16 Thursday March 16 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi The Star News EXCITING: White flippered penguins have started expanding their nesting spots on Banks Peninsula. Pest control allows penguins to roam further on peninsula • By Bridget Rutherford A SUCCESSFUL predator control programme on Banks Peninsula has meant some of the world’s smallest penguins have started exploring new nesting sites. In November and December, Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust carried out its great little penguin count at the largest mainland penguin colony in the country – Flea Bay. It is carried out every four years on the white flippered penguins and took about three weeks to do, because they like to nest in isolated, and difficult spots to access. Although the number of pairs of penguins had declined since the previous count, results showed they have started to explore old and unused nest sites. Nests were found in burrows at Otanerito, which had been unused for about 15-20 years. BPCT Wildside co-ordinator Marie Haley said it was exciting news for the colony’s future. She said it showed the success of the predator control programme across an area known as the Wildside, since numbers blew out in the 1980s. The Wildside is a nationally significant area for the protection of sea bird breeding sites. Marie Haley “It’s taken that long for the programme to be good enough, and long enough lasting for the tide to really turn and it’s quite exciting.” Ms Haley said the penguins had also been nesting at the bottom of Hinewai Reserve, and also around the coast where the predator control programme took place, from Akaroa head to Le Bons Bay. They had also moved to more open places closer to humans and activity, and seemed to be coping well, she said. A lot more were also being spotted in Akaroa Harbour, she said. In 2012, 1304 penguin pairs were counted. While the recent count found 1250. Ms Haley said the drop was not concerning, because the Flea Bay population had increased most years, and now it seemed to have reached its maximum. The very first count was done in 2000, with 717 pairs. The trust was also seeing continued increase in the number of sooty shearwaters or titi, nesting at Stony Bay. In the last count in December, there were up to 50 chicks. The number had gone up every year.
The Star Latest Christchurch news at www. .kiwi Thursday March 16 2017 17 Human waste found in bins Dialysis bags recycling solution found • By Gabrielle Stuart HUMAN WASTE has caused a messy dispute between local authorities – but the problem may be solved through a new recycling programme. The problems began when city council staff at the Ecosort recycling depot started finding bags of waste from kidney treatments – which often jammed up sorting machines, and caused messy problems for workers. It came from patients getting peritoneal dialysis treatment, who were putting the waste from their catheters in their yellow recycling bins, rather than with rubbish. The city council threatened to fine the Canterbury District Health Board if the problem continued. But the CDHB said the problem was caused because KIP0018KiwiBubsPres 2017-03-10T16:50:42+13:00 BINNED: Human waste from kidney treatments which was thrown into yellow recycling bins became a messy problem for city council recycling collection staff. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN the city council-provided red rubbish bins were too small to take the waste, and patients on the treatment needed bigger bins. The problem was solved when private company Baxter Healthcare stepped in with a solution in September, offering to start a waste recycling programme free of charge. It has run similar programmes in Australia and Auckland, collecting the PVC containers used in the treatment. As of December, more than 120 patients across New Zealand had signed up to the recycling scheme. It runs similar programmes in hospitals, collecting oxygen tubing and oxygen masks which are turned into rubber matting for children’s playgrounds. Staff shortage strains mental health services • By Gabrielle Stuart CANTERBURY’S strained mental health services are struggling to recruit staff, a new report has revealed. Staff in the mental health services have reported feeling unsafe at work in the Canterbury District Health Board system, and said staffing issues contributed to the problem. Last year there were 775 physical assaults on CDHB staff by patients, an average of more than two a day. The numbers include 236 assaults at Hillmorton Hospital last year, where the number had dropped from 507 assaults recorded in 2014. A report on the issue, prepared for a health board meeting today, said recruiting senior medical officers into mental health had been a challenge, and there were a number of other vacancies which had not been filled. It said overseas psychiatrists were anticipated to be appointed later this year, but the situation was expected to “remain challenging” until then. It said the services were still strained, with the adult acute inpatient service, which deals with the most serious cases, at 98 per cent occupancy in February. But it said the service was still managing to see people quickly, with more than 90 per cent of people referred to the adult mental health services seen within 21 days. “The specialist mental health service teams have continued to work exceptionally hard, given the unprecedented demand post quakes, to provide the best care possible in some very challenging circumstances,” the report said. hey BABY Share the joys and challenges of parenting with Kiwibubs. Kiwibubs is free for mums, dads and caregivers with little ones. Meeting every two months, it’s a great way to catch up, hear amazing guest speakers, get exclusive retail offers and connect with other parents. Join now at our customer service desk or visit northlands.co.nz northlands.co.nz