Friday, March 30, 2012

Rev Hone Kaa has died, noted child advocate and Anglican priest...

Anglican priest and child advocate Dr Hone Kaa has died after a short battle with cancer.
Dr Kaa (Ngati Porou) died at Auckland Hospital last night, surrounded by whanau.
He will lie at the Holy Sepulchre Church on Khyber Pass Rd in Auckland late this afternoon, where he will remain until Sunday morning.
A requiem mass will be held at Holy Sepulchre at 5pm on Saturday.
On Sunday morning his body will be taken to Hinepare Marae, Rangitukia, on the East Cape.
Dr Kaa will be buried at Okaroro urupa on Tuesday morning.
Over 50 years Dr Kaa had an extensive career that included parish ministry, broadcasting, local and international activism, teaching and child advocacy.
His contribution to the church, Maori development, tino rangatiratanga, international social justice issues and the rights of Maori children has been profound.
Dr Kaa also pursued a lifelong commitment to indigenous theological, intellectual and academic excellence.
As Anglican Archdeacon of Tamaki Makaurau, Dr Kaa oversaw two Auckland pastorates.
In spite of deteriorating health, he attended the recent High Court trial of the 'Urewera Four' to show his on-going commitment to social justice.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Five Waitangi Treaty settlement bills passed at once...

Chris Finlayson at Net Hui 2011
Chris Finlayson at Net Hui 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Five Treaty settlement bills have been passed at once - the biggest number in any one year since the process began.

Parliament's sat under extended hours to pass the Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whare, Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Porou and Ngati Pahauwera bills in one go.

Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson says previously the largest number to be passed in one year was three.

"This is a very significant number of Treaty settlements to be progressed against a historical average of around 1.7 bills per year."

Mr Finlayson says today marks the end of a long journey for the tribes
Is this a good thing? I don't really know the answer to that question.
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Is the National government presiding over the extinction of the Maui dolphin...

National Government presiding over the extinction of the Maui dolphin? I hope not...

Hector's Dolphins swimming at Porpoise Bay, in...
Hectors dolphin Image via Wikipedia

Why are they so special?

Maui's dolphin.
Maui's dolphin:
Maui's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) is the world's smallest dolphin and is found only on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand and nowhere else in the world. It is New Zealand's rarest dolphin.

The dolphin is listed internationally as 'critically endangered', which means there is a high risk of it becoming extinct in the near future.

In 2012 a DOC-commissioned study estimated the Maui's dolphin population to consist of 55 with a 95% confidence interval of between 48 to 69. The estimate is for individuals aged more than 1 year (i.e. this excludes calves of under a year).

This small population of dolphins is thought to have been isolated from their more-numerous relatives, South Island Hector's dolphin, for thousands of years.

Maui's dolphin used to be known as North Island Hector's dolphin. But research showed the North and South Island dolphins are separate sub-species that are physically and genetically distinct from each other.

Read more:

This is not the first time I have posted here this year about the falling numbers of the Maui dolphins.. The previous figures I received were about 100 Maui dolphins. The Department of Conservation has expressed its concern to the New Zealand Government about the falling numbers. Even the larger Hectors dolphins need to be regularly monitored as well. Once they have gone, they are gone for ever!

The Green Planet Blog presents...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sisters In Arms/ Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge Group Walk...

Member: Sisters In Arms/Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge Group
Sisters In Arms/Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge Group

About Us

Sisters In Arms/Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge Group
Jan 2012

Donate now
Raised: $1,817.27 NZD
Sisters In Arms/Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge

Sisters In Arms/Nathan Blackler Memorial Challenge

Sally Blackler and Corporal Natasha Donaldson are walking from CanTeen Auckland to Burnham Military Camp, Christchurch in memory of Sally’s late husband Sergeant Nathan Blackler and to raise awareness and money for CanTeen. Their target is $65,000. Check out our website for up-to-date information.

Ways to donate

There is four ways you can donate to the Sisters In Arms:
  • 0900 4 CanTeen (226 8336) for an automatic $20 donation (make sure to ask the bill payer first)
  • Via the Sisters In Arms Canfans page
  • Meeting up with the Sisters In Arms crew and popping some cash in the bucket
  • Directly into our bank account BNZ 02 1266 0020011 000 (if you would like a receipt please email us)


Sally, Natasha and the Sisters-In-Arms crew will be walking from Auckland to Christchurch collecting donations for CanTeen along the way. They will also be honouring Nathan Blackler, Sally’s husband who completed the walk himself in 2004. Sadly he passed away after his own battle with cancer in 2007.
The Sisters-In-Arms team will be setting out from Auckland on 23 March 2012. Check out the route to see when they will be in your area. If you see Sally, Natasha and their crew passing through please say hello, give them some encouragement and if you are able, a donation for CanTeen.
The Sisters-In-Arms walk would not be possible with out the support of many organisations and people. We would like to thank you all. Please show your support for them.

Olimometer 1.43

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Read the story of the boy soldier of the Kiwi Anzacs in Gallipoli

Read the story of the "boy soldier" of the Kiwi Anzacs  in  1915 during the Gallipoli landing and campaign

Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook condemns those employers who persuade job applicants to hand over passwords

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)
Česky: Logo Facebooku English: Facebook logo E...
Česky: Logo Facebooku English: Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Facebook has condemned those employers who are persuading job applicants to hand over their passwords to their accounts. Job applicants are too scared to refuse.  Employers should mind their own  business!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Privy Council's decision to quash David Bain's conviction for his family murder...

David Bain after he was proven innocent
David Bain after he was proven not guilty but not innocent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An explanation of the Privy Council's decision to quash New Zealander, David Bain's conviction for the murder of his family...

Over at Blogfeast I posted an article today(under Huttriver2) about the Privy Council in London's decision to quash the conviction of New Zealander, David Bain in 1995. Bain had been convicted of murdering his parents, two sisters and brother in Dunedin, New Zealand a year earlier in 1994. The Court of Appeal turned down Bain's appeal in 2003. Pop over and have a read, sometime!
The following is an article from a New Zealand NZPA writer, Kevin Norquay, explaining the lawlord's decision. It is extremely interesting to say the least.
Why the Privy Council decided the way it did
By KEVIN NORQUAY - NZPA | Friday, 11 May 2007
A combination of nine key factors persuaded the Privy Council convicted murderer David Bain was the victim of a "substantial miscarriage of justice".
While none alone would have compelled their decision that Bain's convictions should be quashed, the nine taken together were compelling, the five Law Lords said.
That was a slap for the New Zealand Court of Appeal, with the Privy Council decision clear in its opinion that the court erred in its judgments.
A miscarriage of justice occurs if credible new evidence is admitted that might have persuaded a jury to reach a different conclusion.
While the Crown challenged the detail and significance of the nine points, the issue of guilt "is one for a properly informed and directed jury, not for an appellate court," the Law Lords said.
"Even a guilty defendant is entitled to such a trial," they said.
The issue was whether there was new evidence upon which a jury might reasonably decline to convict, they said.
No blame could be attached to the jury or judge in the initial Bain trial, in 1995, the Law Lords said.
"It is, however, the duty of the criminal appellate courts to seek to identify and rectify convictions which may be unjust," the Privy Council said.
"In the opinion of the board, the fresh evidence adduced in relation to the nine points ... compels the conclusion that a substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred in this case."
The nine points were: 1. Robin Bain's mental state: At the jury trial Robin Bain was characterised as a "balanced, devout" school principal, with David Bain painted as more likely to carry out a frenzy of killing.
PRIVY COUNCIL: New evidence indicated Robin Bain's mental state was such that he may have lost touch with reality.
2. Motive: At the trial no plausible motive for either Robin or David Bain was established. Evidence from Dean Cottle that Robin Bain had been having sex with his daughter Laniet, who was working as a prostitute, was rejected as unreliable. Subsequently three new witnesses independently gave similar evidence.
PRIVY COUNCIL: Had the jury found Robin Bain to be deeply depressed, and facing public revelation of having sex with his teenage daughter, the jury might have concluded he had a motive for the killings.
3. Sock prints: At the trial a 280mm-long bloodied sock print found outside the murdered mother's bedroom was regarded as that of David Bain, as it was too big to be that of his father.
PRIVY COUNCIL: Fresh evidence throws "real doubt" over who made the print. Had the jury known that it could "reasonably infer ... it was about the length of print Robin would have made".
4. Computer switch on time: Trial evidence was that the family's computer was switched on at 6.44am, after David Bain returned home from his early morning paper run.
PRIVY COUNCIL: The jury should not have been given a precise computer switch-on time, as new evidence showed it could have been earlier, or later. While the Court of Appeal said that did not show David Bain could not have committed the murders, there was no onus on David Bain to prove that anyway. A jury might have considered "David's argument ... to be strengthened, had they known the full facts".
5. Time David Bain came home: The jury were told to treat an eyewitness account by Denise Laney of seeing a man resembling David Bain near the family home at 6.45am, as "at best approximate".
PRIVY COUNCIL: Fresh evidence might have led a jury to infer her identification was not in doubt and her estimate of time reliable. Instead the jury never heard her full evidence, nor was Mrs Laney cross-examined.
6. Glasses: An optometrist at the trial said glasses found in David Bain's room, minus a lens found in his murdered brother Stephen's bedroom, belonged to David Bain. David Bain said in court they were his mother's. After the jury trial the optometrist saw a photo of Mrs Bain wearing the glasses, and accepted he was mistaken.
PRIVY COUNCIL: David Bain was cross-examined on the glasses in a way that questioned his credibility. As the jury could not know the optometrist would revise his evidence they may have reasonably drawn "an inference unfairly adverse to David".
7. Left-hand lens: one lens from the glasses was found in Stephen's room, covered in dust and under other articles on the floor. Evidence presented to the jury placed the lens in the clear, in a visible and exposed position, consistent with the Crown case that it was dislodged in a struggle.
PRIVY COUNCIL: While the third Court of Appeal accepted the jury had been misled about the location of the lens, it said it did not matter as the misleading was not deliberate. This was not the case, the Law Lords said. "What mattered was what the trial jury made of the incorrect evidence ... and, even more importantly, what they would have made of the correct evidence".
8. Bloodied fingerprints on rifle: The jury trial assumed that David Bain's fingerprints on the rifle forearm were in human blood.
PRIVY COUNCIL: While there was human blood on the rifle, fingerprint material gave no positive test for human DNA, and the blood might have been from a possum or rabbit shooting, months earlier. The jury did not get to consider this, or other "highly contentious" related issues. Nor could the Court of Appeal resolve such matters, without hearing cross-examination of witnesses who gave contradictory evidence.
9. Laniet Bain gurgling: The trial jury was encouraged to regard David Bain hearing his sister gurgling as an indication of his guilt, as only the murderer could have heard her death throes. Court of Appeal hearings examined the phenomenon of post mortem gurglings, being told they can take place without the body being moved.
PRIVY COUNCIL: The Court of Appeal dismissed evidence supporting David Bain "without hearing any of these witnesses, and without giving any reason for discounting the evidence of the witnesses relied on by David, the court found it possible to regard the issue as concluded in the Crown's favour...
"The court assumed a decision-making role well outside its function as a reviewing body concerned to assess the impact which fresh evidence might reasonably have made on the mind of the trial jury."
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Super rugby and super Dan return home...

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27:  Dan Carter (C) of...
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Dan Carter (C) of the Crusaders is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try during the round six Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Sharks at Twickenham Stadium on March 27, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

  • Super rugby and super dan return home to Christchurch. First game in two years.
    New Zeland rugby union player Dan Carter and t...
    New Zeland rugby union player Dan Carter and the rest of the All Blacks visit Christchurch during the Rugby World Cup. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    View video:
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Wellington Super City is not wanted...

The Hutt Valley should amalgamate, not with Wellington City...



Representatives of the Wellington Regional Grey Power Associations met recently to discuss regional governance. We want to know: Who is driving the rush to have a super-city council in Wellington, and why?
Is the fear of central government taking over and forcing amalgamation of local councils valid or is the fear of Wellington losing political influence to Auckland the main driver?
There needs to be a very carefully considered process before any dramatic changes are made. In any case, we have our own example being created; we should wait to see how successful and expensive Auckland's super-city is before we rush into repeating the exercise, or errors.
Before dashing into any change of local government, there needs to be much more consultation with the regional communities.
Why is the "big bang" of amalgamation needed when years of research show that amalgamation of local bodies do not save money and the cost of actual amalgamation can be enormous (redundancy, new premises, stationery, computer systems, new positions and salaries . . .).
At this stage all the options for councils working together have been fully considered or costed. There are alternatives available for Wellington, such as consolidation of some authorities, voluntary amalgamation, of shared services. Shared services cover a very wide range of possibilities, from procurement to back office services such as accounts and IT; major infrastructure and regionally based environmental planning and advocacy. In some cases, shared services has included councils sharing a single chief executive and perhaps a whole senior management team.
It's an approach which allows councils to deal with one issue at a time, rather than forcing everything into one solution, as with a forced amalgamation.
There is also the question of cost: the standard practice of increasing costs to meet increased demands is no longer sustainable, especially with an ageing population.

CHCH EQ children victims get war zone trauma support...

February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHCH Earthquake children victims to get war zone trauma support...
Children traumatised after the Christchurch earthquake will receive the same support as those in war-torn Afghanistan and earthquake ravaged Haiti.
As aftershocks continue to rock Canterbury - over 10,000, Save the Children has mobilised an expert in treating child trauma who is drafting an emergency response report.
Save the Children CEO Liz Gibbs said her organisation was looking at setting up trauma counselling for children and training parents and teachers in how to deal with children who are suffering after the earthquake.

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MegaUpload founder may get all his confiscated property back...

2003–2004 Mitsubishi Diamante (TL) VR AWD (New...
2003–2004 Mitsubishi Diamante (TL) VR AWD (New Zealand Police), photographed near Dunedin Central police station, Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

:'(The MegaUpload filesharing company founder, German born and New Zealand resident, Kim Dotcom, who was the victim of a massive police raid that was led by the US FBI in January of this year, was arrested and had significant property confiscated, may get all his property returned because NZ authorities have admitted to making procedural errors. In local parlance,"They cocked up!" Some more sloppy NZ police prosecution work.
Mr Dotcom continues to claim his innocence as he waits for his extradition hearing in a couple of months. He also said that his company had never been sued by any other company, large or small, or any movie company, and claims to have paid out millions of dollars in legal advice.
Read more:
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Mana leader Hone Harawira urges civil disobedience...

Mana Party (New Zealand)
Image via Wikipedia

MANA Movement leader Hone Harawira is urging New Zealanders to use civil disobedience tactics against what he describes as the “corporate takeover” of the country.
Occupying properties, disrupting businesses, blocking motorways and closing off intersections during peak traffic are just some of the strategies Mr Harawira endorsed at a Mana meeting in Wellington’s Newtown last night.
Mr Harawira (right) condemned government plans to partially privatise four state-owned energy companies, and dismissed the government’s claims that asset sales will open the doors to “mum and dad” investors.
“Rather than being managed for the benefit of all of us, these companies will operate purely for profit, and it’ll be irreversible.
“The profits aren’t going to go to mum and dad, the profits will come from mum and dad paying higher power bills,” he said.
“It’s not just about fighting this or that piece of legislation, we have to stand together and fight back against the corporate takeover of this country.
“We need to stop the juggernaut in its tracks, and that will take action on a whole bunch of levels. It’s time we brought the war home. We’re in a war for our children’s future.”
While the focus stayed on asset sales, Mr Harawira discussed a variety of issues over the course of the two hour meeting, raising concerns about welfare reforms, the growing gap between rich and poor and the difficulties facing young people in New Zealand.
He criticised the idea that the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process has delivered a better life to Maori in New Zealand.
He argued instead that against the backdrop of an emerging Maori elite, while “iwi corporates” are doing exceedingly well this has not translated into a way out of poverty for most Maori.
Towards the end of the evening a heated exchange took place between Mr Harawira and Wellington political journalist Gordon Campbell.
Mr Campbell suggested that the political controversy and legal restrictions on investment could force down the price of the privatised assets, resulting in them being sold for less than their actual value.
Mr Campbell, who is strongly opposed to asset sales, was subjected to a barrage of swear words by Mr Harawira.
The Mana Party leader angrily declared that he fully intended to destroy the price by any means at his disposal, whether for overseas or New Zealand investors.
“That’s one tactic, I suppose,” Mr Campbell was heard to mutter.
Mr Harawira said he intends to use all the resources available to him as a Member of Parliament to travel up and down the country, holding meetings, giving speeches and taking action to mobilise support for his cause.
“Certain officials in parliament don’t want me doing or saying these things, but now I’m leader of the Mana Movement I don’t have to listen to them,” he said.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Christchurch earthquakes cause short supplies of Marmite in NZ...

Marmite (Photo credit: celestehodges)

  • :'(Homepage01
    Christchurch earthquakes cause short supplies of Marmite in New Zealand...
    Marmite lovers beware, stocks of New Zealand's favourite spread are running low.
    Sanitarium general manager Pierre van Heerden says Marmite was being manufactured in Christchurch until the plant suffered earthquake damage.
    He says there is still some stock at warehouses but the factory has no more in its cupboards.
    Mr van Heerden says they hope to be producing Marmite again in July and in the meantime he's asking for Marmite lovers to spread it more thinly.
    "In the interim we're just asking consumers to ration the use of their Marmite and use it sparingly. Maybe use it on hot toast which makes it go a little bit further, use it every second day or once a day," he says.
    Sanitarium has shifted its production of the spread to Auckland but the supply in New Zealand is running low and the company says the factory cupboards are empty.
    And the shortage of marmite has gone global with Kiwis living abroad also struggling to find Marmite.
    Angela Rose in Sydney says supermarkets in Australia are also out of stock.
    Marmite is still more popular than the weaker-tasting Australian Vegemite version - an acquired taste, bit like Australians themselves.
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