MotorSport – Pressure on Kiwi champ as TRS moves north

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Toyota

The Castrol Toyota Racing Series continues this weekend with the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy meeting at Hampton Downs, the first round of three in New Zealand’s North Island, and the pressure will be on the reigning champion Liam Lawson to build on his narrow points lead.

After a weekend which produced three different winners across the three races – Caio Collet for mtec Motorsport engineered by R-Ace GP, M2 Competition’s Emilien Denner and his team mate Lawson, it was the Kiwi who left Invercargill with an 18 point advantage in the championship over Igor Fraga, with Grégoire Saucy sitting third in the standings.
 
Although he doesn’t have a race win to his credit after two rounds, Fraga – the e-Sports maestro when he’s not racing cars for real – has staked his claim as the biggest threat to Lawson. His pursuit of the champion in the feature race at Teretonga, which pushed them both well clear of the field, was relentless and a win is likely to come very soon.
 
Last year Lawson lost the lead of the championship over the corresponding weekend in the championship with a crash early on that badly affected his weekend and handed the initiative to Marcus Armstrong. He’ll be hoping for better luck this weekend at a circuit he knows very well.
 
Another interesting aspect of this year’s championship – in part due to the whole field having a brand new car to learn and understand – all four teams in the championship have shown form and have drivers that have or can win.  Fernando Alonso protégé Franco Colapinto has been fast and consistent in his Kiwi Motorsport-run car. German Lirim Zendeli is rapidly getting his car to his liking as well and with Stephen Giles in his corner helping him hone his style and the set -up of the car, he could spring a surprise or two this weekend in the North Waikato.
 
Youngster Tijmen van der Helm, who has been testing during the series while his rivals have raced, turned 16 last Sunday and will get his chance in qualifying and race environments for the first time this weekend.  He’s been quick in the testing he has undertaken too, so might be another one to watch for Kiwi Motorsport.
 
It all begins with testing sessions on Thursday and Friday before the race weekend commences with qualifying on Saturday morning. The first race takes place on Saturday afternoon and the results of that – with the twist of either a reverse top six or reverse top eight thrown in for good measure – denote the starting line-up for the Sunday morning race. There’s a second qualifying session on Sunday morning too and that will form the grid for the longer feature race on Sunday afternoon. The winner of that will lift the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy, which incorporates a marble plaque presented to Denny for his 1974 Argentinian Grand Prix win.
 
Sadly, the championship will be without the only female racer in the championship – Chelsea Herbert – who had to withdraw after injuring her back at the start of Saturday morning qualifying last weekend.
 
 
Castrol Toyota Racing Series – Championship Points after Round 2
 
1. Liam Lawson – M2 Competition – 153
2. Igor Fraga – M2 Competition – 135
3. Grégoire Saucy – Giles Motorsport – 118
4. Yuki Tsunoda – M2 Competition – 112
5. Franco Colapinto – Kiwi Motorsport – 107
6. Lirim Zendeli – Giles Motorsport – 104
7. Caio Collet – mtec Motorsport – 83
8. Ido Cohen – M2 Competition – 81
9. Petr Ptacek – mtec Motorsport – 72
10. Emilien Denner – M2 Competition – 66
11. Oliver Rasmussen – mtec Motorsport – 55
12. Lucas Petersson – mtec Motorsport – 51
13. Jose Blanco – Kiwi Motorsport – 41
14. Jackson Walls – mtec Motorsport – 41
15. Spike Kohlbecker – Kiwi Motorsport – 36
16. Axel Gnos – Kiwi Motorsport – 29
17. Rui Andrade – M2 Competition – 27
18. Henning Enqvist – Giles Motorsport – 17
19. Chelsea Herbert – Giles Motorsport – 10
20. Tijmen van der Helm, Kiwi Motorsport – 0
 
 
2020 Castrol Toyota Racing Series
 
17-19 January 2020: Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell – Dorothy Smith Memorial Trophy
24-26 January 2020: Teretonga Park, Invercargill – Spirit of a Nation Cup
1-2 February 2020: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato – Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy
7-9 February 2020: Pukekohe Park, Pukekohe – New Zealand Motor Cup
15-16 February 2020: Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding – New Zealand Grand Prix

Further death following Whakaari/White Island incident

Source: New Zealand Police

Please attribute to Deputy Commissioner John Tims, National Operations Commander:

Police can confirm a further person died at Middlemore Hospital last night as a result of injuries suffered in the Whakaari/White Island eruption.

The death brings the official number of deceased to 21, 19 of whom died in New Zealand and two in Australia.

Their name will be released after wider family have been informed.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre 

Australia Bushfires – Holiday in Aussie to Help Bushfire Recovery – Grand Chancellor Hotels Encourage Kiwis to Holiday in Australia

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Grand Chancellor Hotels

Grand Chancellor Hotels group headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand is encouraging local Kiwis to support the Australian bushfire recovery efforts by planning a holiday this year across the ditch.

“The widely spread bushfires of 2019/20 have ravaged Australia causing devastation to individuals, businesses, communities, wildlife and nature. Incredibly many tourism destinations have been spared, giving tourists a unique opportunity to do something to help, just by planning a holiday or short break,” said Sharon Garrett, Group Director of Marketing & eCommerce – Australia/NZ.
“International visitors including New Zealanders will be instrumental in the recovery of communities just by spending their tourist dollar, whether that be on accommodation, excursions or dining,”

Last week, Tourism Australia launched a new campaign asking Australians to holiday at home and spread their experiences using a variety of online platforms. The effort is supported through a $20 million Australian Government funding boost.

“At Grand Chancellor, we have embarked on a simple message to our New Zealand based customers using social media, email and digital platforms to put the idea of a holiday across the ditch in their minds. That campaign will be supported by destination awareness efforts for each of our Australian hotels throughout the year to keep the momentum.” she added.

Grand Chancellor Hotels has also pledged to support media trips arranged by Tourism Australia and regional tourism organisations where practicable in key destinations.  

Whether it’s the swaying palm trees and sandy beaches of Palm Cove in far North Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef accessible from Hotel Grand Chancellor Townsville, the charm of Tasmania with dual destinations Hobart and Launceston or the bright city lights of Adelaide, Brisbane or Melbourne, there really is something for everyone.

Grand Chancellor Hotels are located throughout Australia and New Zealand in key destinations. The ten properties present quality accommodation with modern facilities, including five hotels with meetings and event venues suitable for over 400 delegates. For more information please visit grandchancellorhotels.com

Infrastructure Plan – Projects support communities and businesses in ‘golden triangle’ – EMA

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: EMA
Today’s major announcement of infrastructure projects is good news for members in the EMA’s upper North Island region.
EMA Head of Advocacy and Strategy, Alan McDonald, says members will welcome the estimated $5 billion in transport projects in the EMA region out of a total $6.8 billion in key road and rail projects that support growth, connectivity and ease of movement throughout the ‘golden triangle’.
“We’ve long advocated for many of these shovel-ready projects, and we’re pleased there’s funding and timing commitments to them. Some are literally green-lit from today and others staggered to allow a pipeline of projects for the construction industry. These projects will help get Auckland and the rest of our EMA region moving,” he says.
“Several important projects for our members are going ahead, including four laning of SH1 from Whangarei to Port Marsden, the Mill Rd connection from Manukau to Drury in South Auckland and improvements north from Tauranga towards Omokoroa.”
“The go-ahead for the third main rail line south from Auckland enables maximum capacity on the new Central Rail Loop (CRL) and the shifting of more freight by rail from Ports of Auckland. Electrification of the line from Papakura to Pukekohe will add a reliable, fast public transport train system to service rapid residential growth in the Clevedon, Drury and Pukekohe areas and complement the three-laning project for the motorway to Drury South. In the north the long-planned Penlink two like highway will link the Whangaparaoa Peninsula to the Northern Busway and ease congestion on the existing two-lane peninsula access road. “
The commitment to upgrade the Piarere intersection linking State Highways 29 and 1 in the South Waikato is also a significant safety upgrade and improve a critical freight corridor to the South of Hamilton.
“The EMA is pleased to see priority given to a region-wide approach to ease certain critical freight corridors and enhance safety. Those safety and other social wellbeing benefits, such as greater mobility and connections between communities and greatly improved public transport, which come from major infrastructure development will be welcome across the region.
“Also announced was further investment in all three major Auckland hospitals, Whangarei and Tauranga with about $25 million in new mental health facilities in Tauranga and Whakatane. Given the pressures on some of our members in the Eastern Bay of Plenty that will also be a welcome spend.”
Mr McDonald said the only quibble around today’s announcement was the fact many of these projects were ready to go nearly three years ago and in effect have been delayed three years while congestion has gotten worse.
“Unsurprisingly there was no mention of the East/West corridor, an urgent project that seems to have disappeared completely off the radar and an injection of funding into the North Western Busway would also have been welcomed.
The question now will be how quickly the construction sector can gear up across the country, with significant new spend also announced in the Wellington and Christchurch regions, although with some major projects near winding up it may be a case of reallocating current resources to these new projects.
About the EMA:
The EMA is New Zealand’s largest business service organisation dedicated to helping people and businesses grow. It offers advice, learning, advocacy and support for 7600 businesses as members of the EMA, ExportNZ and The Manufacturers’ Network. The EMA is part of the BusinessNZ network and its territory spans the upper North Island. The EMA also offers many of its services nationally to member businesses, and through its partners. www.ema.co.nz.

Petroleum Sector – Rushed ETS reform undermines climate change efforts

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: PEPANZ
The rushed legislative process for the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill undermines democracy and our climate change efforts, says the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).
“The ETS is the Government’s primary tool for responding to climate change yet only a handful of days are available for public submissions on important proposed changes, and to sub-committees with just a handful of MPs,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.
“This is important and complex work that will have a big impact on the costs imposed on New Zealand households and businesses. We need to get it right rather than rush it through for no clear reason.
“For example, the use of high-quality international credits could help reduce global emissions far more effectively and at less cost than domestic efforts. Without this ‘safety valve’ there is a risk the carbon price becomes punitively high and the ETS dysfunctional, hurting our exporters.
“Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss this with MPs and neither will many other groups because of the rushed timeframe.
“It’s disappointing because up until the Zero Carbon Act there was a largely sound process run with climate change and ETS issues which were carefully considered and widely consulted on. A fair and transparent process helps to build support amongst businesses, the wider community and the political spectrum.”
The Environment Select Committee is holding truncated hearings on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill today, tomorrow and on 10 February.

Infrastructure Plan – CTU welcomes significant investment in infrastructure

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: CTU
The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s announcement of the very significant $12 billion infrastructure investment in the future of New Zealand.
CTU President Richard Wagstaff comments, “This prioritisation is long overdue. It represents longer term thinking and an investment in our future transport, education and health. Long term thinking of this kind has been absent for too long from central government”.
“Now that the announcement has been made, it’s critical we use this spending as a real opportunity to create good jobs, that are well paid, secure and safe and which have training at the core. We support the Prime Minister’s comments about now being a good time for young people to learn a trade.”
“The scale of this investment has rightfully been labelled once in a generation. And it represents a significant challenge to establish and maintain a labour force that can deliver results from this spending. So it’s crucial that working people are equipped to fill these jobs with the training and support they need. “
“It is essential that health and safety is central to these new jobs and construction projects. Keeping everyone safe at work has to be an absolute priority regardless of the industry they work in. Employers must aspire for zero harm to those they employ or contract. Anything less is simply irresponsible. An essential part of that is encouraging and supporting effective representation and participation of employees in their own health and safety,” Wagstaff said.

Culture – Kiwi Music Preferences: How Where You Live Dictates Your Tunes

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Opinion Compare
The U.S. might have celebrated the Grammy’s earlier this week, but Kiwis have nominated their musical preferences with a clear rock and pop preference. The latest research from online market research company, Opinion Compare, surveyed 1,239 New Zealanders 18+ to identify the most popular types of music listened to.
Country 37%
Soul / Blues 35%
Soundtracks (film or TV) 33%
Dance / Electronic / House 31%
Classical (and/or Opera) 30%
Singer-songwriter 30%
Roots, reggae and dub 27%
Hip-Hop/Rap/Trap 26%
Grime / Garage 7%
And while there were significant differences in musical preferences when looking at age and gender, where you live always plays a role in the music you like to listen to. Whether you love crooning along to country in Kerikeri or you’re a metal head in Morrinsville.
Residents in Auckland were 25% more likely than the average Kiwi to have listened to Dance/Electronic/House music, 24% more likely to have Hip-Hop/Rap on their shuffle and 42% more likely to favour Latin. Wellington residents saw Classical music as their 4th favoured genre with 38% nominating it as a preference. Country music is most popular in the Northland region, Jazz reached its peak in Canterbury, while Waikato residents the most likely to listen to metal.
It’s music on the move – when asked where they typically listen to music, 4 out of 5 Kiwis nominated their car, making it the most popular means to listen.
In the car 80%
While cooking or cleaning 54%
On my commute to work or school / college 49%
While socialising with friends 46%
While working or studying 41%
At concerts / gigs / festivals 40%
At bars or club 34%
When exercising or at the gym 32%
While relaxing at home 31%
While going to sleep 12%
When shopping 9%
At Karaoke 5%
Gavin Male, Managing Director of Opinion Compare, said “This research demonstrates the diversity of our musical preferences across the country. Although Pop and Rock music maintained their place as the most popular genre, seeing R&B, Country and Soul/Blues make the top 5 list, shows our eclectic tastes. The introduction of streaming services and technology has really changed not only how we’re listening to music but also what we listen to.”
About Opinion Compare
Opinion Compare is the research arm of NZ Compare and offers an independent and affordable way to deliver Kiwi opinions into NZ business decision makers. We created Opinion Compare for brands and agencies operating in NZ to provide the insight to avoid poorly informed decisions which lead to costly mistakes. We provide a range of ways to get the insights you require. Traditional qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are covered as well as new and different approaches if required. We’re passionate about creating a world where consumer opinions help shape and deliver better products and services for everyone.

Infrastructure Plan – Wellington’s road upgrades missing from Government programme – Business Central

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Business Central
The Government’s announcement of a $12 billion spend up on new infrastructure projects is bypassing our capital city, according to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
“Today’s ‘New Zealand Upgrade Programme’ is an admirable boost to infrastructure investment; unfortunately, it barely makes it past Hamilton, with Wellington city receiving no additional transport funding,” says Chief Executive John Milford.
“There is a lot of good news for desperately needed road, rail, hospital and school upgrades. I particularly welcome the projects for the wider Wellington region including neonatal, maternity and acute mental health facilities, as well as the Melling interchange, the Otaki to Levin four-landing and the upgrades to our commuter rail network.
“However, as congestion continues to rise, it is really disappointing to see none of the urgently needed roading and public transport projects within Wellington city get attention.
“This is despite the Government’s talk of supporting our multi-billion dollar Let’s Get Wellington Moving package that took over three years to put together.
“So now it is left to Wellington’s ratepayers to put their hands in their own pockets while Government-funded projects elsewhere are prioritised.
“It is staggering that we can have a $700 million four-lane road to Marsden Point, but there’s nothing for the two-lane road to Wellington Airport.
“Yet, the Government is expecting Wellingtonians to stump up with 40 per cent of the cost of basic infrastructure projects like fixing the Basin Reserve and, in a decade’s time, a second Mt Victoria tunnel.
“This is not only disappointing to our members but will set back the city’s growth at a time when the investment is needed to transform the city into a more compact, liveable city with lower housing costs. 

Infrastructure Plan – Road infrastructure good for business

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: BusinessNZ
BusinessNZ has welcomed the infrastructure package announced today
Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the additional spending on roading infrastructure would be positive for business.
“The bulk of the spending on Auckland is appropriate, given its ability to lessen congestion and increase productivity through reduced travel times.
“Other spending on key routes around Whangarei, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch will boost the ability for exporters and other businesses to transport their products efficiently.
“Money for commuter rail services in Auckland and Wellington will also help boost efficiency and productivity.
“We would like to see this investment applied soon, otherwise we risk losing some of our construction workforce to Australia, where a large transport infrastructure package has also been announced.
“For workforce purposes it will be important that all projects are strongly aligned with immigration and training policies.”

Universities – Finding a new place to stand together – University of Auckland

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: University of Auckland

Mātauranga Māori and Pacific knowledge is being incorporated into both course content and the class environment in the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts.

“It’s not about replacing one body of knowledge with another,” says Dr Hirini Kaa, the faculty kaiārahi (mentor) who is leading the change with the support of the dean, Professor Robert Greenberg, and faculty leadership.
“This is a true partnership; the reinsertion of mātauranga Māori alongside a global body of knowledge.”
The new Ako Arts programme takes many forms, from rethinking the whole way a course is being delivered to inviting an expert to give a Māori or Pacific perspective on a course-related topic. It might even be something like learning and singing a class waiata or students learning their pepeha (personal introduction) in te reo.
Dr Kaa says getting out of the lecture room is also an important part of the process for any kind of mindset shift.
“For example, we took three of the academics involved in Ako Arts to the big South Auckland event Polyfest so they could experience the vibrancy and passion of Pacific life first-hand, because this is not only a whiteboard exercise, it’s a heart exercise.”
The Pacific perspective sits very naturally in the mix, says Dr Kaa.
“Mātauranga Māori came from the Pacific over a 5,000-year journey. All those ancestors down in the wharenui at Waipapa Marae (the University marae) are Pacific ancestors. We have a lot in common, we share a lot of values, and our engagement with the Pacific deepens our engagement with mātauranga Māori rather than challenges it.”
He believes the faculty has been willing to make the change for a while but until recently has lacked the driver or “external push” it’s getting now from things like changes in the research funding environment and broader social changes.
First piloted in a 2018 history course, he says Ako Arts was extended to four courses in the first semester of 2019 and four in semester two. “Each academic course leader was paired with a Kaiako, an embedded mentor who supported them in areas like ako (reciprocal learning, as opposed to treating students as ‘empty vessels’), manaakitanga and tauhi vā (connections between people) in their approach to teaching and assessments.
One of those courses was an introduction to classics which mainly features Greek and Roman mythology. The challenge for the lecturer, says Dr Kaa, was to work with the Ako Arts team to rethink the Eurocentric foundation of the course using the concept of tūrangawaewae (‘a place to stand’).
“Where does the course stand and speak from? How do we ‘do’ classics in Aotearoa New Zealand in the Pacific in 2019? Whose knowledge gets privileged? How can Greek and Roman mythology be read through a Māori or Pacific lens? How could that work in assessment?”
He says that far from excluding non-Māori or Pacific students, this reframing also worked well for the Pākehā, Asian and students of other backgrounds who became interested in thinking about the Greeks and Romans in a different way. The new approach has also engaged academics in terms of their personal research.
“You see some of our top non-Māori researchers get really excited by the possibilities and potential of this in their work. The brilliant part for Māori is it only works if it’s a partnership – Pākehā can’t do this on their own. There are risks and downsides, change is not always comfortable, but it’s got so many advantages that make it worth pursuing as a faculty and an institution.”