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Wellington council cleaners get ‘living wage’

Wellington Cleaners are finally getting a "living wage" while working for the Wellington City Council. Staff working directly for the council already get the living wage, such as those working in parks, gardens, recreation or libraries. But because cleaning and sanitation work was contracted, those workers were not initially included. Now the latest long-term and annual plan committee agenda shows cleaning work will...

Specialist dairy consultants certified

An inaugural group of farm consultants are now qualified under the New Zealand Institute for Primary Industries Management's dairy farm systems certification scheme. The programme assesses the consultants' skills and knowledge of the dairy farm system and best business practices, says New Zealand Institute for Primary Industries Management (NZIPIM) chief executive Stephen Macaulay. "The certification is no mean feat, and we...

Drugs swoop nets six

Wellington Six people have been taken into custody after a series of raids in the west Auckland suburb of Avondale uncovered an alleged synthetic cannabis operation, police say. Three homes were searched on Bellgrove Place, Sceptre Street and Victor Street just before 6.30am today, and five more homes are still being checked by officers. Police said six people had been taken into...

Maori king’s sister dies

Hamilton Tomairangi Adrianne Gail Paki is said to have died peacefully this morning, a spokesman told Maori Television. The older sister of the Maori king, Tomairangi Paki was well-known for her love of and work in performing arts. Last year she was honoured for her contribution to kapa haka and performing arts within the Waikato and Tainui region. She was awarded the life...

Balclutha couple die in microlight crash

Balclutha A Balclutha pair are dead following a plane crash near Kaka Point yesterday morning. A police spokesman said a man aged 30 and a woman aged 26 died when the microlight they were in crashed on a farm in Glenomaru, between Owaka and Kaka Point. They are understood to be from the Balclutha area. A joint investigation into the cause of the...

Man drowns at pool

Auckland A 20-year-old man has drowned at Parnell Baths in Auckland. St John paramedics tried to revive him at the scene on Judges Bay Road but were unsuccessful. Spokesmen for both the police and Fire Service confirmed police and firefighters also responded to the incident just after 7pm. "It was a stressful and upsetting time for the friends at the scene and police...

Police improve handling of sex assaults

Auckland A decade since an inquiry found some officers had behaved disgracefully when handling complaints of sexual assault, police say they have revolutionised their culture. The 2007 commission of inquiry into police conduct, led by Dame Margaret Bazley, reviewed 313 complaints of sexual assault against 222 police officers between 1979 and 2005. It found that while police misconduct was relatively rare, there...

Govt $26m could help save Maui’s dolphin

Auckland The Government could help save the highly endangered Maui's dolphin with just as little as $26 million in spending, environmental activists say. But the government says it is not considering the option because current restrictions appear to already be working. Last year researchers found the Maui's dolphins population was likely between 57 and 75 adults, with trawling and set net fishing...

Coast farmers face feed challenges

Brendon McMahon A welcome turn in the weather has brought respite for dairying, but underlying worry following the cold wet season, on the back of last year's poor payout, means it is not all hay and sunshine for West Coast farmers. West Coast Federated Farmers' president Peter Langford said the better weather from mid-February had certainly lifted spirits but the dry,...

Art theft unsophisticated — ex-FBI investigator

Auckland A former Federal Bureau of Investigation arts theft investigator has labelled the theft of two Lindauer paintings from a Parnell gallery as unsophisticated. Robert Wittman said it was unlikely those responsible had a clear plan when they crashed a utility vehicle through the glass front of the International Art Centre in Parnell. "Ultimately this wasn't a sophisticated robbery, it was more...
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