https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts and in their communities. “These spaces are inclusive and have an important role to play in enhancing the wellbeing of people who are all too often at risk of being excluded from participating in their own communities”, Carmel Sepuloni said.  “We should not underestimate the role that the arts can play in health and wellbeing nor the opportunity that these spaces provide to develop and showcase artist talent.” “Funding creative spaces will support new jobs and expand existing roles to help build a more sustainable sector and skilled workforce. It will enable creative spaces to increase the reach and ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/15-Boxing.jpg BASL President Dian Gomes with the members of the Hishaam Ousman Academy Source:Dailynews Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Dian Gomes extolled the virtues of amateur boxing for youngsters and the importance of developing technique after granting official recognition to the Hishaam Ousman Boxing Academy on 17th February. “One of the reasons boxing is a great sport is because it teaches you discipline and to play fair. In life that’s important. It’s not about the winning part of it. Your ultimate goal will be to box at the Olympic Games which Sri Lanka did after 40 years when (Anuruddha) Ratnayake qualified and we won a bronze after 68 years at the Commonwealth Games. Our target is always SAG (South Asian Games), Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and eventually Olympics,” Gomes told academy students in an inspiring speech. He stressed that priority should be given to education. “Priority should be ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117940/eight_col_PHS2.jpg?1614040277 Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault says although there are three new cases of Covid-19 linked to the school, he’s hoping it will be able to open again on Monday. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers Yesterday the Ministry of Health announced three new cases of Covid-19 link to the school. Couillault told Morning Report a number of staff have already returned negative Covid-19 results following a large testing blitz last night. Students who weren’t tested last night were turning up this morning to do so, he said. But he said in the last round of testing there were some families consciously choosing not to test but choosing to isolate for 14 days, and there may be some again this time. “That is, of course, their prerogative.” He said it’s a high trust model regarding isolation and the school is in open communication with the families involved. He hasn’t yet ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/84111/eight_col_trade.jpg?1563731837 The construction industry appears to be in better shape than expected as tradies say they’re more optimistic about their future prospects, despite setbacks caused by Covid-19. Construction site. Photo: 123rf.com Over half of New Zealand trade business owners surveyed by job management company Tradify believed conditions would improve over the coming year. The report found companies less than a year old have the most optimistic outlook – with three quarters thinking things will get better. While those companies a decade and older saw a steady decline in positivity. Tradify CEO Michael Steckler said the pandemic’s impact does not appear to have been as bad as initially feared, with job activity remaining at, or above, pre-lockdown levels. “The steady increase back to pre-Covid levels in work activity… has brought business back and appears to be maintaining for the rest of the year, which is driving a lot of that positive ...

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   Just for a change, (which is as good as a holiday), I have decided to feature three of my special Sinhala-Song favourites for the many thousands of eLanka members & readers, in the hope that these songs will bring back many precious memories, as music so often does, better than anything else.            The first, is the rendition of Dilhani-Dhuwane’ by Indrani Perera, whose “Cover” of the superb Original Composition of the late, great Clarence Wijewardena moved me so very much when I first heard it, after migrating to Australia in 1962, I decided to write my own “English” version, titled “My Lovely Island Home”, to the tune of this beautiful Sinhalese song. What many of our readers do not know, is that not many years thereafter, Indrani came to Melbourne, to feature in a couple of shows, and I joined her on-stage to sing ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117925/eight_col_nun.JPG?1614029154 A New Zealand nun based in Ireland breached local lockdown rules when she attended a bizarre exorcism outside the nation’s parliament, it has emerged. Sister Anne Marie, formerly Hannah Loeman, is orginally from Whanganui. Photo: Youtube / The Southern Star Seventy people took place in the illegal protest outside the Dáil on December 8 (local time) demanding places of worship reopen in the country. Sister Anne Marie, along with Mother Irene Gibson, from the Carmelite Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus, travelled from Cork to Dublin to attend the event, during a period when inter-county travel was banned and outdoor gatherings were limited to 15 people. A member of the group held an ‘exorcism’ outside the Dáil, before a traditional Latin Mass was also staged. The Mass was led by Society of St Pius Resistance member Fr Giacomo Ballini. SSPR is a splinter group of the controversial Society ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/51347/eight_col_80392269_l.jpg?1518126330 The profits of the country’s banks have fallen by more than a quarter over the past year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a fall in margins because of low interest rates and higher costs. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Business advisory firm KPMG’s latest Financial Institutions Performance Survey for 2020 showed bank profits fell 28 percent on the year before to $4.1 billion, the biggest annual fall in a decade. KPMG head of banking and finance John Kensington said the banks were in strong financial shape going into the crisis and the impact on their finances was to be expected, but they had fared better than feared because of the strength of recovery in activity. “They went into it in good shape, but also a lot of the risk resides on the government balance sheet at this stage. The government did a lot such as the wage subsidy which was ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/255583/eight_col_Otara_2_%281%29.jpg?1613382462 Exhausted Covid-19 testers in South Auckland are bracing for a big surge after three new cases of infection were confirmed in the cluster around Papatoetoe High School. (File photo) A testing station in Ōtara last week. Photo: RNZ / Liu Chen Yesterday, a student considered a casual plus contact was confirmed to have the coronavirus and last night, two siblings, a teenager and an infant, also tested positive. The teenager recently finished school and had been working at Kmart Botany. They were at work on Friday 19 February and Saturday 20 February between 4pm and 10pm. People who visited the store during those times are being asked to isolate and call Healthline. The parents and a third older sibling have returned negative tests so far, the ministry said in a statement. The family has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility. Papatoetoe High School opened on Monday and Tuesday ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/58154/eight_col_FillWyI3MjAiLCI0ODAiXQ-OUR-VILLAGE-Aotea-Bowling-Green-Alan-Wickens-Villa-40-Aotea.sml-copy_crop.jpg?1453753743 The strong housing market has lifted the profits of retirement village operator Summerset. Summerset’s net profit in the year to December was up a third on the year before. Photo: Summerset The company posted a net profit of $230.8 million in the year to December, up a third on the year before, as the value of its property portfolio increased by $221.1m. The rebound was in contrast to its half year report when the residential property market was forecast to fall by up to 10 percent . Stripping out the property gains, its underlying profit fell by 7.4 percent to $98.3m because of higher costs associated with keeping Covid-19 out of its villages. Revenue rose 12 percent to $172.4m as the company saw an utpick in interest for its properties after the March/April lockdown as more older people were attracted by the safety and security of retirement villages. The ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/117933/eight_col_DTC_5514.jpg?1614035564 National leader Judith Collins is calling for New Zealand to deport an Australian woman who’s refusing to take a Covid-19 test in managed isolation. National Party leader Judith Collins said Australia needs to take the woman back. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas Lucinda Baulch is due to be released from Wellington’s Grand Mercure hotel today after spending 28 days in the facility – the maximum length of time a person can be held. The woman, who is a vet nurse, flew to the country almost a month ago to deliver three children to their caregivers in Aotearoa. She wants to be able to return to Australia without first being tested for the virus, arguing she has not been provided with evidence of its safety and effectiveness. Speaking at Parliament, Collins said it was time for the government to drop its soft approach. “If a New Zealander went to Australia ...

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