7 Apr 2024

Good News: Stories that cheered us up for the week of 1-7 April

7:02 pm on 7 April 2024
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Photo: RNZ

The Running of the Sheep returns and a classroom resource that helps children detect misinformation in this week's round-up of the most uplifting stories published by RNZ.

A classroom resource helps children detect fake news

A "rising sense of terror" about misinformation led Australian journalist Bryce Corbett to create a media literacy resource for young people. Newshounds - which encourages children to "stop, think and check" before believing what they see online - is used in more than 2000 Australian classrooms and it will soon be rolled out in Aotearoa.

Squiz-E the detective dog is a character in Newshounds - a free media literacy resource for primary schools by the creators of the Australian news podcast Squiz Kids.

Squiz-E the detective dog is a character in Newshounds - a free media literacy resource for primary schools by the creators of the Australian news podcast Squiz Kids. Photo: Squiz Kids

New study shows marine protected areas are good for both fishing and tourism

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are economically beneficial to both fishing and tourism, according to a new study published in a international journal on marine sciences, Scientia Marina.

There was no evidence of net costs of MPAs to fisheries anywhere, rather fisheries saw increased fish stocks, catch sizes and larger fish. The study showed MPAs are one of the best strategies for maintaining the sustainable use of marine resources.

Spotted sweetlips in Palau

Marine protection areas are good for both tourism and fishing, according to a new study. Photo: Richard Brooks/ The Pew Charitable Trusts

Friendly contest sees citizen scientists get active

The City Nature Challenge is back for 2024, with the goal of getting citizen scientists to document the plants and animals they find in their urban jungles.

It is a bioblitz-style competition where cities are in a friendly contest with each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people to better understand urban biodiversity. The global event takes place from 26-29 April.

Citizen scientists are encouraged to document the manu in their urban jungles. Photo:

Community group's mammoth clean-up job

Dozens of ripped-up books were dumped along 5km of road in Invercargill over the long weekend - but the community pulled together to help.

"Due to the sheer volume of book material and with light cover over the long weekend, more staff were going to be needed [after the Easter break] to make a dent in what was a huge task. It was estimated it would take 80 to 100 hours of staff time to pick up the litter," parks and recreation manager Caroline Rain said.

An Invercargill City Council park ranger found pages and covers ripped from printed books littered over 5km of a road on 30 March, 2024.

These dumped books were no match for local litter-collectors. Photo: Supplied / Invercargill City Council

Running of the Sheep returns

The popular Running of the Sheep returned to Te Kūiti's main street on Saturday. Hundreds of sheep ran through the town as part of The Great NZ Muster, a street festival unique to King Country.

The sheep run is often a highlight for many, local farmer Peter Bird said: "Even though we're a rural community, there's still a lot of people that live in town or there are tourists from out of town that have never been that close to sheep."

Hundreds of sheep were trucked from well-known shearing champion Neil Fagan's farm for the event.

Running of the Sheep, Te Kuiti

Hundreds of sheep ran down Te Kūiti's main street. Photo: Waitomo District Council

Leaders seek legal personhood for tohorā

Māori and Pacific leaders have signed a declaration seeking to grant tohorā, or whales, legal personhood.

The aim is to give tohorā more robust protections that are recognised internationally. The declaration also seeks to protect the rights of tohorā to migrate freely, to conserve and grow dwindling populations, establish marine protected areas, use mātauranga Māori alongside science for better protections, and set up a dedicated fund for whale conservation.

Māori and Pacific leaders are working to protect tohorā. Photo:

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