Wellington gets NZ's first 'wet house' to help alcohol-addicted homeless

The country's first 'wet house' will open its doors in Wellington later this year for homeless people dealing with severe alcohol addiction. Taking over what used to be the men's night shelter on Taranaki Street, residents at Te Pā Maru will be allowed to drink on site and access wraparound services. The project has been decades in the making, stunted by politics and financial woes, but now the Wellington City Mission promised it was here to stay.

Cautions over cosmetic injectables: 'I was like, 'oh my god what have I done?'

What was once only found in Hollywood reality TV shows is now something you can get down the road for as little as $70. Cosmetic injectables have become increasingly more accessible, affordable and popular, but there are concerns New Zealand's regulations are too lax. Derma filler, which is injected under the skin to add fullness to areas of the face, ranges anywhere from $400 to more than $1200.

RNZ considers unliking Twitter over 'government-funded' label

Twitter users might have noticed something different about the RNZ account in the last 24 hours. The social media platform has decided to add the label 'government-funded media', which sits both in the page's bio and above every tweet it makes. RNZ is funded by the government through New Zealand On Air, which injects $48 million annually. But the criteria for the Twitter label has a caveat that's upset many media outlets internationally lately, and the New Zealand public broadcaster on Monday

Tairāwhiti flooding: 'Our whole property was underwater' - Damage after logs block river

A Tairāwhiti resident says her home would not have flooded if it wasn't for a sea of logs that blocked a nearby river during heavy rain. The region has been battered by heavy rain as cyclone Hale passed down the country, and was put in a state of emergency on Tuesday evening. Linda Gough, who lives inland in Tolaga Bay next to the Mangatokerau River, says she was keeping an eye on the banks on Tuesday evening as the rain was pelting down.

What charities need the most for Christmas this year

The cost of living crisis has only exacerbated demand for charities running on the smell of an oily rag, and donors tightening their belts are making things harder. For those fortunate enough to have the means to give this Christmas, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start, or to know what is most in need - be it food, time, or cash. RNZ asked some of the country's charities what they need the most in the final countdown to the big day.

Woman claims doctor sexually assaulted her, exercised extreme control over diet regime

A young woman claims her rheumatologist sexually assaulted her and for months exercised extreme control over her diet regime - triggering an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts. To lose weight and ease her chronic joint pain, she said the clinician cut her calories to more than half of what a dietician recommended, and was verbally abusive. Holly (not her real name) had been seeking answers

Separate offence needed to protect victims of economic harm, advocates say

Advocates are calling for financial abuse to be made a stand-alone offence, saying it is hidden in current legislation and the country cannot afford to fall behind. They say compensation must also be considered so that victims, who are mostly women, can avoid spiralling further into debt because of their abusers. When Amy* left her abusive partner several years ago, she had to choose between violence and poverty.

Council ponders using three waters money to help low-income tenants

Wellington City Council is poised to move its entire social housing portfolio into a new community housing charity. The council may also use millions of dollars as part of the government's three waters sweetener fund to subsidise the rents of its low-income tenants. It is making the changes because it has failed to convince the government to extend its rental subsidy to the council's tenants - something mayor Andy Foster and other councillors have called discriminatory and inequitable.

Wairarapa Hospital emergency department's critically low staffing 'more than a crisis'

Health staff at Wairarapa Hospital say pressure on the system is no longer just a crisis, but a catastrophe. The emergency department and the general ward have been down to just two staff on shift several times in the past week. Trudy Pearce has been a nurse in Wairarapa Hospital's general ward for four years. On Friday evening, it was just her and a junior nurse responsible for 23 patients. Pearce said she was "hoping to God" there would be no emergencies "because we would have been screwed"

Living with alopecia: 'All I knew in the beginning was to hide'

First person - Four years ago my hair fell out. It started slowly. Like strands of hair making patterns on my black tops, the shower drain clogging up a bit more than usual, holding my breath a little when I would take out my ponytail. Then all at once. Clumpfuls of hair coming out into my hands over and over again. Fingers gingerly running over my head and feeling the smooth base of my scalp instead of usual fluffiness. One day was all it took for me to become unrecognisable.

Alopecia wig subsidy to be reviewed as some struggle with 'extremely high' costs

The Ministry of Health is edging closer to giving much needed support for people who have alopecia. Hundreds of people in New Zealand have alopecia, an autoimmune disease that mistakenly attacks your hair follicles and makes them fall out. There's no real cause and no known cure, and many people struck with the disease face daily hurdles just to feel like themselves again. People who suffer from alopecia struggle to afford wigs and say the government's subsidy barely made a dent. Samantha Mc

IPCC report: Climate campaigner urges voters to push government and companies to act

A loud message is coming through the new UN climate change report - it is time for us all to radically change our lifestyles. The significant report has painted a bleak picture of what is ahead without swift action, and the window for avoiding the worst is closing further every day. Within two years, greenhouse gas emissions need to start declining. The coal industry needs to almost entirely shut down and methane emissions need to be cut by a third - all within the next eight years.
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