‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag
In honoring Mother's Day, Save the Children released the 14th annual State of World's Mother report.
Greenpeace Australia made a new coke ad with a twist. It exposes how this drinks giant is willing to let plastic pollution trash our ocean and kill our marine life.
The New Zealand tourism industry is saying a big "Thanks a Million"to Australian visitors to celebrate the record of welcoming a million Australians in a 12-month period
Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action
Monday, November 30
The establishment of the 2025 Taskforce was a key component in the ACT-National Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Saturday, November 28
Friday, November 27
Thursday, November 26
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the recent violence in the southern Philippines, in which more than 57 civilians have been killed in the context of a local election campaign, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
He condemns this heinous crime committed in the context of a local election campaign. The Secretary-General extends heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and hopes that no effort will be spared to bring justice and to hold the perpetrators accountable.
The National Press Club (NPC) and the Alyansa ng Filipinong Mamamahayag (AFIMA) denounced the abduction and massacre of at least 36 persons, including media men, in Barangay Masalay, Datu Abdullah Sangki town in Maguindanao.
NPC president Benny Antiporda said in a statement, “The incident came as a humiliating slap on the face of efforts to put an end to the culture of impunity that has caused the deaths of scores of journalists.”
“Never in the history of journalism have the news media suffered such a heavy loss of life in one day,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“We convey our condolences and sympathy to all journalists in the Philippines, who are in state of shock after this appalling massacre.”
The press freedom organisation added: “We have often condemned the culture of impunity and violence in the Philippines, especially Mindanao. This time, the frenzied violence of thugs working for corrupt politicians has resulted in an incomprehensible bloodbath. We call for a strong reaction from the local and national authorities.”
The massacre took place a few hours after around 100 gunmen led by Andal Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Shariff Aguak (a municipality in Maguindanao province), and a police inspector identified solely by the name of Dicay kidnapped members of a large convoy of supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu, an Ampatuan clan opponent who wants to run for governor.
The convoy of Mangudadatu supporters, accompanied by journalists, had been on its way to an electoral bureau to file documents related to his candidacy, which the gunmen wanted to prevent. The fatalities included Mangudadatu’s wife, sister and other relatives. The governor’s son is also alleged to have been involved in the massacre.
Wednesday, November 25
Auckland, New Zealand — A human chain of protesters piled sacks labelled ‘Fonterra palm kernel’ and ‘Fonterra coal’ outside Fonterra’s corporate headquarters today in protest of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the dairy giant’s intensive farming practices.
This comes the day after Fonterra admits that its palm kernel is not sustainable, only that they are “pushing” for sustainability (1).
“Fonterra knows that their palm kernel comes at the expense of rainforests, orangutans, indigenous peoples and the climate, yet they do it anyway. Now they are trying to down play the issue rather than dealing with it,” said Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Simon Boxer.
“Two weeks out from the Copenhagen international climate talks, Fonterra’s influence is preventing John Key and the New Zealand Government from reducing emissions.”
“We are laying Fonterra’s climate crimes at its door. John Key must stand up to Fonterra and bring it under control, rather than allowing them to dictate this country’s response to climate change.”
“Fonterra is New Zealand’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. In addition to increasing on-farm emissions Fonterra’s levels of climate pollution are skyrocketing due to the expansion of burning coal for milk processing and its increase of palm kernel imports, produced on land cleared of rainforests”.
Fonterra is responsible for around 16 million tonnes of emissions each year (over 20 per cent of New Zealand’s total emissions) (2), but this increases to a massive 36 million tonnes when indirect emissions are included such as from palm kernel production (3). This is more than all of New Zealand’s transport emissions including aviation plus all electricity generation emissions including Huntly coal power station.
Seventy-six-year Harold Phillips, attending the protest because he doesn’t like the path Fonterra has taken said, “I feel compelled to protest. Fonterra’s dairy farming nowadays needs a lot of fertiliser, supplementary feed like palm kernel grown on the ashes of far away rainforests. It’s farming but not how it used to be. It’s a disgrace.”
“Fonterra has lobbied the Government heavily so that Kiwi taxpayers have to pick up most of the bill for Fonterra’s climate pollution while still increasing their greenhouse gas emissions each year. It’s an outrageous situation”, said Boxer. “At this point in time we must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and those who create the pollution should pay.”
Today’s protest follows Greenpeace action last week that shut down the New Vale coal mine in Southland which supplies Fonterra’s Edendale milk processing factory. In August, Greenpeace exposed the links between Fonterra’s supplementary palm kernel feed from Indonesia and the devastation of rainforests, including orangutan and Sumatran tiger habitats, contributing to massive climate change. Greenpeace stopped a shipment of palm kernel at Tauranga in September and protested against another shipment into Taranaki in October.
Tuesday, November 24
Michael Gibson of Kaikoura today admitted six charges of ACC fraud, in a case that has previously received considerable media attention.
“We are very happy with this result. ACC has a zero tolerance to fraud, in line with public expectations. We manage public money and so take fraud very seriously. ACC levies are intended to help injured people, not fraudsters, and we don’t apologise for ensuring that happens. It’s not a victimless crime” said ACC Chief Executive Jan White.
Mr Gibson appeared in the Kaikoura District Court today facing six charges under the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001.
Gibson entered guilty pleas to the six charges of making false statements to ACC and others involved in his claim, for the purposes of receiving payments and other entitlements.
Whilst deliberately misleading ACC, he engaged in activities including landscaping, painting, lawn mowing, hedge trimming and lifting heavy items. Some of these activities were video recorded and photographed by neighbours.
Mr Gibson is due for sentencing on 18 December 2009.
Deputy Commissioner of the NZ Police, Rob Pope, will join police staff and members of the Families Commission at the Wellington Railway Station tomorrow morning to hand out white ribbons to early morning commuters.
"By wearing the white ribbon, you are taking a stand against violence and supporting the many organisations working to prevent violence in our homes and communities."
"I urge people to wear the ribbon tomorrow, but to support the message it stands for, all year round," said Mr Pope.
Over 12,000 ribbons have been distributed to Police staff to wear and to hand out to members of the public for White Ribbon Day which is recognised by the United Nations as the international day for the Elimination of Violence towards Women.
Police will be out in force throughout the country in support of the day, taking to streets and malls to hand out ribbons, fire-up BBQs for sausage sizzles, and to take part in organised community events.
Police attended over 73,000 family violence occurrences In 2008/09 financial year. In most cases women were the primary victims. This is also reflected in the deaths and injuries inflicted on women and children.
Police are working closely with many organisations like Women's Refuge, Victim Support, the National Network of Stopping Violence Services and many others, in raising awareness of this issue by supporting the international White Ribbon Day.
The rural property market is a slow slog for sellers, with cashed-up buyers thin on the ground and differing price expectations, First National Group's quarterly rural survey shows.
Fifty-five percent of First National’s rural offices reporting on the three months to mid November described demand from buyers as low, and just 25% reported sufficient listings to meet demand.
Grazing blocks and lifestyle blocks were the main sellers, with only a handful of dairy farms changing hands since mid August.
Prices for rural properties for sale were down by 10 - 25% in Northland, the Waikato and Canterbury and sales volumes were still around last year’s low levels.
Prices of dairy land have lingered around $35 - $40 per kg milk solids, compared with $55 per kgMS at the peak of the market but low volumes are making life difficult for valuers.
News of an improved dairy payout was deemed by most offices to be having little effect on farm sales, other than reducing pressure to sell. However 25% thought it may have future positive spin offs for dairy-related land, such as stabilizing prices of grazing blocks.
Bright spots in the survey were increased demand for forestry land in Marlborough and high demand for gold variety kiwifruit orchards in Te Puke, with some buyers paying up to $480 per hectare.
First National General Manager John Stewart said banks had long been more interested in cashflow than equity but debt levels were having a significant part to play in loan requests being declined or restricted, even if cashflow was deemed healthy.
“It will take more than a higher payout for the dairy market to pick up. Many of our offices are reporting that those exiting the diary sector did so when the market was at its peak and few individuals seem prepared or able to enter at present.
“Additionally, the market is full of anticipation around the rumoured down-selling of some properties by corporate owners. Whether these companies will be able to release the numbers of properties they seem keen to will, I imagine, be legislated by the price purchasers are prepared to pay, or the view of their banks on the viability of the sector.
“Properties in the meat & wool, cropping and grain sectors are not being heavily sought either,” Stewart added.
“Given the government’s projected shift on Kyoto may be having an early effect on forestry plantings, we could see continued selling of second rate farm properties as forestry land although not with as much fervour as was the case 15 – 20 years ago.”
Advice for sellers of rural land was mixed, but most agents concurred that prices were not going to change dramatically in either direction so listing now or waiting would depend on clients’ reasons for sale.
“It’s not all doom and gloom though,” Stewart said.
“Farmers are patiently waiting it out and only those needing to sell are out there. Buyers wanting to invest in rural are around but many are still finding the banks are not giving them room to extend themselves like they may have done in the past.”
Lifestyle property sales were continuing to underpin rural sales over most of the country. Prices had dropped by up to 20% in many areas but some areas, such as the lower North Island, lifestyle property prices had risen by 10% since January.
State-owned enterprise and educational provider Learning Media Limited announced an after-tax profit of $1.5 million for the 2008 – 09 year, on total revenues of $24 million. This improved performance was the outcome of a successful programme by the company to turn around a disappointing result in 2007 –08, said new Board chair, Sandy Maier.
Restructuring of the company in 2008, which included adopting a more streamlined business model for the company’s core functions and the reduction of core staff numbers, had a positive effect on both productivity and indirect expenditure. Foreign exchange gains on US dollar payments for international contract publishing also boosted the financial result.
Learning Media’s strategy for sustainable profitability is to develop and extend its New Zealand contract relationships and to broaden its base of contract publishing clients offshore. A key focus has been on deepening its relationships with key local clients, the ministries of Education and Health, through a focus on continuous improvement in the quality of its work. Recognition of this quality and the company’s capability and expertise in learning design made it the first choice to work with the Ministry of Education on developing the Government’s National Standards for Literacy and Numeracy.
Learning Media continues to be the country’s largest educational publisher in Māori and Pasifika languages and maintains its high profile as an effective provider of teacher professional development services through its continuing leadership of the successful Literacy Professional Development Project (LPDP), as well as regional Assess to Learn (AToL) and Schooling Improvement programmes.
Internationally, the company worked on a significant contract with major US publisher McGraw-Hill to produce part of an extensive cross-grade literacy publications programme. Learning Media earned $5 million in overseas revenue in 2008 -09 from contract publishing and sales of its own materials.
“Learning Media has emerged from a particularly challenging period of change and restructuring with sound results, a sustainable business strategy, and a continued reputation for quality”, said Sandy Maier. “The company looks forward to reporting further positive progress next year”.
Read the Annual Report online at http://www.learningmedia.co.nz/annualreport/