Watch: 'Your presence here will cause babies to die' - Dr Lance O'Sullivan stuns guests at anti-vax doco by leaping on stage to explain why their message is a killer

The 2014 New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O'Sullivan interrupted a controversial screening for anti-vaccine documentary Vaxxed in Kaitaia last night with a passionate speech telling the organisers they are contributing to deaths, before performing a defiant haka.

Screenings of Vaxxed across the country, including Whangarei and Kaitaia, had been kept secret, with organiser group WavesNZ notifying ticket holders of the venues just a few hours in advance.

Dr O'Sullivan was invited to watch along with a number of other health professionals, but took the chance to step on to the stage and share his views on the topic.

He said there is absolutely no evidence vaccines cause autism and he is concerned for his community because immunisation is safe and extremely important for children.

"I've come here not to watch the film, but to continue my battle and my challenge for my people ... and importantly, for our children," he said.

"I come here with a lot of anger ... that's because I am adamantly opposed to this because this position is, this idea of anti-immunisation has killed children around the world and actually will continue to kill children whose parents are put off immunisation because of misinformation - misinformation based on lies."

"Fraudulent people for their own reasons have decided that they would put forward false information that actually causes harm to children.

"Your presence here will cause babies to die."

Dr O'Sullivan criticised on social media

Dr O'Sullivan has since been criticised for his actions on social media, with The Warning against Vaccination Expectation group, who posted "Trina Cheel [the event organiser] was verbally attacked, bullied and threatened by Lance O'Sullivan at the Vaxxed screening last night.

"Dr Lance O'Sullivan came into the cinema under false pretences of watching the movie."

Laurence Bacchus, who works with intellectually handicapped and high needs people at Hawke's Bay's Hohepa Services, wrote that Dr O'Sullivan is a "pharma whore" and a "disgrace to his profession", before adding "New Zealander of the year my arse!"

Dr O'Sullivan denied that he attended the event under false pretences, saying he was invited to attend and simply got on the stage to give his view.

A poster for the movie 'Vaxxed'
A poster for the movie 'Vaxxed'. Source: Supplied

He was named New Zealander of the Year in 2014 for his work in public healthcare - the same year he was also named by Readers Digest as the second most-trusted New Zealander, behind Victoria's Cross winner Willie Apiata.

The film Vaxxed is a 2016 American film from anti-vaccination activists Del Bigtree and Andrew Wakefield.

It was widely criticised by the scientific community upon its release, with various reviews saying it cherry-picked facts, relied on unsubstantiated claims and used emotional pleas and context-free statistics to get its message across.

The 2014 NZer of the year made the comments at a Kaitaia screening of the film Vaxxed Source: 1 NEWS

Dr O'Sullivan says taxpayer-funded healthcare professionals had no place being at a screening of 'Vaxxed' in Kaitaia. Source: 1 NEWS

The former NZer of the Year stunned guests by jumping on stage mid-film to explain why it was wrong – and dangerous. Source: Supplied



Water meters likely for all New Zealand households in the future, expert says

New Zealand may be blessed with a plentiful supply of fresh water, but our system for getting it to our taps leaves a lot to be desired.

In places like Wellington, our pipe system has a water leakage rate of roughly 15 to 20 per cent, Water New Zealand CEO John Pfahlert told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"It's a fairly aging piping network, quite leaky," he said, adding that the situation isn't any different in "many, many communities" throughout Aotearoa. "You compare that, for example, to places like the Netherlands where you'd probably have less than 3 per cent leakage - a much higher investment in their reticulation network."

And as scientists predict more extreme weather events in coming decades, including extreme drought, that inefficiency paired with our "excessive consumption" throughout the country will have big consequences if we don't prepare for it now, he predicted.

Mr Pfahlert's warnings come as a report in Wellington suggests demand for water there will outstrip supply by 2040 if residents keep consuming at their current rate.

While replacing the piping networks throughout New Zealand is expensive, there is one way to dramatically cut down our consumption, Mr Pfahlert said. Install water meters and charge for it.

The measure is already in place in Auckland, where it costs about $1.80 per cubic metre of water.

"When those meters were introduced, there was an immediate reduction in water consumption by people of about 30 per cent," he said.

"When they did the same thing on the Kapiti Coast a few years ago, they were facing the necessity to build a water treatment plant at a cost of something like $50 million," he added. "They installed water meters, and (there was) an immediate 30 per cent drop in consumption in water by locals.

"It does drive behaviour."

There has been some opposition to installing meters in Wellington, with fears - unfounded, officials say - that it could lead to privatisation of the water supply. But the measure seems inevitable, not just for Wellington but for all of New Zealand, Mr Pfahlert told Breakfast.

"As we approach a world where the weather's going to be drier, I suspect it's going to be something that most communities are forced to do," he said. "It just makes good common sense. It's not only a means of conserving water, it's just a good way to behave in terms of treating the environment."

Our water supply might be abundant, but our pipe systems are inefficient and leaky, says Water NZ CEO John Pfahlert. Source: Breakfast


US boy lands on meat skewer that penetrated his skull from face to the back of his head

A 10-year-old Missouri boy is recovering after he was attacked by insects and tumbled from a tree, landing on a meat skewer that penetrated his skull from his face to the back of his head.

But miraculously, that's where Xavier Cunningham's bad luck ended. The skewer had completely missed Xavier's eye, brain, spinal cord and major blood vessels, The Kansas City Star reports.

Xavier's harrowing experience began Saturday afternoon when yellow jackets attacked him in a tree house at his home in Harrisonville, about 56 kilometres south of Kansas City. He fell to the ground and started to scream. His mother, Gabrielle Miller, ran to help him. His skull was pierced from front-to-back with half a foot of skewer still sticking out of his face.

Miller tried to reassure her son, who told her "I'm dying, Mom" as they rushed to the hospital. He eventually was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital, where endovascular neurosurgery director Koji Ebersole evaluated the wound.

"You couldn't draw it up any better," Ebersole said. "It was one in a million for it to pass 5 or 6 inches through the front of the face to the back and not have hit these things."

There was no active bleeding, allowing the hospital time to get personnel in place for a removal surgery on Sunday morning that was complicated by the fact that the skewer wasn't round. Because it was square, with sharp edges, it would have to come out perfectly straight. Twisting it could cause additional severe injury.

"Miraculous" would be an appropriate word to describe what happened, Ebersole said.

Doctors think Xavier could recover completely.

"I have not seen anything passed to that depth in a situation that was survivable, let alone one where we think the recovery will be near complete if not complete," he said.

Doctors say it was a miracle the boy survived. Source: Medical News Network

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Greenpeace wants Government to use funds for solar panels instead of oil and gas

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to kit out New Zealand homes with solar panels by using the funds currently subsidising the oil and gas industry.

Earlier this year the Government banned offshore exploration, and Greenpeace said the $88 million used to subsidise it could be used for solar panels and batteries for 1.5 million New Zealand homes over the next ten years.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson said a report on the future of energy from the national grid operator showed that energy systems were increasingly shifting to electricity, and she said that meant New Zealand needed to increase the amount of electricity that was produced.

"One of their forecasts is that 1.5 million households will need to go solar, and what we're saying is that it's time to kick start that right away by getting 500,000 homes kitted out with panels and batteries over ten years," she said.

Going solar would be financially beneficial for homeowners who would not have to deal with any upfront costs and would provide zero interest loans, she said.

"The plan would provide additional support to 100,000 lower income homes through a Government grant that would cover at least half the system cost. The zero interest loans would be attached to the house that receives the solar panels and batteries, not to the individuals who own it or rent it. They could be administered through Regional Councils, and paid back through rates."

The plan was launched yesterday as the organisation's flagship, Rainbow Warrior, arrived in Auckland to celebrate the Government's April announcement banning offshore oil and gas permits.

rnz.co.nz

Solar Panels Source: 1 NEWS


NZ researchers help find key 'villain' in causing migraines

Researchers have found a key "villain" in causing migraines.

Scientists at Victoria's Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand and around the world, discovered the molecular details of one of the key initiators of migraines, with the findings published in the Nature science journal on Thursday.

A neuropeptide called calcitonin gene-related peptide has been found to be a main offender of initiating migraines and causing pain, the research reveals.

The peptide interacts with a receptor in the brain which causes the pain response.

But this receptor doesn't respond to the neuropeptide unless there's another partner protein.

This study reveals the first high-resolution structure of the activated receptor, together with the neuropeptide and its main signal-transmitting partner.

"Our work, solving the structure of activated receptor complex, allows design of novel drugs that can activate the receptor," one of the researchers Dr Denise Wootten said.

"Excitingly, the CGRP receptor is not just a villain, but can also be activated for beneficial outcomes. For example, there is accumulating evidence that activation of the receptor could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, or resistant hypertension".

About two million Australians experience migraines with symptoms including pain, nausea and poor sleep, Monash University states.

"This research could pave the way for novel drug development in areas of ongoing therapeutic need," institute director Professor Christopher Porter said.

The research was a multi-disciplinary effort with collaborators also in Germany, the UK, New Zealand, China, and the Mayo Clinic in the US.

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