Inspector Clifford Paxton said that a man with a balaclava across his face entered the store from Cameron Road," The male presented a pistol and obtained cigarettes then attempted to take money but was unsuccessful"
"The occupants have gone to the rear of the shop, then the male has left the shop traveling along Cameron Road"
Following extensive fundraising efforts and generous sponsorship from individuals and organisations, Rotorua District Council’s (RDC) three rural volunteer fire forces has each had major new appliances added to their fleets.
Lake Okareka’s volunteer fire unit has secured funding for a $350,000 fire truck, with RDC and the National Rural Fire Authority each contributing $60,000. The Lake Tarawera crew has secured a $9000 4-wheel drive double cab ute, and the West Rotoiti volunteer force has acquired a $50,000 Stabicraft boat.
Before the vehicles enter service the council will hold a ceremony on Monday [20 May] at 3.30pm at Energy Events Centre’s carpark to bless the new appliances, with RDC director Kaupapa Maori, Mauriora Kingi, officiating. Mr Kingi said the blessing is to keep the volunteers safe as they go into hazardous environments.
RDC deputy principal rural fire officer Richard Horn said the rural volunteer fire force teams were “absolutely rapt” to have successfully secured the new equipment.
“These three fire fighting assets will not only benefit their individual local communities for years to come but also the wider Rotorua district. Our volunteers already do an awesome job, but they’re really excited about the additional capacity they will have with the new appliances.
“The design and manufacture of Lake Okareka’s fire truck is the first of its type in New Zealand, so it’s definitely going to make their job a lot easier and more efficient.
“The new 4-wheel drive vehicle gives our Lake Tarawera crew the ability to get equipment into some of the steeper areas that the fire truck can’t get to. Our volunteers regularly get called out to take care of storm damage and car accidents so this vehicle will be a real asset to the team.
“And the new boat will be used for vegetation fires along the lake edges where vehicles can’t get access.”
Fans of hit TV3 show The X Factor NZ who can’t get to a television for the first LIVE Shows this weekend won’t miss a moment; More FM and TV3 have teamed up to simulcast every LIVE Performance and Results Show.
The X Factor NZ co-executive producer Andrew Szusterman says: "This isn’t about putting the stereo next to the TV, it’s about all those New Zealanders working nightshift, travelling the country or for any other reason not being able to get to the television - but who want to experience The X Factor at the same time as the rest of the country.
"With the More FM network covering the show LIVE The X Factor has the country’s eyes and ears covered."
The X Factor NZ LIVE Shows are broadcast Sundays 7pm and Mondays 8pm on TV3 from 19 May.
The first two LIVE Shows, on May 19 and 20 feature performances by The X Factor NZ Top 12, guest star Willy Moon, the Kiwi-born singer making waves in the UK, a special performance by one of The X Factor NZ judges, and the first Top 12 elimination!
Watch LIVE on TV3 or tune into More FM on one of the frequencies below.
Central Otago 90.3/94.3
Gisborne / Wairoa 90.1/98.9
Hawkes Bay 92.7
Blenheim 92.9 / Picton 94.7 / Kaikoura 89.9
An Opotiki dairy farm company and its director have been fined $37,000 for discharging effluent from a pond where it entered a roadside drain.
The farm’s director has also been ordered to complete a dairy farm effluent management course within 12 months.
Riverlock Farms of Waioeka Road, Opotiki and farm manager Geoffrey Thomas Brown were sentenced in Rotorua District Court this week. The offences relate to effluent overflowing from an underpass effluent pond at the farm in July 2012.
The farm has been operating for more than 20 years, milking about 1450 cows. In December last year Riverlock Farms, Geoffrey Brown and his brother Ian were fined a total of $74,000 plus costs for discharging contaminated underpass liquid to waterways in October 2011. They were also convicted and discharged on a charge of breaching an enforcement order imposed as part of a 2010 offence.
While preparing evidence for last year’s defended hearing, a Council officer found the farm’s underpass pond overflowing into the roadside drain. Samples showed high bacterial (faecal coliform) readings.
High levels indicate the water is unsafe for most uses. The discharge entered one of the drains which flows to the Waioeka River and out to sea. The river is a habitat for indigenous fish species and blue duck, a whitebait spawning site and a regionally significant trout habitat and fishery.
The Court heard that there had been two previous prosecutions for effluent overflows at the farm.
The most recent offence occurred because of the defendant’s failure to adequately monitor the underpass pond and ensure levels were maintained to avoid overflow.
Judge Jeff Smith said the penalty would have been higher had the defendants not made significant improvements to the farm’s effluent system, including installing three new storage ponds.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee Chairman Malcolm Whitaker said the defendants should have been aware of the legal requirement to ensure dairy effluent did not get into waterways.
“This conviction and penalty is a clear message that discharges of this nature are not acceptable. As a Regional Council we are very concerned that some dairy farmers running large herds are not paying enough attention to effluent management, or recognising the harm they can do to the environment, he said.
“The defendants in this case were well aware of their previous compliance issues and they were well informed of the need for particular care in monitoring and managing their effluent pond levels. They failed to improve their vigilance to avoid the same problems recurring.
“Farmers have many sources of advice and information on effluent management, either through the Regional Council or from farming organisations, such as Fonterra and DairyNZ, so there is no excuse for continuing to have discharges of this nature happening in our region,” he said.
The family of a man missing in bush in the King Country since Monday have addressed assembled searchers to express their gratitude following the locating of his body earlier today.
Sergeant Phil Bell of the Waikato Search and Rescue Squad said the body of 63 year old Leslie Wright was located in bush about 5km from where his car had been found.
"It is anticipated that it will take about two hours to recover Mr Wright's body from where he was found, though tragic that he has lost his life it is reassuring to the large team involved that he was found in the area of interest identified which reinforces that the right tactics and skills were being used.
"Members of Mr Wright's family present at the operational base have addressed assembled search members to express their gratitude for all the efforts taken on their behalf and explained his love for the bush and passion for the environment."
Mr Bell said looking at the terrain the family said they could understand what would have attracted Mr Wright to visit on Monday and also had an appreciation of just how challenging a search would have been.
"Given the considerable size of the search team and distances travelled by Land Search and Rescue volunteers it is appropriate that we join the family in recognising their efforts.
"Time and time again these volunteers put their hand up to deploy to aid people in need, often in conditions where others are turning back. These unpaid and often unsung members of various communities, and their families and employers are due high praise indeed."
Mr Wright's death is not considered suspicious and has been reported to the Coroner.
Waitemata Police have today arrested and charged nine people following a lengthy investigation into serious criminal activity involving the manufacture, supply and distribution of hard drugs and other offending.
The charges include:
• Supplying a Class A Controlled Drug
• Offering to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug
• Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug
• Conspiracy to Supply a Class A Controlled Drug
• Manufacturing a Class A Controlled Drug
• Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Robbery
• Conspiring to Defeat the Course of Justice
• Accessing a Computer for Dishonest Purposes
• Participating in an Organised Criminal Group
• Possession of a Class A Controlled Drug
• Possession of a Class C Controlled Drug
Eight men, aged 25, 36, 39, 41, 42, 44, 49 and 59, and a 23-year-old woman, will appear in the Waitakere District Court on the charges this afternoon.
District Investigations Manager, Detective Inspector Bruce Scott, said the arrests were the culmination of a detailed investigation and reflected the Police’s commitment to reducing the harm caused by drugs in the community.
Don’t know where the water toby is on your property? As of next week you can find this and a whole lot of other service information online when Hamilton City Council launches the new City Waters Viewer.
Contractors, surveyors, plumbers and anyone with an interest in Council’s water, wastewater or stormwater services will be able to see what’s where by going to www.hamilton.co.nz/citywatersviewer from Wednesday 22 May.
In City Waters Viewer you can search for properties, zoom in to street level to view asset locations and view aerial photography overlaid with asset information.
Council Acting City Waters Manager Eeva-Liisa Wright said the viewer would be a huge help to customers and a great time-saver.
"People will now have easy and instant access to water asset information instead of having to request it from council staff" she said.
"Anyone considering design or works is encouraged to make a physical check on all levels, locations and dimensions before starting.’’
Waikato Police say reinforcements from across the North Island have arrived to assist and relieve colleagues working on the search to locate a West Coast man missing in the King Country for five days.
Sergeant Phil Bell of the Waikato Search and Rescue Squad said Land Search and Rescue volunteers have arrived from Waitomo, Taupo, Turangi, Hamilton and Rotorua to bolster existing staff.
"The operation is based in the Pureora Forest near Barryville, between Benneydale and Mangakino, and we have a helicopter, specialist tracking dogs, a visual tracking team and searchers comprising the 12 teams out in the field.
"They are being backed up by an operational headquarters and supported by a logistical team keeping all the people involved fed, watered and transported. To keep such large numbers in the field requires a lot of work and support, not just from the volunteers but their families and employers as well."
As well as challenging terrain and very cold temperatures the deteriorating weather conditions forecast are posing significant concern for the searchers.
"Mr WRIGHT was reasonably well equipped when he set out from Te Kuiti on Monday however when his vehicle was recovered off Waitaramoa Rd yesterday his cold weather kit, sleeping bag and food were located in the vehicle which is of obvious concern for the operational team and his family.
"Teams remained in the bush overnight and will be replaced today as the operation expands further. A major hazard in the area is a large swamp and the last footprints found were heading directly in that direction."
Mr Bell said Mr WRIGHT was an experienced bushman and it is hoped he would have recognised the swamp and back tracked and it was now a case of trying to locate where he back tracked to.
"The helicopter focused on the swamp and wetlands yesterday as the high bush canopy is so close you can't see into the bush from the air.
"On the ground search teams are conducting line searches of what is a very large area and will continue these throughout the day."
Both handler and dog have many years of experience behind them but have only been working together as a team for the past twelve months.
Senior Constable Orchard is well aware of the necessity for dog and handler to build unique bond of trust and skill. In 2006 he and his dog Ben were attacked by a man with a claw hammer.
The competition is taken very seriously, patrol dogs are used in extremely dangerous situations and 23 police dogs have died in the course of duty. The skills tested during the competition are potentially lifesaving skills.
Auckland’s Senior Constable William Birrell with his dog Hawk were runner's up and also won Commissioners Challenge Cup for obedience. Constable Stuart Rota and Link from Wellington were third and also won the William Rose Bowl for Criminal Work Disciplines.
This year's top explosive detector dog champion team and winner of the Aviation Security Shield is Aviation Security Officer Harvey Jefferies and ‘Shadow’ from Auckland.
Corrections Officer Barry Nelson and his dog Olesia from Christchurch won the Alan Symes Cup for the narcotic detector dog title, and the 'Customs Cup' for the highest marks in locating white powders.
Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush made a special presentation to the New Zealand Police Dog Section at the prize giving. A commemorative plaque was presented to Inspector Brendon Gibson to recognise the professionalism and devotion to duty when some patrol dogs and personnel were called away from this competition, in 2009, to attend the emergency in Napier arising from the murder of Senior Constable Len Snee.
The top ten police patrol dog teams from around New Zealand competed for national honours at the New Zealand Police Dog Centre at Trentham this week. They were joined by six of the best narcotic detector dog teams from Police, Corrections and Customs and the top five explosive detector dog teams from Police, Aviation Security Service and Customs.
Waikato Police say the area where a West Coast man missing for three days could have possibly gone to
Sergeant Phil Bell of the Waikato Search and Rescue Squad said 63-year-old Leslie Graham WRIGHT had been staying in Te Kuiti with a friend attending a conference and had left a camping ground on Monday morning planning to go on a day trip.
"Just where he intended going to remains a mystery with initial indications including a rail trail near Taumarunui, bush walks on Pirongia and somewhere near the coast past Waitomo all mentioned as places of interest.
"Follow up enquiries however reveal Mr WRIGHT has an interest in old gold mining sites and our search has now been expanded to include sites around Te Aroha, Waihi and Waikino. Basically you're talking about an area stretching from the west coast of the King Country and Waikato over to the east coast of the Bay of Plenty."
Mr Bell said because of this it wasn't a case where Police could set up an operational base and deploy search and rescue volunteers from there because where did searchers start.
"Police share Mr WRIGHT'S family's concerns about his wellbeing. We understand he is a fit person with no known health issues.
"This leads us to suspect he may have come to grief while driving which is why we are again asking land owners with properties adjoining roadsides to check their fence lines and report anything amiss."
Mr Bell said while this was going on Waikato Police have contacted their colleagues in Taumarunui and Taupo and staff across the areas of interest have been checking public car parks for sightings of Mr WRIGHT'S vehicle, a silver 2004 Nissan Pulsar hatchback, registration CHJ965.
"The public are really key to helping us locate Mr WRIGHT by reporting any sightings of him or his vehicle.
"Mr WRIGHT'S family have travelled up to Te Kuiti to assist with the search and it is for them as much as for Police that the public should not discount any information that they may have."
Anyone who may have seen Mr WRIGHT or his car is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Steve Hudson of the Te Kuiti CIB on 07 858 6200.
The Taupo-based Greenlea Rescue Helciopter was called to the crossing this morning to airlift the 16-year-old.
Pilot Nat Every said the Canadian girl was part of an organised group of 25 touring New Zealand and Australia. She was flown to Taupo Hospital.
Police confirmed one person died as a result of injuries.
A motor-vehicle has crashed into a powerpole and the powerlines have fallen to the ground. The driver has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Pukete Road has been closed to all traffic and diversions are in-place at the following locations
(North of the crash scene)Meadow View Lane & Pukete Road.
(South of the crash scene)Moreland Ave & Pukete Road.
These diversions are to remain in place until further notice.
While work has been under way this month detours have been in place restricting the flow of vehicles through the busy Hamilton East intersection.
The major work, part of Hamilton’s Ring Road project, is expected to open on Friday 31 May.
The work is being done under a road closure rather than stop/go traffic control because of the restricted area, and it also means it can be done more quickly.
Motorists are asked to avoid the intersection if possible while work continues.
On reopening the new signals will be operational although work will continue until the expected completion date in July.
direct attack on kura kaupapa Maori, and on public education generally," said Hone Harawira, Leader of MANA and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.
"Although successive governments have starved kura kaupapa of funding from the get-go, they remain one of the most successful educational initiatives for Maori by Maori, in the last 100 years" said Harawira. "But today, the Maori Party is supporting their National and ACT Party buddies spending massive amounts of money on charter schools while kura get bugger all."
Massey University Professor of Education, John O’Neill, said that early indications are that charter schools will cost the taxpayer more than twice as much as state schools.
"It’s one thing for the rich white boys to give their mates all the lollies while laughing at the poor little Maori kids getting by on scraps … it’s another thing entirely when their Maori buddy is cheering them on."
"The Maori Party should be ashamed for turning their backs on everything that kura kaupapa Maori stands for."
"Maori fought long and hard to get kohanga and then kura kaupapa because we knew that a commitment to the language, a commitment to whanau, and a commitment to kaupapa Maori were key elements in educational achievement for Maori students, and kura kaupapa have proven that to be the case time and time again."
"Charter schools will have no accountability to whanau, no commitment to Maori language, no requirement for kaupapa Maori, no commitment to the Maori or NZ curriculum, no commitment to put registered teachers in front of kids, no accountability or transparency under the Official Information Act or the Ombudsmen Act - and they’re going to get more money than kura kaupapa ever got!"
"And without the oversight of the Auditor-General’s Office, they’re a scam waiting to happen" said Harawira, whose claims were backed up by Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu’s submission on the Education Amendment Bill which said that charter schools were highly susceptible to fraud, waste and abuse.
Other submissions raised the fact that the charter schools model has failed overseas, including that of Dr Bronwyn Hayward, political scientist and senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury. Dr Hayward said that the charter school model was "naive and reckless" and that "our children deserve better."
"Our kids all deserve the very best in education, not failed experiments from overseas."
"This Thursday is Budget Day. That’s when we’ll see whether the Maori Party can deliver. If the Budget does not show at least a 25% increase in funding for kura kaupapa, an extension of the Kotahitanga programme, and a reinstatement of the Manaaki Tauira programme to assist Maori students in tertiary education, then the Maori Party will have failed. And if they have, Peter Sharples should resign as Associate Minister of Education with responsibility for Maori Medium Education for his failure to grow or even protect the success of kura kaupapa Maori while supporting the failed charter school model."
If you’d like to know about healthy eating for you and your family, or why it’s important to monitor sore throats, then visit the public health information stand at the Horizon Energy Library.
Te Kōputu’s Library Services Supervisor, Kim Johnston, says the brochures are a practical addition to the Library’s health information. “The stand is positioned near the Library’s health information books, and will extend the information available to users,” she says.
The free brochures have up-to-date, New Zealand-based information which is relevant to everyone in our community.
Toi Te Ora Health Information Advisor, Lorraine Howarth says they are pleased to have the opportunity to provide the information through the Library. “It’s one of the most accessible and highly visited facilities in our community, so we’re grateful to have that level of prominence for our information.”
The health information stand will be regularly maintained by Toi Te Ora. Anyone looking for additional information may like to visit Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service’s website, where they can access the full range of public health information brochures atwww.ttophs.govt.nz.
"The biofuels versus food issue is not relevant to New Zealand. We are looking at biofuels, plus food. This can be a win-win for farmers," explains Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers energy spokesperson.
"It is not about replacing sheep and cattle with biomass crops, but about growing these crops while also harnessing the organic waste of our sheep and cattle, or our wood harvest waste.
"Biofuels in Europe and the United States are generally produced from specifically grown crops, such as rapeseed oil or sugarcane, to produce bioethanol; in New Zealand we have the opportunities to extract usable energy from existing biological agricultural and horticultural waste.
"Federated Farmers supports the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand’s belief that waste biological matter from farming and forestry offers many opportunities to extract valuable energy.
"This one-day bioenergy conference is about is getting energy from horticultural and agricultural waste - something we are not exactly short of in New Zealand.
"While bioenergy can be used for biofuels, the focus is about harvesting the waste stream from current land uses for a range of energy products.
"The Bioenergy Association of New Zealand believes between 15-20 percent of the wood from harvested trees is left behind as waste. This waste, along with animal and horticultural waste, could become an invaluable new source of income for the primary industries.
"Wood for bioenergy uses could come from farm forests, shelter belts or even purpose grown tree crops.
"For pastoral farmers and horticulturalists, it is about integrating bioenergy solutions which turn waste into a resource into their daily farm management practices.
"In some situations, the opportunities for biomass-to energy are already economic where the economies of scale exist. Federated Farmers expects these economic scales to lower as technology advances.
"Federated Farmers will have staff at the conference and we are pleased to be one of its supporters. The conference aims to present practical solutions to farmers, horticulturalists, foresters and Maori Trusts.
Police are congratulating a fleeing driver for making the right choice last night after he thought better of trying to evade Police in Auckland because his passengers begged him to stop.
Auckland City District staff signalled for a car to stop as they believed the vehicle was stolen. The driver initially sped off but soon slowed down to the speed limit and then stopped.
When Police approached the vehicle and asked why the driver had made the right choice, the two 15 year old passengers and the 16 year old driver said they did not want to end up like the other four kids who died on Friday night, referring to the quadruple fatality in Mangere.
The passengers said they had yelled at the driver during the pursuit and had got him to stop.
"Drivers who fail to stop for Police and flee to avoid apprehensive pose huge risks to themselves and other road users.
"We think this message is so powerful that Police will be using this real life story as the basis of a new social media campaign aimed at youth.
"The driver of the car makes a decision that affects everyone in the car, but the passengers can also do something about it," Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said.
"In this case they were able to "man up" and save their own lives and, possibly, those of the driver and other innocent road users.
"In the vast majority of these incidents we find there is more than one person in the vehicle. In fact there are often far too many people in the car and they are often the ones who needlessly lose their lives or who are injured and affected for life."
The three were taken into custody and will be dealt with through Police Youth Aid Section.
East Hamilton Community Constable Briar Hallam said Operation Dairy was all about educating business owners of the risks to the community by the sale of synthetic cannabis.
"Our operation compliments similar initiatives conducted across the country and is in partnership with the Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Health Board and interested media.
"As a pilot 20 East Hamilton dairies and superettes have been visited and asked to voluntarily abstain from selling the K2 products. We've already met with considerable success with 11 businesses already suspending sales and another two stores likely to follow."
Ms Hallam said while it is always good to get voluntary compliance, as of last Thursday, stores selling K2 synthetic cannabis will be breaking the law.
"Last month Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced a Temporary Class Drug Notice banning substances found in tested samples of K2 synthetic cannabis. Those two banned substances are BB-22 and 5F-AKB48 which have both been found in K2 products.
"The ban on the two substances brings to 35 the number of substances banned under temporary notices and will prevent avoidable harm to the community before the Psychoactive Substances Bill becomes law in August."
Ms Hallam said some of the businesses approached about pulling the products off the shelves prior to Thursday's ban declined to do so because they would miss out on lucrative sales.
"But what Operation Dairy is all about is celebrating those businesses who've stepped up to the mark and care about their community.
"On Thursday teams will be going to these businesses and putting up posters stating; 'We choose not to sell synthetic cannabinoids'. But we're asking other businesses, schools and organisations to show their support as well by placing a second poster in their window which says; 'We choose not to support the sale of cannabinoids'."
While launched in East Hamilton the initiative will expand across the City and wider Waikato with Police, health and education providers recognising the risks associated with the continuing sale of the substances leading up to August's law change.
Waikato District Health Board spokeperson Mary Anne Gill said all agencies involved had recognised the risks posed by the drugs not only in the City but in smaller communities as well.
"We've seen a number of issues at the Emergency Department in Waikato Hospital while our mental health staff in the Thames- Coromandel have recorded some disturbing side affects on users.
"We don't think people are aware of the adverse effects of these synthetic drugs which are so easily available."
Ms Gill said those side effects have included severe paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations.
"People coming down from the drug have experienced vomiting and a lack of control over their muscles or bodily functions. There has also been cases of the inability to speak, not eat and lack of sensation leading to one person being burnt under a shower!
"In the Thames- Coromandel area, almost every second case our mental health staff have discussed over recent months has had some element of the use of the synthetic drug K2. It has been devastating for many of our young population and their families, in one particular case from the Child and Adolescent team involved a teenager who went into three consecutive seizures, lasting a total of 21 minutes."
Ms Hallam said it was because of these risks that the businesses who have already agreed to ban the drugs should be applauded while those continuing to prey on the vulnerable should be identified.
"If you or your children know of an outlet selling so called 'legal highs' then we want to hear from you. The substances in products such as K2 are illegal and Police will be vigilant in enforcing the law to reduce the product's harmful effects on the community.
"Anyone with information on persons selling synthetic cannabinoids is asked to contact Waikato Police on 07 858 6200, alternatively information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers, they key is to get the information out there and reduce the risk.
East Hamilton businesses who have chosen not to sell synthetic cannabinoids so far
Silverdale Road Mini Mart Tudor Dairy
Silverdale Produce Planet EMM Js Dairy
Hillcrest Superette East Street Superette
Cambridge Road Dairy Claudlands Food Centre
Edinburgh Superette Cameron Road Food Market
Peachgrove Food Market
The woman, who asked not to be named, said her and her 18-year-old son's life had been turned upside down by his use of a substance he and his friends thought had been tested by authorities.
"To say there was quite a bit of fallout when I discovered my son had used cannabis would be a bit of an understatement so he went and switched to these so called legal highs.
"I didn't even know what the stuff was but it wasn't long before I knew something was wrong, where as cannabis has quite a distinctive smell I knew he was up to something because he began to stink, it's hard to put a finger on just what of but his clothes even continued to smell after being washed."
Even more concerning was an admission by the woman's son that where he could take or leave cannabis, after having smoked K2 a couple of times he felt he was hooked on it.
"His behaviour has changed, he's a bright boy but since he's started on this stuff I've noticed he's lacking direction and really lethargic but one of the really interesting things is a grimy, oily residue coming out of his hands that leaves a black mark on benches or walls he touches.
"Looking back now I believe it was in January when I realised something wasn't right, what really sparked my attention was my son kept vomiting and would vomit in his sleep."
The woman said her son was generally a pretty healthy young man but since using K2 he has also contracted a cough which he hasn't been able to shake.
"It's like a really bad smoker's cough from a heavy smoker and quite gross.
"One of the really alarming things is that his friends are using it too and there's this misguided belief that because these substances, which come in small packets about the size of a condom wrapper and cost about $20, were able to be sold on store shelves then they must comply with some form of health and safety legislation and are ok to use."
The other attractive aspect for youngsters is that while cannabis use will be picked up in workplace drug testing there is a belief synthetic cannabinoids won't ,leaving them with the misguided belief that not only are they using a safe, legalised product they can apply for jobs with mandatory drug tests.
"I guess my key message here for parents is to learn from my experience, it's really important to keep talking to your kids and get to know their friends so they feel comfortable talking about what they're doing with you.
"Then, don't leave it till too late to seek help- you're not alone with the problem and the longer you leave it the worse you will feel."
The mother spoke out to support a multi-agency operation being launched in Hamilton East today, aimed at targeting those businesses selling synthetic cannabinoids.
Hamilton East community constable Briar Hallam said the objective of Operation Dairy was to target the sale of synthetic cannabinoids and to highlight the risks to the community posed by the products while promoting businesses refusing to sell them.
"A ban that came into effect last week on two substances found in K2 synthetic cannabis means anyone selling these products will be breaking the law and Police will be vigilant in enforcing the law to reduce the product's harmful effects on the community.
"Prior to the Temporary Class Drug Notice (TCDN) legislation coming into effect today which bans the substances BB-22 and 5F-AKB48, Police across Hamilton have been visiting businesses to educate them on what the ban means."
The Korean owners of Arigato Mum's Suhsi bar were originally denied a Long Term Business application to keep the shop open with their work visa's running out in September
A statement from Immigration NZ last week said there are several sushi bars in Whakatane which isn't far from Opotiki.
This morning before a community protest Immigration NZ contacted the owners of the Sushi bar to advise they will overturn the decision to reject the owners application for a Long Term Business application.
Locals say they are glad with today's decision and they will be able to enjoy sushi without having to travel 44km to Whakatane.
The shop owners are so overwhelmed with the support of the community a free sushi day will be held on Saturday.
Tauranga Riding for the Disabled has received a $250 donation from the winner of the 2013 TrustPower Tauranga Youth Community Spirit Award.
Thea James from Aquinas College was named as winner of the Award, which recognises secondary school students’ service to the school and the community. The Award is jointly run by TrustPower and the Tauranga City Council and is part of the TrustPower Tauranga Community Awards which were presented last night (Monday 13 May).
For winning the Award Thea received a framed certificate and $250, with an additional $250 being donated to Tauranga Riding for the Disabled.
Kat Macmillan of Tauranga Riding for the Disabled says it is fantastic for the organisation to receive this money from Thea.
“We are so proud of Thea and grateful for all her support and contributions to Tauranga Riding for the Disabled.
We will be purchasing a much needed light weight wheelbarrow with the donation, so that volunteers like Thea can enjoy a superior barrow when they are helping us,” Says Mrs Macmillan.
TrustPower Community Relations Representative Teresa Partridge says the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award is a wonderful opportunity to publicly acknowledge the work young people do to enrich their community.
“Often young people receive a lot of negative attention and we forget the tremendous input that they provide to the fabric of our community. Thea is a great example of a student doing just that.
She is an outstanding young woman who truly knows the value of community spirit. She gives so much of her time to her school and even more so to her community.
It is exciting to know that we have these up and coming volunteers who will continue to give back to their communities,” says Mrs Partridge.
The Awards were announced and presented tonight (Monday 13 May) at a function at ASB Arena, Baypark.
For winning the Supreme Award, Tauranga Men’s Shed received a framed certificate, a trophy and $1,500 prize money. Tauranga Men’s Shed now has the opportunity to represent Tauranga City at the 2013 TrustPower National Community Awards, which are being held in Invercargill and Southland region in March 2014.
In total, TrustPower has given away over $5,000 to various community groups through tonight’s Awards.
TrustPower Community Relations Representative Teresa Partridge says Tauranga has the country’s highest proportion of men aged over 60. Many have moved here in retirement, leaving behind their sheds and home workshops.
“The Men’s Shed is a place where men who are passionate about helping others can come and share knowledge, learn new skills and mentor youth while working together on community projects.
The Shed is a space created by these volunteers at the Historic Village, with rooms for woodworking and carpentry. People in the community have donated tools and machinery for the collective cause.
This project is fantastic for many retired men who have downsized their homes and lost their sheds and garages. At the shed the men can get dirty while working on a range of projects. There is always a continuous demand for the group to work on repairs for the Hospice shops, St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Schools, Churches, community garden groups, hospitals and the list goes on, these volunteers are willing to help out whoever may need a helping hand in the community.
Being open Monday to Friday 9am – 4pm and most Saturdays, the 26 core volunteers of the Tauranga Men’s Shed collectively work over 400 hours a week to provide a place where men of all abilities can get involved. By providing this workplace environment it is giving men a focus and common ground in which to communicate and build their self-worth,” says Mrs Partridge.
The competition for this year’s TrustPower Tauranga Community Awards was tough with 72 groups entered for the Awards.
Other winners at tonight’s TrustPower Tauranga Community Awards were:
Heritage and Environment
Commendation: Community Fruit Tauranga
Runner-Up: Merivale Community Gardens
Winner: Get Growing Community Gardens
Health and Well Being
Commendation: 4Good Charitable Trust
Runner-Up: Tauranga Community Patrol
Winner: Victim Support Tauranga
Arts and Culture
Runner-Up: Tauranga Regional Multicultural Council
Winner: Village Radio
Sport and Leisure
Runner- up: Special Olympics Tauranga
Winner: Tauranga BMX Club
Education and Child/Youth Development
Commendation: Tauranga SeniorNet Club
Runner-Up: Welcome Bay Community Trust
Winner: Otumoetai Rotary Club
Winner: Thea James, Aquinas College
Finalist: Carinda Reyneke, Bethlehem College
Finalist: Kristen Vanderschantz, Tauranga Girls’ College
Finalist: Dylan Donne, Tauranga Boys’ College
Many of the nation’s elite off-road motorcycle racers head to Tar Hill, just south of Tokoroa, this Saturday for the second round of three in the series and they know that the two men who dominated at the series opener last month won’t be there to stand in their way.
Former national enduro champion Jason Davis, of Whangamata, celebrated victory on the course at Ohakuri that day, surviving an exhausting battle with Auckland’s Chris Power, a duel that lasted right to the finish.
But both Davis and Power have since been struck down with injuries, turning the focus sharply now on to the man who was third at Ohakuri, Tauranga’s Reece Burgess.
But Burgess won’t have it easy, either, because Auckland’s Callan May, Masterton’s Reuben Vermeer and Marton’s former national cross-country champion Cam Smith will also fancy their chances on Saturday.
Carterton’s Luke Fisher won the senior intermediate grade at round one and he will be keen on Saturday to stretch out his points advantage over Ryan Scherer, of Putaruru, and Duncan McLaren, of Bennydale.
Top among the junior riders at round one and worth watching out for this weekend were Auckland’s Jake Wightman, Oparau’s James Scott and Havelock North’s Ben Hislop.
The series offers something for everyone, according to organiser Sean Clarke, of Tokoroa.
"The series is in its sixth year and has proved to be popular with a whole range of riders and families," said Clarke.
"The weekend starts on Saturday with the cross-country races. Starting at 9.30am is the racing for the junior riders, aged between seven and 15 years. Riders aged 7-11 have a three-kilometre course set out for them, and the riders aged 12 to 15 will race on a 10km course.
"These two races run at the same time and last for 90 minutes."
The senior racing gets underway at midday.
"The main senior race starts at 12 noon and this features a 17-kilometre loop in the forest and is suitable for anyone over the age of 15 ... as long as they have a reliable dirt bike and appropriate riding gear," said Clarke, a former International Six Days Enduro medal winner and multi-time former national enduro champion.
Clarke said the course at Tar Hill is "quite open and flowing".
Activity continues the next day, too, with a trail ride planned for the same venue on Sunday.
The third and final round, set for June 15, takes rider back to Ohakuri.
The series is sponsored by Michelin, Bel Ray, Axo, Renthal, Troy Lee Designs, DRC, Zeta, Kiwi Rider magazine, Sixsixone, TCX boots, Yoshimura and Suomy helmets.
Now in its 25th year, New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, all original youth music competition is about to kick off in Rotorua, with the heats scheduled for 3pm Saturday 18 May at Rotorua Convention Centre. Tickets $10, available at the venue.
Around 700 entries are expected to go through regional heats and finals in 23 towns from Invercargill to Whangarei. Founder and Director Glenn Common says while much has changed in the 25 years that SFRQ has been running, there are some things that remain the same:
"The enthusiasm of young people for their music, and the way they respond to having a platform to perform to their peers is one of the constants," he says. "These days they can put their video clips up on Youtube, but that hasn't taken the thrill out of getting up on stage in front of a real live crowd."
The Rotorua bands performing at the Convention Centre on Saturday are:
Loft, Western Heights High School
Burning Skies, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Zenith, Rotorua Lakes High School
Toi Toi Tree, John Paul College, Rotorua Lakes HS
Kingdom, Western Heights High School
ABN, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Rotorua Boys’ HS
Undecided, Rotorua Lakes High School
Aftershock, Western Heights High School, John Paul Coll
Puoro Kaupare, Tarawera High School
Out Of Tunar, Western Heights High School
4ward, Western Heights High School
Monique Doig, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Bianca, John Paul College
Ruby Solly, Western Heights High School
Marcus Crowe, Lake Taupo Christian School
Title, Rotorua Girls' High School
Lucy Campbell, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Azura, Reporoa College
Liana, Tauhara College
Sarah Chilvers, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Ellie Redmond, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
Emily-Jane, Western Heights High School
This year there are separate categories for solo/duo acts and bands. The top two solo/duos will be announced at the heats. They will play off at the regional finals and will both go into the judging pool for the national final.
"We’ll have regional winners in the solo/duo section and the band section, and the same at the national final," Glenn explains. "There will be more winners and more prizes and it means neither category will feel overlooked."
Glenn says this change has been made in response to comments from entrants and teachers, and brings SFRQ more in line with NCEA assessments where bands are assessed separately.
The regional events run every weekend until 13 July, then the top regional bands and solo/duos submit videos for selection as national finalists. Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and the solo/duo winners, that include musical gear to a total value of $13,000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, inclusion on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, radio promotional support, and video play on youth music channel FOUR. There is also the MAINZ Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award and the Skinny People’s Choice voted by text with the opportunity to open the SFRQ National final.
More info at sfrq.co.nz or facebook.com/thesfrq
Housing Minister Nick Smith today announced two initiatives which will result in the building of up to 3000 new state house bedrooms and 500 new homes.
Dr Smith said the first initiative is called Project 324&5 and is designed to convert three bedroom houses into four and five bedroom homes.
“Project 324&5 recognises that Housing New Zealand, and particularly Auckland, have an oversupply of three bedroom homes and a real shortage of larger ones,” Dr Smith said.
“The initiative is expected to deliver up to 3000 new state house bedrooms to 2000 properties over the next two years, with three quarters of them in Auckland.
“Adding an extra one or two bedrooms to these properties will better meet tenants’ needs in relation to size, location and amenity. It will also result in less overcrowding and better health and education outcomes.
“Properties targeted for modification will be houses which are up to 40 years old and on medium to large sections able to accommodate extensions and still have enough land to provide a decent outdoor area for tenants and their families.
“Some of the three bedroom houses involved in Project 324&5 will be expanded to five bedroom, two bathroom homes where this can be accommodated on the site and where there is demand in the community.
“Along with adding an extra bedroom the houses will also be modernised and upgraded, including work on landscaping and fencing.
“I’m confident the modifications can be done quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption to tenants. Housing New Zealand has designed and trialled modular units that are suitable to most locations and that can be attached to existing structures.”
Dr Smith said the second initiative will see an additional 500 two bedroom state houses built over the next two years on large Housing New Zealand properties in Auckland.
“There is strong demand from Housing New Zealand tenants for more two bedroom homes in Auckland. This is a result of a shortage of supply and increasing demand for two bedroom properties, particularly for single people with caregivers, couples with children, and solo parents.
“The Simply Smart Homes infill project will see pre-fabricated modular homes, to minimise disruption to existing tenants, assembled on the sections of large Housing New Zealand properties in Waitakere, North Shore and Manukau.”
Project 324&5 is expected to cost up to $260 million and Simply Smart Homes initiative $117 million from Housing New Zealand’s Asset Management Strategy. The work will be completed by the 2015/16 year.
“These new initiatives are part of the Government’s Accord with the Auckland Council to increase the supply and affordability of housing. The issue of better utilisation of existing Housing New Zealand properties came up early in joint discussions. Mayor Len Brown and I both recognise that more housing is needed inside Auckland’s current urban boundaries as well as outside to accommodate population growth. The 500 new infill houses will contribute towards the target 39,000 houses over three years announced in the Auckland Housing Accord.
“These projects are also consistent with Housing New Zealand’s direction of reconfiguring its housing to be of the right size and in the right location to match tenants’ needs. It also meets the Government’s focus on ensuring state housing is targeted to people with the highest housing needs.”
The total volume of retail sales rose 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, to $17.62 billion in the three months ended March 31, from a revised quarterly pace of 1.9 percent in the December quarter, Statistics New Zealand says.
That was below the 0.8 percent pace estimated in a Reuters survey of economists. Actual retail sales volumes grew 3.5 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.
"Respondents to the retail trade survey told us that he warm , dry start to autumn meant that shoppers held off buying cooler-season clothing and footwear," industry and labour statistics manager Blair Cardno says in a statement.
The kiwi dollar fell to 82.51 US cents from 82.64 US cents immediately before the figures were released.
Earlier this month, sports goods and homeware chain Briscoe Group said the late start to winter put a squeeze on first-quarter margins.
Clothing, footwear and apparel reported the biggest quarterly volume decline in the period, falling 2.4 percent to $872 million, with values down the same amount to $858 million. Clothing inventories were 7.3 percent higher than a year earlier at $754 million as at March 31.
Of the 15 industries surveyed, 10 gained in volume terms. Excluding vehicle-related spending, volumes rose 0.6 percent.
Spending on pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing rose 2.2 percent to $1.25 billion and motor vehicle and parts were up 1.1 percent to $2.34 billion, underpinning gains in the period. Supermarket and grocery spending rose 0.3 percent to $4.04 billion.
Spending on furniture, floor coverings, houseware, textiles rose 1.6 percent to $484 million the quarter and hardware, building, and garden supplies increased 1.2 percent to $1.04 billion.
The categories were up an annual 6 percent and 10 percent, respectively, with the county's property market bubbling in Auckland and Christchurch with an undersupply of housing amid building demand.
Spending rose 0.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, to $17.94 billion, from 1.7 percent in the December period. Actual retail sales rose 3.2 percent to $17.62 billion from the March quarter 2012.
Canterbury was the biggest regional gainer, with actual retail sales up 6.3 percent to $2.41 billion in the March quarter from a year earlier, followed by Auckland, which rose 4.3 percent to $5.96 billion. Wellington the only region to record a decline, falling 0.8 percent to $1.87 billion, its second quarterly slide.
Government figures last month showed increasing discounting among retailers was one of the key ingredients in keeping the annual pace of inflation at 0.9 percent, just below the Reserve Bank's target band of between 1 percent and 3 percent.
Removing the price changes, the volume of sales rose 0.5 percent.
Last week, Statistics NZ said core retail spending on electronic cards, which strips out spending on fuel and vehicles, rose 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted $3.54 billion in April, the biggest monthly gain since November, and sixth increase out of the past seven months.
Including fuel and vehicle, retail spending gained 0.9 percent to $4.34 billion in April, the 11th monthly gain in the past 12.
It is alleged that ZESPRI had full knowledge of the actions of their importer in China and was complicit in their actions to defraud the Chinese Government by under declaring the Customs invoices and therefore under paying the correct duties.
"These are serious allegations and kiwifruit growers have the right to know the truth since they are being forced by the government to sell their products through this company," Mr Nicolson said.
"An independent inquiry is the only way to get a full and accurate picture.
"ACT recently questioned the Government’s continued support of ZESPRI International’s legislated and privileged status which prevents growers who value competition and freedom from exporting to destinations and customers of their choice. ACT believes ‘less is best’ when it comes to government involvement in business and in the lives of citizens. It should be a kiwifruit grower’s right to make to make their own export decisions.
"Last night’s revelations raise serious questions about ZESPRI’s operations and whether the government’s continued support of its monopoly status is really in the best interest of growers.
"ACT will be writing to the Minister of Primary Industries to push for an inquiry," Mr Nicolson said.
The survey showed that 51 percent of those who are regular contributors to KiwiSaver were confident of achieving their retirement savings goals. However, when savers stopped contributing, this fell dramatically - to 29 percent.
The survey asked whether respondents were on a KiwiSaver contributions holiday or had stopped paying into their KiwiSaver account.
"We wanted to find out the effect that maintaining your savings habit was having on people’s confidence," said John Body, Managing Director ANZ Wealth, New Zealand.
"It’s encouraging to see that KiwiSaver appears to be making a difference to people’s confidence about achieving their preferred retirement income.
"But it’s concerning that such a large confidence gap is emerging between those who are sticking to their savings plans and those who have stopped paying into their KiwiSaver account," Mr Body said.
Overall confidence is measured among those who are saving, planning to save in the future or who expect to have an additional source of income in retirement above New Zealand Superannuation.
The quarterly survey asked 1,169 people, in February and March 2013, if they were saving for retirement. The 1,059 people that stated they are saving, plan to save, or who expect to have an additional source of income in retirement, were asked how much weekly income they would like in addition to New Zealand Superannuation when they retire, and how confident they were about reaching their savings goal.
The survey continues to show there are pockets of confidence pushing through the 50 percent barrier, but this is mostly among men and those with higher incomes.
Mr Body said: "If you are in your twenties or thirties and take a five-year gap from paying into KiwiSaver then the impact on your final lump sum at retirement can run into tens of thousands of dollars. It could mean about 10 percent less in your nest egg."
At this time of year KiwiSaver members will be opening their annual statements and this is a good moment for people to take stock of their retirement savings plan. ANZ calculates that people who have been in the scheme since it started in 2007, earning around $800 per week, could have accumulated about $18,000 by now.
Mr Body said: "When you consider what you could have achieved already or what you have missed out on by not joining KiwiSaver, then it’s a good time to review the options available to you to help you reach your savings goals."
New Zealand Post and Weta Workshop have teamed up to bring a slice of Middle-earth to the Chinese market - via the China/New Zealand online shopping site ULE.com.hk
The venture launches this month, with a selection of products from Weta’s range of Middle-earth collectibles becoming available on ULE - everything from clothing to collectibles and prop replicas. [See: http://store.ule.com/store/5745.html?srcid=ulehk_index_slide_003]
The ULE site is an online shopping portal established by China Post and Tom Group to sell genuine brand, high quality products from the original source, to Mainland China.
New Zealand Post, which has developed a strong business relationship with China Post, was invited to be the first overseas party to participate in the online sales channel. The dedicated New Zealand Mall (www.ule.com.hk) helps New Zealand businesses reach the lucrative middle class consumer market in China. A wide range of New Zealand brands are already available on the online site.
"We are delighted to be part of this China Post initiative," says Mark Lawley, the General Manager of New Zealand Post’s International business. "The opportunity to be part of the ULE channel has provided an opening for New Zealand merchants into the Chinese market, as well as being a real boost to our international business and profile.
Sir Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop Creative Director and co-owner, is equally excited by the opportunity.
"The Workshop team is thrilled to once again create a line of beautiful figures, prop replicas and artworks from our work in Middle-earth. We have enjoyed being part of the team that has brought The Hobbit films to life, and we are therefore delighted to be able to bring these high-end artworks directly to discerning collectors in China.
"Weta, and myself personally, have many friends and partners in China and we can’t wait to see what they think of our products."
Weta has previously served a small number of Chinese customers through their English language website, wetaNZ.com. However, complications with language and variations in commercial models between China and New Zealand have made it difficult for an overseas online retailer to trade in China, without the services and local support of a party such as ULE.
"We are very fortunate to be able to join the trusted ULE brand, and use the help they can provide to turn the real difficulties an overseas party can experience into simple market entry formalities through their local presence in China," says Weta Limited General Manager, Tim Launder.
"It is a toe in the water for us, and while we don’t quite know what to expect, we are very excited about the prospect of reaching our fans in China in this way, and we are ready for it."
Weta’s launch on ULE was announced in China via popular economic magazine "Economic Weekly" on 6 May.
Fans on NZ Mall and Tourism NZ Weibo sites (Weibo is China’s equivalent of Twitter) have indicated that they are looking for access to Weta’s products through a Chinese shopping site.
The pair were "severely trapped" in the vehicle for over an hour as firefighters from five fire units worked to free them from the damaged truck.
The police spokesman said the accident happened on State Highway 27 near the town of Waharoa about 8.30pm on Monday.
"The truck seems to have come around a bend and then literally flipped on its side on the tracks," he said.
A St John Ambulance spokesman confirmed the driver and his passenger were taken to Waikato Hospital with serious and moderate injuries respectively.
The railway lines and road around the accident site remained closed for several hours.
This year's Central District Cannabis and Crime operation is being declared a success and public information is cited as a major contributor for it.
This year's operation saw a total of 10,224 plants recovered compared to 10,134 last year. 5,918 of this year's haul was from the aerial operation with the remaining 4,306 coming from search warrants.
"The total number of plants seized this year is outstanding. The operation has been a success and the significant amount of public support we have received has been a major contributor to this," says Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Borrell, Central District Operation Coordinator.
"Information received directly and through Crimestoppers sends a clear message that people don't want drugs in their communities. The public's support partnered with our enforcement activities delivers a strong blow to illicit drug rings."
Together with the rural recovery there is a significant ground phase which this year resulted in 80 search warrants against drug dealers and cultivators in the district.
The annual operation starts with an intelligence-gathering phase and is followed by an aerial recovery phase using Air Force Iroquois helicopters to winch police officers into cannabis plots.
Cannabis grows were located in 108 plots and 122 offenders have been identified resulting in 178 charges.
Officer's also located two clan labs and recovered firearms, vehicles, cannabis seeds, ecstasy tablets, and methamphetamine.
"Police are committed to dismantling illicit drug networks and with the vital support of the public we can keep drugs out of communities and ensure that they are safe places to live."
In the past few weeks Central District Police have made two significant drug seizures (not part of the above operation) at properties in Waverley and Levin.
Last week an indoor cannabis growing operation was located at a property in Levin during a search warrant. Police seized approximately 67 cannabis plants and just over one kilogram of quality cannabis heads. A 41-year-old man has been arrested and charged with cultivating and possessing cannabis. The investigation is ongoing.
Three weeks ago a cannabis drying operation was located at a property just north of Waverley. The property had been of interest to Police for some time and a search warrant was executed. Officers seized 770 plants that were drying in a shed and several kilograms of quality cannabis head. Police believe that the cannabis was grown at another location and brought to the shed to dry out. Four men have been arrested and charged. A 59-year-old was charged with allowing their premises to be used for drug offending and the other three in their mid-thirties have been charged with cultivating cannabis and possession for supply. This investigation is also ongoing.
If you have information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Area results for aerial recovery phase:
Taranaki - 1,052 plants
Ruapehu - 2,344 plants
Whanganui - 1,737plants
Manawatu - 785 plants
Queen Fine Foods, New Zealand’s largest distributor of vanilla products used widely in Kiwi homes, has entered into a partnership with the people of Tonga to reinvigorate their vanilla industry.
The Queen Fine Foods initiative works with growers to develop sustainable and organic farming practices. It teaches farmers not only how to grow high quality beans, but to cure their crop and add value. Growers who join the partnership receive a long term supply agreement with Queen, which guarantees certainty of income for years to come.
The partnership has been backed by the Tongan Government and not-for-profit organisation Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand. In Tonga, the Honorable Minister for Agriculture Sione Sangster Saulala spoke about the program, “This is a fantastic outcome for Tongan vanilla. We have the ideal conditions to grow this crop. Queen can assist us to become world class in growing and curing vanilla.”
He said, “This is a fair program that will benefit many families in Tonga. We are particularly impressed with Queen’s commitment to the ongoing development of the vanilla industry and the depth of technical knowledge they provide.”
This is one of many global initiatives Queen has developed to enhance the vanilla industry and importantly support the families and villages that rely on the sales of this valuable crop. Dr Sam Himstedt, one of the Queen Fine Foods family members who pioneered the initiative, said, “Being a family owned company, it is important for us to give back to the industry. Vanilla is grown by families and villages in some of the remotest parts of the Pacific. Over the years we have enjoyed seeing how our participation has helped to improve the lives of the people that we work with.”
Dr Himstedt also acknowledged that this initiative will deliver New Zealanders a better quality final product. “Most home bakers probably don’t think about what it takes to make that little aromatic bottle of Queen vanilla extract they have in their pantry. Our passion is for vanilla and vanilla growers, so partnerships where we work hand in hand with growers mean we can manage the product quality from farm to pantry,” he said.
“Together with Queen’s 100-year-old exclusive extraction technique, this ensures we are producing the world’s finest vanilla products. For our New Zealand customers it means they get unsurpassed flavour in their home baking.”
Queen has supported vanilla farmers in a number of countries and produces many premium quality vanilla products available nationwide through participating supermarkets and specialty food stores.
The police operation in Albany is still developing. Police have asked two schools to keep pupils inside until advised.
These schools are:
Albany Junior High and Kristin School.
Parents collecting children are asked to wait at Police Cordons until advised. Parents collecting children at nearby schools are asked to be tolerant as there may be disruptions or road closures nearby.
School buses will redirected as soon as the operation is completed.
We wish to stress to parents that Police have measures in place to ensure the safety of their children.
Inspector Peter Raynes
Enjoy a superb introduction to New Zealand theatre with one of the country’s most exciting theatre companies EnsembleImpact and their latest show She’ll Be Write.
This free one-night only performance is presented by Auckland Council owned art facility Hawkins Theatre Papakura as part of a commitment to making great theatre accessible to the community.
She’ll Be Write is a 50 minute theatre performance devoted exclusively to showcasing a series of short New Zealand plays, and performed by some of our country’s finest young actors.
"This is a unique performance which is delivered through monologues and multi-character scenes, in English, Te Reo MÄori and Samoan," says Auckland Council Arts and Culture Manager, Kaye Glamuzina.
"This all professional four-member company presents genuine cutting edge theatre."
Following the performance, there will be a brief forum with the performers which offers a great opportunity to ask questions and learn from professional New Zealand actors. Seats are limited so book early with the Hawkins Theatre. The show is best suited to high school students and adults.
In April, fruit and vegetable prices increased 1.0 percent. "Tomato prices rose by about two-thirds to $4.60 a kilo in April, which is much the same as April last year, when they were $4.54 a kilo," prices manager Chris Pike said.
There were seasonal price falls for kiwifruit (down 24 percent).
Grocery food prices rose slightly (up 0.2 percent), influenced by yoghurt (up 7.8 percent, due to less discounting) and chocolate bars and blocks (up 4.4 percent).
Meat, poultry, and fish prices remained unchanged overall. There was more discounting for sausages (down 8.8 percent) and pork roast (down 15 percent), partly offset by less discounting on porterhouse/sirloin beef steak (up 6.2 percent).
Annual change in prices
For the year to April 2013, the food price index (FPI) decreased 0.1 percent.
Grocery food prices (down 1.8 percent) made the main downward contribution for the year. Fresh milk (down 7.4 percent), cheese (down 7.8 percent), and butter (down 23 percent) prices were all lower.
Meat, poultry, and fish prices also decreased, influenced by lower prices for lamb (down 17 percent) and ham (down 6.7 percent).
These decreases were offset by price increases for non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.5 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.2 percent), and fruit and vegetables (up 2.0 percent). Avocados (up 48 percent), potatoes (up 12 percent), and bananas (up 9.1 percent) all made upward influences on food prices. There was a smaller crop of avocados in 2012, following a bumper season in 2011.
The FPI measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.
Check out the video below:
The Chief Executive of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), Helen O’Sullivan, says April was notable for the surge in prices and sales of mid-level homes in many parts of the country which was reflected in a new high for the REINZ Stratified Price Index and records for the index in Wellington and Other South Island districts. "Several regions appear to be benefiting from the tail-wind generated by the strength of house prices in Auckland and Christchurch."
Overall price levels in Auckland and Canterbury are continuing to have a major impact on the national picture, with Auckland recording the second largest increase in median price compared with April last year, and Canterbury the third largest increase in median price. Together, Auckland and Canterbury accounted for 92% of the increase in the national median price over the past 12 months.
"Auckland and Canterbury remain the two regions driving the national median price, a point recognised by the Reserve Bank in its recent monetary policy statement. We also note that the remaining 10 regions accounted for only 8% of the increase in the national median, with four of those regions recording falls."
REINZ data shows there were 7,104 unconditional residential sales in April, an increase of 1,428 sales (+25.2%) compared with the same time last year and a fall of 12.6% compared to March 2013. The increase over March on a seasonally adjusted basis was 0.8%, indicating that sales were slightly stronger than what would normally be expected for this time of the year.
All but one region recorded increases in sales volume compared to April last year, with Manawatu/Wanganui recording an increase of 36.5%, followed by Taranaki with 36.2% and Nelson/Marlborough with 34.2%. Four regions recorded an increase in sales volume in April compared to March, with Central Otago Lakes recording an increase of 11.3%, followed by Manawatu/Wanganui with 2.0% and Southland with an increase of 0.7%.
The national median house price fell by $9,500 (-2.4%), from $400,000 in March, to $390,500 in April, following a new record last month. Compared to April 2012 the national median house price increased by $25,500 (+7.0%), with four of the 12 regions recording a drop in the median price. Compared to April 2012 Taranaki recorded the largest increase in median price, up 15.9%, followed by Auckland with 13.3%, and Canterbury/Westland with 10.0%. Central Otago Lakes recorded the largest fall, down 10.1%, followed by Hawkes Bay, down 6.4% and Nelson/Marlborough, down 2.2%.
The REINZ Stratified Housing Price Index, which adjusts for some of the variations in mix that can impact on the median price, is 9.8% higher than April 2012 and increased 0.8% compared to March. The Auckland Stratified Housing Price Index is up 14.1% compared to April 2012, while the Christchurch Stratified Housing Price Index is up 12.7%. The Wellington Stratified Housing Price Index hit a new record high in April, as did the Other South Island Stratified Housing Price Index
Houses took three days longer to sell in April, compared to March, easing from 31 days in March to 34 days in April. Compared to April 2012, the number of days to sell improved by three days. Eight regions saw an improvement in the number of days to sell between April 2012 and April 2013, with Nelson/Marlborough recording the largest improvement of eight days.
For the month of April, Canterbury/Westland recorded the shortest days to sell at 27 days, followed by Auckland at 30 days, and Wellington and Nelson/Marlborough at 35 days. Central Otago Lakes recorded the longest number of days to sell at 57 days, followed by Northland with 56 days and Manawatu/Wanganui with 49 days. Over the past 10 years the median days to sell for the month of April has averaged 36 days across New Zealand.
Nationally there were 1,368 dwellings sold by auction in April representing 19.3% of all sales - the third highest number of auction sales in a month and an 85.1% increase on the number of dwellings sold by auction in April 2012. Auctions are progressively becoming the favoured sales method in certain centres; for the 12 months to April 2013 the total number of sales by auction reached 13,995 or 18.0% of all sales, compared to 8,108 or 12.3% of all sales for the 12 months to April 2012.
Transactions in Auckland again dominated the auction market in March, representing 76.4% of the national total of auction sales. 37.2% of all dwelling sales in Auckland were by auction in April; this was up strongly from the 23.9% of sales by auction in April 2012. Sales by auction in Waikato/Bay Of Plenty accounted for 7.2% of the national total, Canterbury/Westland accounted for 9.0% of the national total, and all other regions combined accounted for the remaining 7.5% of auction sales in April 2013.
Across New Zealand the total value of residential sales, including sections was $3.50 billion in April, compared to $4.11 billion in March, and $2.57 billion in April 2012. For the 12 months ended April 2013 the total value of residential sales was $36.63 billion.