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A memorial by sculptor Margriet Windhausen depicts the life-size figures of Kate Sheppard and other leaders of the Aotearoa New Zealand suffrage movement. Bernard Spragg/Wikimedia Commons

Why New Zealand was the first country where women won the right to vote

125 years ago today women in New Zealand were the first to win the right to vote. Why did this global first happen in a small and isolated corner of the South Pacific?
Since California passed the first medical marijuana law in 1996, 30 US states and the District of Columbia have legalised medical marijuana. from www.shutterstock.com

Legalising medical marijuana shows no effect on crime rates in US states

People opposing medical marijuana are often concerned about increased crime rates, but analysis of city-level data across the US found medical marijuana laws have little effect on crime.
New Zealand’s emission reduction target for 2030 is to bring emissions to 30% below 2005 levels, and to be carbon neutral by 2050. from www.shutterstock.com

Why NZ’s emissions trading scheme should have an auction reserve price

With consultation underway to improve the New Zealand emissions trading scheme, experts argue that a reserve price on emissions units could help rebuild confidence in low-emission investment.
The industry selling honey and bee products is booming. from www.shutterstock.com

How better tests and legal deterrence could clean up the sticky mess left behind by fake honey row

The bee product industry is booming and in unregulated markets, there is a strong economic incentive to cheat. Self regulation combined with legal deterrence could help clean up the sticky mess.
Naomi Osaka is the first Japanese woman to claim a Grand Slam singles title. AAP

Women in sports: double standards a double fault

Sexism in sport plays out on and off the field. Differences in marketable qualities for endorsement deals as well reactions to male versus female athletes behaving badly are evidence of this.
The extinction of important animal resources such as the moa reverberated culturally for centuries after the birds’ extinction. John Megahan / Wikimedia Commons

Dead as the moa: oral traditions show that early Māori recognised extinction

Tracing extinctions that happened centuries ago is difficult. But in New Zealand, the last place to be settled some 750 years ago, ancestral Māori oral traditions retain clues about lost species.
Converting existing larger homes into smaller units could provide options for older people wanting to stay in their neighbourhood. from www.shutterstock.com

Flatting in retirement: how to provide suitable and affordable housing for ageing people

As the number of older people is expected to double by 2050 in most countries, architects are exploring how existing housing stocks could be turned into affordable shared retirement homes.
To grow tall enough to reach the canopy, a species of screw pine unique to Lord Howe Island has evolved its own rainwater harvesting system. Matthew Biddick, CC BY-SA

The Lord Howe screw pine is a self-watering island giant

How a species of screw pine unique to Lord Howe Island has evolved its own rainwater harvesting system that allows it to grow tall.
Food can serve many functions in crime fiction, from being used directly as a weapon to expressing cultural belonging, gender or class. from www.shutterstock.com

Friday essay: the meaning of food in crime fiction

Food is an increasingly popular ingredient in crime fiction, serving up insights into the character of the detective hero and adding spice to the mystery.
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake led to the collapse of thousands of houses in the northern parts of the Indonesian island of Lombok. Adi Weda / AAP

Lombok earthquakes: different building designs could lessen future damage

Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless following the Lombok earthquakes. Much of this suffering need not have happened if houses were constructed to better withstand shaking.
People who love their jobs get different things out of it - and there’s a difference between women and men when it comes to job satisfaction. from www.shutterstock.com

Gender differences at work: relishing competence or seeking a challenge?

New research reveals gender differences in what we most enjoy in a job: women enjoy being competent while men are more likely to seek a challenge.
Statelessness in Thailand is a complex issue: the stateless population includes members of northern hill tribes, children of migrants who were born in Thailand and refugees for bordering countries. from www.shutterstock.com

Blood, soil and paper: Thailand’s mission to reduce statelessness

Last month's epic cave rescue has drawn attention to the issue of statelessness in Thailand - a crisis the country is trying to resolve urgently, especially for stateless children.
Single-use biodegradable plastics include claims that they break down quickly into benign end products, but the reality is more complex. from www.shutterstock.com

Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environment

New types of biodegradable or compostable plastic products seem to offer an alternative to conventional plastics. But they may be no better for the environment.
Tāne Mahuta is New Zealand’s most sacred tree, but its days will be numbered if it is infected with kauri dieback disease. from www.shutterstock.com

Lord of the forest: New Zealand’s most sacred tree is under threat from disease, but response is slow

A pathogen is killing kauri trees in New Zealand and now threatens an ancient, sacred giant. The response to the biosecurity incursion pales in comparison to recent threats to agricultural crops.
Author Tim Edwards’ dog Tui is part of a team of canines being trained to detect lung cancer in breath and saliva samples. University of Waikato

Dogs’ sensitive noses may be the key to early detection of lung cancer

Researchers are training dogs to detect lung cancer in breath and saliva samples, with the aim of developing early-detection screening and a functional “electronic nose” for diagnosing lung cancer.
A four-day week trial showed that if workers have more control over their job, they feel and perform better. from www.shutterstock.com

Working four-day weeks for five days’ pay? Research shows it pays off

A trial of a four-day working week shows that employees felt better about their job, were more engaged and reported better work-life balance and less stress.

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