29 days ago

What do you think about mindfulness for dogs?

Nicola Brennan-Tupara Reporter from Cambridge Edition

Hi neighbours,
A Cambridge canine behaviorist is hoping to reduce the merry-go-round of rehoming rescue dogs by introducing them to mindfulness.
Around 40 to 50 per cent of rehomed dogs find themselves needing another new home within six months, so Cambridge dog whisperer Darran Rowe is attempting to lower that statistic.
So do you think mindfulness for dogs is a good thing?

More messages from your neighbours
6 hours ago

Testing and Tagging – just a money-making scheme?

Matt from Rukuhia

Testing and tagging is an Official Safety and Health requirement for businesses and organisations within New Zealand. It involves having electrical devices – no matter how small or insignificant – tested for standards compliance and basic faults. But how rigorous is this testing, and is it even having any positive effect regarding computers? Let's take a look.

Now, first of all, most devices which are less than two years old do not need to be tested and tagged. There are rigorous standards applied to most electronic devices before they can be sold within New Zealand, which makes usually testing of new items redundant (refurbished or ex-lease equipment might need a look though). Also, devices that are hard-wired into a facility do not need to be tested. The regime largely applies to devices which are portable or which have the possibility of being moved/unplugged. This of course include almost all computers.

But there is no regulatory body for testing and tagging, no qualifications necessary to do the job; not even basic electrical knowledge. Training involves buying a standardised electrical testing unit (PAT) and being trained on how to use it. Is this sufficient? I took a bunch of equipment I needed for a particular multimedia job to a tester in Hamilton. I knew all of it to be working fine, aside from the power adaptor for a laptop, which I knew was creating excessively noisy power, to the extent that if it were plugged into the same 4-plug adaptor as a TV, lines would appear on the screen.

Now, the only device out of 16 to be faulted was a long extension cord which I've used quite happily for several years for vacuum cleaning (and will continue using). But the tester couldn't really tell me what was wrong with it. In fact he couldn't tell my electronics-enthusiast friend, who was helping me shift the equipment, what the testing device even did. All he knew was whether or not the device faulted the equipment. Meanwhile, several power cords with serious dents in them went unnoticed; and of course my laptop adaptor came through with flying colours.

The PAT testing device itself is, for all intents and purposes, a dumbed-down multimeter. It's designed to be used by someone with minimal knowledge so that workplace appliances can get a screening from the most obvious faults, but it's no substitute for an electrician, or someone experienced with electronic equipment. Given that that's the case, is it even worth doing? Let's put this into perspective. How many accidents are caused per-year by appliances and electrical equipment?

According to the NZ Energy Safety Service’s electrical accident reports, over a 1-year period, 125 electrical accidents caused injury to 134 people, with only 20% of the accidents being due to a lack of maintenance, and half involving power lines, not appliances. Note: injury, not necessarily death. Clearly not many people have died as the result of untested electrical appliances, as the total number of workplace fatalities, by any cause, from 2011 through to 2017 was 317 people, according to Worksafe NZ. Meanwhile, accidents involving trampolines exceeded 1000 per month in New Zealand according to the 2018 ACC report.

Someone involved in the testing and tagging industry will of course tell you, well, think how much worse it would be if we didn't have testing and tagging. That may well be the case for many electrical appliances. But as someone who's been working with computers for 25 years, I have never seen one explode or catch fire, nor have I heard of anyone being injured while fixing them or using them (occasionally a minimal shock might occur, but being cut by sharp metal edges is much more common). In my view, the testing involved is wasteful, insufficient and clearly doesn't detect basic power regulatory problems.

So, get your items tested and tagged if you must. Clearly some appliances carry heavier power loads and are therefore more dangerous than others, so in those cases testing and tagging may in fact screen out basic faults. But for computers at least, testing and tagging is a gimmick; an unregulated and unneeded waste of time and effort. Also, it costs a lot. Reach out to a local politician if this concerns you.

- Matt Bentley is the computer repair expert running Bentley Home PC Support
Email info@homepcsupport.co.nz or phone 0211348576.

16 hours ago

Poll: Should horse racing be banned?

The team from Neighbourly.co.nz

The Melbourne Cup can be seen as an excuse for people to dress to the nines and get so drunk that they often miss seeing the races.

The physical and psychological pain these horses suffer is immense, with the movement against horse racing growing as animal welfare advocates call for change. What do you think? Should horse racing be banned? Vote in the poll below.

Should horse racing be banned?
  • 30.5% Definitely - it’s inhumane
    30.5% Complete
  • 14.1% No - it’s a bit of harmless fun
    14.1% Complete
  • 3.8% I don’t have an opinion
    3.8% Complete
  • 51.7% Only for those found guilty of abuse
    51.7% Complete
1119 votes
1 day ago

FINAL WEEK! We’re giving a Waikato business a $20k megaphone.


Hi Neighbours,

2degrees is all about fighting for fair which is why we’re giving one local business a $20,000 advertising package. Apply before 20th November at 2degrees.nz/ShopLocal

Apply at 2degrees.nz/shoplocal. Hurry, entries close November 20.

T&Cs apply.
Apply now