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NORTH HARBOUR NEWS, FEBRUARY 4, 2011
Party on the streets
Celebration time: The Ansai Folk Arts Group from China performing at last year's Chinese and Korean New Year
Festival at Northcote town centre.
By JODEAL CADACIO
A cultural extravaganza unfolds
at the Northcote shopping centre
this weekend for the Chinese and
Korean New Year Festival.
Centre co-ordinator Dean Wil-
son says the two-day free event to
usher in the Year of the Rabbit
starts with a family celebration
today at 5.30pm.
The main celebration will be
tomorrow from 10am to 3pm. A
large stage will be set up.
Mr Wilson says the festival will
feature cultural performances,
children s activities and an array
of authentic Asian cuisine.
Friday night s show includes
some wonderful dance and drum-
ming, to be opened up by Filipino
teenage band The Hangar.
Saturday s cultural event
features a Chinese acrobat show,
the traditional lion dance, martial
arts demonstration and song and
A special exhibition on the life
of the most famous New Zea-
lander in China, Rewi Alley, will
be held at the NorthArt Com-
munity Arts Centre as part of the
The Norman King Square will
come alive with stalls, a preschool
activity area, a Chinese folk band
and sports demonstrations by
There are four return tickets to
China to be won at the festival
courtesy of Air New Zealand.
Mr Wilson says the event s
other sponsors include Northcote
Mainstreet, Auckland Council and
Creative Communities NZ.
Slugs go under the microscope
Up close: Waikato University student Serena Khor wants to find out more
about the grey side-gilled slug that lives on North Shore beaches.
By SARAH CODDINGTON
Work to determine how sea slugs
produce the deadly toxin that
plagued North Shore beaches last
year is under way.
Twenty sea slugs that carry a
poison known as tetrodotoxin
were discovered at Narrow Neck
Beach last summer.
Several dogs died and dozens
became sick from eating the slugs
at Narrow Neck and other North
Shore beaches in winter 2009.
Warning signs were erected at
beaches and health authorities
said children and dogs could be at
Nga pae o te Maramatanga, a
government-funded centre of
research, is providing $250,000
over two years to investigate the
The Cawthron Institute in Nel-
son and the Hauraki Maori Trust
Board have collaborated for the
Science and technology student
Serena Khor is working under a
wider $750,000 Marsden-funded
project at Cawthron Institute. It
has carried out several inves-
tigations and monitoring of the
toxic slugs on Shore beaches.
Ms Khor, who is working with
research scientist Dr Susie Wood,
has been tending to a group of sea
slugs that are being monitored to
see if there s a link between tox-
icity and their diet.
So far she has found tetrodo-
toxin in the slug in all the life
stages from larvae to adult.
If we can remove any bacteria
and the toxin also disappears,
that would provide strong evi-
dence that the toxin is produced
by symbiotic bacteria, Ms Khor
Some of the toxic slugs found in
Auckland s Hauraki Gulf and non-
toxic slugs from Nelson have been
put in the same tank.
Ms Khor says the non-toxic
slugs are surviving and this
suggests all slugs can withstand
the effects of the toxin.
Tests will be done to see if they
have accumulated the toxins.
The exact origin of the toxin is
unknown, she says.
It may be the slugs harbour
toxin-producing bacteria or they
may accumulate the toxin from a
dietary source, she says.
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