Video games to spur you on to fitness

Video games will be used to encourage people to achieve their fitness goals if an Auckland University researcher's trial technology takes off.

Computer Science lecturer Paul Ralph says his team wants to build exercise modes into video games. 

An Auckland University researcher is looking into links between the two. Source: 1 NEWS

"These are modes where the game encourages you to exercise."

The idea is that every step run or every weight lifted counts towards character development in a video game.

Mr Ralph says you come home and write in your e-journal system what you did in your workout. 

The game detects that and next time you load up the game it displays how many health or stamina points you've earned.

The game offers rewards based on the type of exercise completed.

There are already games that get people moving in front of their TV sets but they have their limitations.

"Just think about it right. No one ever got to be an Olympic athlete by waving their arms around in the living room. That's not how people exercise," Mr Ralph said.

The trial technology is being developed as a mod - the sort of thing anyone playing the popular role playing game Skyrim on a PC will be able to download.

The system will initially require on users to manually enter the results of their workout, but later versions could allow data to be to automatically uploaded from fitness bracelets.

"What we're trying to do is explore how we can put exercise modes into lots of different games," Mr Ralph said.



Man charged with murder over fatal Tauranga stabbing

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a 48-year-old man in Papamoa, Tauranga yesterday.

Police say the 22-year-old man charged was known to the victim and will be appearing in Tauranga District Court tomorrow.

The police investigation is ongoing but no-one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police still want to hear from anyone who was walking in the Harding Street area between 7.30am and 9am yesterday.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his six-year-old at the time of the incident, told the NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police.

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Anyone with information should call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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

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Australian doctor admits to helping suffering patient die

An Australian doctor has admitted to helping one of her suffering patients to die in an exclusive interview with Australia's 60 minutes.

West Australian based GP Alida Lancee is putting her reputation and freedom on the line by identifying one patient who requested her help in assisted dying.

This admission will most likely spark a police investigation and a possible murder charge.

"I’m not wimping out now. I’m going to take this all the way," Dr Lancee told 60 Minutes. "Deal with me as you see fit."

A long-time campaigner for euthanasia, Dr Lancee was investigated by police in 2016 over the death of one of her patients.

They found that her patient died of natural causes and there was no wrongdoing.

What police didn't realise is they were investigating the wrong patient.

Now, Dr Lancee wants to set the record straight in a bid to change Australia's euthanasia laws.

"Right now, behind closed doors in Australia, hundreds of people are begging for help," says Dr Lancee.

"This is no minor issue. This is not something that you can say, 'oh it's not happening because I can't see it'.

"If this requires a challenge in the court system, I have medical opinions who will back me up."

A police investigation has seen Dr Lancee face very public scrutiny being labelled "Dr Death", but 60 Minutes reveals, she is not without support.

Two other Australian doctors have come forward to 60 Minutes and have admitted to assisting terminally ill patients end their life.

Dr Frank Kotai says he has assisted in half a dozen deaths and Dr Rodney Syme admits to a staggering 300.

This admission could land them both in jail, but it is one they say is worth the risk if it results in their patients having control over the end of their lives.

"We recognise her courage and her enthusiasm," Dr Kotai says. "(Dr Lancee is) courageous enough to go out there in the public space.

"Not many doctors are willing to do it, and so she’s quite unique."

In June 2019 new laws will make Victoria the only state in Australia where it is legal for doctors to assist terminal patients who seek their help to end their lives.

Dr Lancee, Dr Kotai and Dr Syme are hopeful that by airing their stories, Australians will support them in their campaign to allowing for an end of life choice.

Mr Seymour, author of the End of Life Choice Bill, debated the pros and cons with Dr Peter Thirkell of the Care Alliance, which opposes euthanasia.
Source: 1 NEWS


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New Zealand resident involved in people-smuggling to be deported

A Pakistani man involved in a people-smuggling operation in America, who gained residence in New Zealand, is the subject of a fraud investigation and is going to be deported.

But he has been told he can make a fresh application for residence.

In 2005, the stepfather-of-two was caught by a United States border patrol crossing from Canada, driving a van carrying eight Indian nationals, none with visas.

He changed his name and arrived in 2013 to enter into an arranged marriage.

When he applied for residence, the 39-year-old failed to disclose he had been convicted, deported and had used another name.

He had also previously unsuccessfully claimed refugee status in Canada.

When his visa deception was revealed, the former immigration minister, Michael Woodhouse decided he should be deported.

He appealed to the immigration and protection tribunal, which heard about his part in the people-smuggling.

He met an "agent" who offered to get him a legitimate visa for the United States for $US5000 ($NZ7479) and offered to reduce the cost if he agreed to drive a vehicle to the border for him, he told the tribunal.

He was arrested and jailed, meeting his New Zealand resident-wife online once he had been deported back to Pakistan.

His lawyer said he would face severe risks to his safety if he was again deported there, because he is a Shia Muslim.

He suffered threats to his life on his last visit there, she said, and deportation would result in the permanent separation from his family to whom he was a "pillar of support".

The tribunal heard he was the subject of an open fraud investigation by the police in relation to his directorship of a car company. The sum under investigation is said to be substantial.

It ruled he did have exceptional humanitarian circumstances because of his wife and stepson's health issues but it would not be unduly harsh to deport him.

"[His] concealment of his deportation from the United States (bolstered by his concealment of ever having lived there, or in Canada) went to the heart of his residence application," it said, in its written decision.

"The concealment undermined the integrity of New Zealand's immigration system in a serious way.

"He was not the architect of the scheme but more of a 'mule'. It does not, however, alter the fact that he sustained a conviction for a serious, immigration-related offence."

But it lifted a ban on him re-applying for visas.

"While deportation is not unjust or unduly harsh in all the circumstances, the tribunal considers that any adverse effect on [her and her children] ought to be mitigated as far as is possible, given the genuineness of the marriage and the fact that she and her children are innocent parties."

By Gill Bonnett

rnz.co.nz

Generic passport Source: Breakfast


New Zealand airports 'woefully underprepared' for tourist influx - aviation expert

New Zealand's airports are woefully under prepared for the numbers of tourists coming through their gates, an aviation commentator says.

In an email sent to customers, Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said he was frustrated with the under investment by local airport companies that has created backlogs for travellers.

Mr Luxon also announced that Air New Zealand will stop flying to Vietnam from next year due to engine maintenance issues involving Rolls Royce powered planes.

Aviation commentator Peter Clark said Air New Zealand's problems have been ongoing for years.

"Auckland Airport is a classic example, it's been trying to play catch up for years and it's too late, it should have been done," Mr Clark said.

"The government needs to look into this, where have we gone so badly wrong in New Zealand?"

Mr Clark said he was also concerned New Zealand businesses have not learnt enough lessons from last year's Marsden Point pipeline shut down.

The 10-day shut down last September was caused when a digger burst the pipeline near Ruakaka, spilling up to 80,000 litres of fuel on nearby farmland and causing severe disruption to flights.

Mr Clark said if another burst were to occur, it would be catastrophic.

"If we have a problem and a plane is stuck on a runway for even more than half a day it causes absolute chaos in New Zealand by diverting aircraft, putting people up, accommodation, getting crews to fly aircraft's. Where is the total back up?"

Auckland Airport has been contacted for comment.

rnz.co.nz 

New Zealand airports are under prepared for the amount of tourists coming through the gates. Source: rnz.co.nz