Photo: FacebookPrime Minister Bill English today revealed that Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay offered to play him the tape of his electorate agent's conversations last year. But Mr English's admission that Mr Barclay actually offered to play him the recording would tend to scotch the likelihood of the alternative theory being true. Asked by a reporter Newsroom if Mr Barclay had offered to play Mr English the recording, Mr English said: "Did he offer to play me the recording? Asked why he did not take up Mr Barclay on the offer to listen to the recording, Mr English said: "I just didn't think it was appropriate. Later in the press conference, Mr English refused to say whether he had advised Mr Barclay to wipe the recording.
June 25, 2017 03:11 UTC
A 26-year-old woman who Palmerston North police say used a bicycle in an aggravated robbery has been arrested. West End Store - in the suburb of West End - was targeted on Wednesday night. Police say the woman arrived on a bicycle, entered the store and demanded money. They say she was confronted by the store owner outside and assaulted him, then rode off on her bike. AdvertisementPolice have charged the woman with aggravated robbery and the aggravated wounding of the store owner.
June 25, 2017 02:37 UTC
Winter in Dunedin would not be complete without one very iconic event, the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club's annual Polar Plunge. Thousands braved the cold winter conditions and came to St Clair Esplanade to Polar Plunge. For all those brave enough to enter the water the Fire Service warm water fire truck will be there to heat you up. It was a great excuse to get dressed up in wacky and wonderful costumes or dust off your speedos! All money raised through gold coin donations on the day goes to the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club.
June 25, 2017 02:26 UTC
coalminecolombia.jpg Rescue personnel coordinate to search for missing miners after an explosion at a Colombian underground coal mine. Photo: ReutersAt least eleven miners at an underground coal mine in Colombia have died and two remain missing after an explosion caused by methane gas, the government said on Saturday (local time). The explosion took place on Friday in the Cucunuba municipality in Cundinamarca province, an area where illegal underground coal mining is widespread and accidents are not uncommon. "The partial total is 11 dead, one injured and two trapped," the government said in a statement. Legal coal mining in the mountainous Andean country, the world's fifth-largest exporter of coal, is dominated by Cerrejon, Drummond Co Inc and Glencore PLC.
June 25, 2017 02:15 UTC
National has already promised to reduce taxes from April next year by lifting the thresholds at which the bottom two rates apply.. Photo: NZ HeraldFurther tax cuts and lifting incomes would be National's priorities over the next five years if it is re-elected in September, Prime Minister Bill English told the party's conference in Wellington today. He listed among the priorities: "Further lifting incomes and cutting taxes to help hard-working New Zealanders get ahead and reduce the pressure on families most in need." National has already promised to reduce taxes from April next year by lifting the thresholds at which the bottom two rates apply. As part of a broader family incomes package, that will lift the incomes of 1.3 million households by an average of $26 a week. "If we are able to keep lifting growth and carefully manage the public finances, we will be able to further reduce taxes and lift incomes."
June 25, 2017 02:03 UTC
Crunchie bars, donuts, 'racism' among excuses from drink-driversSUPPLIED Waikato Police have shared a raft of excuses used by drivers who blew over the limit at a checkpoint on Saturday (file photo). Bribery, sweet treats, racism and guilt trips were dished out to Waikato police during a Saturday night drink-driving blitz. Drivers blowing over the limit tried every excuse in the book to weasel their way out of a trip to the station. In a post on Facebook, police listed some of the excuses they encountered. EXCUSES GIVEN TO POLICE:* "You can't put your checkpoint on this road anyway, it's illegal."
June 25, 2017 00:49 UTC
Waikato police were out breath testing drivers last night during and after the All Blacks v Lions game at Eden Park. "I just want to share a few comments made by people stopped last night drink driving," a Waikato police officer posted on Facebook today. "I find the comments really interesting because it's all too common that we hear the blame being passed on to others. The excuses drivers had included:•You can't put your checkpoint on this road anyway - it's illegal. "Fortunately all of these people were removed from the road before they caused any harm to anyone," the officer said.
June 25, 2017 00:11 UTC
The mercurial Chiefs utility Damian McKenzie has joined the All Blacks to cover for star fullback Ben Smith, who is under yet another concussion cloud. Smith, who has had two earlier concussions this season, was replaced during the impressive first test win over the Lions at Eden Park. Julian Savea, Ngani Laumape, Vaea Fifita and Jordie Barrett have been released to play for the Hurricanes against the Lions on Tuesday night, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. AdvertisementHurricanes:Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Otere Black, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi; Brad Shields (c), Callum Gibbins, Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi, Mark Abbott, Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May. Reserves: Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, James Blackwell, Reed Prinsep, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Wes Goosen, Cory Jane
June 25, 2017 00:04 UTC
Fixed-price power a 'one-way bet'SIMON MAUDE/FAIRFAX NZ Most fixed-term contracts still allow increases in network costs to be passed on. Households are being warned that taking a fixed-price deal from their power companies could be a one-way bet. CHRIS COAD/FAIRFAX NZ Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin is wary of fixed-price power deals. Strong competition in the electricity market was likely to limit price increases, she said. But it says prices will change if the network increases its prices, or there are changes to levies, taxes or regulations.
June 24, 2017 23:58 UTC
A car has gone into a creek in Morrinsville but no one's been found inside. Police were called just after 6.30am to reports of a car going into the water in the Chepmell Rd area. The vehicle has been recovered but officers have done a search of the water and haven't found anybody. Police are trying to contact the registered owner of the vehicle.
June 24, 2017 23:48 UTC
Blaze guts abandoned Ngawhatu Psychiatric HospitalSUPPLIED Five fire crews battled a blaze at the abandoned Ngawhatu Psychiatric Hospital. An abandoned psychiatric hospital has suffered "severe" damage after going up in flames on Sunday morning. The Fire Service was called to the Ngawhatu Psychiatric Hospital, near Nelson, at 1.07am. It was the second fire at the abandoned hospital in the past seven months. It was originally an orphanage – St Mary's – and later became the Ngawhatu Psychiatric Hospital, which operated from 1922 to 2000.
June 24, 2017 23:48 UTC
Quite simply, they were faster than Oracle Team USA. Oracle Team USA have closed the gap speed-wise, especially upwind, and with more even boat-speed, two things become more critical. In today's racing, Spithill and Oracle Team USA managed their starts very well. Team Oracle USA did that job better today. I certainly did not think Oracle Team USA had the ability to close the gap over the five-day period, as they appear to have done.
June 24, 2017 23:26 UTC
Sky Television has come under attack on social media for inserting a commercial between the end of the All Blacks haka and the kick-off of last night's first test against the British and Irish Lions. Irate viewers took to Facebook to complain about the inclusion of a lengthy ad for its chief broadcast sponsor, a car manufacturer. Veitch published a passionate post from Graeme Fisher as reflective of the reaction of fans on his page. "What really got my back up was the fact that straight after the haka you decided to throw a stupid ad on [...] . "My dad thought someone sat on the remote and changed the channel, we all got up to look for the remote and just realised it was a stupid ad," Maria Poei responded.
June 24, 2017 23:05 UTC
There are plenty who will tell you that Team NZ overdid the sponsor fulfillment programme to their detriment. The whisper is Peter Burling and Blair Tuke convinced team leadership to take a page out of their Olympic playbook and minimise distractions. Coutts is said to have extended an "olive branch" to Bertarelli who is in Bermuda to watch the Cup finals. Kiwi fans dominateThe America's Cup Event Authority's popular 'dock-out' shows, so popular in San Francisco in 2013, have been dumped in Bermuda. Get up for the CupToday's Team NZ sailing action starts at 5.12am.
June 24, 2017 22:52 UTC
As on the previous day against Montenegro, Jordan Ngatai led the NZ Select scoring. The Select team edged to an early 18-14 advantage, which extended to 42-31 by half-time. Forward James Hunter was influential in the win with 17 points (6/10FG, 5/6FT) in just 16 minutes of action. Southland Sharks teammate Derone Raukawa contributed 14 points with Wetzells 11 points gathered at an efficient 5 from 6 shooting, including a triple. NZ Select 84 (Ngatai 18, Hunter 17, Raukawa 14, Wetzell 11, Rusbatch 7, Burton 6, Timmins 5, Tolovae 4, Cook-Green 2).
June 24, 2017 22:18 UTC