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Kiwi star Jon Toogood drops f-bomb live on TV three times in a row

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


The NZ Music Awards have kicked off with one hell of a bang, as host and musician Jon Toogood started the ceremony by dropping not one, but three f-bombs in a row.

The Shihad superstar was hosting the event with Laura Daniel which is being broadcast live on Three, and mentioned that he was worried about swearing on air.

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In a pre-planned bit, Daniel had a solution ready: A swear jar in which Toogood would have to put in $100 every time he swore with all proceeds going to the charity Music Helps.

Toogood then proceeded to drop the f-bomb three times in a row, including calling the audience – which included PM Jacinda Ardern – “mother f*****s”.

Of course, it was all a fun bit in the name of charity, but with a live broadcast, Three was unable to censor it so all three f-bombs rang out in lounges across the country.

Ah well, all in the name of charity eh, Jon?

Meanwhile, The Beths kicked off the ceremony with a performance of their hit Little Death and Six60 took home the first award of the evening for Radio Airplay Record of the year.

Earlier, PM Jacinda Ardern walked the red carpet and acknowledged “the incredible talent we’ve had come through this year” saying “I know we’re all really super proud of all of our musicians”.

She said: “This is part of who we are as a nation, so much of our conscience, our major historic moments are all captured by our artists… so great to be here.”

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IPCA ‘racist’ says former top police officer Hurimoana Dennis after watchdog finds he abused powers

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


A former police officer has accused the police watchdog of racism after it found he had repeatedly abused his powers while in the force.

Hurimoana Dennis, who had a 30-year career with the police, also says he has no regrets about his unlawful intervention in three cases, saying it was “common sense” policing which kept three young Māori boys out of jail.

He did, however, regret getting other police officers in trouble.

In a report released today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) said Dennis unlawfully detained an Auckland teenager in 2015.

In the course of its investigation, the IPCA also found that he had improperly influenced an investigation into his own son in 2014 and another investigation into a separate family member.

It further discovered that Dennis had abused his power on several occasions, in one case unsuccessfully trying to persuade a police officer not to issue him a ticket for speeding.

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Inspector Hurimoana Dennis charged with kidnapping over incidents at police station and Auckland Airport

Speaking to the Herald, Dennis said he accepted that the findings did not “hold me in a good light”.

But he felt that the IPCA had treated him unfairly.

“I said to the IPCA that I used tikanga Māori to shape my actions and help guide me in my decision-making when I got involved in these things.

“But they just totally disregarded any of that stuff … When they totally dismissed it I consider that to be racist behaviour.”

IPCA general manager Warren Young said the IPCA categorically rejected the accusation of racism. It could not comment further on that issue because Dennis has laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

“We fully considered Mr Dennis’s defence that he offered at his trial, which was essentially that he was acting in accordance with Māori lore and tikanga,” Young added.

“However, we agreed with the evidence of his own witness at his trial, Sir Kim Workman, that Māori lore does not justify actions that are contrary to law.”

Dennis accepted that he was clearly in the wrong in some abuses of power, such as the speeding ticket case.

But he felt that his intervention in the teenager and his relatives’ cases was directly in line with the police’s Te Huringa o Te Tai/Turning of the Tide prevention strategy.

That initiative, introduced in 2012, uses alternative justice methods in a bid to reduce Māori over-representation in arrests and incarceration.

“There were three young Māori men who had made some mistakes, who had put their hand up to be accountable, had strong whanau support behind them and had admitted their guilt,” Dennis said.

“Me getting in to support that, I thought was the respectable thing to do. It might have been a bit OTT [over the top] in some cases, but at the end of the day, putting them into a system that doesn’t work for young Māori isn’t a good option either.”

Sergeant Vaughan Perry and former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis appear at the High Court at their kidnapping trial in 2017. Photo / Greg Bowker
Sergeant Vaughan Perry and former Inspector Hurimoana Dennis appear at the High Court at their kidnapping trial in 2017. Photo / Greg Bowker

Dennis and another police officer, Sergeant Vaughan Perry, were charged with kidnapping over the detention of the teenager, but were acquitted. They also faced employment investigations, but Dennis retired from the police before his was completed.

The IPCA report said it had found “on the balance of probabilities” that Dennis and Perry “unlawfully detained” the boy on both occasions.

The report said “Inspector Dennis’ actions in attempting to force [the boy] to comply with his family’s wishes were an abuse of his influence, power and authority as a police inspector”.

A police spokeswoman said there were no plans to reopen the case or investigate Dennis further in response to the IPCA’s findings.

Since leaving the force, Dennis has gained national profile as the chairman of Te Puea Memorial Marae, which housed nearly 500 people during the peak of the housing crisis.



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Air New Zealand’s new Auckland Airport regional lounge – what’s next?

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Air New Zealand’s new Auckland Airport regional lounge will open to customers this weekend as part of $60 million investment in lounges throughout the country over the next two years.

The construction comes at a good time as the airline does more flying to the regions after Jetstar’s withdrawal and demand for more comfort at airports shows no sign of slowing down.

The airline has revealed it is about to start work on refurbishing its Auckland Airport domestic lounge and, although it has no details yet, pressure on its international lounge at the airport is set to ease.

Air NZ’s new regional lounge at Auckland Airport to open this weekend. Photos / Brett Phibbs

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Pāpāmoa Community Patrol volunteers working to reduce number plate thefts

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn



A spate of stolen car number plates in the Pāpāmoa area has prompted a special anti-theft initiative aimed at putting the screws on brazen thieves.

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Pāpāmoa Community Patrol volunteers are working with local police to hold “Screw Day” this week, refitting number plates with special anti-theft screws for $2.

The event will be at Papamoa Plaza carpark from 10am to 2pm tomorrow.



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Grace Millane murder trial: Accused admitted she was dead in second police interview

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Warning: Contains graphic and sexual content.

The man accused of murdering Grace Millane broke down during a second interview with police and admitted his Tinder date was dead and how he had disposed of her body.

The jury in the High Court at Auckland has today watched the videotaped interview conducted on December 8 – a week after Millane went missing.

The accused eventually agreed to tell detectives where Grace’s body could be found because he wanted her family to have “closure”.

The accused during his second interview with Detective Ewen Settle on December 8, a week after she went missing.
The accused during his second interview with Detective Ewen Settle on December 8, a week after she went missing.

Crown prosecutors allege that on the night of December 1 last year – the eve of Millane’s 22nd birthday – the accused strangled her to death in his CityLife hotel apartment.

The Herald brings you the latest updates from the courtroom today:

Crown closes its case against accused

4:30pm

The Crown has now presented all its evidence against the accused.

About 30 witnesses were used by the prosecutors during the first two weeks of the trial.

The defence will now prepare its case – which is likely to begin on Monday.

A person’s neck can be ‘compressed relatively easily’ – doctor

4.20pm

Dr Clare Healy, a forensic physician, gave evidence this afternoon via video link from Australia.

An expert in non-fatal strangulation, she explained how sensitive the human brain is to oxygen deprivation.

“Brain cells do not survive without oxygen.”

She told the court a person’s neck could be “compressed relatively easily” and if pressure continued it may result in death.

“The signs and symptoms will depend on the amount of pressure and how long it is applied for,” she said.

“Recovery may occur after pressure is released … If pressure is continued death will arise.”

Healy said just 2kg of pressure on a person’s neck may interfere with blood flow. This she said was equivalent to the amount of pressure required to crush a can of Coke.

Some 5kg of pressure would be required to restrict the blood flow in the arteries, she said.

A person may lose consciousness due to pressure on their neck in as little as 10 to 20 seconds, Healy said.

Death, she said, could result anywhere from 90 seconds to six minutes.

Crown solicitor Brian Dickey asked Healy if blood could drip from someone’s nose as a result of strangulation.

“Yes, I think it could. It’s not something I have seen,” she said. “I understand it can happen.”

The accused claims when he saw Millane was dead on the floor of his apartment she had blood coming from her nose.

Under cross-examination by the accused’s lawyer Ian Brookie, Healy said a person could die from pressure to their neck in one or all of four ways – restriction of the veins, arteries, windpipe or pressure on a small cluster of nerve cells.

Evidence buried beneath 10m of trash and the accused’s mystery trip to Mission Bay

3.00pm

Detective Inspector Scott Beard, the officer in charge of the police investigation, told the court his team made inquiries to find Millane’s possessions after they were dumped in an Albert Park trash bin by the accused.

He said police were led to a tip in East Tamaki.

It was a 100m by 70m area.

Of more concern, he said, was that every day an additional 2m of soil was dumped on top of the day’s rubbish.

Because police didn’t know Millane’s possessions were there until days after the accused discarded them on December 5, her clothes – and more importantly her phone – was now 10m underground and in an unknown location.

“The decision was made that it was so resource intensive that we would not search the tip,” Beard said.

Police have never found Millane’s cellphone.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks to media during the search for Grace Millane.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks to media during the search for Grace Millane.

The veteran detective also told the court the accused made an Uber trip to Mission Bay on December 6 at 5.22am.

However, records show, eight minutes after arriving at the seaside suburb the accused caught another Uber back to the city and returned to the CityLife hotel at 5.58am.

Beard said police made inquiries to collect the CCTV footage from the area but found it was no longer available.

“A large part of the investigation was around CCTV in the city,” he said. “There are a lot of cameras in the city. By the time we got to Mission Bay it was too late.”

Cellphone polling data, Beard said, also showed the accused had been in the Waitakere Ranges before he confessed to dumping Millane’s body there.

“Our whole aim in the investigation was to find Grace, we would have found her because we were right in that area,” he said.

Up to 70 police staff were part of the investigation, Beard said.

Accused had bruises, scratches: doctor

12.40pm

Dr Samuel Rawlings conducted a medical exam of the accused at 11pm on December 8.

After recording his medical history, Rawlings said he noticed two bruises on the accused’s chest and right shoulder on the right side.

There were also five small scratches, which “appeared to be reasonably well healed”, on his left hand.

‘I want her family to know that it wasn’t intentional’

12.20pm

As the video interview continues, Detective Ewen Settle asked the accused where Millane’s possession were.

The alleged murderer said he had dumped “everything” in a rubbish bin in Auckland’s Albert Park.

“Everything that was in the room,” he said.

Settle asked: “Presumably her telephone is in her property in the rubbish bin?”

“Yep,” the accused replied.

The accused broke down during the second police interview.
The accused broke down during the second police interview.

The detective also asked if the accused was currently employed.

“Nah,” he said.

“When did you employment end?”

“Friday,” the accused said, referring to the day her matched with Millane on the dating app Tinder.

Grace Millane and her accused killer during their Tinder date.
Grace Millane and her accused killer during their Tinder date.

Settle then mentioned he had a text conversation between Millane and her friend Ameena Ashcroft from the night of December 1.

The accused claimed he told Millane he was a sales manager.

However, in Millane’s messages to Ashcroft the accused appears to have mentioned he is an oil company executive.

“Me? No,” the accused said. “My uncle works in an oil company.”

Settle asked: “Which oil company does he work for?”

The accused replied: “I don’t know.”

After a break, Settle returns to the interview room and asks if Millane had any injuries.

“Did you inflict any injuries on her?”

The accused replies no.

“Did you kill Grace Millane?”

“No,” he said.

“[Accused man], you’re under arrest for the murder of Grace Millane,” Settle says, before reading him his rights.

In the room is also the accused’s legal counsel Ian Brookie.

He asked his client if Millane died while she was in his company.

“Yes,” he said.

“Did you intend to cause her death?” Brookie continues.

“No.”

Brookie also asks why he is telling the police his version of events.

“Because I want her family to know that it wasn’t intentional,” he said.

“But I also want her family to have closure and the other night when I was questioned by police I was still shocked and I apologise for misleading. So yeah, it’s basically so her family understand that it wasn’t an intentional thing.”

‘I’m sorry’: Accused told police he started dialling 111

11.30am

When asked by Detective Ewen Settle why he didn’t call for an ambulance the accused said he “dialled 111”.

“But I didn’t hit the button because I was scared at how bad it looked,” he said.

“There’s a dead person in my room, I thought it looked terrible. Waking up to it I was like ‘holy sh*t’.”

11.15am

After breaking down in tears and taking a break, the accused then described in the police interview what he did after realising Millane was dead.

“I was in shock, I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

“I took a whole heap of tablets that I had. I realised she wasn’t alive and I just wanted to end it all.”

The accused said he was “all over the place”.

“I didn’t believe what had happened,” he said. “I was just terrified and scared.”

The accused then confessed he went to The Warehouse on Elliot St in central Auckland and bought a suitcase – something he had previously denied.

“I went back and at first I didn’t know what to do,” he said, talking about returning to his CityLife apartment.

“I just put the suitcase on the bed. And I think I left again.”

The accused then said he tried to overdose on medication.

“I just was thinking that me and Grace had such a great night, we were talking about catching up in London.

“I was at the point where I just wanted to end my own life – I’d had enough, I was finished.”

The accused then recalled putting Millane’s body in the suitcase.

“I was just in shock the whole time I couldn’t put her in it because it just didn’t seem right. It just didn’t seem right.

“So I left and Grace was half-in half-out of the suitcase at that stage. I couldn’t do it.”

At this point in the video, the 27-year-old man leans forward in the dock and puts his head in his hands.

The accused bought cleaning products at a Countdown supermarket.
The accused bought cleaning products at a Countdown supermarket.

The accused said he then left to buy cleaning products – which was captured on CCTV.

“Then I remember coming back and I messaged a friend to catch up because I didn’t think it was real,” he said.

That “friend” was another Tinder date he went on in Ponsonby on December 2.

“I couldn’t get through the beer I was drinking,” he said.

“I got back to CityLife and … I spewed up a few times because I couldn’t put Grace in the bag. All I could think about was what we shared the night before.

“And then I put her in the bag. And the whole time I just kept saying I’m sorry,” he said crying.

In the dock, the accused kept his head down, sniffed and blew his nose.

The accused then moved the body on a luggage trolley from the hotel and into a rental car.

“I sat there for a little while, praying,” he said, after parking the car in a nearby parking building.

The accused bought a shovel from an ITM hardware store in Kumeu.
The accused bought a shovel from an ITM hardware store in Kumeu.

The next morning he drove to a hardware store in West Auckland and bought a shovel before continuing to the Waitakere Ranges.

“I went into the bush … And I start digging.”

The accused said he again took “20 maybe 30 paracetamol tablets”.

“Because I didn’t want to be around if Grace wasn’t there and didn’t think I deserved to be around because of what happened.

“I went and got the suitcase and put it in the hole, and covered the hole and then I drove 10-20 metres to the reservoir and sat there. I sat there just wanting the paracetamol to kick in, it didn’t, so I drove back to the city.”

In the courtroom, the accused didn’t look up again until he tells the detective he drove the rental car out west and cleaned it.

Throughout the video, the accused has been reading the transcript in the dock and fiddled with his pen, but has generally looked calm.

11.00am

The jury is watching the second police interview between the accused and Detective Ewen Settle on December 8.

“Tell me what happened last Saturday,” Settle said.

“From the beginning?” the accused asked.

The alleged murderer then went through the events of December 1 – as have been captured and match the events on CCTV.

These included them meeting at SkyCity and visiting three bars to drink together.

After drinking at the Bluestone Room, the accused says the pair returned to his room at the CityLife hotel.

Grace Millane died in the accused's room at the CityLife complex in downtown Auckland.
Grace Millane died in the accused’s room at the CityLife complex in downtown Auckland.

“We were kissing, we were talking,” he said. “She asked me to turn the TV off. I had the TV on the music channel.”

Then, the accused claims, Millane began talking about 50 Shades of Grey.

“She told me that there’s a few things she likes doing and that she’d done with her ex-partner.

“We started having sex, at first it was just normal. It was very placid.”

Then, the accused said, Millane brought up the topic of bondage.

“And she started biting and she asked me to bite her so I did,” he said.

“I stopped at first and said is this something you really want to do?”

The accused claimed Millane said: “We’re in the moment, let’s just go with it.”

The alleged killer said the pair talked for a while before having sex again.

“Holding my arms above my head and just biting and then she hit my butt … and then she held me around my neck and pushed down.

“She indicated that it made me harder … And so we swapped over, I got on top.

“We started having more, I guess, violent sex.”

The accused said the pair “ended up on the floor” before Millane took nude photos of him and he did the same.

“And then we kept going she told me to hold her arms tighter,” he said. “And then she told me to hold her throat and go harder.”

The accused said he then went to the bathroom – but fell asleep in the shower.

He remembered waking up when it was still dark and crawled back into the bed.

“I thought Grace had left,” he said.

“I woke up the next day and saw that she was lying on the floor, I saw that she had blood coming from her nose.

“I screamed, I yelled out at her. I tried to move her to see if she was awake.”

The accused, however, said the room was also “pitch black”.

‘His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating’

10.15am

This morning’s evidence has started with a central Auckland pharmacist talking about her interaction with the accused on December 3.

In a statement read to the court, Eliana Golberstein said the alleged murderer came into the store at about 3.40pm and was “behaving oddly”.

She said he was “standing there weirdly looking at the cameras and playing with his hands”.

Golberstein said the accused informed her he had a bad allergy and had hives on his hands.

“I noticed he was not speaking to my face or looking at my eyes,” her statement read, adding there were red marks between his fingers and on the back of his hands.

“His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating,” Golberstein said.

She prescribed antihistamines.

After seeing the accused’s name published in overseas media in stories about the disappearance of Millane “it triggered me to come in and talk to police”.

Accused’s Tinder date after Grace’s death

The somewhat notorious hills in the city’s west were mentioned by the accused during a Tinder date at a Ponsonby bar during the afternoon of December 2 – just hours after Millane died.

The accused’s date recalled her rendezvous with the alleged murderer for the Auckland court yesterday.

She said the accused mentioned all his mates were police officers and that he was “trying to find a really large duffel bag”.

He then began regaling a story about a man who accidentally killed a woman during rough sex and was later convicted of manslaughter, the woman said.

“It’s crazy how guys can make one wrong move and go to jail for the rest of their life,” the accused allegedly told her.



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Prison mail changed after Christchurch attack blunder

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Corrections are making changes to the management of prisoner mail after letters from the Christchurch terror attack accused were published on a website.

An independent review into the prisoner mail system was released today, and Corrections chief executive Christine Stevenson said all 13 recommendations had been accepted.

It came after prison staff allowed two high-profile inmates to send three letters which should have been withheld.

Two of the letters were sent by the alleged Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant, and another by Christchurch businessman Philip Arps, who was jailed for sharing the mosque shooting video.

One of the letters sent by Tarrant was published on a Russian website. The letter sent by Arps to a media organisation included threats against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and praised Norway’s mass killer Anders Breivik, Newshub reported at the time.

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Prison mail changed after Christchurch attack blunder

“We estimate around 15,000 items of mail are sent to and from prisoners each week, Stevenson said.

“It is a fine balance to uphold our lawful obligation to meet prisoners’ statutory entitlements while mitigating the potential risks posed by prisoners who may wish to cause harm to others.

“In August, following the publication of a number of letters by prisoners, including the Christchurch accused, I made it clear that I did not have confidence in our existing processes for reviewing and assessing prisoners’ mail. I called for an immediate review into this practice.

“I want to again reiterate my unreserved apology for the distress these letters have caused.”

She said she was confident the changes they were making as a result of the review would reduce the ability for mail sent and received to cause harm or distress, either directly or indirectly.

The review found that too many individuals were involved in outgoing mail processes and some prisons were not well-resourced to manage the huge volume of mail. It also found some improvements in the legislation and regulations governing this area that could be made.

Some changes had already been made, including regular audits of mail processes and the decision-making around which letters get withheld or released.

Guidelines had also been introduced for scanning and withholding mail, gang mail, and content of a sexual nature. Prisoner mail was now clearly be labelled as such so the recipients could contact Corrections if they did not want to receive it.

Further changes included possible law changes which would cover the reading, copying and storing of mail in prison.

Prisoners who had been identified as having potentially extremist ideologies or registered victims had been centralised until Corrections had confidence the new process was working as intended.

All of Tarrant’s mail was blocked while the review was taking place.



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Greymouth teenager Lewis McKenzie, 18, jailed for killing of Cyrus Alupis

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


A grieving father says a teenage killer reminds him of his slain son and today, as the 18-year-old was jailed, urged him to turn his life around.

Scared teenage ADHD sufferer Lewis Floyd McKenzie was just 17 when he “impulsively” stabbed 41-year-old Cyrus Alexis Alupis to death in Greymouth on July 30 last year.

As McKenzie, now 18, was sentenced today at the High Court in Christchurch after admitting a charge of manslaughter, Justice Robert Osborne accepted that an aggressive Alupis had played a provocative role in the tragedy.

And Alupis’ father was praised by the judge for a remarkable victim impact statement full of compassion and forgiveness for McKenzie: “that young boy”.

After seeing “scary” parallels between the killer and his own son, he didn’t want McKenzie to end up like his son and tied up with gangs.

“It will be a double loss if he doesn’t make something of himself now,” the father said.

The court heard how McKenzie and an associate had been driving around the West Coast in the early hours of July 30 last year.

They had smoked several cannabis joints before they stopped to talk to Alupis and another man just after 1am.

McKenzie and his mate agreed to give the pair a ride to Cobden where Alupis had been living.

But shortly after getting in the back seat, Alupis started to get agitated when he couldn’t find a bottle of vodka.

They started driving around to look for it when Alupis accused McKenzie of having it.

Alupis threatened to give him a hiding and from the back seat, slapped him in the face and punched the driver in the head.

The driver tried to calm Alupis down but he held a cigarette lighter to McKenzie’s cheek. He was frightened but not burned, the court heard.

When the teen went to take his seatbelt off, Alupis threatened to “smash him”.

McKenzie grabbed a 30cm hunting knife, got out of the car, and went to the rear passenger door.

As Alupis tried to get out, McKenzie stabbed him twice – in the abdomen and chest.

He then ran off while his mate tried to drive Alupis to the hospital. The injured man kept trying to get out of the car. The driver stopped and Alupis fell onto the road. He was found soon after and rushed to hospital where he died.

At around 4.45am, McKenzie went into a supermarket and told staff he was being chased by gang members.

Noticing that he was covered in blood, the police were called. Officers found a knife in one of his socks.

Justice Osborne accepted that a “genuinely remorseful” McKenzie who suffers from ADHD had been feeling that his safety was in jeopardy when he acted quickly and impulsively.

He also highlighted McKenzie’s upbringing where he was exposed to significant family violence and a childhood where he struggled with anxiety and anger.

As he was taken into custody after being sentenced to four years and two months’ imprisonment, McKenzie turned to his family in the public gallery and said, “Love you whanau”.



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Cricket: England’s Ben Stokes lifts lid on conspiracy theory from World Cup final against Black Caps in new autobiography

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Kiwi-born English cricketer Ben Stokes has opened up on the dramatic Cricket World Cup final moment that broke the hearts of New Zealand players and fans.

In his new autobiography On Fire: My Story of England’s Summer to Remember, Stokes also quashed a conspiracy theory around the moment that set England on course to winning the trophy in bizarre fashion.

Stokes, who was born in Christchurch but moved to the UK when he was 12, scored a brilliant 92 runs in the final at Lord’s in July – the most crucial of them all when he was awarded four runs when a throw from Black Caps fielder Martin Guptill struck his bat and headed to the boundary during the final over.

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The umpires awarded four overthrows and the two runs Stokes was in the process of completing – leaving England needing just three runs off the final two balls.

The game ended in a tie after 50 overs – and was also tied after the Super Over, with England winning on a boundary countback, a rule that has since been scrapped by the International Cricket Council.

“In the World Cup final run chase there was a moment of fortune that I would rather not have happened,” Stokes writes in an extract from the book published by the Daily Star.

“I received a full toss on the hip from and scuffed it into a gap. It meant Martin Guptill had work to do to get to the ball, and we had the chance to hare for two. I just put my head down and ran, in and out of the crease at the Nursery End as quickly as I could. Not once did I turn to look at him after I had set off, knowing that this was going to be tight.

“As I sprinted to make the second run, I kept my eyes firmly fixed on Tom Latham, the New Zealand wicketkeeper. I knew it was a good throw and that I would have to get a dive in.

“I couldn’t believe it when I felt the ball strike my out-stretched bat on the full. As I looked up, I could see the MCC members in front of the pavilion on their feet, yellow and red ties bouncing up and down, willing it to go for four extra runs.

“Part of me was willing it on too, but one thought went through my mind as I rose to my knees.

“You’re kidding me.”

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Rumours quickly spread that Stokes had pleaded with the umpires to not award the four runs deflected from his bat.

That wasn’t the case, however, the controversial allrounder reveals.

“As fortunate as it was that it had happened to our advantage, it was definitely not something I’d want to happen in such circumstances. It was such a freakish occurrence.

“One of the stories that emerged in the aftermath of the game was that I asked umpire Kumar Dharmasena to overlook the fortuitous four from the deflection and just count the two runs for the stroke.

“Nice story that, but it’s simply not true.”

Ben Stokes says he never asked umpire Kumar Dharmasena to reverse the deflected four runs in the Cricket World Cup final against the Black Caps in July. Photos / Getty Images
Ben Stokes says he never asked umpire Kumar Dharmasena to reverse the deflected four runs in the Cricket World Cup final against the Black Caps in July. Photos / Getty Images

Stokes did reveal that he had apologised to Latham and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson straight after the incident.

“Remaining on my knees, I held my hands up and apologised to Tom Latham and Kane Williamson. Typical of the blokes they are, there was not one grumble from them.”

Stokes has not been far from the headlines over the past 12 months.

Last month, he sparked claims of domestic violence after a picture taken at an awards evening seemed to show him choking his wife, Clare.

The image shows Stokes’ left hand grasped around his wife’s neck with his fingers over her jaw and cheek.

Ben and Clare Stokes denied he grabbed her but said the pictures were twisted into a 'crazy story'. Photo / BackGrid
Ben and Clare Stokes denied he grabbed her but said the pictures were twisted into a ‘crazy story’. Photo / BackGrid

The couple publicly rejected any suggestion of domestic violence taking to Twitter to write: “Unbelievable what nonsense these people will make up!”

Earlier this year, Stokes was also found not guilty of affray following a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in 2017.



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Inside Air New Zealand’s new lounge at Auckland Airport

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Air New Zealand’s new regional lounge at Auckland Airport – three times bigger than the old one – will open to customers this weekend.

The new lounge, which has been under construction since October last year, will open on Saturday, catering for up to 265 passengers.

It’s located on Level 1 of the Auckland Airport domestic terminal, above the airline’s old regional lounge, and has wide views out over the runway.

The new Auckland regional lounge is part of a $60 million investment in lounges throughout New Zealand during the next two years.

This includes a refurbishment of the airline’s domestic lounges at Auckland and Wellington airports and new regional lounges in Nelson and New Plymouth.

Lounges around the country have been under pressure as Koru membership grows and more passengers can access them through Airpoints balances.

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House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said the old regional lounge at Auckland had been frustrating for some passengers because it was too small and the new one looked great and would provide a level of service that customers have expected given the price they pay for Koru membership.

Food on offer at Air New Zealand's new regional lounge at Auckland Airport. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand
Food on offer at Air New Zealand’s new regional lounge at Auckland Airport. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand

”Just because someone is travelling from Napier to Auckland on a regular basis shouldn’t mean that they’re missing out on half the services in the regional part. It has to have certain minimum standards.”

A new valet service area has also been constructed as part of the Auckland project.
The integrated design features a new and expanded undercover drop-off zone directly below the lounge, providing valet customers with an easy transition from the drop-off area to the lounge and to regional departure gates.

Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod said it was fantastic to open such an expansive new space.

“Our regional lounge at Auckland Airport has always been extremely popular with both business and leisure travellers, so it’s great to be able to welcome customers to this brand-new space and have it up and running ahead of the busy summer travel period.”

Different zones in the lounge include a bar/barista, buffet and light refreshments, a self-service drinks station, as well as business, lounge and quiet areas.

Seating area at Air NZ's new regional lounge at Auckland. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand
Seating area at Air NZ’s new regional lounge at Auckland. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand

Thomas said lounges allowed business travellers in particular to fully utilise their day.

”We all know that we have to get to the airport well in advance of our flights and, to make it productive time, people use those lounges to work in and often with those late flights it’s the place where you have that meal before you get home.”

Demand for regional lounge space at Air New Zealand will grow as it adds hundreds more regional flights to its schedule at the start of next year following the withdrawal of Jetstar’s regional services.

The airline announced this week it will operate an additional 586 one-way flights from January to March on services it operates between Auckland and Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson and Palmerston North, as well as between Nelson and Wellington.

Entrance to the new Air NZ regional lounge at Auckland Airport. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand
Entrance to the new Air NZ regional lounge at Auckland Airport. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand announced late last month it would be adding an extra 253 one-way services on the same routes in December, reflecting an increase of more than 15,500 extra seats in that month alone.

Air New Zealand acting chief executive Jeff McDowall says the airline has been working hard to look at how best to utilise its turboprop aircraft and crew to support routes impacted by Jetstar’s withdrawal.

Jetstar is continuing its main trunk jet operations here but will stop regional operations from December 1.

Air New Zealand's new regional lounge took more than a year to build. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand’s new regional lounge took more than a year to build. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals for Air New Zealand

About 20,000 passengers are booked on flights beyond that time and they would be offered full refunds and Air New Zealand is offering seat-only fares for the same route on the same day (schedule permitting) for no more than $50 each way.

Jetstar has been flying to Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth and Palmerston North for the past four years and its presence has been important for pulling down the cost of notoriously high fares on regional routes.



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Grace Millane murder trial: Accused seen on CCTV moving body in suitcase

November 13, 2019 in DunedIn


Warning: Contains graphic and sexual content.

The man accused of murdering Grace Millane broke down during a second interview with police and admitted his Tinder date was dead and he had disposed of her body.

The jury in the High Court at Auckland is watching the videotaped interview conducted on December 7 – a week after Millane went missing.

The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.
The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.

Crown prosecutors allege that on the night of December 1 last year – the eve of Millane’s 22nd birthday – the accused strangled her to death in his CityLife hotel apartment.

The Herald brings you the latest updates from the courtroom today:

‘I’m sorry’: Accused told police he started dialling 111

11.30am

When asked by Detective Ewen Settle why he didn’t call for an ambulance the accused said he “dialled 111”.

“But I didn’t hit the button because I was scared at how bad it looked,” he said.

“There’s a dead person in my room, I thought it looked terrible. Waking up to it I was like ‘holy sh*t’.”

11.15am

After breaking down in tears and taking a break, the accused then described in the police interview what he did after realising Millane was dead.

“I was in shock, I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

“I took a whole heap of tablets that I had. I realised she wasn’t alive and I just wanted to end it all.”

The accused said he was “all over the place”.

“I didn’t believe what had happened,” he said. “I was just terrified and scared.”

The accused then confessed he went to The Warehouse on Elliot St in central Auckland and bought a suitcase – something he had previously denied.

“I went back and at first I didn’t know what to do,” he said, talking about returning to his CityLife apartment.

“I just put the suitcase on the bed. And I think I left again.”

The accused then said he tried to overdose on medication.

“I just was thinking that me and Grace had such a great night, we were talking about catching up in London.

“I was at the point where I just wanted to end my own life – I’d had enough, I was finished.”

The accused then recalled putting Millane’s body in the suitcase.

“I was just in shock the whole time I couldn’t put her in it because it just didn’t seem right. It just didn’t seem right.

“So I left and Grace was half-in half-out of the suitcase at that stage. I couldn’t do it.”

At this point in the video, the 27-year-old man leans forward in the dock and puts his head in his hands.

The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.
The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.

The accused said he then left to buy cleaning products – which was captured on CCTV.

“Then I remember coming back and I messaged a friend to catch up because I didn’t think it was real,” he said.

That “friend” was another Tinder date he went on in Ponsonby on December 2.

“I couldn’t get through the beer I was drinking,” he said.

“I got back to CityLife and … I spewed up a few times because I couldn’t put Grace in the bag. All I could think about was what we shared the night before.

“And then I put her in the bag. And the whole time I just kept saying I’m sorry,” he said crying.

In the dock, the accused kept his head down, sniffed and blew his nose.

The accused then moved the body on a luggage trolley from the hotel and into a rental car.

“I sat there for a little while, praying,” he said, after parking the car in a nearby parking building.

The accused bought a shovel at an ITM hardware store in Kumeu.
The accused bought a shovel at an ITM hardware store in Kumeu.

The next morning he drove to a hardware store in West Auckland and bought a shovel before continuing to the Waitakere Ranges.

“I went into the bush … And I start digging.”

The accused said he again took “20 maybe 30 paracetamol tablets”.

“Because I didn’t want to be around if Grace wasn’t there and didn’t think I deserved to be around because of what happened.

“I went and got the suitcase and put it in the hole, and covered the hole and then I drove 10-20 metres to the reservoir and sat there. I sat there just wanting the paracetamol to kick in, it didn’t, so I drove back to the city.”

In the courtroom, the accused didn’t look up again until he tells the detective he drove the rental car out west and cleaned it.

Throughout the video, the accused has been reading the transcript in the dock and fiddled with his pen, but has generally looked calm.

11.00am

The jury is watching the second police interview between the accused and Detective Ewen Settle.

“Tell me what happened last Saturday,” Settle said.

“From the beginning?” the accused asked.

The alleged murderer then went through the events of December 1 – as have been captured and match the events on CCTV.

These included them meeting at SkyCity and visiting three bars to drink together.

After drinking at the Bluestone Room, the accused says the pair returned to his room at the CityLife hotel.

“We were kissing, we were talking,” he said. “She asked me to turn the TV off. I had the TV on the music channel.”

Then, the accused claims, Millane began talking about 50 Shades of Grey.

“She told me that there’s a few things she likes doing and that she’d done with her ex-partner.

“We started having sex, at first it was just normal. It was very placid.”

Then, the accused said, Millane brought up the topic of bondage.

“And she started biting and she asked me to bite her so I did,” he said.

“I stopped at first and said is this something you really want to do?”

The accused claimed Millane said: “We’re in the moment, let’s just go with it.”

The alleged killer said the pair talked for a while before having sex again.

“Holding my arms above my head and just biting and then she hit my butt … and then she held me around my neck and pushed down.

“She indicated that it made me harder … And so we swapped over, I got on top.

“We started having more, I guess, violent sex.”

The accused said the pair “ended up on the floor” before Millane took nude photos of him and he did the same.

“And then we kept going she told me to hold her arms tighter,” he said. “And then she told me to hold her throat and go harder.”

The accused said he then went to the bathroom – but fell asleep in the shower.

He remembered waking up when it was still dark and crawled back into the bed.

“I thought Grace had left,” he said.

“I woke up the next day and saw that she was lying on the floor, I saw that she had blood coming from her nose.

“I screamed, I yelled out at her. I tried to move her to see if she was awake.”

The accused, however, said the room was also “pitch black”.

‘His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating’

10.15am

This morning’s evidence has started with a central Auckland pharmacist talking about her interaction with the accused on December 3.

In a statement read to the court, Eliana Golberstein said the alleged murderer came into the store at about 3.40pm and was “behaving oddly”.

She said he was “standing there weirdly looking at the cameras and playing with his hands”.

Golberstein said the accused informed her he had a bad allergy and had hives on his hands.

“I noticed he was not speaking to my face or looking at my eyes,” her statement read, adding there were red marks between his fingers and on the back of his hands.

“His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating,” Golberstein said.

She prescribed antihistamines.

After seeing the accused’s name published in overseas media in stories about the disappearance of Millane “it triggered me to come in and talk to police”.

Accused’s Tinder date after Grace’s death

The somewhat notorious hills in the city’s west were mentioned by the accused during a Tinder date at a Ponsonby bar during the afternoon of December 2 – just hours after Millane died.

The accused’s date recalled her rendezvous with the alleged murderer for the Auckland court yesterday.

She said the accused mentioned all his mates were police officers and that he was “trying to find a really large duffel bag”.

He then began regaling a story about a man who accidentally killed a woman during rough sex and was later convicted of manslaughter, the woman said.

“It’s crazy how guys can make one wrong move and go to jail for the rest of their life,” the accused allegedly told her.

The accused met with another Tinder date after Grace's death at Ponsonby bar Revelry.
The accused met with another Tinder date after Grace’s death at Ponsonby bar Revelry.

READ MORE:
Grace Millane murder trial: Accused on CCTV cameras moving body, buying shovel
Grace Millane murder trial: Accused seen on CCTV moving body in suitcase
Grace Millane murder trial: Accused’s lies to police during interview
Grace Millane murder trial: The key people and what to expect

The accused, the court has heard, claims Millane died as a result of sexual misadventure between the pair.

His Tinder date said the accused appeared “very intense” when telling the story but also “seemed to have empathy with this man”.

He then mentioned police were “having a really tough time out in the Waitākeres”, she said.

“There are a lot of bodies going missing in the Waitākeres,” the accused supposedly said.

The alleged killer also told her police dogs could only smell bodies if they were buried 4 feet or less underground, she told the court.

“I thought it was an unusual thing to say on a date but people say strange things on dates,” the woman said.

Millane met the accused on a Tinder date.
Millane met the accused on a Tinder date.

CCTV footage of the accused’s movements before the date were also played to the court.

At 8am on December 2, he is seen leaving his apartment and walking to The Warehouse on Elliot St in central Auckland.

He buys a large suitcase there and later visits a nearby supermarket where he buys several items, including Janola power cleaner, gloves, and a packet of gum.

Later that morning he rents a small red car for 24 hours.

The Crown says the accused transported Grace's body in a suitcase.
The Crown says the accused transported Grace’s body in a suitcase.

After his Ponsonby date, CCTV shows him preparing to dispose of Millane’s body.

At about 9.27pm he is seen pushing a luggage trolley with two large suitcases and a black sports bag from his room to the rental car.

Millane’s parents seated in the back of the courtroom, David and Gillian Millane, were audibly upset as they saw the suitcase containing their daughter’s body being moved.

After leaving the car in a carpark overnight, the accused begins his journey to Scenic Drive in the Waitākere Ranges at 6.14am on December 3. However, he stops at an ITM hardware store on the way and buys a red shovel.

By 9.30am the accused returns to CityLife – CCTV shows he is barefoot.

Later on December 3, the accused visits and returns to a dry-cleaner’s and drives to another Warehouse at the St Lukes shopping centre where he buys a second large suitcase.

While in St Lukes, he makes the short drive to Washworld, a self-service vehicle wash station where he spends about 15 minutes cleaning the rental car.

CCTV shows him also calmly leaving the red shovel leaning against a wall before driving away.

By December 5 the accused is considered a person of interest and is contacted by police.

Later that day, however, he can be seen on CCTV walking into Albert Park in central Auckland carrying a sports bag.

He removes some items from his bag and dumps them in a trash bin.

The next day – December 6 – police sit him down and conduct a formal video interview.

This interview, by Detective Ewen Settle, has also been played to the jury.



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