Armed man demands cash and cigarettes from service station near Whangarei

Police are seeking assistance from the public after an armed robbery at a service station in Ruakaka, south of Whangarei last night.

The heavily disguised male was armed with a firearm and carried a black back pack which he used to store the cash and cigarettes that he stole.

He was seen running to a vehicle that was parked at the northern end of the service station and driving off towards Whangarei.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Sergeant Aaron Crawford at Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500.

Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

Cops are searching for a man after an aggravated robbery at a bar in the Hawke’s Bay town today.
Source: 1 NEWS

Call for complete ban on ivory trade in New Zealand

An environmental policy analyst is calling on the Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage to ban the buying and selling of ivory in New Zealand.

Fiona Gordon from the Jane Goodall Institute said New Zealand voted in favour of a global initiative to ban domestic ivory markets two years ago, but no steps have been taken since to shut it down.

"We voted in favour of an historic resolution to close all global domestic ivory markets where they're contributing to illegal trade and here we have in New Zealand examples of illegal trade going on and we have a completely unregulated market still so yeah, we're looking more and more like an outlier on this."

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which New Zealand is a party, passed the resolution in 2016.

Ms Gordon said while it was illegal to import ivory without a special permit, it frequently passed through the border.

"People are quite surprised to hear that New Zealand has a market for ivory, it's quite a lucrative trade.

"We're not talking about ivory-handled cutlery either, we're talking carvings, 100 percent ivory which fetches thousands of dollars each."

She said ivory that made its way illegally into New Zealand could be sold at places like auction houses, where there were no requirements for proof of origin or age of the product.

"So if you manage to get some ivory illegally you could sell it on the domestic market for no problem at all."

Today is World Elephant Day. Ms Gordon said an elephant dies every 20 minutes, and the ivory trade played a huge role in their deaths.

There are now less than 400,000 elephants remaining world-wide.

"The plight of elephants is fairly well documented.

"International trade for elephant ivory has essentially been banned but what we do have is nations who still have legal domestic markets and New Zealand is one of those nations.

"Where you have legal ivory markets you have huge risk for illegal products being laundered under the guise of legality and that's exactly what's happened here."

She said there had been about 100 seizures of ivory at the New Zealand border over the last ten years.

"That might not sound like a lot but every piece of ivory counts toward a dead elephant so I think we have to be mindful about that global response because at the moment New Zealand is part of the problem."

The Jane Goodall Institute is urging people to petition Ms Sage for a complete ban on the domestic ivory and rhino horn trade.

Eight items made from African elephant tusks that cost a New Zealander $12,000 in fines. Source:


Man charged after killing four, including two police officers, in Canadian shooting

Canadian police charged a man today for the deaths of two police officers and two civilians in a shooting that struck a nerve in a country that has been roiled in recent months by several instances of mass violence.

Police in the eastern city of Fredericton, New Brunswick said that Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

Horizon Health, which delivers care for New Brunswick's Department of Health, said that Raymond was the only person being treated for injuries related to the shooting. He is due to appear in court August 27.

The victims have been identified as police Const. Robb Costello, 45, police Const. Sara Burns, 43, Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie-Lee Wright, 32.

Robichaud and Wright were in a relationship, according to Facebook and Robichaud's cousin, Sean Callahan, who said they had just gotten together at the beginning of August.

No motive has been disclosed, and police said they were working to determine a link between the gunman and the couple.

Police said Costello and Burns were responding to calls of shots fired at an apartment complex and saw two deceased civilians before being shot and killed themselves.

Fredericton police Chief Leanne Fitch said Raymond used a long gun and was in an elevated position when he fired. Fitch said he was shot by police and was in serious but stable condition.

Judith Aguilar, an office manager for Sunfield Apartment Rentals, said Raymond lived in the complex for about four months and was an avid cyclist who often came to pay his rent in cash while wearing a bike helmet.

"He seemed like a very normal and pleasant person, really," she said. "He's tall and was in fairly good shape because he biked everywhere."

At one point, she said maintenance workers needed to do some work in his apartment and he didn't want the workers there while he wasn't present.

"He seemed concerned, he said he had an expensive computer and an expensive bike," she said. "They didn't even have to go all the way into the apartment, they were just fixing his doorframe at the time."

Residents were stunned by the episode, which took place in a city of 60,000 that last saw a homicide in 2014.

But the shooting comes as Canada wrestles with a string of violence, including an instance in Toronto last month where a man with a handgun opened fire in a crowded part of the city, killing two people and wounding 13 before he died in the confrontation.

In April, a man who linked himself to a misogynistic online community used a van to run down pedestrians in a busy part of Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 14.

Authorities are also still pursuing leads in an ongoing investigation of a serial killer who has been charged with killing eight men in the city in recent years.

In 2014, a shooting in Moncton, New Brunswick left three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers dead and two wounded.

Police officers and RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) survey the area of a shooting in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on Friday, August 10 2018.
Police officers and RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) survey the area of a shooting in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on Friday, August 10 2018. Source: Associated Press