'I wouldn't give them the money' - Professor praises Gloriavale's 'inventive' application for taxpayer money, but says they do well enough already

A Massey University professor says Gloriavale's application for funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is "inventive" but that he wouldn't personally give them the money because they are "too sectarian".

1 NEWS yesterday revealed the West Coast religious community, which has tax-free charitable status, has applied for millions in taxpayer funding to set up a health food business.

Speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, Professor Peter Lineham praised the church's novel approach to running their organisation, but also said he doesn't think they should receive a grant.

"They're nothing if not imaginative, because they seize opportunities," he said.

"This is a very creative way to draw on [Regional Development Minister] Shane Jones' Regional Growth Fund - and boy the Coast needs it."

The community’s leaders are looking to set up a new health food enterprise on the West Coast. Source: 1 NEWS

Professor Lineham said while Gloriavale probably would do the work and establish a business if given the grant, there are questions as to who will benefit.

"The general theory of regional development funds is that if you inject money into a positive enterprise then there'll be quite a lot of trickle down effects .. .and so it will benefit the wider community," he said.

"All the money feeds back into the 500 or 600 people who are there within the [Gloriavale] community ... strictly everything is controlled by a very closed organisational force."

Gloriavale already do "pretty well out of the state", he said, with the tax-free religious charity status allowing them to keep tax on their business profits, as well as receive income through donations and other means.

Read more: Exclusive: Gloriavale seeking millions of taxpayer dollars to set up new health food enterprise

"The law does say, at the moment, that if you're running a business for charitable purposes you're entitled to do that."

Personally, Professor Lineham said he would not choose to give Gloriavale the funding, "because its really just too sectarian".

Mr Jones said yesterday the government would evaluate Gloriavale's application in good faith but will also take into account Gloriavale's reputation with the public whose money it is now asking for.

"I wouldn't want to knock out any particular application till we had all the facts," Mr Jones said.

"We will get from time to time applications where we'll have to be very, very sensitive.

"But the reality is that particular organisation does represent something of a morality play."

Professor Peter Lineham says the sect's application to the Regional Development Fund is inventive, if nothing else. Source: Breakfast


Police name man killed in fatal Rotorua motorcycle crash

Police have released the name of the person who died in a motorcycle crash in Rotorua earlier this week.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS

The man was 47-year-old Thomas Hunuhunu of Rotorua.

Police were called to a crash on Deven Street West around 2am on Thursday morning after a motorcycle collided with a tree.

The motorcycle was the only vehicle involved in the crash and the driver died at the scene.

The Serious Crash Unit is still investigating the fatal accident.


Drug testing legalisation at NZ festivals on the cards

The Government is considering legalising drug-testing services at festivals.

A community organisation, Know Your Stuff, said the law hindered people's access to pill testing at events, which put users at risk.

Its managing director Wendy Allison said section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act made it a criminal offence to permit a venue to be used for drug consumption, so the presence of pill testing would demonstrate that the event organisers knew that people use drugs.

"Section 12 was never intended to prevent harm reduction services from happening at events."

"An unintended consequence of the Section has been to deter event organisers from providing harm reduction services such as pill testing, removing this barrier is an obvious step towards keeping people safe."

Health Minister David Clark said the coalition Government was dealing with drug use as a health and harm reduction issue.

"In light of this, I've had initial discussions with the Justice Minister about 'drug checking' services.

"Through him, I've asked for advice on the legislative and criminal justice issues around such services."

rnz.co.nz- Chris Bramwell

Johann Hari, who spent several years researching drug use, addiction and treatment for his book, says we’ve misunderstood addiction.
Source: 1 NEWS


Tertiary students tackle social, cultural and environmental issues in dazzling Auckland light show

Unitec Institute of Technology is using innovative electric vehicle technology to power students’ light installations at this year’s GLOW@Artweek festival on Devonport’s Windsor Reserve.

Unitec partnered with Auckland energy company Vector for the light show where installations by students look at different issues in society.

The festival also prides itself on being environmentally friendly, with energy being taken from two Nissan Leaf G2 electric cars to provide the power needed to run the nine different light projects.

The cars act as a rechargeable and mobile renewable energy source for the duration of the festival.

Vector’s New Technology Lead, Moonis Vegdani, says, “Two-way EV chargers are an example of the future of energy. They basically transform electric vehicles into mobile storage batteries, enabling energy to be charged or discharged anywhere there is a two-way charger. It’s perfect for a temporary light installation such as GLOW@Artweek.”

Nine teams of second-year Unitec Architecture students designed a diverse range of interactive light installations on Devonport’s Windsor Reserve for the event, working to a zero-waste, zero-budget brief.

Students sought sponsorship for their designs, which also featured a range of sustainable materials.

"Sustainability is a key factor in the design and construction of the students’ works and having access to an alternative, rechargeable power source in a large-scale outdoor venue is extremely exciting," Unitec Architecture lecturer Ainsley O'Connell said. 

Devonport came to life thanks to the work of Unitec architecture students in “Glow”. Source: 1 NEWS

Five rare kiwi chicks fighting fit for release in Southland

Five rare kiwi chicks will be released back into their Southland home now they are heavy enough to fight off stoats alone.

The Haast Tokoeka Kiwi is the rarest kiwi, with a wild population of between 400 and 500 birds.

The chicks were raised in a kiwi creche on predator-free Rona Island in Lake Manapouri.

Department of Conservation South Westland senior ranger Inge Bolt said the island had kept the birds safe from stoats, which would kill most kiwi before they became adults.

"Only Haast tokoeka, which have reached a weight of 1.6kg, will make the final move back to their place of birth. At this weight, they are better able to fend off attack from stoats."

It took many people, organisations and volunteers to raise kiwi to an age where they could be returned to their home.

Without their work, the wild population of Haast Tokoeka kiwi would be significantly lower, Ms Bolt said.

"It's a really important thing that we step in and do what we can at this stage, we're trying to find out more as we go so that we can better understand the species, and the more that we understand them, the better we can help them."

The chicks will be released next week.


Close up of a kiwi bird a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand.
Kiwi. Source: istock.com