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Monday, January 31

US interest in moving to NZ still high.

Three months after the election of United States President George Bush, American interest in moving to New Zealand remains high. Dozens of Americans inquire every day about living in New Zealand, the Immigration Service says, though it is not clear how many want to move because of political dissatisfaction.
Source: The Dominion Post.

PM wants more women working.

The Government is planning a big push to increase childcare support, including care in the home, in an effort to lure more women into the workforce. Prime Minister Helen Clark said new initiatives were in the pipeline, and would be a key part of her "state of the nation" speech when Parliament resumes tomorrow.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Record Numbers Back To School.

The Education Ministry is confident schools will cope with a record number of students. The classroom population of more than 750,000 students began heading back to school last week, with the rest resuming their education this week. Enrolments for primary and secondary schools are up by a total of nearly 5,000.
source: XTRA

Flights to Australia for one dollar.

Budget airline Pacific Blue is celebrating its first year of flying the Tasman by selling fares to Australia for $1 each way. A total of 2000 seats will go on sale this morning, 1000 each in New Zealand and Australia. The tickets were for direct flights between New Zealand and Australia between February 1 and March 16. There were no restrictions on the number of bookings a person could make.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Iraqis in NZ disappointed they cannot vote.

Iraq's refugees in New Zealand should have been given the chance to vote without having to travel to Australia, Wellington's Iraqi Association said yesterday.There were around 7000 Iraqis in New Zealand who deserved a voice without having to pay the expense of travelling to Australia. The nearest place for them to vote is Australia, where they had to register for voting with the Iraqi Embassy in Canberra.
Source: NZPA

Saturday, January 29

Students' debt mountain grows.

A just released survey shows student debt and fees have risen by more than a third in just three years. Findings released yesterday showed average student debt has risen by 36 per cent since 2001 and fees have risen by 34 per cent.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

NZRU Steps Up World Cup Bid.

The New Zealand Rugby Union announced on Friday they have taken the next step in their bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2011. In a statement released on Friday the NZRU Board announced they had agreed to support the bid proceeding to the next stage with the payment of a £25,000 deposit to Rugby World Cup Limited.
Source: xtra limited

Friday, January 28

Kiwi input into Google venture.

Ben Goodger, University of Auckland graduate has made a name for himself in the US internet industry as lead software engineer on Mozilla's Firefox internet web browser, which is rapidly gaining popularity. Some analyst groups put its market share at just over the 5 per cent threshold. Now he's set to jump aboard another leading internet company - Google. Goodger revealed on his website this week that his "source of income" had changed from Mozilla to Google from January 10.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Thursday, January 27

Rare plants and animals destroyed in Far North fire.

A fire in one of New Zealand's most significant wetland areas has been contained - but not before destroying some of the rare and valuable plants and animals, the Department of Conservation (DOC) says. "It's home to a number of rare and endemic native species such as the mudfish -- which is extremely rare -- green geckos, fern birds, native orchids and other ferns. So there's a lot of very valuable plants and animals."
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Growing opposition to Marsden power station plan.

Opposition to plans to refire Marsden B power station using coal is growing, with a group of Whangarei residents organising themselves for the fight. State-owned company Mighty River Power has applied to Northland Regional Council and Whangarei District Council for resource consent to refire the station to run on coal.
Public submissions close on February 24 and already there have been almost 50 submissions made to the regional council. Marsden Bad Action Group spokeswoman Catherine McNamara said coal-fired power was bad for the global environment, bad for New Zealand and bad for Northland.
Source: NZPA

$225m to ease capital traffic jam.

The Government will inject an extra $225 million into Wellington transport during the next 10 years. Of the new money, sources said $100 million would go toward solving road congestion; $65 million on upgrading the existing public transport system, especially rail carriages; $30 million on new public transport initiatives; and $30 million on traffic demand management, which involves getting traffic off the roads and includes cycleways.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Firemen fight coal combustion blaze.

Smoke pouring from a coal storage shed at the Port of Tauranga sparked a major emergency call-out early today. Firefighters from Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Greerton converged on the massive shed on Totara St about 4.30am after workers spotted smoke billowing from the smaller of two coal piles.
Source: NZPA

Mixed reaction to marine reserve announcement.

A big new marine reserve off the Bay of Plenty coast has been approved by Conservation Minister Chris Carter leaving fishers gutted and conservationists and iwi trumpeting its merits. Mr Carter this week rubber-stamped the plan for the 1444ha marine reserve at Volkner Rocks near White Island. It will encircle the rocks, with a 1.6km boundary. The area is renowned for kingfish, is spiritually significant to local iwi, and was used for navy target practice until the mid-1990s.
Source: NZPA

Cairns stars in New Zealand win over World XI.

New Zealand beat a World XI by four wickets here on Wednesday in a one-day match spoiled by a sub-standard pitch which saw 16 wickets fall for 164 runs. New Zealand lost six wickets in their struggle to overhaul a paltry World XI total of 81. The victory clinched a 2-1 advantage for the home side in the three match series to raise funds for victims of the Asian tsunami.

Wednesday, January 26

NZ tour of duty grows in Afghanistan.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Afghanistan will stay an extra year, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced yesterday. New Zealand's 120-strong Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the Bamiyan province was to finish in September but the deployment would continue for a further 12 months, she said. Two police officers would also be deployed to train Afghan police officers in the province from March until the end of the year.

Brash wages war on welfare at Orewa.

National leader Don Brash is vowing to transform a "free lunch" welfare state with a pledge to slash 100,000 benefits within 10 years. In a provocative speech to the Orewa Rotary Club yesterday, Dr Brash singled out the domestic purpose benefit, saying solo parents would be made to do part-time work or community service, or receive retraining, once their youngest child turned six, and return to work full-time by the time the child was 14. He also promised to make the unemployed either work for the dole or do job training and said National would use designated doctors to test the claims of people who said they were too sick to work.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Tuesday, January 25

Drought has hit hard on the East Coast.

Drought has hit hard on a section of the East Coast, and Tokomaru Bay could be the driest place in New Zealand. Between Tolaga Bay and Ruatoria the hills are browning off in the intense heat, and one farmer says it is the driest it has ever been.
Source: NZPA

Speaker Wilson will not stand for Labour in Tauranga.

Parliament's Speaker, Tauranga-based list MP Margaret Wilson, has announced she will not stand as the Labour candidate in Tauranga at this year's election. Ms Wilson said her withdrawal from contesting an electoral seat was to help preserve the neutrality of the speaker's role.
Source: NZPA

$1m passenger terminal planned for Cook Strait ferry.

Port Marlborough will spend just over $1 million to build a new passenger terminal for the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry Service in Picton at the roundabout at Kent St and Lagoon Rd and to pave and landscape the site.
Source; The Marlborough Express.

Odds-on Lomu making 2007 World Cup.

Australian bookmaker Centrebet has slashed their odds on Jonah Lomu playing at the 2007 Rugby World Cup after the former All Blacks winger confirmed he will play in Martin Johnson's rugby swansong on June 4. Lomu, who is back in training after a kidney transplant, will captain an invitation side in England and Lions skipper Johnson's testimonial game at Twickenham, prompting the bookmakers to halve their odds on the juggernaut playing in France from $6 to $3. The All Blacks ($3.25) are Centrebet's favourites for the World Cup ahead of Australia ($3.85), current champions England ($5) and France ($5).
Source: NZPA

Flag campaigners start collecting signatures.

The organiser of a campaign to change the flag says the right design has not yet been found but he is confident the existing one, emblazoned with a union jack, will be replaced. Wellington businessman Lloyd Morrison wants the New Zealand flag, adopted in 1902, changed because he says it was forced on the public through legislation, is rooted in our colonial past and is too easily confused with others, particularly the Australian flag.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Now they are telling us how to think!!

The quintessential New Zealand pastime of inventing things with No 8 wire and a four-by-two is a "little romance" that needs to be put to bed, Finance Minister Michael Cullen says. Dr Cullen told the Mathematics in Industry Study Group in Albany, Auckland, yesterday that to create a vibrant knowledge economy, New Zealand needed a "more disciplined approach". "Inevitably this means change. One thing that has to go is the cherished myth of the amateur, the individual who retreats to the garden shed, constructs an unlikely piece of sophisticated equipment and produces something world-beating.
Source: NZPA.

Monday, January 24

Labour goes all-out to retain Ratana's backing.

The Government will present a strong front today at Ratana Pa as it begins its election-year battle with the Maori Party for the Maori seats. Helen Clark will bring just over half the Labour caucus - 27 MPs, including 15 ministers - who will arrive after National and New Zealand First are welcomed. Labour traditionally holds the church's support but is now vying for its loyalty with the Maori Party.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Historic building gutted by flames.

The Cashel Chambers building in Christchurch was gutted by a suspicious fire yesterday. The blaze erupted just before midday on the building's third floor. It quickly spread through the half-block bordered by Bedford Row and Cashel and Madras Sts.
Source: NZPA

Historic building gutted by flames.

The Cashel Chambers building in Christchurch was gutted by a suspicious fire yesterday. The blaze erupted just before midday on the building's third floor. It quickly spread through the half-block bordered by Bedford Row and Cashel and Madras Sts.
Source: NZPA

Sunday, January 23

New Zealand cruise to easy win over World XI.

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming smashed an extraordinary 106 off just 57 balls to lead his cricket team to an easy nine-wicket win over a rusty World XI at Jade Stadium here Saturday. The match -- the first in a series of three to raise funds for tsunami relief -- captured the attention of fans with the top two bowlers in Test history in Australia’s Shane Warne and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan bowling together for the first time. But Fleming stole the show, hitting nine sixes and 10 fours and it was Warne and especially Muralitharan who bore the brunt of the onslaught. Fleming hit three sixes off the bemused Muralitharan’s first over and repeated the feat in his second.

Beneficiaries to get some Brash talk.

National leader Don Brash wants mandatory literacy and numeracy tests for the unemployed, and reduced payments to solo mothers who continue to have children while on the DPB. The tests will be among a range of get-tough measures targeting beneficiaries that Brash will propose on Tuesday, in his follow-up to last year's hard-hitting Orewa speech on race relations.
Source: Sunday Star Times

Friday, January 21

Moriori homecoming .

Over 450 Moriori from as far away as Australia have descended on the Chatham Islands to celebrate today's opening of the first ever Moriori marae - the heart of a cultural renaissance. Prime Minister Helen Clark is among those attending the opening of the $4 million Kopinga Marae - named after the kopi groves Moriori traditionally used as a gathering place. In 2001 the Waitangi Tribunal found Moriori were a unique Maori tribe who settled the main island in the group - Rekohu or Chatham Island - between 600 and 800 years ago.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Destiny Church denied bridge crossing.

The police and Transit New Zealand have turned down an application by the Destiny Church to march across the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The church sought permission for 20,000 supporters to walk over the bridge on March 5 in protest of the civil union legislation.But the officer in charge of Auckland's motorways, Dave Walker, says there would be too much disruption for other motorway users.
Source: RNZ

Thursday, January 20

Waikato person found with Ross River virus.

A Waikato person has a rare virus endemic in Australia. The Ross River virus case was notified to the region's public health unit after the person was diagnosed early this month. Officials are satisfied the virus was contracted in Australia.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

House prices rise, but sales fall.

House sales slipped but the median price remained stable at $260,000 in December, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (Reinz) said today. There were 8377 houses sold in December, down from 9502 in November and 8703 in December 2003, Reinz said.
Source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Wednesday, January 19

$68m puts NZ in top 10 of aid donors.

Announcing a $68 million package yesterday, Prime Minister Helen Clark said New Zealand was determined to do its share, after confirming it was this country's biggest relief response. The size of the package puts New Zealand about ninth on the list of countries that have pledged money and assistance per head – though the contribution is dwarfed by the $1 billion package of grants and loans announced by Australia.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Inflation hits two-year high.

Annual inflation rose to a two-year high of 2.7 per cent in 2004 after the December quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose an unexpectedly high 0.9 per cent. The Reserve Bank is now more likely to carry out its threat made in December to hike interest rates again, despite the probability of the economy slowing later this year.

source: APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Tuesday, January 18

Muslims' veils to come off in court.

A District Court judge has ruled two witnesses must remove their veils while testifying.Judge Lindsay Moore said having masked witnesses in a court defied New Zealand values and could bring the justice system into disrepute. Out of respect for the women's Muslim beliefs, however, they could give evidence behind screens so only the judge, lawyers and female court staff could see their faces.
Source: The Dominion Post.

Aussie sheilas hunt Kiwi blokes....crikey!

Wanted: single men, willing to tour the South Island with group of single women, with view to love and marriage.
A West Coast-based tour business has 35 single women, most of them Aussies, keen to meet a man in what it calls "one of the most beautiful and romantic countries in the world". But finding dateless men to travel with them is proving a challenge. "We've had a lot of interest from women and not much from men," Adventure New Zealand manager Paul Schramm said. Because of the lack of male interest, the company had yet to run a tour, but hoped to find enough singles in the next few months. Most of the interest has come from Australian women, 20 registering an interest. Only four dateless New Zealanders had put their names forward, with the rest coming from North America.
Source: The Dominion Post

Prince Charles is to visit New Zealand later this year.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, is to visit New Zealand later this year.
source: NZPA

Monday, January 17

Two weeks until school starts, 350 teachers short.

With just two weeks before the start of term, more than 200 teaching jobs in secondary schools and nearly 140 in primaries have yet to be filled. As of last Wednesday, 216 secondary teacher vacancies were advertised on the Education Gazette website.
source; NZ Herald

Sunday, January 16

Sri Lankan community raises $350,000 for tsunami victims.

The Sri Lankan community has sent $350,000 worth of donations to its home country and vow to continue fundraising. The United Sri Lanka Association handed over a $70,000 cheque to Unicef yesterday and wired another $267,000 to Sri Lankan-based emergency relief charity Sarvodhaya. Additional cash had been sent earlier.
source The Dominion Post

Banks gears up for political comeback.

Former Auckland mayor John Banks is not only making a temporary comeback as a radio talkback host tomorrow - he is also planning a possible mayoral return. Banks told the Sunday Star-Times he is running monthly polls of 900 Aucklanders on the mayoralty and reckons the results show if an election were held now, he'd be back in chains with an "overwhelming" majority. Banks revealed he also continued to employ a team of staff and supporters and was close to deciding whether his future lay in national or local politics.
source sunday star times

Saturday, January 15

Poll on MMP promised if National wins election.

National Party leader Don Brash is promising a binding referendum on whether to scrap MMP after advocating that voters get more say on policies that unleash constitutional and social change. Dr Brash confirmed yesterday his intention to hold a referendum on MMP in his first term of office if National wins the next election and made it clear that the result would be binding.
source:Dominion Post

NCEA bungle hits 1000 school-leavers.

The Qualifications Authority has apologised for a botch-up affecting up to 1000 school-leavers who got the wrong exam results. Some seventh-formers who earned university entrance were shown as having failed because some of their NCEA credits were missing from their result slips and records used by universities to confirm their enrolment. University staff fielding calls in the past two days have been unable to reassure school-leavers that they have been accepted for their courses.
source;Dominion Post

Waiheke mansion on market for $26 million.

A beachfront mansion enjoying almost the entire Cowes Bay on Waiheke Island is on the market for $26 million - nearly twice the record $14 million paid for a lifestyle block at Karaka, south of Auckland, last year. The 1114 square metre house with nine bedrooms and five bathrooms, has an indoor heated swimming pool, tennis court and panoramic views to Pakatoa Island from a private location on the eastern side of the island. Included in the 34ha lifestyle block is a caretaker's residence, woolshed with its own accommodation, boatshed and wharf.

Friday, January 14

Sunday tsunami memorial in NZ.

NEW Zealand has designated Sunday as a tsunami memorial day, with a church service in Auckland the focus of national attention. Prime Minister Helen Clark has called on New Zealanders to observe a minute's silence beginning at 1.59pm (1159 AEDT) which television and radio stations are expected to follow.
source: news ltd

Thursday, January 13

Former All Black Wilson Recalled to New Zealand's Cricket Team.

Jeff Wilson, who played 60 rugby union Tests for the All Blacks, was recalled to New Zealand's cricket team after a 12-year absence for this month's one-day series against a world selection.
source: Bloomberg

Wednesday, January 12

NZ toll rises as more declared dead.

Four New Zealanders in southern Asia for whom the Government held grave concerns are now presumed dead. The change in status from the Foreign Affairs Ministry brings the number of New Zealanders believed killed in the Boxing Day tsunamis to seven. The presumed dead include Auckland couple Belinda, 26, and Andrew Welch, 42, who were holidaying in a beachfront bungalow in Khao Lak, Thailand, when the tsunamis struck.
A memorial service for the couple will be held in Takapuna, Auckland, on Friday.
Those confirmed dead are former Kapiti woman Leone Cosens, 51, who had lived in Phuket for 12 years; Craig Patrick Baxter, 37, who had lived in Australia since he was a child and was holidaying on Phi Phi Island with his pregnant Thai wife, Miliwan, 28; and June Kander, 74, a New Zealand-born Canadian citizen, who was killed while visiting the Sri Lankan coastal town of Mirissa.
source: The Dominion Post

Police funeral for baby Moses

Hastings police are organising a funeral for a dumped baby whose mother they still cannot find.
A short graveside funeral service will be held for the baby – named Moses by police investigating the case – at Hastings Cemetery tomorrow. Hastings coroner Peter Dennehy signed off yesterday on the disposal of the body, a week after it was found badly decomposed in a grass ditch on a church property. Despite appeals by police and health authorities, the baby's mother has not come forward.
source: The Dominion Post

Well it's a change from the 'sheep jokes'

Man admits trying to have sex with goat.........
A Nelson man has appeared in court for a second time for attempting to have sex with a goat. Police prosecutor Chris Stringer said Kepa went to visit a friend on January 7. The friend was asleep and Kepa went to a tin shwhere the goat was kept, took some of his clothes off and attempted to have sex with it, Mr Stringer said. Judge Paul Whitehead remanded Kepa until February 1 for a pre-sentence drug and alcohol report. In 2002, Kepa was sentenced to 80 hours' community work and 18 months supervision for committing an indecency with a goat.
source: animal liberation front

Cultural bid for mussel farm rejected.

The Environment Court has rejected a Maori trust's claim that traditional customary rights should allow it to build a marine farm off Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf. The court ruled that the 3ha commercial farm would create a maritime navigation hazard.

Warne leads World XIs in New Zealand.

Shane Warne, who played his first one-day international since December 2002 last night, will captain a FICA World XI in three limited-overs matches against New Zealand in a hastily-arranged replacement series for the postponed Sri Lanka tour. Warne will be joined by Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Andy Flower at Christchurch on January 22, Wellington on January 24 and Hamilton on January 26 to raise more money for tsunami victims.

Tuesday, January 11

Fast ferry faces the axe.

Fast ferry faces the axe With Marlborough Sounds speed restrictions slashing the Lynx's commercial advantage, industry sources say the ferry service is likely to be scrapped after Easter.

source: dominion post

Spike In Meningitis Cases.

Concern is mounting after an unusual spike in meningitis cases in Christchurch. Community and Public Health has reported three cases of the disease in January, at a time when there are usually few cases.

source: NewstalkZB

Sunday to be memorial day for tsunami dead.

A memorial day for the thousands killed in last month's Asian tsunami will be held on January 16, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today. Two New Zealanders and a New Zealand-born Canadian citizen have been confirmed dead but others remain missing.

NZ Cricket announce World XI series.

New Zealand will host a three-match one-day cricket series against a World XI captained by Shane Warne later this month.The one-day series, requested by NZC after Sri Lanka returned home early from their tour last month because of the tsunami that struck South Asia, will be held on January 22, 24 and 26 in Christchurch. Wellington and Hamilton.

Sunday, January 9

New Zealand in English Survey: Lovely place, wouldn't want to live here.

A survey found New Zealand to be the third most popular holiday destination and the fourth choice of country to live in. It was also rated the third safest and fifth most democratic country. However, it failed to register among the top five countries for friendliness of its people.

Source: Kiwi News

NZ 'did supply agent orange'.

Apparent confirmation that New Zealand was involved in supplying the deadly Agent Orange defoliant completes a jigsaw for Vietnam War veterans. Transport Minister Harry Duynhoven has acknowledged the chemical was sent to a US base from Port Taranaki in the 1960s, after sighting documents produced by the veterans, it has been reported.

source:APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Friday, January 7

NZ to improve its tsunami warning system.

New Zealand's Earthquake Commission says it's now viewing the need for a tsunami early warning system with renewed urgency.The country's existing warning capability is under-developed because of a 25-million dollar funding shortfall. New Zealand lies along significant fault lines and records some 14-thousand earthquakes a year, about 200 which are considered significant.

source: google news

Icebergs in NZ waters for the first time since 1948.

Icebergs have been spotted in New Zealand waters for the first time since 1948. Clusters of icebergs had been seen in the Southern Ocean east of Campbell Island, 700km southeast of the South Island. Previous reportings were in the 1890s, early 1920s and 1930s.

source APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Marshall leaving NZ rugby.

All Black halfback Justin Marshall will join English rugby club Leeds in July. He hopes to make the series against the British Lions this year his swansong, a New Zealand Rugby Union media release said last night.

source NZPA

Tuesday, January 4

Last month the 5th coldest December on record.

Last month was the fifth coldest December on record and the coldest since 1945. The national average temperature of 13.4 deg C was 2.2 deg C below normal, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) National Climate Centre said in a statement. The only lower years since reliable records began in 1853 were 1902 (the record low average of 12.9degC), 1911, 1914 and 1945. Temperatures reached record lows for December in some parts of the South Island. They were up to 4degC below average in inland parts of Canterbury, Otago and Southland, Niwa said.

source: NZPA

Monday, January 3

Seventeen New Zealanders missing in Thailand.

There are now 17 New Zealanders believed to be missing in Thailand after the Boxing Day tsunami that has so far claimed two New Zealand lives. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff said that overnight the number of New Zealanders missing in Thailand had been reduced from 23.

source. APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Aid for Indonesia

A 30-strong New Zealand Defence Force medical team left for Indonesia yesterday to help deal with the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake and tsunamis. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff said New Zealand already had police and defence personnel in the Aceh area helping with victim identification and a C-130 Hercules delivering supplies. As well, New Zealand would contribute $5 million to the relief effort.

Source : Dominion Post

Saturday, January 1

Free phone calls to tsunami-hit areas.

Two phone companies have announced all calls from home phones to tsunami-hit areas will be free. Telecom and TelstraClear will credit the cost of direct dial calls from home phones to landlines and mobile phones to regions devastated by the tsunami. The credits, which apply to calls from Boxing Day until January 4, will be added to accounts during January.

source: The Dominion Post

Speaker gets top honour.

Long-serving MP and Speaker of the House Jonathan Hunt heads the New Year honours announced today. Mr Hunt, accorded the nation's top honour, becomes a Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ), limited to 20 people. He is the longest-serving MP in Parliament.

source: The Dominion Post

PM returning home.

Prime Minister Helen Clark will cut short an overseas holiday and return home early next week following the devastation from South Asia's tsunami. "My thoughts are with all New Zealand families who have received no news of their loved ones caught up in this tragedy. As the days go by their concern deepens, as does mine," Helen Clark said. She said she had recently spoken to, and extended her sympathies to leaders of several countries caught up in the disaster, including the Indonesian president, who had mentioned his appreciation of assistance being provided by New Zealand.

source: NZPA

NZ body ID team.

A New Zealand team will start work today to identify any more New Zealanders killed in tsunami-hit Thailand. A 10-member Disaster Victim Identification Team, with eight police led by Superintendent Hamish McCardle, a dentist and a pathologist, was due to touch down on the holiday island of Phuket last night on a New Zealand air force aircraft.
Mfat said that of the 835 (NZ) names on their database, 526 had been confirmed as safe, one was confirmed deceased, and 10 were in hospitals.

source: NZPA

Holmes prangs plane.....again.

Broadcaster Paul Holmes made a hurried getaway from Hastings' Bridge Pa Aerodrome after crashing his $250,000 Boeing Stearman biplane yesterday. The plane was extensively damaged in the incident but Holmes was able to walk away from the wreckage. He declined medical help from an ambulance crew before being driven away to avoid waiting media



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