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Archive for June, 2013


Double World Cup glory for All Blacks Sevens teams…

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Congratulations to the new MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Meka Whaitiri…

 

 Results:
APPLEBY, Michael ALCP 159
DAVIDSON, Marama GP 1,145
HOLLAND, Adam IND 13
NIKORA, Te Hāmua MANA 2,512
RAIHANIA, Na Rongowhakaata MAOR 2,068
WAIRAU, Maurice IND 26
WHAITIRI, Meka LAB 4,272
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Giant Kiwi kid picked up in NBA draft – Steve Adams will play for the Oklahoma City Thunder…

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    Steven Adams from Rotorua in the North island of New Zealand has become an instant millionaire. The younger brother of dual Olympic Shot Put gold medalist Valerie is a giant in many ways. The 19 year old has size 19 shoes and stands seven feet tall! He will also earn two million Kiwi dollars a year for the next three years at least. He will play in a development league next year. Please read the following news story:

    “With the 12th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Steven Adams from Rotorua, New Zealand and the University of Pittsburgh.”

    And with those sweet words from NBA Commissioner David Stern, it was official. New Zealand had a first round draft pick in the most prestigious basketball competition in the world.

    Hailing from Rotorua and one of 18 kids, Steven Funaki Adams has been selected in the first round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that made the NBA Finals in 2011-12 before losing to the Miami Heat.

    The Pittsburgh centre was chosen by the Thunder as part of a wider trade that took place between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City towards the end of 2012.

    Under the trade, the Thunder traded star James Harden and three other players to the Rockets in exchange for two first round picks in the 2013 Draft, a second round pick (the 32nd pick overall) and two players from the Rockets squad.

    Adams, who played for the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL, turned heads when he played at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012.

    The centre played at Pitt for one year before declaring himself for the 2013 Draft. It was a decision that surprised a lot of basketball followers, but nobody can fault the decision now.

    Adams will play along the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at the Thunder, and is the first freshman out of Pittsburgh to be drafted.

    Speaking to Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier as part of ESPN’s coverage, Adams said he felt ‘amazing’ and was representing New Zealand as much as he could.

    “All of the New Zealand family was just rooting for OKC. I’m pretty happy I’m going to OKC,” said Adams.

    Adams was cool, calm and collected when asked about representing his country on the greatest basketball stage of them all.

    After flashing the Kiwi flag on the inside of his blazer, Adams addressed all New Zealand family, friends and fans who anxiously watched on in his homeland.

    “Thank you for all the support, guys, and I’m pretty much doing it as a Kiwi always.”

    http://sport.msn.co.nz/sportnews/othersports/8681404/low-key-adams-flying-high

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Matariki: The NZ Maori New Year…

Pleiades (M45, Seven Sisters) open cluster - i...

Pleiades (M45, Seven Sisters) open cluster – infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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    Matariki – the Pleiades (Te Ara):

    For many New Zealanders, 31 December means parties and celebrations to welcome the New Year. These celebrations are an important way of marking the passage of time as well as heralding new beginnings.

    Depending on your religion or ethnicity, New Year can come at different times of the year and be celebrated in many ways. For example, there is the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, the Muslim month of Muharram, and Rosh Hashanah, one of the most important religious holidays in the Jewish calendar. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means the ‘head of the year’.

    Māori also have their own New Year, which is marked by the rise of Matariki (the group of stars also known as the Pleiades star cluster or The Seven Sisters) and the sighting of the next new moon. Like Chinese New Year (and the Christian festival of Easter), its exact timing varies from year to year, but it usually occurs during the month of June. Traditionally, Matariki was used to determine the coming season’s crop. A warmer season, and therefore a more productive crop yield, was indicated by how bright the stars were.

    Matariki provides an ideal opportunity to explore the ways that people pass on and sustain aspects of their culture and heritage. The beginning of the 21st century has seen a revival in Matariki celebrations. It is becoming an increasingly important part of the New Zealand calendar. Some have compared Matariki to the American holiday of Thanksgiving or Halloween. In 2013 Matariki begins 10 June.

    Schools could adopt a cross-curriculum focus for the duration of Matariki. Some suggested approaches and activities have been included here, beginning with a general look at how we measure time.

    http://www.matarikifestival.org.nz/

    http://www.mch.govt.nz/nz-identity-heritage/matariki

    http://friendsofdownunder.blog.co.uk

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Mayor Ray Wallace hopes free wi-fi will put some real zing into Lower Hutt streets…

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We want Wi-Fi…bring us Wi-Fi…We love Wi-Fi,’’ yelled a group of mock protestors as free wi-fi was launched in Lower Hutt’s central business district today. Mayor Ray Wallace said wi-fi will put some zing into the CBD, as he flicked a switch to officially declare the availability of free Wi-Fi.

The rowdy group walking through the streets complete with banners demanding Wi-Fi was part of an awareness campaign by Hutt City Council.

‘’We are proud to partner with Smartlinx3 bringing another Technology Valley® initiative to the CBD,’’ says Mayor Ray Wallace.

‘’Everyone is on the move with mobile devices. People will be able to connect and undertake business outside their office.’’

In keeping with the theme of technology, one lucky browser will have the chance to win an iPad 2. Competition details will be on the sidewalks within the Lower Hutt Central business district Wi-Fi zones.

Wi-Fi is now available in High Street, from Waterloo to Laings Roads, Margaret Street, Bunny Street, Queens Drive and Dowse Square.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url

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Wellington bore the brunt of recent storms…

Panorama of central Wellington, New Zealand, f...

Panorama of central Wellington, New Zealand, from the summit of Mount Victoria at night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A photo of Wellington taken from the lookout p...

A photo of Wellington taken from the lookout point at Mount Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a good day.  A photo of Wellington taken from the lookout point at Mount Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Christchurch City Council has admitted it failed to insure Bromley composting plant – will have to borrow $11 million for repairs…

English: Coat of arms of the City of Christchurch

English: Coat of arms of the City of Christchurch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Christchurch City Council admits it failed to insure a brand new composting plant before the earthquakes and will now have to borrow extra money to pay for $11 million worth of repairs.

The council is already facing a $760 million shortfall in the insurance it will receive for underground infrastructure and buildings, due to a cap on its cover and disputes with its reinsurers.

The council’s corporate services general manager, Paul Anderson, says the failure to get insurance for the Bromley composting plant was a clerical error and one he is ultimately responsible for.

“It’s my responsibility to ensure that council’s assets are insured… My team in this instance failed to move that across.”

Mr Anderson will not be drawn on whether disciplinary action has been taken but says changes have been made to the insurance team to make sure the mistake isn’t repeated.

Next story in Christchurch Earthquake : Settlement dates extended for 92 red-zone owners

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The future of local government in the Wellington Region and the Hutt Valley will be decided very soon – a proposed super-city is dead in the water…

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by Peter Petterson

There has been a lot of discussi0n about the future of local government in the Wellington Region. A section of people – those who have had some past power and influence wanting to push the Super City barrow. Aucklanders never went out, discussed and sought an Auckland Super City – it was imposed on them by power brokers. It should never have been so big and should not have included the North Shore. It has been influenced by central government all the way through. They have claimed that big is good – more people the better. Of course, the Auckland Super City has not finished developing. It can only stop with the election of a left of centre government. There may be some areas that will wish to secede from the Super City. But that is Auckland’s concern and problem.

Now back to the proposal for a Wellington Super City: In recent times the three Wairarapa districts have made it clear they have no desire to become part of a Wellington Super City – it would not benefit the Wairarapa in any way they claim. They want a United Wairarapa District. Kapiti has indicated that they,also, have no desire to join Wellington. The small and lightly populated Porirua City have indicated that they would support being part of an enlarged Wellington City. What about the Hutt Valley? Right from the outset there has been strong opposition to the concept of a Wellington Super City. But the two Hutt cities said they would go away and discuss the proposal. They have considered the pros and the cons. They are totally opposed to a super city concept.

The results of two surveys were released in the last few days. Most of those polled preferred the status quo of the two councils – Upper and Lower Hutt cities. However, the second most popular option was a joint united  council with even more shared services. A Super City ran a distant third, like the length of the Trentham racetrack straight, in both polls, which drew a combined total of more than 7000 responses. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace claimed this would stop a super-city in its tracks. There are 150,000 people in the Hutt Valley, the biggest area outside of Wellington City,and a clear message has been given.

Both surveys were held during a three week period from late may to mid-June, so are clearly up to date in opinion. Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy said the response was unprecedented – a clear indication ofhow determined residents of both Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt are to have a voice that will be heard above the noise emanatiog from Wellington City.

Both councils will meet seperately during the next week to discuss the wording of a submission to the Local Government Commission.

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A Hutt Valley community survey reportedly drew more than 6000 responses, while a Colmar Brunton survey polled a further 1000 responses. Sixty six per cent of Hutt Valley residents surveyed wanted the status quo, and thirty four per cent a United Hutt Valley Council. Just six per cent want a super-city in the Wellington region. In the Colmar Brunton poll 50% favoured the status quo, 28% a Hutt Valley United Council and just 18% a super city. Four per cent were undecided.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council is pushing for a two-tier super city with eight local boards.  Wellington City wants a single-tier super-city combining all the regions existing councils except the Wairarapa.  Six councils now oppose a super-city –  Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Kapiti.

As Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace suggested, the super-city is dead in the water.

As a longtime resident of Lower Hutt, I have been pushing for an amalgamated Hutt Valley Council for close to a decade –  it should have been amalgamated with all the other amalgamations back in 1989. A single voice will enable better investment, planning,support  and influence from within and without.

Lower Hutt in New Zealand. Looking eastwards f...

Lower Hutt in New Zealand. Looking eastwards from a flight to Auckland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Worst storm since 1968 that sunk the ferry Wahine hit the Wellington region overnight – snowing in Christchurch, Timaru and Tapanui, Southland

 

 

Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry entering Wellingt...

Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry entering Wellington Harbour, Orongorongo Range in the background. Photo taken from Wellington Harbour Ferry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry entering Wellington Harbour, Orongorongo Range in the background. Photo taken from Wellington Harbour Ferry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The TEV Wahine lists heavily to starboard as i...

The TEV Wahine lists heavily to starboard as it sinks in Wellington Harbour. Lifeboats from the ship can be seen to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The TEV Wahine lists heavily to starboard as it sinks in Wellington Harbour in 1968 . Lifeboats from the ship can be seen to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The worst storm in Wellington region overnight since the 1968 storm that overturned the Cook Strait ferry Wahine with a loss of over 50 lives. Wind gusts up to 200 km last night. All ferries, trains and planes out. Bit like the song trains ,boats and planes. Power cuts, damaged homes and thousands of trees damaged or knocked over by the wind. Better now than in early spring. Snowing in ChristchurchTimaru area and down in Tapanui, Southland this morning.  Still 8,000 homes without power in Wellington.
http://peter-petterson.blogspot.com     Beyond the HuttRiver
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Bob Parker warns of problems if Lianne Dalziel runs for Christchurch mayoralty – could it be she might win?

English: John Key, leader of the New Zealand N...

English: John Key, leader of the New Zealand National Party Македонски: Џон Ки, лидер на Новозеландската национална партија. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker says Lianne Dalziel has bad-mouthed the city council and the Government for the past three years and that will cause problems if she was elected mayor.

Lianne Dalziel.Lianne Dalziel.

LABOUR PARTY

Bob Parker.Bob Parker.

AFP

After months of speculation, the MP for Christchurch East and Labour’s earthquakes spokesperson announced on Wednesday that she is running for the mayoralty.

Ms Dalziel will resign in October this year, forcing a by-election in late November. She has been an MP since 1990.

On Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noonprogramme on Wednesday, Lianne Dalziel would not be drawn on her specific policies but said she wants more community engagement. She said she would stand as an independent and does not have a running mate.

Ms Dalziel said Bob Parker has failed to unite city councillors and she wants to remedy that. She said she is against partially selling strategic assets, including Christchurch airport, to help fund the city’s rebuild following recent damaging earthquakes and wants to improve relations with the Government.

However, Mr Parker said on Wednesday that, if elected, Ms Dalziel would have to deal with the consequences of years of negative comments about the council and the Government.

He said her calling for Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to resign isn’t a good place to start a relationship.

“She’s spent the last three years bad-mouthing the council, bad-mouthing the Government and the minister over the recovery process – and that is something that she’ll need to come to terms with.”

The outcome of the local body election will be known on 12 October.

Listen to full interview with Lianne Dalziel on Nine to Noon

PM says Dalziel quitting over party concerns

The Prime Minister says Lianne Dalziel is quitting national politics because she sees no future with the Labour and it is clear that the party is in difficulty.

John Key last week accused Labour of hypocrisy after four MPs accepted corporate hospitality from SkyCity at the first All Blacks test against France earlier in June despite being a staunch opponent of a proposed deal with the casino to build a convention centre in Auckland.

Mr Key on Wednesday cited this as an example of problems within Labour.

“There’s a real concern within the Labour camp. All the things that we see is that they’re not doing terribly well at the moment. You can see by what happened at SkyCity that they’re quite divided internally when you’ve got senior MPs doing pretty silly things like that.

“They’re obviously not getting much leadership at the top and I think that she’s just decided that their chances are quite low, so she’s leaving.”

Mr Key said the National Party would contest a by-election in Christchurch East, but had no expectations of winning.

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