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Te Urewera: New Zealand's 'living' rainforest
1 October 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)

New Zealand couple says no to lucrative offers from developers and gives land to nation
27 November 2020 - A married couple from New Zealand has donated their heritage farming property to the state to ensure the beautiful natural scenery it contains can be enjoyed by the people for all time. Shirking development offers for the protection of the area as working pastureland, Dick and Jillian gave the local government of the Wakatipu, on New Zealand's South Island, something that is becoming increasingly scarce: a wide-open landscape. (more)

New Zealand couple gift pristine land worth millions to the nation
25 November 2020 - A New Zealand couple is gifting 900 hectares of pristine land worth millions to the crown in hopes of seeing the property preserved for all to 'enjoy and appreciate' for years to come. Situated at the base of the Remarkables range near Lake Wakatipu, the land has been owned by Dick and Jillian Jardine's family for 98 years. Now, however, the couple has decided that come 2022, the family's 100th year of ownership, they will hand over the property to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust. (more)

New Zealand couple shuns developers to give 900 hectares of land to nation
24 November 2020 - A New Zealand farming family has gifted 900 hectares of pristine land by the edge of Lake Wakatipu to the crown, saying it is 'the right thing to do'. The stretch of land at the foot of the Remarkables range will become open to everyone in 2022, after being handed over to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust for 'the benefit and enjoyment of all New Zealanders'. Remarkables station owners, Dick and Jillian Jardine, whose family have owned and worked the land for 98 years, want to see it protected and loved for another century. (more)

New Zealand appoints first Indigenous female foreign minister
2 November 2020 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced parliament's newest ministers Monday [2 November], including the appointment of Nanaia Mahuta to the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs; the nation's first Indigenous woman to hold the position. Just shy of a quarter-century of political prowess, including her most recent roles as Minister for Maori Development and Local Government, Mahuta will join what is becoming one of the most diverse parliaments in the world. 'I am excited by this team,' Ardern said. 'They bring experience from the ground, and from within politics. But they also represent renewal and reflect the New Zealand we live in today.' Mahuta is one of New Zealand's 16 Maori ministers. (more)

New Zealand's Department of Conservation program helps black stilts take flight
21 August 2020 - Black stilts -- or kaki, in the Maori language -- are critically endangered wading birds, with fewer than 200 individuals remaining in the wild. The kaki once had an extensive range across both the North and South islands of New Zealand, but introduced predators greatly reduced wild populations of the bird. The Kaki Recovery Programme run by New Zealand's Department of Conservation aims to give a much-needed boost to wild populations, and so far, it seems to be working. (more)

New Zealand: Green chemistry -- better, safer, more sustainable
20 August 2020 - James Wright and Cameron Weber are passionate advocates of an area of chemistry known as 'green chemistry.' 'It's where we design new processes and products that don't harm the environment,' says James, who is Director of the Centre for Green Chemical Science at the University of Auckland. (more)

In New Zealand, life is ordinary again after 101 days with no community spread
10 August 2020 - New Zealand has now gone 101 days without any community transmission of the coronavirus, and life in the country has largely returned to normal -- an experience far different from the havoc that the virus is causing elsewhere in the world. On Monday [10 August], Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, called New Zealand 'a global exemplar.' (more)

With an eye on the environment, New Zealand wants to overhaul the way buildings are constructed
6 July 2020 - The New Zealand government unveiled plans for a program which aims to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the building and construction sector, and potentially futureproofs the built environment against the impacts of climate change. While the program will start out by looking at new builds, the government added that it was 'likely that changes will also need to be made to existing buildings.' (more)

New Zealand: Freshwater reserve bigger than Rhode Island discovered deep beneath the sea
28 March 2020 - Geologists have announced a rare discovery -- a large body of freshwater near Canterbury, New Zealand, that scientists say could offer a brand new supply of water to areas exposed to regular drought. Researchers describe the newly-discovered offshore freshened groundwater (OFG) system in the journal Nature Communications, after 3D mapping revealed the complex shape of the underwater water body. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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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

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)

Teens who smoke pot can damage memory, intelligence
27 August 2012 - Teenagers who become hooked on cannabis before they reach 18 may be causing lasting damage to their intelligence, memory and attention, according to the results of a large, long-term study published on Monday. Terrie Moffitt, a psychology and neuroscience professor at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said the scope and length of the study, which involved more than 1,000 people followed up over 40 years, gave its findings added weight. The researchers also found that people who started using cannabis in adolescence and continued for years afterwards showed an average decline in Intelligence Quotient (IQ) test scores of 8 points between the age of 13 and 38. Madeleine Meier, a post-doctoral researcher at Duke University in the United States said the study's message was clear: 'Marijuana is not harmless, particularly for adolescents.' (more)


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