Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Snow in Auckland gives conditions not seen since the 1930’s

August 15, 2011

It’s only weather but it is also only a matter of time before some climate “scientist” claims that it is all perfectly consistent with global warming.

Auckland had snow for the first time in 30 years and Wellington was enjoying “once in a life time” snow. The storm was a ‘once in a lifetime’ event and similar conditions had not been seen in Auckland since the 1930s.

A cyclist is seen riding after heavy snowfalls have blanketed large parts of New Zealand

New Zealand is experiencing its heaviest snow in decades, with meteorologoists describing the flurry in Wellington as a once in a lifetime event. Photograph: EPA

New Zealand Herald

Snow has fallen in downtown Auckland for the first time in 80 years as a ‘once in a lifetime’ polar blast spreads across New Zealand, forecasters say. Widespread reports of snow emerged this afternoon as bitterly cold and stormy conditions set in around Auckland. this afternoon confirmed snowflakes had fallen in Auckland city centre for the first time since the 1930s. 

Its head forecaster Philip Duncan said snow flurries could hit amid expected bitterly cold conditions this evening. “If Auckland is getting reports of snow flurries now at the warmest point of the day that makes you wonder about what might be coming tonight.


The country may be blanketed in snow, but there is plenty more to come, with the cold conditions expected to continue until Thursday, and significant snowfalls expected for many areas during that time. Further snowfalls are expected in the southern and eastern parts of the South Island, and southern and central parts of the North Island.

The snowfalls should ease on Wednesday and were unlikely to continue down to sea level. Snow fell in Auckland for the first time in more than 30 years as the country shuddered from a polar blast that brought joy to children and angst for motorists.

The snow that has covered New Zealand today will freeze overnight creating treacherous driving conditions, police warn. Many state highways around New Zealand were closed, including the Desert Road and Rimutaka Hill road in the North Island and the Lewis Pass and Arthurs Pass in the South Island. …. 

MetService head forecaster Peter Kreft told NZPA the polar blast was “of the order of a 50 year” event and warned it could last for several more days. “It’s a once in many decades event. We are probably looking at something like – in terms of extent and severity – maybe 50 years,” he said.

Residents of Wellington were also revelling in the snow:

Residents of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, are taking delight in the unusual sight of snowflakes falling in what forecasters are describing as a once in a lifetime event.

Services across the country on Monday were disrupted by the snowfall, which were accompanied by heavy rain and high winds. Mail delivery in many areas was cancelled, as were several flights. Some roads were closed and recreational facilities such as libraries and swimming pools were shut.

Wellington rarely gets snow – the few inches it got on Sunday and Monday is the most in at least 30 years – and people have been taking to the streets to photograph the event.


Human vultures out after Christchurch quake

February 25, 2011

Amid the stories of resilience and indomitable spirit that represent the heights to which human behaviour can ascend come also the stories of the human vultures and the depths to which behaviour can fall.

Police sickened by Christchurch looting

A view shows a damaged cathedral after an earthquake in central Christchurch February 22, 2011. A strong quake hit New Zealand's second-biggest city of Christchurch on Tuesday for the second time in five months, toppling buildings, causing multiple fatalities, trapping people beneath rubble and sparking fires.

Damaged cathedral after an earthquake in central Christchurch February 22, 2011: Photograph by: HO Credit: REUTERS

New Zealand police said Friday they were “sickened” at a spate of looting, email scams and bogus appeals for charity in the wake of the deadly Christchurch earthquake.

…. They said residents in the stricken city had reported conmen posing as government officials, wearing reflector vests and brandishing fake identification, going door to door trying to gain access to properties.

Looting and burglaries, including one at the home of a woman feared dead in the disaster, have also been reported, while fraudulent emails soliciting charity donations were also doing the rounds.

“I am frankly sickened by people like this, who see this disaster as an opportunity to prey on vulnerable people,” police superintendent Russell Gibson told Radio New Zealand.

District commander Dave Cliff said drunken disorder was also on the rise in the city, where stressed residents have endured two major earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks in the past six months.

Generators being used to restore infrastructure were among the items stolen.

The consumer affairs ministry warned of an email designed to look like it was from the Red Cross which redirected Internet users to a website where they were asked for credit card details.

“The scam website has the same look and feel as the genuine Red Cross website,” it said.

Another fraudulent email claimed to be from Donate4Charity NZ, a legitimate British-based charity, the department said.

65 dead and 200 trapped in Christchurch quake

February 22, 2011

New Zealand Herald.

Rescue workers on the collapsed Pyne Gould Guiness Building in central Christchurch. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Rescue workers on the collapsed Pyne Gould Guiness Building in central Christchurch. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Prime Minister John Key has told reporters that the death toll from today’s magnitude 6.3 earthquake stands at 65, and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said it could quite possibly double. …. TVNZ reports up to 200 people remained trapped in damaged buildings……..

The earthquake shook the city at 12.51pm while streets were crowed with shoppers and office workers. It was not as powerful as the 7.3 that struck in early morning hours of 4 September last year but was much shallower, leading to greater damage.

Scientists put the epicentre at 10km southeast of the city – apparently in the middle of the harbour at Lyttelton, the city’s coastal port – at a depth of only 5km. .. Christchurch has suffered a long series of after shocks following last year’s quake and they continued after the big one today. One tremor of 5.7 occurred five minutes after the main shock and there was another of 5.5 at 2.50pm.

Late in the afternoon after shocks were still occurring in the magnitude 4 range on the Richter Scale. The city’s iconic cathedral in the central square survived September without little damage but its spire fell today and the rest of the building was badly damaged. Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the damage was much more severe than in the great 7.1 quake almost six months ago.

Cricket World Cup round up No. 1: Sehwag bludgeons, Kiwis soar and ambush marketing builds up

February 20, 2011
Cricket World Cup media

Image via Wikipedia

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup has started.

India easily won the opening match against Bangladesh as Virender Sehwag bludgeoned his way to 175.

New Zealand crushed a hapless Kenya by 10 wickets.

The ICC is concerned that ambush marketing cannot be stopped and it is eroding the value of its official corporate sponsorship contracts.

Some of the corporate contracts border on the obscene and the ambushers – who can be much more creative than the officially sponsored advertising – have my sneaking support.

The best fixtures calendar I have seen is here (modelled on the one made for the football world cup).

Angry sea lion protects its habitat from encroaching rowers

October 14, 2010

If only there was an actual picture.

No comment needed.

The Sydney Morning Herald:

An aggressive sea lion attacked a university rowing boat in New Zealand’s Otago Harbour, took a chunk out of it and then chased the crew back to shore. The sea lion came up under the boat at it was gliding through the chilly harbour near Dunedin yesterday and broke the hull in two places, causing it to take on water, the Otago Daily Times reported.

“I saw this dark figure looming under the boat, I felt it hit and seconds after water came gushing up … it was panic stations,” rower Matt Smail told the paper. The eight-man University of Otago crew was about 200 metres offshore when the angry sea lion attacked.

The students decided to head to the closest boat ramp.

“It was the best one-kilometre we rowed all morning, we went flat tack,” crew member Adam Garden said. When the crew got to shore and pulled the boat out of the water the sea lion “came up for another inspection”, he said. “It walked up the ramp and gave us a bit of a snarl.”

Otago University rowing coach Sonya Walker said rowers often saw sea lions in the harbour and normally managed to avoid them.

Spring blizzards in New Zealand

September 22, 2010

The Southern Hemisphere is still facing bitterly cold weather.

Southland, New Zealand

The 1st of September is usually designated as the start of spring in New Zealand. Lambing is in full swing but six days of blizzards are being called the worst spring storm in living memory. Cars, lambs, and buildings have all fallen victim to the unusually heavy, wet snow that has fallen in Southland. Seven trampers were rescued by helicopterafter being caught in the snowstorm that has swept South Island national parks. A roof of a stadium collapsed in Southland under the weight of wet snow. A sixth day of snow, rain, wind, hail and sleet was forecast for the already battered coastal belt from Colac Bay in Southland, parts of Central Southland, the Catlins, Owaka and Clinton. Three snowfalls of up to 15cm since Saturday had left ground conditions so wet and muddy that newborn lambs had nowhere dry to go.

A ewe shows concern for her lamb

BARRY HARCOURT/The Southland Times

Exactly how many lambs have been killed will not be known until tailing but at an expected average price of $80 for each lamb, the cost to farmers could be measured in millions of dollars. In recent days, the Owaka Lions Club has collected up to 400 dead lambs a day from the 19km Owaka Valley Rd, for which farmers receive 50c each.

Federated Farmers adverse events spokesman David Rose said he estimated half the farms in Southland were affected. “The spring storm of 2010 is, frankly, the worst in a generation, with farmers going back over 50 years for anything this bad.”

MetService warned that temperatures would plunge in the Southland tonight as a cold front crosses the region. It said significant snowfalls were expected overnight, mainly above 200m, where 10-15cm is possible, especially in the Catlins and hilly areas exposed to strong southwesterlies. Localised blizzards and snow drifts are possible. The Fire Service in Invercargill said it had been flat out working three pumps to drain properties around the city swamped by melting snow.

The North Island has also received its share of the snow fall.

The Rimutaka Hill Road was closed following 2-6cm of snow accumulating on the hill above 400m from 3am to 7am this morning. It has since reopened with cars only allowed across in escorted convoys, one way at a time. The Manawatu Gorge road has reopened following a slip which closed it yesterday. Snow is also falling on the Central Plateau this morning, with 4-12cm accumulating on the Desert Road between 3am and 12am this morning. Another 3-6cm are expected over the next couple of hours. Drivers are warned the road may close.


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