More messages from your neighbours
10 hours ago

Poll: Should Kiwis be entitled to more sick leave?

The Team Reporter from Stuff

With Covid-19 still a very real risk, people who are unwell are told to stay home, and to keep any sickly kids home too - but what if you don't have any more sick leave owing?

Most Kiwis are entitled to five days of sick leave a year, but some - often those in lower paid jobs - get less.

New Zealand’s minimum sick leave allowance is one of the lowest in the OECD. In Australia they get 10 days, in most European countries it’s even more.

Should Kiwis be entitled to more sick leave?

To read more, click here.

Should Kiwis be entitled to more sick leave?
  • 58.6% Yes, five days is not enough
    58.6% Complete
  • 13.4% No, I never use mine up anyway
    13.4% Complete
  • 28.1% Entitlement should be assessed on a case-by-case basis
    28.1% Complete
1368 votes
1 day ago

Generation Pandemic: How has Covid-19 affected your children?

Kelly Dennett Reporter from Sunday Star Times

This week we're looking at how the pandemic will affect our children and their resilience. The Sunday Star-Times wants to hear from children about how they've been impacted by Covid-19 and lockdown. Perhaps they've learned more about hand washing and germs, or maybe they want to talk about having mum or dad home more often, or learning from home. Kids can write a sentence or two to be included in print by emailing, by Friday, July 10, at 5pm. Their first names and ages may be used in print. Parents, if you're happy for your children to be photographed please let us know.

11 hours ago

How to Keep Indoor Plants Alive

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Hamilton

Keeping an indoor plant alive — let alone thriving — can be a daunting task. Thankfully, we have five tips to help keep your plants alive.

1. Potting and repotting
When potting a plant, choose a pot that has good drainage and always use a good quality potting mix. If you do have a pot without drainage, you can pot it in a smaller plastic pot and pop it inside.

When repotting, pick a pot that’s one size bigger than the one you have, place some firmly packed potting mix in the bottom and a small sprinkle of plant fertiliser. Give the plant a good water and gently tip the pot on its side and ease out the plant, place it in the new pot and gently fill with potting mix, press down soil and keep filling until you are about 2-4cm from the top of the pot.

2. Light
Most plants like bright indirect sunlight. Plants get their nourishment and energy from the sun so don’t be shy about placing them in bright sunlight. As the seasons change, watch the light levels and move plants closer or further away from windows. Some plants can survive in very dim light but give them a bright light holiday one day a week. Pale foliage is a sign that your plant might not be getting enough light and brown patches on leaves can mean the plant is getting singed.

3. Water
One of the most common reasons indoor plants die is overwatering. The majority of plants need to be watered once a week. Once a month place them in a sink or bucket and drench the soil and roots, then let the water drain out well before placing them back in their spots. There are a few plants that like more water, such as peace lilies, and some that like less, including ZZ plants and snake plants.

4. Humidity
Lots of indoor plants, and the majority of what we sell, originate from sub-tropical rainforest-type climates. They love a light misting daily or you can sit them in the bathroom while you take a shower.

5. Choosing plants
Pick the right plant for you and your lifestyle. If you are new to house plants, start with an easy-care plant such as a succulent or cactus, then you can graduate to other types. If you go away a lot choose a plant that can survive without attention. If you live in the city you might want to think about plants that have super air cleansing powers. The whole process of choosing plants and their weekly routine can be quite meditative. Enjoy the watering rituals you create — it’s a good chance to practise your mindfulness. Just remember once you start it’s hard to stop!