Welcome back to RNZ's new 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 what caught our eye this week:
'We must respect each other despite our differences'
Leading figure in the Cook Islands' LGBTQI+ movement Valery Wichman was presented with the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law. She's the first Pacific recipient of the award.
Valery is a founder of the Cook Islands rainbow group and as a barrister for the government, she has helped push for equal LGBTQ+ rights before the law, including the groundbreaking decriminalisation of same-sex relationships last year.
Green learning hub grows on red zone land
Ōtautahi school students are helping turn quake-damaged red zoned land green again at the Climate Action Campus. They take part in education programmes centred on climate action including regenerative horticulture, organics and beekeeping. A refugee group is taking part this year to also share members' horticultural knowledge. More than 20 schools are involved in bringing about positive environmental change.
A year after Gabrielle, 'a little bit of a miracle'
Last year, a swirling mass of logs bowled down the Wilson family's apple trees, leaving their Hawke's Bay orchard smothered in stinking mud. Throughout the replant and rebuild, their community ties grew stronger, with the local Puketapu pub the perfect location to share a tear and a laugh with other locals. A year later, just this week, the orchard's apple harvest has started, with the fruits looking amazing.
From meth addict to building apprentice
Bex Chapman fell into a meth addiction as a young mum, but she's now free of drugs and works as a building apprentice. She'd sunk into the quicksand of meth use after a difficult breakup and low self-esteem. At the lowest of lows, she decided to ask for help. After seeing many other mums lose custody of their kids as a result of addiction, she's sharing her story to inspire others on a journey to recovery.
A theatre with the homeless
Three decades ago Adrian Jackson founded a theatre company in London called Cardboard Citizens. His mission was to create theatre projects with - and for - people experiencing homelessness. The company is still going strong and it takes its Forum Theatre pieces to theatres, hostels, prisons and other community venues around the country. The company's goal is to inspire its performers to play and have fun again, all the while challenging the injustices in the world.