Learning in the lockdown with Children’s University

Source: University of Canterbury

31 March 2020

Children’s University Canterbury Partnership (CUCP) is adapting to these constrained times by offering members a range of fun learning activities via their new Online Portal.

If there was ever a time to encourage children to engage in online learning, that time is now!

Children’s University Canterbury Partnership (CUCP) is adapting to these constrained times by offering members a range of fun learning activities via their new Online Portal.

The CUCP team is working with university academics, university student volunteers and their Learning Destinations to create lots more exciting learning opportunities to go onto the Portal.

For example the CUCP is partnering with the Air Force Museum of New Zealand to share their activities, including:

  • Build a roto-copter
  • Morse code messaging
  • Make a Da Vinci parachute

Access to these activities in not just for CUCP members. To get your kids busy with Children’s University activities, go to the online activities page: https://cuaustralasia.com/adults/learning-destinations/onlineactivities/

The University of Canterbury and Lincoln University are working together to deliver Children’s University in the Canterbury region. Follow CUCP on Facebook to stay updated on news, new Learning Destinations and online activities. https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensUniversityCanterburyPartnership 

The mathematics behind COVID-19

University of Canterbury (UC) Mathematicians Associate Professor Alex James and Professor Michael Plank (pictured), and UC BSc Hons graduate Nic Steyn …

Lockdown – Tower introduces hardship measures to support customers during COVID-19

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Tower Insurance
Tower recognises the challenging and extraordinary times facing everyone in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and around the globe. Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by COVID-19 and we acknowledge and thank those on the front line who are fighting the virus and delivering essential services.
Tower CEO, Richard Harding, says that as an essential service the company has a unique role to play in supporting customers and keeping the homes, cars and contents of Kiwis safe and protected.
“Our goal over the coming months is to make sure our customers can keep covering the things that are important to them.
“We know people might think about cancelling their insurance, but it is important to maintain cover because even a small accident can end up costing thousands. For example, the technology and sensors in modern cars means that even a small fender-bender in the car park can cost a lot more than many would expect.
“Winter is also just around the corner which means storms and wet weather are on the way and living in New Zealand means we’re always at risk of earthquake, which is why insurance remains so important for people.
“But we understand that these are challenging times and we want customers to know we are here to help them if they are facing financial stress.
“We have created dedicated teams to help customers restructure their insurance to make it more affordable if they need, this includes things like removing added benefits such as roadside assist and increasing excess payments. We also have payment deferral options for up to three months for people facing genuine hardship or where vulnerable people are at risk.
“We are fortunate to have recently implemented new digital technologies that enable customers to make claims, manage and renew their policies and talk directly with our specialist teams online, but any customers needing urgent support are encouraged to call us.
First and foremost though, Harding urges people to stay home, save lives and unite against COVID-19.

New Zealand Police website update

Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

We are carrying out scheduled maintenance on all webforms tonight, Tuesday 31 March from 10pm.

This means the COVID-19 L4 breach form will be unavailable from 10pm for a short time.

We apologise for any inconvenience.


Issued by Police Media Centre

“We Wellington” waste should see CCO funding frozen

Source: Taxpayers Union

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on the Wellington City and Wellington Regional Councils to freeze the funding of their economic and tourism promotion agency after its ill-judged “We Wellington” campaign – wasting tens of thousands in ratepayer money on full-page newspaper ads and social media advertising.Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman, Jordan Williams, said: “WellingtonNZ needs its wings clipped. At the very time councils need to be saving pennies and freezing rates, these faceless bureaucrats are launching a colourful ‘feel good’ campaign with ratepayers’ money.”“What extraordinary arrogance. While thousands of Wellington ratepayers sit at home nervously awaiting updates on whether they still have jobs, let alone can pay rates, an unelected agency splashes money on a media campaign with no apparent purpose.”“Ironically, amidst the campaign’s material, one of the adverts claims the Council is managing COVID’s impact on finances and ratepayers. Is that some sort of sick joke, or is WellingtonNZ so out of touch with Wellington they think this is a good spend?”“If the controversial CEO of WellingtonNZ Lance Walker hadn’t already filed his resignation, he’d surely be required by Councillors to offer it now. The Council should bring forward his departure from June to today. Wasteful spending is one thing – trying to keep the amount spent secret is disgraceful.”In a letter sent to all Mayors last week, the Taxpayers’ Union called for a rates freeze (zero increases for 2020) and for all councils to identify and cut low quality and low priority spending to redirect to civil defence and ratepayer relief efforts.Mr Williams says “This sort of nonsense is precisely the sort of spending no one needs. An agency dedicated to international tourism promotion isn’t needed during a pandemic. This campaign exhibits that they have nothing to do, and should be abolished as part of an effort to save money.”

Essential works on SH2 near Paengaroa start tomorrow

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises essential works to complete road reconstruction on a section of State Highway 2 near Paengaroa will get underway from tomorrow.

The works will take place on the north side of the road between the Wilson Road South and Wilson Road North intersections from 7.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. They are expected to take six days to complete.

Work was completed on the south side of the road prior to the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.

Bay of Plenty Transport Systems Manager Rob Campbell says these essential works will allow the Transport Agency’s contractors to complete work on what is currently an active work site and seal the road ahead of winter to ensure the road remains safe for all road users.

“Safely maintaining New Zealand’s state highway system is considered vital at this time in order to ensure that critical functions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus can continue.”

There will be a 24 hour a day 30km/h temporary speed limit in place for the duration of the works. This will remain in place for 5-10 days following completion of the works to enable our contractors to monitor how the seal beds in with lower traffic volumes than normal.
During the works, traffic travelling on the north side of the road will be shifted onto the south side of the road and separated from traffic travelling in the opposite direction by cones.

Mr Campbell asks people to be patient and respectful to roadworkers, and look out for their safety and wellbeing.

“If you see contractors out on the roads during the shutdown period please remember that they are carrying out essential work to keep us all safe.

“If you are using the roads during this period remember to comply with any temporary speed reductions through roadworks to keep workers safe. They are doing vital work and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Keep up to date with:

Downer pay update – E tū

Source: Etu Union

Dear members,

As you will know, Downer has asked its workers to take a 20% pay cut if they are paid over $50,000 per year. This is a radical step they are taking in response to the COIVD-19 epidemic, and we don’t think it’s good enough.

However, many of our members have told us that the most important thing right now is getting paid, so you are free to accept this offer to ensure your income continues at 80%.

E tū does not think that this process is lawful and has put members under duress, so we want to be clear: we reserve the right to challenge Downer over this pay cut and we will be fighting to recover any wages lost during this time.

Please keep in touch with your delegate and fellow union members to discuss ongoing issues.

Healthy Food and Drink Guidance – Early Learning Services

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is leading work to improve the food environment in schools, kura, English and Māori medium Early Learning Services.

The guidance helps schools and kura develop a policy to improve access to healthy food and drinks.

The guidance supports boards, principals, canteen managers and food service providers to adopt and implement a policy for their school and guidance on creating supportive environments for children.

Healthy Food and Drink Guidance – Schools

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is leading work to improve the food environment in schools, kura, English and Māori medium Early Learning Services.

The guidance helps schools and kura develop a policy to improve access to healthy food and drinks.

The guidance supports boards, principals, canteen managers and food service providers to adopt and implement a policy for their school and guidance on creating supportive environments for children.

Government seeks infrastructure projects

Source: New Zealand Government

The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say.

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, to be headed by Crown Infrastructure Partners chairman Mark Binns, will put forward to Ministers projects from the private and public sector that are ‘shovel-ready’ or likely to be within six months.

These new projects will be in addition to and build on the Government’s $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and existing Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure investments.

The Government will then decide which could be funded, contracted and ready to go as soon as the construction workforce is able to return to work. Relevant government departments will also provide advice to Ministers.

“We are focused on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders first and foremost, and we need to get through the lockdown and out the other side of this pandemic. However, the Government is also planning ahead for when that time comes,” Phil Twyford said.

“That’s why we are now developing a pipeline of infrastructure projects from across the country that would be ready to begin as soon as we are able to move around freely and go back to work.

“The types of projects the Government would consider funding include water, transport, clean energy and buildings. They would also have a public or regional benefit, create jobs and be able to get underway in short order,” Phil Twyford said.

The group, which includes NZTA chairman Sir Brian Roche, KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller and Infrastructure Commission chairman Alan Bollard as initial members, will work alongside the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) which has spent the past two-and-a-half years working with regions and is well-equipped to identify priority, shovel-ready projects up and down the country.

A member of the Construction Industry Accord will join the group and the recently established Infrastructure Commission will also provide advice and expertise. However, final decisions will be made by Ministers.

“While the economic effect of COVID-19 is yet to be fully understood, we know that we have an opportunity to move our country into action mode and the Government does not wish to see red tape stymie our eventual recovery,” Shane Jones said.

“The reference group will be seeking out larger projects, those with a value of over $10 million, which would have an immediate stimulatory effect on the construction industry, its workforce and the economy.

“Smaller projects will be considered if they demonstrate a direct and immediate benefit to the regional economies and communities in which they are based. In the meantime, the Provincial Development Unit will continue to work with local councils to identify regional roading projects, particularly in the identified surge regions, to provide employment and boost local economies.

“These projects will help address the country’s infrastructure deficit as well as create jobs and buoy the economy,” Shane Jones said.

More information on the work of the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group and the project criteria will be available on the Crown Infrastructure Partners website today.

Fire Safety – Hold off lighting outdoor fires during the COVID-19 Lockdown

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
“I know we all want to get odd jobs done and clean up while we have more time at home but please do not burn unnecessary fires such as household rubbish or garden waste. Hold off applying for a permit for an outdoor fire until the lockdown is over,” says Steve Turek, Fire and Emergency National Manager Community Readiness and Recovery.
“We are asking for your patience and understanding during these extraordinary times in our country and asking that you do not light any outdoor fires unless they are absolutely necessary,” Steve Turek says.
“If you currently have a permit, or are planning to use fire for activities such as stubble burn-offs, please carefully review the conditions before lighting any fires.”
“Fire and Emergency NZ is receiving lots of phone calls from people wanting fire permits. While we are under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions we are unable to visit sites to review permit applications.
“We are understandingly reluctant to put the public and our people at risk to conduct inspections, and there will be cases where we cannot grant permits at this time.
Fire and Emergency are still processing and granting permits if the risk is low.
“Lighting fires is likely to generate a 111 call from the public whether they are out of control or not. Call in prior to lighting any permitted burns so that we can limit the amount of “smoke chasing” that our brigades are doing.
“Consider alternatives to burning. But if you must light that fire in the open, go to www.checkitsalright.nz to check if you are allowed to have an open fire in your district and if you need a permit for it.
“The weather may feel cooler but there is still high risk of vegetation fires in some parts of the country.
“Check the weather forecast, light the fire away from fences and anything else flammable, monitor any fires at all times and have a hose standing by. Be absolutely sure it is completely extinguished. Check historic fires are fully extinguished.
Steve Turek says New Zealanders can be confident that Fire and Emergency is well-prepared and ready to respond to emergencies as usual during the nationwide self- isolation period.
“Help us by doing your bit to minimise the risk of fire, and the number of avoidable call outs for our first responders.
“Stay safe.”