Central Leader : April 15th 2011
8 CENTRAL LEADER, APRIL 15, 2011 NEWS Do You Service & Repair Your Own Vehicle? If so, Repco has some great news for you. Repco's prices are down on over 5,000 popular service and repair items. Repco has the range, expertise, quality and we offer outstanding value! At Repco Onehunga and Greenlane RPC0115 Puketapapa local plan The Puketapapa Local Board is holding a public forum on April 19 to dis- cuss its direction in the community. The draft local board plan will set the agenda for the next financial year. The public is invited to share their aspirations and feedback at the Wesley Com- munity Centre, 740 Sandringham Rd, Mt Roskill, from 7pm to 9pm. Robotics students head for the United States By KELSEY FLETCHER Robot round up: Ryan Kurte, left, and Andrew Chen make some final adjustments to one of the robots the Auckland University Robotics Association will be entering in the Vex World Robotics Competition this week. Twelve lucky Auckland Uni- versity students left for Disney World this week, but rollercoasters and bumper cars are not at the top of their agenda. The engineering, science, commerce and law students will compete in the Vex World Robotics Competition against teams from around the world. Team leader Andrew Chen says they are looking forward to the competition after having enough people to make it this year. Massey University has had a team in the university division for the last three years but not all of the high school division competitors who want to continue with robotics at university go to Massey. There were enough of us at Auckland University this year for us to start a team,'' he says. The team began building their two robots Fush and Chups three months ago. We built the robots in stages and after thorough testing identified areas for improvement,'' Mr Chen says. The competition is based on using engineering and scien- tific concepts in a game called round up. Four robots compete on two teams to pick up rings and put them on goal posts at various heights to score points, as well as climbing a ladder for points. A large component of each match is fully autonomous, meaning the robot uses sensors to receive infor- mation from its environment and make intelligent de- cisions about what to do next based on programming . The team has funded its own way to the competition but parts for building the robots were paid for by the university's electrical and computer engineering depart- ment. Mr Chen says the team will be going up against tough universities from countries including the United States, Mexico and China. Many of these universities use the robotics competition as part of their course work so they get a lot more time and resources which is tough to compete with,'' he says. Two of the team's members will compete in the compe- tition at high school level for Albany's Kristen College be- cause of the American secondary school calendar. Lynfield College will also return to the high school div- ision with eight students participating. Associate principal Lexie Ridling says the team has dedicated many hours to building, strategising, plan- ning and fundraising. We have high hopes that the team will even exceed their success of 2010.'' Maori and PI target of water safety campaign By RHIANNON HORRELL FATAL FIGURES Watersafe Auckland has provided these statistics on Maori and Pacific Island drowning deaths: 36 people of Pacific Island descent drowned in New Zealand between 2006 and 2010. This includes nine Pacific Islanders who drowned in 2009 and eight who drowned in 2010. From 2006 to 2010, 23 percent of those who drowned in Auckland were Pacific Islanders -- a total of 22 drownings. 99 people of Maori descent drowned in New Zealand between 2006 and 2010. This includes 24 people of Maori descent who drowned in 2009 and 15 who drowned in 2010. From 2006 to 2010, 13 percent of those who drowned in Auckland were Maori -- a total of 14 drownings. Watersafe Auckland is tar- geting the Maori and Pacific Island communities to reduce their high drowning num- bers. Watersafe chief executive Sandy Harrop approached the Maungakiekie Tamaki Local Board late last month to discuss safety initiatives and programmes in schools. More than 60 percent of all Pacific Island drowning deaths have taken place in Auckland and the organis- ation has employed a Pacific Island drowning prevention co-ordinator. This follows tragic events like the drowning of Mt Ros- kill teenager Raphael Alualu last December when he jumped into the North Shore's Quarry Lake, next to Lake Pupuke. Raphael's friends unsuc- cessfully tried to rescue him. A couple of them tried to help him to swim but he was a big boy. They couldn't hold him much longer,'' the teenager's godfather Raphael Lautua said at the time. A group of girls swimming nearby helped save Raphael's friend from drowning too. Two-year-old Nylah Faa- manu Vau also drowned on February 5 at the Waiwera Thermal Resort when she fell into a pool. Watersafe Auckland busi- ness manager Teresa Stanley says the organisation has developed the Auckland regional water safety edu- cation strategy and action plan which addresses high risk communities. She says initiatives include Whanau Nui, free swimming and water safety lessons for families, WaiWise, water safety lessons in the class- room, west coast rock fishing education and water safety presentations at churches and at marae. There is also translated resources and water safety promotions at key events like Pasifika, Waitangi Day, Pacific in the Park and ASB Polyfest. Our school education team targets low decile schools, predominantly with high Maori and Pacific rolls. These schools are given free profes- sional development to develop and run aquatic edu- cation in their schools. Where possible assistance is given to access pool space if the school does not have a pool,'' Ms Stanley says. Board member Chris Makoare says it's important that people in Pacific Island and Maori communities are confident in the water. There's a difference between not being a strong swimmer and not knowing how to swim. The question is -- how do we build the strength of swimming?'' He says Watersafe initiatives around swimming education is a good way for- ward. A free school holiday aquatic programme is planned from April 18 to strengthen swimming skills for year 6 to 8 children. The Breakaway programme runs from 9am to 2pm at Cameron Pools, 53 Arundel St in Mt Roskill. Two programmes are sched- uled -- the first from April 18 to 21 and the second from April 26 to 29. Go to www.watersafe.org.nz to sign up.
April 13th 2011
April 20th 2011