Home Articles posted by Rachel Banbury (Page 2)

Frozen 2 has smashed Box Office records after being released on the 22nd November.

So far it’s raked in over $500m NZD in its opening weekend.

That’s way more than the first film did when it came out back in 2013!

The first Frozen is thought to have made $150m NZD its first five days.

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at the trailer.

New Zealand’s active volcano, White Island, is showing an increase in activity.

Experts have had to increase White Island/Whakaari’s alert level.

The island now has an alert level of two, with an aviation colour code of yellow.

The level-two warning signifies “moderate to heightened volcanic unrest” according to Geonet. 

The highest level on the scale is five, which is only given during a major volcanic eruption.

The higher alert level comes after an increase in the amount of sulfur dioxide gas coming from the island.

White Island has been volcanically active at least since it was first spotted by James Cook in 1769. Sulphur mining was attempted on the island but abandoned in 1914. 

Air New Zealand has announced that it is cancelling some of their Christmas flights.

The cancellations are due to maintenance issues with its Rolls-Royce engines.

In total 14,000 people will be affected throughout New Zealand.

The airline has been forced to stop its twice-weekly Christchurch to Perth service and cancel dozens of other international flights in December and January.

Air New Zealand said it thought the issues would be cleared by Christmas but it is still in the queue at the Rolls-Royce repair shop.

When McDonald’s closed all its restaurants in Iceland in 2009, one man decided to buy his last hamburger and fries.

But rather than eat it, he has kept it …. for 10 years!!!

“I had heard that McDonald’s never decompose so I just wanted to see if it was true or not,” Hjortur Smarason said.

This week, it’s 10 years since the seemingly indestructible meal was purchased, and it barely looks a day older.

The burger is on display in Snotra House, a hostel in Thykkvibaer, southern Iceland. People from all around the world come to visit the burger, and the website receives up to 400,000 hits daily.

Mr Smarason is far from the first person to try this experiment with McDonald’s food.

Famously, Karen Hanrahan bought a hamburger in 1996 and 14 years later was claiming it looked no different than on the day she’d bought it.

In 2010, New York photographer Sally Davies bought a Happy Meal and took a picture of it daily for six months.

She claimed it didn’t rot, smell bad, develop maggots, or indeed show any sign of going off.

Calling all reading and cricket fans. How would you like to read books over summer and win prizes for it?

NZ Te Pou Muramura has joined forces with New Zealand Cricket’s T20 summer tournament to get kids reading more over the holidays.

The Super Smash Reading Challenge is a brand new interactive website. Kids aged 5-14 are invited to register for free and choose their local cricket team to ‘play’ for.

To play, just log the books you read over the summer, and add a star rating and short review. A leader board keeps track of the Super Smash teams as they move up and down the rankings as books are logged.

Launched in October, the Super Smash Reading Challenge will run until the final T20 cricket game on 19 January.

It’s already off to a good start, with healthy competition between teams. Currently, Wellington Firebirds are in the lead, with the Northern Knights in second place.

Paper Plus gift cards are up for grabs every day of the T20 tournament, and there are other spot prizes on offer, including signed sports gear.

The site also includes links to a parents’ section with tips for encouraging reading at home, and other resources like posters to download and articles to read.

Another cool thing about the website is that you can look at the books that everyone is reading, and get some ideas for your next trip to the library. At the moment, books by JK Rowling, Dav Pilkey, Amelia Cobb and David Walliams are hitting it out of the park!

Sign up for the Super Smash Reading Challenge: reading-challenge.org.nz 

Here is an example:

Kowhai Herangi, 7, is a reader from Newtown School playing for Wellington Blaze.


What do you like reading?

I like reading comics and chapter books with pictures. Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Do you have a favourite author?

Dav Pilkey. I like him because he does Dogman, Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby.

What would you like to read over the summer?

I’m thinking about maybe the seventh Dogman, and maybe some more of Captain Underpants.

What do you like about being part of the Reading Challenge?

I like that you can get prizes and I’m going to give my Dad one of the cricket vouchers if I win one.

Over 600 schools in Australia have closed due to wildfires.

Two Australian states have called a state of emergency and thousands of residents have been asked to leave their homes.

Officials have confirmed that around 150 homes in the state of New South Wales (NSW) have been destroyed.

At least three people have died and thousands have had to leave their homes in New South Wales and Queensland.

The country’s most populous city, Sydney, has been marked as at “catastrophic fire danger”. Temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius are forecast to mix with powerful winds.

It is the first time Sydney has been rated at that level since new fire danger ratings were bought in 2009.

The Hoiho or Yellow Eyed Penguin has been named the winner of Bird of the Year 2019.

It was a tight contest between the hoiho and the kākāpō.

The Hoiho received more than 12,000 votes – marking the competition’s first seabird winner in its 14-year history.

This is the first time voters have been able to rank their preferences for the birds, instead of the first-past-the-post system used previously.

The kākāpō, black robin (kakaruia), banded dotterel (tūturiwhatu), and fantail (pīwakawaka) were all close runners up- ranking second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Hoiho are an endangered species and the world’s rarest penguin. there are only 225 pairs remaining on mainland New Zealand in 2018/19.

They face numerous environmental threats as well as the risk of being caught in fishing nets.

Earlier this year in May a member of the public discovered six rare Moa footprints in a river bed in Central Otago.

Now the process to conserve the South Island’s first-ever Moa footprints has begun.

The prints were perfectly preserved in clay at the bottom of a river, and now the crucial drying out process is underway to conserve the fossils.

Moa evolved in the South Island before moving north, where all fossils have been found up until now.

“These prints are much much older than the footprints found up there; the ages ranging between one and 12 million years old,” Otago Museum assistant curator Kane Fleury said.

The fossils are currently in humidity chambers, with controlled air temperature to prevent the clay from cracking 

They will be on display to the public in a special conservation space at Otago Museum from mid-November.

Have you noticed your Dad or perhaps a male member of staff growing a mo?

Men around New Zealand are growing moustaches for Movember.

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

These issues include issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. 

The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.

In 2016 $1.4 million dollars was raised in New Zealand for Movember.

21 countries around the world participate in Movember, with the biggest contributor being Canada.

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.