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Hibiscus Coast News


Government releases new climate strategy
Government releases new climate strategy

10 July 2024, 6:21 PM

Locals are set to benefit from the Government's newly released climate change strategy, aimed at achieving New Zealand’s climate goals. The strategy, just unveiled, outlines a comprehensive approach based on five key pillars: resilient infrastructure, credible markets, abundant clean energy, climate innovation, and nature-based solutions.The strategy includes significant measures such as installing 10,000 public charging points for electric vehicles and doubling renewable energy by 2050. It also focuses on a fair adaptation system to prepare for climate change, pricing emissions to encourage reductions, and restoring biodiversity.“We have seen what severe weather can do to infrastructure and property,” said Hon Simon Watts, Minister of Climate Change. “That’s why we need to work together to reduce the impacts of climate change and prepare for its future impacts. The actions we take now, like building more ways to generate renewable energy, can help boost the economy.”The Government's approach emphasises private investment, access to data and evidence, international engagement, and competitive markets to support the transition to a low-emissions economy. This comprehensive plan aims to protect communities, industries, and homes while minimising climate change costs.With New Zealand experiencing more frequent and severe weather events, the strategy aims to address the increasing physical and economic impacts of climate change.The Treasury estimates that recent North Island floods and cyclones cost between $9 and $14.5 billion in damages.Hon Simon Watts added, “We need to think long-term for future generations, taking practical steps to reduce our emissions and build resilience to a changing climate.”

OCR remains unchanged at 5.5% for eighth consecutive meeting
OCR remains unchanged at 5.5% for eighth consecutive meeting

10 July 2024, 4:35 AM

The Reserve Bank has hinted interest rate cuts may be closer than previously thought.The central bank held the official cash rate steady for an eighth consecutive meeting at 5.5 percent, as expected.It repeated much of previous statements about the slowing economy, easing labour market, and gradually falling inflation."Restrictive monetary policy has significantly reduced consumer price inflation, with the Committee expecting headline inflation to return to within the 1 to 3 percent target range in the second half of this year," the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said in a statement.But in an easing of attitude the MPC statement replaced the standard phrase of the OCR needing "to stay higher for longer" with the OCR needing to "stay restrictive"."The extent of this restraint will be tempered over time consistent with the expected decline in inflation pressures."This review was not accompanied by economic and financial forecasts, but in the May monetary policy statement it had indicated the OCR would stay at its current level until the second half of 2025.Over the next few weeks, there will be updated inflation and labour market data adding fresh input for the RBNZ's August monetary policy statement.Turning pointThe tone of the RBNZ statement and accompanying minutes of the committee's meeting were taken as dovish and pointing to sooner than expected rate cuts, after May's statement had flirted with talk of rate rises.The New Zealand dollar fell markedly against most major currencies, and local wholesale interest rates were lower.ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the statement was decidedly dovish compared to the one issued in May, and showed the RBNZ would be watching the economic numbers closely."We continue to expect the RBNZ will cut the OCR by 25 basis points in November. However, the risks are a sooner cut or bigger cut should the signs point to inflation undershooting the RBNZ's view."Financial markets changed to price in a definite prospect of a 25 basis point cut to 5.25 percent in October, and most likely another in November.The MPC minutes showed discussion on the big impact of the high cash rate policy as it looked at sliding consumer and business surveys, rising business failures, weak retail sales, and subdued bank lending."This may indicate that tight monetary policy is feeding through to domestic demand more strongly than expected."Some economists have been critical of the RBNZ's hardline policy stance and suggested it ran the risk of damaging the economy.The MPC said government spending cuts were feeding through slowly, but the impact of tax cuts, due to come in at the end of the month, was uncertain.CoreLogic senior property economist Kelvin Davidson said the latest decision offered little for the housing market in the short term."However, there could now just be some light emerging at the end of the mortgage rate tunnel, and although they might not necessarily fall straight away or particularly quickly, any drops would no doubt be welcomed by borrowers."To be fair, there's already been a drift lower for rates in the past few months, but OCR cuts would clearly add some impetus."

Faster consenting with remote inspections
Faster consenting with remote inspections

09 July 2024, 8:25 PM

The New Zealand Government is moving towards making remote inspections the default for building consents, aiming to simplify and reduce the cost of home construction, according to Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk.“Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long,” Penk said.“Building costs have increased by 41 per cent since 2019, and it takes around 569 days on average to build a home, not including the time to get consent.”The Hibiscus Coast, currently experiencing a surge in housing development, stands to benefit significantly from these changes.Current in-person inspections often cause delays, as builders must wait for available slots, sometimes for weeks.Remote inspections promise significant productivity gains by enabling more daily inspections and reducing the need for inspectors to travel, especially in congested cities and rural areas.“Remote inspections offer significant productivity gains that make it easier and cheaper to build,” Penk noted.However, he acknowledged that adoption is inconsistent, with some councils hesitant to implement them.The Government's initiative aims to make remote inspections the standard nationwide, with benefits including lower costs, reduced delays, fewer transport-related emissions, and improved documentation and quality assurance for homeowners.“The Government will release a discussion document in quarter three of 2024,” Penk stated.This will provide an opportunity for councils and the building sector to give feedback on the best approach to implement this change.

Brimmer joins Auckland FC
Brimmer joins Auckland FC

09 July 2024, 7:34 PM

Football fans will have a new star to cheer for as Jake Brimmer, a top recipient of Australia A-League Men’s honours, has been named Auckland FC’s latest recruit.Brimmer, previously at Melbourne Victory, is highly regarded in the A-League, having won the prestigious Johnny Warren Medal for the 2021-22 season. At 24, he was the youngest Australian to receive the award since Mark Viduka in 1995.In addition to the Johnny Warren Medal, Brimmer was part of the 2022 A-Leagues All-Star team and won the Melbourne Victory’s 2022 Victory Medal as Player of the Year. He also received the Mark Viduka Medal in 2021, recognising his performance in the Australia Cup Final.Auckland FC Head Coach Steve Corica expressed enthusiasm about Brimmer’s addition to the team. “He possesses immense talent that will take him beyond the A-League. Auckland FC has the pathways to help him achieve that, and we anticipate he will step up to his role within the club as a key contributor to the team’s success both on and off the field,” said Corica.Brimmer, born in Lilydale, Victoria, credits his early years at Nunawading City FC for shaping his career. “It’s where I learnt at a young age the competitive side of football and the importance of fighting for the badge,” Brimmer said. “Auckland FC will provide an exciting new challenge for the next phase of my career.”Auckland FC’s 2024/25 season kicks off in October, and inaugural memberships are now on sale.

NZ at bottom of league table for EV chargers: 'We really need to lift our game'
NZ at bottom of league table for EV chargers: 'We really need to lift our game'

09 July 2024, 6:11 PM

The government promised to roll out 10,000 public EV chargers by 2030, but building is happening at a fraction of the rate needed, says EV lobby group Drive Electric.As of April, New Zealand had 1200 public EV chargers, about one for every 59 fully electric cars.To meet the promised 10,000 chargers by 2030 would required building 130 chargers a month, and the rate last year was just 21 a month, according to Drive Electric's Kirsten Corson."We really need to lift our game," she says.Corson said attracting capital from companies to build chargers has been made harder by the government dropping EV subsidies, which has seen sales of new EVs plunge from 27 percent of the market last year to 8 percent so far this year.That put New Zealand well behind China, the EU and the US for its rate of EV uptake.But the news was not all bad.The government has announced $257 million in funding for more chargers - although Corson said the industry needed much more detail about how that money will be spent.And one of the often-quoted statistics on New Zealand's lack of charging infrastructure may not be as bad as it seemed.A league table from the International Energy Agency in its 2024 Global EV Outlook put this country at the bottom of its table of 31 nations when it came to public charging points per EV.But when it came to the ratio of fast chargers to slow chargers, New Zealand was on top, at 75 percent fast chargers, far ahead of the next nation, South Africa, at 53 percent."This can be attributed to New Zealand prioritising fast public chargers over slow," said the agency. "Although New Zealand has the most vehicles per charger, it is ahead of countries such as Australia and Thailand when considering charging capacity per EV. "According to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's (EECA) Richard Briggs, fast chargers were the crucial ones for people making long journeys, and they can charge more vehicles over the same period compared with slower chargers. He said many slower chargers were not even counted in New Zealand's official statistics.But that did not mean reaching 10,000 public chargers will be easy.Briggs said one of the challenges was getting companies to invest in charging stations before these were used enough to be profitable.He said the slow-down in EV uptake after the government dropped the Clean Car Discount has bought more time for the rollout, but also made it less attractive for companies to invest.Briggs said the new government preferred a model of lending rather than granting money to encourage building, on the basis the charging stations will one day be profitable and companies can pay the money back. Transport Minister Simeon Brown says the government is continuing the rollout while it is redesigning its co-funding model.Along with upfront price, Briggs said fear of running out of juice was the main factor stopping people going electric.However, he said the reality was once people bought an EV, they did 80 percent of their charging at home, and the average commute was only 20 kilometres return.There was no doubt EVs took longer to refuel than petrol cars, he said.But with good design, people would hardly ever need to visit charging stations, he said - at least not ones designed along the traditional petrol-station model.Briggs said EECA was encouraging retailers to build chargers for top-ups at convenient locations such as gyms, supermarkets and malls, where people were going to park their cars for 30 minutes to two hours anyway.Long trips required high speed chargers, delivering a lot of power quickly - and Briggs said there were still places where these were hard to come by.He said one of the challenges of building these was that high-capacity electricity lines tended to be deliberately located away from busy main roads, so there was often a trade-off between cost and convenience when choosing a location.For apartment dwellers and other drivers without off-street parking, public chargers were a necessity.JOLT - one of Australia's largest urban charging networks - has recently started building chargers here, the UK and Canada, using a model of offering free charging funded by displaying advertising.Chief executive Doug McNamee said a successful rollout took co-ordination between central and local government and lines companies.He said countries the world over were struggling to build enough chargers to keep up with EV demand, and the UK had been one of the most successful because of its unified approachThe transport minister said as well as offering so-funding, the government was addressing resource consent requirements for EV chargers.He said since the coalition was elected, charging points for 225 vehicles have been added. Fast charging for another 173 vehicles was announced in April.EV Statistics:*EECA updates its count of EV chargers nation-wide every quarter.Public chargers have mainly been installed in areas of higher population and EV ownership, such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.As of April there were 1248 chargers - 826 in the North island and 422 in the South.The Canterbury region had one more charger than Auckland: 296 compared with 295.Of the 80 that came online in 2024 before the end of April, 62 were built by ChargeNET.Another 210 have been co-funded by the government through EECA but not yet built, and these are expected to be live in 2024 (149) and 2025 (61).Nationally just 1.45 percent of cars are EVs - including 75,000 fully-electric plug ins and around 30,000 plug-in hybrids (which also have a petrol engine).According to the International Energy Agency, nearly one in five cars sold in 2023 was electric, a 35 percent year-on-year increase.

Which NZ products have the largest mark-ups?
Which NZ products have the largest mark-ups?

09 July 2024, 3:01 AM

When it was recently revealed that Italian prosecutors looking into LVMH subsidiary Dior's use of third-party suppliers had found that it paid US$57 - excluding some materials - to produce bags that sold for $2870, it might have come as a shock to some luxury shoppers.But Dior chief executive Delphine Arnault's father is the world's third-richest person - Bernard Arnault - so perhaps it's not surprise that they know how to turn a profit.It prompted RNZ to investigate which New Zealand products might possibly have the largest mark-ups.While it's hard to get a perfect picture because the data is often commercially sensitive, you can get a sense of it from Stats NZ, which compiles data regularly on the gross profit ratio of various sectors.The caveat to the data is it will not include operating expenses, interest or taxes. While taxes should be consistent across businesses, operating expenses and interest could be varied depending on how much online versus physical retailing is happening and how many staff are employed.But at a high level, it shows that for micro retail businesses, marine equipment retailing is currently the most profitable sector. But among small, medium and large businesses, antique and used goods dealers are making the largest profits.Chris Wilkinson of First Retail Group said antique and used goods retailers were probably more profitable because shoppers had nothing to compare their prices to."If you've got a unique piece of whether it be art… you can't say I could get that down the road for this price."Across all business sizes, gardening businesses tended to be more profitable than clothing, which was marginally ahead of furniture and footwear - but among large businesses, they were very similar.Wilkinson said the strongest margins would be in businesses that were "vertical retailers" - selling their own products to consumers rather than selling other manufacturers' goods."More and more we see high streets and malls filled with retailers that are actively selling their own products, versus 10 or 15 years ago the streets were filled with retailers with products from lots of manufacturers. Another aspect is retailers that are selling directly, like the Levi's store or Dyson."He said Kmart had differentiated itself from The Warehouse in this way, and it gave it the same advantage the antique dealers had - customers could not compare the products' prices elsewhere.Unlike Gucci, Wilkinson said in New Zealand, higher-end garments would generally have less margin than that sold by businesses such as Hallenstein Brothers and Glassons."There's margin there but it has to be good because these retailers have large stores, infrastructure - it's expensive."Fuel retailing and car retailing were among the least profitable by this measure. MBIE monitors fuel importer margins and said the margin on petrol was about 35 cents per litre - but fuel retailers would have to cover costs such as transport, distribution and the cost of providing fuel from this.Motor Industry Association chief executive Aimee Wiley said her understanding was that car dealer margins for a new car sale were wide-ranging and variable. They could as low as 0.5 percent and 1 percent to 2 percent was not uncommon, she said.Supermarkets were also near the bottom of the Stats NZ data, but senior lecturer in Otago University's department of marketing Rob Hamlin said margins were not consistent through a supermarket.He said the higher-margin items were positioned at the start of of supermarkets."You are kind of encouraged to go around the supermarket in a certain way - the early parts of the journey are a pleasant place to be as it's attempting to slow you down and turn you around and keep you in that part of the store. Then all of a sudden when you arrive at a certain part of the store, the whole layout changes... at that point they've got you through all the high-margin parts, now they just want to get you out of the store."They've made their money selling you cakes and meat and bananas but they know to get you to come back every week you have to be able to buy beans and bleach and bog roll."He said "mouse trap cheddar costing $20 a block" often captured attention but could take 14 months to make. "If you go to the specialist cheese and look at the soft and squishy French style that don't take two ticks to produce, and work out per kilogram, some can be $60 or $80 or $100 a kilogram. The margins in that part of the supermarket are extremely attractive."Woolworths said in its 2023 financial year, it made 0.8c for every dollar spent.None of the mark-ups appear to be on the same level as Gucci's - and Wilkinson said New Zealand retailers were facing more competitive pressure than ever."It's really related to the multitude of channels that are now available. There's online - all these other aspects of competition from overseas retailers coming to New Zealand."He said market demand could change rapidly."I would say it's more dynamic than it's ever been... At certain times there might be a flavour of the month that can do no wrong, and now it's completely different."

Media student worried about finding a secure job in journalism
Media student worried about finding a secure job in journalism

09 July 2024, 12:28 AM

Students are thinking twice about a career in the news industry due to the uncertainties facing it.With the recent layoffs at major news outlets causing concerns about jobs, students could be put off pursuing a journalism career.Last April, Warner Brothers Discovery announced the closure of Newshub and a loss of 294 jobs, with TVNZ also announcing job cuts.Newshub closed on Friday after 35 years of delivering daily news bulletins.AUT senior lecturer of communications Dr Gregory Treadwell said it was a difficult time in the industry and students were right to be worried."It is a complex situation at the moment, especially with students worrying about whether journalism is the right thing to get into. If the health system is under pressure, fewer people want to go to medical school, if the media sector is facing problems, fewer people will want to become journalist."The number of people in New Zealand who listed their profession as journalist, according to the 2018 census was roughly 1635 across the industry.Final year journalism student Ben McQueen said he was uncertain about his chances of entering the industry."As a media student, I do worry about what the future is going to look like. At the current internship I'm doing, no one on the team is on a full-term contract. I find this concerning and I fail to see how an up-and-coming student can be able to make a solid start."Dr Treadwell said it was disappointing that interest in journalism was dropping. He said the role of a journalist was important in a democracy and more needed to be done to train the next generation."We need more journalists in this country, our media is not big enough to function. Journalism is an important position in our society and is needed for the public interest."Back when I started teaching 20 years ago, there were specialised journalism schools all across the country, they are all gone now. There are only a few institutes left that teach journalism and it is not enough."

New space prizes announced
New space prizes announced

08 July 2024, 8:15 PM

Hibiscus Coast space enthusiasts have reason to celebrate as the government launches the inaugural Prime Minister’s Space Prizes. Announced by Space Minister Judith Collins, these awards aim to recognise and encourage innovation within New Zealand’s burgeoning space sector.Minister Collins highlighted the importance of celebrating the high-calibre individuals contributing to the sector's success. “These outstanding achievements will be recognised by an award for professionals which carries a $100,000 prize,” Collins stated."It is crucial to celebrate the people who are making an impact now and to inspire the next generation.”The prizes include an annual award for professionals, with a substantial $100,000 prize, and a youth-focused award for students in Years 12 and 13. The student prize, worth $50,000 towards tertiary education, also offers a unique opportunity to visit Rocket Lab’s facilities in both New Zealand and the United States.Prime Minister Christopher Luxon expressed excitement about the initiative, emphasising New Zealand’s growing reputation in space missions and research. “These prizes will showcase the high calibre individuals working in our space sector now who have greatly contributed to its success,” Luxon said.Collins added that fostering young talent is essential for the sector's future growth. “Encouraging our young people to aim high and develop their talents is essential in helping us maintain the momentum and grow the local talent needed for our space sector to thrive in the future,” she said.

Increased security for Hibiscus Coast during holidays
Increased security for Hibiscus Coast during holidays

08 July 2024, 7:04 PM

Coasties can expect enhanced security measures this school holiday season as Auckland Transport (AT) and NZ Police increase their presence across the region. The initiative aims to ensure the safety of locals as they travel through Tāmaki Makaurau.From the Northern Busway to the south, additional security personnel will be on duty, and several stations will host customer BBQs. Hibiscus Coast and Albany stations will have security from 8 am to midnight daily, supported by Transport Officers.Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown highlighted the importance of listening to residents' concerns. "I’m glad AT is also taking on board people’s concerns and prioritising safety more in its operations. People deserve to feel safe while moving about Auckland and public transport is a big part of this."Stacey van der Putten, AT’s Director of Public Transport and Active Modes, acknowledged the recent incidents causing unease. “Everybody has the right to catch public transport without being subjected to this unacceptable behaviour, so we are working closely with Police to make sure the transport network is a safe place for everyone."Inspector Jason Edwards, Waitematā West Area Commander, emphasised the Police's commitment to visibility at busy transport hubs. "Police do not tolerate violent or intimidatory behaviour and we will remain visible across key transport hubs. These are important spaces for the public to go about their business and get to where they need to be."The Auckland Transport Operation Centre (ATOC) will maintain high-level surveillance across the network, and AT encourages the public to report any concerning behaviour anonymously via Crimestoppers on 4030 or through the AT website.

Researchers recommend balanced screen use in schools
Researchers recommend balanced screen use in schools

08 July 2024, 6:30 PM

Coasties are urged to balance screen time for students, as new guidelines recommend limiting digital technology use in schools to mitigate health risks while harnessing educational benefits.Kiwi children have some of the highest screen usage rates globally, with Māori and low socioeconomic-background young people over-represented, according to Julie Cullen, a paediatric physiotherapist and screen researcher at the University of Auckland.“A number of years ago, I started noticing an increasing number of children coming through the clinic who had issues that seemed to relate to frequent screen use,” Cullen said.Cullen and her team evaluated evidence and consulted with health researchers, educators, clinicians, and technology experts.Their findings show that while moderate use of digital technologies can offer educational and social benefits, excessive screen time has been linked to health issues, including dry eye, myopia, loss of physical fitness, noise-induced hearing loss, and pain syndromes.For older children, technology can offer mental health and cognitive benefits if quality content is prioritised over screen time.The researchers’ recommendations, endorsed by the New Zealand Paediatric Society, aim to find a balance between educational benefits and potential harms.The guidelines suggest minimal screen use for children up to six years old, with no screens for under two-year-olds.For six to 12-year-olds, screen use for learning should be limited to no more than a third of the school day. From 13 to 18 years, the emphasis is on balanced screen use, with regular eye breaks and limited headphone or earbud use.“Our hope is to spark conversation and offer evidence on how to find a healthy balance between the educational benefits of technology and potential harms,” Cullen said.These recommendations come as the United Nations calls for urgent discussion and regulation of digitisation in education.

Mortgagee sales on the rise as homeowners 'let it all go too long'
Mortgagee sales on the rise as homeowners 'let it all go too long'

07 July 2024, 11:57 PM

The number of mortgagee sales looks to be on the rise - but they are still just a fraction of the total market, experts say.A mortgagee sale happens when a homeowner does not meet their mortgage repayments, so the property must be sold to repay the debt owed to the bank.TradeMe currently has 65 residential properties listed as mortgagee sales, which is 35 percent up on the same time last year.But the site's property sales director Gavin Lloyd said that number was "quite small" - less than one percent of TradeMe's more than 42,000 property listings."In the market overall we are seeing properties generally taking longer to sell so this could also be contributing to the number of mortgagee listings increasing."We know it's a tough time with the rising cost of living and interest rates taking its toll on homeowners, however mortgagee sales are often a last resort so some sellers may also look to proactively list their properties before they are required to by lenders."In Wellington, Bayleys regional general manager Grant Henderson said his team would usually appraise up to three properties a year for banks considering mortgagee sales.But lately, staff were hitting that number each month."We've got a broad range, from developers who've found themselves in a sticky situation due to funding, we've found mums and dads that've got themselves just in the wrong situation, but also investors."People have probably let it all go too long, and there's a lot of denial around the situation they're in."Banks did not take such sales lightly, and it was an absolute last resort, he said."Based on some of the things we've seen, these people have been in financial difficulty for a long time, it's not just like, 'you lost your job last month, this month we're gonna close you down', this takes a long time for the banks ... to get to the point where they have to pull the pin."People got plenty of warning and communication from the bank - up to three years' worth - before they exercise their mortgagee rights and force a sale, said Henderson."Most pragmatic and practical mums and dads will get through it, but some people are just in that denial phase," he said.Climbing interest rates, insurance costs and council rates had been tipping homeowners into difficulty in recent times.For those reason, an increasing number of mortgagee sales was not surprising, CoreLogic chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said.But it was "nothing like" the peak in 2009 after the global financial crisis, which was an extraordinary period.That year, New Zealand saw up to 800 mortgagee sales in a month, compared to 24 in the first quarter of this year, Davidson said.

Gulf Harbour body discovery: What we know so far
Gulf Harbour body discovery: What we know so far

07 July 2024, 8:04 PM

The remains of a woman believed to be Chinese were found inside a bag, fished out of the sea in North Auckland's Gulf Harbour on 12 March.Police ruled out early on that the victim could possibly be Yanfei Bao, who went missing from Christchurch in July and has yet to be found.To this day, the identity of the woman in the bag remains a mystery.Here's what we know so far.Victim is female, middle-agedEarly on, acting Detective Inspector Tim Williams said police had determined the victim was female and middle-aged.She was wearing blue pyjama bottoms with pink hearts on it, and a light-coloured singlet with an emblem.The woman's pyjama bottoms. Photo: Supplied / PoliceStuff reported the singlet was branded with a Chinese logo, translating it to read: "Juan Yan Brand, 80cm, Juan Yan Knitting Garment Factory".According to Chinese netizens, the brand of the pyjamas is thought to be old-fashioned, perhaps something an older woman would wear. Two shops with that name can be found in the Jiangsu province of China, Stuff reported.Williams said: "She's small in stature. We estimate the height to be around 160cm. We believe she's of Asian descent and our enquiries lead us to believe she's probably Chinese."Interpol had been contacted in the hope of identifying the woman, Williams said.The emblem on the woman's top. Photo: Supplied / PoliceArrests made, four months on from discoveryA man and woman have been charged in connection to the homicide investigation.The pair, both aged 36, made a first appearance at the North Shore District Court on 1 July.They were arrested on the evening of 30 June after attempts to leave the country.The two are each facing a charge of offering an indignity to a dead human body.They were accompanied by a Mandarin interpreter in court.The defence counsel's application for continued name suppression was declined, however, their names are still suppressed due to a pending appeal from the defence.Fisherman pulled body outPaul Middleton was fishing in the Whangaparāoa area when he saw the bag in the water near Laurie Southwick Parade.He hooked it and pulled it into the shore, saying it was heavy but easy to move, managing to pull it up the rocks a little.He thought it might have been a bag of rubbish so struggled through "layer and layer" of plastic to open the bag.There was "a bit of clothing ... and then there was this hand sticking out".Paul Middleton speaks with police after finding the woman's body. Photo: RNZ / Nick MonroIt was at that point that he called police."Two cops turned up and they thought I'd actually said there's just a hand in a bag and then they went down there and went, 'Oh no we've got a body'," Middleton said.Middleton said he did not try to open the bag further once he discovered the hand.Black Notice issued through InterpolA Black Notice was issued through Interpol in April, and police have received information from a number of countries.A black notice is an international request for information on unidentified bodies.It allows police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.Williams said: "While we cannot go into the specifics, Interpol continues to receive information from a myriad of countries, the most recent being from Canada earlier this month (May)."Police investigating at the scene. Photo: RNZ / Nick MonroPolice receive more than 140 tipsLast month, Stuff reported police had received more than 140 tips about the mystery woman in the bag.The tips were based about the circumstances surrounding the woman's death.At the time, Williams said the investigation team was continuing to work with partner agencies overseas, including "working closely" with Interpol."We continue to have a committed and dedicated team who are focused on identifying this woman and the circumstances behind her death," he said."Our enquiries are still very much active to determine the who, when, and why."Williams told Stuff he was still "very interested" in hearing from anyone who might have information about the case.Plastic wrap helped preserve cluesOtago University lecturer Dr Angela Clark - a forensic anthropologist who also works with police - told RNZ's Checkpoint in March the several layers of plastic the woman was wrapped in could help the investigation by preserving the clothes and slowing the decomposition process."It will probably preserve the body for a short period of time, it'll protect the body from the effects of water."She said the plastic, combined with the immersion in water, would affect the decomposition time.The plastic would also help to preserve any clothing found on the body, allowing more evidence to be collected."The decomposition process will be a lot slower than you might expect if the body was on land."Dr Clark - who specialises in water forensics - said there were many factors to consider when investigating a body found in the ocean, including the warmth of the water, the speed of the current and how salty the water is.A hearse arrives at the scene. Photo: RNZ / Nick MonroShe said it could be possible to work out where the body entered the water, with similar mappings on other cases where experts on local water flow were called in.The body was found floating on top of the water and Clark said this could indicate it had not been in the ocean for long.But she said in most cases the body would initially sink, before floating back to the surface as the body broke down."Water is a very variable medium, so it's hard to predict."Domestic violence possibleNeil Hallett is a director of Helix Private Investigation Services director who spoke to the New Zealand Herald about the case in April.He spent 35 years in the New Zealand police before he retired at the rank of Detective Inspector.Hallett told the Herald the fact she was wearing pyjamas suggested her killing could be a domestic violence case.Once she was identified, he said he would be looking closely at any partner or ex-partner.Police still want to hear from peopleThe investigation team can be called directly on 0800 755 021, or information can be provided via police's 105 phone or online service, referencing file number 240312/9837.Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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