Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Theo Kriel Given Life Sentence

Theo Kriel was today given a life imprisonment for the murder of Liberty Rose Templeman.
He must serve a minimum period of 11.5 years before he can be considered for parole. He must also serve a concurrent sentence of 6 months for indecent assault. had an account of the hearing:
“Life imprisonment means just that. Unless you satisfy the prison board otherwise, you will be in jail for the rest of your life,” Justice Raynor Asher told Kriel.
The teenage Kriel was found guilty of murder and indecent assault after a trial last month which heard how in November 2008, when he was just 14, he beat and strangled Liberty, 15, and dumped her body in a creek.
The judge said the fact that Kriel was a youth and not a very mature one at the time of the murder was a factor in his crime.
“At the time of the murder, although possessed with considerable height and strength, you were immature.”
“Your calmness in the days that followed was of a concern, it was a blankness,” the judge said.
“You acted as a child.
“I accept that your terrible action was out of character; this is confirmed by the professional reports that have been prepared in the 18 months that you have been in custody.”
“I see the drivers as being anger driven by we know not what, and then panic and the desire not to be caught.”
“It would be manifestly unjust to impose a minimum sentence of 17 years.”
The judge’s starting point was 13 years imprisonment.
“I am entirely satisfied that the attack on her was unprovoked,” the judge said.
“You appear to remove yourself from the reality of what you’ve done.”
Kriel, 16, sat between his two guards in the dock. He had a shaved head and was wearing a white and grey striped shirt and loose pants.
He sat slouched, head dipped low, mouth slightly agape. His eyes shifted across to Templeman family members and later at the judge. His stare was blank.
“The damage is not just limited to you, it extends to Liberty’s close group of friends who will live their life with the loss of such a close and dear friend,” the judge said.
The wider Kerikeri community had been shocked by this brutal and inexplicable killing, he said.
“She was a very special and talented woman, with a very exciting future,” the judge said.
The judge said he had no doubt that it was a chance circumstance Liberty and Kriel had ended up walking together. He said the precise details of what happened after Liberty and Kriel crossed over the bridge on their walk together was unclear.
“You are the only living witness and you have given four different version of events,” the judge said to Kriel.
The judge said the inherent problem with Kriel’s version of event was that it was unlikely that Kriel could have thought that he was threatened with police action if all he had done was accidentally push Liberty into the stream.
What seemed more likely, the judge said, was that Kriel had made a sexual advance on Liberty and she had punched Kriel, leaving a red mark on his chest. That was speculation though, he said.
The judge said after that attack Kriel had acted as if nothing had happened and glibly lied to Liberty’s parents and then police. “On the Friday you came into the police station with your parents.”
“In that third statement you confessed to killing Liberty,” the Judge said. “
The sentence is comparable to that given to Jahche Broughton, who was 14 when he bashed Karen Aim to death in Taupo. Broughton received a life sentence with a minimum non parole period of 12 years.

Our Wordpress Blog has up-to-date information and discussions about this case

Monday, March 22, 2010

Net Migration Falling, Permanent Departures Up 7.2%.

 We came across this press release on The ASB says that net migration has fallen from its peak and could slow by more than half to around 10,000 people a  year. It seems that employment growth and a more favorable outlook across the Tasman will continue to attract Kiwis out of New Zealand.

These figures will have an impact on a housing market already feeling the burden of forthcoming changes in taxation of investment property, a proposal to increase GST to 15%  and a relatively strong dollar reducing the purchasing power of migrants.
"Net migration continues at a firm pace, recording net 1,060 new migrants over February, although showing some sign of softening. The annual pace of inflow is now easing from its peak, recording 21,600 new migrants over the year to February, compared to 22,600 in January. The slowing pace of migration comes as permanent departures have started to recover, rising 7.2% in February. This pick up has been underpinned by a recovery in departures to Australia, a trend we expect to continue over 2010. The Australian economy has fared comparatively well through the global downturn, managing to avoid recession. Employment growth there over the past 6 months has been robust, in contrast to rising unemployment in NZ. The more favorable economic outlook will continue to draw New Zealanders across the Tasman: we expect the monthly pace of departures will recover from 5,250 per month currently to 6,500. The annual pace of net migration is likely to slow from 22,000 per year, to around 10,000 per year.

Short-term visitor arrivals fell 1.9% in January. Nonetheless, the current trend level in visitor arrivals remains firm. Australian visitor numbers remain steady, after strong growth over the second half of 2010. We expect Australian visitor arrivals to remain firm, as the lower NZD/AUD makes New Zealand a relatively cheap alternative for Australian holiday makers. Encouragingly, there also appears to be an improvement in Asian visitor arrivals over the past few months. The increased interest has been broad based, with a rise in Japanese, Korean and Chinese numbers. However, StatsNZ have noted extra caution should be applied to interpreting Chinese visitor arrivals, as the typical seasonal pattern has been disrupted by the change in timing of Chinese New Year.


We expect the pace of net migration to slow over 2010, and the recent pick up in departures to Australia confirm this trend is developing. The slower pace of net migration will remove some of the support to the housing market during the year.

The ongoing strength in visitor arrivals has been encouraging, particularly the recent increase in arrivals from Asia. Meanwhile, the lower NZD/AUD is helping NZ benefit from Australia's good fortune, increasing NZ's attractiveness as a holiday destination. We expect that strong arrivals from Australia will continue as we head into the ski season."
What these migration figures don't show are the age profiles of the people coming to and leaving New Zealand and that a brain drain is underway again.

In the opinion of one prominent economist in Singapore last week  New Zealand's brain drain should be plugged with opportunity. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, MasterCard Worldwide economic adviser said:
"The exodus of the best and brightest to Australia is an Achilles heel for New Zealand business, and personal and business tax breaks may be part of the answer, according to a visiting economist.

MasterCard Worldwide economic adviser Yuwa Hedrick-Wong said the persistent trend of migration to Australia of more than 20,000 people a year "seriously constrains entrepreneurial potential" here.

Speaking in Wellington, Singapore-based Dr Hedrick-Wong said those leaving for Australia tended to be "younger and better educated" people typically with a greater risk-taking attitude.

"They want to conquer the world," he said, but they should be able to do that from New Zealand, rather than having to leave.

"This is a damaging drain on the intellectual and entrepreneurial gene pool of the country," he said.

New Zealand could only reach its true economic potential if it stopped the "haemorrhaging of talent", he said.

Despite economic reforms in the past two decades and being an easy country in which to do business, New Zealand was still losing talent, Dr Hedrick-Wong said.

New Zealand should consider personal and business tax breaks as personal incentives for people to stay, support for business incubators and encouraging greater investment in areas such as the services sectors to create more job opportunities.

"If you are successful in getting those people back, the economic benefit is just huge," he said..."
In June of last year Bernard Hickey was interviewed on TVNZ. He advised Generation X & Y to leave NZ as soon as possible because they are destined to live in two retirement islands and will have to visit their grandchildren overseas. Read our post about it here. He concluded by saying:
"Your only choice is to migrate as soon as the global economy starts recovering and the jobs become available again.
This will be the best revenge you can get. They (the baby boomers) will have to watch their grandchildren grow up by email and the occasional flying visit.
I'm not kidding. Leave ASAP."
It looks like they are!

See also: "New Zealand's Aging Population and the Great Kiwi Brain Drain" written in December 2008. At that time John Key said  
"One of the really worrying things is one in four people who have been to university have now left New Zealand and live overseas. That is the worst brain drain of any country in the developed world."
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