Home' Greymouth Star : May 28th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Thursday, May 28, 2015
A robot that gives high-fives and
dances while playing music is not just
a toy, it is a mar vel of engineering, a
museum spokeswoman says.
A prototype of Meccanoid, an
interactive robot made by Meccano,
will be at the Museum of Transport
and Technology (MOTAT) over the
Favona School students got to meet
the bug-eyed bot — which looks
similar to the Pixar character Wall-E
— a little earlier than most on a
school trip to MOTAT yesterday.
Seven Year 5 and 6 students “danced
the robot ” alongside the 1.2m-tall
prototype, which was made of
Meccano parts and smart technology
to bring it to life.
One feature that proved popular
with the children was the “high-five”.
When Meccanoid’s arm was bent
back, it triggered a sequence where
the robot would swing its arm back
up and over, “slapping” the children’s
eagerly outstretched palms.
With the prototype, the commands
were given by MOTAT experience
co-ordinator Andrew McCartney
through an iPad app, but the finished
version of Meccanoid will respond to
voice commands and body movement
as well as the app.
MOTAT communications advisor
Vanessa Hefer said Meccanoid was an
award-winning robotics invention, as
well as something fun to play with.
“This is quite a breakthrough.
“ It ’s not just a toy, it ’s cutting edge
technology in the field of robotics.”
MOTAT will have two versions
of Meccanoid, one slightly shorter,
on display over Queen’s Birthday
Weekend and Ms Hefer expects they
will be a hit.
“ You can just see by the enthusiasm
of these children that there’s going to
be a good reaction.”
People keen to get their hands on
the finished version of Meccanoid,
which was due out in September, can
pre-order one at MOTAT for $499.
Meccano robot ‘marvel of engineering’
Favona School pupils meet Meccanoid yesterday.
Reality television show Road Cops
has been confirmed as the interim
replacement for embattled current affairs
show Campbell Live.
Media Works confirmed yesterday that
Campbell Live will end tomorrow, and
that it will be John Campbell’s last day
According to TV3’s on-line guide
yesterday, Road Cops — a reality
television programme — will screen on
Monday June 1 at 7pm.
A Media Works spokeswoman said
Road Cops was playing in the time slot
because Monday was a public holiday.
She would not be drawn on what
would play from Tuesday.
However, she has since confirmed Road
Cops will be the interim replacement
until a new current affairs show takes
over the 7pm timeslot from Mondays
Media Works announced a shake-up
of TV3’s 7pm show last week — it will
be screening four nights a week with two
hosts, with the changes taking place in
around six weeks.
Sources say the changes mean
Campbell Live’s cast will be cut from 22
to 16. Rachel Smalley and Paul Henry
are among the names rumoured to be in
the running for co-hosting duties.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Reality show replaces Campbell
in road deaths
New Zealand has
recorded the sharpest
increase in annual road
deaths among a group
of 28 countries in an
The number of fatalities
increased 16.1% last year
compared with 2013 —
the worst among eight
countries whose records
have deteriorated in the
International Road Traffic
and Accident Database (Irtad).
The figure reverses an improvement
by about the same level the year before,
and New Zealand is around the middle
of the pack in terms of road deaths per
100,000 head of population.
Road death comparison figures were
revealed at the OECD’s International
Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig,
eastern Germany tonight.
Sweden has the lowest rate of fatalities
at 2.7 per 100,000. New Zealand has
5.7 and Argentina is the worst of those
in the study, with 12.9 road deaths per
100,000 of population in 2013.
New Zealand took over the presidency
of the ITF yesterday and Transport
Minister Simon Bridges said the rise
“ What we know is those numbers
aren’t just numbers, they represent lives,”
The 2014 data showed 15 countries in
the study had a fall in road deaths, five
remained around the same and eight
had an increase. The steep rise in New
Zealand followed a 17% fall in fatalities
between 2013 and the following year.
New Zealand is heading for a higher
toll this year with the number of deaths
tonight at 134 compared with 123 at the
same time last year.
An ITF spokesman said New Zealand’s
relatively small size made percentage
movements more dramatic.
“ Even big percentage swings often
reflect a small absolute
number of people — while
even small percentage
changes for big countries
often involve a much
larger absolute number of
people,” he said.
“New Zealand saw a
strong reduction in road
fatalities in 2013, so 2014
should be seen in context
of beyond just a year-on -
year change. The overall
trend is positive, towards
Mr Bridges said over the 2000s there
had been a 45% decline of fatalities
compared to the rise in population.
He said he and associate minister Craig
Foss had made reducing the road toll one
of the three main transport priorities.
The driving age had been increased,
tests made harder, drink drive limits
lowered and the rules changed around
children’s car seats.
“ We’ve got to keep pressing on this
other wise you can go backwards.”
The figures are still provisional and
one country, Malaysia — which had the
worst death rate in the figures released
last year — is not in the sur vey.
Road deaths in Australia declined in
the study, from 1187 to 1156. Of the
countries studied, the United States
has the highest number with more than
32,000 deaths (according to latest figures
in 2013) and a fatality rate of 10.9 per
100,000 of population.
The international trend shows road
deaths falling by 42% among countries
sur veyed since 2000 by Irtad, the
permanent working group on road safety
at the ITF.
The economic downturn that started
hitting most countries since 2008 has
had a substantial impact in the reduction
of fatalities. Modelling work by the ITF
shows that it contributed to two-thirds
of the reduction between 2008 and 2010.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Remand in custody
after jewellery theft,
The woman at the centre of a right
to die case returned to the courtroom
yesterday to hear the final arguments in
Lecretia Seales, who is dying from
an inoperable brain tumour, was in the
courtroom on the first day of arguments
and the final session yesterday.
She has been fighting a legal battle
in the High Court at Wellington to be
able to legally have her doctor assist in
her death should she decide her life was
Earlier in the three-day hearing in
front of Justice David Collins, evidence
was given by Ms Seales’ oncologist,
who said she had weeks or some short
months to live.
Ms Seales, who was looking pale and
physically fragile, was brought into the
courtroom in a wheelchair.
She sat close to her family, husband and
supporters at the front of the courtroom
and mostly listened with her head tilted
to one side and her eyes closed.
Ms Seales’ legal team has argued
that not allowing Ms Seales’ doctor to
administer lethal medication that would
relieve her suffering was contrary to the
Human Rights Act.
Dr Andrew Butler said Ms Seales had
asserted she was not a vulnerable person,
but safeguards were still in place.
“If Lecretia is not in a position to give
informed consent, it will not happen.”
The Crown argued that there was
nothing in current legislation that
allowed for doctors to lawfully help to
end someone’s life and only a change in
legislation would make it legal.
Professor Paul Rishworth, QC, said
Ms Seales’ arguments around who could
apply for doctor-assisted death led to a
slippery slope and there were details such
as the definition of the word terminal
that would have to be dealt with.
Some patients could live a “very long
time” with terminal illnesses, he said.
Human Rights Commission lawyer
Matthew Palmer told Justice Collins
that if the court found that criminal law
was inconsistent with human rights law,
then the court did have the jurisdiction
to declare that inconsistency, he said.
“Both parties here have raised powerful
arguments on either side,” Dr Palmer
Earlier yesterday, anti-euthanasia group
Care Alliance’s lawyer Victoria Casey
said Oregon legislation, which was being
proposed in Ms Seales’ case, had no
provision for supervising the conditions
in which lethal medication was taken
and whether it was being taken freely.
In New Zealand there was a
documented problem with elder abuse
and the results of legalising doctor-
assisted deaths could be “chilling”,
Ms Casey said.
She also strongly objected to Ms Seales’
lawyers describing physical disability
that their client might succumb to as
degrading and lacking in dignity with
many people suffering the same types of
The legislation would put those people
in danger, she said.
Society lawyer Kate Davenport, QC,
said legalising doctor-assisted death
would not open the floodgates for
people to be killed.
She said the civil case was about Ms
Seales and the treatment she was seeking
from her doctor.
Her doctor would prescribe medication
for the purpose of relieving Ms Seales’
suffering, Ms Davenport said. The
decision of when to take the medication
would lie with Ms Seales, she said.
Justice Collins reser ved his decision.
Reserved decision in right-to-die case
An alleged jewellery thief
who hit a man in the face with
a hammer in a desperate bid to
escape will spend at least the next
two weeks in custody.
Ora Neilson, a 22-year-old
Mount Wellington man, appeared
in the Auckland District Court
yesterday charged with robbery
and aggravated wounding, which
carries a maximum term of 14
documents, he stole $38,551 of
jewellery from Michael Hill in
the Sylvia Park mall on Tuesday
morning, before trying to make
Witnesses said when
Vodafone staff member tried
to thwart his getaway he took a
hammer blow to the face.
Police said the good samaritan
received dozens of stitches to a
facial wound but did not need to
be admitted to hospital.
In court yesterday, Neilson
appeared wearing a white,
prison-issue jumpsuit and did
not apply for bail, with his lawyer
saying getting an address to go to
would be problematic.
Walker and Hall sales assistant
Sam Bhutani described how
he saw the incident unfold at
rival jeweller Michael Hill as he
prepared to open his store.
He said the defendant was
finally stopped when someone
tripped him up and then pinned
him to the ground.
It was the second time Michael
Hill had been robbed this month,
Mr Bhutani said.
The defendant will be back in
court on June 9.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
DEALS IN EVERY DEPARTMENT!
BE IN QUICK WHILE STOCKS LAST - DISCOUNTS ARE OFF OUR FULL RETAIL PRICE!
* DISCOUNT IS OFF OUR FULL RETAIL PRICE AND APPLIES TO STOCK ONLY. EXCLUDES SMART SAVER ITEMS, APPLE PRODUCTS, BEKO WHITEWARE, GAME
CONSOLES, MP3 PLAYERS, CARPET, GOODS ALREADY ON SPECIAL & INSTALLATION OF AIR CONDITIONERS. FARMLANDS & ATS CARDS ARE WELCOME,
BUT NO FURTHER DISCOUNT APPLIES. NOT AVAILABLE IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY OTHER CURRENT PROMOTIONAL OFFER.
SHOP ONLINE @SMITHSCITY.CO.NZ MUST END MONDAY 1ST JUNE
in dark stain
MATTRESS & BASE
QUEENSIZE MATTRESS & BASE
MATTRESS & BASE
Cnr Boundary & Herbert Sts,
GREYMOUTH Ph: 768-4205
OPTION MEANS ALL YOU PAY IS THE ADVERTISED PRICE PLUS
INSURANCE & CREDIT FEES. CONDITIONS APPLY, PLEASE ASK INSTORE FOR DETAILS.
Links Archive May 27th 2015 May 29th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page