Home' Greymouth Star : September 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, September 4, 2015
Chris before being shorn of over 40kg of wool yesterday.
A vet uses a stethoscope to check on the heartbeat of an Australian sheep, named Chris by
its rescuers, during shearing.
Aust sheep fleeces NZ of woolly record
About 40kg of wool has been sheared from
a sheep found near Australia’s capital, the
SPCA said yesterday, making it unofficially
the world’s woolliest.
The animal, named Chris by its rescuers,
was discovered on the northern outskirts of
Canberra on Wednesday and was said to be
struggling to walk under the weight of its
Tammy Ven Dange, chief executive of
SPCA ACT, the Canberra division of the
animal charity, estimated Chris had more
than seven years of wool growth and probably
little contact with humans.
The 40.45kg of wool means Chris was
unofficially the carrier of the world’s heaviest
fleece, shattering the current record set by
New Zealand sheep Big Ben, found to be
carrying nearly 29kg of wool in 2014.
Big Ben dethroned fellow New Zealand
sheep Shrek (27kg of wool), which gained
national celebrity, meeting then-Prime
Minister Helen Clark and becoming the
subject of several children’s books before its
death in 2011. — Reuters
Agriculture would be given a five-year
window before being required to significantly
cut emissions under a Green Party climate
That would remove the Government ’s “main
road block” to action on climate change and
ensure farmers did their fair share, the party
The plan would also require 100% renewable
electricity generation by 2030, and an
immediate tree-planting programme, among
“O ur climate plan shows how, with real
leadership and a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, the
Government can reduce our emissions by a
respectable 40% below 1990 levels,” co-leader
James Shaw said, at the launch of the Yes we
can! climate plan in Wellington yesterday.
New Zealand needed to face-down the
“terrifying truth” of climate change, Mr Shaw
said, and not take the easy but futile option of
“ blocking our ears and covering our eyes”.
“Coastlines, in places like Haumoana in
Hawke’s Bay are disappearing. Previously fertile
pastures are drying up, one in 100-year floods
are happening every year in places like Dunedin
and Whanganui, and species are falling into
extinction every day.”
Under the Greens’ plan the 40% target would
be achieved by. —
Th e establishment of a Climate Commission
to assess the Government ’s progress on meeting
targets, and that would provide advice on
A Green Investment Bank to stimulate
growth in low-emission economic activity.
A “Climate Tax Cut ” that would put a price
on greenhouse gas emissions, but recycles the
revenue back to householders and business
through tax credits.
Mr Shaw said the Government also needed
to implement policies to reduce emissions
in electricity, transport, industry, waste and
For example, 100% renewable electricity
generation should be achieved by 2030, in
part through initiatives such as smart grid
technologies and wider use of solar panels.
In agriculture, after a five year lead-in time
agriculture would need to reduce its emissions
by 2.2 tonnes below 2015 levels by 2030.
All of the cuts outlined in the climate plan
would achieve a target of 35% below 1990 levels
by 2030, the Greens said, and an immediate
tree-planting regime would ensure the 40%
target was met.
In July, Minister for Climate Change Issues
Tim Groser confirmed a higher emissions
reduction target, that would be to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2005
levels by 2030.
He described it as a “significant increase” on
the 2020 target, which was a reduction of 5%
below 1990 levels. If the new target was set to a
1990 baseline, it was the equivalent of an 11%
Emissions targets which were set under the
Kyoto agreement were due to expire in 2020. All
countries were now expected to set new targets
for the period after 2020 as part of a climate
change agreement to be concluded in Paris.
Labour and Greens wanted Government to
match the EU by setting a target of at least a
40% reduction on 1990 levels by 2030.
The Government has said it needed to ensure
the target was achievable and avoided imposing
unfair costs on any particular sector or group of
Mr Shaw said the Government ’s target
was “one of the world’s weakest and most
embarrassing”, and others such as the European
Union had pledged targets of 40% below 1990
levels by 2030. — NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
climate plan Queenstown
A senior scientist is calling for the
government to increase funding for
weight loss surgeries to help in the battle
“Current methods are not working,”
Professor Peter Shepherd, of the
University of Auckland, said yesterday at
a public lecture as part of Queenstown
An overseas study had found patients
who under went bariatric — or weight
loss — surgery not only had long-
term success with weight management,
but were also less susceptible to other
issues related to obesity — for example,
diabetes, he said, while women in
particular had lower rates of cancer.
While some held a view that people
who were over weight “should (lose
weight) themselves”, Prof Shepherd said
that was not working, and it was not that
“ When people say ‘fat people should
just lose weight ’ it ’s really difficult.
“ We’ve got to understand obese people
. . . alotofthemarereallytrying...under
a great degree of suffering and pain.
“ I think we need to do something
different — use science to tackle the
Prof Shepherd said many viewed
obesity as a “moral problem”, when there
was actually a biological cause.
This week Prof Shepherd, deputy
director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre,
announced a $1 million study to identify
genes that predispose New Zealanders to
obesity and type 2 diabetes.
It aims to develop a test to determine
a person’s susceptibility to obesity and
type 2 diabetes and understand the most
effective means of counteracting that —
through diet and exercise, medication or
Prof Shepherd said yesterday he hoped,
following that study, to have a “serious
debate” about the issue.
“ I hope people are a lot more willing
to understand for some people they ’re
much more at risk of developing obesity
and will find it much harder to lose that
weight and we need to be open to new
ways of thinking about how to deal with
“Other wise, we’ll just continue facing
He believed the reason bariatric
surgery did not appear to be a priority for
government funding was at least partly
due to “fatism”.
At present the surgeries were “rationed”
across New Zealand and were treated
as “the ambulance at the bottom of the
About 28% of New Zealanders —
about 1.12 million — were obese, yet
there were fewer than 600 bariatric
surgery spaces available a year.
“ People want to think they can achieve
a population level weight loss by diet and
exercise, and it just doesn’t work,” Prof
In a statement, Ministry of Health
electives and national ser vices manager
Clare Perry said in 2014 the government
announced an additional $10m to
support the continued focus on bariatric
surgery, supporting the provision for at
least 480 bariatric surgeries nationally
over the four years from 2014-15 — up
from 131 procedures in 2007-08.
The total cost per surgery was about
$20,000 which included relevant
supplements, the procedure and follow-
ups, she said.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman
said yesterday New Zealand was “not
unique” in its battle with obesity and
there was “no single solution”.
The government was “not actively
considering a sugar tax”, he said.
— Otago Daily Times
Williamson apologises for offensive comments
Pakuranga National MP
Maurice Williamson, once lauded
for his “ big gay rainbow ” speech in
support of same-sex marriage, is
under fire from gay and women’s
advocates for a speech considered
homophobic and sexist.
Guests of the Esri Users
Conference gala dinner at Sky
City last Tuesday revealed Mr
Williamson’s comments during
his MC spot had people “removing
themselves from the room”.
Attendees complained Mr
Williamson made “sexist ” jokes
and comments about scantily
clad women, and played an audio
clip that disparaged women and
Mr Williamson yesterday
afternoon put out a statement
in which he apologised for the
offence he had caused.
“I was asked to be as
entertaining and as funny as I
possibly could. It was never my
intention to upset any delegates.
“I overstepped the line on the
night and did cause offence. For
that I unreser vedly apologise.”
Trevor Easton, the general
intersex support and counselling
ser vice O ut Line NZ, said the
comments would have shocked
people “20 years ago, never
mind today ”.
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
oak to go
A World War One memorial oak tree
in Kurow is to be removed because it is
causing problems for Network Waitaki
The tree is one of more than 400 oak
trees planted around North Otago in
1919 as a living monument to each
North Otago soldier killed in World
Under the district plan, the memorial
oak trees are protected by their category
Recreation manager Erik van der
Spek said the Waitaki District Council
planning department had worked with
the Memorial Oaks Committee to
approve the removal of the tree in Manse
Street, Kurow, after concerns were raised
by Network Waitaki.
— Otago Daily Times
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