The woman who tracks illegal rubbish dumpers - for free

Kiri Danielle is on a campaign against illegal dumping and is slowly earning the respect of the Rotorua community.

An early childhood teacher by profession, she took solace in cleaning up rubbish in beautiful areas after her marriage ended and she left the Jehovahs Witnesses.

She isn't paid and gets no funding from anyone, and if anything, she has to fight to keep helping.

"There is red tape, and hoops to jump through and I kind of just dodge them all," she says.

"This is about the country that I grew up loving and I grew up playing in and running around in bare feet."

Kiri plays detective and looks through the rubbish until she is able to figure out who was responsible.

"This is not just down and out families - there are some very well-to-do people doing this to our country."

However, she doesn't want to go and berate the people dumping, but rather appeal to their hearts.

"They're not bad people, they've just made a wrong decision."

Noone from Rotorua Council would discuss the issue.

Kiri Danielle is getting her hands dirty to save our forests and lakes from illegal rubbish dumping. Source: Seven Sharp



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'Hobbies may help people with dementia,' says psychiatrist as Morris Minor enthusiast hits the road

It's World Alzheimer's Day, and as one Auckland man with the dementia told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp of his love of Morris Minor cars, a psychiatrist said hobbies may help people with the disorder.

Diagnosed with early onset dementia in his fifties, Jeff Atwell's 'Morrie' has also been his medicine, his wife Doreen Atwell said. 

"Wonderful medicine. It's better than any tablet you can take, the best medicine that Jeff could have had," she said.

Psychiatrist Dr Gary Cheung psychiatrist said hobbies may help people with dementia. 

"We are doing some research on a treatment called cognitive stimulation therapy at the moment," Dr Cheung said.

But hobbies don't only help the ill.

"I think there's plenty of research out there now showing doing activities with other people, or exercising with other people, is more beneficial than doing them alone," Dr Cheung said.

When Jeff and Doreen go driving, romantic memories ride along.

"We met at the old Papatoe Dance Hall. Bill Sevesi's band there was great," Jeff recalled.

They courted in Jeff's first 'Morrie Minor' and have been married almost 54 years.

"He sold it when he went into business before we got married to buy a van that was more practical," Doreen said.

We just did it. It's only recently that dementia and hobbies have been linked - Doreen Atwell

When Jeff saw a doer-upper Morris Minor convertible in the paper several decades later, it was irresistible.

Aged just 54, Jeff was diagnosed with young onset dementia, and 20 years on he moves slowly and needs a cane. 

He's had three strokes. But the bigger problems aren't so easy to see.

"Forgetfulness, that's one of the big things. Forgetting people's names," he said.

Jeff and Doreen made a decision to live for life and get the convertible back on the road.

"We just did it. It's only recently that dementia and hobbies have been linked," Doreen said.

The couple have thanked Dementia Auckland for helping them with Jeff's condition. 

And if you're in doubt about Dementia, as Doreen was when she noticed changes in Jeff 20 years ago, get in touch with your doctor. 

Jeff Attwell was diagnosed with the condition in his early fifties. Source: Seven Sharp

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Kiwi pilot and his interloping crew wow Reno Air Races at bone-rattling speeds

Graeme Frew admits he's got an addiction – one that gets him travelling at speeds of 580km/h just 15 metres off the ground.

The Blenheim pilot and his crew of Kiwi interlopers took on some of the world's best at the Reno Air Races in the US earlier this week with their Russian Yak Fighter plane called Full Noise.

The crew brought over their plane in a shipping container and assembled it again just two days before the first race – something organisers say have never been done.

The Americans fell in love with Frew and Full Noise so TVNZ1's Seven Sharp caught up with the adrenaline junkies to see how they pulled it off.

Watch the video above for more.

Seven Sharp’s Michael Holland was at the event in Nevada. Source: Seven Sharp


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Christchurch woman who built home for disabled brother 'astounded' at $23k consent bill

For years Kiwis have been putting up with council fees when building new homes, but one Christchurch woman thinks she has figures that shows it's getting out of control.

Liz Armon built a house for her retired, disabled brother David in south-east Christchurch – a one bedroom, open plan living house she wanted David to feel at home in.

The house cost $67,000 to build but then came Christchurch City Council's fees on top – an extra $23,000.

"I was absolutely astounded," Ms Armon said.

"Twenty-three thousand in total for consent costs when I had anticipated it being $1,500 after speaking to the council initially."

The hefty bill was made up of a development levy, consent fees, a flood level survey, with neighbouring Selwyn District Council carving some off the top as well.

"I can't understand why any council wouldn't want to support elderly people or families in need," Ms Armon said.

As it turns out, those main council taxes are made up of lots of smaller taxes for inspection fees, processing times and contributions for future parks and public transport in the area.

The council added the $12,500 development levy Ms Armon paid was actually a bargain with levies for houses in other subdivisions "typically" $20,000 to $30,000.

We take a look at a Christchurch woman’s eye-watering council bill. Source: Seven Sharp