with the current flag in the three-week referendum from March 3.

Mr English wouldn't be drawn on whether he liked the alternative design.

"Look, it's the design that came out of the process. Some people really like it. The Prime Minister likes it. You know, I'll decide when I get my voting paper. But I'm leaning towards change."

It was put to Mr English that he'll have his voting papers next week so has surely formed a view by now because the issue has been discussed for months.

"I know. I've been involved for 18 months," he replied. 

"And?" a reporter pressed.

Kyle Lockwood’s design has been confirmed as the contender for next year’s referendum.
Source: 1 NEWS

"And I'll decide when I get the voting paper," the Minister replied, chuckling.