News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Race with a Difference

Race with a Difference

February 22 saw the official launch of Earthrace, a 100% biodiesel fuelled boat aiming to set a new world record for circumnavigating the globe. The brainchild of Pete Bethune, Earthrace is a charitable foundation promoting the…

Learning Made Easy for All

Learning Made Easy for All

According to the Guardian, a NZ designed alternative to the computer mouse was one of the highlights of Bett 2006, the annual ICT in education show held in London. “Lomak (light-operated mouse and keyboard) from NZ…

Blast From the Past

Blast From the Past

Ornithologists the world over have been fascinated by recent confirmed sightings of the NZ Storm Petrel, which was thought to have been extinct for more than a century. In November 2005 a NZ fisherman took the…

Environmental No.1

Environmental No.1

NZ leads the world in environmental performance according to the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities measured how close 133 countries came…

NZ has the Edge Online

NZ has the Edge Online

NewZealand.com, Tourism NZ’s award-winning website, earned further raves in a feature article by Brand Channel. “A ninth annual Webby Award winner, the homepage of NewZealand.com is a vibrant blend of heritage and enterprise, with both tourism and…

Heading the Catalogue of Life

Heading the Catalogue of Life

Dr David Penman has been elected chair of the governing board of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an international organization working to develop the world’s first free mega-database of all living organisms. The internet resource, which will help…

Evolution in an Egg Shell

Evolution in an Egg Shell

Massey University’s David Lambert has published his findings on the microevolution of Antarctica’s Adélie penguins in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Lambert’s research shows a marked difference between the genetic make up of modern…

Bright Spark

Bright Spark

Auckland University’s Johanna Montgomery has become the first southern hemisphere scientist in history to win a prestigious Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology. Dr Montgomery was one of 4 scientists to be awarded the…

Kiwi Kayak Heralds New Era of Design

Kiwi Kayak Heralds New Era of Design

NZ biochemist Murray Broom’s FirstLight Kayak received a three-page spread in I.D magazine, America’s leading authority on the art, business and culture of design. Reviewer Barbara Flanagan (I.D contributing editor and product designer) hails the…

Seismic Shift for Psychiatry

Seismic Shift for Psychiatry

A study of schizophrenia by NZ psychologist John Read, as published in leading psychiatric journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, could potentially “trigger a landslide” in his field, according to Guardian columnist and clinical psychologist Oliver James. The traditional…

Nile by Mile

Nile by Mile

NZer Cam McLeay is co-leading an expedition aimed at accurately measuring the length of the River Nile. The six person team began their journey at Rosetta, Egypt, and will travel through Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and…

Technological Trailblazers

Technological Trailblazers

A group of Canterbury University scientists have developed a machine with the potential to revolutionise everything from counter-terrorism and border control to disease detection. Since the early 1980s, Professor Murray McEwan and his CU team have been…

Future Craft Flies Thanks to Kiwi Know-how

Future Craft Flies Thanks to Kiwi Know-how

NZ engineer Bill White has designed an ultra-lightweight engine to power a “back to the future” style mini helicopter for US company AirScooter. Christchurch based company Pegasus Aviation began developing the AeroTwin engine in the 1990s…

Surf’s Up

Surf’s Up

The powerful, curling waves that draw surfers to beaches will soon be breaking inland, thanks to a novel shape-shifting rubber reef that can be fitted to the floor of a swimming pool. The Versareef,…

Industry in Good Hands

Industry in Good Hands

Malaysian Star feature looks at NZ’s thriving film, multimedia and technology schools; specifically Auckland’s South Seas Film and Television School, Media Design School, and University of Technology (AUT), and Palmerston North’s University College of Learning (UCol). “Thanks to…

Dishing the Dirt

Dishing the Dirt

NZ scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research have developed a high-tech yet cost-effective new crime -fighting technique. The revolutionary system uses DNA analysis of the bacteria in soil to match a database of samples…

Interplanetary Fame

Interplanetary Fame

Two amateur Kiwi astronomers helped discover a planet 15,000 light years from Earth using simple backyard telescopes. Grant Christie and Jennie McCormick are part of a worldwide star-gazing collective called MicroFUN, led by Andrew Gould of Ohio…

Save the Kauri Part 2

Save the Kauri Part 2

Belgian researcher Lieven Claessens has discovered another reason to preserve our native kauri forests. According to Claessens’ Dutch-funded study, which was undertaken in the Waitakere ranges, the giant trees help stabilise areas susceptible to landslides and erosion….

Forecast: International Sales

Forecast: International Sales

Raglan’s ASR Marine Consulting and Research has created a new computer-based program to predict long wave conditions, in what the company claims is a world first. The forecasting system was developed to help client Port Taranaki better…

Finger on the Impulse

Finger on the Impulse

Researchers at Otago University, in conjunction with Germany’s Ruhr-University Bochum, have identified individual neurons in the pigeon forebrain that appear to control impulsive decision-making. The findings could prove invaluable to the understanding of such neuropathologies as drug…

A Method to the Madness

A Method to the Madness

An Auckland University research team has shed light on the mystery of human reproduction with a new study involving yeast. Headed by Matthew Goddard, the study compares two strains of live yeast, one with normal asexual…

Measuring by Memory

Measuring by Memory

A group of Otago University researchers have proven that blind people are consistently more accurate in estimating the size of familiar objects – such as a loaf of bread – with their hands than their sighted…

A Step in the Right Direction

A Step in the Right Direction

Hamilton inventor and former chemical engineer, Brian Goggin, is seeking patents in NZ, the US, Japan, and Europe for a reinforced metal fuel tank which vents hydrogen gas safely in the event of an accident. The innovation…

Cutting Edge Electronics

Cutting Edge Electronics

NZ GPS innovators, Navman, showed off their latest creations at Germany’s prestigious CeBit electronics trade fair. These included the PIN 57, a Windows-based PDA, and the X300, which uses GPS to tell joggers, skiers and cyclists how…

Rann – Global Warming “Frightening”

Rann – Global Warming “Frightening”

Mike Rann, the Auckland University-educated and former NZBC journalist and now, Labor Premier of South Australia, writes in The Australian that “the world should make no mistake: in 2005, global warming is a real…

Biotech Baby Steps

Biotech Baby Steps

NZ’s recently altered stance on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is the subject of an in-depth Technology Reviewfeature. “NZ, of all places, may have found a solution , proving once again that…

Google Gets Goodger

Google Gets Goodger

Google has hired one of the top programmers who worked on the Firefox project, fueling new speculation that the search giant may enter the browser business. The Mountain View, California-based search company hired 24 year old Auckland…

Powerful Proposition

Powerful Proposition

NZ utility TrustPower plans to construct what will be the southern hemisphere’s most technologically advanced wind farm in the Tararua Ranges this year. By adding 40 latest model turbines to its facility’s existing 103, TrustPower will increase…

Martian Rocks get Maori Names

Martian Rocks get Maori Names

The American space agency NASA has given Maori names to rocks on Mars, thanks to the influence of the film Whale Rider. The Mars robotic rover Opportunity is exploring near a cliff named after the late…

Deluxe Innovation

Deluxe Innovation

Douglas Creek Ltd (Bay of Plenty) has spent the last five years developing Cervelt, a groundbreaking luxury fibre made from the down of NZ deer. Cervelt is a strong light-weight textile with a fibre diameter of…

Sir Ed Speaks Out

Sir Ed Speaks Out

Sir Edmund Hillary has spoken out against a US-led project to build an “ice highway” in Antarctica, which would allow hundreds of tons of scientific equipment to be transported to the Amundsen-Scott Base. ” spent weeks…

This is Your Wake Up Call

This is Your Wake Up Call

Researchers at the Canterbury District Health Board are developing an alertness monitor for drivers, in the hope of preventing fatigue-related accidents. With the help of Canterbury University’s Canterprise Ltd, the group hopes to have the device ready…

Fresh Innovation

Fresh Innovation

State of the art fruit packaging from NZ, ripeSense, has been named one of 36 Coolest Inventions of 2004 by Time magazine. Co -created by Hort Research and the Jenkins Group, the ripeSense label detects aroma compounds…

Treasures of the Deep

Treasures of the Deep

A joint NZ/Japanese exploration of a deep-sea volcano off the NZ mainland has unearthed a mass of fascinating new life forms. According to a statement by Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd, who headed the venture, the…

Dino-buff Wins US Accolade

Dino-buff Wins US Accolade

Dr Joan Wiffen of Havelock North received the esteemed Morris Skinner Award from the US-based Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology at its 64th annual meeting in Denver, Colorado. According to the SVP website, the award is “for…

Warning Heard Around the Globe

Warning Heard Around the Globe

Top Kiwi scientist, Dr Peter Barrett, has warned the world “if we continue our present growth path, we are facing extinction … Not in millions of years, or even millennia, but by the end of this…

Eco-adventurer

Eco-adventurer

In 2002, Aucklander Pete Bethune launched a bid to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe by powerboat. The difference is Bethune aims to do so using a state-of-the-art biodiesel powered vessel: The Earthrace. Designed by Craig…

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me

Massey University scientists have teamed up with the Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research at the University of Melbourne to decipher the genetic code of the dreaded Aussie blowfly. The study hopes to find a successful…

Leading by Example

Leading by Example

Despite opposition from home, NZ’s method of funding scientific and technological development is being used as a model by EU countries looking to overhaul their outdated research structures. Cordis: “The OECD has declared the country’s framework for…

Dynamic Partnership

Dynamic Partnership

Christchurch based Nano Cluster Devices Ltd (NCD) has secured a potentially lucrative partnership with American organization and manufacturer, NanoDynamics. NanoDynamics is to take over international sales duties for NCD’s groundbreaking technologies, which include the self-assembly of nanowires in…

The Wonders of Technology

The Wonders of Technology

77-year-old Aroha Pearless used the internet to track down her first crush, a US marine stationed in NZ during WW2. Pearless had found photos of her former flame, Carl Leary, while cleaning out an old album. Remembering…

One Computer to Rule Them All

One Computer to Rule Them All

The supercomputer used to create Oscar-winning special effects for the LotR trilogy is now for hire. Weta Digital and Gen-I (a Telecom subsidiary) have established the NZ Supercomputing Center in Wellington, where commercial and scientific research can…

Next Stop Nobel?

Next Stop Nobel?

Professor Paul Callaghan of Wellington has won the prestigious Ampere Prize. The biannual award – one of the most esteemed in the international science community – recognises outstanding work in the field of magnetic resonance. It is…

A Change Forecast

A Change Forecast

Metra, the commercial sector of NZ’s government-owned meteorological service, is helping the BBC propel its TV weather reports into the 21st century. Thanks to cutting edge technology used in video games and the LotR trilogy, viewers will…

Interislander

Interislander

Guardian writer Giles Smith test drives the Gibbs Aquada and pronounces it “the most fun thing that has ever happened to cars.” A shining example of Kiwi ingenuity, the Aquada is the world’s first high-speed amphibian (HSA)…

Quantum Leap

Quantum Leap

Otago University’s Dr Murray Barrett joined a team of scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado examining teleportation via quantum information processes. The group’s groundbreaking findings – which proved that it is possible to…

In Enduring Memory

In Enduring Memory

The NZ Antarctic Society has bestowed a belated but heartfelt honour on Scotsman Harry McNeish, who was the carpenter aboard Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance on its ill-fated Antarctic voyage. A life-size sculpture of McNeish’s pet cat – Mrs…

Google and Froogle

Google and Froogle

Waikato University graduate Craig Nevill-Manning is Director, New York & Senior Staff Research Scientist for the world’s leading search engine company, Google. Nevill-Manning completed a PhD in computer science at Waikato before taking up a post-doctoral fellowship…

Rat-tracker

Rat-tracker

Groundbreaking research into the origins of Polynesian people by Auckland University’s Lisa Matisoo-Smith has been published in the New York Times, National Geographic, and Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences. Matisoo-Smith used the DNA of Pacific…

Power in Numbers

Power in Numbers

Minister for research, science and technology, Dr Pete Hodgson, headed an impressive delegation of NZ scientists and executives at the annual Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) meeting in San Francisco. In the course of the conference NZ and Australia…

Humdinga

Humdinga

Alan Gibbs launches the Gibbs Humdinga at the Motor Show in Birmingham. A V8 350 bhp five seater go-anywhere machine, the Humdinga reaching 160 km/h on land and 48 km/h on the water. Says Gibbs, “There…

Far and Away

Far and Away

A team of NZ and Japanese astronomers at Mount John Observatory have discovered Earth’s most distant planetary neighbour. The planet – which is about the size of Jupiter – was located 17,000 light years away, in the…

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

“The New Zealand Native Who Helped Open the Door to the Stars”

17 March 2004 – William Pickering, one of the leading figures in US space exploration, died of pneumonia in California aged 92.  A graduate of Canterbury University and the California Institute of Technology, Wellington-born…

MetService Nets Big Fish

MetService Nets Big Fish

The NZ MetService has sold a locally made weather graphics system to the BBC for a sum rumoured to be in the millions. The state-of-the-art software package – Weatherscape XT – is the most up to date…

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Thunderbirds Are Go!

NZ software company, Virtual Katy, will lend its world-class sound engineering services to London’s Pinewood Studios, for the live-action remake of Thunderbirds. Virtual Katy – which was also used on The Lord of the Rings – is…

Brave New World

Brave New World

A joint Japanese-NZ research expedition hopes to discover new forms of life 1,850m below sea-level off the north-east coast of NZ. The team will venture by submarine to the Brothers Volcano, where warm, mineral-laden water is believed…