Matakana Coast App
Matakana Coast App
Coast & Country
Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store
Advertise With UsEventsHealth / Beauty TradesProfessional ServicesWeddings
Matakana Coast App

Daily News


Government seeks feedback on no-consent 'granny flat' policy
Government seeks feedback on no-consent 'granny flat' policy

17 June 2024, 6:30 PM

The government has announced consultation on a move that would force councils to allow buildings up to 60 square metres in certain areas, without requiring a consent.It sets out the policy as a way of making it "easier to build granny flats and increase the supply of affordable homes for all New Zealanders".NZ First leader and Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters announced it alongside Housing and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop after the Monday Cabinet meeting.Prime Minister Christopher Luxon was overseas, headed to Japan for an official visit.The move follows a commitment in the National-NZ First coalition agreement, which requires the government to "amend the Building Act and the resource consent system to make it easier to build granny flats or other small structures up to 60 square metres, requiring only an engineer's report".However, the discussion document released as part of the announcement makes clear the requirement for an engineer's report was being abandoned, as it could mean additional costs and engineering services."Instead, we are proposing that all work is conducted or supervised by competent professionals under current occupational licensing requirements to ensure all building work will meet the Building Code," the documentation states.Peters said the policy would "make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them best"."High housing costs have a greater impact on Māori, Pasifika, and people with disabilities, as well as seniors - so unlocking the space in the backyards of family members opens the door to new ways of living," he said in a statement."We know granny flats are a great option for seniors, but they're also increasingly popular with other families such as those who want homes where their university-age children can live at home but maintain some privacy and independence, or families who want to provide extra support to a loved one."Bishop said many councils already allowed granny flats without requiring a resource consent."But there's a lack of consistency and different standards across the country. We're proposing a National Environmental Standard (NES) to require all councils to permit a granny flat on sites in rural and residential zones without resource consent. An NES means changes can come into force quickly."We are determined to get on top of how expensive it is to build a house in this country."It would apply in rural and residential zones, but the documents called for feedback on whether it should apply in other areas like mixed-use zones.The changes would also need to be balanced against things like flood risk, so some district plan rules would still apply. As well as building size, other restrictions include percentage of a property able to be covered in buildings, and distance from a boundary.He said he would hope the move would not leave councils worse off because the fees from consenting were meant to be cost recovery, and he would be "horrified" if they were making money off it. He pointed to the ACT Party's proposal to share GST with councils, with the aim of incentivising the building of new houses, as another way the government was looking to support local authorities.Bishop said the granny flats would not be allowed to be more than one storey, would need interconnected smoke alarms, and be distant enough from the boundary to prevent the spread of fire to other buildings.He said the consultation is a couple of months long to ensure they get the settings right.Consultation is open from today, 17 June, until 5pm on 12 August. Final policy decisions will be made later in 2024, expected to be in place by mid-2025.This story was originally published by RNZ

Pākiri community, sand mining company at odds at Fast-track Approval hearings
Pākiri community, sand mining company at odds at Fast-track Approval hearings

17 June 2024, 12:33 AM

Farah HancockA sand mining company embroiled in a resource consent battle should not be allowed to access the proposed fast-tracking process, community groups have told politicians.McCallum Bros, which mines sand from Pākiri beach north of Auckland, and a Pākiri residents' group took their fight to select committee hearings into the Fast-track Approvals Bill last week.McCallum Bros chief executive Shayne Elstob said his company supported the bill, which has been touted as a one-stop-shop for consents. The legislation also proposes to let projects rejected by courts go ahead if they pass the fast-track process.Elstob would like that clause to specifically include consents rejected under the Resource Management Act.The company's attempt to gain consent to carry on mining under the RMA had been a "horrendous" process, Elstob said.But a representative for Māori land owners of a 1.5-kilometre stretch of the beach, Pākiri G Ahu Whenua Trust chair Wayne Greenwood, urged the committee to leave previously rejected projects out of the Bill, saying McCallum Bros had been declined "for very good reasons".The company's consent application to mine sand offshore from Pākiri beach was refused by Auckland Council independent commissioners. It then lost a case in the Environment Court challenging the decision.The court said evidence about the ecological effects of the mining provided by the company had been "patchy", "inconclusive" and even "incorrect" in the past. It also found the effect on mana whenua could not be mitigated.McCallum Bros has appealed the Environment Court's decision to the High Court."When all is said and done, this process could take more than seven years and has come at a huge cost to the business," Elstob told the committee.McCallum Bros was a family-run business with limited resources, he said."Had we known what we would have been dealing with through the current RMA process, I'm really not sure whether we would have made the application in the first place. We would have possibly invested our money elsewhere."Elstob said Pākiri's sand was used in infrastructure projects such as the City Rail Link and Central Waste Infrastructure."You simply can't implement significant infrastructure projects without high-quality sand and currently there is a limited supply in the Auckland region."Thousands of people around the country attended protests against the Fast-track Approvals Bill earlier in June. Photo: RNZ / Farah HancockGreenwood told the committee that six million cubic metres of sand had been mined from the area over the past 80 years."If you put it end-on-end, it's about from here to South America. That's a hell of a lot of sand that's come off the beach, off the land and out of the sea bed."The company was effectively "digging holes" in the seabed as it dredged trenches along the beach, he said."We're losing a significant amount of beach frontage ... We've got boundaries now, which are actually underwater."He was born and raised in Pākiri, he said. "The beach is gone, it's now exposed to its rocks."Greenwood works closely with the Department of Conservation to protect New Zealand's most endangered bird, the tara iti, or fairy tern. Fewer than 40 breeding-age birds remain.Nests have had to be relocated because they were too close to where waves now reached, Greenwood said."We're trying to save them on one hand and, on the other, the environment has been taken away from them."Greenwood was in support of some aspects of the Fast-track Approvals Bill, "but I really think that this fast-track legislation should leave Pākiri out of it".He was concerned the fast-track process could override the court cases and allow mining to go ahead. "They've been declined twice for very good reasons and it would be a sad day for this to be approved by the fast-track legislation panel."Pākiri is one of the nesting habitats for New Zealand's remaining fairy terns. Photo: Supplied / Darren MarkinAnother community group due to be heard this week had their oral submission postponed. The Manuhiri Kaitiaki Charitable Trust is the environmental arm of the post-settlement governance structure for Warkworth-based iwi Ngāti Manuhiri.Its written submission supported some parts of the bill, but singled out the sand mining at Pākiri as one concern, saying the region had been exploited for eight decades."In our view, the proposed process for a project risks overlooking critical environmental considerations and can overturn well-examined judicial findings."It said there had been erosion along the shores of Pākiri beach and the health of kaimoana in the area had deteriorated."The Trust is not confident that the Fast-track Approvals Bill won't be used to up-end well-rationalised and considered decisions, in favour of well-resourced, legacy interests."While the case was before the courts and consent was still sought, sand mining had been allowed to continue in a temporary consent granted by the Environment Court.Elstob said this allowed the company to maintain business continuity."Without this right, we would have had to abandon our sand extraction business and would have put the City Rail Link and Central Interceptor projects at risk of significant time delays, as Pākiri sand was specified in both," he said.One of the amendments Elstob suggested the committee consider was allowing projects to have simultaneous applications lodged under the RMA and fast-track consideration. The draft legislation requires applications to be withdrawn from the RMA process.Damon Clapshaw, a Pākiri local who helped uncover the existence of trenches up to 2.7m deep, 15m wide and 3km long created by dredging - which breached consent conditions - was unimpressed with Elstob's request."In further seeking to continue whilst appealing, and also wanting to keep all Fast-track Bill options open, McCallum Bros are trying to have their cake and eat it."The company had already breached the temporary consent, by taking more sand than was allowed during a 30-day period, Clapshaw said. In a letter RNZ has seen, a McCallum Bros staff member told Auckland Council the error was due to an incorrectly-set-up spreadsheet."McCallum Bros are making a mockery of the appeal and Fast-track Bill system, with the environment as the loser," Clapshaw said.This story was originally published by RNZ

Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Auckland and Northland
Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Auckland and Northland

16 June 2024, 3:53 AM

Warkworth / Auckland RegionSevere Thunderstorm WatchPeriod: 5hrs from 9pm Sun, 16 Jun - 2am Mon, 17 JunArea: Auckland, Great Barrier IslandForecast: An unstable northwest airflow lies over the northern North Island. There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms about Auckland, including Great Barrier Island, from mid-evening until early tomorrow morning. Whether these thunderstorms occur or not, there is a chance of localised downpours of 25 to 40 mm per hour. Areas about and near the Hauraki Gulf are most likely to experience the downpours, but they may also occur elsewhere in Auckland. Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips. Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.Mangawhai / Northland RegionSevere Thunderstorm WatchPeriod: 6hrs from 6pm - midnight Sun, 16 JunArea: NorthlandForecast: An unstable northwest airflow lies over the northern North Island. There is a moderate risk of thunderstorms for Northland this evening, and whether these thunderstorms occur or not, there is a chance of localised downpours of 25 to 40 mm per hour. Conditions should start easing in the north after 10pm. Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips. Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain.

Buses to cover every Auckland rail line in case of train failure
Buses to cover every Auckland rail line in case of train failure

15 June 2024, 8:15 PM

As rail workers' industrial action continues, buses will be running along all of Auckland's train routes on Sunday to cover any reliability problems.Unionised staff of rail operator Auckland One Rail (AOR) have been taking action since last weekend because negotiations towards a new collective agreement are at an impasse. Rail workers are refusing to work overtime or work changes to rostered hours, and Auckland Transport said that means the operator was unable to confirm which trains would actually be running.And workers from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) - which maintains the trains - are only doing scheduled checks on trains, and not any other repairs or breakdown-related work, or overtime.The Eastern, Southern and Western lines would have a rail bus every 20 minutes during the day and every half-hour in the evening. Rail buses on the Onehunga line have been scheduled for every half-hour all day.Normally these train services would run as frequently as every 10 minutes at peak times.The Puhinui Express bus would run every 30 minutes between Britomart and Puhinui via Newmarket."We understand that both AOR and CAF have committed to mediation with the RMTU (Rail and Maritime Transport Union) and we're hopeful that discussions will bring about a quick resolution to these issues," AT rail franchise manager Craig Inger said in a statement."Our customers have shown a great deal of patience and it is increasingly disappointing that ongoing industrial action continues to disrupt the rail services which they rely on."Passengers can check its app for live updates on which services were operating, and timetables for the rail buses were available on its website.AT's site warned of "ongoing impact" to train scheduling."Due to the industrial action there may be cancellations to some services. Which services are cancelled may vary each day depending on staff availability."Last week, the RMTU said the previous collective agreement expired eight months ago and negotiations had stalled with "a couple of major issues that we haven't been able to get past".This story was originally posted by RNZ News

Transport Minister stops short of saying new roads of national significance to be tolled
Transport Minister stops short of saying new roads of national significance to be tolled

15 June 2024, 3:20 AM

Transport Minister Simeon Brown has stopped short of saying all new roads of national significance will be toll roads.His fellow Minister for Infrastructure Chris Bishop had said in a speech on Thursday that Brown had "already signalled that each of our new Roads of National Significance will be tolled".RNZ asked Brown to confirm this."The government strongly supports tolls as a way to fund new roading infrastructure," he replied in a statement on Friday."We have outlined our expectation that NZTA should consider tolling to construct and maintain all new Roads of National Significance ... and committed to support all recommendations by NZTA to toll roads."This line was first spelled out in the draft Government Policy Statement on land transport, which was currently being finalised.Waka Kotahi already assesses all new state highways and significant upgrades to existing state highways for tolling suitability, and makes recommendations to the Minister. Only three highways have tolls.The existing "three-gate" approach to tolling requires public consultation - but Brown did not respond when asked whether that "gate" would be scrapped.The three-gate process was "required for robust decision-making" and ensured the law, investment principles, the Waka Kotahi board, the Minister of Transport and the public were all "involved appropriately", the agency said on its website.Brown said the government was open to a "wide range of funding tools" for roading.Tolling would help fund new infrastructure and protect existing funding in the National Land Transport Fund to maintain existing roading infrastructure and "to prevent potholes", he added.A new pothole prevention fund aims to spend $4 billion over three years, ranging from just $7 million in Nelson to $478m for Auckland.Existing tolling tech gobbled up a third of the revenue in operational costs so was highly inefficient and any expansion required the introduction of new technology.But NZTA's project for new technology has encountered delays due to complications and could not be cobbled together with the upgrade of backoffice systems to run the new speed-safety camera network, as had been hoped, on a combined spend worth over $130m.this story was written by Phil Pennington, and originally posted on RNZ News

Auckland Overnight Motorway Closures  14 – 22 June 2024
Auckland Overnight Motorway Closures 14 – 22 June 2024

14 June 2024, 4:10 AM

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi advises of the following closures for motorway improvements. Work delayed by bad weather will be completed at the next available date, prior to Friday, 21 June 2024. Check daily updated closure information: www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz  Unless otherwise stated, closures start at 9pm and finish at 5am.Traffic management may be in place before the advertised closure times for the mainline. NORTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1) Southbound lanes between Constellation Drive off-ramp and Northcote Road on-ramp, 19 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Constellation Drive southbound on-ramp, 19 JuneTristram Avenue southbound on-ramp, 19 JuneTristram Avenue northbound on-ramp, 16 & 19 JuneNorthbound lanes between Tristram Avenue off-ramp and Constellation Drive on-ramp, 19 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northcote Road northbound on-ramp, 16 JuneNorthbound lanes between Northcote Road off-ramp and Constellation Drive on-ramp, 16 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Southbound lanes between Northcote Road off-ramp and Onewa Road on-ramp, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northcote Road southbound on-ramp, 18 JuneEsmonde Road southbound on-ramp, 18 JuneEsmonde Road (Diamond) northbound on-ramp, 17 JuneEsmonde Road (Loop) northbound on-ramp, 17 JuneOnewa Road northbound on-ramp, 17 JuneNorthbound lanes between Onewa Road off-ramp and Northcote Road on-ramp, 17 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am) CENTRAL MOTORWAY JUNCTION (CMJ) Northbound lanes between Nelson Street off-ramp and Fanshawe Street on-ramp, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Wellington Street northbound on-ramp, 18 JuneSH16 eastbound to SH1 northbound link, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Westbound lanes between Stanley Street off-ramp and Hobson Street on-ramp, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)SH16 (Port) westbound to SH1 northbound link, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)SH16 (Port) westbound to SH1 southbound link, 18 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Wellesley Street East westbound on-ramp, 18 June SOUTHERN MOTORWAY (SH1) South Eastern Highway (SEART) southbound off-ramp (including Onehunga link), 16-20 JunePrinces Street southbound off-ramp, 16-20 JuneRedoubt Road northbound on-ramp, 17-18 JuneSouthbound lanes between Takanini off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 20 JuneTakanini southbound on-ramp, 20 JuneSouthbound lanes between Papakura off-ramp and Drury/SH22 on-ramp, 16-19 JunePapakura (Diamond) southbound on-ramp, 16-20 JunePapakura (Loop) southbound on-ramp, 16-20 JunePapakura (Loop) northbound on-ramp, 16-20 JunePapakura (Diamond) northbound on-ramp, 16-20 JuneNorthbound lanes between Papakura off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 20 JuneDrury/SH22 northbound on-ramp, 16-19 JuneNorthbound lanes between Drury/SH22 off-ramp and Takanini on-ramp, 16-19 JunePokeno northbound off-ramp, 20 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Pioneer Road northbound off-ramp, 14-22 June (24/7)Southbound lanes between Mercer off-ramp and Mercer on-ramp, 20 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Mercer off-ramp and Mercer on-ramp, 20 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Dragway Road northbound off-ramp, 17 JuneSouthbound lanes between Hampton Downs off-ramp and Hampton Downs on-ramp, 17 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)Hampton Downs northbound off-ramp, 16 JuneNorthbound lanes between Hampton Downs off-ramp and Hampton Downs on-ramp, 17 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am)NORTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH16) Southbound lanes between Waimauku Roundabout and Trigg Road, 16 June (approx. 6:00pm to 6:00am)Northbound lanes between Trigg Rd and Waimauku Roundabout, 16 June (approx. 6:00pm to 6:00am)Southbound lanes between Waimauku Roundabout and Trigg Road, 17-20 June (approx. 8:00pm to 5:00am)Northbound lanes between Trigg Rd and Waimauku Roundabout, 17-20 June (approx. 8:00pm to 5:00am)Hobsonville Road eastbound on-ramp (SH16 eastbound to SH18 eastbound link), 19 June UPPER HARBOUR MOTORWAY (SH18) Brigham Creek Road eastbound on-ramp, 16-18 JuneEastbound lanes between Brigham Creek Road off-ramp and Squadron Drive on-ramp, 16-18 Jun SOUTHWESTERN MOTORWAY (SH20) Mahunga Drive southbound off-ramp, 16-17 June (approx. 10:00pm to 5:00am) GEORGE BOLT MEMORIAL DRIVE (SH20A) Bader Drive northbound off-ramp, 16-18 June

Speed limits of 120km/h proposed as government looks to scrap other reductions
Speed limits of 120km/h proposed as government looks to scrap other reductions

13 June 2024, 10:29 PM

The coalition is promising to reverse Labour's blanket speed limit reductions by July 2025.It is asking for public feedback on plans to scrap all speed limit reductions - introduced since the start of 2020 - on local streets, arterial roads and rural state highways.The draft speed limit rule will impose a speed limit of 110km/h on new and existing roads of national significance if they are built to a high standard.It will also allow for limits of up to 120km/h on roads of national significance that are built to accommodate that speed.Lower speed limits could stay on rural state highways if the Transport Agency could demonstrate public support for them, Transport Minister Simeon Brown said."The previous government's untargeted approach slowed Kiwis and the economy down, rather than targeting high crash areas of the network," Brown said.The changes will also require variable speed limits outside schools during pick-up and drop-off times."Local streets outside a school will be required to have a 30km/h variable speed limit during school travel times."Rural roads that are outside schools will be required to have variable speed limits of 60km/h or less," Brown said.The speed limit changes are out for public consultation."Blanket restrictions forced on communities from Wellington didn't just make it harder for people to get where they wanted quickly and safely, they drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense," Regulation Minister David Seymour said."Worse still, people ignore rules that don't make sense and once the habit forms, they ignore rules that do make sense. Sensible lawmaking is important for respecting the rule of law."The deadline for all roads to meet the new variable speed limits outside schools is 31 December 2027.This story was orignally published by RNZ

UPDATED: Heavy Rain / Severe Thunderstorm Watch & Weekend Weather Forecast
UPDATED: Heavy Rain / Severe Thunderstorm Watch & Weekend Weather Forecast

12 June 2024, 6:25 PM

Warkworth RegionHeavy Rain WatchPeriod: 18hrs from 8pm Thu, 13 Jun - 2pm Fri, 14 JunArea: Auckland including Great Barrier Island and Coromandel PeninsulaForecast: Periods of heavy rain, and amounts may approach warning criteria. Thunderstorms and localised downpours possible. Low chance of upgrading to a Warning.Severe Thunderstorm WatchPeriod: 7hrs from 10pm Thu, 13 Jun - 5am Fri, 14 JunArea: AucklandForecast: Reissue at 12:40pm Thursday - no changes. Periods of heavy rain with possible thunderstorms and/or localised downpours are expected to affect Auckland overnight tonight (Thursday) and Friday morning. Between 10pm tonight (Thursday) and 5am Friday, localised downpours of 25-40mm/h are possible in some parts of the Auckland region (including the islands of the Inner Hauraki Gulf). These downpours could occur with or without thunderstorms. Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or valleys, and may also lead to slips. Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain. Further heavy rain or thunderstorms are possible on Friday, and this Severe Thunderstorm Watch may be extended.Thursday 13th June - Cloudy. Patchy rain, becoming widespread and heavier this evening, with thunderstorms and downpours possible at night. Northeasterlies, fresh at times.Friday 14th June - Rain, with heavy falls and possible thunderstorms. Northerlies, turning southwesterly in the afternoon. Also see Heavy Rain Watch above.Saturday 15th - Fine. Westerlies, turning northerly in the afternoon.Sunday 16th - Fine, but becoming cloudy. Northerlies, easing.Mangawhai / Whangarei RegionHeavy Rain WatchPeriod: 22hrs from 1pm Thu, 13 Jun - 11am Fri, 14 JunArea: NorthlandForecast: Periods of heavy rain, and amounts may approach warning criteria. Thunderstorms and localised downpours possible. Moderate chance of upgrading to a Warning.Severe Thunderstorm WatchPeriod: 20hrs from 3pm Thu, 13 Jun - 11am Fri, 14 JunArea: NorthlandForecast: Periods of heavy rain with thunderstorms and/or localised downpours are expected to affect Northland today and Friday morning. Between 3pm today (Thursday) and 11am Friday morning, localised downpours of 25-40mm/h may affect parts of Northland at times. These downpours could occur with or without thunderstorms. Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to slips. Driving conditions will also be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility in heavy rain. The thunderstorm and downpour risk initially starts in the Far North this afternoon, then spreads southwards to other parts of Northland this evening.Thursday 13th June - Occasional rain, becoming persistent and possibly heavy and thundery this evening. Northeasterlies.Friday 14th June - Rain, heavy at times, with thunderstorms and hail possible, easing to a few showers in the afternoon as northeasterlies turn southwesterly. Saturday 15th - Mainly fine, chance shower. Southwesterlies, turning northwesterly in the morning.Sunday 16th - Fine, then rain developing in the afternoon. Northerlies, becoming fresh in the evening.

Unborn baby dies after crash involving stolen vechicle in Northland
Unborn baby dies after crash involving stolen vechicle in Northland

11 June 2024, 6:35 PM

Police can advise an unborn child has died following a serious crash on State Highway 1 in Okaihau on Monday evening.Inspector Riki Whiu, Far North Area Commander, says Police were called to the crash involving two vehicles around 9.08pm.“Tragically, one of the people taken to the hospital with critical injuries was pregnant and that baby has now died.“The woman remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition and Police are providing support to her loved ones.”Three other people, who were in the other vehicle involved, were transported to hospital with injuries ranging from critical to moderate.“As previously advised, upon Police arrival to the scene, further enquiries suggest one of the vehicles involved was stolen in an earlier incident on Monday from Moerewa.“Those in this vehicle were aged from 12 to 17.”Inspector Whiu says Police did not have involvement with this vehicle prior to this crash.“Emergency services responded to the crash as we would with any.It was not until our attending staff were making enquiries into the vehicles involved that it was determined to have been stolen.”The Serious Crash Unit was in attendance and an investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing.“While there are aspects of this crash we are not able to comment on at this time, I can say this is a horrific incident that was come about through selfish and mindless behaviour that has denied one of our mokopuna life," Inspector Whiu says.“Those involved were unlicensed youths, one of which, the driver, was not yet a teenager.“This incident is a direct impact of their actions and tragically a life has been lost."It is absolutely the worst outcome for us as a community, whānau and all other responding emergency services who attend these incidents."Ka nui te mamae!”

Northland woman dies after ovarian cancer goes undiagnosed by doctors for five years
Northland woman dies after ovarian cancer goes undiagnosed by doctors for five years

10 June 2024, 6:49 PM

A woman died of ovarian cancer after multiple doctors and investigations failed to diagnose her for five years.A report published on Monday has found the Northland District Health Board - now Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau - missed multiple opportunities to diagnose and treat the woman, who was in her fifties, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Dr Vanessa Caldwell said.Between 2014 and 2019, the woman had multiple referrals and many investigations over post-menopausal bleeding, but no treatment plan was put in place, and surgery was not offered.When a MRI scan was finally done, it confirmed the woman had stage four ovarian cancer, and she died only a few months later."I am critical of the failure by multiple clinicians to consider the causes of the woman's symptoms critically, manage the post-menopausal bleeding appropriately, and undertake necessary imaging in the form of pelvic ultrasounds and/or CT scans," said Caldwell.She said the woman's condition warranted a hysterectomy or hormonal therapy, but it was not offered, nor was imaging undertaken, which could have confirmed an earlier diagnosis."The missed opportunities to provide treatment information are attributable to multiple clinicians, and signify a failure at an organisational level, for which Health New Zealand is responsible," Caldwell said.The matter continued to cause the woman's whānau "significant distress", she said.The Commission found the failure breached the woman's right to receive services of an appropriate standard, and her right to be provided with treatment options, as guaranteed under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer's Rights."In my view, offering support only at the start and end of care is not a culturally responsive or appropriate approach, especially given the woman's long-standing engagement with the healthcare system," she said.Health New Zealand has made a number of changes since the woman's death, and further recommendations have been made by Dr Caldwell in the report.The recommendations include a written apology to the woman's whānau, developing a policy for unresolved post-menopausal bleeding, and an audit of patients who have re-presented to Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau over the past 12 months with symptoms of unresolved post-menopausal bleeding.The report also recommended Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau to consider developing or reviewing systems that identified and addressed the need for ongoing cultural support.This story was originally published by RNZ

Invasive caulerpa seaweed found at Leigh for the first time
Invasive caulerpa seaweed found at Leigh for the first time

10 June 2024, 6:36 PM

Peter de GraafAn invasive seaweed described as the world's worst marine pest has been found at Leigh, a short distance from the famous Goat Island Marine Reserve.The roughly one-square-metre clump of exotic caulerpa was found in Omaha Cove by divers working for Auckland Council on Friday.Biosecurity New Zealand said the find had not yet been positively identified - but it was highly likely to be the fast-growing pest.Its readiness and response director John Walsh said if confirmed, the patch would be treated as soon as possible by council and mana whenua.Until more was known he could not speculate on where the caulerpa came from or what action would be taken next, he said.The seaweed pest was found in shallow water during routine surveillance of high-risk areas.Walsh said since exotic caulerpa was first found in New Zealand, at Aotea Great Barrier Island in 2021, $11 million had been allocated to a coordinated response with partners such as mana whenua, regional councils and the Department of Conservation.That response sought to understand the pest and its distribution, prevent its spread, and explore ways of removing it, where that was possible.A $5 million programme was currently underway at Rāwhiti, in the Bay of Islands, to fast-track the development of technology to find and remove exotic Caulerpa, he said.RNZ understands the suspected caulerpa was found near boat moorings - but Omaha Cove also has a wharf used by commercial fishing boats, including those permitted to work in the controlled areas around Aotea Great Barrier where the pest is rife.There was as yet, however, no way of knowing how the seaweed pest reached the cove.Omaha Cove, at Leigh, was a short distance south of Te Hawere-a-Maki/Goat Island Marine Reserve, one of New Zealand's oldest and best known marine protected areas.Leigh was also the location of Auckland University's marine laboratory.The beachside destination of Omaha, known for its top-end holiday homes, was a short distance further south.Since its discovery at Aotea Great Barrier Island, exotic caulerpa has been identified in Te Rāwhiti Inlet in the Bay of Islands, Ahuahu Great Mercury Island, Kawau Island, Waiheke Island, Mokohinau Islands, Rakino Island and Fantail Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula.Exotic caulerpa was regarded as a serious threat to biodiversity, kai moana, and recreational and commercial fishing, due to its ability to spread rapidly over large areas of seabed and smother other species.This story was orginally published by RNZ

Aucklanders incorrectly recycling could have bins taken away
Aucklanders incorrectly recycling could have bins taken away

09 June 2024, 6:40 PM

Mahvash Ikram, First Up senior producerHouseholds regularly putting general rubbish into their recycling bins will have them taken away, Auckland Council warns.New recycling rules came into play in February and the council said it had been monitoring bins since then.Parul Sood, the council's general manager waste solutions, said it was not unusual to find loads contaminated with rubbish."We are actually monitoring bins at the moment to see whether people are misusing them and the main concern is gross contamination."Several items such as aerosol cans, lids and aluminium trays that could previously be recycled were no longer allowed.But the recycling loads being processed at Auckland Council's recovery facility in Onehunga showed the region's bins were contaminated with a lot more than that.Dirty nappies, old shoes and even a wire dish rack were just some of the items that were being removed from recycling at the facility.Sood said repeat offenders would be educated, then given three warnings.The final step would be to take the bin away and replace it with a clear bag for recycling."The last load, a truck that actually caught fire had a lot of electronics in it. And you think, 'well, what's that to do with recycling?' So we just need to remember it's for packaging type only, that comes out of your kitchen, laundry or your bathroom."(The recycling bin) is not meant for anything else."At the recovery facility, workers wearing gloves and masks manually sorted the recycling before it went into a large machine.Workers sort the recycling at the Onehunga recovery facility. Photo: Mahvash Ikram/RNZ"When the material comes in, it gets onto a massive conveyor belt and there are people standing there that pull out gross contamination and it's quite disgusting for them to pull it out, but it does get pulled out and it goes into the rubbish pile," Sood said.Most milk bottles passing through on the conveyor belt still had their lids attached.Under the council's new recycling rules, all items less than 50mm - such as bottle caps - must be removed before going into the recycling bin.Sood said there were multiple reasons for that decision."One is because what people were doing was leaving liquid in the bottle and then putting it the lid back on."She said lids sometimes also fell into the machinery.Sood said it was best not to flatten milk bottles completely "like a piece of paper" because that caused problems in the sorting equipment.Huge conveyer belts carry the recycling through the facility. Photo: Mahvash Ikram/RNZIt was also fine to put the bottles into the bin without squashing them,"When it goes in the truck, it compacts it a little bit in any case. But if you are making it absolutely flat, then there's a problem to actually sort it."Machines at the facility were equipped with technology to detect and remove items that were not allowed.But Sood said people must be careful about what they put in their recycling bins because contamination comes at a cost."The machine is not there to pick your rubbish out," she said."If (rubbish) does make into the pile you are actually getting the pile's value down ... and that will cost you and me more."She said while people were still getting used to new recycling guidelines, plenty of items that should never never be put into recycling bins still showed up."If it's a soft plastic, which means you can squish it, you can make it into a ball, that also does not go in your recycling bin because it can get entangled in the machinery."Sood said people often put their recyclables in a bag, which was also incorrect."It has to be loose."This story was first published by RNZ

Leigh Penguin (Kororā) Project - May 24 update
Leigh Penguin (Kororā) Project - May 24 update

08 June 2024, 9:00 PM

In April and May, as we move into the cooler weather, our Korora Little Penguins spend long periods out at sea where they feed in preparation for the upcoming nesting season. In doing this they swim up to twenty-five kilometres offshore, and up to seventy kilometres away from their nesting place, reaching speeds of up to six kilometres an hour. Quite impressive for such a small seabird. They mainly feed on small fish, plankton, squid and shrimp like crustaceans.The Korora commonly return to burrows, caves, rocky crevices, under tree roots, and of course to nesting boxes every year. It’s not uncommon to see them residing under holiday homes and houses near the sea. Despite being small in stature they can nest in dunes, coastal forests, farmland and rocky areas, up to two hundred metres inland. The Little Penguins often mate for life and return to the same place to lay their eggs and to raise their chicks every year.Our team of local volunteers still monitor the coast at this time of the year, intermittently seeing evidence of the Korora Little Penguin on footage in the nesting sites monitored by cameras, but also spot guano, and sometimes if the tide is right, footprints. During May’s Leigh Community Day, our volunteers were busy talking about our Korora Little Penguins, answering lots of interesting questions. There was a heart-warming response and a lot of interest in the wellbeing of these precious seabirds. Popular questions are below.What is the size of our local Korora Little Penguin population? The Leigh coast, Ti Point and Goat Island populations are very small, compared to the rest of the country, but especially the ones in South Island.What’s the biggest threat to the survival of these birds? According to recent studies, sadly 73% of deaths are due to starvation. This is particularly worrying in the Hauraki Gulf. 8% are made up by dog attacks, an additional 8% are struck by boats, and 3% of deaths are caused by fishing equipment. The remaining 8% are undetermined.What can people do to help protect our local Korora Little Penguins? An important and hugely positive step that anyone can take is to set up pest control. Catch those pesky vermin. But more importantly, keep your dog on a lead when walking along the coast where the birds nest. The Korora are incredibly vulnerable, especially so when they’ve laid eggs, looking after their young and when the chicks fledge, but also when the adult birds moult. We appreciate any reports of penguin sightings on land.Madeleine Roberts -The Leigh Penguin [email protected] with permission from Leigh Rag

1-20 of 2287