Saturday, September 27, 2008

Better Home Heating Improves Childhood Asthma

Source:, Wed 24 Sept 2008

"Further analysis of the 'Housing, Heating and Health' study conducted by the University of Otago, Wellington, and led by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, shows that improved home heating reduces asthma symptoms in children in New Zealand.

The results of the latest study have just been published in the prestigious British Medical Journal.

The study examined 409 children in five NZ communities between the ages of 6 and 12 with diagnosed asthma, both before and after more effective heating was installed in their homes. The better heating included heat pumps, flued gas heaters or pellet burners.

Children's health improves after better heating installed

The results showed a positive improvement in the children's health following the installation of better heating. Specifically the children had improved health, less sleep disturbance and wheezing, less coughing at night and improved respiratory symptoms. They also had fewer sick days off school and fewer visits to the doctor and chemist.

Although there was no significant difference in lung function, asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing were significantly reduced.

“This study shows that sustainable heaters are good for children’s health. It’s possible for families to be warm inside, without polluting the air outside. The recent Emissions Trading package builds on this work and allocates a billion dollars to insulate houses and install healthy heating. We expect to see improvements in respiratory health as a result,” says Professor Howden-Chapman.

The houses in the study had a mean temperature rise of 1.10C in the living room and 0.57C in the child's bedroom. They also had significantly less polluting nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from unflued gas heaters in both the living and bedrooms.

Further analysis of the health records of family members will determine other results from the heating intervention, along with a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis comparing the cost of healthy heating with the public good of ongoing savings in positive health impacts, energy use and climate change mitigation.

25% of NZ children report Asthma symtpoms

Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in childhood and 25% of NZ children report asthma symptoms. It is the second most common reason for hospital admissions for children. Asthmatic children also have more days off school and caregivers have to take more time off work. It also results in higher health and pharmaceutical costs.

There is growing evidence that indoor pollutants such at NO2, cold house temperatures, damp and mould and second-hand smoke all aggravate asthma, although the exact causal relationships are unclear. However children, because of their lack of physical development inhale more air, and therefore more pollutants, than adults in the same environment.

Indoor pollutants also have a thousand-fold greater chance of being inhaled than outdoors. One third of NZ homes use unflued gas heaters which emit significant concentrations of NO2 compared to heat pumps or other flued gas appliances. Unflued gas heaters also release large amounts of water vapour which exacerbates mould and dampness.

This research was funded by a public/private partnership consisting of: the Health Research Council, Contact Energy,the Ministry for the Environment, EECA, HNZC, Hutt Valley and Capital Coast District Health Boards and the LPG Association."

New Zealand Going to the Dogs?

Source: Britishexpats
"I have lived in NZ for 31yrs and my opinion is that it is getting worse and that the criminals are the ones that seem to have all the perks...I believe that prisons all over New Zealand should have a lock down one day a year and open the prisons to the general public or send the TV cameras in, after all we are paying for this so lets see exactly where our money is going...

I would bet that they live better lives in prison than some kiwis on the outside do with no stress of where their next meal is coming from and how will they pay next months power bill (of course they dont have a power bill to worry about because you and I are going to pay for it through the tax system)

This is where govenrment needs to get the balls to bring the prisons back to basics. A bare room with a bed and 4 walls to contemplate the crime that they have commited (this would happen in a perfect world but we aren't living in a perfect world are we) But then i guess the human rights thing would come into play, those poor prisoners have rights too well im sorry but I believe they gave away their rights when they commited the crime. So my belief is start at the bottom forget the death penalty for now and make life inside what it should be.

I also feel that things will get worse with the mentality of some of todays younger crowd have you ever been out late at night to pick up a takeaway im talking at around 11.30 - midnight time. I have and its extremely intimidating, theses kids and they are very young are drinking their heads off and using goodness knows what else and they really dont care...I sat behind a car in McDonalds last weekend and there were these 2 girls hanging out the back windows of the car and the noise they were making was indescribable it sounded like a cat stuck in in a doorway and they were totally off their faces and teenagers were walking along the road carrying boxes of beer. I was really freaked out and locked my car doors the atmosphere was like something was going to kick off any minute and if it had i had no where to go as i was stuck in a McDonalds drive through..And inside it was worse the place was full of kids off their faces....

My question is what are these kids going to be like as adults, we all used to go out and have a good time as teenegers often having too much to drink but nothing like what im seeing today these kids are binge drinking and smoking and taking whatever drugs because they are easy to get nowadays we are allowing a culture to grow and the bottom line is these kids are going to munt their brains and lots will turn into crims because society wont want to employ them.

My apologies if i have rambled on here, there are so many vairables of why there is so much crime but that the bottom line is that there is no deterent to not be in jail. I have seen the tv programs where the drug smugglers or whatever are in the jails overseas are living in basic accomodation thats what we need over here the people that they attack rob or whatever have had their basic human rights taken away so why not the crims...............

And did you see another stabbing in Hokitika last night! School ball after function got out of control......."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Samartian Stabbed in Auckland's CBD

Father of three, Austin Bernard Hemmings went to the aid of a woman who was being punchedby a man in the car park outside where she worked in Hills Lane, Auckland at 5:30pm last night.

The attacker turned on Mr Hemmings, stabbing him fatally in the chest.

Mr Hemming's family were contacted by paramedics who found their ICE number in his mobile phone, but by the time they arrived Mr Hemmings had passed away. The family then had a 20 hour wait before his body could be removed from the scene.

The Hemmings family had moved from Hamilton to Devonport 6 months ago when Austin took up a job as an IAG broker manager.

Police later arrested an 45 year old sickness beneficiary in the South Auckland suburb of Otahuhu.

South Auckland has long held a poor reputation for high levels of crime, many people are concerned that crime is out of control and spilling over into other parts of the region.

The incident has shocked many people and provoked outrage amongst many sections of the community. This thread was started on YahooNZ News:

NZ Has Gone To The Dogs


"By Ed's View
A hero is dead and it's official: this country has gone to the dogs.

Late on Thursday afternoon, 44-year-old Austin Bernard Hemmings did what any good decent human would do when he stepped in to help a woman who had been assaulted by another man.

He'd finished his day at work and was going home to his family - his wife and three children.

But he saw someone in trouble and helped out.

For this he is now dead and a 45-year-old sickness beneficiary who has name suppression is now in custody facing charges of assaulting a woman.

Further charges are no doubt due to follow, but at the time of writing this person was up on an assault charge.

This is downright disgusting.

And New Zealand has officially become a place where most people now live in fear.

The amount of child abuse, dosmetic violence, drug use, gang violence and murder is horrific.

There is no other way to describe it. It is appalling..........

New Zealand is no longer safe.

The police lack the ability to stop crime; they simply react to it after it happens.

They lack the resources to be able to do their jobs. For goodness sake, they have only just been given the "right" to use tasers to stop violent criminals. They can't even return fire at the people that are shooting at them with a taser!

Most criminals now carry weapons whether they're petty thieves, burglars, gang bangers out prowling or armed robbers......

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man Dies After Unprovoked Attack in Wanganui

Police have launched a murder investigation following what seems to be an unprovoked attack on a 28 year old man in the town of Wanganui yesterday. Mr Kumeroa suffered serious head injuries and died this morning, he leaves behind an 18 month old son.
Source: NZ Herald, 25 Sept, 2008

"Detective Inspector Sue Schwalger said Mr Kumeroa was walking along Cross Street in the suburb of Castlecliff about 9.45pm on Tuesday when a vehicle pulled up and the occupants assaulted him in a vicious and what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.

Mr Kumeroa's death had been reported to the coroner and a post mortem examination would be conducted later today."

Elderly Man Attacked in Home Invasion

Source:, 9 Sept 2008

Only a few weeks ago an elderly man was attacked in his home in Wanganui by two males in their mid teens. The resident was robbed and assaulted with an undisclosed weapon. He was later admitted to Wanganui hospital.

There is no information at this stage as to whether the two incidents are connected.

Wanganui Gang Crime a Growing Problem

Source:, 30 July 2008

In July Michel Laws, mayor of Wanganui, called for gang patches to be banned in a effort to halt the rise in gang related crime that is occurring in the town

"Mr Laws said gang crime in the city had spiked in the past four years and due to a lack of strong action at a national level a local solution was needed.

Police data issued under the Official Information Act and presented to the committee showed a steady rise in gang-related violence, with 99 offences recorded in 2007, up from just 12 in 2004.

Gang-related drug crimes rose from 17 to 39 over the same period and dishonesty offences from 28 to 90. The papers did not specify if the figures were for arrests or convictions."

Man Arrested in Connection with Fatal Shooting

At the start of July police arrested 29- man in connection with the fatal shooting of Nadine Timmins which took place in the Castlecliff area of Wanganui. Ms Timmins, who was shot in the head, died the next day


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