Saturday, January 16, 2010
The Hutt River flows through the southern North Island of New Zealand. It flows south-west from the southern Tararua Ranges for 56 km, forming a number of fertile floodplains, including Kaitoke, central Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt.
The headwaters in the Kaitoke Regional Park are closed to preserve the quality of the drinking water drawn off at Kaitoke to supply the greater Wellington area. Below Kaitoke is the Kaitoke gorge, a popular destination for Rafting. Below the gorge is Te Marua, where the Mangaroa River joins the Hutt from the east. Further down, just above of the Upper Hutt floodplain, the Akatarawa River joins the Hutt from the west. The Upper Hutt floodplain contains the greater potion of Upper Hutt city. At this point the river starts to flow along a virtually straight geologic fault. At the lower end of the Upper Hutt floodplain is Taita Gorge, which separates Upper Hutt from Lower Hutt, this gorge is significantly shorter and less constricting than Kaitoke gorge. The river's outflow, at Petone, is into Wellington harbour. The geological fault which the river previously followed continues as a steep bluff at the edge of the Wellington Harbour.
For most of its length, the Hutt is a shallow and sometimes braided river in a wide rocky bed, but in the Kaitoke gorge the river flows directly over bedrock and approaching the mouth at Petone the river is narrower and the banks steeper. The larger populated areas in Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt are protected from flooding by stopbanks and introduced willow trees, as is common in New Zealand. The regular flooding of Lower Hutt resulted in high fertility land and prior to the building of state housing by the Labour Government starting in 1937, there were many market gardens in Lower Hutt.
The Hutt has moved significantly since European settlement, due to a major earthquake. The pre-earthquake river emptied into the Pauatahanui Inlet (an arm of Porirua Harbour on the west coast). Pauatahanui Inlet is now slowly silting up.
State highway two follows the course of the river for most of its length, with the exception of the Kaitoke gorge and the head waters, before crossing the Rimutaka Ranges into the Wairarapa.
The Hutt River in photos
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Kiwi bus passenger fatally injured by flying truck wheel...
Investigations are under way into how a truck lost two wheels on the Southern Motorway yesterday. Truck had recently been serviced.
Sergeant Stu Kearns, of the Waitemata serious crash unit, said the truck had recently been serviced but it was too early to say why the wheels came off.
"We are waiting for specialist reports. Vehicle inspectors will be inspecting the mechanics of the truck, which will then be handed on to CIB," he said.
Greg Miller, group general manager of Toll New Zealand, which operates the truck, said the company expressed its sympathies to those injured in yesterday's accident.
The company was co-operating fully with the authorities and had started an internal inquiry into its operating safety procedures, he said.
Witness Jonathan Sanders was driving south on the motorway. "The rear truck wheels separated and materialised from under the truck trailer, having caused substantial damage to the truck.
"Both wheels separated, with one running to the left of the lanes and the othe
When the wheel hit the windscreen, the bus windows "exploded".
"The wheel struck a car and then the bus. The bus windows just exploded inwards, missing the driver."
One southbound lane was closed and another northbound closed for about two and a half hours.
Some further closures were enforced southbound so police could look for the truck's wheel nuts.
A Vietnamese man was taken to Auckland City Hospital with critical head injuries. Three other passengers were taken to Middlemore Hospital with minor injuries. Everyone on the bus will be offered Victim Support counselling.
Zane Fulljames, NZ Bus general manager of operations, said the driver was severely shaken and had been stood down from his duties so support could be provided for him.
Acknowledgements: Andrew Koubaridis, MSN NZ
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Gout - just what exactly is this condition?
1/ The third most common form of arthritis, gout causes severe pain and swelling in joints
2/ It usually affects only one or two joints at a time. The ball of the big toe is the most common site.
3/Gout is caused by the buildup of the waste product uric acid in the body.
4/ Most people can process uric acid, but if they can't, it crystallises in the body's joints and causes swelling.
5/The new drug (in the previous story) targets and blocks uric to crystallise.
6/Existing drugs do not target those enzymes, but work to reduce the buildup of uric acid once it has crystallised.
I hope you read and enjoyed the previous post about a new drug being introduced from New Zealand to help gout sufferers
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
A sore and swollen toe is the telltale sign of gout, which affects more than 45,000 New Zealanders
A New Zealand research company has invented a new drug which it hopes will help the millions of people worldwide who suffer from gout.
The drug has just begun clinical trials in humans with the debilitating disease and if it is successful it could bring millions of dollars into the New Zealand economy.
A sore and swollen toe is the telltale sign of gout, which affects more than 45,000 New Zealanders.
But a home grown research team headed by Richard Furneaux has invented a new treatment which it hopes will bring more effective relief to those affected in New Zealand and overseas.
“It may turn out as effective or more effective and easier to take and will have less side effects,” he says.
Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood which causes crystals to form in joints.
Mr Furneaux says inflammation then causes a sort of arthritis.
“It's very painful and quite crippling,” he says.
The new drug aims to prevent uric acid being formed.
Human trials of around 200 gout patients are currently underway in 20 hospitals across the United States.
Gout is the third most common form of acute arthritis in New Zealanders.
Sandra Kirby, chief executive of Arthritis NZ, says in some centres it is the leading cause of people missing work.
“There's some studies in Counties-Manukau where incidence are very high which shows that it's one of the leading causes of people taking time off work,” she says.
“So you can imagine if your foot is swollen and sore, your hand is swollen and sore, and then working, walking, many of the things that are good for you become impossible.”
The seven year project is a combined effort between Kiwi company Industrial Research Limited and an American company which has injected more than $200 million into IRL's research.
“We're hoping that more and more of this will be done here and so we can actually have a pharmaceutical development industry in New Zealand,” says Mr Furneaux.
There are already effective treatments for the illness but 5 percent of gout patients can't tolerate them.
It's hoped this treatment will not only suit everyone but will also lead to other significant drug developments.
Acknowledgements: 3 News, Charotte Tonkin,
Sunday, January 10, 2010
"The Government recognises the level of public interest in major proposals for intensive dairying in the McKenzie basin and is considering options for intervention", Environment Minister Nick Smith said today.
"I have received a comprehensive report from the Ministry about the proposals in response to correspondence from Environment Canterbury. The advice confirms the view of Environment Canterbury that the animal welfare issue over the housing of 18,000 cows lies with the Animal Welfare Act 1999 rather than the Resource Management Act and this constrains the ability to use the call-in powers."
"The options for intervention are further constrained by the applications being lodged prior to the Government's improved resource management procedures coming into effect on 1 October. The changes widened the criteria for call-in and provided for direct referral to the Environment Court. These consents must be processed under the 2005 Act that is more limiting."
"An option I am exploring with Environment Canterbury and my Ministerial colleagues, is appointing a Project Coordinator from the Environmental Protection Authority to assist Environment Canterbury with processing these complex consent applications. This intervention under Section 141A (4)(d) of the Resource Management Act would ensure best practice in dealing with these contentious consents."
"I am also advised that the final date for any intervention by Government is not 15 January but 2 February albeit it is my intention to resolve this as soon as possible after the first Cabinet on January 19."
"These controversial consents highlight the broader issues around the need to improved water management in New Zealand and particularly in Canterbury. Our systems are not well equipped for dealing with the increased pressures on water allocation and pressures on water quality. A major challenge for Government this year will be building on the work of the review into Environment Canterbury and the Land and Water Forum to put in place a better framework for dealing with these sort of issues in future", Dr Smith concluded.
Acknowledgements: Hon Dick Smith, NZ Minister for the Environment
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Former All Black Aaron Mauger reported to be keen to be home:
There is a potential midfield boost for the All Blacks with second-five Aaron Mauger reported to be keen to come home. However, Ma'a Nunu would appear to have that position secured at present. The spectre of the talented Richard Kahui looms over the All Blacks midfield.
The Crusaders have yet to make a formal approach to Aaron Mauger, despite reports the former All Blacks second-five is keen to return to New Zealand. The Crusaders would appear to be solid in that position, though with Steven Brett gone to the Blues, Mauger could cover there.
Mauger is reportedly keen to leave English club Leicester and return home ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder says he has heard Mauger wants to move his young family back to New Zealand and while Mauger has been in contact with them, they have not been targeting him or chasing him.
Blackadder says it seems to be an increasing trend for former All Blacks to return from overseas late in their careers.
Acknowledgements:© 2010 NZCity, NewsTalkZB
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Ady Gil collision was deliberate attack, says Sea Shepherd...
What are these? Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson has accused Japanese whalers of a high seas hit-and-run, disputing claims a collision with one of its speedboats was accidental.
Six crew members aboard the anti-whaling ship the Ady Gil were rescued, one with broken ribs, after it and the Japanese whalers' ship the Shonan Maru 2 collided in remote Antarctic waters.
The front end of the high-tech trimaran was sliced off in the collision.
Japan's Fisheries Agency has blamed the crew of the Ady Gil for the crash, saying it slowed suddenly while crossing in front of the Shonan Maru.
But Mr Watson today labelled the claim ridiculous, saying the whaling ship deliberately rammed the boat in a high seas "hit and run".
"The Ady Gil was stationary at the time it was struck," Mr Watson told Macquarie Radio.
Whaling protestor tells of terror:
"The Shonan Maru did a quick turn and came in real fast, they were aiming for the cockpit, where the crew were, and fortunately we got the engines in reverse and backed up just enough so that the front of the ship was torn off instead of hitting the cockpit.
"They were trying to sink the ship.
"We put out a mayday distress signal and the Japanese refused to respond - it was a hit and run really."
Mr Watson said it would be impossible to salvage the Ady Gil, meaning a loss of $2 million for the Sea Shepherd organisation.
A spokesman for the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Glenn Inwood, contradicted Sea Shepherd's account of the incident.
"The (Ady Gil) skipper put the boat into full sting to try to cut the Shonan Maru off," he told ABC Radio.
"You can see that the Shonan Maru is moving to the port to try and avoid a collision and there's no avoiding the collision with the Ady Gil.
"It's a fast boat, she heads off full steam in front of it and miscalculates.
"So it's no wonder that it came to the grief that it has."
Mr Watson, asked if the environmental group would press charges against the whalers, he said "there's no law down here, there's no way to bring charges against anybody".
"Japan does what it wants, where it wants.
"They're killing these whales in violation of international law.
"And if they were to injure or kill any of us, their government will justify and defend their actions."
He again called on the Federal Government to send naval ships to stop the whalers exploiting the southern ocean whale sanctuary, which falls in Australia's Antarctic Territory waters.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett yesterday said he had no plans to send a vessel to police the situation, instead calling on both parties to exercise restraint.
"Peter Garrett promised before he was elected that he would come down here and stop the illegal Japanese whaling activities - we're still waiting for him to do so," Mr Watson said.
Acknowledgements: AAP, Fox Sports
Monday, January 4, 2010
New Zealand blogger bailed on suppression breaches...
An internet blogger has been remanded on bail after appearing in court on five charges for alleged breach of suppression. He allegedly released information on his blog about the identity of a person who had name suppression from the courts.
He would be an irresponsible fool if convicted for doing what he allegedly did. Many of us in NZ would like to see changes made to that particular act, because there are many people hiding behind it until sentencing; and in some cases suspicion can be pointed at innocent peopl.
The blogger charged with breaking name suppression orders has been remanded on bail.
He is facing five charges for allegedly posting clues in the form of pictures identifying people in high profile sex cases. The man has entered no plea.
The Crown says each charge carries a maximum penalty of a one thousand dollar fine.
The blogger is back in court on January the 19th
Friday, January 1, 2010
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has joined world famous film maker ( Lord of the Rings) Peter Jackson in topping the New Year honours, it was recently announced.
Miss Clark has received New Zealand's highest accolade, becoming a member of the Order of New Zealand, while Sir Peter is among five to become knights or dames. But, however, she will not become a Dame; under her administrations titles were abolished, and reinstated this year under the new National Government.
In all, 193 people have received honours, covering fields as diverse as music, speedway, education and horticultural science.
Miss Clark, prime minister for three terms, joins 16 others in membership of the Order of New Zealand, which is limited to 20 living Kiwis.
She is one of three former prime ministers on the list, and now heads the United Nations Development Programme in New York.
Miss Clark said she felt privileged to join the "incredible New Zealanders" in the order, and "certainly would not" have accepted a damehood. Her Labour government axed the titles in 2000.
She admitted to not being wholly surprised at the honour, although it perhaps came sooner than expected.
"I've spent a lot of years at the top, maybe sometime an approach would have been made ... It's not unusual, it's a question of timing."