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Cop welcomes refugees with a smile

"They’re not the best jokes and I’m not a comedian, but it does break the ice.”

For refugees fleeing torture, harm or imprisonment in their home countries, ethnic liaison officer Constable Rob Stanton is the first face of the New Zealand police force they experience.

The three-hour presentation he gives to new refugees at the Mangere resettlement centre explains their legal rights and responsibilities in New Zealand.

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Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No, it’s NZ batman

While Bat Appreciation Day  may pass unnoticed in New Zealand (it is in April), you might be one of the lucky few whose backyard is home to bats (pekapeka).

Surprisingly long-tailed bats, a species listed as vulnerable, have been found roosting in the West Auckland neighbourhoods of Swanson, Henderson Valley, and Waitakere.

Once common, bat numbers have dropped significantly with one species thought to be extinct and the two remaining species listed as vulnerable and endangered.

Auckland Council’s Senior Biodiversity Advisor Ben Paris has been leading the charge in mapping where the shy bats can be found.

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