Adam Poulopoulos

Location icon New Zealand

Reporter with Fairfax Media, writing and photographing for the Kapiti Observer, Horowhenua Mail, The Dominion Post and the Stuff website. You do a bit of everything in the communities - whether scrutinising Government, taking in the action on the sports field or tracking the movements of a missing celebrity cat, chances are I've had a crack at it.

Portfolio

Council and Government

Stuff
Formal code of conduct complaint filed against Kapiti councillor Michael Scott

A group email relating to the Waikanae town centre upgrade has resulted in a code of conduct complaint being made against Kapiti councillor Michael Scott. Scott's conduct was challenged by members of the public at last Thursday's Kapiti Coast District Council environment and community development meeting.

Stuff
'It's an insult!' Backlash against Trump's pick for diplomatic post to New Zealand

Donald Trump's pick to be the next United States ambassador to New Zealand has been labelled an "insult". Scott Brown, a former US Senator, is being vetted to become Trump's representative in New Zealand, according to reports in the Boston Globe. And like his boss in the White House, Brown has a controversial history.

Social issues

Stuff
Welcome to Paekakariki campground - no visitors allowed

A Kapiti Coast campground has banned visitors from calling in to see friends staying there, saying up to 100 extra people are turning up on busy days, using the toilets, showers, and barbecue without paying, and leaving their rubbish and recycling behind.

Stuff
Sudbury in Kapiti hosts first same-sex wedding

Two Australian women have married in Kapiti, in a ceremony illegal in their home country and boycotted by some family members. Charity Turner and Phoebe Cox married at Sudbury in Peka Peka, north of Wellington, which marked the first same-sex marriage for the venue.

Stuff
Otaki in the running to be New Zealand's first officially bilingual town

Otaki, where the Maori language was almost dead among young people 40 years ago, could become New Zealand's first officially bilingual town. The town on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington, is leading the running to be given bilingual status, in a move being pushed by the Maori Party.

Infrastructure

Stuff
Otaki Gorge Rd reopens after stabilisation works completed

The reopening of Otaki Gorge Rd after seven months is welcome news for trampers - and even better news for cut-off residents David and Kathleen Campbell. The couple live about a kilometre past the slip at Blue Bluff that closed the road to Otaki Forks in December.

Stuff
Waikanae carpark application relates to former Parata homestead

An application to Heritage New Zealand to build a new park and ride carpark for rail commuters in Waikanae relates to the historic homestead of Wi Parata. The carpark's construction has been delayed by a cultural assessment, commissioned by the Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust and paid for by Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Stuff
Expressway has inconsistent effect on Kapiti businesses

Kapiti businessowners are split on the effect the expressway opening has had on their turnover. Mac's Fish, on the corner of Ihakara St and the old State Highway 1 in Paraparaumu, has been down about 50 per cent on takings since the Mackays to Peka Peka expressway opened a month ago.

Stuff
NZTA data confirms slower commute into Wellington from Paekakariki since Kapiti expressway opened

The average morning commute from Paekakariki into Wellington has increased by 10 minutes since the Kapiti Expressway opened to traffic, according to new data. But while the morning grind into the capital is now worse for some travelling on State Highway 1 south of Paekakariki, those using the new $630 million expressway further north, between Paekakariki and Peka Peka, are shaving a good five minutes off their travel times, the New Zealand Transport Agency says.

Stuff
Land dispute continues as $630m Kapiti expressway set to open

As the first section of the Kapiti expressway opens, a businessman is headed to court over land he says the government bought for a steal for the $630 million project. Murray Livingstone and his mother Marian Livingstone owned Livingstone Gardens, on the corner of Poplar Ave and State Highway 1 at Raumati, north of Wellington.

Education

Stuff
Kapiti secondary schools brace for overcrowding

A Kapiti secondary school principal says they are using a gym and marae to hold classes, as the school grapples with overcrowding. Hundreds of New Zealand schools are over capacity or at risk of becoming overcrowded, including nearly a quarter of all schools in the Wellington region, Ministry of Education documents show.

Stuff
Kapiti College gym fire thought to be deliberately lit

Police are investigating after a plastic toilet paper holder in the Kapiti College gym was set on fire in a suspected arson. Six fire crews attended the incident, which occurred shortly after a basketball game at the gym, at about 9pm on Tuesday.

Stuff
Our Lady of Kapiti School to open in Paraparaumu for new school year

A Kapiti school is ready to move into a new era, but not without a nod to its heritage and the local community. Our Lady of Kapiti School in Paraparaumu, is set to open for the new school year. The state-integrated Catholic school, on the newly-formed Presentation Way off Milne Dr, opens on February 7.

Stuff
Students form petition to allow facial hair for year 13s at Kapiti College

A group of Kapiti College students have attracted international support for a petition to allow year 13s at the school to grow tidy facial hair. Anthony McEwen and four other students started the petition as a social studies assignment, expecting it to attract only 20 or 30 signatures from family and friends.

Stuff
Kapiti schools struggling to cope with growth in student numbers

One Kapiti school is considering changing its staffroom into teaching space as the district's schools and the Ministry of Education struggle to deal with a student population explosion. Schools in Paraparaumu and Waikanae, north of Wellington, have been building new classrooms to deal with what one principal says is unprecedented growth.

Stuff
Cyber hoaxsters blamed for bomb scare that closes Kapiti Coast school

The international cyber community has been blamed for a nasty surprise that left a school empty and parents rushing to retrieve their children. Waikanae School on the Kapiti Coast, with a roll of almost 500 students, was evacuated on Tuesday morning after a bomb threat was emailed in.

Health

Stuff
'When cancer attacks, you have to fight' - picture book's message to young patients

As a child, Petra Kotrotsos channelled the warrior fairy in her continuing battle against cancer. Now the 20-year-old's alter-ego is helping other children to fight the same fight. Kotrotsos, from Wellington, is the author of I'd Rather be a Fairy Princess, a book aimed at helping children cope with cancer, operations, treatment, hospital stays and more.

Stuff
Dispersing the fibro fog - understanding fibromyalgia

After almost five years of undiagnosed pain Laura Mabey is changing her life, and hoping to change others. Mabey, 22, who lives in Te Horo north of Wellington, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in June, abou 4½ years after her first symptoms. There is no cure for the disorder, which is especially characterised by widespread pain and fatigue.

Stuff
Kapiti-raised scientist Sean Mackay and team target strawberry birthmarks, cancer

A Kapiti man is among a team researching nanotechnology which could eventually be used to treat cancer. Sean Mackay is part of a team developing Squish, a treatment for strawberry birthmarks, which could be adapted to treat other conditions. Squish is a platform technology relying on nanoparticles squeezing between skin cells, delivering drugs into the tumour.

Stuff
She found him: a 1-in-6 million lifesaver, and a complete stranger

It was day 50 since diagnosis, and Tiari Barber, 11, was in a Starship Hospital isolation ward, waiting for her chance to live. Of the 28 million registered bone marrow donors in the world there were only five matches for Tiari, and they had found one: a stranger, and matching donor, willing to help.

Sport

Stuff
Foxton daredevil beats competitors almost twice her age in Norwegian snow kite win

A kiter who learned the ropes on Foxton's beaches is making a big impression on the Scandinavian snow, over 17,000 kilometres away. Eve-Ellen Skewes, 11, won the junior snowboard race at Norsk Mesterskap, the Norwegian snow kite nationals, earlier this year. The Poroutawhao School student beat competitors aged 19 and under in the junior division.

Stuff
Te Papa exhibition honours Snell/Halberg gold medal double at 1960 Olympics

September 2, 1960 - the day Sir Peter Snell shocked the world, dashing to golden glory in the brilliant Roman sunshine in front of 90,000 people. Nearly 60 years on, the 1960 Olympic 800m gold medallist has donated some of his memorabilia to a new Te Papa exhibition, prompting a Waikanae man to reminisce on one of New Zealand sport's finest days.

Stuff
Renowned Kiwi jockey Bill Skelton farewelled in Levin

Whether setting horse racing records or driving cars, Bill Skelton lived life in the fast lane. Hundreds of family, friends and from the racing fraternity gathered in Levin on Friday to remember the seven-time New Zealand jockeys' premiership champion, and first New Zealander to ride 2000 winners.

Stuff
Waikanae rugby icon Ashley Drake to notch 200th game for the club

After 15 years at the same club and four premier titles, Ashley Drake is still racking up club rugby milestones. The Waikanae Rugby Club legend will don his team's jersey for the 200th time in a Horowhenua-Kapiti premier match on Saturday, when table-toppers Levin College Old Boys visit Waikanae Park.

Stuff
John Key spends day playing golf before resigning as PM

It was the day before the bombshell and John Key was playing golf, handing out lollies and admitting his wife would be happy if he retired as Prime Minister. The outgoing PM was relaxing on the Kapiti Coast with a round of golf on the Sunday, less than a day before he dropped his resignation bombshell.

Stuff
Otaki superbike rider Dillon Telford to ride superbikes in Italy

As he hit 300kmh along the Mugello circuit's back straight, popping a wheelie and preparing to brake, Dillon Telford was not only fulfilling a childhood dream, but breaking a long drought in New Zealand motorsport. Telford will race in the superbike class of the CIV National Trophy, the Italian national championship, in the 2017 season.

Stuff
Liz Milne: Scholarship shockers

For every high-profile Kiwi athlete like Steven Adams who succeeds in the American College system, there are others for whom the outcome is very different. In the second of our two-part series, we tell the "less glamorous" story of Football Fern Liz Milne.

The animal kingdom

Stuff
Missing whale song recorder washes up after floating 185km

A $7000 device that records blue whale songs has been retrieved off Kapiti Island, after drifting 185km from its Taranaki home. A six-day recovery mission was launched for the Marine Autonomous Recording Unit (MARU) after it became detached from the seafloor in the South Taranaki Bight.

Stuff
Little spotted kiwi go from Kapiti Island to Cape Sanctuary, Red Mercury Island

The relocation of 20 kiwi from Kapiti Island will not only help increase genetic diversity at their new locations, but also to grow the population in their old one. The little spotted kiwi were moved to the North Island today to be re-homed at Red Mercury Island, in the Coromandel, and Hawke Bay's Cape Sanctuary.

Stuff
Waikanae celebrity cat Milo home safely after two-week disappearance

Her journey saw her travel at least 50 kilometres and spend about two weeks away from home, but Waikanae cat Milo has been reunited with her family and is "good as gold". The chocolate-coloured burmese, known for walking through the shops in downtown Waikanae, was found by a family in Foxton this week.

Stuff
Owner needs help for pig that had PTSD after horror fence mishap

There was no getting around it: Amanda Clark's pig might have had post-traumatic stress disorder. Dumbledore was so horrified he lost the urge to walk. Now Clark has called for help to rehabilitate Dumbledore, who she believes was traumatised by getting tangled in an electric fence during a storm about two years ago.

Stuff
Horse trapped by rising river near Otaki rescued by helicopter

Adam Poulopoulos/Fairfax NZ A helicopter has flown a horse to safety after it was trapped by a rapidly rising Otaki River. The horse was on the riverbank near the intersection of Otaki Gorge and Waihoanga roads, about 1.5km east of the road bridge in the Otaki Forks area, with water levels rising quickly.

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