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



Government sets goal of making Auckland's Waiheke Island predator free by 2025

Auckland's Waiheke Island will be predator free by 2025.

That's the goal of the Government which Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today for Te Korowai o Waiheke: Towards Predator Free Waiheke.

A total of $10.9 million is budgeted for the project which was launched at Piritahi Marae on the Hauraki Gulf island today. Of that $2.6 million will come from the Predator Free 2050 fund.

"Successful eradication of stoats and rats from Waiheke would make it the world’s largest and most populated island predator eradication project," Ms Sage says.

"A predator-free Waiheke will see the return of native birds from neighbouring predator-free islands such as Motuihe, Motutapu and Rangitoto.

“We are already starting to see this happen with the recent return of North Island kākā to Waiheke.

"Eradicating rats and stoats will enable North Island kākā, kākāriki, kereru, tui, korimako or bellbird, piwakawaka or fantail, tūturiwhatu or New Zealand dotterel, ōi or grey-faced petrel and kororā or little blue penguins to breed safely and increase in number on Waiheke."

Ms Sage says Auckland Council, Predator Free 2050 and Foundation North are providing the bulk of the funding for the people of Waiheke to rid their island of stoats and rats.

Waiheke Island / Auckland
Waiheke Island (file picture). Source: istock.com


Queenstown ziplining business challenging young Kiwi gamers to connect with the outdoors through Fortnite-themed tour

Flying through the trees instead of staring at screens, Ziptrek Ecotours is a zipline adventure in Queenstown challenging young Kiwi gamers to connect with the outdoors.

One of the tours is themed around the popular online video game, Fortnite.

Ziptrek Ecotours' sales and marketing manager Nicky Busst said, "Fortnite is out in the forest, you get to do challenges, they have victory dances they do, everyone knows 'the floss'".

Played by more than 40 million people worldwide, some are concerned the survival game has an addictive nature.

"I'm also a parent of two boys that I believe spend way too much time on computer games and have become addicted to the Fortnite craze," Ms Busst said.

So they brought "the floss" to the forest, with special challenges and even a Fornite-themed dance-off to take the game off the screen.

On average, high school students spend around 12 hours per week gaming, with only 10 per cent of them meeting the Ministry of Health's recommendations for 60 minutes of exercise a day.

James Driver, a psychotherapist specialising in gaming addiction, says, "While early research suggests the numbers are low at around five per cent, the effects can be severe".

"It can have fairly significant impacts on people's mental health. It can increase depression and anxiety," Mr Driver said.

After the experience, one child said, "I get outside a fair bit but I probably should get outside a bit more". 

"It's a good lesson to know, like, to stay outside and not just always be on your computer," another said.

The company is also challenging more Kiwi kids to get outdoors through the online game. Source: 1 NEWS

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New initiative underway to get more Kiwi kids on Wi-Fi - 'A hugely exciting opportunity for our kids and their whanau'

A new initiative is underway to get more Kiwi kids on Wi-Fi at home.

The trial involves more than 100 households in Naenae, in the Lower Hutt, which has one of the lowest rates of connectivity.

Matt Reid, the Chair of the Te Awakairangi Access (TAKA) Trust, says we are "seeing the growth of the digital divide".

"What we want to do is level that playing field so all New Zealand kids can benefit from modern learning," he said.

Mr Reid's community trust estimates up to 30 per cent of children don't have internet outside of school hours, so they're piloting a program giving 125 students a Chromebook and Wi-Fi access in their homes.

"Certainly, I think money definitely is a barrier, cost is a barrier, and so what our trust is trying to do is level the playing field so we're taking away that barrier which is so important.

"Education is gonna make such a difference in these young people’s lives in their futures."

Rata Street School deputy principal Glenda Stewart has called the scheme "a hugely exciting opportunity for our kids and for their whanau".

Mr Reid said the programme helps extend the "learning bubble" from "seven in the morning till often eight at night".

"They can learn with both in the classroom but also at home with family with friends," he said.

Backers are hoping the project will eventually roll out across the country.

There are concerns too many children are still missing out on technology at home. Source: 1 NEWS


Woman dead, two other people critically injured in Christchurch stabbing

One woman is dead and two people are in a critical condition after a stabbing in Christchurch.

Police were called to a stabbing on Ilam Rd in Christchurch. One woman was killed and another man is in critical condition.
Source: 1 NEWS

Police were called to Ilam Road at 7.50pm on Saturday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Anderson said a man and woman were stabbed by another man, who then turned the knife on himself.

He says those involved were known to each other.

Police are not seeking anyone else over the incident.