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Archive for September, 2013

Act now to save the NZ based Maui’s dolphin from extinction…

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)


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Prostate cancer research: human trials next…

English: Micrograph of prostatic adenocarcinom...

English: Micrograph of prostatic adenocarcinoma, conventional (acinar) type, the most common form of prostate cancer. Prostate biopsy. H&E stain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Elspeth Gold


A breakthrough in research into No 1 cancer killer of New Zealand men has buoyed this year’s Blue September for the University of Otago‘s Dr Elspeth Gold.

The anatomy department lecturer and prostate cancer researcher and her team are about to begin human trials to test breakthrough treatment for men with aggressive prostate cancer.

The findings, which are being collated for publication, are the byproduct of three years of research out of Gold’s medical sciences department lab.

“If we can get really good quality end-stage therapies then there is absolutely no reason that a man need die of it, Gold said.

One in 10 New Zealand men develop prostate cancer and more than 550 die every year.

That’s more than the road toll,” Gold said.

“It’s a biggie. It’s a noble goal but that’s the big picture stuff that we work with.”

The Otago results were exciting, turning up some “very good indications”, Gold said.

“We’re still at the early stage. We’ve really just finished proof of concept in cell lines, human tissue arrays, and animal models.

“For example, we work on a factor, protein, increased in prostate cancer, specifically increased in the aggressive form [of prostate cancer], not the early stages.

“When we block that, when we knock it down in cell lines [cells taken from the prostate and grown in the laboratory] we alter the growth characteristics of those cell lines.

“We can alter the characteristics of those cells by modulating the expressions of these proteins and what that’s doing is, it’s making the cells appear more like normal cells.”

Human trials would be conducted over the next couple of years, she said.

“We would hope to be in a situation in two to three year

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The Americas Cup will not be the NZ Cup this year…

Dean Barker - Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 200...

Dean Barker – Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 2009 Final Press Conference Auckland, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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    by Peter Petterson

    In one of the greatest and controversial turnarounds in international sport in my memory anyway, and that goes back a few years, Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team NZ on San Francisco Bay during the last couple or so weeks. Like a becalmed yacht, Team NZ led 8-1 for a week but could not overcome the lately introduced technolopy of Oracle. The boys from down on the farm could not match the technology that was more at home in NASA than on yachts down on Frisco Bay.

    Just congratulations to the winners and commiserations to the losers. In the end Oracle won 9-8 and retained the Old Mug. There will be many discussions, debates and recrimnations in coming weeks, but I won’t involve myself at this time. Dean Barker and his crew can hold their heads up high. Enough of the excuses for now.

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Tomorrow the Americas Cup could be the New Zealand Cup

Dean Barker - Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 200...

Dean Barker – Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 2009 Final Press Conference Auckland, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Peter Petterson

  • B)With Emirates Team New Zealand leading Oracle Team USA by eight wins to one (Oracle were penalised two points for pre-cup cheating in another regatta) the Kiwi team just needs one more win. Today’s second race was postponed at the start because of strong winds and choppy sea.

    New Zealand went so very close to capsizing by just a few degrees when their boat flipped up onto one side a few days ago, but Dean Barker and his fantastic crew got the boat back under control, but gifted a win to Oracle.

    So friends the Americas Cup should be the New Zealand Cup tomorrow after either race. These giant catamarans could well become tomorrows new sea transport technology because of their high speed. Both Emirates Team NZ and Oracle USA have exceeded 40 knots in speed at times.

    The New Zealand PM John Key, has promised a $40 million subsidy for a New Zealand defence of the cup in NZ. The previous Labour Government had paid Team NZ $36 million for the present challenge.

    Some people have been highly critical of the millions of dollars spent in Americas Cup regattas. Some say the yachts are just rich men’s toys wasting money while there is massive unemployment and poverty in New Zealand, But economists claim there is at least a 10-1 return on money invested in yacht design, contruction, infastructure at the home port, spin-offs in other types of yacht and boat-building, goodwill and employment opportunities in the longterm.

    It has certainly built up excitement in the last week when the real possibility of bringing homw the Old Jug to NZ. Over a million viewers(20% of the population) out-watched the All Blacks test match against the South African Springboks last weekend. Next race is 8am NZ time tomorrow or 9pm GMT

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Emirates Team New Zealand boat nearly capsizes in Americas Cup…



Nearly all over rover for the Kiwis. Whew!!  Campaign close to going down the tube. Shows how dangerous these boats can be.

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Controversial yellow card for Springbok hooker for tackle on AB Dan Carter

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John Key concurs NZ partly in line with Australia over Fiji…

Flag of Fiji since 10 October 1990

Flag of Fiji since 10 October 1990 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prime Minister John Key has admitted that the easing of New Zealand sanctions against Fiji is partly because Australia will be softening its stance.

Opposition parties have accused the Government of relaxing some sanctions because it feared being isolated by Australia.

New Zealand will revoke sporting sanctions and reinstate 10 postgraduate scholarships for Fijian students.

Australia’s new Government intends to restore full diplomatic relations with Fiji and wants it allowed back into the Commonwealth.

John Key says New Zealand’s sanctions have been a bit tougher than Australia’s and the change of stance is partly about getting in line with other countries.

But he says it’s also an acknowledgement that Fiji is taking positive steps.

Mr Key says normal interaction with Fiji would resume once it holds free and fair elections, which are due next year.

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Fiji sanctions partially lifted by NZ Govt….

Flag of Fiji since 10 October 1990

Flag of Fiji since 10 October 1990 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Government has decided to partially lift sanctions against Fiji in order to support progress toward elections there next year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced a programme of electoral assistance, development assistance and the easing of some sanctions in Fiji.

Mr McCully said the New Zealand Government welcomed recent moves toward elections, including the release of the final constitution, and wanted to support the elections process.

A senior official from the New Zealand Electoral Commission has recently participated in elections planning work in Fiji, and New Zealand will now help on-going work, the Minister said.

The Cabinet has also agreed some changes which recognise both the progress that has been made in Fiji and the need to support free and fair elections, he said.

In addition to supporting the elections office, the Cabinet has decided to reinstate 10 postgraduate scholarships for Fijian students. These were suspended in 2006.

It has also agreed to formally revoke the sporting sanctions instituted in 2006.

“While it has been our practice to provide exemptions from this ban in virtually every case, we judge that the time is now right to formally revoke the ban,” Mr McCully said

Individual bans will still apply to members of teams who are caught by the sanctions on members of the regime and the military, he said.

“Over recent months the Government has eased the operation of the travel sanctions, leaving them in place for key regime and military members but easing the process around family members of less senior figures.

“We intend to continue down this path as further progress is made toward free and fair elections.

“The decisions announced today have been signalled for some time as important steps toward normalising the relationship in recognition of election progress,” Mr McCully said.

Lifting sanctions ‘must lead to restoring rights’

Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Phil Goff says the Government’s decision reflects the softening stance in relation to Fiji being proposed by the incoming government in Australia.

“All sanctions will of course be lifted if the Fiji Military Government this time honours its promise to hold free and fair elections scheduled for September next year,” Mr Goff said.

“We all hope that will happen and I have no problem with encouraging the interim Government to move in this direction.

“However, in the meantime we have continued to see serious breaches of human rights, an environment that does not allow free expression of opinion and free media commentary, and a loss of judicial independence,” he said.

Mr Goff added: “It cannot simply be forgotten that before the military regime took it away from them Fijian people once enjoyed the right to choose their own government and freely express their views.

“Full normalisation between Fiji and its neighbours can only happen once those rights are restored.”


Is Mr Goff right, I wonder? Are the Fijians genuine, or just playing their sick little games again. Critics have disappeared in Fiji. It is very dangerous to criticise, let alone oppose the Fijian dictatorship. If they do not allow genuine democratic change and free elections, then NZ should reimpose sanctions.

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Brent Gemmell appointed Junior kiwi coach for 2013 – first train on squad selected…

English: Carlos Tuimavave playing for the Juni...

English: Carlos Tuimavave playing for the Junior Warriors v Auckland Vulcans at North Harbour Stadium on 26 February

Brent Gemmell with the NZ Residents 2012


Brent Gemmell has been appointed the coach of the Junior Kiwis. Gemmell, who is currently the assistant coach of the Auckland Vulcans, has an extensive background in domestic rugby league having coached the NZ Residents team for the last two years, guided the Auckland Pride (now Akarana Falcons) to two National Premiership titles, and twice won Auckland’s Fox Memorial with Mt Albert. He’d earlier won a Bartercard Cup with the Auckland Lions and coached junior rugby league in both Bay of Plenty and Northland.

Gemmell takes over as Junior Kiwis coach from John Ackland, following Ackland’s decision to join the NZRL in the full-time role of National Game Development Manager (once he finishes his coaching commitments this season with the Vodafone Junior Warriors).

Kelvin Wright will be Gemmell’s assistant coach. Wright is currently the assistant coach of the Junior Warriors. He has previously coached the Bay Roskill Vikings. Wright only finished playing a few years ago, having represented the NZ Residents and various Auckland rep teams. He also captained Mt Albert to two Fox Memorial championships, when coached by Gemmell.

Other Junior Kiwis appointments confirmed today are Andy Flint – the head trainer of the Auckland Vulcans – as trainer and John Love as physiotherapist. Love is in his third year working with the Junior Warriors and will also support the Kiwis during their Rugby League World Cup campaign later this year.

The Junior Kiwis play the Junior Kangaroos on Sunday, October 13, at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah, Sydney. Today a first Junior Kiwis train-on squad has been named.

2013 JUNIOR KIWIS TRAIN-ON SQUAD (at September 11):


Cronulla Sharks: Fa’amanu Brown, Valentine Holmes

Gold Coast Titans: Jahrome Hughes

Melbourne Storm: Matt McGahan, Pride Pettersen-Robati, Cade Umaga,

Newcastle Knights: Danny Levi, Joseph Tapine

Parramatta Eels: Zach Docker-Clay, Takai Moeakiola

Vodafone Warriors: Siliva Havili, Ngani Laumape

The Junior Kiwis selectors – John Ackland, Brent Gemmell, Mark Horo and Kelvin Wright, along with the convenor Tony Iro – will add to the squad in the coming weeks as teams are eliminated from the NRL and Holden Cup finals.

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Court action will decide whether a contemporary designed cathedral will replace the quake damaged Christ Church Cathedral…


IN FAVOUR: This contemporary design was one of three options put forward for the quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral

LOOKING IN: The interior of the contemporary design.


Court action is now the only barrier to the construction of a modern Christ Church Cathedral.


Bishop Victoria Matthews told The Press option three – the modern Warren and Mahoney concept drawing – could be altered or completely redesigned.

Safety and cost were key considerations, but the trust was “not immune to new ideas”.


“But it’s a contemporary cathedral – that we can say without question,” she said.


The building’s fate could hinge on a Supreme Court challenge filed by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT), co-chaired by former MPs Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon.


The original High Court decision required the trust to commit to rebuilding a cathedral in Cathedral Square and to determine how it would use the space, Matthews said.


“We’ve now answered that.”


She believed the church had been “scrupulously fair” to restoration campaigners but still expected “every imaginable roadblock” to try to prevent construction of the new design.


Read more here:

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