Top cheap tips to shake the shiver in your home as polar blast grips the country

Kiwis can shake the shiver as winter goes into overdrive, with a little help from Seven Sharp's top tips that are just the ticket for the budget conscious.

An EECA Energywise expert, Chris, demonstrated for the programme some cheap ways to keep warm at home as the polar blast grips the country.

He said one of the biggest issues is draughts, and tightening up screws on windows helps reduce these.

To stop a draught coming through a gap under a door in the house, simply fold a towel a couple of times and slide it underneath the door.

Chris said heat pumps are a great source of heating, but unfortunately they get clogged up and don't run very efficiently. 

His solution is to open the heat pump lid, remove the filter and vacuum off all the dust gathered on it.

Chris advised against taking long showers to warm up, saying heating the rest of the house is far cheaper.

Window insulation kits are his final tip.

"They're like a poor man's double glazing. Low cost, but really effective," Chris said. 

Measure the window size and cut the plastic insulation to fit over it.

He then used a hair drier to heat the plastic to iron out any kinks in it.

So if all the snow, rain, wind and freezing temperatures are getting you down, Seven Sharp may just have come to the rescue.

Tim Wilson found out the best, cheap ways to stay warm over winter. Source: Seven Sharp

'It gives us hope' - Kiwi doctor makes significant breakthrough in fight against untreatable gonorrhoea

A Kiwi researcher has made a breakthrough in the battle against the widespread sexually-transmitted infection gonorrhoea.

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris has found that an existing vaccine against meningococcal can also ward off the infection, which is especially significant considering that non-treatable versions of the bug are now being documented.

"So this is the first time a vaccine's shown any effect at all on gonorrhoea ... it's extremely exciting," Dr Petousis-Harris said.

She discovered that a group B vaccine given out to young New Zealanders between 2004 and 2008 had another unexpected side effect - those vaccinated are also 31 per cent less likely to contract gonorrhoea.

"In countries, particularly in Cuba, and also in New Zealand, that used this type of vaccine, when you look at the gonorrhoea, it takes a dive, directly after the vaccine.

"It's certainly, I think, an exciting way forward to prevent, rather than treat."

The World Health Organisation just days ago issued a warning saying that cases of gonorrhoea are increasing and that it is now almost impossible to treat.

Sexual health expert Dr Sue Bagshaw says gonorrhea is a very difficult infection.

"Gonorrhoea is very clever," she says.

"For a long, long time, it was actually sensitive to penicillin ... but then it decided 'no, no, no, this isn't good enough, we've got to survive' ... and so we tried another antibiotic - it got resistant to that one.

"And then we tried a combination, and then it got resistant to those ones and now it's really hard to find a treatment that actually will treat it."

Worldwide, about 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea each year, and it can affect both men and women.

The infection can cause infertility, ectopic pregnancies and can increase the risk of HIV.

Dr Bagshaw, who has been on the front lines fighting the bug for 30 years, says Dr Petousis-Harris' discovery is exciting.

"I think it's great, I think it gives us hope," Dr Bagshaw said.

"It just goes to show we're cleverer than the bugs after all."

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris' ground breaking research is leading the fight against gonorrhoea. Source: 1 NEWS


Man dies in Christchurch after being hit by a car

A man in Christchurch died after being hit by a car at 9.40pm last night. 

The incident happened on Huxley St in Sydenham.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating. 

Police car night generic
Police car (File picture). Source: 1 NEWS