||First Home Buyer Numbers on the Rise
First home buyers are on the rise across
New Zealand, with new buyers enjoying a record share of mortgage money despite
a recent drop in overall housing finance. According to figures from the Reserve
Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), national mortgage values were worth $5.371 billion
in December 2018, which is $300 million more than a year ago and $850 million
down from November. First home buyers made up 17.2 percent of the overall
market with $924 million borrowed over the month, which is the highest level
recorded since RBNZ started publishing data back in August 2014.
||Renewable Energy Around the World
When it comes to the design and
implementation of renewable energy solutions, not all countries are created
equal. From solar and wind power through to hydro and geothermal energy
solutions, some nations are doing much more than others in the movement towards
a low-carbon future. According to the Climate Council, Sweden is aiming to be
the world's first 100 percent renewable country when it comes to electricity
generation, with other ambitious green nations including Costa Rica, Nicaragua,
Scotland, Germany, and Uruguay.
||World's Smallest Animals
For better and worse, humans have
undoubtedly taken over planet Earth. Our use of tools and knack for
self-awareness has given us an edge over the rest of the animal kingdom, to the
point where many other species are under threat as the result of our existence.
While our ability to learn, be creative, and solve problems is impressive and
unsurpassed, a number of other species also show remarkable signs of
intelligence. Let's take a look at the world's smartest animals and see how
their intelligence differs from ours.
||The Environmental Impacts of Eating Less Meat
This is the first part of a two part discussion.
What we eat has a huge effect on the world around us, with our diet closely
linked with global farming practices and the health of environmental systems.
With agriculture responsible for up to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,
and most of these emissions coming from red meat production, simple changes to
our diet could have a huge impact on the world around us. According to a new
report published in The Lancet, eating less meat is critical if we want better personal
health and improved environmental outcomes. Let's analyse the rather persuasive
environmental argument, and leave the health argument to part two of this
||Rich Kiwis Getting Richer
The richest people in New Zealand continue
to get richer, with the collective wealth of the country's two billionaires
increasing by NZ$1.1 billion at the same time as the poorest 50 percent of the
population decreased their wealth by NZ$1.3 billion. The growing gap between
the rich and poor was illustrated in an Oxfam report entitled 'Public Good or
Private Wealth', which the non-profit organisation release each year as a way
to highlight growing wealth inequality during the World Economic Forum.
||Getting Healthier in Less Time
While everyone wants to be fitter and
healthier, having enough discipline to reach your goals can be challenging.
Rather than attempting 10,000 steps each and every day or trying to change your
entire diet, perhaps there's a faster way to get healthy without disrupting
your daily life. From high intensity interval training (HIIT) through to
intermittent fasting (IF), the new paradigm is based on dynamic changes that
stretch important cellular repair processes and imitate natural cycles.
||Market Slow but Getting Busier
New Zealand housing values have grown at
their slowest rate since 2012, especially in the heated Auckland market where a
negative growth rate has been recorded. The country is unlikely to suffer the
same steep drops as Australia, however, with the average nationwide value still
managing to hit a fresh high in December 2018 of $682,938. In fact, a busy
start to 2019 has been predicted by some experts, thanks in part to more
relaxed loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending rules and competitive economic
||White Noise for Your Home
The sound of silence may not be what it
seems, with white noise allowing us to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of
natural environments in any location. If you've ever turned on a fan to enjoy a
sleep-in or spent time camping next to a wandering creek, then you'll
understand just how Zen white noise can be. While these analogue noise sources
are still available, white noise apps are making it easier than ever before to
tune out the world and enjoy the real sound of silence.
||The Wonders of Being Bored
With Christmas over, school holidays here,
and people getting back to work, sometimes it seems like boredom is the enemy.
According to a new study from the University of Waterloo in Canada, however,
boredom can be a wondrous state that's full of potential for new and amazing
things. While the negative feelings that often accompany boredom are there for
a reason, you can learn to see it as a call to action rather than a reason to
get anxious or depressed.
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