Otago win Ranfurly Shield

For just the second time in my lifetime Otago have won the Ranfurly Shield, taking it off Waikato.

They attacked well in the first half, and defended very well to hold out Waikato, who made some game losing mistakes on attack near the end.

So we get a home semi-final by finishing second in the Championship, and get to keep the log of wood for the summer. This means if we choose easier opponents before the competition starts next year we might get a good chance to hold it this time (we also won it off Waikato, then we were robbed in 2013 by a poor non-decision by the referee in the final seconds in the first defence3 against Hawkes Bay).


Retrolens historic images

This may be of interest to some people – a library of historic aerial photographs, currently for the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Malborough, Canterbury and Southland.

Retrolens Historic Images – Map

Also on aerial images, I see that Google Maps have updated images, at least of my area. It’s interesting to see new plantings and growings and cuttings and landscaping.

From Retrolens About:

Retrolens is made up of a treasure trove of aerial photographs that have been taken since the 1936 through to 2005. It is a Crown archive and contains 500,000 images.

This Historic Image Resource came about as the result of a scanning project that was started in 2015 by partnerships between the Local Government Geospatial Alliance (LGGA) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). The two organisations were concerned that the treasure was deteriorating and with fewer and fewer scanners worldwide able to read the images, something had to be done quickly before this significant slice of our cultural and geospatial history was lost forever. An initial pilot was undertaken to test out the viability of a full scanning project for the whole archive, then the project itself, led by LINZ began.

The project began with three partner regions (Canterbury, Waikato and Bay of Plenty). Council partners continue to join the project progressively from across NZ as different areas became aware of the project and have funding to be able to join the initiative. It is estimated that the scanning of the Crown archive will be completed by 2021.

The photos were taken for a range of reasons such as land management and mapping. The value of these images is in showing change across New Zealand. Key drivers for having the images scanned broadly speaking are better decision making, complying with regulatory requirements and cultural heritage with specifics including using the images to support potential identification of “HAIL” contaminated land sites, accretion and recession of coastlines, changes in areas of significant vegetation and changes in river pathways.


Speaking up about child abuse is working

The headline may look worrying – Reported child abuse cases in Waikato rises.

But it could be a positive trend that will lead to lower levels of child abuse – more speaking out about abuse may break a culture of silence that has hidden awful levels and degrees of abuse against children.

The number of suspected child abuse cases reported to Child, Youth and Family in the Waikato rose nine per cent between 2011 and 2012.

New statistics show there was 17,196 family violence referrals to the agency in the Waikato last year, a rise of 1471 from 2011.

However, of those cases, 5414 required further action – a 22 per cent jump.

Unique notifications in the Waikato also rose by 437 – outpacing any other area in the country between 2011 and 2012.

The raw statistics don’t look good.

– but officials have attributed the rise to more people speaking out, rather than a rise in abuse.

And more speaking out, and subsequent of addressing the problems and dealing with them, should lead to reducing the levels of abuse.

CYF Waikato operations manager Sue Critchley attributed part of the rise to members of the community becoming increasingly aware that it was “OK to speak out”.

“I think there is far more awareness … people are more confident to ring us.”

Increased community involvement by CYFs through local service providers was also considered a driver for the rise in notifications.

Referrals from police make up the bulk of reporting, but schools and community service agencies also played a part, she said.

“I think there is a genuine awareness across the Waikato about seeking advice. It’s not necessarily about reporting a child abuse concern, but a worry people have about their children or their neighbours’ children.”

And support and prevention seems to be working…

The figures were tempered slightly by the fact that confirmed abuse cases in the region dropped, bucking the overall national trend of a 7 per cent rise.

“While there may be an increase in reports of concern and further action required, you’ll see our substantiation is not as high because we’re getting the right services in place for families before it goes wrong,” she said.

Speaking up about abuse and violence is essential in addressing large and entrenched problems in New Zealand society.