Firearms incident in Foxton

Source: New Zealand Police

Police are responding to a firearms incident at an address on Main St in Foxton.

A person has sustained serious injuries.

Police are conducting enquiries to locate the offender.

A number of schools have gone into voluntary lockdown as a precautionary measure.

People are advised to avoid the area.

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre 

Protecting our native giant kokopu

Source: Auckland Council

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From tiny whitebait to the giant kokopu they become; the largest member of the galaxiid family lived a secret existence in the wetlands of Waiheke until their discovery in 2014. Since then, their numbers have been declining.

“Giant kokopu have been quietly disappearing from Auckland streams and wetlands for many years,” says Matt Bloxham, senior regional advisor (freshwater) for Auckland Council.

“Sediment entering streams and wetlands from housing developments, erosion and gravel roads has had a significant impact.

“We’ve lost two populations because of sediment quite recently; one at West Hoe Heights in Orewa, and another at Whakanewha on Waiheke Island”. Matt adds, “we’re working to improve key habitat for giant kokopu on Waiheke, but all efforts will be in vain unless we can manage the threat posed by sediment”.

When sediment accumulates in the slow-moving pools giant kokopu inhabit, it impacts on the insects that giant kokopu feed on as well the fish’s ability to see them.  

“In extreme cases, sediment can smother the gills of the fish and suffocate them,” says Matt.

To protect the giant kokopu, Auckland Council granted funding to Conservation Volunteers New Zealand via the Regional Environment Natural Heritage grant for their work in the Whakanewha area. A not-for-profit organisation, it manages approximately 1000 conservation projects across the country.

Auckland regional manager Clair Hobi says their project on the island has many aims, including increasing awareness and knowledge of the wetlands and its role in providing habitat for threatened species like giant kokopu.

“So far, we’ve facilitated a number of community planting days over the past two years and we’ve provided volunteer teams to take on plant maintenance,” Clair says.

“We really want to increase community and volunteer participation,” she adds “We definitely want to build up the populations of the giant kokopu.”

Auckland Council is working with Auckland Transport who’ve been very supportive of this work and are altering key sections of gravel road to benefit giant kokopu.

Arrests made following Bay of Plenty organised crime operation

Source: New Zealand Police

Police in the Bay of Plenty on Friday executed a number of search warrants following a three-month-long investigation targeting the sale and supply of illicit drugs.

Search warrants were executed in the Taupo area on Friday and four people were arrested.

They will face a range of serious charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act in relation to dealing in the Class A controlled drug methamphetamine, dealing in MDMA, dealing in LSD, and charges relating to commercial cannabis cultivation.

Charges also include participating in an organised crime group, unlawful possession of pistols, supplying a pistol to an unauthorised person, conspiring to pervert the course of justice and conspiring to bring a false allegation.

The principal offenders appeared in Rotorua District Court on Saturday 12 October.

Police cannot rule out further arrests being made in relation to this investigation.

This investigation has targeted a small group involved in dealing in significant amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs across the Bay of Plenty and beyond.

All those in the group are either patched members of the Rebels or are associated to that gang.  

As part of the ongoing investigation Police have seized assets worth approximately $950,000, including a 6.3 hectare lifestyle block in Wairakei, a residential section in Omori, ten vehicles including a classic car and five Harley Davidsons, and jewellery.

“Make no mistake, gangs are all about organised crime and making money,” says Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson.

“The sale of illicit drugs by these groups causes immense harm to those who can least afford it.

“Police are committed to targeting and investigating those who engage in illegal activity, and holding them to account, so that our people and our communities are kept safe.

“Operations like this one targeting those trying to make money from the addictions and misfortunes of others sends a clear signal that crime, in the end, does not pay.”

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act was enacted to allow Police to ensure that people are held to account and do not benefit from the proceeds of crime, says Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay, Officer in Charge of Asset Recovery.

“This proceeding is an excellent result, in particular for the Taupo and Bay of Plenty communities,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kay.

“Police is seeking help from the community to identify illicit proceeds obtained from crime.

“If anyone has any information that would assist Police they are encouraged to report that information in confidence either to their local Police station or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

If you, or someone you know needs help with an addiction to methamphetamine, help is available. Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 or visit methhelp.org.nz.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Reporting confirmed student enrolments in your August SDR

Source: Tertiary Education Commission

Last updated 22 June 2017
Last updated 22 June 2017

As advised in April, there is a new requirement for tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to report all confirmed student enrolments from the August Single Data Return (SDR). 
As advised in April, there is a new requirement for tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to report all confirmed student enrolments from the August Single Data Return (SDR). 

This reporting requirement applies to TEOs that receive Student Achievement Component (SAC) level 3 and above funding and SAC levels 3 and 4 (competitive) pilot funding.
This is an ongoing reporting requirement for each SDR submission.
You can find information about this reporting requirement on the Enrolment page in the SAC level 3 and above section of our website.
If you have any questions about reporting confirmed student enrolments, contact our Sector Helpdesk on 0800 601 301 or your Investment Manager.

The Login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete has changed

Source: Tertiary Education Commission

Last updated 9 October 2017
Last updated 9 October 2017

We have changed the login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete to support upgrades to the Education Sector Logon (ESL).  
We have changed the login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete to support upgrades to the Education Sector Logon (ESL).  

Over the next few months, the Ministry of Education will be upgrading the Education Sector Logon (ESL) so the Education Sector Authentication and Authorisation (ESAA) system can be replaced next year.
Select ‘Login using ESL’ to log in. Your username, password and security questions for your Education Sector Logon account will remain the same.
 
Further information on the Education Sector Logon upgrade can be found on the Education Services website.
Need access to Workspace 2 or Ngā Kete but don’t have an Education Sector Logon? Please visit the Education Services website for further information.
Experiencing problems or have questions? Contact the TEC Sector Helpdesk on 0800 601 301 or email sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz.

Login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete has changed

Source: Tertiary Education Commission

Last updated 3 April 2018
Last updated 3 April 2018

We have changed the login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete to support the Education Sector Login (ESL) upgrade.
We have changed the login page for Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete to support the Education Sector Login (ESL) upgrade.

The Ministry of Education has upgraded the Education Sector Logon (ESL), replacing the Education Sector Authentication and Authorisation (ESAA) system.
Select ‘Login using ESL’ to login to Workspace 2 and Ngā Kete.

Users will see an updated Log on screen and self-service option. Your username, password and security questions for your Education Sector Logon account will remain the same.

Further information on the Education Sector Log on upgrade is on the Education Services website.
If you need access to Workspace 2 or Ngā Kete but don’t have an Education Sector Log on, please visit the Education Services website for further information.
If you are experiencing problems or have questions, contact the TEC Sector Helpdesk on 0800 601 301 or email sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz.  

World class science and engineering facilities for Tauranga

Source: University of Waikato

The University of Waikato has opened new laboratories at its Tauranga campus to increase its Science and Engineering teaching and research capabilities in the Bay of Plenty region.

Opened in an official ceremony on Friday evening, the labs strengthen the University’s world-class research and learning in Tauranga, and allow students to complete full Science degrees, and the first and fourth year of Engineering degrees (for most majors) from the Bay of Plenty campus.

“These are the newest labs in New Zealand, with features that will allow for collaborative learning and research between our students and academic staff,” says Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones.

“With the University managing an external $70m research portfolio, having the best facilities is key.

“We are very pleased to open the new laboratories for our Tauranga campus, and in doing so, enhance our capacity for Science and Engineering research and teaching.”

The labs are fitted with cutting-edge equipment and are designed to accommodate innovative teaching practices within a number of science and engineering disciplines including coastal marine and aquaculture: an area in which the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus is recognised as industry-leading.

Specialist equipment includes a full set of microscopes with cameras, screens around the rooms for interactive teaching, and the best in safety equipment including a large number of fumehoods for experiments involving chemicals.

“With our Coastal Marine research, we are expanding fast in Tauranga. The new aqua-themed lab on campus complements the field station and will be tailored for innovative multi-disciplinary marine research, giving our undergraduate students and our graduate students and researchers a real advantage,” says Professor Chris Battershill, the Chair of Coastal Science at the University.

Students enrolling to study at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus in 2020 will be among the first to take advantage of the new lab facilities.

Guests at the opening event from around the University and its key partners were given a tour of the new labs by Science and Engineering staff, before hearing from Professor Jones, Professor Mark Dyer (Dean of the School of Engineering), Professor Margaret Barbour (Dean of the School of Science) and Associate Professor Joseph Lane (Deputy Dean of the School of Science).

Wellington children part of global research to develop universal flu vaccine

Source: ESR

Mothers and infants in the Wellington region are set to play an important role in global research to develop a universal flu vaccine.

ESR researchers are currently seeking pregnant women in Wellington to participate in the study to see how their child’s first exposure to the flu virus, influences their immune response throughout life.

The “WellKiwis” study aims to monitor flu and flu-like illness in 600 Wellington children for seven years through to March 2026.

Mothers and infants in the Wellington region will be joining groups in Nicaragua, and United States as part of an international collaboration being led by St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

ESR’s National Influenza Centre has been selected by the US National Institutes of Health for the US$3.2 million research project.

Principal Investigator, ESR’s Dr Sue Huang says the purpose of WellKiwis is to provide information to enable scientists and researchers to develop more effective and longer lasting vaccines to prevent flu for our future populations.

“We have seen increasing scientific reports showing how the human immune system is primed by its first exposure to flu in childhood. Unravelling the codes of this childhood imprinting may allow us to identify those imprints that ‘memorise’ certain flu viruses which change little and differ little between flu strains.”

Flu, unlike a common cold, is a serious illness affecting hundreds and thousands of people globally. In New Zealand, young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to its infection.

Dr Sue Huang says this information gathered in the study may help in the development of a universal vaccine.

“We could produce broadly reactive and longer lasting antibodies to protect a population against multiple flu strains (including new pandemic strains). This would mean a vaccine shot once every three to five years rather than annually.”

WellKiwis study staff will monitor a child’s flu-like illness for seven years through regular surveys.

Over the course of the study, a once-only baseline cord blood sample from the birth mother and an annual blood sample will be collected from each child.

Additional samples will be needed if a child has a flu virus infection or flu vaccine.

“This study is important, as it adds to the scientific knowledge about the body’s immune responses to the flu in early childhood” says Dr Huang.

ESR aims to recruit 200 babies per year, for the next three years. 

Anyone seeking more information about the WellKiwis study or interested in enrolling their newborn or infant in the study, should contact their lead maternity carer (LMC), GP or by phoning 08004WELLKIWIS – 0800 493555.

Information for prospective parents and participants can be found at www.esr.cri.nz/wellkiwis(external link)

Small pick-up in international guest nights – Stats NZ Media and Information Release: Accommodation survey: August 2019

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Small pick-up in international guest nights  Media release

14 October 2019

After falling for eight months in a row, international guest nights in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks held steady in August, rising 0.5 percent compared with the same month a year ago, Stats NZ said today.

Overseas guests spent almost 960,000 nights in commercial accommodation in August 2019, up 5,000 on August 2018.

“International guest nights picked up in August, after falling each month since the end of 2018. On the other hand, domestic guest nights have generally been rising for about 18 months,” accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.  

“August is typically one of the lower months for overseas visitors, with international guest nights doubling in summer compared with the quieter winter season.”

Meanwhile, domestic guest nights continued to grow, more than offsetting recent falls in international guest nights.

In August 2019, Kiwis spent 88,000 more guest nights in commercial accommodation than in the same month last year, a 5.6 percent increase.

Total guest nights rose 3.7 percent to 2.6 million in August 2019, including 1.7 million domestic and 960,000 international guest nights.

Annual guest nights growing slower than last year

In the year ended August 2019, total guest nights rose 1.4 percent to 40,523,000 from the August 2018 year. Domestic guest nights rose 4.0 percent, while international guest nights fell 2.0 percent over the same period.

The annual total guest nights growth rate has eased from over 2 percent in 2018 due to falling international guest nights. This continues a general downward trend since the spring of 2016.

The accommodation survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks. Hosted and private accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and holiday homes, are excluded.

Accommodation survey to end

This is the second to last release of Accommodation survey data. The final release on 14 November 2019 will have data for the September 2019 month. For more information see four surveys to end.

See Accommodation survey: August 2019 for alternative accommodation data sources.

NZTA and mana whenua join forces on ground-breaking project

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

The NZ Transport Agency and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika have established a new partnership to lead development of the Nga Ūranga ki Pito-one (Ngauranga to Petone) section of the walking and cycling link between Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

Through this partnership, a steering group has been set up to guide the Transport Agency’s project team through design, environmental planning, construction and the provision of cultural advice and leadership on kaitiaki matters.

Kim Skelton, mana whenua representative and chairperson of the Steering Group, says “for Taranaki Whānui this project is about setting a strong foundation and high standards for a long-term partnership that will create community infrastructure which speaks directly about our stories of identity and our values as iwi mana whenua.”

Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships says it is the first partnership of its kind between Taranaki Whānui and the Transport Agency.

“One of the first actions of the steering group has been to adopt a new name – Te Ara Tupua, which evokes the ancient forces that created Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington Harbour.”

The name is significant as it connects the project to key geographical features of the area and acknowledges traditional narratives of mana whenua. Te Ara Tupua refers to the two tupua (sometimes referred to as taniwha) Ngake and Whataitai.

These tupua lived in a landlocked freshwater lake at the Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui (the head of Maui’s fish). Over time they outgrew the lake and sought escape to the ocean. In their attempts to break free, they created many of the landmarks of Te Whanganui a Tara.

Ngake breached the shores of the lake. He went to the east, creating Te Awakairangi (Hutt River), the harbour islands and the harbour mouth. Whataitai went towards the west, creating the landmarks of the western harbour before becoming stranded on land (the area we know as Hataitai), where he later died.

Ms Speight says “establishing a Mana Whenua Steering Group and adopting a new project name are the first steps of many we will take together as the project develops.”

“This is about more than our obligation as a Treaty partner – partnering with mana whenua ensures that this project delivers the greatest possible benefit and enjoyment for all Wellingtonians and visitors to our region.”

Te Ara Tupua webpage

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