3 Mar 2024

Good News: The stories that cheered us up this week

6:36 pm on 3 March 2024
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Photo: RNZ

Welcome back to RNZ's weekly round up of Good News, where we'll be sharing some of the most uplifting recent stories featured on our website by RNZ reporters and partners.

Here's the good news round-up for this week:

Taranaki initiative fosters growth in Māori healthcare workforce

Treal Niwa is enjoying learning new skills and helping people in a cadetship learning how to be an orthotics technician at Te Whatu Ora Taranaki.

Treal Niwa (Te Atiawa, Taranaki) began a cadetship as an orthotics technician at Taranaki Base Hospital when he was 17 years old and is loving it. Photo: RNZ/ Robin Martin

Why Ora, an initiative to help Māori into the health workforce, is being credited with almost doubling the proportion of tangata whenua employed at the Te Whatu Ora Taranaki and transforming lives. The organisation provides cadetships to rangatahi to help them get into the health sector along a different pathway other than tertiary education where people can face financial and social barriers. The goal is for 18 percent of staff to be Māori and since the program began, the workforce has gone from 6 percent to 10 percent Māori and it is still growing.

Wāhine recognised for work to reduce inequality

Tylah Farani-Watene speaking at the Japan Embassy, New York City for the Global Goals Week 2023.

Tylah Farani-Watene Photo: Hunter Kaufman

Tylah Farani-Watene, a young Māori and Pasifika wāhine is being recognised for her work advocating for youth empowerment in her communities, through providing leadership training, educational opportunities and highlighting the value of indigenous knowledge as the key to achieving a better future. She is one of just 32 inaugural Global Citizen Youth Leaders Award recipients from the Asia-Pacific region.

NZ Para cyclist up for prestigious international award

Nicole Murray at the 2023 Cycling World Championships.

Nicole Murray Photo: SWPix

New Zealand Paralympian Nicole Murray has been shortlisted for World Sportsperson with a Disability at the 2024 Laureus World Sport Awards. The C5 cyclist, who is a left-hand amputee from a childhood accident, won four Road World Cup medals and three Track World Championships medals in 2023. The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sporting awards, which honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting achievements of the year. Nicole is the only Kiwi shortlisted in any category.

Vegetables push through silt left behind by Cyclone Gabrielle

The thick blanket of silt cloaking productive land across Hawke's Bay might not be as suffocating as once thought, with some vegetable crops pushing through the barrier. When local rivers burst during the cyclone, the land was inundated and a thick layer of silt was left in its wake, which would be too expensive to remove. Plant and Food Research has come to help, working with local horticulturalists to see what crops can still flourish, meaning their business can do the same. They have planted a range of crops in different layers of silt, with maize thriving and broccoli looking good too - golden knowledge for growers.

A majestic goat and intuition lead son to dad missing in the bush

Tramper Brent Harrison

Brent Harrison Photo: Supplied

Brent Harrison, 72, got lost in Wellington's Tararua Ranges and was missing for nearly three days until his son Luke found him. When Luke got the call his Dad was missing from his walk, he dropped everything to start searching. Over the next few days, more than 50 search and rescuers, helicopters with thermal equipment, and tracking dogs scoured the bush for signs of Brent. Luke, calling for his Dad on the rough terrain, rounded a corner and came face-to-face with a majestic looking goat. He continued on but later realised it was a sign, finding his Dad, who Luke says will make a full recovery and return to tramping very soon.

Leap day babies get to keep celebrating being young

Christchurch teacher Sophie Lennon, who is turning 40, has only celebrated on the actual day of her birth 10 times.

Sophie Lennon Photo: Supplied

Christchurch teacher and leap day baby Sophie Lennon turned 40 this week, marking the occasion on 29 February for only the 10th time in her life. She celebrated her special day with bowling and arcade games to "embrace the 10-year-old me." Kelvin Munro celebrated his 21st birthday in the 80 years since he was born on 29 February 1944. Although, he opted for a meal with his family rather than doing a yardie. Leap years have 366 days instead of 365 to counter the fact that Earth's orbit is not precisely 365 days a year. An estimated 3500 New Zealanders celebrate birthdays on 29 February, which works out to about 7 people in every 10,000.

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