New Zealand News

Rare birds and rockets exist together at Rocket Lab's Mahia launch site

Friday, May 25, 2018

Monitoring shows a critically endangered native shore bird continues to nest and breed near the Rocket Lab launch site on Mahia Peninsula.Shore plover or tūturuatu nest on the shoreline of Waikawa / Portland Island, about 2km...

Footage reveals stunning clarity of famous NZ freshwater springs

Friday, May 25, 2018

New footage has revealed the spectacular clarity of one of New Zealand's largest freshwater springs - now at the centre of an environmental row.Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka, has some of the clearest waters ever measured,...

Lou Sanson: Shellfish poaching is killing our ecosystems

Friday, May 25, 2018

New Zealand's marine habitats are rich and complex, and our marine species are special – and sometimes tasty. It's the tastiness that is the problem. Pāua, whitebait, shellfish, kina, crayfish and fish like blue cod are illegally...

McDonald's not ready to let go of plastic straws

Friday, May 25, 2018

McDonald's isn't ready to stop offering plastic straws, despite environmental concerns.A shareholder proposal to pressure the world's biggest hamburger chain on the matter was voted down at the company's annual meeting Thursday....

1.7 million tourists in 12 months: Can New Zealand's environment handle it?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Half of all international tourists who came to New Zealand in the past year visited one of our national parks - and in some places numbers have swelled by a third.The Department of Conservation has welcomed the influx, while noting...

Eight sperm whales die after becoming stranded on South Taranaki beach

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eight sperm whales have died after becoming stranded on a South Taranaki beach - something the Department of Conservation says is "unusual".The stranding was reported by a member of the public this morning, and DoC staff that had...

Conservationists saddened after seabirds die in boxes

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Conservationists have been left saddened and angry over the deaths of seabirds that landed on board a cruise ship and were put in boxes instead of being released.They say action is needed to address what could be a "huge problem"...

New York City mulls plastic straw ban

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Plastic straws and stirrers could soon be banned in bars, restaurants and coffee shops in New York City.Democratic City Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a bill on Wednesday, saying restaurants should replace plastic with paper...

How New Zealand should be getting ready for climate change

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Better planning, resourcing, and leadership have been urgently called for by a top-level panel helping New Zealand prepare for a warmer, wetter and wilder future.Months after it declared New Zealand didn't have a strategy to adapt...

Michael Barnett: Council, stay out of waste industry

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Auckland Council's goal to significantly reduce landfill waste and increase recycling has strong support in principle from our waste management businesses, I am told. But there's a big problem.To achieve its goal of zero waste...

Saving our native species comes with winners and losers

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The battle to purge our wilderness of pest predators is helping our threatened species - but some more than others.Early results of a meta-analysis of conservation data gathered across the country found that while pest control brought...

Editorial: Doing without what you couldn't do without

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

They used to be everywhere ... the very definition of ubiquitous. Now they are not quite so everywhere.Those single-use plastic bags that stuff the environment generally — and waterways specifically — were "couldn't-do-without-them"...

Local Focus: 'Ploggers' get fit and clean up the environment

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Rubbish littering the streets is all too familiar for keen runner Kim Pickering, so she's doing something about it."I've been getting a little bit tired of the build-up of litter in New Zealand," she said. "Recently I have been...

Whanganui on board as Mitre 10 stamps out single-use plastic bags

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mitre 10 Mega Whanganui owner Hayden Gibson is delighted the company is doing away with single-use plastic bags.However, an environment watchdog isn't so pleased, warning the move may cause even more damage.Mitre 10, Mitre 10...

Are 'biodegradable' plastic bags any better for the planet?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

While companies have moved to rid their stores of single-use plastic bags, researchers are now questioning whether their "biodegradable" replacements are any better.A European study published today in the journal Royal Society...

Drying rivers can help drive climate change - study

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dry rivers like those that snake through Canterbury's countryside could be making a hidden contribution to climate change."People might feel that a pile of plant litter accumulating in a dry river bed couldn't possibly contribute...

'Unbearable stench': Abbotsford residents up in arms over big stink

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Residents living near an Abbotsford rendering plant are complaining of a "disgusting'' smell - not long after Mosgiel residents' issues with a similar plant owned by the same company.Several residents living near Dunedin's Keep...

Steven Carden: Farm changes only way to go

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

There has been plenty of discussion on New Zealand farms after Environment Minister David Parker's recent musings about the need to restrict on-farm activity in some regions to help clean up waterways.He pointed to Pāmu, the...

Local Focus: Plastic stockpiles growing after China shuts out our rubbish

Monday, May 21, 2018

Squashed and stacked more than 2m high, hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from Huntly's Metro Waste recycling station are at last on the move to Malaysia.But in other parts of the country, stockpiled recyclables are causing...

Diners pinch environmentally friendly metal straws from Wellington restaurants

Monday, May 21, 2018

Light-fingered patrons are taking advantage of Wellington's switch from plastic straws to metal ones.Last month a stretch of the city's waterfront from the train station to Freyberg Pool went plastic-straw free, meaning 26 restaurants,...

Did you know?

Known for 'basking' in the sun, this friendly shark is the second largest after the Whale shark.

Basking Sharks are impressive migrators, historically found in all of our ocean's temperate zones.  Although fished aggressively in past centuries, today the Basking shark is most commonly found in the waters off New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. 

Like his cousin the Whale shark, the Basking shark is a filter feeder, relying on Zooplankton and small Invertebrates as its main source of nutrition.

Reaching sizes of up to 10 meters, these sharks are gentle giants, known to swim slowly and near the surface of the water. Characterized by their docile nature, Basking sharks are an easy fishing target, and they are still hunted for their flesh, fins, and the gallons of oil produced by their livers.

Basking sharks equipped with research tags have proved to scientists they can swim across oceans and cross equators along their journeys. They have also been seen breaching and swimming nose to tail in what is thought to indicate mating behavior.  

With fewer than 8,000 female Basking sharks left in our oceans, scientists are hurriedly trying to learn more about these mysterious creatures.  Some believe they could become indicators of climate change given they are constantly following, searching for, or feeding on a great indicator of eco-system health, Zooplankton.    



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