Five AA Australia: New Zealand Report – Cyclone Pam Tracks Toward NZ + Kauri Tree Spared

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Selwyn Manning, editor.

Recorded Live on 13/03/15 – Evening Report editor Selwyn Manning delivers his weekly bulletin New Zealand Report on Five AA Australia with David Penberthy, Mark Aiston and Jane Reilly. This week, Super-Storm Cyclone Pam tracks toward New Zealand + People Power spares 500 year-old Kauri tree.

ITEM ONE:
Cyclone Pam, a category 4-5 tropical cyclone is baring down on New Zealand’s North Island.

The cyclone, currently graded a category 4, is expected to intensify as it tracks south-eastward drawing its energy from the warm humid waters south of Fiji, according to the New Zealand Metservice.

Storm warnings have been lodged for the North-Eastern parts of the North Island, but particular the Pacific eastern side of Northland, Coromandel through the Bay of Plenty, East Cape to the coastal areas of Hawke’s Bay.

There are fears that if the cyclone tracks close to New Zealand’s eastern coast, the Hawke’s Bay and Gasbourne wine growing areas may suffer losses of late harvest grapes and stone fruit.

Back in the 1980s Cyclone Bola descended on New Zealand and cut a path down this Coast, ripping out forests and radiate pine plantations, and devastating the eastern areas, leaving thousands of square kilometres of land bare of topsoil.

Weather forecasters are saying this Cyclone Pam, may end up being degraded once it reaches the cooler waters of New Zealand. Or, it could head further Eastward and miss New Zealand all together.

Either way, we North Islanders are in for a rough Sunday and Monday.

ITEM TWO:
And there’s been a win for people power this week. After the National-led Government eased protections for ancient trees and the environment, a protest group mobilised to save a 500 year old native Kauri tree from being chopped down.

A property developer wanted to have the ancient tree removed to make way for two town houses to be built on a section of land in Titirangi – a suburb in west Auckland.

One man abseiled high up the Kauri, and tied himself to the tree. His supporters sustained the protest and gained huge support from the public. Even the head of the United Nations Development Programme, former Prime Minister Helen Clark said the tree must stay!

The stoush concluded yesterday (Thursday) after the property developer conceded defeat. But really it is a win win situation… the tree gets to survive Sunday’s cyclone, and the property developer is positioning to sue for compensation…

New Zealand Report broadcasts live each Friday on FiveAA.com.au and webcasts on EveningReport.nz.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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