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Riverton park on track for te reo name change
Riverton park on track for te reo name change

17 May 2024, 5:30 AM

A Riverton/Aparima park will likely have its name changed ahead of the Southland town's iconic pāua shell moving in.This week, Ōraka Aparima Community Board backed a change of spelling for Koi Koi Park to Kohikohi Park.It followed a request from Ōraka Aparima Rūnaka kaihautu Riki Dallas to find out who the sign for Koi Koi Park was in honour of.While no definitive proof was found for how the park got its name, there had been past misspellings of renowned Māori wahine Kohikohi.Kohihoki was the daughter of chief Horomonoa Patu of Rarotoka Island.She married whaler Captain John Howell, bringing with her 50,000 acres of land as a dowry in what now surrounds the present day township.Alongside that information, the Southland District Council report prepared for the community board also said the council had been advised by Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa New Zealand Geographic Board that Koi Koi Park was not recorded on maps.Another complication was the fact that ‘koi’ means peninsula.But community board chair Michael Weusten said the decision was made by the board to back the name change to Kohikohi because it was correcting an error in translation.“The previous name had no alignment with anything, it was just that it was a misspelling of the term (Kohikohi) which was one of the chief’s daughter’s names.”Weusten said there was never a peninsula in the vicinity of the park, ruling that option out.“There was no ground there, it was like a beach."The official change would go before the council in a matter of weeks, he said, ahead of the town’s icon arriving at the park in what would likely be August or September.The recently refurbished giant pāua shell will be erected at its new location once site works have been completed.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Invercargill teen racing driver heads to USA
Invercargill teen racing driver heads to USA

16 May 2024, 11:49 PM

Seventeen-year-old Invercargill racing driver Alex Crosbie travels to the United States this week to commence his challenge for the F4 US Championship.Crosbie, a two-time New Zealand Formula Ford Champion, and fresh from a successful inaugural season in the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship (CTFROC) where he was fifth overall and runner-up in the Rookie Championship in a fully international field, will contest the first round of the championship at the Road America course in Plymouth, Wisconsin, this weekend. It is the first of five weekends in a series that ends in early November.Crosbie will drive for Crosslink / Kiwi Motorsport in the championship, a team part owned by kiwi’s Teena Larsen and Garry Orton. The team raced in the recent CTFROC series in New Zealand and there is an added link in that Stephen Giles who ran Alex in his Giles Motorsport team this summer works for the team in the States.“We were in touch with Crosslink / Kiwi Motorsport during our summer series in New Zealand,” explains Alex. “Originally, we wanted to do Formula Regional in America with them but they had too many cars already so we decided F4 was a pretty good starter. There is a good scholarship up for grabs to proceed on to Formula Regional.”Alex travelled to the US last month for several days of testing at Thunder Hill Raceway in California. “The first day we were on a smaller track at the venue. The car is a lot different to the car I ran in New Zealand this summer, it is more loose to drive, and there is definitely not as much power. By the end of testing, I was feeling more confident. It is more like a Formula Ford than the Formula Regional car.”Crosbie has multiple goals as he heads stateside for the first round. “I want to gain experience on the tracks and I would like to win the championship as there is a good prize that would be beneficial going forward.”Interestingly Canadian driver Patrick Woods-Toth, with whom Alex battled out the Rookie Championship in New Zealand this summer, won the F4 US title with the Crosslink / Kiwi Motorsport team last year.Every circuit in the championship will be completely new to Alex so his experience of each of them will be limited to simulator sessions prior to each race weekend. First up is Road America which Alex describes as, “a fast, flowing layout.”Crosbie will commute to each round of the series taking about a week from departure to return each time.Crosbie’s campaign in F4 US is supported by Golden Homes in the Southern Lakes.This weekend’s action will see the F4 US competitors participate in qualifying on Friday (US time) followed by one race on Saturday and two on Sunday.SCHEDULE - F4 US CHAMPIONSHIP16-19 May 2024: Road America, Plymouth, Wisconsin20-23 June 2024: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio25-28 July 2024: New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, New Jersey29 August–1 September 2024: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario31 October-3 November 2024: Circuit Of The Americas, Austin, Texas

Toxic algae alert at the Mataura Island bridge
Toxic algae alert at the Mataura Island bridge

16 May 2024, 10:53 PM

Environment Southland (ES) are recommending Mataura River water users, including fisherman, to take extra precautions after high levels of potentially toxic algae in the Mataura River at the Mataura Island BridgeContact with water and the algae, including swimming in the Mataura River near Mataura township should be avoided.However while fish caught in the river may be eaten, this should only be done occasionally - less than once a week.ES advise fish may taste earthy due to other compounds produced by the toxic algae. There is no relationship with taste and the concentration of toxins, they said.Other recommendations for fisherman include:Wearing clothing such as waders to minimise contact with the waterWashing your hands and any other skin that’s been in contact with the river with clean water and soap. Use of hand sanitiser may not remove all the algae from the skin, so clean, running water is best for washing hands and skin.Avoid eating the liver and other organs, as this is where the accumulation of toxins may be greatest.Algae occur naturally in waterways and can flourish during fine conditions and periods of stable river flows.Most algae are harmless, however, some cyanobacteria can produce toxins and rapidly bloom to high levels.These algae are potentially toxic and can be commonly identified in waterways as a dark green/brown slime on rocks, or dark brown/black mats at the water’s edge.The toxins these algae can produce are harmful to people and animals if swallowed, or through contact with skin.People should keep dogs on a lead and children away from affected waterways. The public is urged to be mindful of the potential health risks waterways with toxic algae alerts may pose, until health warnings are removed.If you experience health symptoms after contact with contaminated water, visit a doctor immediately.If you are concerned that any animals have consumed toxic algae or contaminated water, they should be taken to a vet immediately.ES monitors toxic algae monthly at a number of rivers and lakes across Murihiku-Southland.

Netball: Southern Steel suffer major blow with veteran mid-courter out for season
Netball: Southern Steel suffer major blow with veteran mid-courter out for season

16 May 2024, 10:03 PM

The Southern Steel have been dealt a major blow with former Silver Fern midcourter Shannon Saunders ruled out of the remainder of the ANZ Premiership through injury.Saunders suffered the injury pre-season and had been managing it during the competition, but recent tests have revealed further damage to her cartilage."It has been a bit of a weird one. My knee just puffed up after training one day and we've been managing it since," Saunders said."I had more scans done recently and now I have a tear in my cartilage which, unfortunately, is going to take some time to heal," she explained."It's definitely taken a while for the news to sink in, especially because it's been quite a strange injury in terms of its presentation and I wasn't expecting my latest scan results to give the diagnosis that it has. On the flip side, it's nice to now have some answers and more of a direction in terms of rehab and steps forward."The most capped player in the competition, Saunders' return after the birth of her first child last year was highly anticipated by the Steel."I'm extremely gutted. I was having so much fun being back out there on court. It has been awesome seeing the improvement from the team each week and I'm devastated I won't be able to help contribute to that out on court now," she said."I have absolutely loved my time back with Steel. Even just being in the team environment has been awesome. I love the pressure and the competitiveness that comes with playing and the challenge to be better, learn and adapt each week."The team has been improving each week and I'm excited to see them continue to grow and watch all the different combinations develop."Saunders won't be lost to the Steel as she will continue her mentoring work with the team.The Southern Steel sit at the bottom of the premiership ladder with just one win in five games.That sole victory, a 63-61 win over the Northern Stars in extra time broke a nearly two year streak without a win.Reproduced with permission

Uncertain future for remote Invercargill village
Uncertain future for remote Invercargill village

16 May 2024, 6:00 AM

The future of homeowners living under unique conditions at an Invercargill reserve hangs in the balance.Since about 1950, cribs have been established at Coopers Creek — a remote part of Sandy Point Domain, 15km from the city.The cribs have been deemed “non-conforming” ever since the area was designated as a domain in 1992, but have been allowed to stay under an annual licence agreement.A miniature stone cottage can be found in the village. This week, Invercargill city councillors debated the area's long-term future. Photo: Matthew Rosenberg/LDRInvercargill City Council currently has 17 licences issued for owners, some of whom recently proposed the land be made freehold.This week, councillors debated a range of options for the village in hopes it could resolve the longstanding debacle of houses occupying reserve land.It was ultimately resolved to gauge resident support for a 35 year long-term licence option including a fixed end date, meaning people would need to vacate the land completely upon expiration.If there was no clear direction from that engagement, the council would opt for the staff’s recommended option of an independent tenure determination process, which would take at least 18 months.That option was more expensive and involved the establishment of a hearings panel to consider the issue at hand before making a recommendation to council.A range of views were expressed around the table during a debate which lasted almost an hour.Council group manager community spaces and places Rex Capil began proceedings by saying a lot of history had been created by both the decisions that had been made, and those that hadn’t been.“This is an emotive matter. It has history, it is complex, and for a lot of people it is personal,” he said.Mana whenua representative Evelyn Cook spoke strongly in favour of an independent process, saying resource management had changed significantly since 1950.Cook said there were burials in the extended area, and the council was operating on insufficient information and poor process.“What we don’t seem to be doing is looking at what the environmental impact of these places are compared to what was envisioned at the time.“I think that the time has come that we do it once and we do it right.”Fellow representative Pani Cooke also said the area was significant for mana whenua, and freehold was not an option.The area should be treated like Māori land where a lease was paid, she said, with an agreement that worked for everyone.Deputy Mayor Tom Campbell was hesitant to support the staff recommendation of an independent process because of the cost, while councillor Ian Pottinger said it was the best option because council didn’t have the skills to make a decision that wasn’t based on emotion.Councillor Allan Arnold took a different approach, saying the residents should be given their preferred option because “they live there, we don’t”.An excerpt from the Sandy Point Domain Reserve Management Plan 2013 said there was an aim to phase out residents and weekend cribs located in the domain.The only residents permitted should be ranger staff and those managing commercial activities, it said.Council’s parks and recreation team would now engage with affected crib owners over a three month period, supported by the deputy mayor.Māori kaiaka (villages) existed in the area now known as Sandy Point Domain when European whalers and traders settled in the Coopers Creek area, the council report said.The creek got its name from a cooper named Owen McShane who settled there in 1836, making whale oil barrels and cabbage tree rum.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Rugby boss ‘blindsided’ as repairs stop at Invercargill’s main ground
Rugby boss ‘blindsided’ as repairs stop at Invercargill’s main ground

15 May 2024, 6:02 AM

The head of Rugby Southland says he has been “blindsided” by the council’s decision to halt maintenance and safety improvements at the city’s main ground.On Wednesday, councillors moved to stop work being undertaken at Rugby Park from next year, saving about $3 million in the process.According to a council report, the building was deteriorating at a “high rate” with other challenges, including asbestos, building on the boundary and an undulating landscape.The council had to step in for unplanned work last year after a ceiling collapsed due to water damage from leaks.Rugby Southland chief executive Steve Mitchell said requests for the stadium were being moved by the council as recently as last week, making Tuesday’s news “a complete blindside”.“We were all aware, continued to believe, that the repairs as agreed were continuing to happen,” Mitchell said.“This is a real left turn that nobody foresaw, or nobody had a heads up about.”Mitchell said the sport was gaining momentum in the region with an increase in participation over the last three years.He would now meet with the board to determine an action plan.“We’re only a phone call away too, so it’s pretty disappointing.”Safety and maintenance work had already begun at Rugby Park this year to the tune of $1.2 million and was set to be completed ahead of the NPC starting in August.That included making a start on strengthening the earthquake-prone main stand, some improvements to level one and pre-roof work.Highlanders and Southland lock Josh Bekhuis signs autographs after a Highlanders game at Rugby Park in Invercargill last year. Photo: Getty Images/SuppliedAbout $200,000 of that would be saved by the council's decision to cease, with a further $2.8 million saved by not progressing the 2025 upgrades.Stopping work meant the park could remain open next year, but the building would still be earthquake-prone and likely suffer significant damage in a moderate quake.The rugby union vacated the premises six years ago for what was supposed to be a six month period following the discovery of toxic mould, but never returned, Mitchell said.Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Nobby Clark was blunt in his assessment of the park’s future.“I think we are throwing good money away on Rugby Park,” he said.“It doesn’t have a future, and nor does any future park . . . as a multi-use facility.”Clark said there was now a nationwide preference for boutique sporting venues that catered to individual sports.Councillor Ria Bond supported a multi-sport venue, but said there had been a change in the community’s sporting needs.“I feel like we are tipping money into a . . . leaking bath when it comes to Rugby Park,” she said.Councillor Ian Pottinger noted the park had been taken over by the council in 2015 by a narrow margin of votes.At the time, there had been talk of getting neighbouring Southland councils to partner in keeping it running, he said.“I don’t think that’s worked out.”According to an archived Southland Times article, the ground was opened in April 1908.It is home to the Southland Stags in the NPC, and last hosted a Highlanders game in 2023.In 2011, it hosted three Rugby World Cup games.The park has a maximum capacity of 18,000 but is currently restricted to just 1700 patrons.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

How to find out if you have unclaimed money sitting with the IRD - and how to get your hands on it
How to find out if you have unclaimed money sitting with the IRD - and how to get your hands on it

14 May 2024, 10:07 PM

IRD is holding millions of dollars in unclaimed funds.Like many people, this is probably news to you. But how do you know if some of it is yours and perhaps more importantly, how do you claim it? RNZ is here to clear it all up.Why have I not heard about this, it this legit?It seems like a lot of people have never heard of IRD's unclaimed funds but yes, it is legitimate (if you go through the official IRD website).IRD says people need to watch out for scammers who contact them saying they have unclaimed money waiting for you.Here are some signs someone is trying to scam you.How do I know if I have unclaimed money?There are two ways to do this.You can search for yourself in myIR. Just log in, click on 'I want to...' and go to 'Registration, application and enrolment'. Then select 'Apply for unclaimed money'.Or you can search the IRD website. This is the option to choose if you're searching on behalf of someone else, you want to search by a previous name you've gone by, you don't have myIR account or you are searching on behalf of an organisation, trust or estate.You'll need to provide information to help confirm you're the person the money belongs to. This might be past contact information, an old statement or letter from an organisation or person, or a copy of a will.Is this different to a tax refund?Yes. Put simply, unclaimed money is held by IRD when someone can't be found.It could be that you had an old bank account with some money in it that you hadn't used in five years, or you have unpaid wages from over five years ago.You may have left something at a hotel, or hostel and after six months of it going unclaimed the business owner sold it and passed the money to IRD.The Māori Trustee may be holding funds for you - it holds money in the common fund for at least 10 years and if no claim has been made for that money during that time, it will become unclaimed money.Other reasons might be unclaimed dividends, proceeds of life insurance policies and awards from court cases or prisoners' allowances.How long does IRD hold the money for?If you don't claim the money within 25 years, you won't be able to.What happens if I don't claim it?Eventually, any unclaimed money is transferred to the Crown.How long will it take for me to get my money?Generally it takes 10-12 weeks to receive the money but with more people currently searching for unclaimed funds at the moment, IRD may take longer to process a claim.Attaching as much evidence as possible with your submission helps to avoid even further delays.IRD will let you know if your claim is successful once it's processed.How much is currently unclaimed?As at 31 March 2024, there was $477,161,702.10 of unclaimed moneyReproduced with permission

Ngāi Tahu’s water offer receives tentative response
Ngāi Tahu’s water offer receives tentative response

14 May 2024, 7:53 AM

An offer of support from Ngāi Tahu has been left on the table by Invercargill City Council for a second time in as many weeks.Dated March 28, the Ngāi Tahu letter pertains to the Government’s new Local Waters Done Well approach and suggests collaboration with South Island councils.The offer took until April 30 to reach a council meeting but was delayed until Tuesday, where it was left to lie on the table once again.Invercargill Mayor Nobby Clark says there is more than one reason why an offer from Ngāi Tahu has been left to sit on the council table. Photo: ODT/SuppliedMayor Nobby Clark said the rationale was “two or three-fold”.“I’ve already responded on behalf of council to say that this council has an open mind on working with Ngāi Tahu,” Clark said.“We would like some questions answered from their end, and from other councils as well about where the future of . . . (the reforms) will land.“At this stage, we’ve had staff involved with looking at an Otago/Southland model, and now looking at a Southland model exclusively.”Clark said he wanted the council to wait until at least the middle of the year so it could find out more information from the government about its future direction.It had been decided that the council’s chief executive would attend an initial meeting between other councils and Ngāi Tahu to get feedback about what the iwi role would look like, he said.In response to questions from Local Democracy Reporting last week, Ngāi Tahu kaiwhakahaere Justin Tipa explained the offer was made to South Island councils to address the challenge of ensuring safe, affordable and sustainable water services.“Ngāi Tahu aspirations for water services are simply for equitable, safe, sustainable water services for all the communities in Te Waipounamu,” Tipa said.The offer was to help with logistics and facilitate discussion, not support any particular model.On Tuesday, Mayor Clark said the other Southland mayors had not responded to the letter and had no intention of tabling it at their council.But Southland Mayor Rob Scott said his council had verbally indicated to Ngāi Tahu it was keen to be involved in discussions.“We haven’t decided not to progress it. Still the early stages of how the reforms work, so we’re keeping our options open,” he said.Gore Mayor Ben Bell said the letter from Ngāi Tahu hadn’t been presented to the council yet, but believed that may have been on accident.A response letter was sent on behalf of Zone 6 mayors (ranging from Central Otago to Southland) indicating a possible path forward of meeting with Ngāi Tahu to further understand the proposal, he said.According to a report prepared for Invercargill City Council two weeks ago, there were a number of benefits to working with the iwi.Those included gaining cultural perspective and knowledge, and raising the profile of key projects including two wastewater plants and a water treatment plant.The previous government's Affordable Water Reforms — earlier called Three Waters — would have created new water entities responsible for water assets.Those reforms were repealed in February to make way for Local Water Done Well.LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

Lachlan Jones inquest: No signs the body was frozen - technician
Lachlan Jones inquest: No signs the body was frozen - technician

14 May 2024, 2:07 AM

A mortuary technician who helped conduct the autopsy on Lachlan Jones says there were no signs the Gore boy's body had been put in a freezer before it was found.Two police investigations found the 2-year-old accidentally drowned in a council sewage pond in 2019, but his father Paul Jones disagrees - and opposed an autopsy.The inquest is entering its third week in Invercargill with accusations of body-dumping, fake alibis, a botched investigation and neglect.Lachlan's half brother has faced accusations from Paul Jones' lawyer that he put the little boy's body in a freezer before dumping it at the sewage pond.But mortuary technician William (Bill) Little - who helped to conduct the autopsy - said Lachlan's fingers and ears were not shrivelled like they had been frozen."We took vitreous fluid from the eyes as a part of samples that we took and that was clear," he said."If you know what a fish that's been frozen, the eye goes sort of misty, misted over. Well, Lachlan's eyes were crystal clear as the fluid that we drew was crystal clear."Lachlan appeared to be a well-nourished young boy, he said.The autopsy team - himself and a pathologist whose name is suppressed - was given no information to suggest anything suspicious had happened, he said."The general conversation once we'd both read the Pol 47 (a report the police prepare) was that it is a routine procedure," Little said."There was nothing at all there to indicate to us that there was a suspicious or unexplained cause of death."Little also fielded questions about missing photos, which he said were lost when the mortuary computer was disposed of after the mortuary was decommissioned from doing coronial work.Coroner's counsel Simon Mount KC asked him why the autopsy was not as thorough as the one initially requested, and why the phone call with a duty coroner that led to that change was not recorded."That is what the procedure should have been. But in this case I don't there was a redirection issued," Little said.'I think he was just on a little adventure'Preschool teacher Leisa Diamond described Lachlan as a well-behaved boy with a good grasp of right and wrong.His mother told the inquest earlier that he had run away with a full nappy when she tried to change him on the night he died.Diamond said that was not the Lachlan she remembered, but in response to questions from police lawyer Robin Bates, she said children could act differently at preschool than they did at home.When asked if she thought he could climb the wooden fence near the sewage pond, she said it would be very difficult and she did not think he would have any interest to try to do it.In her statement, she said Lachlan was not one to run away.She was also asked to explain why she had said she could imagine Lachlan going off an adventure while pretending to be a police officer."At that time, I didn't know any other facts. How long it was, where he was found, any of those other - what he had to go over so I think in what I had in my head was he was just on a little adventure being a police man," Diamond said.The inquest continues on Tuesday.Reproduced with permission

Undaria eliminated from Chalky Inlet
Undaria eliminated from Chalky Inlet

13 May 2024, 11:32 PM

The invasive marine pest Undaria pinnatifida, found in 2019 around Fiordland's Taiari / Chalky Inlet, has finally been eradicated.The Environment Southland (ES) announcement comes after almost five years of no mature plants being found during surveillance operations and is the first incursion in Fiordland to be declared Undaria-free.Undaria pinnatifida (Undaria) was first discovered in April 2019, on lines next to the Stella wreck in North Port, Taiari / Chalky Inlet, during a joint patrol with ES, Biosecurity New Zealand and Department of Conservation staff.The three organisations promptly launched a joint elimination project to remove Undaria from North Port using divers.ES team leader marine Kathryn McLachlan said being able to declare a site free from Undaria was proof that local elimination can be achieved with prompt and regular dive search and removal surveys.“When Undaria was discovered, a technical advisory group advised that there would need to be five years of no mature plants before the site could be declared free of Undaria.""We are excited to be able to say that the last time it was found was October 2019 despite frequent checks of the area.”The three inter-agency groups are now committed to progressively containing Undaria in Fiordland's two other outbreak areas -Tamatea / Dusky Sound and Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound.Throughout the year, teams of divers have been working in both areas, searching and removing any Undaria that is found.It is time consuming and resource intensive work, but still definitely worth it to reduce the impact of Undaria in the fiords, McLachlan said.While work continues to remove the invasive pest, ES is encouraging the public to ensure they don’t further the spread.“We want people to take steps not to transport Undaria when moving within and leaving the Dusky complex and to follow the Fiordland Marine Regional Pathway Management Plan rules to keep a clean hull, clean gear and maintain residual seawater standards."“We’re also asking people to remain on the lookout in other areas and to alert us if they see any Undaria in sites outside of the Dusky/Breaksea complex.”New sites can be reported to Environment Southland through www.pesthub.es.govt.nz. Members of the public should also remember to leave it in place and not try to remove it themselves.To improve the chances of finding any new sites, reports should include GPS location, photographs, a description of where it was found (how deep, whether it was on natural substrate and an artificial structure) and how much was there.“The removal of Undaria in Taiari / Chalky Inlet is proof that elimination is possible with early detection.”In September 2020, Undaria was also identified on cray pots at Broad Bay, Rakiura Stewart Island. With no new growth in the past four years, this site is on-track to be declared Undaria-free next year.For further information contact the communications team on 0800 76 88 45 or email [email protected].

Government cracking down on Southern criminals
Government cracking down on Southern criminals

13 May 2024, 9:50 PM

A district court judge spoke out in Invercargill last week about drug offending and the risks it poses in our country. Judge Michael Crosbie described the drug industry as “out of control,” saying it brought havoc to homes, families, and individuals - leading to addiction and misery. His comments were sobering and brought home the reality of increased drug supply and use in communities like Southland. That’s why the Government’s announcement last week, of a $1.9 billion investment in keeping Kiwis safe from crime, is so very relevant. We must crack down on crime and restore law and order - and that means ensuring there are serious consequences for offenders - like those who deal in drugs. The Government intends to expand prison capacity, hire more frontline Corrections officers and put more money into rehabilitation programmes in its new $1.9 billion package. This massive investment reflects National and ACT’s coalition agreement to increase funding for prison capacity. The Government will deliver an 810-bed extension to Waikeria prison to ensure capacity and to support our commitment to stronger sentencing for criminals. We will also deliver 685 new frontline staff at Corrections, including 470 corrections officers, who will be recruited and trained to respond to growing prisoner numbers, and we will invest more in rehabilitation programmes. I am pleased with the Government’s comprehensive plan to restore law and order – because people in places like Southland deserve to feel safer. The plan also includes recruiting 500 additional frontline Police, giving them powers to crack down on gang offending and illegal firearms, bringing back Three Strikes, establishing military academies for youth offenders and bringing in tougher sentences. This Government is serious about restoring law and order. Our plan means that people in this province, and around the country, can feel safer and that criminals will face tougher consequences for crime.Funded by Parliamentary Services.Published by arrangement

Youth Festival for Invercargill this Saturday
Youth Festival for Invercargill this Saturday

13 May 2024, 9:27 PM

Invercargill’s first youth focussed festival, aimed at 12 to 24-year-olds, is set to be held at the Civic Theatre between 1-6pm this Saturday (18 May).The Block Takeover Youth Festival, which is being held in collaboration with Youthline, Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop, South Alive and Te Rourou One Foundation, is aimed at connecting rangatahi with youth support services and networks.Invercargill City Youth Council Chair Liam Calder said the event intended to educate and motivate local rangatahi.“We’ve got some great speakers, workshops and activities planned for the festival which we hope will inspire those heading along.""If one of those speakers or activities can spark a flame inside a young person attending, which they can nuture and grow into a career or a new pathway they hadn’t considered, then that’d be a great outcome.”The festival included talks from internationally-renowned speakers, workshops, stalls, kapa haka and musical performances, parkour and gaming, exhibitions and food trucks which would be held in the CBD, around the Civic Theatre.Gore Mayor Ben Bell, leading brain and neuroscience trainer Kathryn Berkett and climate activist Dylan Chand would all feature as keynote speakers.Calder said the idea for the festival had been born in part from the lack of a local youth focussed festival.“Last year the Youth Council got together and discussed the possibility of running a similar event to Wellington’s Festival for the Future, but on a localised level. We wanted to give rangatahi the opportunity to learn how more about how leadership and innovation can have an impact in their area.”The Youth Council idea worked well with the aims of Te Rourou and the other youth organisations to help create connections for disadvantaged youth as part of Youth Week, which is coming up later in May.CLICK HERE for more information on the event.

Lachlan Jones inquest: Pathologist who performed autopsy was reluctant
Lachlan Jones inquest: Pathologist who performed autopsy was reluctant

13 May 2024, 5:47 AM

The pathologist who determined Gore child Lachlan Jones died from drowning says he saw no signs that the boy had been put in a freezer.The three-year-old was found face-up in a council sewage pond just over a kilometre from his mother's home in January 2019.Two police investigations found Lachlan accidentally drowned, but his father, Paul Jones, disagreed.Lachlan's half-brother has been accused of putting his body in a freezer hours before he was found at the sewage oxidation pond.The pathologist, who has name suppression, told the inquest that it would have been easy to identify if he had been put in a freezer and Lachlan's body showed no signs of that.He said he found nothing suspicious or surprising during his autopsy, including no external trauma, and he stood by his conclusion.He would have asked for a more thorough forensic autopsy if he found anything surprising, and did not agree with two forensic pathologists who said that drowning could not safely be concluded.But the pathologist said he was unaware there were concerns about Lachlan's death, or that a more thorough forensic autopsy had initially been requested, but then withdrawn.A forensic pathologist should have performed the autopsy, as Southland was not set up to autopsy children, he said.The form he received before the autopsy noted the death was not suspicious.He noted a family member had opposed the autopsy, and thought it might get cancelled.He told his lawyer Adam Holloway he chose to proceed with the autopsy once he was told to avoid the delay for Lachlan's mother.Reproduced with permission

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