Watch: Shipwrecks, WWII history revealed in complex underwater survey of Marlborough Sounds seafloor

The most complex underwater coastal survey of the seafloor ever undertaken in New Zealand has been carried out in the Marlborough Sounds.

The survey revealed amongst other things previously undiscovered natural features, shipwrecks and man made features from World War II.

The Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui and Tory Channel/Kura Te Au mapping project was undertaken by NIWA and Discovery Marine Ltd in partnership with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and the Marlborough District Council.

It was completed using the latest multibeam echo sounder technology to gather more than five billion data points.

A statement released by NIWA says the survey was undertaken from two research vessels and included 280 days on the water mapping more than 43,000 hectares.

Multibeam echo sounders produce a fan of acoustic beams or sound waves directed downwards from the bottom of a boat.

These beams reflect off the seafloor, enabling the surveyors to calculate the depth of the seafloor, and map the seafloor habitat in extraordinary detail.

NIWA says the data has been used to produce an extensive new catalogue of navigational charts which were last updated in the 1940s, seabed maps and 3D images.

NIWA General Manager Operations and marine geologist Dr Helen Neil said the seafloor survey revealed natural features such as complex pockmark structures, scouring, sand waves, sediment braids and freshwater seeps not previously known about, as well as an extensive survey of the kelp habitats in the sounds.

The survey also revealed a number of man-made features and structures on the seafloor, including the marine farms of the region, a trench that remains from the 1940s, dug for a war-time communications cable between islands in the Sounds, once considered for use as a base for the Pacific Fleet.

Several shipwrecks and sunken boats were also located, some known to divers and locals, and some unknown. One of those was the wreck of the Hippolas, a barque which struck Walker Rock in 1909 and was abandoned with no loss of life.

It was completed using the latest multibeam echo sounder technology. Source: Supplied



Pet food company fined $90k over employee's ill-treatment of bobby calves

The owner of a pet food plant has been sentenced for allowing one of his employees to ill-treat bobby calves.

Alan Cleaver from Te Kauwhata has been sentenced in the Hamilton District Court to six months community detention and 180 hours community work.

His company, Down Cow Limited was fined $90,000 dollars.

Mr Cleaver has also been banned for five years from having anything to do with the ownership or care of farm animals.

Charges were laid against Mr Cleaver, the company and an employee following secret video taken by the animal rights group, Farmwatch in 2015.

The employee, Noel Erickson was originally sentenced in 2016 to home detention but this was reduced on appeal by two years in prison.

Noel Erickson's actions were exposed by TVNZ's Sunday programme and caused widespread anger and disgust. Source: 1 NEWS

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Calf. Source: 1 NEWS

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Fine weather for most of the country today, a few scattered clouds otherwise clear

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS


Judith Collins savages decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants evicted over meth contamination

Compensating Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using methamphetamine or allowing its use in their homes is a “disgrace,” National’s Judith Collins has said.

Mrs Collins said it was unacceptable that taxpayer money was being used to compensate former tenants who were evicted because of their "criminal activity".

“People were evicted from their houses by Housing New Zealand based on the standards of the day which was all around the health testing for methamphetamine contamination,” Mrs Collins said.

“Government had to take the advice of experts which were Housing NZ, Ministry of Health, MBIE, all the people who are the experts on this.”

“To now compensate people, 800 people, who were evicted from homes because they were smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it is an absolute outrage.”

“They’re being compensated with taxpayer money because of their criminal activity and that is not at all acceptable.”

The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, the housing minister said. Source: 1 NEWS

This morning, Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the meth contamination scandal was a failure of the previous government and National had already paid for it because “they are no longer ministers”.

“Housing NZ is committed to redressing the hardship these tenants faced. This will be done on a case by case basis and the organisation will look to reimburse costs tenants incurred, and make discretionary grants to cover expenses such as moving costs and furniture replacement,” he said.

READ MORE: Housing NZ board won't be sacked over meth contamination 'fiasco'

Mrs Collins stood by the policies of the ministers in the National government, saying they were acting on the best advice at the time.

“Housing NZ made their decisions based on the evidence at the time and I absolutely support the fact that the ministers had to do what they had to do based on that evidence.”

Certain tenants should not be let back in, including those who had sold P from their homes, Mrs Collins maintained.

“Some people should not be back in state houses because they were using their state houses for criminal activity, not just in some cases smoking methamphetamine or allowing their houses to be used for it, but actually for cooking it and selling it and these are now people who are apparently going to get compensation.”

Mrs Collins rejected the view that addiction was a health issue for those tenants who had manufactured the drug at Housing NZ properties.

“I don’t believe for a moment that using your house for methamphetamine consumption, cooking it up, and selling from it is something that is a health issue, that’s a criminal activity.”

National’s housing spokesperson savaged the decision to compensate Housing NZ tenants who were evicted for using P or allowing its use in their homes. Source: 1 NEWS