'I want to be a pilot' - Air Force hopes to inspire next generation of female recruits

The Air Force is on a mission to attract more women to its ranks by holding one of its biggest female-only recruitment drives.

Forty-eight secondary school students are spending a week of their holidays at Ohakea Air Base at an all expenses paid camp.

The year 13 girls have been learning about aircraft, and mechanical work, and they have spent time flying helicopters in a simulator.

Akesa Waitai-Ifopo’s school paid for her flights down from Kaitaia and she says the experience is a dream come true.

“I want to be a pilot so I was enjoying playing with the controls… having that fun and getting the gist of what it would be like in the future,” she says.

One camp organiser, George Magdalinos, was inspired by her own experience of being the only female in her class 20 years ago.

“I think it’s the isolation factor and for girls especially, you can’t be what you can’t see,” she said.

Currently fewer than 20 per cent of the Air Force is female, with a goal of a quarter by 2025.

However there are still barriers to overcome.

“[Girls] are worried about the requirement to be masculine, the requirement to be supreme athletes… and there are a few misconceptions that we’re breaking down,” George Magdalinos says.

- By 1 NEWS reporter Mei Heron

Ohakea will be home to 48 students for a week, who are learning about aircraft, mechanical work, and handling helicopters in a simulator. Source: 1 NEWS

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Bittersweet moment for sons of Christchurch rich-lister as they prepare his incredible car collection for auction

A rare Auburn 1920s speedster is being taken out for one last spin as a final farewell for the sons of a man who lived for his cars.

"That'll be the last time I probably drive her before she goes," Gary McVicar's son said.

Forestry magnate Gary McVicar left behind a fleet of rare cars after he died four years ago, and now his family are putting them up for sale.

The car, which could fetch over $400,000 at auction, is one of 29 classic cars going under the hammer this Saturday.

Another vehicle up on the auction block is a 1927 Stutz limousine – the last of its kind in the world.

"These cars are like an occasion, you know? Go back in time when you get in them and drive them," Rodney McVicar said.

Also up for grabs is the Clenet, a 1970s showpiece which took 55 years to put together.

"When they came out, they were 10 times the price of an average car in America, so they were built of the elite - perhaps the Hollywood people, things like that," Turners auctioneer Ian Curry said.

He hopes McVicar's much-loved cars will hit the road soon after going under the hammer.

"I imagine this car will end up back on the road very, very, very quickly with the top down," he said.

"We'd rather see them go out to other people that are going to use them rather than just sitting here, because old cars like this need to be driven," Rodney said.

Gary McVicar died four years ago, and now his family are putting his incredibly rare fleet up for sale. Source: 1 NEWS

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Gay students, teachers could be banned by Australian religious schools

Gay students and teachers could be banned by religious schools in Australia.

Under proposed changes to discrimination laws religious schools would have the right to turn away gay students and teachers so they can "cultivate an environment which conforms to their beliefs".

It's the controversial recommendation of a leaked review into religious freedom which was carried out after last year's same-sex marriage vote.

Some states - but not all - already allow schools to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.

Commonwealth laws also contain some provisions to permit faith-based schools to exercise this discretion.

A Fairfax Media report suggested the review recommended the right be enshrined in the federal Sex Discrimination Act to ensure a consistent national approach.

The review's panel, chaired by former Liberal minister Phillip Ruddock, said it accepted the right of schools to select or preference students who uphold their religious convictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison played down the proposal, saying such exemptions to anti-discrimination laws already exist.

"We're not proposing to change that law to take away that existing arrangement," he told reporters.

Attorney-General Christian Porter later clarified that no changes to the current arrangement, created by Labor in 2013, are proposed in the report.

"The Ruddock report does not recommend any changes to this regime," Mr Porter said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he can't believe the prime minister hasn't ruled out the "silly" idea completely.

"The fact is every child is entitled to human dignity. We shouldn't even be having this debate," Mr Shorten told reporters, demanding the Government release the report.

Gay rights activists slammed the proposal as a shameful assault on equality.

Alex Greenwich, who co-chaired the national campaign in support of same-sex marriage, is demanding the Federal Government rule it out.

The panel reportedly did not accept that businesses should be allowed to refuse services on religious grounds, such as denying a gay couple a wedding cake.

Under proposed changes to discrimination laws, religious schools could be offered new rights. Source: 1 NEWS

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The West Auckland home that's a 1980s masterpiece - 'You get a buzz out of it, a bit of excitement'

It's stood staunchly on this ridge of Auckland's Waitakere Ranges for almost 40 years, and now Seven Sharp's had a sneak peek at the 1980s masterpiece surrounded by nature.

Homeowner John Hatchman says, "When you look at the house, it just grabs you. The cantilevered decks, the lovely cedar, the big windows - it just blows you away when you first see it".

"It's just unique. I've never seen a place quite like it."

Designed by architect Chris Meikle, its post-modern focus was on place-making and despite the era, Mr Hatchman says it never gets old.

"The place has retained a lot of the 80s flavour. It's very original. If you took that away, it would destroy the whole thought and concept behind it. It wouldn't be the house that it is."

For both the architect and the owner, the standout feature is something not part of it at all.

"Living up here, you're in touch with nature. All the surroundings are glass, you can see the city, the trees.

"You get a buzz out of it, a bit of excitement. You think, 'What's at the end of the driveway?' And then boof, there it is - it's brilliant."

While he's loved his 80s hideaway and being close to nature, Mr Hatchman is now putting his home on the market so he can move to Europe.

"It's brilliant – a brilliant place."

The Chris Meikle-designed home in the Waitakere Ranges has a post-modern focus and is delightfully date-stamped. Source: Seven Sharp


Family history much more likely than diet to cause gout - research

Gout is much more likely to be brought on by genetics than a poor diet which has long been thought of as the primary cause of the joint disease, new research suggests.

Gout can can cause extreme pain and swelling but scientists at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, say people with the condition can be reluctant to get treatment because of the social stigma associated with having a poor diet.

The study, which was carried out here in New Zealand by a research team at the University of Otago, counters "these harmful but well-established views and practices, and provides an opportunity to address these serious barriers to reducing the burden of this common and easily treatable condition".

The Press Association reports researchers used data from more than 16,000 American men and women of European ancestry to reach its conclusions.

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood, which can form crystals that collect around joints.

Consuming beer, wine, spirits, potatoes and meat can raise the risk of getting gout while cheese, eggs, peanuts and brown bread can lower it.

However, each of these foods or drinks is responsible for less than a one per cent variation in levels of the acid, the study found.

And a comparison of healthy and unhealthy diets showed there was only a 0.3 per cent variation in levels of the acid.

But almost a quarter of the variation could be explained by genetic factors.

Gout is most common in men 40 or older.

Long-held theories gout only affected old men with poor diets could be quashed. Source: 1 NEWS