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World’s Oldest Hip Hoppers Competing at NZ Hip Hop Champs

April 22, 2014 – 8:04 pm | One Comment

The World’s Oldest Hip Hop Dance Group: The Hip Op-eration Crew will be competing head-to-head against the top Hip Hop Mega Dance Crews from around the country on Friday 2nd May 2014.
The hip hop mega crew …

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Environment »

Non-native species not the bad guys in a changing eco-system

April 22, 2014 – 7:36 pm |
Professor Jason Tylianakis.

Professor Jason Tylianakis.

University of Canterbury, Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha


April 17, 2014


University of Canterbury researchers are investigating some positive features of animals being introduced to New Zealand.


Exotic animals are generally considered to be a major threat to native species in New Zealand and worldwide.


Despite numerous examples of invasive species harming eco-systems, exotic species may actually be able to fill ecological gaps in their new home, such as those left by native species that have become extinct.


University of Canterbury ecologist Professor Jason Tylianakis says no study has explicitly tested whether exotic species fill the roles left by declining native species.


“A collaborative research project between scientists at the University of Canterbury and the University of Oviedo, Spain, has examined the role of exotic birds in dispersing the seeds of native New Zealand trees and shrubs.


“Many fruiting plants require birds to carry their seeds to new locations and drive the persistence and recovery of native forests.


“New Zealand fruit-feeding birds have historically suffered a strong decline but the country has also gained new fruit-eaters in the form of introduced European birds, such as blackbirds and song thrushes.’’


The Canterbury researchers studied the network of feeding interactions between different species of plants and birds in the North and South islands. They found that the intermediate body and beak size of exotic birds allowed them to feed on a great variety of different fruits.


This allowed the birds to disperse seeds of plant species that were not eaten by native birds at any given location and helped to stabilise seed dispersal across a whole range of plants.


Without introduced species, many native plants would not have their fruits eaten and their seeds would simply fall to the ground below the tree.


Another Canterbury biological sciences researcher, Dr Daniel Stouffer, says exotic species were less discriminating in their fruit consumption patterns.


“Native fruit-eaters have developed strong affinities for or against consumption of native fruit species making our native communities vulnerable to loss of key bird species. However, the exotic species are more than happy to make equal use of all the fruits available, thereby spreading their benefit more widely.’’


Professor Tylianakis says people often consider invasions by non-native species as always being harmful.


“However, many of our native species have already become extinct and sometimes we need new species to fill their role. Although they often do harm, we can’t always assume that non-native species are the bad guys in our constantly changing eco-systems,” Professor Tylianakis says.


For further information contact Professor Jason Tylianakis, School of Biological Sciences, on 021 0436775 or Dr Daniel Stouffer on 02108258815 or UC Media Consultant Kip Brook on 0275030168.


Photo: Professor Jason Tylianakis.




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Sydney’s bike path campaign inspires other parts of Australia

April 17, 2014 – 11:22 am |

Sydney’s bike path safety campaign shared with Leichhardt, New South Wales.Sy
The City of Sydney’s program to encourage bike riders and pedestrians to co-exist safely is being extended to commuters travelling into the city centre from …

Smart Energy Challenge Projects Seek Community Pledges

April 17, 2014 – 11:07 am |

Wellington City Council
15 April 2014
Over the last few months we’ve been working alongside social enterprise groups to promote community-led projects designed to reduce energy use and increase clean energy in Wellington.


The Smart Energy Challenge is …

Green living for a better way of life in Sydney

April 13, 2014 – 9:11 pm |

Lindsay Rowan’s bins overflowed every week until she started composting her household waste – now they’re half empty and she’s enjoying bumper harvests of fresh fruit and veggies.
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UNICEF NZ Calls on Youth to ‘Shape Your World’ at 2014 Youth Congress

April 13, 2014 – 9:05 pm |

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund)
Media Release
10 April, 2014
UNICEF NZ Calls on Youth to ‘Shape Your World’ at 2014 Youth Congress
UNICEF NZ is inviting young people from across New Zealand to attend the UNICEF NZ Youth …

Get funded to make a difference with the Community Conservation Partnership Fund

April 10, 2014 – 12:43 pm |
Get funded to make a difference with the Community Conservation Partnership Fund

Community groups urged to apply for funding
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The new Fund …

Conscious consumers launches new smartphone app

April 10, 2014 – 12:39 pm |

Over the last week, what is the most talked about New Zealand Facebook page?

Our international tourism brand -100% Pure New Zealand?
Our Grammy award winner Lorde?
The All Blacks?

No, it is the Wellington-based social enterprise Conscious Consumers, with …

Cycleways project a priority for Council

April 6, 2014 – 9:02 pm |
Cycleways project a priority for Council

Work on sections of Christchurch City Council’s Major Cycleways network will start this year, and consultation has already started with residents affected by the first of the routes.
“Council wants to build the cycleways as quickly as possible …

Breast cancer survivors win Ashburton dragon boat regatta

April 6, 2014 – 8:55 pm |

by Joyce Elwood-Smith
To the Wellington CanSurvive Dragon Boat team, getting the gold medal at the National Breast Cancer dragon boat regatta was a thrilling and exhilarating end to an exceptional season, a dream come true! The …

Restorative Justice continues to have an impact on reducing Crime

April 6, 2014 – 8:36 pm |

Research released this week from the Ministry of Justice shows recidivism rates by offenders who went through a Restorative Justice process are 12 per cent lower compared to similar offenders who did not participate.
This is …

Comic book series celebrates Queer and Trans people in New Zealand

April 6, 2014 – 8:22 pm |

A Different Kind of Story .
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Sam Orchard has been drawing since he was a little girl, and is passionate …

Check out the Auckland Writers Festival line up

April 6, 2014 – 8:19 pm |

For the past 14 years the Auckland Writers Festival has enriched the culture of Auckland city and established itself as a major Australasian festival, characterised not only by the calibre of their guest authors but …

New affordable housing lets workers live locally in Sydney

April 5, 2014 – 8:56 pm |

More than 100 workers on lower incomes will get access to high-quality, affordable housing close to city jobs following the City of Sydney’s approval of a major new housing project.
Two new apartment blocks located just …

Conscious banks meet in Melbourne to talk ‘People, planet and profit’

March 31, 2014 – 10:00 pm |

Glen Saunders, Prometheus Chair
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World’s Oldest Hip Hoppers Competing at NZ National Hip Hop Championships

March 30, 2014 – 7:38 pm |

Media Release
29th March 2014
World’s Oldest Hip Hoppers Competing at NZ National Hip Hop Championships

The World’s Oldest Hip Hop Dance Group: The Hip Op-eration Crew will be competing head-to-head against the top Hip Hop Mega Dance Crews …

Go green with Conservation Volunteers

March 30, 2014 – 7:34 pm |

Get your hands dirty and enjoy
Looking for a job in the outdoors but lack the practical experience?
The Hibiscus Youth Action Programme could be just what you’re looking for
The Hibiscus Youth Action Programme is a  part-time programme, (2-3 …

From corporate to therapist – How one Happyzine reader took the leap

March 29, 2014 – 7:57 pm |

Happyzine reader Halina Smolski has followed her dreams and set up a brand new Light Therapy business in Petone.  This is the story of her journey from corporate to therapist … 
I spent many years working in …

Auckland Museum cuts carbon emission by 50 percent

March 28, 2014 – 8:08 pm |

Press release: Auckland Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum is well ahead of projected sustainability targets with the announcement it’s reduced its carbon emissions by 50% since the organization began monitoring its footprint three years ago.  This …

5 Volcanoes in 5 Days

March 27, 2014 – 12:06 pm |

By Matt Alpe
The purpose of this event was to fundraise for a new vehicle so we can run more programmes for youth with disabilities and to give them life changing experiences. We can firmly state that …

Kaikoura marine protection a good first step

March 19, 2014 – 8:51 am |

WWF–New Zealand welcomed the announcement of marine protection for Kaikoura today.
“This is the type of protection we need to see more of to help protect New Zealand oceans and the animals that live there,” WWF-New …

Top businessman to help launch Student Volunteer Army’s 2014 campaign

March 16, 2014 – 2:35 pm |

One of New Zealand’s most successful businessmen, founder of 42 Below vodka and Moa beer, Geoff Ross, will help to launch the University of Canterbury (UC) Student Volunteer Army’s 2014 campaign on campus next week.
In …