News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Hikoi For Ihumātao Honours Māori Ancestor

Protesters marched through central Auckland in opposition to construction on heritage land, plus Green Party friction and water shortage.

by 95 bFM and VICE Staff
10 December 2017, 9:55pm

Image by Raymond Sagapolutele courtesy of Save Our Unique Landscape, Project Ihumatao.

Everything you need to know today curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.


Community Raise Awareness of Historic Ihumātao
Protests hit Auckland's Karangahape Rd yesterday afternoon in opposition to the Fletcher Housing development on Ihumātao. Organisers SOUL chose the inner-city route in honour of ancestor Hape, whom the road is named after. Organisers said the goal was to help the public understand the significance of the historic land in Māngere. Carbon dating shows human settlement from 1160 AD. The land was confiscated by the British in 1863 as punishment for supporting the Kīngitanga movement.

Unsettled Greens
Alleged strife in the Green Party has been outlined in a letter from Green Party staff to its MPs. The letter reveals that staff are unhappy with how they've been treated since the election, with claims unfair treatment, bad communication and low morale in the party. The letter alleges also the Greens have struggled with the transition into government with a smaller caucus, staffing qualms and handling new ministerial responsibilities, with the party still to recover from the departure of co-leader Metiria Turei. A spokesperson for the party declined to comment as it did not discuss employment matters.

Fears Arise of Water Shortage
With Auckland's recent run of hot weather, fears are growing that tank water supplies will not be sufficient this summer. One Kumeu resident noted their tank had never been so low in December, and finding a supplier to refill it was proving tough. Quality Water Supplies, which provides water to Waitakere, Taupaki and Waimauku, is fully booked until the first week of January. Company manager Bev Speedy says the start of this summer has been the most hectic she has seen in her 18 years running the business. Other companies are said to be facing similar problems coming into summer. The dry weather has impacted on water supplies elsewhere around the country with water restrictions placed on Napier, Otago and Canterbury last week.


Netanyahu Tells Palestinians To “Come to Grips”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Sunday, and says the city "had never been the capital of any other people." Netanyahu referenced the Bible and 3,000 years of Jewish history, saying "the sooner the Palestinians come to grips with this reality, the sooner we will move towards peace." Netanyahu's statement comes amidst clashes between the Arab and Muslim worlds and follows US President Trump's declaration on Wednesday recognising the holy city as the capital of Israel, abandoning years of US neutrality on the heated topic.

Anti-Nuclear Group Wins Nobel Peace Prize
On Sunday an anti-nuclear weapons organisation received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work drawing attention to the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use. The Geneva-based organisation International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, also known as ICAN, has been leading the push to end the use of nuclear weapons through the United Nations treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty was adopted in July in a landmark resolution that 50 countries have signed so far, including Iran, Brazil and South Africa. Top nuclear powers United States, Russia and China are still to sign the pact.

Bat Crazy
Locals in the Australian town of Charters Towers in North Queensland are getting fed up with 200,000 bats taking up residence. Charters Towers mayor Liz Schmidt says the situation is the stuff of nightmares. Locals are frustrated with bats moving into suburban areas, and want to see them moved on. One frustrated resident questioned why bats are not culled, while animals such as crocodiles and kangaroos are if they become a problem. Some parents say they are not letting their kids play in the backyard, due to the unsafe amount of bat faeces present.

UK Won’t Pay Trade Tariffs
The British Government has set its intentions for a European free-trade deal once the state has exited the EU. Brexit secretary David Davis says the UK wants tariff free trade on imports, exports and the service industries. He says the aim is for a "bespoke" agreement which will take the best parts of current trade deals with Canada, Japan and South Korea. Mr Davis told the BBC if a deal is not negotiated, Britain will not pay it's EU "divorce bill" of between £34-39 billion.

No Charges For Trouser Wearing Women
24 women arrested in Sudan for wearing trousers will not be charged with indecency. The arrests happened in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday, with Islamic Religious Police raiding a private gathering. The arrests occurred although the party was in a closed hall and the women held a permit from local authorities. The women would have faced punishment of 40 lashes had the charges not been dropped. Tens of thousands of women are said to be arrested and flogged every year under the Law Article 152 which cites indecent public acts, obscene outfits or causing annoyance to public feelings. Such laws are said to be applied arbitrarily and discriminate against Christian minority in the Islam majority state.

Apple Eliminates Middleman in Buying Shazam
Apple is close to buying the music recognition app Shazam for $400 million, two years after the UK company was valued at $1 billion. UK company Shazam was founded in 1999, and allows people to use their smartphone or computer to identify and buy music through a small clip of sound. Shazam makes most of its revenue from commissions paid on referrals to Apple's iTunes Store. By acquiring Shazam, Apple will cut out the middleman and save money on commissions, while also no longer referring listeners to competing streaming sites. Apple Music has 27 million listeners worldwide while Spotify has 60 million.

Reporting by Leonard Powell, Jean Bell, Jennifer-Rose Tamati.