'We believe in what you're doing' - Koi Boys bash out intimate acoustic jam for youth suicide prevention staff

Kiwi singing trio the Koi Boys have been personally touched by the tragedy of suicide, and today they took time out to sing a song for the unheralded workers trying to fight youth depression.

Youthline's Auckland call centre today got a surprise visit from the VMA winning group, who sang a single intimate song and then just hung-out with staff over morning tea and scones.

The visit from the Koi Boys comes just a day before they headline the Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park event, which will raise money for the Youthline charity.

Singer Kevin Keepa recently dedicated his Vodafone Music Award to his young niece who committed suicide.

Hearing about Youthline's service he insisted the group offer a personal thank you the staff's behind the scenes of the charity and spread the word about youth suicide prevention. 

"I lost a son to suicide, and a niece to suicide, my brother's daughter, so I know what you're on about, and I'm proud to be here," Mr Keepa said.

"We're not just some flyby-ers who are just going to walk in here and sit down sing you a song, no.

"We believe in what you're doing and I'm really proud to be here and to see the people who no one ever sees, people who help our youth.

"It's very important to me, I lost a bloody son to it."

The Koi Boys are the headline act at Auckland's Christmas in the Park tomorrow night at Auckland Domain, with all money raised at the event going to Youthline to provide support to over 50,000 young people each year.

The VMA award winning trio sat down for a surprise performance at Youthline Auckland’s call centre today. Source: 1 NEWS

Kiwi pizza supremo talks about the 'art that's almost been forgotten' as Neapolitan pizza making gets UN recognition

The Neapolitan art of pizza making, known as "pizzaiuolo", has been accepted onto the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO] list after being handed down for generations of chefs in the southern Italian city of Naples.

A specific set of requirements must be met in order for a pizza to be considered of pizzaiuolo grade – including how the dough is prepared, the origin of ingredients and that it must be cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Around two million people had been part of a petition calling on the UN to recognise the culinary delight. Locals in Naples celebrated the UN's decision by handing out free pizzas in the street.

Aucklander Kevin Morris, who owns Dante's Pizzeria, is among only a handful of chefs in the Southern Hemisphere to earn the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certification.

He told 1 NEWS there's nothing quite like Naples' famous dish.

"It's an art that's almost been forgotten. As far as I'm concerned, when you put out the best Neapolitan pizza possible, it's a Michelin-star dish. End of story."

Morris, who is half Italian, is thrilled to see the pizza recognised by UNESCO.

"The fast-food industry is slowly taking over. Food like pizza and pasta in Italy… it's teaching the new generation that this is real food. It's really important to keep that education going. So having the status is gold.

"When I came to New Zealand, pizza 22 years ago was a lot worse than it is today. It was shocking. I thought 'god, I've got to make a stand here!'"

All the ingredients he uses, bar the basil, are imported from Italy.

"You have to use a special flour from Southern Italy. We use caputo. Milled very slowly, so the grains aren't damaged and it can hydrate properly."

The flour is then rested for two days, then stretched out by hand – never a rolling pin.

And while the art of pizzaiuolo - twirling pizza dough - was an important element of Italy's bid to have the pizza recognised, Morris says it's not necessary.

"The acrobatics can undo the hard work of relaxing the gluten," he said.

"If you start throwing it around it can damage it. It looks cool, but it's not good for Neapolitan pizza.

"They do do it in Napoli, they do it worldwide. But if you want to do the best dish possible, it's not a process that's done."

And he had some choice words for those who use spaghetti or pineapple as pizza toppings.

"You know, what can I say? It's really offensive. Less is more!"

UNESCO recognises pizza after 2 million sign petition - and Kiwi locals agree. Source: 1 NEWS


One person dead after car collides with truck south of Dunedin

One person has died after a car and truck collided south of Dunedin today.

Police say a vehicle travelling north collided with a truck travelling south on State Highway 1, near Milton.

A van following the other vehicle had to take evasive action to avoid the crash and has gone into a ditch.

Police say one person died at the scene. The road is expected to be closed for some time, but there are diversions down Adams Flat Road and Creighton Road.

Trucks may not be able to use the diversions and motorists are advised to expect delays.

The Serious Crash Unit are investigating the cause of the crash.


Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS