'The shredding of people ... it was really nasty' - Kiwi medic witnesses Bangkok bombing

A New Zealand paramedic was at the heart of the Bangkok bombings overnight, and was helping those wounded at the scene shortly after the blast.

But, as Marko Cunningham was helping treat the wounded and clear bodies following the Thai capital terrorist attack, he may have helped save dozens more lives with what he found outside the Erawan Shrine.

"The shredding of people, the blast, the broke limbs, bones, skin, clothes were just ripped off, people just had no clothes on, charred, it was really nasty."

Mr Cunningham, who has lived in Bangkok for 15-years, said he noticed a plastic bag hanging on a tree nearby as he tended to the wounded.

"I immediately went over to an army officer and told him. He came over and had a look, and then he started to clear everyone out. They thought the same as me that it was a bomb. and it was a bomb. and they managed to diffuse it."

One scene from the bombing, he said, will haunt him for years to come.

"There was a guy about 25-years-old, alive, and he was laying next to his girlfriend holding her hand and he was like mute, he couldn't talk ... he was just looking at us blankly and kept looking at his girlfriend," he said.

"We put him on the board to move him and he started to try to talk, looking at his girlfriend, shaking her hand ... she was dead, that was really, I haven't seen anything like that in ... forever."

Mr Cunningham was also one of the first English speaking rescuers to help aid efforts after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

He also helped during a 2010 bombing in Bangkok, which killed three people.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there was no information to suggest any Kiwis had been killed or injured in the most recent bombing.

About 30,000 New Zealanders visit Thailand every year.


Marko Cunningham was at the scene soon after the blast and may have saved many more lives with a discovery outside the shrine. Source: 1 NEWS


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Landcorp may face farm sales as debt rises and dairy dips

New Zealand's largest farmer, state-owned Landcorp, may be forced to sell off farms or partially privatise to deal with rising debt as dairy prices keep falling. 

Over the last decade, Landcorp has become a big player in dairy, with a herd of 55,000 dairy cows.

But that presents big risks right now, Finance Minister Bill English saying, "There's more concern because the dairy payout is a lot lower and they're a fairly big dairy operator so that's bound to have an impact."

Landcorp is worth over $1.7 billion with 137 farms, but it has made just $1 million profit in the first half of this financial year while its bank debt has climbed to over $200 million.

Landcorp may be forced to sell off farms or partially privatise to deal with rising debt in the face of falling dairy prices. Source: 1 NEWS

"If there is a need, one of the options would be to sell down some farms to reduce debt," Mr English says.

But Landcorp is contracted to convert a swathe of land near Taupo into dairy farms and needs new working cash to do that.

That's got the Finance Minister conceding that partial privatisation of Landcorp is a possibility, Mr English saying,"We are not ruling anything in or anything out". 

Labour leader Andrew Little says a low New Zealand dollar makes it more attractive to overseas buyers "and we must be sure that we are not selling to overseas buyers who cannot add value to New Zealand farms".

But it's not just Landcorp that might be forced to sell off assets, with Mr English telling all State Owned Enterprises, like Kiwirail and others, "If they've got spare capital, that is unutilised land for instance, they should sell it."

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