Friday, February 27, 2009

British Tourist in Coma After Napier Attack

Source: NZ Herald

"A British tourist is in a coma in Hawke's Bay Hospital after a vicious Napier attack left him with boot marks on his head and face.

The man, whose condition is described as critical, was set upon by three men as he walked past Taradale's main shopping area in Gloucester St just before 1am today.

He was knocked to the ground and stomped on with such ferocity there were boot imprints on his head and face.

The severity of the attack appalled police.

The man was taken to hospital after a passer-by alerted emergency services.

Police have arrested one man and were looking for another two.

The victim, who was visiting from the UK, had attended a stag party in Napier during the evening.

He had become separated from his friends before the assault said police, who were keen to speak to any witnesses."

The British citizen was later said to be 31 year old Scottish man Stuart Martin. According to Mail three local 17 year old youths were arrested and appeared in court today

Darrin Peter Wright, Hamish Glenn Bowman, and Joshua McConville, all from Taradale, appeared in the Napier District Court today charged with assault.

The 30-year-old English tourist, due to attend a friend's wedding tomorrow, was beaten as he walked past Taradale's main shopping area in Gloucester St just before 1am, Napier police said.

His attackers allegedly stomped on his head and face several times.

The man, who was living in Australia, was in a coma in critical condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

He would be named once police had contacted his family in Britain.

The three attackers were remanded in custody to reappear in the Napier District Court on March 4."

Shocked Taradale residents have left a number of messages on the paper's website :

"I always walk down this street at night, it is in a very nice are of napier, there are always young wannabe "gangsters" mooching around but I never take any notice. What a wake up call that no one is safe anymore."

"What is happening to our country? I dont even get on it that much anymore cause im scared im going to get jumped.The tourists are getting targeted hard aswel"

Another Tourist Dies in New Zealand

Source NZ Herald

UK trainee Doctor Dies from Sand Surfing Injuries

"An English trainee doctor has died from his injuries after a "sand boarding" accident last week in the Far North.

Thomas Michael Donaldson died in Auckland City Hospital from the serious head injuries he suffered last Tuesday when he tumbled from his boogie board while surfing down sand dunes opposite Omapere, on the Hokianga Harbour.

Locals told Radio New Zealand the dunes were so steep that if a boogie board dug in, the rider was flung head-over-heels down the slope, with no way to stop the fall.

They said visitors were routinely warned not to go there, after serious accidents in the past."


If the locals are saying that there have been serious accidents there in the past and visitors were warned not to go there why is boarding on the sand dune promoted to tourists?

According to the page about Omapere/Opononi:

"Dune surfing on boogie boards is a thrill that leaves you sandy but extremely satisfied."

No mention of the word "dangerous"

And the website lists dune surfing along with golf as one of the activities that can be enjoyed on land.

If the risks are so well known about where are the safety signs clearly warning visitors that the dunes are dangerous ? much the same as signs on a beach would warn of dangerous tides or rip currents.

Where are the words of caution on the tourism sites?

According to the website Thomas Donaldson was the second British Doctor and fifth British national to be killed in New Zealand in the last 60 days.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bullied Boy Tries to Jump From School Roof

From ODT

"A full-scale emergency response was sparked when a 10-year-old boy threatened to jump from the roof of a school building in Invercargill yesterday.
Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes of Invercargill Police said police, fire and paramedics were called to Ascot Community School at 11.45am after the boy threatened to jump from the roof of a single-storeyed building.
He was coaxed down by police investigators and taken to Invercargill police station, where he was to meet with mental health services.
It was understood the boy had been a victim of bullying about burns he had suffered in a house fire two years ago."


Its appalling that a child as young as 10 was so repeatedly viticimised at school that he was driven to suicide.
In March of 2008 teenager Toran Henry, 17, died suddenly after he was beaten up in a fight videoed by Takapuna Grammar students.

Poverty Wages - NZ Workers' Stage Hunger Strike to Protest

From: Unite

"Over twenty professional market researchers will begin a hunger strike at 4pm today that their union says will last for at least twenty-four hours.

Market researchers from the residential team at the east Auckland call centre of the global market research firm Synovate, which has an annual turnover of $720 million have taken the action to protest poverty wages, often as low as $12.50, inadequate breaks and no job security.

The Unite Union which represents the market researchers at Synovate are asking for pay rates that would see full timers get paid $17 an hour and part timers get paid $15 an hour. Current pay rates are as low as $12.50, significantly less than the $21.72 an hour that Synovate researchers earn in Australia as a result of their strong union won agreement. Other improvements the union is asking for include union members being paid for shifts cancelled at short notice, five minutes break for each hour worked and guaranteed hours for long serving staff.

“Worker’s should not be expected to be the eyes and ears of corporate capitalism while working on poverty wages with no job security in a call centre that often has it’s carpet infested by fleas,” said Unite Union organiser Omar Hamed.

“The company seems to want to keep delaying raising our wages. Management has been telling us constantly that we should be tightening our belts. So we decided to take them at their word,” said Synovate call centre worker and union delegate Maria Evaroa.

“A recent survey by Synovate found that internationally New Zealanders are among the least concerned about the global recession. Yet there is a strong sense in Synovate’s own call centre that the company is using the recession as an excuse not to pay living wages.

“Aegis Group which owns Synovate made a £94.4 million profit in 2007. It was call centre workers like us who created that profit yet in the good times we never saw our fair share.

“Negotiating for living wages and good working conditions in the midst of an economic crisis has taught us that multinational corporations will always try and make workers pay for the crises they create,” concluded Maria Evaroa.

Union members will be on hunger strike from 4pm on Wednesday the 25th of February until 4pm on Thursday the 26th of February. A community picket will be held at Synovate’s call centre in Aviemore Drive, Highland Park from 5pm to 5.30pm on Thursday the 26th.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Zealand's Deadliest Roads: 61 Deaths so far this year

By Jonathon Howe - Manawatu Standard
"The first two months of 2009 have been the bloodiest on record for Central District roads, with the area accounting for more than a quarter of New Zealand's road deaths.

Of the 61 people killed on New Zealand roads this year, 17 died in the Central Police District, which includes Palmerston North, Wanganui and New Plymouth.

The number is the highest in the Central Police District for 14 years and the highest in New Zealand this year.

With eight deaths each, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato police districts were the second-worst affected areas.

The Central Police District experienced its lowest annual road toll ever in 2008, with 40 road fatalities."

School Bus Crash
Also in today's news, 8 students and a teacher from Gisborne High School were taken to hospital after their school minibus was involved in a collision with another vehicle on the Napier to Wairoa road. The fitting and wearing of seat belts in school buses is not required in New Zealand

According to a news report on Stuff

"Police said it appeared a car came around a corner towards the northbound mini bus and may have crossed the centre line.

The pupils suffered moderate injuries ranging from broken bones to bruising.

The car driver received facial injuries and broken bones.

The Lowe Walker rescue helicopter tried to land at the crash scene, but had to turn back because of bad weather.

The injured were taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital in three ambulances.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spoilt Youths Spoil the Neighbourhood

Source: NZ Herald

Rampaging Youths Trash Cars, homes
4:00AM Tuesday Feb 24, 2009
By Beck Vass

"Five teenagers arrested yesterday allegedly drove around Auckland on a six-hour vandalism rampage, causing more than $30,000 of damage to cars and property in some of the city's wealthiest suburbs.

Police say the group hurled rocks and bottles through 17 car windows and the window of a bedroom where a woman and her child were sleeping.

Police believe there are more victims who have not yet contacted them because some crimes, such as vehicle damage, are not always reported.

Officers want anyone affected by such vandalism from 10pm on January 13 to about 4am the next day to contact them.

Sergeant Jason Lamont of Glen Innes police said the group - a 16-year-old and four 17-year-olds - were travelling in a white station wagon randomly targeting vehicles in Remuera, Newmarket, St Heliers, Kohimarama, Mission Bay, Orakei, Glendowie, Pakuranga, Half Moon Bay and Glen Innes.

The cost of damage to the vehicles ranged from a $230 rear quarter-window to $2000 each for two vehicles that had panel damage as well as smashed windows. Most of the vehicles had about $1200 of damage.

Most of the damage would be covered by insurance, Mr Lamont said, but some victims were "terribly upset".

"It's just the whole gravity of what these guys have done," he said. "And the inconvenience."

A Half Moon Bay woman and her baby were asleep when a rock smashed through their bedroom window and lodged in the blinds.

Mr Lamont did not know how close the two were to the window.

The arrested teens came from the suburbs affected, he said.


It seems that even the more wealthy and desirable parts of the country are being affected by the current wave of mindless crime sweeping across New Zealand.

When these young thugs are arrested the punishment handed out by the courts should reflect the feelings of the communities that they terrorised and those responsible should also make reparation to their victims.

Monday, February 23, 2009

NZ Health Service: 76 Avoidable Deaths

More signs were released today that NZ's health service is on the decline.

A report by the Ministry of Health's Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) entitled: 'The Serious and Sentinel Events List' detailed 258 incidents, including 76 deaths in the year to June 2008.

This is a significant increase over the previous year when 182 incidents and 40 deaths were recorded. All of the events could've been avoided.

The list was drawn from 21 district health boards.

The Chairman of the QIC said that each case was preventable and the aim of the report was to prevent recurrences.

According to the NZ Herald

"In Auckland, all a paitent's teeth were removed, rather than just the scheduled several teeth, because a referral letter was scanned under the wrong patient's name.

In another Auckland incident, incorrect laboratory results showed a pregnant immigrant had TB, prompting the termination of the pregnancy.

The Hutt Valley DHB reported a case in which a patient terminated her pregnancy after it was wrongly identified as ectopic.

A Canterbury patient required a second operation to remove a surgical drape left inside her in the first operation.

There were several reports of anaesthetised patients falling from operating tables.

More than half (53 per cent) of the events associated with the death of a patient were a result of suicide, and there were several cases in which mismanaged births had contributed to the deaths of infants.

Canterbury reported 41 incidents, the highest number, followed by Waikato with 36, Auckland 30, Counties Manukau 23 and Southland with 18.

The rest ranged between 16 (Capital and Coast) and two (Wairarapa and Midcentral)."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

67 Boy Racers Taken Off the Streets of Christchurch

Following a weekend blitz on boy racers (hoons) in the City 67 vehicles were impounded for unpaid fines or being illegally modified, 17 people were arrested for minor offences and more than 300 infringement notices were issued.

Christchurch city has long been plagued by hoons and this latest round of arrests in just the latest of many attempts to curb the problem

Earlier this month a 17 year old youth was arrested for being the person responsible in a group of boy racers for assaulting a lone police officer with a bottle.

In March of last year one motel owner Radio New Zealand that the preceding weekend had been the worst for boy racers in the five years he had been operating in the city. Some of his guests left vowing never to return to either Christchurch or New Zealand, and that he himself was thinking of doing the same:

"The sooner we can get out of Christchurch the better. We've had enough and we're not the only ones. It's affecting our bottom line, it's affecting our health and it's just so unpleasant."

In Sept 2007 Police prosecuted 500 people following a sting targeting boy racers in the the city.

'Boy Racer' Death and Injury Statistics
It's difficult to put a number these but Land Transport NZ issues annual figures for deaths and for injuries in a range of age groups. The overwhelmingly largest statistics are assigned to the 15-24 year group, which is where I guess the majority of 'boy racers' are going to sit.

In the 12 months up to to January 2009 there were 96 deaths (51 drivers, 45 passengers) in this group and an astounding 4290 injuries (2814 drivers, 1476 passengers)


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