New Zealand

Charlie Brewer / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Near Aukland airport, on the Northern Island of New Zealand, Maori protesters are blocking access to a construction site to protect what they regard as sacred land. The stand-off bears some similarities to the confrontation at Mauna Kea.

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Single use plastic bags are banned in Hawaiʻi — or at least they require an additional cash payment. Dozens of locations around the world now restrict the use of plastic bags, and one of the latest is New Zealand.

DJ Mermaid comes back to us from a week in Aotearoa (New Zealand) full of mahalo for the tangata whenua (peope of the land) that hosted her so well. Tonight's episode of Bridging The Gap honors the people, places, and language of Aotearoa through the waiata (songs) that the whanau (family) shared with her, along with other music she heard during her time there.

Governor - General of New Zealand / CC BY 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Government figures out this week show the U.S. economy grew a little faster than 3% in the first quarter of this year. For the United States and most other countries, Gross Domestic Product is the accepted way to measure economic health. But one country in the Asia Pacific is taking a different approach.

Charles Edward Miller / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Teachers across New Zealand went on strike today. It’s the latest development in a long-running dispute between the nation’s two teachers’ unions and the federal government.

Lawrence Murray / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Hawaii is not the only set of islands dealing with changing expectations for the tourism industry. This week, New Zealand has recalibrated its goals for visitors, and their impact on the economy and the environment.

Phillip Capper / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hawaii and New York share the highest rate of homelessness in the country. 46 of every 10,000 residents of Hawaii experienced homelessness at some point last year. The issue is also a point of growing concern in the capital city of New Zealand.

Associated Press/Nick Perry

WASHINGTON — Earth's glaciers are melting much faster than scientists thought. A new study shows they are losing 369 billion tons of snow and ice each year, more than half of that in North America.

 

Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon / U.S. Air Force

A small piece of forgotten history is being remembered today in the Asia Pacific. It’s a story that involves New Zealanders, Australians, and the Vietnam War.

Christian Haugen / Creative Commons / Flickr

Both Australia and New Zealand have revamped their Pacific policies this past year, partly to counteract China’s growing influence, and partly to address the inevitable effects of climate change. New Zealand’s foreign minister and a former Australian prime minister offered proposals for low-lying island countries recently.

111 Emergency / Creative Commons / Flickr

Several shootings involving officers from the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Public Safety have taken place in the last few weeks. While internal investigations are continuing, recent violence elsewhere in the Asia Pacific is drawing attention to a significant difference when it comes to police departments.

Tākuta / Flickr

Canada’s relations with China have sunk to a new low following the arrest of a senior executive of the telecom giant Huawei. Two Canadians have been arrested in China and another sentenced to death. Now, New Zealand is worried about its relations with China, though the signals are not entirely clear.

Rohin Francis / Flickr

There are a number of labor strikes this week in different parts of the world. Los Angeles is in the midst of a teachers’ strike, while airport workers in Germany staged a walkout yesterday. And in New Zealand, a strike of a different kind is making news.

craigsyd / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Hawai‘i’s population has declined for two years in a row. According to Census figures released late last month, that’s mostly because of people moving to other states. But when it comes to other population centers in the Asia Pacific, one is likely to pass a milestone later this year.

Tākuta / Flickr

A Samoan man has been arrested in New Zealand on charges of slavery and people trafficking. While there have been a few prosecutions over the last few years for exploitation of migrant workers, an immigration official described this case as “A new low for New Zealand.”

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The list of places banning single-use plastic bags is growing. This week, Charleston, South Carolina joined 10 other state coastal communities in stopping their use. Next month, Boston will join the list. And in the Asia Pacific, recent developments about plastic in two countries are getting broader attention.

Wokandapix / Pixabay

Recruiting and retaining public school teachers remains a challenge in Hawaiʻi. But for another location in the Asia Pacific, a recruitment drive is turning some other issues.

craigsyd / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Authorities in New Zealand are trying a new tactic to better understand patterns of drug use in the country. They’re testing the water — waste water from sewers. It’s been done elsewhere, but for New Zealand this is a different approach.

sanjitbakshi / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

As you’ve heard on NPR this week, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued dire warnings of extreme weather, rising sea levels, food shortages and climate migration unless urgent and unprecedented economic measures hold the average temperature rise under 1.5℃ – a goal many scientists believe is already out of reach. 

Trosmisiek / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost two months since Oahu joined the rest of the state in outlawing single-use plastic bags. In the Asia Pacific, the latest country to ban the use of those plastic bags is New Zealand.

DXR / Wikimedia Commons

The rapid rise of housing prices is a concern in many places around the country---including Hawai‘i. Different communities are taking various approaches to deal with that trend. And one of the most distinctive is coming from New Zealand.

Governor - General of New Zealand / CC BY 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

It happens every day, all over the world. Women return to the workplace following maternity leave. It can be a difficult transition, and it can be a bit more complicated if your other full-time job is running a country.

Nick Kean / Flickr

It’s easy to confuse the flags of New Zealand and Australia. Both feature the British Union Jack and stars on a dark blue background. Now, in the latest eruption in a war of words between the two old allies, New Zealand’s acting Prime Minster said Australia had copied New Zealand’s flag, and ought to change it.

Sylvain Machefert / Symac / Wikimedia Commons

You’ve probably heard about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, a fungal disease that threatens an iconic tree species here in Hawaii. But another fungal disease is threatening the majestic kauri trees of New Zealand.

Newsbie Pix / Flickr

Fireworks are always part of July 4th activities in the United States, but they’re also a key part of other celebrations around the world. That’s true in New Zealand, where some holiday fireworks planned for this weekend have been postponed for an unusual reason.

Roderick Eime / Flickr

The government of New Zealand is looking at a proposal to tax its tourists. The measure would tack on an arrival charge for most international visitors, but the proceeds would go beyond well marketing.

Ingomhhf / Wikimedia Commons

Here in Hawaii,  the noxious gas belching from the eruption of Kilauea continues to be a major concern. In New Zealand, the belches of sheep are a major problem, and scientists there have developed a new breed that burps less.

A.j.morris / Wikimedia Commons

Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate is currently at a record low: 2-percent. That makes hiring tough for certain positions—but that situation is not limited to Hawai‘i. In New Zealand, there’s an industry that has such a severe worker shortage that many are calling it a crisis. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

JJ Harrison / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The governments of both Australia and New Zealand announced increases in aid to the Pacific. Boosts seen at least in part as responses to China’s growing influence. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Follash / Wikimedia Commons

The Trump Administration has proposed a number of policy changes when it comes to offshore leases for oil and gas exploration and drilling. This week, New Zealand announced that it is taking a dramatically different approach to the same issue. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

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