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New Zealand researcher probes furry mental health impact

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New Zealand Furry research poster From time to time, furries face mental health problems. But does fandom involvement hurt - as professionals sometimes suggest - or help? One man aims to find out.

This research is seeking to investigate how members of the furry community cope with stressors and mental health issues and whether being a member of the furry community can be a protective factor against stress. We also want to investigate how a person’s fursona/furry identity and their actual identity interact and any differences/similarities between them.

The research is being conducted by Moses Simpson, a Master's student at the University of Waikato.

While questions about fursonas are included, any resulting discussions are to be limited to general trends due to concern over identifiability. The survey should take less than an hour. As a bonus, participants (16+ only) may enter a drawing for one of three US$25 Amazon vouchers.

Preceding research: Survey suggests furries 'think differently', but aren't crazy (by the ARP).

Beast of Burden Closer to Escaping?

A recent article in Variety notes that Beast of Burden is now set to shoot as the first China / New Zealand co-production animated feature film. “Written and directed by Kirby Atkins (Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron), the story sees a species of now-extinct creatures called Thoriphants rebel against their life of servitude to mankind and embark on a treacherous journey.” You may recall that we previously discussed the film on this very web site. As a reminder, we’ll give you the link to Mr. Atkins’ original proof-of-concept short film, which helped him to secure the production deal for his first solo feature.

image c. 2015 Kirby Atkins

image c. 2015 Kirby Atkins

Obituary: Colin Palmer, NZ furry webmaster and fursuiter

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Colin Palmer New Zealand furry fan Colin Palmer died unexpectedly on November 15, aged 39. He is survived by his partner, Nipper.

Colin maintained several furry websites, including furry.org.nz and the NZfurry mailing list, and (as Nicol Firefox) furry image and story archive Cub Central. He featured prominently in media coverage as a New Zealand fursuiter, provided hosting and IT support for FurcoNZ, and participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Colin received a BSc in Computer Science from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1997, and worked for over twelve years as a systems programmer and Linux server administrator for the University of Waikato; in March 2013 he moved to Mako Networks.

Colin's funeral will be at 3PM on Thursday 27 November at the chapel of Morrison Funeral Directors at 220 Universal Drive, Henderson, Auckland. A memorial for friends and family will be held 29 November in the Wellington area.

Update (21 Mar): The website Colin founded, Cub Central, is set to close after his death.

Christchurch's 'Press' posts fabricated article on 'fur fetishists'

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The Press, of Christchurch, New Zealand, today posted an article about furries - described by writer Vicki Anderson as "those who like to dress up in furry animal costumes and role play." A group of furs get together over coffee to discuss what they get up to in private.

Sounds simple enough, if a little misguided. But all is not as it seems . . .

Update: Editor Kamala Hayman responded in an email:

I have passed your concerns onto the reporter and will deal with the issues raised on Monday. We are certainly committed to accuracy and will correct errors of fact.

Update 2 (15 Apr): This story featured in the Weekend Press and Waikato Times (photos).

Update 3: Ms. Anderson has also responded, saying:

The couple in question are recent arrivals from the United States, they have only lived in Christchurch for a few months. They were kind enough to introduce me to their circle of friends. My interviews with them was genuine [..] I found it difficult to find people from the community who were willing to be named. Having seen the outcry after the story has been published, now I understand why they felt this way.

Update 4 (16 Apr): The Press published a new article filled with quotes from named furs.

White kiwi born in New Zealand

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CNN reports that an all-white kiwi has hatched at New Zealand's national wildlife center. The news report says that it is not an albino.

The chick is believed to be the first white kiwi to be hatched in captivity.

Review: Black Sheep

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Black Sheep (2006) is certainly an interesting film. It comes from New Zealand and certainly doesn't seem to be trying to break any stereotypes as there are quite a few well-defined ones in here. It's a horror comedy and while I can't say it's a genre I am familiar with this film does have a few scary scenes as well as a bit of entertaining humour.

This film is a lot like Resident Evil but with sheep. A farmer is experimenting with genetic engineering and when some environmentalists spill some waste from the facility they cause the sheep to start eating meat and attacking people. In addition whoever is bitten by a sheep turns into one. This leads to a race to survive and contain the outbreak for the protagonists. The humour is mainly provided by one of the environmentalist who makes a variety of new-age quips about their chakra and provides scented candles.

New Zealand Farmers Furious over "Flatulence Tax"

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The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions and other "greenhouse gases" has spawned unusual legislation in New Zealand. Unlike the majority of countries which signed the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand contributes very little in the way of industrial pollutants, with more than 40% of suspected greenhouse gases in the country being agricultural in origin.

But from what, might you ask? From the country's 45 million sheep and 10 million cattle, who are hard at work day and night converting luscious grass into aromatic methane. It is this by-product of consumption which is being contested for taxation, and which would bring in about $4.9 million a year (ranging between $300 - $10,000 per farmer) to fund research on agriculutural impact minimilization.

Mass stranding leads to 80 whale deaths in NZ

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A pod of 159 pilot whales have stranded themselves on the Stewart Island, 20 miles south of New Zealand's South Island, and rescuers are rushing to try and save the remaining living animals from heat, dehydration and death-by-suffication until the next tide can hopefully take them back to the sea. Currently, 20 have been refloated.
New Zealand suffers from the largest whale stranding rate in the world, and scientists are still devided on the cause of this horrible phenomenon.

Ferrets to be banned in NZ

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Well, after years of threatening, New Zealand is banning pet ferrets. The article is full of inaccuracies (NO other place overseas has a feral ferret population besides NZ, and NZ's was the result of intentional release of thousands of animals 100 years ago).
If you live in New Zealand, stick up for your friends with ferrets, please!

Stuffed Animals Promote Conservation?

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No, not that sort of stuffed animal. We're talking real stuffed animals. A New Zealand couple has 300 stuffed animals in their collection. They claim that their collection promotes conservation and a greater appreciation for animals.

Sure. Nothing says "conservation" like a stuffed polar bear in your living room...

Tainted meat in New Zealand zoo kills lioness, rare Sumatran tiger

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Mara, a 14 year old lioness, joined Jambi, a rare male tiger, in being felled by a batch of tranquilizer-tainted meat that was shipped to the Wellington Zoo in New Zealand earlier this month.