Trade unions urge Labour to stick to guns over employment reforms legislation

They want the government to resist pressure to make any late changes. Source: 1 NEWS



Canterbury engineer hopes to quake-proof buildings with old tyres

A University of Canterbury team is a million dollars closer to its goal of developing quake-proof building foundations from old tyres.

The money from the Endeavour Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, will go to researching new foundation systems for low-rise homes and buildings.

The project's science leader said waste tyres were an affordable source of building materials that could be adapted for wider use.

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.

"This gives rise to stockpiles of tyres that cause enormous environmental issues."

Mr Chiaro and his team planned to use them to create what was described as an "eco-rubber, seismic-isolation foundation system" for buildings throughout the country.

It is a system that filters the energy of an earthquake by combining two critical elements: A rubber-gravel mixture that disperses seismic shock waves and a flexible "raft" foundation made of steel fibre-reinforced rubberised concrete, that does not crack like regular concrete.

The system would not only absorb the shock, but also prevent damage, Mr Chiaro said.

There were similar studies elsewhere in the world, but mainly in countries that did not have the same earthquake risk.

"In New Zealand we are trying to assess the problem of tyre waste management, and by doing so we are also able to minimise the seismic damage for medium-density, low-height residential buildings."

He said the development was aimed for use in housing developments, which was where a gap existed in earthquake strengthening, but the technology could also be used in small-scale commercial developments.

Mr Chiaro said preliminary studies were done in 2015, which revealed the potential for development. A prototype could be ready within two years before laboratory testing was done, and field trials could be expected within five years.

"After than, we anticipate that in 10 years' time this foundation will be used in most of the buildings built in New Zealand."

Mr Chiaro did not think it would be hard convincing regulatory authorities of its merits, provided it was affordable and resilient.

The $1m Endeavour Fund is New Zealand's largest contestable research fund, aimed at ambitious research projects to improve the lives of New Zealanders.

Mr Chiaro expected the project to attract interest.

"There is potential for great collaboration with Japan and the USA, with whom we already have a connection, and also with Europe."

By Tracy Neal

rnz.co.nz

Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand.
Gabriele Chiaro, a senior engineering lecturer at Canterbury University, said 3.5 million used tyres were sent to landfills or dumped each year in New Zealand. Source: University of Canterbury

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Police search for man following serious assault in Tauranga

Police are looking for a 26-year-old man following a serious assault in the Tauranga suburb of Parkvale.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

Joel Ross Matiu is being sought in relation to the assault which took place at Henderson Crescent yesterday afternoon.

Matiu is considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public, police warn.

He is said to have links to the wider Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Matamata areas.

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Police search for man seen at the scene of fatal attack in Lower Hutt

Police have named the victim of Friday night's fatal assault in Taitā, Lower Hutt as they continue to search for a man who left the scene of the assault.

Armed police are at the scene where a man was killed in a fight in Lower Hutt last night with police hoping to remove the body from the scene this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

Faapaia Fonoilaepa, 29, a painter from Avalon was killed during a fight near the intersection of High Street and Burcham Street just after 7.30pm.

Police say they are looking for a man who left the scene following the assault.

The man is described as Māori, of solid build, aged 30-40 years, with dark hair and facial tattoos. He was wearing black clothes.

The man is believed to have left the sence initially on foot and walking south.

He then returned to the scene before leaving in silver Toyata Carib station wagon.

Police say the car is missing its front hubcap and has some damage to its front left panel and indicator.

The car was seen at the High Street scene for several minutes before it left travelling north where it was later spotted in Pringle Street.

Police are also looking to speak to a woman who was walking north on High Street at the time the incident took place.

The woman is of medium build with long brown, curly hair and was wearing dark clothing, headphones and was carrying a shoulder bag.


Weekend's most read: Pregnant women refusing prenatal care after children taken by social services

This story was first published on Sunday September 16.

More than 6000 children are in the care of Oranga Tamaraki – a 22 per cent increase from six years ago. Source: 1 NEWS

Health professionals say women whose children have been taken by social services are refusing to seek prenatal care when they fall pregnant for fear of having their newborns taken, too.

One Kaitaia couple, Mary and Warren, had their first child taken into care by social services because of domestic violence and mental health problems.

Mary believes social services' decision to remove their child from their care was fair at the time, but she claims they "also said that I'd be able to get him back and that I'd get a house in six months".

When Mary became pregnant for a second time, it was six months before she sought prenatal care.

Mary and Warren's fears were realised when their second child was taken from them at birth, with Oranga Tamariki saying their baby was at risk.

"I just cried and wouldn't give her to them. The nurse actually had to take her off me," she said.

The couple's children are among more than 6000 New Zealand kids under the care of Oranga Tamariki this year – a 22 per cent increase on the number of children in care six years ago.

The agency says it only takes such drastic action when there are concerns of a serious nature, and only when all other options have been explored.

However, Northland midwife Colleen Brown is concerned the move is putting pregnant mothers off seeking help.

"There is no way, unless you are gonna go bush and have your pepe (baby), that you are gonna keep that pepe," Ms Brown said.

1 NEWS has spoken to several pregnant mothers who are considered at risk.

Some are expecting mothers who would like help with their drug and alcohol abuse but have not reached out for help out of fear of losing their children. Some have children who have already been removed from their care.

But Oranga Tamariki says those who do not seek help are putting their babies at further risk.

Deanne 'Dee' McManus-Emery, the regional manager for Oranga Tamariki South Auckland, says, "We are hearing stories from our families that we do know, but we're also hearing it from our community organisations, colleagues and also our health providers".

"What we're trying to do is work in partnership with those providers, ensuring that there is a jointed approach to ensure the right support services are wrapped around them," Ms McManus-Emery explained.

"We certainly would want families to be accessing their prenatal care because that gives children the best start in life."

Ms Brown is urging mothers with fears of losing their child "to take ownership of it" and get the help they need.

"They need to come forward because there is help available for them," she said.

Mary and Warren visit their children twice a week and are working with social agencies to get them back permanently.

"I'd like our kids back. I’d like to be given a chance," Warren said.