News

The St Vincent eruption is a reminder of how volcano research and monitoring can save lives

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Silvio De Angelis, University of Liverpool and Janine Kavanagh, University of Liverpool Volcanic eruptions come with a variety of hazards, depending on the type of volcano and its magma. Some have effusive eruptions, where lava flows constantly, while others can expel large clouds of fragments of magma and gases – volcanic ash – into the atmosphere. For some of the … Read More

If we want to improve NZ’s freshwater quality, first we need to improve the quality of our democracy

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Nicolas Pirsoul, University of Auckland and Maria Armoudian, University of Auckland Since the fatal Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in 2016, freshwater quality has rightfully been a major political issue in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pipes bursting in Wellington, lead contamination in Otago and concerns about tolerable levels of nitrates in the country’s drinking water are all signs … Read More

New authority could transform Māori health, but only if it’s a leader, not a partner

Guest Author Apr 22, 2021

Dominic O’Sullivan, Charles Sturt University and Heather Came, Auckland University of Technology As part of a major overhaul of the health system, health minister Andrew Little yesterday announced a new Māori health authority. The authority will be able to commission primary health services and make joint decisions with a newly created centralised health agency. It’s a simple idea, … Read More

So a helicopter flew on Mars for the first time. A space physicist explains why that’s such a big deal

Guest Author Apr 21, 2021

Gail Iles, RMIT University Yesterday at 9pm Australian Eastern standard time, the Ingenuity helicopter — which landed on Mars with the Perseverance rover in February — took off from the Martian surface. More importantly, it hovered for about 30 seconds, three metres above the surface and came right back down again. It may not sound like a huge … Read More

Road to nowhere: New Zealanders struggle to get the help they need, 2 years on from a funding boost for mental health services

Guest Author Apr 19, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington As part of New Zealand’s well-being budget in 2019, the government announced an unprecedented NZ$1.9 billion increase in funding for the mental health sector. But almost two years on, there are no tangible signs of improvement and statistics show the number of New Zealanders seeking, but not receiving, … Read More

Otago locals rally to save fossils from destruction

Guest Author Apr 15, 2021

By Kate Evans for Undark One of New Zealand’s most spectacular fossil sites originated 23.2 million years ago. It was formed in a valley dotted with small volcanoes, when rising magma deep below the Earth’s surface came into contact with groundwater. Lava and water don’t mix — they explode. The resulting detonation obliterated the surrounding forest and left … Read More

New Zealand needs urgent action to tackle the frightening rise and cost of type 2 diabetes

Guest Author Mar 29, 2021

Jim Mann, University of Otago Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in New Zealand and will get much worse unless action is taken now, according to a new report on the economic and social cost of the disease. Already 228,000 New Zealanders (4.7% of the population) have type 2 diabetes. The estimated annual cost is NZ$2.1 billion — … Read More

Google’s scrapping third-party cookies – but invasive targeted advertising will live on

Guest Author Mar 10, 2021

Eerke Boiten, De Montfort University Google has announced plans to stop using tracking cookies on its Chrome browser by 2022, replacing them with a group profiling system in a move the company says will plot “a course towards a more privacy-friendly web”. The change is significant. Chrome commands some two-thirds of the web browser market. Third-party tracking cookies, … Read More

How did NASA’s Martian rover come to land in a crater named after a tiny Balkan village?

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

Robert Greenberg, University of Auckland The world was excited by the news last week that NASA’s Perseverance rover had successfully landed in a Martian crater. The rover will now set about collecting samples from what scientists say was an ancient lake fed by a river. The name of this exotic Martian crater is Jezero. As a South Slavic … Read More

As the Perseverance rover lands on Mars, there’s a lot we already know about the red planet from meteorites found on Earth

Guest Author Feb 19, 2021

James Scott, University of Otago NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars this morning, and has already begun beaming back images. Hello, world. My first look at my forever home. #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/dkM9jE9I6X — NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 18, 2021 But people might be surprised to learn … Read More