Virtual technology providing the answer for long distance loved ones to mourn

Technology is providing the answer for those wanting to see the graves of their loved ones but live too far away.

Stu Campbell, the information technology manager at Ruapehu District Council, says the concept behind the virtual cemeteries is for people who "can visit the cemetery from anywhere in the world". 

Ruapehu District Council is mapping out its cemeteries using high definition cameras on a drone.

Virtual models will be matched with their records, creating a walk through experience.

"The criteria was that we could get in and read a headstone and really get people the experience of being there," Mr Campbell said.

Some of the graves date back to early European settlement, and with over 10 cemeteries in the Ruapehu District, the council is calling on the public to provide any information or records they may have to create profiles of the deceased.

"Where it goes in the future, who knows? People walking around the cemetery headstones with their phones, maybe they just point it at the headstone and it actually gives them all that information."

Auckland company Digital Memorials has been using a similar method for around one year now, using barcodes embedded on headstones which can be scanned with a smartphone.

"Scanning that code will show you their entire history, their whakapapa, where did they come from," Digital Memorials director Tania Jeffs said.

Tatiana Hotere, a Digital Memorials user, created a profile with photos and video tributes of her husband Jason, who died one year ago.

"My kids will be able to watch it whenever they want and one day, when I have grandchildren, I'll be able to show them their papa that they never met," Ms Hotere said.

The Ruapehu District Council's created a virtual walk through of their cemeteries. Source: 1 NEWS

MOST
POPULAR STORIES


Sir Peter Jackson meets Prince William at the red carpet premiere of They Shall Not Grow Old

Sir Peter Jackson has rubbed shoulders with Prince William on the red carpet for the Kiwi director's new film.

They Shall Not Grow Old documents WW1 using previously unseen footage which has been colourised and restored.

Much of the footage came from Britain's Imperial War Museum, and Sir Peter's army of technicians has used advanced digital technologies for the restoration.

The World War One documentary created with 100-year-old footage premieres in London next month. Source: 1 NEWS

The film has also been converted into a 3D format.

Alongside the film's cinema release, a copy of the film will be sent to each high school in the UK for teaching purposes.

Early reviews of the movie from the UK are favourable.

They Shall Not Grow Old documents the first world war using previously unseen colour footage. Source: Breakfast

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Paula Bennett stands by claim Jami-Lee Ross acted inappropriately for a married man, during tense interview with Jack Tame

National Deputy leader Paula Bennett stands by saying Jami-Lee Ross acted inappropriately for a married man but denies accusing him of sexual harassment.

Yesterday, as part of the extraordinary hour long stand-up in which he levelled a number of allegations at Simon Bridges and the National party, Mr Ross accused Ms Bennett of trying to scare him off with anonymous sexual harassment allegations.

The Botany MP has been expelled from caucus, while he alleges Simon Bridges committed electoral fraud – which Mr Bridges denies. Source: Seven Sharp

Ms Bennett defended herself today, saying Mr Ross has mischaracterised a meeting they had.

Mr Ross made a number of claims about the National Party leader in relation to donations. Mr Bridges has denied any wrongdoing. Source: 1 NEWS

“Well he came out yesterday and he said we’d made claims to him of sexual harassment and he likened himself to (US Supreme Court Justice) Brett Kavanaugh, which I found extraordinary in itself,” Ms Bennett said.

The National Party leader today made a statement defending his position and welcoming a police inquiry into claims of electoral donation fraud. Source: 1 NEWS

“So, he has characterised a meeting that I had with him quite incorrectly so all I was saying is that I had put inappropriate behaviour to him.”

READ MORE: John Armstrong's opinion: Jami-Lee Ross delivered one of parliament's most 'brutal, spiteful and disloyal diatribes'

Ms Bennett said she stood by telling media Mr Ross had acted inappropriately for a married MP.

“I wanted to make it very clear that it was not around sexual harassment.”

READ MORE: It's 'a crisis' for National as Jami-Lee Ross launches 'the most extraordinary attack' on Simon Bridges, says Bryce Edwards

READ MORE: Simon Bridges on caucus support: '55 MPs today say he [Jami-Lee Ross] is wrong'

Ms Bennett would not be drawn into specifics on the $100,000 donation from a Chinese businessman that Mr Ross accused Mr Bridges of asking him to split, claims Mr Bridges rejects.

“Jami-Lee Ross as he said himself, went and took the donation, so we’re trying to see what he’s actually done with it,” she said.

“The web that he’s woven does seem quite complex so we’re trying to work our way through that to see what he’s done with it.”

“I’m really reluctant to try and guess what’s happened and get it wrong for you, what I do know is that Simon Bridges has not taken that money and split it up and put in a false return.”

She echoed the views of the National party leader yesterday, saying Mr Ross should take his accusations to the police.

"He said 'he's going to go to the police', let's go to the police, let's get into the nuts and bolts of it," Ms Bennett said. 

"We’re very confident we’re going to come out of this alright." 

"Simon is adamant he has done nothing wrong, I believe him, I do not believe Jami-Lee Ross, he has told so many lies, he doesn’t know what the truth is anymore."

"I stand by leader, I believe him, he’s done nothing wrong."

National Deputy leader Paula Bennett stands by her claims about the outgoing National MP, but denies accusing him of sexual assault. Source: Breakfast

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

National MP Jami-Lee Ross' allegations raises questions about leader Simon Bridges' leadership, says 1 NEWS political editor

National Party leader Simon Bridges' leadership may be in question as outgoing National MP Jami-Lee Ross is expected to take recorded conversations to police today, which Mr Ross says proves he broke electoral law.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay told TVNZ's Breakfast this morning about the outgoing MP's explosive allegations against Simon Bridges and how it could threaten his leadership.

Read more: John Armstrong's opinion: Jami-Lee Ross delivered one of parliament's most 'brutal, spiteful and disloyal diatribes', and given Simon Bridges a major headache

"It really depends how this plays out today with this police investigation," Mutch McKay said.

"I think it's fair to say that there are questions about how secure and how sure his leadership is."

She said Mr Bridges is "very keen to paint the picture that it is a 'lone wolf' - that he is acting alone".

"Jami-Lee Ross says that's not the case, that there are other people in the party who feel the same way as he did and they're just too nervous to speak up.

"Don't forget – this is his right-hand man. They were close friends, they were allies, he helped elect him into power, so to have someone like that turn, that's not a good thing in the party."

Mr Ross says the recording will be made public after he has gone to the police.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay spoke to Breakfast this morning about the explosive allegations and its threat to Mr Bridges’ leadership. Source: Breakfast


Watch: Breakfast weather presenter Matty McLean improvises brilliantly with hand-drawn map after technical failure

Breakfast weather presenter Matty McLean has improvised brilliantly with a hand-drawn map after a technical failure caused the graphics to go haywire this morning.

"I did my job, Jack, but it's broken – it's not working," Matty said from off-screen as the extent of the problem became clear.

However, co-host Jack Tame managed to cajole Matty back, who presented the forecast with a little help from his mate. 

"Let's just interpret it. Let's just interpret it. We can do this," Jack said, before drawing out the graphics with a pen and piece of paper while Matty presented.

"Good job! Got it!" Jack said after the job was done, which Hayley Holt called "a mess but amazing" for the viewers at home.


Things went a little haywire this morning after the weather graphics malfunctioned, but with the help of Jack Tame, Matty got through it. Source: Breakfast