Next weekend is the second round of the New Zealand National Rally Championship http://www.motorsport.org.nz/Rally/ to be held in and around Whangarei http://www.whangareinz.org.nz/ which altho’ is a few 100 kms from Auckland is the closest this city gets to a round of the NZRC presently. Anyhow, this year’s event is also a round of the Asia- Pacific Rally Championship http://www.fiaaprc.com/ (during the previous few years it’s been held in Rotorua) so we’ll have some international drivers competing alongside our local heroes … “nerves of steel on metal roads”. Using some of the most excellent ‘gravel’ roads in and around Paparoa, south west of Whangarei (which have been formerly used in the NZ round of the World Rally Championship) the two days of competition over 12-13 May will no doubt be full of action and drama. Bring on the Skids! More details here … http://www.rallywhangarei.co.nz/
Unquestionably, Iraq has suffered the largest death toll per 100,000 of population with 504 deaths based on a low end estimate of 53,101 deaths from a population estimated by the CIA to be 26,783,383. However, you might be surprised by the people who follow. According to the US Marine Corps Times website, 10.4 American Samoans per 100,000 of population (65,000) have lost their lives in the conflict compared, say, to 0.77 per 100,000 of the population of New York State, which has a population of nearly 19 million. That’s some sacrifice, especially when one considers that persons born in American Samoa are United States nationals, but not United States citizens. Samoan is the fourth largest ethnic group (20,730) in Auckland, following New Zealand European/pakeha (206,937), Chinese (30,285) and Maori (29,139).
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson plans to pop over from Oz – just for a cocktail party.
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza will arrive in Auckland tomorrow morning. The Esperanza is Greenpeace’s newest ship and it is on its first New Zealand.
“Last whaling season the Greenpeace crew stopped many whales from being killed in the Antarctic. This year they will be carrying out activities designed by supporters who have posted their ideas on www.greenpeace.org.nz/whales.” says Greenpeace New Zealand.
For those who are interested in Greenpeace and their anti-whaling campaign, you can pop down to Princes Wharf and have a look around, the Esperanza will be open for public visits during the next two weekends (Jan 13/14/20/21) between 10 and 4 before she leaves for the Antarctic.
Ninety volunteers in Auckland will try a new nictotine lozenge developed by Swedish researchers in a trial run by Auckland University’s Clinical Trials Research Unit. Almost three quarters of a million New Zealanders smoke and it kills about over 4.500 Kiwis a year. Unlike a good many Metroblogging cities, Auckland, along with the rest of NZ, already has a smoking ban in many public places, bars and restaurants but these faster-working lozenges may help those who want to quit.
Has it been almost two weeks already? Spent the afternoon with what seemed like half of Auckland frying gently at Mission Bay, eating ‘fush and chups’ from The Fish Pot Cafe and trying to read the paper and trying to forget that I’ll be back at work tomorrow. Oh well, a couple of weeks hard work and I’ll be ready for a few days at a bach, the week after Auckland Day.
Bethells Beach/Te Henga, West Auckland
May the coming year bring more peace, less strife, more compassion and less conflict to the peoples of the world. If you make just one resolution this year, may it be to make a difference.
Happy New Year!
Technorati Tags: New year
photo: Michael Tarry
If you’re here looking for places to go and things to do for New Year’s Eve in Auckland, let me point you in the right direction.
Families with younger kids who love to party should head over to Auckland Zoo for the Buzz Junior Jungle Rock Party where, to the cheers of the parents and the boos of the kids, the party will see in the New Year at 2100hrs.
The residents of Franklin Road in Auckland are renown for their annual Christmas light displays. In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d link to other Auckland bloggers and Flickr folk who have posted on these festive folk’s frolics.
PJ – with an eye for the quirky
Idle Vice – taking the organisers to task
Click Attack – the lights at dusk
Robyn Gallagher – photographing the unlit lights
NZPA – the stock shots from the pros