UPDATE – Incident in central Wellington

Source: New Zealand Police

Emergency services have left the scene of a building in central Wellington where a suspicious substance was found shortly after 3pm.

The substance has been isolated and will be subject to further testing.

There is not thought to be any further risk. Police are making inquiries.

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre
 

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Waking up to Idai. When extreme weather hits home

Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

Zimbabwe is a small country often known for its political and economic drama. But for those who truly know the country, they will tell you about its friendly people and idyllic weather. My father would often comment on just how perfect the weather in Zimbabwe was.

It’s hard to believe those words are describing the country I am seeing on the news right now. Cyclone Idai has left a path of complete destruction in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Millions are affected and the death toll and devastation continues to rise. The UN says this may be the worst disaster to ever hit this region.

Worst but not the first. Extreme weather events have been increasing in the region over the years:

  • This planting season, Zimbabwe experienced a mid-season drought caused by unusually high temperatures, threatening the harvest.
  • In 2000 both Mozambique and Zimbabwe were battered by Cyclone Eline.
  • And experts say the drying up of Malawi’s Lake Chilwa has increased due to climate change.

Locals stand beside a damaged section of the road between Beira and Chimoio in Nhamatanda district, central Mozambique, on March 19, 2019, after the area was hit by the Cyclone Idai. © ADRIEN BARBIER/AFP/Getty Images

The beautiful northeastern region of Zimbabwe, Chimanimani, home to lush green mountain ranges, is the hardest hit in the country. Roads, phone lines and homes have been destroyed and lives have been lost. Like many Zimbabweans in the diaspora, I felt frustrated being so far from home.

But after posting a plea on social media to find out how I could help, I was overwhelmed by the response. Despite the difficulties facing many in Zimbabwe, individuals, organisations, communities across the country came together and used their collective power to mobilise in mass and provide relief to those most affected.

Huge numbers of volunteers worked with local charities to mobilise donations for Cyclone Idai victims © Benevolent Masora for BLCK Media

Our planet’s climate continues to change and it’s upsetting to see the most vulnerable bear the worst of the devastating impacts. It’s worrying to know that this will not be the last time an event like this occurs at home, and it’s angering to know that this is something that leadership, not only in Africa but around the world, can take action on.

Climate change policy can no longer afford to be a side event to economic and social development in Zimbabwe and other African countries. The world needs to urgently act on its commitment to the Paris Agreement.

But as more volunteers and communities take action, I’m reminded that we are not helpless in all of this. People-powered movements are growing and demanding more climate action from governments and corporations than ever before.

Many are still in need of aid as the impact of Cyclone Idai slowly starts to be evident. Here are some organisations working to help those most affected:

You can also take action and stand up for climate justice by joining the movement here.

Kudzayi Ngwerume is a content editor with Greenpeace International

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Photos from school strike for climate on March 15

Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

On Friday the 15th of March 1.5 million school students took to the streets in 123 countries out of fear for their future, love of our planet and anger at our leaders’ failure to act.They are asking policy-makers and business leaders: are you as smart as we are?Here are some of the images from around the world.

Wellington organiser Raven Maeder leads the 10,000 strong Wellington Climate Strike march on Parliament © David Tong

School students who are deciding not to attend classes and instead take part in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

Student activists join the international movement and strike to show the climate crisis is the most important issue humanity faces. Strikes took place across the US and in more than 40 countries around the globe. © Livia Ferguson / Greenpeace

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 15: Protesters during a Climate Change Awareness March on March 15, 2019, outside Sydney Town Hall, Australia. The protests are part of a global climate strike, urging politicians to take urgent action on climate change. James Gourley/Getty Images

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the demonstration. The Fridays for Future is an international movement of school students who are deciding not to attend classes and instead take part in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace

Students in Bangkok strike and demonstrate to support the School strike for the climate movement, also known as Fridays for Future, Youth for Climate and Youth Strike 4 Climate. Students demand politicians to act urgently in order to prevent further global warming and climate change. © Biel Calderon / Greenpeace

Students in Bangkok strike and demonstrate to support the School strike for the climate movement, also known as Fridays for Future, Youth for Climate and Youth Strike 4 Climate. Students demand politicians to act urgently in order to prevent further global warming and climate change. © Biel Calderon / Greenpeace

Rome’s school student go on strike and take to the streets to protest about climate change. © Massimo Guidi / Greenpeace

Rome’s school student go on strike and take to the streets to protest about climate change. © Massimo Guidi / Greenpeace

School students in Hong Kong who are deciding not to attend classes and instead take part in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change.

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 16: A protester holds a sign reading “Game over” as he takes part in the “March of The Century” (La Marche du Siecle) to demand answers to climate change on March 16, 2019, in Paris, France. Several thousand people demonstrated in Paris to denounce the government’s inaction on climate. © Chesnot/Getty Images

TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 15: Participants hold signs and shout slogans during the Fridays for Future march on March 15, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Students around the world took to the streets on March 15 to protest a lack of climate awareness and demand that elected officials take action on climate change. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist who started skipping school since August 2018 to protest outside Sweden’s parliament, school and university students worldwide have followed her lead and shared her alarm and anger. © Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Student activists join the international movement and strike to show the climate crisis is the most important issue humanity faces. Strikes took place across the US and in more than 40 countries around the globe. © Livia Ferguson / Greenpeace

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Have you seen Setu Taua?

Source: New Zealand Police

Police are searching for Setu Taua, who has been missing from Massey since 11:30am today.

Setu has not returned home after going for a walk this morning. He was last seen on Holmes Drive South in Massey and was possibly seen again about 1pm in the Westgate area.

His family are concerned for his welfare.

Setu is likely to be wearing a blue zip hoodie, dark coloured Canterbury track pants which are likely to be tucked into his socks.

He walks with the green frame pictured and may appear unsteady on his feet.

If you have seen Setu since 11:30am please contact Police immediately on 111.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Queenstown Police appeal for witnesses after serious crash

Source: New Zealand Police

Queenstown Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious crash in Kelvin Heights, Queenstown.

At around 1am on March 25th a white 1999 Toyota Hilux ute, with the registration XX6521, left the road and crashed down a bank on Peninsula Road.

Anyone who may have seen the vehicle in the Peninsula Rd area at the time or that may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact Queenstown Police on 03 441 1600.

Ends

Issued by the Police Media Centre.

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Recent vehicle break-ins Dunedin

Source: New Zealand Police

Hide it, take it, lock it or lose it. That is the message from Dunedin Police who have dealt with a recent spate of vehicle break-ins.

On Saturday morning two youths were observed breaking into a number of cars. When Police arrived they decamped. They were tracked and located by a Police Dog.

The offenders have admitted breaking into 20 unlocked vehicles around the Queens Garden, Princess Street, Manor Place and Maitland Street area.

Dunedin Police wish to remind members of the public to lock their cars at all times.

You can minimise their opportunities by:

·           Always take keys with you when you leave your vehicle.

·           Always lock your vehicle when you leave it.

·           Close all windows, including sunroofs.

·           Park in well-lit areas if possible.

·           Try not to leave valuables in your car. Thieves will break in for something as small as loose change.

·           If you have to leave valuables in your car, make sure they are out of sight, but remember hiding them is not as safe as removing them.

·           Don’t leave documents with personal information or keys to your house/business/boat etc in your vehicle.

·           Consider installing an alarm to provide extra security.

As always if you see any suspicious activity – report it. Call 111.

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Prime Minister to visit China to meet with leaders

Source: New Zealand Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet China’s leaders President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during her first official visit to China on Monday 1 April.

“New Zealand is committed to sustaining a constructive and comprehensive relationship with China,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“China is an important and valued partner for New Zealand, and high level meetings are vital to make progress across a wide range of areas in our relationship. 

“This meeting had been planned in the weeks prior to the Christchurch mosque attacks. In light of these events, I made the decision to scale back the meetings to just one day. We’re extremely grateful for the understanding China has shown.

“I expect discussions will include a broad range of regional and global issues, including where we have common interests – protecting and promoting a rules-based international trading system, and in combatting climate change.

“During my visit I will take the opportunity to engage with members of the business community including New Zealanders doing business in China. China is a key destination for our exports and raising the profile of New Zealand as a source of high quality goods and services is paramount to our success in growing an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

“I will also officially open New Zealand’s new embassy in China. The embassy is a significant investment, and underscores the importance that successive governments have placed on the China relationship. 

“This is an important visit. New Zealand places a high priority on our relationship with China and I’m looking forward to my engagements there,” Jacinda Ardern said.

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Incident in central Wellington

Source: New Zealand Police

Emergency services are in attendance at an incident at a building in central Wellington where a suspicious substance was found after 3pm.

An area of the building has been cordoned off as a precaution while emergency services and partner agencies attend the scene.

At this stage there is no further information available.

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre

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Measuring deprivation in New Zealand regions – a CPAG presentation series

Source: Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Associate Professor Dan Exeter are launching a series of discussion documents which look at the concentration and drivers of deprivation in regions across Aotearoa, using The New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).

The IMD, produced by Dr Exeter and his team at the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health, is a set of tools for identifying and measuring concentrations of deprivation in New Zealand. It measures deprivation at a neighbourhood-level with populations as small as 500 in data zones that have been custom-designed to produce better small area information without losing information due to confidentiality or suppression issues.

If used widely, the IMD has the potential to inform a critical understanding of what systemic levers are needed to provide a better outlook for children and whanau in the most deprived areas, and to guide more efficient and appropriate distribution of resources.

The IMD comprises 28 indicators grouped into seven domains of deprivation: Employment, Income, Crime, Housing, Health, Education and Access to services, which may be used individually or in combination to explore the geography of deprivation and its association with a given health or social outcome.

In his presentations, which are being held in Nelson, Dunedin and Christchurch, Dr Exeter will discuss the development of the IMD, and demonstrate the different ways in which the IMD and its domains can be used to better understand the drivers of deprivation within each city’s region.

“The situation for people suffering the ill-effects of disadvantage isn’t going to get better any time soon, unless we get real about the causes of deprivation,” says Dr Exeter.

“The IMD’s strength is its ability to drill down to see which of the seven domains are driving deprivation in each region, because it varies from region to region.

“High rates of crime in one area may be significant while it may be poor health outcomes in another.”

The individual reports are intended to provide an overall understanding of how the IMD works along with an overview of each particular region. They also contain case studies to illustrate how the tool can be utilised for examining variations in the types of deprivation being experienced at a small neighbourhood area level.

“It is our hope that people who read the reports will realise the value of the IMD dataset and use them to guide solution-driven deprivation analysis for the region that they are concerned with,” says Dr Exeter.

The first of Dr Exeter’s presentations on regional deprivation data will be held in Nelson tomorrow, Tuesday March 26.

Further presentations will follow in Dunedin on April 2, and Christchurch on April 3. They are free to attend and media are warmly welcomed. For more information visit CPAG’s website.

The report “Deprivation in the Nelson Marlborough Region” is available for download here.

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New conservation training opportunity coming to Rotorua

Source: Department of Conservation

Introduction

Conservationists, environmentalists and people wanting to up skill in predator control are being invited to join a 2 day workshop being held in Rotorua, focused on predator trapping methods.

Date:  25 March 2019

The Introduction to Predator Trapping Methods short course is being held in Rotorua on May 21 and 22 and is aimed at anyone setting up new predator control programmes or wishing to review their current programme.

The course is facilitated by Beth Endres who manages conservation programmes delivered in partnership by the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and DOC.

DOC Supervisor Caraline Abbott says DOC provides a number of free online courses to develop field skills on the DOC website “…but to have a workshop on trapping methods being delivered locally is a great opportunity to gain some practical skills to support ecology.”

At the end of the course participants should be able to use a range of technological systems and techniques to support conservation and contribute to sustainable stewardship of the environment.

“Trapping is an important part of conservation and in the right conditions traps are a great tool in the pest control toolbox.” Abbott says.

The workshop is being held at Hell’s Gate, Tikitere and costs $154.

Registration and further information on the Introduction to Predator Trapping Methods workshop is via the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology website.

Questions about the workshop can be directed to beth.endres@nmit.ac.nz.

Contact

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