Thursday July 12, 2018
inbrief news Some buildings yet to be secured More than half of Wellington buildings listed as dangerous to the public in an earthquake have been upgraded as a deadline for the work approaches. Many have started securing works but less than three months before the deadline, Wellington City Council is concerned a few are yet to begin. Following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, the Council identified 113 buildings with unreinforced masonry and their owners were given a Governmentimposed deadline to secure them. So far 59 buildings have been taken off the list, 54 buildings are still having work carried out or have not submitted final documentation, and 14 are yet to begin.
Harbour whale ‘Matariki’ steals the show By Sophie Manson
Wellington became home to a southern right whale/tohor this past week, consequently attracting hundreds of visitors to the city. The presence of the whale, nicknamed ‘Matariki’, led to the postponement of the Wellington Harbour Matariki celebrations, and caused traffic standstills over the weekend. One Facebook user took to
social media to share a photo of the gridlock, saying that “traffic backed right up to Kilbirnie as the whale [was] playing at Miramar wharf”. “This is rare. The last reported sighting of a southern right whale in Wellington Harbour was in 2010,” says Hannah Hendriks, DOC Marine Species Support Officer. “During the breeding season, these whales are mostly found around the Subantarctic
Islands.” DOC, in conjunction with NIWA, took a DNA sample from the whale last week and are hoping to confirm its gender. University of Auckland marine science PhD student Victoria Warren says the presence of the southern right is a good sign for the species, adding that sightings around mainland New Zealand have increased. “It may be a sign of a recover-
Junk food dominates NZ sport Junk food dominates New Zealand sport venues, according to new research. The study, funded by the Health Research Council of NZ, found that fizzy drink, chocolate, chips and other fried foods were the most common foods sold at these venues. “Unfortunately, we have competing players in the sport – healthy physical activity and unhealthy food,” says coauthor Professor Louise Signal from the University of Otago, Wellington. “Healthy nutrition policies in sports clubs are urgently needed. This requires support from health agencies and leadership from national sports organisations.”
The southern right whale makes its presence felt in Wellington Harbour at the weekend. PHOTO: Grace Sharp
Water suppliers fail standards: Survey
Island Bay Playcentre kids get grand tour on new bus
ESR scientists say recent drinking water survey results reinforce the importance of treating water to make it safer to drink, and having robust monitoring systems. ESR drinking water scientist Dr Chris Nokes says some of the registered water suppliers covered in the recent Ministry of Health report failed to meet standards because their sampling programmes did not meet monitoring requirements. He also says there are some water supplies that are at an unacceptable risk of being unsafe, and that may be due to under-resourced systems.
The children of Island Bay Playcentre were treated to their own excursion as one of the first booked groups on board one of Metlink’s new electric double decker buses on Friday. Spokeswoman Rachael Setter says the Playcentre was one of a number of groups that arranged an excursion prior to the start of the buses public operations this Sunday, including the Island Bay Residents’ Association.
The double decker bus took the group of 16 pre-schoolers and eight parents/caregivers from outside The Empire Cinema in Island Bay to Te Papa where they were to learn about Matariki, Maori culture and the idea of renewal. Rachel says both the bus ride and the Matariki session fits with the Playcentre’s focus on sustainability and their move to Torin Sternagel-Silao got to play driver during Island Bay using natural resources wherever Playcentre’s trip to Te Papa on Metlink’s new electric double decker bus last Friday. PHOTO: Supplied possible.
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ing population following the decimating impacts of commercial and illegal whaling during the 19th and 20th centuries”. ‘Matariki’ put on a show, with plenty of tail/fin slapping and breaching observed, but whale-watchers worried that this excitable behaviour was a negative reaction to the boat traffic. Hannah says that this is likely to be normal behaviour as they are an acrobatic species. However, concerns about how close boats, kayaks and swimmers were to the whale caused DOC, working alongside the police, to issue a statement to encourage safe practice around marine mammals. “No more than three vessels should be within 300m of any marine mammal, and each vessel needs to be at least 50m away.” The whale has not been seen around Wellington since Monday afternoon and a sighting of it at Tory Channel by an Interislander ferry suggests it has now left the harbour.
Cook Strait News 12-07-18