Good News: Stories that cheered us up for the week 27 May – 2 June

The lucky find of four baby tuatara, planting to boost biodiversity and a rally for citizenship for Samoan elders are among this week’s feel-good stories from RNZ.

Four baby tuatara found at Invercargill demolition site

One of four baby tuatara discovered this week in Invercargill. It was a

A contractor working on Invercargill’s museum demolition spotted a baby tuatara in an area formerly used for the animals. Three more babies were later found hiding in the soil.

The discovery has been described as something akin to “finding a needle in a haystack”. Invercargill City Council parks and recreation manager Caroline Rain said while the discovery was unexpected, the animals were resilient. “You don’t survive from since the time of the dinosaurs without having the capability to do phenomenal things such as this.”

Samoan community rally in support of citizenship bill

Youth advocate Esmae Salesa is fighting for a group of Samoan elders to be given back New Zealand citizenship.

A rally has been held supporting calls for a law change to reinstate citizenship to thousands of people who were born in Western Samoa between 1924 and 1949 and previously granted New Zealand citizenship, but then had it revoked by an Act passed in 1982.

Youth advocate Esmae Salesa, who started the petition for the repeal of the 1982 Act, said the change would mean so much to her and elders of the Samoan community. “[They] have a right to be here as much as anyone else does and they deserve their citizenship.”

Norsewood’s close-knit community linked by factory

Sharon Doreen has closed the toes on thousands of socks during her 33 years at Norsewear

Generations of Norsewood families, neighbours and members of the volunteer fire brigade work alongside each other at Norsewear. The sock, glove and beanie manufacturer is the heart of the town and contributes greatly to the local community, according to one of its longest-serving employees, Terence “Tingey” Ahern: “Norsewear is Norsewood and Norsewood is Norsewear. That’s it.”

RNZ visited the town to find out more about the central role the factory plays in the town.

BATS makes live events more accessible

BATS Theatre

Live events are often where we come together as communities so it’s important they’re accessible to all. BATS Theatre in Pōneke Wellington is working hard to make this possible.

They are using recent funding on a new programme to make things more accessible via live streaming, captioning and audio description for up to 10 theatre productions, and already had an online ‘request help’ form and established accessibility guidelines.

“Theatre has the power to unite and uplift,” says BATS chief executive Jonty Hendry.

The race to save Papua New Guinea’s frogs

Ryan and his colleague, from Papua New Guinea, stand in front of a tank filled with greenery. They are both wearing khaki shirts.

Frog populations around the world have been decimated by a deadly fungus. But one place that has remained unaffected – so far – is Papua New Guinea, the world’s largest tropical island. It’s home to the world’s most diverse array of tropical frogs, including many species unknown to science.

Conservationists are racing to safeguard these amphibian treasures, including building a captive frog facility where conservationists are raising an insurance population for if – or when – chytrid fungus hits.

Launch of Central Otago native planting project

Half Mile Recreation Reserve in Alexandra will be the focus of a planting project over the next five years.

The first stage of a five-year planting project to transform Central Otago’s Half Mile Recreation Reserve will begin next Sunday 9 June. On the public planting day, 5000 tussock plants will be sowed, beginning the transformation of the bare hillside leading to Alexandra above State Highway 85.

“This is a big project and we’re in for the long haul, so we need as many people involved as possible. There’s a variety of ways people can be actively involved even if their backs aren’t up to digging holes,” says Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust project coordinator Rach Baxter.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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