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  • ‘Only in New Zealand!’: Relics found in coffee jars in rubble of Christchurch cathedral

    The relics – purported to be bones of saints – were found buried in rubble of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes It might seem like an inauspicious end for a saint, being laid to rest in a Greggs coffee jar. But for the holy relics buried beneath Christchurch’s destroyed Catholic cathedral, those repurposed containers have housed them safely through more than 40 years and two enormous earthquakes, until they were finally unearthed by demolition teams this week. Related: Christchurch: Treasures arise from cathedral ruins, 10 years after earthquake Continue reading...

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  • An end to cigarettes? New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation

    Proposals include making sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2004 illegal New Zealand has announced a suite of proposals aimed at outlawing smoking for the next generation and moving the country closer to its goal of being smoke-free by 2025. The plans include the gradual increase of the legal smoking age, which could extend to a ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2004, making smoking effectively illegal for that generation. Related: Smoking causes half of Indigenous Australian deaths over 45, study shows Related: New Zealand narrowly votes no to legalising cannabis in referendum Continue reading...

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  • Christchurch terrorist chooses not to attend court to launch his own legal challenge

    Australian gunman earlier said he wanted to start legal action over his designation as a terrorist and lack of access to news and letters The Christchurch terrorist who said he wanted to take the government to court over a lack of access to news and letters in jail and his designation as a terrorist entity has failed to attend the first court hearing on the matter. The hearing in Auckland, New Zealand, was indefinitely postponed and the terrorist must ask to have it rescheduled after his no show on Thursday. Continue reading...

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  • Christchurch mosque terrorist to launch legal challenge in New Zealand high court

    Gunman who was sentenced to life in prison last year and was designated a ‘terrorist entity’ has requested a judicial review The Australian man who carried out the Christchurch mosque massacres is launching a legal challenge against his jail conditions in the New Zealand high court. Brenton Tarrant, who was last year sentenced to life imprisonment for 51 murders and one charge of terrorism, will represent himself in a hearing in Auckland on Thursday. Continue reading...

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  • New Zealand to stop exporting livestock by sea

    Exports will be phased out over two years as government says decision will uphold country’s ‘high standards of animal welfare’ New Zealand will cease the export of livestock by sea following a transition period of up to two years, agriculture minister Damien O’Connor has said. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high standards of animal welfare. We must stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny,” Damien O’Connor said on Wednesday. Continue reading...

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  • New Zealand emissions rise as government vows urgent action

    Latest figures show increase of 2% in 2018-19 driven by energy sector and rise in methanol production An increase in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions is a step in the wrong direction towards the country’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, say experts, who have called on the government to bring in more radical action. The latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory, released by the minister for the environment on Tuesday, shows that both gross and net emissions increased by 2% in the 12 months to the end of 2019. The increase was predominantly driven by the energy sector and an increase in methanol production in the manufacturing industries. Related: New Zealand needs urgent action to cut emissions, says climate change commission Continue reading...

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  • ‘A lack of political courage’: New Zealand’s drug reform efforts flounder

    From the outside, the country seems like a likely candidate for progressive drug laws but internally, change is proving hard to bring After New Zealand’s referendum to legalise cannabis failed, social service agencies across the country are seeking a new path to decriminalisation of drug use, but obstacles are plenty. On Monday, a broad coalition of social service, advocacy and health organisations released an open letter calling on prime minister Jacinda Ardern to repeal and replace the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 “to ensure drug use is treated as a health and social issue”. Signatories include the New Zealand Medical Association, Public Health Association, Auckland and Wellington City Missions, Mental Health Foundation, and the Māori Law Society, along with 20 others. Related: New Zealand…

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  • Ardern tells New Zealand border staff: get Covid vaccine now or be redeployed

    Prime minister’s comments come after border worker diagnosed last week said to have missed two vaccine appointments See all our coronavirus coverage Border workers have until the end of April to be vaccinated before being moved to lower risk roles, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said after a third worker from Auckland’s Grand Millenium managed isolation facility tested positive for Covid-19. “We want everyone to be vaccinated on our frontline,” she told TVNZ’s Breakfast on Monday. Related: New Zealand suspension of travel from India questioned amid fears of racist backlash Related: How New Zealand's Covid success made it a laboratory for the world Continue reading...

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  • ‘Government-sanctioned racism’: Pasifika in New Zealand call for apology for Dawn Raid policy

    Pacific Islanders want an official apology from the government over the 1970s policy and paths to residency for overstayers Clinton Edward Hewett may have only been five years old at the time, but there’s a morning in 1974 that he can recollect in astonishing detail. At 4am in his peaceful cul de sac in Mangere, South Auckland, he remembers being woken by crying on the street, flashing blue lights, and pounding knocks on the door. Related: Has the ‘New Zealand dream’ turned sour for Auckland's Pacific Islanders? Related: 'We had no paper, no pens, but we had our bodies': the sacred and symbolic in Pasifika tattoos | Lagipoiva Cherelle Continue reading...

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  • New Zealand’s ‘wellbeing budget’ made headlines, but what really changed?

    Two years ago Jacinda Arden’s government committed to a new mental health strategy, now the world wants to know has it worked It was September 2017, and shoes were strewn over the well-manicured lawns of New Zealand’s parliament. A pair of red stilettos pressed an imprint into the dirt, some trainers nestled in the velvet grass. Six hundred and six pairs of empty shoes – each pair representing a New Zealander lost to suicide, the culmination of a campaign demanding government action on the mental health crisis. Addressing the crowd, Jacinda Ardern, then-leader of the opposition, had tears in her eyes. Arden spoke boldly, committing to a zero goal for suicide: “anything other than zero … suggests we have a tolerance”. Her comments registered as a fresh approach: a politician simultaneously…

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