Mandatory registration doesn’t go far enough

There’s a push to introduce mandatory registration for all social workers who deal with vulnerable children.

New Zealand First has entered a member’s bill into the ballot which would allow the already existing Social Workers’ Registration Board to have some power.

Under the legislation, it would be able to regulate, support and monitor professional standards for those in the children’s workforce.

The party’s spokesperson for Social Development Darroch Ball says the vast majority of New Zealanders don’t realise registration isn’t mandatory.

“The people I talk to, they all believe it should be mandatory.”

“We need to be one hundred percent certain as a country that the vulnerable in our society are being looked after by registered and qualified people.” Read more »

Anti port extension people go for the emotions: who will save those killer whales?

Photo credit:  Amos Chapple

Photo credit: Amos Chapple

A clear sign the protesters are on the back foot, they have abandoned ratinal argument (such as it was), and gone straight for the heart strings.

Proposed Auckland port developments could be a killer blow for the harbour’s already endangered New Zealand orca population, a wildlife expert fears.

Ports of Auckland wants to build two 100m extensions from the end of Bledisloe Wharf and eventually reclaim 3ha of seabed between them, a move which has sparked fierce public backlash.

Orca Research Trust founder and principal scientist Dr Ingrid Visser feared a narrower Waitemata Harbour would make boat strikes more common and increased noise could put the endangered mammals off entering a vital feeding and sleeping area.

Oh dear.  Of all the places in the world Orca want to feed and sleep, it’s exactly off the current port extension.  Right.  Not doing yourself a lot of credit there Ingrid.  This is how you lose support from people who care about your work in general. Read more »


The answer to people who want to eat and diet at the same time

As Blubbergeddon is a little on the back burner for a number of us, the latest in surgical “marvels” eliminates the need for any self discipline

In a new attempt to control New Zealand’s obesity epidemic, severely overweight patients will have a stomach drain installed through which they pump out excess food.

Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland will run a trial of a device called Aspire Assist, which is installed in a 20-minute outpatient visit requiring no more than conscious sedation.

The backers of the technique view it as a relatively straightforward alternative to state-funded obesity surgery, for which the hospital is unable to meet demand.

Weight can be hard to shed and keep off long term. Thirty per cent of Kiwi adults and 10 per cent of children are obese. New Zealand is the third most obese of developed countries, although some Pacific island states have rates twice as high.

The Aspire Assist device involves joining the stomach to an external valve, via a tube through a hole in the skin. Twenty minutes after meals, the patient connects a hand-operated pump to the valve and drains around 30 per cent of the stomach’s contents into a special container for disposal – unwanted calories discarded before they can be absorbed by the body.

If I have to be absolutely honest with you, this would be the sort of life style gadget that I’d love to have.   I love my food.  I love tastes and textures and crunch.  It’s not about hunger as much as it is about the experience.   Read more »


Mental Health Break

More free. Always with the free. Someone pays

Vaccinations for chicken pox, meningococcal C and HPV for boys must be added to New Zealand’s free immunisation register, a health expert says.

The call from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, director of immunisation research and vaccinology at the University of Auckland, comes as debate rages on both sides of the Tasman after the Australian Government last week announced a policy to cut child and family benefits for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

New Zealand’s National Immunisation Schedule stipulates which free vaccines people should get and when. Illnesses covered include rotavirus, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella.

Petousis-Harris says the list should be widened to include chicken pox and meningococcal C shots and the HPV vaccine for boys. Read more »

Map of the Day

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Top Rated Films set in each US State

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Legal highs for… bees

Bees are getting a buzz from pesticides, and it’s not a good thing.

Like nicotine for humans, certain pesticides seem to hold an addictive attraction for bees, which seek out tainted food even if it may be bad for them, research shows.

Not only did bees show no signs of avoiding neonicotinoid-laced food in lab tests, they seemed to prefer it, said a study published on Wednesday (local time) in the science journal Nature.

“We now have evidence that bees prefer to eat pesticide-contaminated foods,” study author Geraldine Wright of Newcastle University said.

This suggests, she said, “that like nicotine, neonicotinoids may act like a drug to make foods containing these substances more rewarding”.

The law of untended consequences strikes again.   Read more »

Sign of the Day

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Study discovers what makes Kiwis awesome


…a landmark study into how New Zealanders are faring on a personal and social level, has revealed new insights into what makes Kiwis ‘awesome’ (those in the community with extremely high levels of wellbeing) and you might be surprised who tops the list.

I’ll give you a clue – it doesn’t have Martin Martyn near the top.  Nor the world’s greatest sysop.  Nor Russel Norman, oddly enough.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: John Key Facebook

Photo: John Key Facebook

The Loved Ones Left Behind

 Widows of fallen heroes make emotional trip to Anzac Cove to remember the men they lost.

 John Key and Tony Abbott met with Prince Charles and Prince Harry after the dawn service and spent time with Australian World War One widows who even had gifts for the Princes.

Read more »