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Photographer Woolf Description Caption: Seven local girls from the Lee Bold's Dance Studio were selected as judges' assistants at the New Zealand senior amateur and professional ballroom and Latin American championships held recently in Wellington. The occasion was a glamour and glitter event held over two days and nights with couples competing, some from as far afield as Australia and Holland. There were about spectators over the course of the weekend. The dance floor was imported from Auckland as there is not a floor of that magnitude and standard required for a national competition available in the Wellington region.
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The Rimutaka community sports complex is planned to have facilities in the form of a cabaret to accommodate all requirements for a national competition, plus other national and international events. In this study we conducted wildlife surveillance for these and other potential viral zoonoses at two locations where viruses were previously recorded Kaikoura Peninsula and Cape Kidnappers; Figure 1 and two locations where occurrence was likely Muriwai Beach for tick-borne viruses and Mokoia Island for mosquito-borne viruses. These locations are also potential import pathways for infectious agents into New Zealand; for example, migratory seabirds and their ticks may be able to transport infections such as West Nile virus into the country.
In the s, Johnston Atoll virus was isolated from ticks associated with these gannets, in addition to the unidentified Hughes group arbovirus also isolated on the Kaikoura Peninsula. Muriwai Beach, on the west coast north of Auckland, has three potential import pathways.
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First, it is a second mainland colony site for migratory Australasian gannets; second, the site is close to major shipping ports and airports in the Auckland Region both potential sites of entry of exotic vectors ; and third, it is a popular tourist destination attracting thousands of overseas visitors each year. Being in the north of the country it also has close proximity to Australia and the Pacific islands Figure 2. Mokoia Island is a 1. Infection of local bird populations by mosquito-borne avian malarial parasites have been documented here, 29 making it a potential site for mosquito-borne viral agents such as Whataroa virus.
In addition, the migration of shining cuckoos Chrysococcyx lucidus ; a species that breeds on Mokoia Island to the Bismarck New Britain Island and Solomon archipelagos and other Pacific Islands 28,30 offers a potential route of agent incursion Figure 2. Mokoia Island is used for endangered bird translocations, representing a pathway for viral spread within the country.
The common bird species present at each site were targeted for blood sampling during two southern hemisphere summers — January to March all four sites and November to February Kaikoura Peninsula, Cape Kidnappers and Mokoia Island only. Tuis Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae , North Island robins Petroica longipes , North Island saddlebacks Philesturnus rufusater and other passerines were caught using mist nets, banded with a numbered metal band if no band already present and had a peripheral blood sample collected from the brachial vein. Little blue penguins Eudyptula minor were taken by hand from burrows as were gulls and terns from nests.
Wekas Gallirallus australis were caught in baited cage-traps, and New Zealand scaup Aythya novaeseelandiae were caught in mist nets on the shore of Lake Rotorua in which Mokoia Island lies. Once banded with a numbered metal band if no band already present , a peripheral blood sample was collected. Gannets, penguins, gulls, terns, scaups and wekas had up to 1. Gulls and juvenile terns had their brachial vein punctured using a sterile 25 g needle with up to 0.
Binding of the monoclonal antibody was detected following the addition of horseradish peroxidise-conjugated goat anti-mouse antibody and subsequent visualization of enzymatic activity in substrate buffer. Optical densities were measured and percentage inhibition of the monoclonal antibody by test sera was calculated using negative control sera as the reference.
Ltd for Murray Valley encephalitis virus and 3. In short, sera were serially diluted in well tissue culture plates and incubated for five days with approximately 50 tissue culture infectious doses of virus and Vero cells.
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Each well was examined microscopically for cytopathic effect CPE , and neutralization titres were expressed as the reciprocal of the highest serum dilution where CPE did not occur. Samples with two repeat neutralization titres of at least 40 were considered positive. They were then homogenized in sterile virus transport media and the debris pelleted by microcentrifugation.
Virus isolation was performed on clots collected from individuals during the second field season. None of the 50 repeat-tested samples were specifically positive for either Murray Valley encephalitis virus or Kunjin virus.
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Our results indicate that these selection criteria were relevant. Evidence suggests the continued presence of previously isolated seabird flaviviruses, the presence of novel avian flaviviral agents and exposure of a migratory species to an alphavirus of incursion concern from Australia. This last result, serological evidence for antibodies to Ross River virus the most common mosquito-borne pathogen causing human disease in Australia 34 in an Australasian gannet at Muriwai Beach, is a novel finding of particular relevance to public health.
Although the standard positive criterion for the flavivirus serology conducted is to achieve inhibition of 3H6 on repeat testing, we were frequently unable to obtain sufficient serum for a repeat particularly from smaller birds. In spite of this proviso, we have obtained two strong lines of evidence for such infection. First, serology results from Kaikoura Peninsula suggest that previously isolated flaviviruses from red-billed gulls the unidentified Hughes group arbovirus and ticks associated with both red-billed gulls and white-fronted terns Saumarez Reef virus and the unidentified Hughes group arbovirus are still present at this site.
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Targeted sampling at different times of year may be required for successful viral isolation to verify agent identity.