A weak La Nina system and a marine heatwave helped fire the record hot summer of 2017-18, when these ocean-goers took to the waves at Brighton beach. Photo: ODt filesNew Zealand could be on track for another unusually hot summer, with a top climate scientist already calling the arrival of a "humdinger" La Niña system, along with likely balmy seas. The last time a strong La Niña formed up was back in 2010-11, with weaker systems in 2016-17 and 2017-18, and a moderate one in 2011-12. More broadly, warmed coastal waters could drive what he described as a "New Zealand regional heatwave" - with particularly hot days over much of the country over summer. Some models were indicating a "significant signal" for ocean temperatures to become "unusually abnormal".
September 20, 2020 08:48 UTC
New Zealander James Oroc went missing while paragliding in Nevada in August. Photo: Instagram @xcmagThe body of former Otago paraglider James "Kiwi" Oroc (Johnston) who has been missing in the United States for nearly a month has been found. Oroc's friends posted on his Go Fund me page today that his body had been located under a tree. He has been missing since the end of August when a long flight he was taking in Nevada went tragically wrong. The discovery of Oroc's body comes a day after two members of the public saw his missing person's poster and recalled seeing a parachute blowing in the wind.
September 20, 2020 07:18 UTC
ACT leader David Seymour speaks about his party's policies at a public meeting in Gore on Sunday. ACT leader David Seymour says allowing immigrants to fill jobs will lead to more jobs for Kiwis. In Gore, Seymour said “unlike every other party, we see immigration as part of the New Zealand story. We recognised if you get more people in to do critical jobs, that allows the economy to grow and, ironically, you get more jobs for Kiwis by allowing immigration than stopping it. On Monday, Seymour is announcing his party’s rural and tourism policies at Wreys Bush and Te Anau, respectively.
September 20, 2020 06:00 UTC
Photo: Getty ImagesA Marlborough medicinal cannabis company has secured a licence to grow New Zealand's largest ever crop. The crop will be germinated in tunnel houses before being transplanted into the company's site at Kekerengu. "This licence means we are now able to sell medical cannabis to pharmaceutical buyers. This is the next step in our journey to become a worldwide supplier of premium medical cannabis," Macfarlane said. Puro was working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to facilitate the country's first ever export of bulk medical cannabis.
September 20, 2020 04:41 UTC
Thousands attend a pro-democracy rally in Bangkok, calling for curbs to the power of the monarchy. The Royal Palace was not immediately available for comment. The king, who spends much of his time in Europe, is not in Thailand now. Protesters say the constitution gives the king too much power and that it was engineered to allow Prayuth to keep power after elections last year. “Radical change is hard in Thailand, but the movement has at least kept the momentum going," said Titipol Phakdeewanich, dean of political science at Ubon Ratchathani University.
September 20, 2020 04:18 UTC
Only pride is at stake for the Warriors as they take on the Raiders at Canberra’s GIO Stadium. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Peta Hiku and the Warriors saw their slim NRL finals hopes extinguished in cruel fashion against the Sharks last week.
September 20, 2020 04:00 UTC
Palmerston North city councillor Rachel Bowen asks whether there are too many elected representatives. Palmerston North city councillors are about to be challenged to consider whether there are too many of them. Palmerston North has a councillor for every 3636 voters. Bowen said there were historical reasons for Palmerston North having more councillors than comparable cities, dating back to 1989. Murray Wilson/Stuff Palmerston North city councillors question why there are so many of them.
September 20, 2020 03:11 UTC
Photo: ODT filesThe National Party says it has made an error in its fiscal plan, with finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith admitting the wrong numbers were used. Today Goldsmith apologised for the mistake, but said it did not mean the whole plan was flawed. "This is an irritating mistake, we missed it and our external checker missed it as well - that's a mistake." National's economic plan said scrapping these contributions would save $19.1 billion - but Robertson said Treasury's estimates show the Government would have been contributing $15 billion over that time. Goldsmith went on to point out that National's error actually showed that Labour had "quietly cut the Super Fund to reduce debt, which they didn't announce and we missed".
September 20, 2020 02:48 UTC
Photo: screenshot via RNZThe broadcasting watchdog this week upheld a complaint that comments about Covid-19 death rates by Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking were misleading - and highlighted “the importance of data literacy” in the media. But the BSA said audiences “rely heavily on mainstream media to provide authoritative, reliable information on matters of public importance". Track recordIt was not the only time lately that Hosking has blurted out misleading numbers from overseas which he reckons cast doubt on the Covid containment strategy here. Just two weeks before Hosking’s misleading comments about Italy, NZME chief executive Michael Boggs published an earnest letter to New Zealand. Unveiling its annual results earlier this month, Boggs said NZME was an essential service during the Covid crisis.
September 20, 2020 02:26 UTC
Photo: Getty ImagesThere four new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today - two imported cases and two community cases not linked to the big Auckland cluster, the Health Ministry says. They were all moved into the Auckland quarantine facility on September 18, when the first case returned a positive result. IMPORTED CASESThe first imported case reported today is a man in his 30s who arrived from London via Dubai on September 16. The second imported case reported today is a man in his 20s who arrived from India via Singapore on September 12. The total number of active cases is 71 - of those, 36 are imported cases in managed isolation/quarantine facilities, and 35 are community cases.
September 20, 2020 02:15 UTC
Taranaki’s four councils have sent a message from the region to Wellington, giving the incoming government a report card on progress in the past three years, and raising new priorities. The Mayoral Forum, which comprises the mayors of New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki District Councils along with the chairman of Taranaki Regional Council, sent similar statements in 2017 and 2014. In the statement, forum chairman Phil Nixon, mayor of South Taranaki, said there has been significant progress over the past three years, but there was still work to do, and new areas of concern. READ MORE:* Coronavirus: Taranaki mayors and iwi call Taranaki bubble if North Island moves to level 3* Building development and tourism up in Taranaki, unemployment rate down* Taranaki mayoral forum calls for more central government investment in regionThe priorities for Taranaki are roading, tourism, energy and education, the statement said. For the Bell Block to Waitara State Highway improvements, the group welcomed the announcement of $29 million funding to start the project “and look forward to seeing progress”.
September 20, 2020 02:15 UTC
Wairau Valley couple Brian Williams and Kay Hannam run the Wai-natur Naturist Park for six months every summer. It could also better protect the Wairau River, which he says has been “abused” by vineyards over the past decade. “I feel between the economic gains of vineyard expansion and gravel extraction [at the Wairau River], we lose out as individuals. We’re always their second consideration.”While the concerns of valley residents often attract council attention, political parties seem less interested. CHLOE RANFORD/LDR Waihopai Valley farmer Murray Chapman with some of his goats.
September 20, 2020 01:52 UTC
Photo: NZ HeraldLabour has reignited one of the most contentious issues of the 2017 election by accusing National of "basic error" in the costing of its policies. The so-called error is in regards to the savings National would make by cancelling its contributions to the NZ Super Fund. He went on to point out that National's error actually showed that Labour had "quietly cut the Super Fund to reduce debt, which they didn't announce and we missed". "We are surprised, given their criticism of us for suspending payments to the Super Fund." The $4 billion error comes just before National's campaign launch in Wellington.
September 20, 2020 01:30 UTC
Invercargill Airport general manager Nigel Finnerty and commercial and business development manager Julie Jack on the tarmac with the Auckland jet touching down in the background. Business has been up and down at Invercargill Airport but the organisation is bouncing back with traveller numbers increasing steadily. The jet service resumed after lockdown in July but was suspended for four days in August due to alert levels. Kavinda Herath/Stuff Invercargill Airport commercial and business development manager Julie Jack and general manager Nigel Finnerty are pleased to see the growing number of travellers returning to the airport. One of his long term goals is to have two Invercargill to Auckland and return services operating on the same day.
September 20, 2020 01:23 UTC
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts has announced bank backing that will enable continued operations this summer and next winter. While a warm start to the season meant a limited ability for RAL to make snow and minimal natural snowfall, since August Mt Ruapehu has offered top to bottom skiing and riding at both ski areas. BROOK SABIN/Stuff Summer sightseers have doubled on Mount Ruapehu since the construction of the Sky Waka on Whakapapa. More than 215,000 manuhiri (guests) had been welcomed to the maunga since the beginning of July. Guest numbers were ahead of the same period in 2019, said Gribben, with one less month of operations – the key factor being sightseeing guests on the Sky Waka.
September 20, 2020 01:18 UTC