Sunbeds banned for Kiwis aged under 18

Parliament has passed a bill that makes sunbeds R18 and changes the way serious infectious diseases are managed.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says there's strong evidence that people who use sunbeds increase their risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

"There is also evidence that children and adolescents are more sensitive to ultra violet," he said after the bill had passed its final stage.

"This legislation seeks to protect this vulnerable group while balancing the rights of informed adults."

The Ministry of Health is looking into whether the licensing of premises and operators, and the introductions of mandatory standards, are appropriate.

The bill puts in place graduated measures for managing infectious diseases.

It adds new provisions for surveillance.

When voluntary co-operation does not work, the measures include directions applied by medical officers of health.

Prosecution for offences under the legislation is a last resort.

To crack down on improper use, licencing and a mandatory standard of practice are being proposed. Source: 1 NEWS

Landlords listen up - countdown on for getting rental properties insulated

There's concern rents will rise under the Government's new insulation plan. 

All rental houses will have to be fully insulated in three years' time which will cost landlords thousands of dollars. 

Dunedin student Dylan Hall says his typical 'scarfie' flat is the worst place to be in winter. 

"It's pretty bitter aye, waking up in the morning most of the walls are dewy and damp, every thing's sorta' mouldy. Not very nice, aye." he says.

There's no insulation in his flat and the fire alarms don't work - but from tomorrow, that will change. 

The country's 450,000 rentals will need working alarms, and by 2019, both floors and ceilings will need to be insulated.

Housing Minister Nick Smith says this is one of the most significant changes in New Zealand's rental laws in 30 years. 

"[This] will impact on a million kiwi families that live in rental properties," Mr Smith says.

Community housing providers say it's a step in the right direction but there's more to it than just insulation.

"It's the ventilation and the heating side of those interior environments which arguably equally are just as important as installation," Maori community housing advocate Rau Hosking says. 

It costs $3500 to insulate an average three bedroom house. It's estimated 180,000 rentals need work. 

The government will help pay for up to half of the insulation costs but only if the tenants are on a community services card. Other landlords will have to pay out of their own pockets.

Andrew King from the Property Investors Federation says rent prices will go up because of expensive insulation costs.

Landlords who don't do the work could face a $4000 fine.

Mr Smith says, "The government's view is that the savings in power bills, the savings in people being able to be at work [and] be at school rather than being sick," outweighs the inevitable cost. 

"It is my intention for my ministry to take a hard line against those slum landlords," Mr Smith says. 

From tomorrow onwards rental properties will have to have working fire alarms and by 2019 have both floors and ceilings insulated. Source: 1 NEWS


What location could replace Auckland's inner-city port?

Shipping operators favour a future replacement for the current Auckland port to be sited at the Firth of Thames over another recommended option on the Manukau Harbour.

The two options are outlined in a study on the future of Auckland port due for release on Friday, but details of which have already been leaked to the media.

Annabel Young, a member of the Consensus Working Group launched by Mayor Len Brown a year ago to reconsider Ports of Auckland's place on the city waterfront, confirmed it had narrowed down options for a replacement port to just two sites.

The Shipping Federation's executive director said Manukau Harbour or the Firth of Thames could replace the existing port once it ran out of room. Both sites come with a range of major issues.

Northland has been rejected because of the difficulty transporting cargo across Auckland city to rail and road hubs in the south.

Both the Firth of Thames and Manukau Harbour were identified as potential options in a 1999 study by the Ports of Auckland.

Ms Young said the shipping companies she represents favour an east coast port over one to the west.

Although a Manukau port, preferably at Puhinui, would be closer to road and rail links, it has major issues.

They included including weather, swells, dredging, managing and maintenance of the sand bar, and local iwi who have "spent a lot of time cleaning it up and may not want a 75 hectare island in the middle of the harbour", she said.

The biggest problem from the point of view of the shipping operators is that their current shipping routes are mainly on the east coast rather than the west where weather and swell conditions could potentially close a new port at times.

The study recommends further technical work be done on both options.

With Auckland residents resisting the port's expansion, ONE News has seen where a new facility could be located. Source: 1 NEWS