All Blacks management twice turned down offers to involve police after bug found, court hears

A witness has told a Sydney court the All Blacks twice turned down offers from hotel management to involve the police after finding a listening device in a meeting room chair.

The former general manager of the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay in Sydney, Paul Walters, gave evidence in the case of Adrian Gard this morning.

The former manager of the Sydney hotel was among those to give evidence in the trial of Adrian Gard. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Gard is accused of making a false statement to police by telling them he found a bug ahead of the Bledisloe Test in 2016.

Mr Walters said upon being told about the device by All Blacks manager Darren Shand on Monday August 15, he asked if they would like him to contact the police.

He says Mr Shand said no, citing concerns about the media. The hotel proceeded to launch an internal investigation.

A picture of the bug allegedly found in a room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay in Sydney before a 2016 Bledisloe Test.
A picture of the bug allegedly found in a room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay in Sydney before a 2016 Bledisloe Test. Source: Supplied

Mr Walters says he again asked if the All Blacks would like them to call the police in a meeting on the Friday morning.

He says Mr Shand again said no, but that he was in conversation with his managers and would tell Mr Walters if that situation changed.

Mr Walters says he received a call from Mr Shand on the Saturday morning of the Test match.

"Mr Shand advised that the news of the bugging would hit the press in 15 minutes and they're happy to get the police involved now." He said.

The hotel's executive assistant manager, Anna Edie, also gave evidence to that affect.

Mr Shand gave evidence yesterday that he did not recall any discussion about the involvement of police early in the week.

Mr Shand told the court his first recollection of becoming aware it may be a criminal offence was on the Friday, and he told Mr Walters to call the police on Saturday morning.

The hearing was set down for two days, but now looks likely to extend into next week, when the All Blacks are in Sydney in preparation for this year's Bledisloe test.

Mr Gard has pled not guilty to the charges.

The team's former security guard Adrian Gard is on trial for public mischief over the incident. Source: 1 NEWS

Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas misled students, says Massey University Students' Association president

Massey University Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas misled students over the cancellation of the Don Brash speaking event and the student association has no confidence in her ability to do the job.

Student association president Ngahuia Kirton says her biggest concern to come out of the issue was threats to restrict funding to the association.

"As a whole, students seem to have been misled and I don’t think that their views were properly taken into consideration by the senior leadership team," she told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

"MUSA’s position is very clear, we have no confidence in the vice chancellor’s ability to discharge her duties, so I would hope that the university council would take that into consideration," she said.

Documents obtained yesterday under the Official Information Act contain correspondence to and from Ms Thomas in the run-up to the cancellation.

In one email on 9 July, the vice-chancellor said she did not want a "te tiriti led university to be seen to be endorsing racist behaviours".

A day later, she emailed to say she would like to know the options for banning the politics club from holding events on campus.

She said the "racist behaviour of Dr Brash - given te reo is an official language of NZ and we are a tiriti-led university - can't be ignored".

Ms Kirton said the vice chancellor’s concerns that Mr Brash’s views didn’t align with the values of the university were valid but students were still misled.

"I think her concerns were more around the fact that Massey University is a teriti-led and her views that Don Brash’s views didn’t align with that is completely valid."

"I’m more concerned about the way she handled the communication and the events that happened afterwards."

"Personally, I don’t agree with Don Brash’s views, and I think many people at the student association also do not agree with them, however I do think university as the critic and conscience of society is a great place to have those healthy debates and these difficult conversations."

Ms Kirton says her biggest concern to come out of the issue was threats to restrict funding to the association.

"The cancellation of the Don Brash events aside, the student association’s biggest concern is actually the threats to restrict funding to student associations to manage backlash."

President Ngahuia Kirton says the student association has no confidence in Jan Thomas’s ability to perform her duties. Source: Breakfast


Refugee quota increase a proud moment, Red Cross says, but now it's time to prepare

Jacinda Ardern's announcement yesterday that we will increase our yearly refugee intake to 1500 by 2020 was a proud moment for New Zealand, says Red Cross official Rachel O'Conner.

But there are some things we will have to do as a nation to prepare for the increase, which will result in New Zealand having doubled its intake in less than five years, she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"We'll need people to respond, we're going to need people to volunteer, to donate items," she said. "But a lot of it is about...having welcoming communities."

Resettlement, she explained, is difficult - away from family and friends, without work and often having to learn a new language.

"Kiwis have this value of showing care and compassion, and that is what helps build that sense of belonging," said Ms O'Conner, who serves as national migration programmes manager for the humanitarian organisation.

That's 500 extra people who'll be making New Zealand home annually. Source: 1 NEWS

Under the Prime Minister's plan, six new resettlement communities will be established so that existing ones in New Zealand aren't over-burdened. The towns, however, haven't yet been chosen.

"We're going to be looking for councils and community groups to put up their hands and say, 'Yup, we want to be one of the new six'," Ms O'Conner said.

Ms O'Conner described yesterday's announcement as "a great start". But with 1.4 million people in desperate need of resettlement, "we're seeing unprecedented needs globally at the moment", she added, explaining that the Government also needs to take another good look at foreign aid and peace building activities.

Even after yesterday's announcement, New Zealand is far from being a leader in terms of refugee intake numbers.

PM Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS

"But we are leaders in the terms of the quality of resettlement that we provide," she said, telling the story of a mum who had carried her disabled teen son on her back for his entire life because they didn't have access to health care in their previous country.

After arriving in Auckland, the boy was given a wheelchair and it changed both of their lives, O'Conner said.

"She kept saying, 'I can't believe I don't have to carry him anymore'," she recalled.

Jacinda Ardern’s announcement yesterday means six new settlement locations will be in the works, Rachel O’Conner told Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

Inquiry to look at how NSW police investigated dozens of gay hate killings

The way NSW Police investigated gay hate crimes, which drove men over cliffs to their deaths or saw them brutally bashed in their homes or city parks, will be examined by a state parliamentary inquiry.

The inquiry to be conducted by the NSW Social Issues Committee, will investigate how NSW Police handled gay hate crimes and why the state's justice system may not have protected LGBTQI people or delayed justice for them and their families.

The committee will investigate the almost 90 gay murders between 1970 and 2010 and also call for public submissions from victims and their families.

A police investigation of 88 suspicious deaths of gay men between 1976 to 2000 found 27 of them were likely murdered simply for being gay.

Committee chair Shayne Mallard said the inquiry would look at gay hate crimes perpetrated against the LGBTIQ community and review current policies to identify shortcomings.

Australia police Source: 1 NEWS