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Prehistoric bird once thought extinct returns to New Zealand wild
2 September 2023 - The return of takahe -- a large, flightless bird -- to alpine slopes of the South Island marks a conservation victory in New Zealand. Eighteen of the birds were released in the Lake Whakatipu Waimaori valley, an alpine area of New Zealand's South Island last week, on to slopes they had not been seen roaming for about 100 years. For Ngai Tahu, the tribe to whom the lands belong, and who faced a long legal battle for their return, it is particularly significant, marking the return to the wild of the birds that their ancestors lived alongside, in lands that they had fought to regain. (more)

New Zealand becomes first country to ban single-use produce bags at grocery stores
7 July 2023 - Customers in New Zealand will now be asked to carry their own reusable bags for fruits and vegetables to grocery stores. New Zealand is considered the first country in the world to ban single-use produce bags at supermarkets. The measure officially went into effect on July 1. Single-use plastics can cause a multitude of problems, including clogging storm sewers, littering landscapes, and killing wildlife. (more)

'In awe': New Zealand aurora hunters entranced by unusually bright southern lights display
31 March 2023 - The lure of unusually vibrant views of the southern lights in New Zealand has prompted aurora-hunters to drive for hours through the night to capture the 'elusive' sight on camera, with social media groups devoted to swapping tips growing in size. The aurora australis is always more visible in New Zealand and Australian skies during autumn and winter -- beginning in March in the southern hemisphere -- but this month, the southern lights have been more visible than usual, analysts say. (more)

Air New Zealand to develop zero-emission demonstrator planes with partners
13 December 2022 - Air New Zealand said on Wednesday [14 December] it had partnered with four aircraft makers to develop zero-emission demonstrator flights by 2026, using electric, green hydrogen, and hybrid technologies. (more)

'Intrinsic to our identity': kiwi brought back to Wellington's wilds
25 November 2022 - New Zealand's national bird vanish from the capital 100 years ago. A new cohort of 11 birds is changing all that. Along a windswept ridge line on Wellington's south coast, 11 kiwi -- New Zealand's treasured national bird -- are making themselves at home for the first time in generations. The unique flightless birds have been busy in the week since their arrival. (more)

New Zealand river's personhood status offers hope to Maori
23 August 2022 - In 2017, New Zealand passed a groundbreaking law granting personhood status to the Whanganui River. The law declares that the river is a living whole, from the mountains to the sea, incorporating all its physical and metaphysical elements. The law was part of a settlement with the Whanganui Iwi, comprising Maori from a number of tribes who have long viewed the river as a living force. ... (more)

Computer Recycling unveils new machine to deal with New Zealand's huge e-waste problem
21 April 2022 - A new state-of-the-art machine that sorts and shreds electronic waste has officially started operation in Auckland. The BLUBOX machine is aiming to catapult New Zealand from one of the worst electronic waste offenders to one of the best. The technology shreds and sorts e-waste in an enclosed negative pressure system, recovering up to 90 percent of components. (more)

New Zealand to ban cigarette sales for future generations
11 December 2021 - New Zealand plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime in one of the world's toughest crackdowns on the tobacco industry, arguing that other efforts to extinguish smoking were taking too long. The package of measures will make New Zealand's retail tobacco industry one of the most restricted in the world, just behind Bhutan where cigarette sales are banned outright. New Zealand's neighbour Australia was the first country in the world to mandate plain packaging of cigarettes in 2012. (more)

Hawks, doves, and kotuku: how Maori culture is changing New Zealand's central bank
2 November 2021 - Over the past few years, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has undergone an overhaul that puts the country's Maori heritage and language at the center of its operations. The RBNZ's new stylized logo is inspired by the legend of Tane Mahuta, the Maori god of the forest, and builds on the narrative of RBNZ as a giant tree that serves as 'kaitiaki', or guardian, of the financial system. (more)

Te Urewera: New Zealand's 'living' rainforest
29 September 2021 - In a world-first law, one of the world's most remote rainforests has been passed back to its Indigenous owners and granted the same legal status as people. Ever since 2014, many of the roughly 7,000 Tuhoe people who live near Te Urewera's river valleys have been encouraging visitors to connect with their sacred land on a more meaningful level. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Meditating for your heart: Top New Zealand TV news show interviews Dr Robert Schneider
9 October 2013 - A top New Zealand television news show interviewed leading American heart researcher Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, this week during his current speaking tour in the country. The segment on the 'Breakfast' news show was titled 'Meditating for your heart'. During the 4-minute interview, Dr Schneider talked with host Melissa Stokes about his recent research on Transcendental Meditation showing how the simple, stress-reducing meditation technique has a beneficial effect on the 'brain-heart connection'--promoting lower blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. (more)

New Zealand: Visiting cardiologist to give public lecture on Transcendental Meditation at University of Canterbury
6 October 2013 - A visiting cardiologist will give a public lecture at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, this week explaining that people who regularly practise Transcendental Meditation have 48 per cent fewer deaths, heart attacks, and strokes. American academic researcher Dr Robert Schneider is touring New Zealand this month to explain the health benefits of meditation. (more)

Maharishi Vastu home highlighted in New Zealand Herald article
4 October 2013 - An October article in the New Zealand Herald, the most widely read newspaper in New Zealand, highlighted a new home built according to the principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture and to high ecological and energy-efficient standards. The home features cutting-edge eco design, a modern look, and ancient architectural principles. (more)

Medical association in New Zealand to work with doctors prescribing Transcendental Meditation
4 October 2013 - A Maharishi Medical Association is being established in New Zealand to work with doctors who want to prescribe Transcendental Meditation to patients with cardiovascular disease. The association will interface with doctors and provide another avenue for learning the stress-reducing technique, which has been found to reduce atherosclerosis and other aspects of cardiovascular disease. Doctors will prescribe Transcendental Meditation, and then the association will organize for those patients to learn. (more)

New Vastu developments springing up in New Zealand
4 October 2013 - New Zealand has a population of 4.4 million people and over 120 active Transcendental Meditation teachers. There is increasing interest in the meditation technique and in Maharishi Vastu architecture in the country. (more)

New Zealand company to help clients design and build Vastu homes quickly
4 October 2013 - In New Zealand there are Maharishi Vastu architecture developments in progress in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. With all this interest, director Martin Davy spoke of a new initiative to help everyone who is interested to start enjoying the benefits of living in Vastu-designed buildings as quickly and easily as possible. 'We are creating this company that will work with the people wanting to be in Vastu,' said Mr Davy. 'This company will organize for the contractors, the project managers, and the design, and then people will just be able to move into their Vastu house very easily.' They can just ask for a Vastu house, he said--'and this company will take care of everything'. (more)

New Zealand: Growing interest in Transcendental Meditation
4 October 2013 - Interest in the Transcendental Meditation programme has been rising steadily in New Zealand. Martin Davy, director of the programme in the country, explained that he and his wife recently opened a new Maharishi Invincibility Centre in Wellington, a teaching centre where people can learn about the stress-reducing meditation technique and take a course of instruction. (more)

New Zealand: Renowned doctor supports Transcendental Meditation as treatment for heart disease
4 October 2013 - A world-renowned expert on Transcendental Meditation and the prevention of heart disease recently toured New Zealand. Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, is one of the world's leading authorities on scientific, natural approaches for heart disease. He spent five days in New Zealand, giving nine different talks to doctors and others in the medical profession in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland. (more)

Transcendental Meditation and heart health: Expert's New Zealand tour supported by media
4 October 2013 - Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, a world-renowned expert in natural approaches to heart health, recently toured New Zealand. An article in the New Zealand Herald, the largest newspaper in the country, was published about his tour last month. The article interviewed Dr Schneider in regard to his most recent research, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, which showed a 48 per cent reduction in heart attack, stroke, and death among patients with cardiovascular disease who practised Transcendental Meditation. (more)

Why Transcendental Meditation is good for your heart - New Zealand Herald reports
4 October 2013 - Prominent American researcher Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, is coming to New Zealand this month to explain the health benefits of Transcendental Meditation practice. According to The New Zealand Herald, Dr Schneider will give presentations to doctors and to the public in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch from 6 to 9 October. 'I wish to tell New Zealand doctors why the American Heart Association is now recommending Transcendental Meditation,' said Dr Schneider from his home in Iowa, USA. 'My message to the public is simple. Learn TM to lower high blood pressure and reduce heart disease.' (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

'Like you're in a horror movie': pollution leaves New Zealand wetlands irreversibly damaged
24 March 2023 - The birds of Whangamarino, a freshwater wetland covering 7,000 hectares in Waikato, in New Zealand's North Island, are being killed by a botulism outbreak, a consequence of mass fish deaths, which in turn are prompted by flooding, algal blooms [or algae blooms], and high levels of pollutants including heavy nutrient load from farming. This summer, the birds died in their thousands: swans, ducks, geese, spoonbills. As the season drew to a close, teams of volunteers fished the feathered bodies from the water and piled them hundreds-high in boats and pickup trucks. (more)

New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new coronavirus cluster
11 August 2020 - New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country plunged back into lockdown on Wednesday. ...The source of the outbreak has baffled health officials, who said they were confident there were was no local transmission of the virus in New Zealand for 102 days and that the family had not travelled overseas. (more)

Samoan chief in New Zealand sentenced to 11 years in jail for slavery but experts say he is just the tip of the iceberg
29 July 2020 - They thought they were going to New Zealand to make better lives for their families. They were told they would leave Samoa -- a small island nation in the South Pacific -- for their larger neighbor, a country with about 25 times the population. Once there, they would work and send the money back home to their loved ones. Instead, when they arrived in New Zealand, the 13 victims were confronted with an entirely different situation, legal records show. (more)

'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble
17 April 2019 - A report on the state of New Zealand's environment has painted a bleak picture of catastrophic biodiversity loss, polluted waterways and the destructive rise of the dairy industry and urban sprawl. Environment Aotearoa is the first major environmental report in four years, and was compiled using data from Statistics New Zealand and the environment ministry. (more)

'Their birthright is being lost': New Zealanders fret over polluted rivers
4 March 2019 - According to a recent poll, water pollution is now New Zealanders' number one concern: 82 percent of respondents said they want tougher protections for waterways, ranking it as a priority above the housing crisis, the rising cost of living, and child poverty. ... According to the environment ministry, two-thirds of all rivers are now unswimmable and three-quarters of New Zealand's native freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction. Cow effluent and fertilizer run-off are significant polluters of inland waterways, as are beef, sheep, and deer farming. Mass deforestation and the extensive clearing of native wetlands has also played a significant role. (more)

New Zealand wildfires show no sign of easing, 3,000 flee
10 February 2019 - Strong winds on Sunday (10 February) are expected to fan forest fires that have been burning for a week through New Zealand's South Island, forcing thousands of people from their homes, with more residents expected to flee, officials said. New Zealand Red Cross Communications Manager Ellie van Baaren said evacuees were tired and frustrated. (more)

First 6 months of 2016 hottest ever recorded in New Zealand
4 July 2016 - Ski fields are struggling to open and winter electricity consumption is down in New Zealand after the first six months of 2016 proved to be the hottest start to a year that scientists have ever recorded. Temperatures in the South Pacific nation were 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 Fahrenheit) above the long-term average for the first half of the year, according to the government-funded National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. The agency reported that carbon dioxide levels recorded at a station near Wellington passed 400 parts per million in June for the first time. The threshold is seen as significant internationally as an indicator of climate change. (more)

Rapid melt of famed New Zealand glaciers ends hikes onto them
16 March 2016 - New Zealand is renowned for its wondrous scenery, and among the country's top tourist attractions are two glaciers that are both stunning and unusual because they snake down from the mountains to a temperate rain forest, making them easy for people to walk up to and view. But the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers have been melting at such a rapid rate that it has become too dangerous for tourists to hike onto them from the valley floor, ending a tradition that dates back a century. With continuing warm weather this year there are no signs of a turnaround, and scientists say it is another example of how global warming is impacting the environment. (more)

Newer pesticides could be putting sting on bees
4 September 2014 - New Zealand must investigate whether some of the newer pesticide sprays are doing long-term harm to bee populations, former president of the National Beekeepers' Association Barry Foster says. He's been keeping bees in Gisborne for 20 years. No one had investigated the effect of neonicotinoid systemic pesticides on the country's soils, he said. A Victoria University MSc student will begin a study on unexplained bee losses in the Gisborne region this season. The research was urgent because evidence from overseas was growing that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides which had enabled a leap in horticultural production was one of the factors causing bee populations to die off in Europe and the United States, Mr Foster said. (more)

Ocean garbage frustrates search for Flight 370
31 March 2014 - Anticipation has repeatedly turned into frustration in the search for signs of Flight 370 as objects spotted from planes in a new search area west of Australia have turned out to be garbage. It's a time-wasting distraction for air and sea crews searching for debris from the Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished 8 March. It also points to wider problems in the world's oceans. 'The ocean is like a plastic soup, bulked up with the croutons of these larger items,' said Los Angeles captain Charles Moore, an environmental advocate credited with bringing attention to an ocean gyre between Hawaii and California known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which by some accounts is about the size of Texas. The world's oceans have four more of these flotsam-collecting vortexes, Moore said, and the searchers, in an area about 1,850 kilometres (1,150 miles) west of Perth, have stumbled onto the eastern edge of a gyre in the Indian Ocean. (more)


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