Warnings against collecting shellfish extended for parts of the country following spread of toxic algae

Warnings against collecting shellfish have been extended for parts of the country following the spread of toxic algae.

The blooms are being described as "unusual" for this time of the year, with commercial fisheries having to cut their harvest short.

Cawthron Institute research scientist Lincoln Mackenzie said, "The timing of it, the appearance of it mid-winter was certainly a surprise".

The blooms put a stop to one of the Marlborough Sounds' biggest industries for three months and temporarily closed more than 100 mussel farms.

Sanford general manager Ted Culley called it "a challenging year for all of us".

While shellfish have not been affected by the blooms, it makes them poisonous to humans, meaning the mussels cannot be harvested while the blooms are present.

Sanford has been really lucky because we've got quite a large geographical supply of mussels, so we can go to other areas to mitigate the impacts of this algae bloom," Mr Culley said.

With the blooms prominent this winter, recreational shellfish collectors have been advised to heed warnings issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in the Bay of Islands, along the west coast of the North Island, and in Akaroa Harbour in the South Island.

Anyone eating shellfish from the affected areas are at risk of becoming severely ill.

While Marlborough mussel farms were recently declared safe, locals fear the blooms may return.

"If it was during the summer period, it would be really unfortunately disruptive - really un-ideal," says Sounds Great Holiday Homes co-owner Frith Chamberlain.

She says her guests can often find rock oyster beds and black mussels along the waterfront.

"People enjoy hanging out on the beach, sampling what the local environment has to offer and when you can't do that, it just takes a little bit away from your experience," Ms Chamberlain said.

Resting cysts which could create future algae blooms have been found in high numbers in the Nydia Bay seabed.

"How long the situation persists for, we really can't say," Mr Mackenzie said.

"In other areas like in Queen Charlotte Sound – areas where there were relatively high number of cysts over seven or eight years - they have pretty well disappeared so it's not necessarily a completely permanent situation."

The water is continually monitored and people out collecting shellfish are advised to keep a watch on MPI's latest warnings.

That’s because of toxic algae blooms which are being described as “unusual” for this time of year. Source: 1 NEWS

Owner of dog who became internet sensation after Kawakawa escape speaks with Seven Sharp

A Bay of Islands woman told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp she is "never going to live this down" after footage of her rescue dog Lily dragging a bakery's flag down the main street of Kawakawa went viral around the globe.

CCTV footage of the freedom-seeking furball's runner — accompanied by Yakety Sax, the song made famous by the Benny Hill Show — has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted to Facebook last night.

Lucie Green, a volunteer with Bay of Islands Animal Rescue, was taking the basset hound for a walk last week when she decided to stop at a local business to buy Lily a treat.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

But the Basset Hound received a fright and bolted despite being tied to a large Coca-Cola flag forcing Lucie to give chase.

"For an animal with just little legs, my god she can run," Lucie told Seven Sharp.

Lily, Lucie and the rogue flag brought Kawakawa's State Highway 1 strip to a standstill, the whole escapade captured on CCTV.

"My partner owns a local CCTV company I got to the office and I told him what had happened.

"He didn't tell me he'd done it, but he edited footage and put the music on and uploaded it to Facebook and tagged me in it.

"I knew it was trouble when basically by the time we'd gone to bed last night it had hit 100,000 views," Lucie said.

The basset hound, named Lily, was tied to a large flag outside a dairy. So she took the flag with her on her wild escape. Source: Facebook/James Mcdonald

Thousands of people have since commented on the video, with many of them admiring the dog’s spirit.

"I'm laughing my guts out it's so funny," wrote Facebook user Annie Hicks.

Lucie does see the funny side of events however.

"They say every dog has their day, so I guess Lily is enjoying her 15 mins of fame." 

Lily made a run for it when owner Lucie Green stopped at a shop in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp

Tracking down New Plymouth youth MP candidates after Andrew Little's 'hip' appeal

Labour MP Andrew Little released a tongue in cheek video encouraging young people from New Plymouth to get involved in politics today.

The video inspired TVNZ1's Seven Sharp to travel to Mr Little's old school to find the perfect candidate for its new youth MP.

Judge for yourself if New Plymouth Boys' High students Thomas Foy and Jarrod Wilson have what it takes in the video above.

Tamati Rimene-Sproat is on the case after the Labour MP's piece of political theatre. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Take a tour inside Kate Sheppard’s former house where suffragists worked to get women the right to vote

Suffragist Kate Sheppard's old house in Christchurch goes up for auction next month - so Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry took a tour.

Ms Sheppard was instrumental in gaining New Zealand women the right to vote in 1893. She carried out important work for the suffrage movement in the house during the late 19th Century.

Today saw celebrations around the country marking 125 years since women gained the right to vote in New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern has indicated the Government is interested in buying the house for the nation. It's expected to fetch in excess of $3 million when it goes under the hammer on October 17.

Hilary Barry met with the home's current owner Julia Burbury who showed her around the dwelling set on one acre of gardens.

The house has a category one heritage listing.

The piece of New Zealand history in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million, is up for auction. Source: Seven Sharp

Mum distraught as son turned away from Hutt Valley High School because he didn't have permanent address

Being homeless has become an obstacle for one mother wanting to give her child an education.

Helen Taitapanui and her son were turned away from Hutt Valley High School last week because they don't have a permanent residential address.

Ms Taitapanui, is currently battling cancer and lives in a motel with her teenage son while they wait for a permanent home.

"We've got to be glad that we've got that when we know that a lot of our families are out there living in cars," Ms Taitapanui told 1 NEWS.

However, this was a problem when she tried to enrol her son at a local school.

"The response was it's against their policy to register children living out of a motel. you had to have a residential address," Ms Taitapanui said.

She complained to the Ministry of Education and shortly after Hutt Valley High School reversed its decision.

Ms Taitapanui says her son's excited about going back to school.

"I know once he steps back into the realm of education he'll be well and truly away."

She hopes by speaking out, another unnecessary obstacle will be removed for the homeless.

Being homeless threw up an unexpected obstacle for a mum wanting to educate her child. Source: 1 NEWS