New Zealand

DAVID HOLT / Flickr
DAVID HOLT / Flickr

As we’ve been reporting this week, Hawai‘i still has the worst homeless situation per capita among all 50 states, according to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But homelessness is a growing problem in many areas—including what may be some unexpected places in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr
Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade / Flickr

Two families from Tuvalu who claimed status as climate refugees lost their case before New Zealand’s Immigration and Protection Tribunal this week. They claim that life would not be sustainable if they’re forced to return home. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand will officially get a new prime minister this week—some four weeks after a national election. It took that long to sort out the coalition politics. And when the new leader takes office later this week, she will be the country’s youngest prime minister in more than 150 years. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

An expedition to Zealandia has returned with fossils that prove the sunken continent was not always under water. Zealandia was recognized as a continent earlier this year, when geologists from New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia concluded that it meets all the criteria, even though nearly all of it lies deep under the South Pacific Ocean. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Over the weekend, voters in New Zealand delivered an indecisive result. The ruling National Party won the most votes, but fell just short of a majority in Parliament. As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, negotiations to form a coalition government are expected to take weeks.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

When you use the phrase “energy crisis,” those old enough to remember might think back to the 1970’s and the Arab oil embargo. But this week in New Zealand, there’s a different kind of energy crisis—at the country’s largest airport. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Unexpected election results have become increasingly common over the past year or so. From the British decision to leave the European Union to upset presidential results in the United States and France, it’s been a time of political reversals. And the next one may be coming in New Zealand. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Last year, John Key shook up politics in New Zealand when the long standing Prime Minister decided to resign. Now, with an election just six weeks away, the two largest opposition parties have both changed leaders as well…we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The business of commercial space launches took another step forward this week. A test flight took off involving a new kind of rocket, an American company, and a first for New Zealand. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

As we look back to President Trump’s first hundred days in office this week, one campaign promise he did keep was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated under President Obama. However, a different free trade agreement is about to be signed in the Pacific. We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

On this Aloha Friday, there’s yet another reminder that laughter is good for you. The Mayo Clinic has documented some of the medical benefits of laughter on its website. Studies from the United States to Japan have confirmed that humor can help with overall health and recovery from illness. And this week there was more news about laughter—coming from the animal kingdom in New Zealand. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

In this country, a company or a corporation has the legal status of a person.  In New Zealand, parliament granted personhood to a river last week.  That’s apparently the first time that’s ever happened…we have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Invasive species are a familiar problem in Hawai‘i. They are a challenge for any island community—and that includes New Zealand—which is trying a new tactic in an old fight. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A major political surprise in New Zealand yesterday, when John Key announced his resignation as prime minister. After eight years in office, Key was widely expected to lead his National Party in elections next year...we have more from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

What was supposed to be an historic ceremonial visit to New Zealand has turned into a disaster relief mission.  Following the earthquake early Monday morning, the guided missile destroyer USS Sampson has changed course to join the effort to evacuate more than a thousand tourists stranded on the South Island.  More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Immigration has become a big talking point in the current U.S. presidential campaign. But the topic is a political issue in much of the world—including Australia---where a new report out this week comes to some surprising conclusions. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Youtube Via CC Search
Youtube Via CC Search

This week, a Prime Minister of New Zealand visits Fiji for the first time since a military coup in 2006. Prime Minster John Key noted that international monitors described elections there two years ago as free and fair.  He conceded that the political situation might not be ideal, but said it's time to resume relations at the highest level.  We have more on that political situation, from Neal Conan, in today's Pacific News Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

Several organizations are trying to increase the number of business start-ups in Hawai‘i. From seed funding to business incubators, more resources are slowly becoming available. Across the Pacific, governments are floating some other ideas to achieve the same goals. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

If you’re a technology entrepreneur with an idea that can create jobs, the government of New Zealand would love to hear from you.  And there might be a visa in it for you.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Last week a referendum in New Zealand decisively rejected the Silver Fern flag.  Prime Minister John Key spent about $17-million on a two year project to select a new design.  But voters had the final word and decided to retain the familiar navy blue flag with the Union Jack and the stars of the Southern Cross. But, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, there will be a new flag in the Pacific later this year, in Fiji.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A lot of attention in the political world is focused on tomorrow’s primary elections--from Ohio to Florida. But on the other side of the world, another kind of election is going on—with consequences that will linger for years. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

New Zealand is in the midst of a national election.  Citizens are not choosing a national leader or even a local representative—they’re selecting a FLAG.  You might remember this story—it’s been going on for a while.  In fact the initial discussions date back to the time of the Second World War.

www.facebook.com/threewisecousins
www.facebook.com/threewisecousins

 After surprisingly good numbers at the box office in New Zealand, a comedy shot on a shoestring in Samoa is now set for release in Australia. "Three Wise Cousins" came in at number seven, earning about two hundred thousand dollars in two weeks on just eight screens. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

One of the more colorful Internet entrepreneurs faces extradition to the United States. Kim Dotcom could serve up to twenty years if convicted on multiple charges including copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud.  A week ago, a judge in New Zealand found the evidence against him and three co-defendants overwhelming.  The background, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Sids1 / Flickr
Sids1 / Flickr

Yesterday, New Zealand deported a man who claimed to be a climate refugee...both opposition MPs and Pacific Islanders protested the decision, and said that New Zealand will have to face the reality of climate change sooner or later...details, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

Last week, as people from across the Cook Islands gathered in Rarotonga to celebrate fifty years of free association with New Zealand. Prime Minister Henry Puna continued to raise the possibility of more independence, and a seat at the United Nations. As we hear from Neal Conan in our latest Pacific News Minute, the bid is on hold, at least for now.

Nick Kean / Flickr
Nick Kean / Flickr

Political attention in the United States is already centered on next year’s presidential election.  But a national vote coming next year in New Zealand has a different focus—and new developments this week. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

New Zealanders are getting a chance to change their national flag.

The one in use since 1902 features the British Union Jack in the upper left hand corner, with four red stars representing the Southern Cross constellation on a blue background.

Flickr Commons
Flickr Commons

 

New Zealand is a growing market for Hawai‘i tourism. It also shares Polynesian cultural ties with Hawai‘i. And according to documents released this week, New Zealand also does a lot of sharing with the US National Security Agency. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Additional military forces will be heading to Iraq. They will not be coming from Hawai‘i, and they will not involve US personnel. They’ll be coming from the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

www.natureworldnews.com via Creative Commons
www.natureworldnews.com via Creative Commons

Invasive species are always a concern here in the islands. And while culprits here range from the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle to little fire ants, in New Zealand there’s another focus. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

 

   The flag of the state of Hawaii is not the only one to use the British Union Jack as part of its design. Many former colonies and territories use it. New Zealand is one...but that may be changing. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Flickr Commons/ Nick Kean
Flickr Commons/ Nick Kean

  The British Union Jack has been part of the Hawaiian flag for nearly two hundred years. And for well over a century, it’s been part of New Zealand’s flag as well. But that may be on its way to changing. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

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