Over the past few days many people around New Zealand have celebrated Guy Fawkes Day.

In New Zealand there is very little focus on the reason for the celebration. It is simply a good occasion to get together with friends and family for some start of summer fun.

Fireworks are only sold for the three days up to Guy Fawkes – November 2nd to 5th. You must be 18 years old to purchase them.

Most cities and towns have public displays of fireworks for everyone to enjoy. However, Wellington has moved their big firework display to Matariki in June.

How did you celebrate Guy Fawkes? Leave a message in our comment section.

Below is a short history behind why we let off fireworks.

Over four hundred years ago, in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes and a group of plotters attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London with barrels of gunpowder placed in the basement. They wanted to kill King James and the king’s leaders.

Why did they want to kill King James?

When Queen Elizabeth 1st took the throne of England she made some laws against the Roman Catholics.
Guy Fawkes was one of a small group of Catholics who felt that the government was treating Roman Catholics unfairly. They hoped that King James 1st would change the laws, but he didn’t.

What happened?

Guy Fawkes was given the job to keep watch over the barrels of gunpowder and to light the fuse. On the morning of 5th November, soldiers discovered Guy hidden in the cellar and arrested him. The trail of gunpowder at his feet would never be lit.

Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London. He was tortured and questioned about the other plotters. To start with he didn’t tell the soldiers anything about the plot. Eventually, he started to tell the truth.

In celebration of his survival, King James ordered that the people of England should have a great bonfire on the night on 5th November.

Britain’s first ‘city’ has been found by archaeologists.

The city was based on Salisbury Plain, and its inhabitants probably built Stonehenge, archaeologists have said.

Archaeologists are people that study past civilisations. They have uncovered more than 70,000 stone tools at a place called Blick Mead.

The remains suggest that the area held importance for the hunter-gatherers who lived there 10,000 years ago.

Expert David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, believes the site may have been a permanent place where at least the children, elderly and sick live.

Up until 2006 only 30 finds had ever been recovered from this period at any one site. Now they have found 70,000 – this is a significant find.

Archaeologists think that ancient Britons settled in the area because it was where the aurochs lived. These were large cows which provided food for the city.

A new women’s basketball league will be starting in New Zealand in 2020.

Ex player, Donna Wilkins, has been appointed to Basketball New Zealand’s new Women’s Basketball Board and will oversee the new league.

NZ Basketball has also partnered with Sky Sports to ensure a Wednesday night game will be televised each week from the WNBL competition. 

The league will probably feature teams from Canterbury, Otago, Harbour, Auckland, Wellington and Waikato.

There are hopes a development league for under 25 players (with three age-exempt players) will also be created to underpin the WNBL. 

A good friend brings out the best in you and is there for you, whatever happens.

What does a good friend look like?

Friends can come in many forms: they can be young or old, or might even be an animal like a pet. A good human friend:

lways brings out the best in you

enerally keeps your secrets, unless they affect your safety
O  ften shares your interests
O  ften shares your feelings, and always understands you
D  efends you and sticks up for you – even when others don’t

F   orgives you if you make mistakes or do something silly that hurts them
R   egularly shares with you: toys, thoughts, fun, limelight … everything
I    ncludes you in whatever they’re doing
E   ncourages you and isn’t jealous of you
N  ever lets you down
D  oesn’t try to control you, but tells you when you’re doing something stupid

They may not do all these things all the time; but they’ll do many of them most of the time.

Being friends and having friends

We can be a friend to others as well as having friends ourselves. People often say:
The best way to have a friend, is to be one.
We can also be a good friend to ourselves  by taking time to look after our body and mind.

What about when friends fight or move on?

Friendships can change over time, like any relationship. And friends can argue and make up.
Everyone feels left out by their friends – even their besties – from time to time. Sometimes it’s because we’ve done something silly of hurtful to them, perhaps without even realising it. Sometimes it’s because our friends are people just like us and make mistakes – just like we do. Sometimes we just don’t “click” anymore because one or other of us has changed.

If we’ve upset our friends we need to say sorry to them. If they try to make up for something that they’ve done to upset us we should accept their apology and move on.

 “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Oprah Winfrey


Women and Children’s Health Network, 13 October 2016. “Friendship”. Retrieved from: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=286&id=1636 5 December 2017.
Women and Children’s Health Network, 15 February 2016. “Shyness – Are you[HO4]  Shy”. Retrieved from: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetailsKids.aspx?p=335&np=286&id=1636 5 December 2017.

Useful links

“How can I make friends ?”, “Loving Ourselves: Self-love and Self-Compassion”,  Life Education factsheets.

“I’ll be There for You”: by The Rembrandts. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-9pLZQ4vu0 6 December 2017.

“Friends will be Friends”: by Queen. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAQ4sJZ5IsU 11 December.

“Friends Forever”: from Bear in the Big Blue House. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xlYecJEH_k 7 December 2017

“You’ve got a Friend in Me”: cover from Toy Story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIYOJ_hSs0o Retrieved from: 7 December 2017.

Scientists have taught rats to drive tiny little cars.

The rats have been taught to control small cars in order to receive treats.

The findings were part of a study which could help scientists understand how learning skills affect the human mind and stress levels.

They discovered not only that rats can learn to drive little cars but that rats which lived in better environments were able to learn better.

According to Professor Kelly Lambert at the University of Richmond, Virginia, the study bears a lot of relevance for the way that the human mind works too.

The study used a tiny car constructed from a plastic jug on wheels.

The floor was made of aluminium, and three copper bars allowed the rat to steer by gripping any of the bars with their paws, completing an electrical circuit.

In order to encourage the rats to learn to drive, the researchers placed a sweet cereal product within a particularly constructed arena.

The New Zealand government is changing its driver’s license rules.

Today they announced a two-year extension to those with learner and restricted drivers licences that are about to expire.

Under current rules, those with a learner or restricted licences have a five-year limit to move on to the next licence stage. If they don’t do anything they need to sit their theory again.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the new rule gives learner and restricted drivers more time to get their full licence.

More than 144,000 drivers’ licences are due to expire in the next two years.

Over the next two years the government will review the Graduated Driver Licensing System.

The Vatican, home of the Catholic Church, has launched a new ‘eRosary’ bracelet.

The wearable gadget costs $NZ 171.96 is designed to be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of a cross.

The bracelet features 10 black rosary beads, plus a silver “smart cross” that detects movement.

The Vatican hope of this new device will appeal to younger, more tech-savvy generations.

The app tracks a user’s progress and also contains visual and audio explanations of the rosary.

The rosary is used by Catholics to help with prayer and meditation.

The New Zealand men’s hockey team have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

The team secured the spot following a 3-0 victory over South Korea in Taranaki.

The Black Sticks beat South Korea 3-2 in the first of two matches, and needed only a draw to secure their spot.

This was the final opportunity for the Black Sticks to qualify for the 2020 Games.

Goals scorers for New Zealand were Stephen Jenness, Sam Lane and Kane Russell.

The Black Sticks Women booked their place at the Tokyo Olympics in September.