Stranding of whales at Farewell Spit cost DOC around $50k, figures reveal

The stranding of more than 400 whales at Farewell Spit last month cost the Department of Conservation tens of thousands of dollars.

Information released to 1 NEWS under the Official Information Act show the response over three days cost the government department $49,000.

The first stranding saw more than 400 beached on Farewell Spit on the 10th of February, nearly 200 beached at Puponga Bay the following day and smaller strandings over the next few days.

Around 300 whales could be left to decompose in the marine environment, instead of being allowed to drift out to sea. Source: Breakfast

Costs included additional staffing, contractors and equipment use.

The cost for extra staffing involved in the response was $34,500. In addition, the cost of burying carcasses, including diggers, cost nearly $14,000.

DoC eventually opted to move the carcasses from the first stranding by bulldozer, as the decaying carcasses became a health hazard.

Some whale carcasses washed up on beaches around the Nelson/Tasman region and as far away as the lower North Island.

More could wash up, which means the cost could rise due to the need of disposing the carcasses.

The stranding, and subsequent smaller stranding in the following days, was the largest in the area in recent memory and one of the largest in recorded history.

It follows heartbreak earlier as whales that couldn't be refloated were euthanised. Source: 1 NEWS

NZ travellers going to US, UK via the Middle East may need to leave laptops in suitcase

New Zealanders travelling to the US or Britain may have to ditch the iPads and laptops, if they're planning on flying via the Middle East.

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed New Zealand won't be following the lead of the US and Britain in banning electronic devices on flights, but authorities are mindful that many Kiwis now use long-haul routes through Dubai and Doha.

The British government today announced a cabin baggage ban on devices on direct passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The ban - which applies to laptops, tablets, DVD players and electronic games - follows a similar move by the United States affecting eight countries.

Last year a laptop bomb on a flight out of Somalia blew a hole in the side of the aeroplane, killing the bomber.

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman told 1 NEWS they "are not aware of any threat from any destination coming to New Zealand."

"We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and the international aviation security environment in general, in ongoing close liaison with relevant New Zealand agencies and our international partners to ensure that security screening measures applied to flights from New Zealand remain appropriate."

John Beckett, BARNZ (Board of Airline Representatives NZ) executive director, said if New Zealanders are travelling to the US or UK, they should check the situation with their airline.

"The airlines and airports likely to be affected for travellers from New Zealand are Emirates (out of Dubai) and Qatar (out of Doha)," he said.

Last month, Qatar Airways debuted the world's longest route, with a 17-hour, 30-minute flight between Auckland and Doha.


'Adele fans will need to do a good anti-rain dance between now and then' - weekend concerts could be a soggy affair

As the clock ticks down to Adele's first Auckland show, fans going to the weekend gigs are being encouraged to take a raincoat to Mt Smart Stadium.

It's NZ's fastest selling tour for any artist, with more than 100k tickets sold in one day. Source: 1 NEWS

Tomorrow night is looking all right after a few spots of rain during the day, 1 NEWS meteorologist Dan Corbett said. 

However, the tricky bit, he said, is the weekend as another slow-moving low from the Tasman Sea takes aim at northern New Zealand. 

"It would definitely be wise to take a raincoat for the Saturday and Sunday shows as spells of rain move in," he added.

The main body of the Tasman low rain band may be just west of Auckland for Saturday night, but no such luck for Sunday. 

"The Adele fans will need to do a good anti-rain dance between now and then," Dan said. 

Adele is the record holder for the fastest selling tour in New Zealand by an artist and the highest number of tickets sold in one day - in excess of 100,000 tickets. 

She arrives after eight shows in Australia.