‘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
Friday, April 30
As Total Frame and Truss is in liquidation, many of the businesses that the frames and trusses were manufactured for have taken responsibility for the assessment, repair and maintenance costs associated with buildings where the frames and trusses were used.
These numbers are equivalent to filling the redeveloped Eden Park more than five times over.
The figure includes the 190,000 tickets applied for since applications to the global public opened at 9am (NZ time) Tuesday April 27. These represent 53,000 Venue and Team Pool Packs.
This brings the total value of ticket applications to date to NZD$56m. This includes applications from the global public and the New Zealand Rugby Community as well as confirmed sales during March to Provincial Union season pass holders, venue members and box holders.
This excludes any sales already made under the Official Travel and Hospitality sales programme. The response to the Official Travel programme has also been encouraging with at least 85,000 tickets sold as part of official travel packages.
One fifth of the applications are for Team Pool Packs which tend to be more popular with overseas fans.
“RWC 2011 will be a special time for New Zealanders and for visitors to come to a country passionate about Rugby so the initial flood of applications has been a great vote of confidence in our country’s plans to hold the best Rugby World Cup yet,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden.
Applications for Venue and Team Pool Packs close at 5pm (NZ time) on Friday May 21 in this first phase of public ticketing and all applications have an equal opportunity of success regardless of when the application is submitted.
“This is the best chance for fans to secure the seats they want for RWC 2011 so I hope as many as possible take advantage of this first phase.”
Monday, April 26
The injunction follows a Commerce Commission investigation. The injunction against Auckland based companies Love Springs Limited and Tiny Terms Limited and Palmerston North based Successcorp Limited was granted in the Auckland High Court on Thursday last week.
The injunction prevents the companies and any individual acting on behalf of the companies from making false or misleading representations to consumers. These include representations that tap or bottled water in New Zealand :
is sourced from or contains sewage;
is sourced from toilets;
has contaminants that are harmful in the levels found in the water;
causes cancer, leukaemia, miscarriages, deformities in babies, asthma, or other health problems;
is kept standing for weeks or months before being provided;
is of a quality or grade other than that determi ned by the Ministry of Health;
contains giardia; or
is in any way unsafe or unhealthy to drink.
The injunction also prevents representations being made that the Love Springs filter would offer health benefits that it does not, such as improving asthma.
While Love Springs and the associated companies can continue to promote and market water filters, this injunction prevents false or misleading claims being made in selling the product. Consumers who feel that they have been misled when purchasing a Love Springs water filter after 22 April 2010 should contact the Commerce Commission on 0800 943 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Commission is still considering what, if any, further enforcement action under the Fair Trading Act may be appropriate.
Friday, April 23
Wednesday, April 21
Tuesday, April 20
Apple prices typically fall by about 20 percent in February and by a further 20 percent in March, as the new season's crop becomes more widely available. This fall was partly offset by higher prices for lettuce (up 21.2 percent).
For the year to March 2010, food prices rose 0.3 percent. This is the smallest annual increase since the year to July 2004, when prices fell 0.1 percent. In the year to March 2010, three subgroups recorded increases: grocery food (up 1.1 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.3 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.2 percent).
Prices for fruit and vegetables (down 5.3 percent) and meat, poultry, and fish (down 0.3 percent) fell in the year to March 2010. Annual falls in the fruit and vegetables subgroup have now been recorded for eight consecutive months.
"Although food prices are now 0.3 percent higher than a year ago, they are 8.9 percent higher than two years ago," Statistics New Zealand's prices manager Chris Pike said.
“It’s not fair to expect income-earning New Zealander’s to carry a disproportionate share of the tax burden while some of New Zealand’s wealthiest individuals pay none,” said Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman.
“A comprehensive tax on all capital gains except for the family home is the fairest way to restore some balance to our tax system.”
Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department have estimated that an additional $4.5 billion could be raised from a comprehensive capital gains tax (CGT) with an exclusion for owner-occupied housing.
“The additional $4.5 billion the Government could raise from a capital gains tax would broaden the tax base and enhance its resilience. Additional tax revenues could be used to ease the tax burden on low income earners, lower debt levels, and enhance public services,” said Dr Norman.
“New Zealand is not a highly taxed country by OECD standards and we currently have too many loopholes in our tax system allowing people to structure their affairs in a way that avoids paying tax. Reducing the top tax rate to align with the company and trust rate is not the most effective way to deal with the issue. A comprehensive capital gains tax is a better, fairer way forward.
“Nearly every other country in the OECD has a capital gains tax. Australia has one. America has one. It’s time we closed the loopholes and encourage productive investment rather than tax avoidance behaviour.
“To paraphrase American billionaire Warren Buffett, a tax system riddled with loopholes, where millionaires pay less tax than their secretaries, invites disrespect and undermines voluntary compliance,” Dr Norman said.
“It’s time to fix our tax system, Mr English.”
Auckland won the Oceania category, and went on to win the overall Asia regional award ahead of the other category winners from South-East Asia (Singapore Changi), India (Hyderabad), Middle East (King Fahd International) and China/North-East Asia (Seoul Incheon). The awards mean that Auckland Airport has been automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Awards which will be held in Vancouver in September.
Mr Wedlock said, “Air services are of critical importance to the New Zealand economy, especially in the areas of trade and tourism. Auckland Airport is working hard with airlines and industry partners to deliver value to New Zealand tourism through our understanding of air service development and our strong relationships with the airlines that fly, or potentially will fly, to New Zealand. By proactively working with airlines on their marketing, we can help raise the “mindshare” for New Zealand and grow tourism traffic.”
Mr Wedlock added, “At Auckland Airport, we are proud of our record of engagement with airlines, and the successes we are achieving for them and for our wider community of stakeholders. This collective market development work will be vitally important for the industry as the key markets that are vital to New Zealand’s tourism sector continue to emerge from the global downturn”.
Offers range from discounted accommodation to free family baches (holiday homes), spare beds or couches, facials, food and transport.
A Kiwi comedian has even offered complimentary tickets to the opening night of his Comedy Festival show.
In Auckland - where most of the Europe and UK-bound travellers are stranded -Tourism Auckland is working to match up more than 130 kind-hearted Kiwi hosts with visitors needing a bed.
So far, 51 travellers - families with kids, retirees and backpackers - have been welcomed into Auckland homes.
Stranded in New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand’s Facebook page ‘Stranded in New Zealand’ has received an overwhelming response from the public and tourism industry, with expressions of sympathy as well as offers of practical help.
"Anyone stranded in Christchurch is more than welcome to bunk down out of the cold with us. Big warm house so plenty of room."
"If anyone in Wellington needs a place to crash, I have a spare room in Newtown, about five minutes from the airport (one double bed, suit single or couple)."
"I have a double bed for free for a couple of weeks and live near a train station and the airport in Auckland."
"I am a Kiwi living in London … I would like to help at this end. We have a free room in West Hampstead."
New Zealand businesses have responded with accommodation and travel discounts such as bed and breakfast at backpackers rates, free dorm beds, half-price bus tickets, and heavily discounted or free entry to popular tourist attractions.
Perfect storm in Europe
Kiwi volcanologist Dr David Johnston, who works as a scientist for New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS), was attending a disaster planning meeting in France when the volcano erupted.
After a 33-hour overland trip from France to London in the company of many other stranded passengers, Dr Johnston is now stuck in London, waiting for the skies to clear so he can fly home to New Zealand.
"It was like people fleeing from Europe 60 years ago. It was quite a scene, really … everyone’s sharing their stories about their exodus and where they’d come from," he said.
Dr Johnston said that the re-opening of European airspace was very much weather-dependent, and that a "perfect storm" of weather conditions was largely responsible for the flight restrictions. There was a possibility planes could still fly even if the volcano continued to erupt - as long as the weather dispersed the ash cloud instead of letting it hang over Europe.
"The weather is really key to what is happening."
Air travel uncertain
Air travel is likely to remain uncertain - at least for the next few weeks - as the ash cloud from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano continues to spread over European and British skies.
Flights in Europe and the UK have been grounded for days, causing huge disruptions internationally and leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded far from home.
Volcanic ash is a major hazard to airplanes and westerly winds have been carrying ash from Iceland all over Europe. Smoke and ash from the eruption reduces visibility for pilots and debris from the air could get into aircraft engines, causing them to shut down.
Tuesday, April 13
“The Fijian government is giving itself a license to imprison or bankrupt its critics. The decree will further restrain the media from reporting government and military abuses, for fear of reprisals through a kangaroo court,” says Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Apolosi Bose.
The decree will extend and deepen the already widespread censorship provided under the Public Emergency Regulations that have been in force since April 2009.
“Fijian journalists have already been intimidated, threatened and assaulted by the military since media censorship was authorised in April 2009. Now they could face up to five years in jail or fines big enough shut down a media outlet, through a complaints system controlled by government and not bound by formal rules of evidence,” said Apolosi Bose.
The draft decree was rushed through a three-day consultation, and will likely be approved by the Fijian government in today’s Cabinet meeting. If made law, the government will exert greater control of media content and media ownership through a powerful new media authority; and journalists, editors and media organisations will be able to be jailed by a tribunal headed by a Presidential appointee.
Amnesty International believes that the decree’s vaguely worded provisions will be interpreted with a view to punishing peaceful critics of the government.
“Going by past experience, the decree’s generic references to national interest and public order simply mean that the media will not be allowed to criticise Fiji’s leaders, members of the security forces, or their supporters and associates,” said Apolosi Bose.
The Fiji Media Industry Development Authority, to be set up under the draft decree, is tasked with ensuring that local media do not publish material that threatens public interest or order; is against the national interest; offends good taste and decency; or creates communal discord. It will have wide powers of investigation over journalists and media outlets, including powers of search and seizure of equipment.
The proposed Media Tribunal will decide complaints referred by the Authority, and will be able to impose five year jail terms, and fines of up to USD50,000 for journalists and editors, and USD250,000 for media organisations. Despite these highly punitive powers, it will not be bound by formal rules of evidence.