Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer. Photo / 123RF
Whether it’s see-through curtains or cool sheets, the Kiwi has long had its own tricks for cooling a hot home without air conditioning – now a researcher wants to hear more about it.
Many homes in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the scorching heat of the summer.
A recent NZ Stats survey of the 6,700 homes found 36 percent sat at 25C or more during the summer – and sometimes even above 30C – compared to a comfortable room range of 20C to 25C.
A third is also colder than 18C during winter – or below World Health Organization standards – something related to people renting less isolated homes and struggling to pay for their daily needs.
This winter’s “energy poverty” and its broad public health impacts have been a major focus of Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan’s research at the University of Otago.
“Much of that means we’re focusing on whether people can get warm enough in winter – but actually it means it’s pretty cool in summer too.”
He pointed out that six of New Zealand’s 10 warmest years have occurred in the past decade, and the country is experiencing more frequent and severe hot days, which come with their own implications for health and energy use.
“Over the last 20 years we also have fast absorption heat pumps, and more than half of New Zealand households with heat pumps have reported using them for cooling in the summer,” he said.
“So now households have a mechanism for active cooling – and a greater need to reduce home temperatures in the summer.”
In a recently launched study, supported by the Marsden Fund, he seeks to answer how not only the Kiwis regulate the flow of summer heat through their homes, but also how this changes over time.
“I’m specifically looking for the kind of knowledge that’s sometimes called knowledge – or what people know from experience,” he said, adding that it includes how Kiwis use sizes ranging from curtains to heat pumps.
“This year, I’m going to start with a postal survey of areas with more extreme summer weather to get initial answers to questions like how comfortable people are to find their home in the summer, if they try to adjust the temperature, does it change over time, and whether they think they know enough about the matter. “
He is eager to hear from several generations of the same family, and what advice has been passed down.
“I also want to make sure that we include Māori whānau, Māori have lived in Aotearoa the longest and will have wisdom to offer.”
Finally, this three-year project will collect temperature and relative humidity records using a data logger on a sample of homes, and how people use energy throughout the day of the week.
“As far as I know, these approaches have never been combined like this before to look at these questions – and they certainly haven’t been used like this in New Zealand,” he said.
“One thing that would be quite challenging in my opinion would be to usefully weave all the data back together to make one big story or image, integrating it all at the end in such a way that the number is greater than the parts.
“The sections as an individual study would all be useful, but I hope to do something extra by combining them.
“If we have a very good picture of what people know and do, as well as what they need to manage summer at home, then we may be able to adapt various suggestions and policies where they are needed.
“The aim is that it will help increase our resilience to climate change and improve public health and well-being.”
Three tips for keeping the house cool
• Easy fix: Avoid the sun by covering the curtains and blinds. Open doors and windows in different rooms to circulate air through your home. Adjust the safety lock to keep the windows open when you go out.
• Make a shadow: Plant deciduous trees to shade your home in the summer. They will let the sun in when they lose their leaves in winter. Install external window blinds – such as blinds, awnings or grilles. The roof or roof hanging over the north facing window blocks out the summer sunshine.
• Use a fan: The fans on the table, floor and ceiling use significantly less energy than air conditioning. If you have a heat pump, try setting the fan alone with the window open.
Don’t miss your chance to nominate your favorite stretch of sand in our search for New Zealand’s Best Beaches 2021
We’re looking for the best beaches in New Zealand and we need your help. We want you to nominate your favorites, tell us why you love this beach and what makes it so special. Send us a photo of your favorite beach, too, and we’ll profile some of your entries over the summer. But hurry up, the nominations close at midnight [Sunday, January 10].
From there, your entries will be counted and the top 10 beaches will be named as our finalists, with the bonus of three wildcard entries chosen by the Herald Travel team. You can then select one beach from the top 13 beaches to be crowned the ultimate winner.
Meanwhile, here are some of the nominees so far. Don’t see your favorite here? Vote below, or open nzherald.co.nz/bestbeach
May the best beaches win!
Matarangi Beach, Coromandel
This is one of the few beaches that are truly north facing in New Zealand with fine white sand, beautiful clear water. There is a wide variety of sea conditions for all – young shallow swimmers, ocean swimmers, boogie boarders, surfers, kite surfers, paddle surfers. The beach is never overcrowded and apart from that you can often see dolphins passing by. Sally Waters
Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson Tasman
I think Kaiteriteri beach is one of the best in New Zealand, known for its unique golden sand and crystal clear waters. An ideal and popular summer spot, it has everything you need for an action-packed day, from sailing, kayaking, bicycle tours and more. Even better, Kaiteriteri has more beautiful and unique beaches that are all located next to each other. Yulan Black
Pumps up the surf, there’s awesome wildlife (sea lions and penguins) and some really cool cliffs and rocks. Felix Page
Bark Bay, Abel Tasman National Park
It’s secluded (you have to get there by hiking or by boat), has a sloping white sand beach, with clear, sheltered sea water and deep enough to swim. It’s also supported by a national park, so it’s 99 percent natural. Zoe Cromwell
Mangawhai Surf Beach, Northland
Mangawhai is truly magical because the sunsets are amazing, you can surf, you can walk on the cliffs to see amazing bird’s eye views from places that cannot be caught on camera, there is local dune protection. Everyone must experience the Mangawhai miracle.
Cable Bay in Doubtless Bay, Northland
There’s an ice cream shop there, golden sand, blue water, happy people – the perfect place. Parry Jay
Soft white sand and clear clear water that stretches for miles make this beach our favorite. Ice cream in “the chilly bin” after a day in the sun is a bonus. Koby Jonas
Campbells Bay, Kakanui, Waitaki
It’s great for families, surfers, and dog-friendly. This can keep you busy or treat you as your only friend. Take a walk to All Day Bay and back, or try a small kite. I like it. Sarah Hailes
Matapouri Beach, Northland
This beach has soft sand, warm water, and small waves perfect for swimming and body boarding. Ample parking makes it easy to prepare for a long day at the beach. Anushree Sen Gupta
Kano Beach, on Mapoutahi in Otago
Canoe Beach has it all – beautiful for a walk with your dog, caves to walk through at low tide, rope swings, history, pā to hike and watch surfers, lovely long beaches to walk along the other side of the headland. Kano Beach is also great for swimming as it’s sheltered – you can kayak around to Osborne bay, and now there’s even a local brewery in Waitati. Nothing is missing. Amanda Church
Wainui Beach, Gisborne
Wainui not only greets the sun before anywhere else on mainland New Zealand, it also has a fun and nurturing community, incredible waves and beautiful clear water. There is a rock pool at each end with interesting creatures. The Okitu shop, about half way down, has excellent summer food and the most friendly staff. J Dobson
Castlepoint is a superb coastal formation with a variety of coastal experiences. Wild surfing and calm and safe lagoons. Stunning rock forms, lighthouses and sand dunes. Great fishing, swimming, surfing and kayaking. Stunning views and walking opportunities. Sitting under the lighthouse after dark is also a real experience. This is an authentic Kiwi beach and bach environment, with an annual horse race on the beach. Melissa de Souza-Correa
Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay
Wharariki only cut Mataī Bay and Castlepoint Northland for me. The three of them were very beautiful. But Wharariki won because it had exposed rocks like Cathedral Cove, providing a unique sight to behold. Has a rock pool for baby seals to swim and play. The distance is far away, which adds to its charm. There is plenty of room for multiple people to enjoy at once. Good surf. You need to take a short walk to access it, which might be considered negative, but people who tend to make an effort to reach it are less likely to litter and wreck the place. There are lots of walks, which can also expose you to a variety of wildlife. Patel Veerick
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
Cathedral Cove is a slice of heaven. There are stunning walks to the beach, pristine clear water, waves and waterfalls. It doesn’t get much better than this. Mahdi Algargoosh |
The Enderby spirit in the Ross Sea pushes the boundaries of New Zealand’s backyard. Photo / Provided, Heritage Expedition
For adventurers and nature lovers, this can be a dream summer job. A New Zealand cruise company is looking for an outdoor expedition leader to join them on a special Kiwi journey on the most distant Sub-Antarctic islands.
After being granted permission to sail New Zealand’s sole season, cruise company Heritage Expeditions is looking for crew and guides to join them from Fiordland to the Auckland Islands this summer.
“We are looking for extraordinary individuals who have a passion for New Zealand, its wildlife and its story,” said commercial director and expedition leader Aaron Russ. Applicants will need a sense of adventure and be able to balance multiple responsibilities on Spirit of Enderby’s 50-passenger icebreaker.
“The oceans can be very temperamental – you have to be able to think, and stay on your feet,” explains Aaron. But for those who can afford it, this could be your ticket to one of the most interesting and difficult to reach places on the planet: Antarctica.
Enderby will set sail with a week-long itinerary around Stewart Island and a 13-day trip to the Subantarctic Islands before embarking on a guest expedition to New Zealand’s claim to Antarctica at the Ross Dependency.
The company says knowledge of the area’s history, flora and fauna would be a plus, but it would be suitable for anyone in research, hospitality or adventure travel who is looking for a challenge.
“We are looking for extraordinary individuals who have a passion for New Zealand, its wildlife and its story,” said Aaron.
“New Zealanders are renowned for providing the next level of service with a smile when under pressure, and this is an excellent opportunity to tap into some of the local talent who may be looking for an exciting career change.”
For more information or to submit an application, the company can be contacted via [email protected]
Last month the ship, Spirit of Enderby also known as Professor Khromov was granted entry to New Zealand. The ice-fortified research vessel and its Russian crew were trapped outside New Zealand waters by the country’s cruise ship ban until it was granted special exemptions for the Kiwi-only season in the Southern Ocean.
Now considering the trip, Aaron says this southern itinerary will appeal to Kiwis who have “their wings cut by Covid”, want to “mark a wish list adventure and explore the farthest reaches of our amazing backyard.”
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com
This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 9
Summer is happiness. Or “Bliss”, if your future memory is the Th’Dudes show at Soundshell.
It is a sunny beginning, a burning orange in the middle and a fading end of golden weather, when life is a beach, a surfboard, a lakeside, a pool, a whitewater raft ride, a standing rowing bay or standing; when New Zealand became a sailing country.
Aotearoa has a coastline of 15,000 km, which means that each of us travels 3 meters to find trees, spread towels and tether cold thawing trash cans.
And gosh, Wayne, we protected him. Every living Kiwi has a summer place that no one else knows about and it won’t be revealed if others find it and spoil it.
So we haven’t hidden anything in this guide. There will be a tsunami of complaints that we have revealed some “private” spots and a tidal wave is whinges about the places we have missed. Our refusal: we seek guidance from regional tourism organizations.
You can write this about every province but this is especially true for this one. Northland truly does have more than just stunning sections of coastline on both shores; wild and windy, golden and soft, crowded and private. We’ll limit ourselves to four places that are particularly picturesque: the photo-perfect Maitai Bay on the Karikari peninsula; Charlies Rock Swimming Pool in Kerikeri, a waterfall that falls over cool rock formations; crystal-clear dune lakes at Kai Iwi on Kauri Beach in northern Dargaville; and Whale Bay on the Tutukaka Coast, a stunning, hidden and sheltered family beach near Matapouri.
Not beating Mission Bay, Narrow Neck, or Piha but they can get busy. Let’s look elsewhere. To the north, Mathesons Bay (Leigh) is a beautiful and safe beach, protected by coral reefs and islands; Tāwharanui has white sand beaches, amazing wildlife and rock pools; Kendall Bay is a sandy, downy, serene gem amidst the Birkenhead bush. West, if you’re looking for black sand and waves, head to Muriwai Beach; watch out for rips, wear jandals in hot sand and inspect gannets. Less well-known is Lake Wainamu, a mecca for freshwater swimming behind vast sand dunes. On the Āwhitu Peninsula, the serene Kauritūtahi Beach is our pick. Head east to Maraetai for a walk or grab Vitamin D. Further south, fish, rockhop or swim in the family-friendly Mātaitai Bay. Don’t overlook the Bay: Ladies Bay (Rotoroa) and Little Oneroa (Waiheke) can be reached by ferry.
Waikato / Coromandel
Raglan on the west coast and Pauanui on the east, like local mineral waters, are world famous in New Zealand. Less well-known are the Karakariki Scenic Reserve, west of Hamilton; Wairere Falls near Matamata and Hoffman Pond to the east of the Thames.
Bay of Plenty
With 259 km of golden sand and Pacific surf, the Bay of Plenty has more than just a part… sorry, you’ve heard of that before. Looking for other places besides Waihī Beach, Omokoroa, Mountain, Pāpāmoa, Maketū, Pukehina, Ōhope or Ōpōtiki? Revisit Rotorua’s 14 accessible lakes for swimming, fishing, picnicking and whatever floats on your boat. For thrills, jet boat across geothermal valleys or go white water rafting down the Kaituna River.
Gizzy. What else can I say? Oh, okay: Rocking backslide, about an hour out of town, is probably the most fun you can do on a bodyboard or a tire. Further south, Waimārama Beach (near North Havelock) is a quaint Kiwi camp and endless summer vacation territory.
There’s a good reason the 105km state highway from New Plymouth to Ōpunake has been renamed Surf Highway 45. We’ll let you know.
Palmy is one of two cities that is landlocked (and the other has a lake) but is surrounded by riverside retreats. The cliffs and bushes of the Ruahine Dress Circle have been a favorite swimming spot for locals for over 100 years; as well as the Ferry Reserve on the Manawatū River, Totara Nature Reserve (Pohangina Valley) and the Kahuterawa River (foothills of Tararua). Himatangi and Foxton are large, rocky west coast beaches; Foxton boasts the country’s largest aqua-park.
Diving may occur in Northland, Coromandel, BOP or further south, but we had to find something nice to say about the capital’s marine life (I grew up there and we went north to Waikanae or south to Sounds for vacations). Grab your wetsuits and fish, harvest kaimoana or just have fun in the rocks, sea caves and waters of the Cook / Raukawa Strait.
Don’t let the local rugby team’s nickname – Mako – piss you off. If your idea of heaven includes any activity involving the H20, you will find it here. Marlborough has the Sounds, three sunken valleys of calm water, secluded bays and coves surrounded by bush; Nelson has kilometers of golden sand beaches from city escapes to its national park treasures. The best way to see the Sounds is a day cruise on the Pelorus Mail Boat that has been delivering mail, groceries and supplies to remote homes for nearly a century. Tāhunanui Beach, near downtown Nelson, is a beautiful, safe, family-friendly beach; not too far is the cafe and gallery of Mapua Wharf. In Abel Tasman National Park, Kaiteriteri is known as “New Zealand’s premier outdoor recreation destination”. The nearby Cleopatra Swimming Pool is nestled among the jungle with natural moss slides and canyon adventures. Wainui Falls is a popular swimming hole and the Riwaka Resurrection spring claims healing properties.
Punting – or recently waka ama – at Avon is not highly rated here. North of the city, Motunau / Gore Bay and Lakes Sumner or Taylor in the Hurunui region are options to get away from the crowds; You don’t have to look very far to find the serene bays around Banks Peninsula. Avoid Akaroa, look for Charteris Bay or Diamond Harbor. South, exiled Timaruvian insists we call Caroline Bay. We have done it.
You can’t go past the Ōtāgo Peninsula – the next stop is Antarctica – and the rugged, breezy splendor of Sandfly Bay, Victory Beach and others, home to seals, sea lions, penguins, albatross and more; or the forged St Clair, home to cafes, surfers and heated saltwater pools. Southerners have always known that there is more to Middle Ōtāgo than snow: the region’s rivers and lakes are also Ground Zero for summer adventures. Lo-fi: find a rope swing on Queenstown’s best lakeside beach, ending with a jump to Lake Hayes. Higher: river surf at Kawarau, ride rapids, whirlpools and rock jumps on modified body boards or custom-built sleds. They thought big when Lake Dunstan formed near Cromwell and made a base for water activities with the bonus of barn doors and garden stalls. Summertime Wānaka hype: if you’re craving solitude, book a day trip to Arethusa Pool on Mou Waho island on the lake or turn to the more relaxed Hāwea Lake.
You shouldn’t call yourself a Kiwi until you’ve experienced the Catlins, between Balclutha and Invercargill, spectacular native forest beaches, raising cliffs, sandy and deserted beaches, bays, waterfalls, hidden lakes, blowholes, caves, Instagram lighthouses and forests petrified Jurassic era. Surfers love some of the country’s biggest ocean waves, but if anyone of any age likes to get wet, they can do it here. Highlights: Nugget Point Lighthouse at Kaka Point, 180 million year old Curio Bay rock forest; McLean, Pūrākaunui, Matai Falls. The Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area protects ancient, untouched lands and waterways: Manapouri and Te Anau are two of our most beautiful lakes. Nice people here too. They will smile if you call it a bach and not a crib.
Patrol, sand, swing and slide (and ice cream shop)
Ocean Beach, Mount Maunganui
West Coast, Napier
Lyall Bay, Wellington
Hot and cold waterpark
Parakai Springs, near Helensville
Parnell Baths, Auckland City Center
Te Aroha Mineral Spa, Waikato
Polynesian Geothermal Spa, Rotorua
Air Conditioning Baths and Hot Springs, Taupō
Lido Aquatic Center, Palmerston North
Motueka Saltwater Baths, Tasman
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas, North Canterbury
Christchurch Hot Springs, New Brighton
St Clair Salt Hot Spring, Dunedin
Jumping from a pier or bridge is a Kiwi tradition. Always ask the smart locals first!
Waitangi Bridge, Northland
Whakarewarewa, Rotorua (look, don’t jump)
Raglan Bridge, Waikato
Tolaga Bay Wharf, East Gisborne
Mapua Wharf, Nelson
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com
This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 27
Summer festival attendees are warned about a growing number of “very dangerous” substitutes at MDMA being tested.
Know Your Stuff has reported in drug-screening clinics over the past few months an increased incidence of what people thought would be pure MDMA, either turning out to be just a catinone or just enough MDMA to “cheat” the test.
Synthetic catinones, also known colloquially as “bath salts”, have a euphoric onset similar to MDMA but wear off more quickly causing people to reduce them, having problems.
But other effects are stronger, and can cause anxiety, paranoia, stomach upset, seizures, or respiratory failure.
Mephedrone, the common cathinone here, has been linked to a number of deaths in the UK and Europe.
The discovery comes after the toxic industrial chemical methylenedianiline was discovered this month and sold at MDMA’s Auckland premises.
Know Your Stuff warns that the chemical has been linked to several cases of poisoning in Auckland where patients suffered liver damage.
Cathinones are a family of stimulants that are often sold as replacements for MDMA.
Know Your Stuff deputy manager, Dr Jez Weston, said it was likely used as MDMA simply because it was available on the black market.
They have found replacements in precise testing across the country, and they’ve seen more than last year, said Weston.
They found catinones in pill and crystal form.
The more common ones found in New Zealand include N-ethyl pentylone, mephedrone and eutylone.
Occasionally methylone, mexedron, 4-methylmethcathinone, MDPV, and Alpha-PVP have also been found.
Cathinones are usually stronger than MDMA, so what people perceive as a manageable amount can be dangerous.
The catinone effects last between two and five hours, but the side effects – including difficulty sleeping – generally stay on your body for between six and 24 hours.
Reducing it will prolong this side effect.
One person who thought they had weak MDMA and took multiple doses experienced what they called “48 hours of hell” of what turned out to be eutylone.
There’s no way to clearly differentiate, and Know Your Stuff recommends that people visit their testing site whenever possible, or buy their own testing reagent.
“Cathinones are very dangerous, and we’d rather see you regularly in a summer screening tent after summer than in a hospital once,” said Weston.
“We will be busy this summer at festivals across the country and hope to be more open and public about what we are doing.”
Pill testing laws
Health Minister Andrew Little’s Drug and Substance Checking Bill was passed earlier this month.
The bill amends two laws – the Drug Abuse Act and the Psychoactive Substances Act to allow people to take drug tests at festivals without charge and allow event organizers to host testers.
The bill will automatically expire in 12 months, with Little committing to bringing in permanent changes that will go through a full parliamentary process before then.
The legal change came too late to allow Know Your Stuff to test our summer festival effectively.
Wendy Allison told RNZ that there wasn’t enough time to import the specialist spectrometer equipment needed to test at all the festivals.
The organization only has three sets of equipment, meaning they can only attend three festivals at once, Allison said.
“There are more events than happened, especially around the New Year period.”
He said there were other spectrometers in New Zealand, but they were hidden in the laboratory.
“The ability to cut all that bureaucracy in the time we have will be very limited.”
The spectrometer was manufactured in Germany, and took six weeks to arrive when the organization ordered it last year.
“That is of course before Covid and not during the holiday season. So I predict, if we order spectrometers tomorrow, they will arrive as early as February.”
Allison did not blame the Government for the delay in the law, instead putting it to outside influences such as Covid-19 and other political parties that opposed last year’s law.
He said the law would help improve the services they could offer, as it allowed volunteers to handle the substance, making it more efficient.
Prior to the law, the group had to instruct festivalgoers to test the drug themselves, fearing that volunteers would risk prosecution if they handled the substance.
“This is not a total wash. We are limited in the number of events we can attend, but we will be able to help more people at the event.”