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Mission Bay mayhem: School brawl on wealthy Auckland beachfront

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


About 40 police officers have evacuated a wealthy beachside reserve in east Auckland this afternoon after a brawl erupted between a large group of teenagers.

Mission Bay’s Selwyn Reserve along Tamaki Dr has been cordoned off by dozens of police officers around 4.30pm today.

A witness at the scene said police were responding to a group of about 100 teenagers who had been fighting since 3.30pm.

Mission Bay's Selwyn Reserve being evacuated by police.
Mission Bay’s Selwyn Reserve being evacuated by police.

“There was just this massive group of people and they were congregating, just walking around, but then you would see certain groups of people splitting off and start fighting each other.

“Then police start coming and all sorts of things happened.

“They just broke off into different groups and started throwing hands at each other. I’m not sure if they knew each other.

“I’d say maybe a hundred people were all grouped up on the reserve.”

Police confirmed they were called to reports of a disorder incident involving a large number of teenagers on Tamaki Dr in Mission Bay about 3.30pm today.

“Upon police arrival, some of the teenagers involved continued to fight for a period of time,” a police spokesperson said.

“Police staff from throughout Auckland were called to assist and a number of arrests have been made for fighting in a public place.

“Police have been speaking to a number of people at the scene and the crowd has since dispersed.”

Police said they were not immediately aware of any serious injuries.

A separate witness at the scene said: “The whole of Mission Bay was full of youths drinking. It was inevitable they were going to brawl.”

That witness said they called 111 twice and also visited Mission Bay police station but could not contact any officers.

Another witness at the scene said the fighting was between two separate groups of senior students from different schools, who had been congregating on the beach for the past week.

“There were some drunk young teens who were fighting down by Mission Bay House and in the car park there,” another witness said.

“The whole things lasted about an hour. There were lots of kids hanging around drinking.

“We saw about 50 to 60 kids being pushed one way by police.

“We saw one or two arrests, police pushing people down and handcuffing a few teens.”

Police presence at Mission Bay.
Police presence at Mission Bay.

Twenty-one police vehicles, including three buses, had arrived on the scene, according to witnesses.



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Live: Sydney covered in ‘hazardous’ smoke as Australian fires flare again

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn



Key points:
• The death toll stands at four people
• In NSW, 1600 firefighters are battling some 60 bushfires, more than half of which were uncontained
• Severe fire danger stretches from the Queensland border to southern NSW
• In Queensland, more than 70 fires are burning with 36 structures destroyed.
• Firefighters have confirmed 259 homes destroyed in NSW since Friday

After a brief lull in the weather, Australian emergency services are once again concerned as conditions in New South Wales and Queensland deteriorate on Friday by more than what was expected.

Heavy smoke is being blown from a blaze at Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow,
and is affecting parts of Sydney and the Central Coast.

The New South Wales RFS has said there is now a severe fire danger from “border to border” today.

Sydney could see highs of 35C, several degrees hotter than expected earlier in the week. That could be accompanied by winds, fanning any flames. Brisbane could see 33C with Ipswich on a blistering 37C.

NSW emergency fires:

Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow

Guyra Road, Ebor

Carrai East, near Kempsey

Myall Creek Road, near Myall Creek Road

Queensland Emergency fires:

Pechey/Ravensbourne, near Hampton

Sydney covered in ‘hazardous’ smoke

7.15pm:

A large fire burning near the Hawkesbury in NSW has covered Sydney in smoke, reducing the air quality in parts of the city to “hazardous”.

The Emergency level fire burning at Gospers Mountain is more than 85,000 hectares in size and is spreading quickly.

Heavy smoke is being blown from the blaze and is affecting parts of Sydney and the Central Coast.

The air quality index is at hazardous levels in Sydney’s east, very poor for the northwest and southwest, with other areas reduced to poor.

The smoke is expected to stick around until a southerly change clears it away this evening.

Another fire upgraded to emergency level

6.10pm:

Conditions are continuing to worsen for NSW, with another fire in the state’s north upgraded to Emergency level.

A fire near Bungawalbin, New Italy and The Gap has already burnt through more than 5200 hectares and is out of control.

The blaze is expected to reach Gibberagee later this afternoon and the southern edge of the fire is continuing to burn through the Doubleduke State Forest towards the Sandy Crossing area.

Those in the Gibberagee area are being told to leave now towards Summerland Way.

People in the area of Whiporie are being told to watch out for smoke and embers.

There are now five emergency level fires burning, four in NSW and one in Queensland.

They are: Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow; Guyra Road, Ebor; Carrai East, near Kempsey;
Myall Creek Road; and Pechey/Ravensbourne, near Hampton.

Three fires at emergency level in NSW

5.35pm:

A third Emergency level fire is now burning across NSW, with the most recent warning in place for Carrai East, near Kempsey.

The blaze is burning out of control to the west and north-west of Kempsey and has reached breached containment lines on the northern part of the fire, crossing Armidale Rd.

Those in the area of Temagog are being urged to seek shelter as the fire front approaches, while people in Five Day Creek are being told to watch out for smoke and embers.

There are 61 fires burning across the state, with 32 still uncontained.

Another emergency warning for NSW

4.35pm:

Another fire has been upgraded to emergency warning for NSW, with residents being warned the fire is burning out of control.

A bushfire is burning on Guyra Rd, Ebor, near Armidale and people in the area are being told to seek shelter as the fire arrives.

The fire is fast moving and is burning towards Ebor village.

Emergency warning for NSW residents

3.30pm:

A fire burning in NSW’s Central Tablelands, near Sydney, has been upgraded to Emergency level, with residents being warned to “leave now”.

Hot and windy conditions are causing the blaze at Gospers Mountain, near Lithgow, to spread quickly towards the Colo Heights area.

The fire is also burning in the area of Mellong and south of Putty.

“Crews are conducting backburning operations around the Wallaby Swamp Trail, south east of the Putty area and on the southern edge of the fire, along the western side of Putty Road,” the RFS said.

“If you are in the area of Colo Heights and surrounding areas and you are not prepared, leave now towards Wilberforce. Leave before it is too late.”

Residents in the area of Yengo Drive are also being told to leave now towards Milbrodale.

People in St Albans, Upper MacDonald, Central MacDonald and Lower MacDonald are being told to monitor conditions.

The Putty Road is closed from Colo River to Milbrodale.

‘Leave immediately’: Another emergency alert

3.20pm:

Another fire has been upgraded to Emergency level, this time near the Darling Downs region of Queensland.

The QFES has warned people in the Pechey/Ravensbournes area to leave immediately “as it will soon be too dangerous to drive”.

A fast-moving fire is travelling in an easterly direction from Grapetree Road at Peachey towards Ravensbourne.

It is likely to impact Purtill Road, Garvey Road, Ravensbourne Tip Road, Mount Jockey Road and McQuillan Road.

“Fire crews and waterbombing aircraft are working to the contain the fire, but conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing,” QFES said.

“The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path.”

People leaving the area should head south-west along Esk Hampton Road towards Toowoomba.

Fires flare up south of Bundaberg

2.40pm:

Fires are blazing near Woodgate on the Queensland coast, south of Bundaberg.

Channel 9 reporter Harry Clarke posted the tweet below.

It’s in an area where Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) this morning advised residents to leave now because of the bushfire threat.

It’s currently almost 30C in the area and it’s forecast to get to 33C.

In addition to Woodgate, residents of the following areas are advised to leave now:

• Kinkuna Waters (close to Woodgate)
• Thornside Road (west of Gympie)

Residents of Buxton, Cobraball/Bungundarra/Lake Mary, Spicers Peak Lodge, Mt Alphen and Mt Lindesay should stay informed on current conditions.





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Beachfront bargain: bach comes with vintage caravan

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn




Beachfront bargain: bach comes with vintage caravan



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Armed police descend on Hamilton wreckers yard

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


The Armed Offenders Squad have descended on a Hamilton wreckers yard.

A witness said “police with dogs and guns pointing at around five people” were at Riverlea Wreckers.

A police spokeswoman said it was a “pre-planned search and AOS is in attendance as a precaution”.

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The witness was driving to Cambridge, just south of Hamilton, on State Highway 1 at about 4.45pm when she saw the action.

She said the police were setting up a road bock leading to Hamilton as she drove south.

Another motorist said a police car was blocking the on-ramp to State Highway 1 at Tamahere from Airport Rd, preventing northbound traffic getting onto the highway.

Traffic was “horrendous”.

A helicopter was circling the area.

A witness said police officers were pointing guns at about five people. Photo / Supplied
A witness said police officers were pointing guns at about five people. Photo / Supplied

Police at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied
Police at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied

Police at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied
Police at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied



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Who is NZ’s highest paid banker?

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


Key Points:

Criticism of the banking sector by regulators hasn’t stopped New Zealand’s top bankers getting pay packages worth millions of dollars this year. Collectively the current and former chief executives of the four biggest banks – ANZ, BNZ, Westpac and ASB – earned nearly $10 million between them. For the second year in a row, BNZ boss Angie Mentis is the top paid of the four big bank CEOs earning $3.08m – even after her bonus was cut and her fixed remuneration frozen. Last week, the board of National Australia Bank, which owns the Bank of New Zealand, announced it had CEO



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Rotorua teacher aides working multiple jobs to survive

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


Some teacher aides are working multiple jobs, earning less than a McDonald’s worker or applying for summer jobs to supplement their work to make a living.

Now they are taking a stand.

READ MORE:
National Council of Women supports pay equity claims for teacher aides
Kindergarten teachers agree to $75 million collective pay parity deal
Teacher aides win talks on pay equity, early childhood next in queue
Premium – Money for toilet paper or teacher aides: Which one should a school pick?

Today Westbrook support staff teachers will wear black and white and protest at the intersection



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Staff turnover at HDC because trained investigators sought after – Commissioner

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


A whopping 133 staff have left the Health and Disability Commissioner’s office since 2012, an average of 19 per year.

But the HDC says there have been no personal grievances lodged in that time and the figures reflect a soughtafter work force.

The highest number of staff leaving the HDC in one year was 29 and happened in the 2016/17 financial year, according to figures released to the Herald under the Official Information Act.

At present the HDC employs 88 permanent staff, 31 per cent of whom are part-time.

HDC senior legal advisor Renay Duncalfe said the figures in the



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Karla Cardno’s killer Paul Dally again refused parole

November 15, 2019 in DunedIn


Paul Dally – the man who killed Karla Cardno in 1989 – has again been refused parole.

Dally snatched Karla as she was cycling home in Lower Hutt in May 1989.

Dally, now 58, will have to spend at least another 18 months in prison before he can be re-assessed, a Parole Board decision released today says.

That decision reveals he did not seek parole at his early November hearing.

“He accepts that there is significant reintegration work required,” the decision says.

The board agreed he “remains an undue risk and cannot be released”.

Dally has been in prison for 29 years.

The Parole Board said before Dally next appears further risk assessment would be appropriate “given the last risk assessments appear to have been some five years ago”.

READ MORE:
Karla Cardno’s murderer Paul Dally to remain behind bars

In 1989, Dally kidnapped Karla from her bike as she rode home from the local shops, dragging her to his house and repeatedly raping and torturing her for 22 hours.

Karla Cardno was murdered in 1989.
Karla Cardno was murdered in 1989.

He later put her naked, bound and gagged in the boot of his car and buried her alive in a shallow grave at Pencarrow Head.

Dally confessed to police almost six weeks after the killing and led them to the desolate beach.

In 2001, the slain teenager’s stepfather, Mark Middleton, was sentenced to nine months in prison over threats he made against Dally.

However, Middleton never served time after the judge suspended the sentence.

His lawyer argued he was suffering from a condition known as chronic hypertrophic grief.



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8 bunk beds and 2 bedrooms: Auckland rental labelled ‘exploitative’

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


A small two-bedroom Auckland rental crammed with bunk beds for eight or more renters has been labelled “tenant exploitation” and “disgusting”.

It will also now be the subject of an Auckland Council investigation into whether it was being used as a boarding house without a permit.

READ MORE:
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Real estate bosses campaign for property management regulation

The rental, at 1/8 Freyberg Ave in Sandringham, was advertised on TradeMe as being for “singles, students, full workers, groups” and going for $650 per week.

“Suitable for eight or more tenants”, it has two bedrooms – with eight single beds, one bathroom and a moderately sized fridge.

A Sandringham rental has crammed eight bunks beds into two bedrooms. Photo / TradeMe
A Sandringham rental has crammed eight bunks beds into two bedrooms. Photo / TradeMe

There was no onsite parking, with the closest being “at the end of the street about 400m away”.

It was “previously used as worker accommodation up until two weeks ago with eight adults (sic) builders”, according to its advertisement.

David Faulkner – a consultant to the property management industry with Real-iQ – has slammed those managing the property.

“I think it is disgusting – that is tenant exploitation,” he said.

“You have four full-grown adults sleeping in one bedroom in single beds, it is overcrowding, it is not healthy – everything about it is morally wrong.”

The rental's kitchen. Photo / TradeMe
The rental’s kitchen. Photo / TradeMe

Kerri Ferguson, from Auckland Council’s Compliance Investigations team said that based on the advertisement the rental would be classified as a boarding house.

“However, the council has checked the records for this address and there is no indication this property has a permit to operate as a boarding house.

“As such, the council compliance officers will be investigating this matter.”

The Herald has approached the company advertising the rental for comment.

But Faulkner has said the rental demonstrated why the property management industry needed regulation.

His company was among 70 organisations backing a Real Estate Institute campaign urging the Government to review the property management industry and announce reforms before the 2020 election.

A view inside one of the bedrooms. Photo / TradeMe
A view inside one of the bedrooms. Photo / TradeMe

The REI estimated property managers managed 184,000 homes, or about one-third of all Kiwi rental properties.

It meant they had keys and personal information, billions of dollars of housing and millions in rent and bond money in their care.

Yet they didn’t need a licence or any kind of accreditation, REI chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

All a person needed to do to become a property manager was say they were one.

“We strongly believe regulation is required to create an industry where all property managers operate ethically and with honesty and transparency.”

Faulkner said regulation would stop companies from putting rentals like the Sandringham one on the market.

“When you have a regulated property management industry companies like that will be exposed, they will be outed, they will be gone,” he said.

He also called for stiffer fines at the Tenancy Tribunal for landlords and property managers, who did the wrong thing.

“While rents have gone up the fines have stayed the same,” he said.

“So you’ve got to have really meaningful enforcement where it acts as such a disincentive for a landlord to do something like this that the risk of doing it is too great.”



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Auckland political power rankings: The top 25

November 14, 2019 in DunedIn


Who holds the most political power in Auckland? Our power rankings list the 25 Aucklanders with the greatest influence on the political life and decisions affecting this city. Beware: most of them are not politicians. We’ve also listed 10 Aucklanders to watch, because their political power could be about to grow dramatically, and 5 more who are on the way out.

1. Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, September 2019. Photo / supplied
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, September 2019. Photo / supplied

So the Prime Minister is not quite as popular as she was. It’s nothing. Even despite some high-profile delivery failures, her party is polling better than it did on election night. Her coalition government has stuck



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