Strings attached: The reality behind NZ’s climate aid in the Pacific | Asia Pacific Report

New Zealand has long had a privileged relationship with its Pacific neighbours. Now, in the dawning era of the climate crisis affecting millions of lives across the Pacific, the country has its helping hand outstretched. But with the controversial record of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, does this hand have an ulterior motive? Matthew Scott investigates. The beach is vanishing, one day at a time. The sea approaches the coastal village. It will not be negotiated with. With seawat

Lockdowns keeping psychologists busy

Although New Zealand has emerged from the first year of the global pandemic relatively unscathed, psychologists and counsellors have reported record numbers of Kiwis seeking therapy. Some of the longer-lasting scars of the pandemic may be invisible, writes Matthew Scott. Lucia* had just over a month in Paris before the virus reared its head. The 24-year-old Kiwi had plans to work and travel in Europe over the next year, but as the infection rate on that side of the world climbed, she made the

‘I bury people nearly every day, what was our sin?’

Faa’a mayor and nuclear-free campaigner Oscar Temaru … “The two issues are tied – nuclear testing and our freedom.” The day began with a video, showing a disparate collection of arresting images – the drowned Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira, camera in hand and a huge smile on his face. Mugshots of two captured French DGSE secret agents – a fake honeymooning pair jailed for manslaughter, but later spirited off to Hao atoll and freedom. Sun-drenched tropical beaches and a ship with a g

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai: Water restrictions more common adding to drought woes

Whangārei's Whau Valley Dam fell to just 45 per cent full last month - its lowest levels for decades - and WDC water services manager Andrew Venmore says there will be more of the same in the future. Water restrictions may soon become a regular summer occurrence in Whangārei, according to mayor Sheryl Mai. The city had its driest year on record in 2019, and we can expect more record dry years in the future. "I'm very concerned. The long term forecasts are for this type of level of rainfall to

Whangārei businesses say Northlanders using Covid Tracer app less

As the virus rears its head in Auckland again, local businesses claim Northlanders are growing ever more complacent about signing in – although data from the app makes this hard to quantify. Jas Singh, owner of Shiraz Indian Restaurants in Whangārei, Kamo and Dargaville, estimates a 20% decrease of people scanning into his restaurants. He said Northlanders may have a false sense of security about being at level one. "Because we didn't have it as bad as some of the others, people are taking it

Whangārei travel agent pleads for understanding after Covid hit

Lynne Bennett, of Helloworld Travel Whangārei wants customers to be kind and patient when asking for refunds after Covid-19 hit the travel industry hard. She also got flooded from Friday's storms. A Whangārei travel agent has pleaded for customers to be kind and patient when requesting refunds. Lynne Bennett, owner manager of Helloworld Travel on Rathbone St, said that people need to be more understanding of the difficult position that travel agents are in, with Covid-19 halting travel worldwi

Conflict in the audience at Billy TK Jr rally in Whangarei

There were heckles, jeers and arguments at today’s Whangarei rally for parties proposing pandemic conspiracy theories. A man pleaded with the crowd to ignore the controversial Te Tai Tokerau candidate Billy Te Kahika Jr and listen to the experts about the dangers of COVID-19. The rally for Advance NZ and the New Zealand Public Part at Cameron St Mall at noon was attended by about 60 people. Most were supporters of Mr Te Kahika Jr, who discounted the dangers of COVID-19 in his speech, saying t