Bill English backs away from total online gun sale ban after Whangarei shooting

Prime Minister Bill English says the government's not keen on a wholesale ban on online gun sales following a double shooting in rural Whangarei.

Quinn Patterson, 55, last week shot and killed Wendy Campbell, 60, and her daughter, Natanya, 37, while they were conducting a property inspection of the home he was renting.

The house Patterson was in went up in flames during a subsequent shoot-out with police, his body found in the rubble days later.

Auction website Trade Me over the weekend confirmed Patterson had traded guns online, and reports suggest he used someone else's firearms licence number.

They were investigating complaints about a structure on the property said to be used by Quinn for target practice. Source: 1 NEWS

Patterson did not have a licence himself, as required for online gun trading.

Mr English on Monday told TVNZ 1's Breakfast procedures around online gun buying had already been tightened up in the past few years and said an outright ban on online sales would be too far.

"The internet is part of doing business these days. And it may even be counter-productive to jump to a position of saying 'There's no internet trading of firearms'," he said.

"Because there's a very large, legitimate, controlled and responsible trade ... We are very unlikely to go that far."

He said while the government was keeping an open mind about possible law changes to fix loopholes, the facts of the case had yet to be established and any new rules needed to be balanced with the effect on legitimate gun owners.

This follows revelations shooter Quinn Patterson had purchased gun parts online before killing two people at his rental property. Source: 1 NEWS


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Court of Appeal blocks media merger proposal between NZME and Fairfax

NZME Ltd, the owner of New Zealand's top-selling newspaper, says the Court Of Appeals had blocked its bid to merge with Fairfax Media Ltd's New Zealand unit.

The company said its appeal against the High Court's decision to block the merger was unsuccessful. NZME had decided to contest the High Court decision last February.

The Court Of Appeals is the second highest appeals court In the country, behind the Supreme Court. NZME said it would consider the judgment and "review its options."

NZME Chief Executive Michael Boggs said he was disappointed by the decision.

The deal, first announced in 2016, would have seen NZME purchasing Fairfax's New Zealand subsidiary, Stuff Ltd.

It was initially blocked by New Zealand's competition regulator on concerns it would have led to unprecedented local media influence, a decision upheld by the country's High Court.

All eyes are now on the next moves from NZME and Fairfax after a merger was rejected.
Source: 1 NEWS

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‘He led the struggle’ – Jacinda Ardern pays tribute to Nelson Mandela at UN speech

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern helped honor the memory of Nelson Mandela at a peace summit for the late South African leader.

Mandela, who led South Africa's transition from the apartheid system of white minority rule over the majority black population was a "living embodiment of the United Nation's values," Ardern said.

In the year since she took office, Ardern, 38, has enjoyed unprecedented global attention for a leader from this nation of fewer than 5 million people.

Yet at home, she's faced political pressure as she tries to keep control of a coalition government that sometimes threatens to come apart.

Internationally, Ardern in many ways offers a counterpoint to President Donald Trump: She is young, liberal and espouses an empathetic approach to leadership.

She's also pushed the boundaries for women by becoming just the second world leader in modern times to give birth while in office.

Mandela, who led South Africa's transition from the apartheid was a "living embodiment of the United Nation's values," Ardern said Source: Associated Press

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Fair Go: How many companies does it take to change a Wellington street light bulb?

How many times have you taken a small problem, phoned a call centre and felt completely powerless when it gets you nowhere?

Alan Knowles had a small problem – his street light had gone out.

"I would like my bulb replaced," he said.

Alan had been in the dark, navigating a steep path down to his house since Christmas and no amount of calling was changing that.

Trouble was, the bulb is a legal but private street light he'd paid to have fitted to a Wellington City Council pole in the early 1990s.

Alan had been paying Genesis Energy for at least a decade to keep the light on. A monthly charge on his bill of six or seven dollars covered everything.

"The maintenance in 25, or 26 or 27 years has been changing one bulb," Mr Knowles said.

Round after round of calls to Genesis, the Council, and five other companies brought little joy.

"All I get is the call centre people and anybody on the staff is hiding behind the wall of call centre people. They don’t seem to care about people with little problems like mine," Mr Knowles said.

So, he dropped Fair Go a line instead.

Within nine hours, a problem that had dragged out over nine months was sorted in a blaze of brand new LED lighting.

Alan was jubilant. Fair Go likes to dig deeper and happily, so does the Council and Genesis.

Wellington City Council said it was, "really sorry that Mr Knowles has had to go through his ordeal".

Carefully omitting any blame, its statement added:

"Mr Knowles appears to have been the unwitting victim of information not properly shared between a number of organisations."

Genesis told Fair Go the Council had decided on its own initiative to take responsibility for Mr Knowles' streetlight - six years ago.

Genesis’ spokesman says the Council hadn’t told anyone when it did so, leaving records out of date; but admits Genesis hadn’t chased it up either.

"For Genesis' role, we're sorry for that," Genesis’ James Magill said.

"I'd like to have thought we could have been more proactive in finding a solution so, hands up we're very sorry and we can get better," Mr Magill said.

Of course, this also means Genesis has been charging Alan for six years for something the Council was meant to be providing for free.

Genesis offered Alan a refund of all charges plus interest and he accepted.

To make Alan’s joy complete, the Council says it will keep the light on and cover the cost.

Too many it seems, until Fair Go gets involved that is. Source: Fair Go


'There are more options' - medical specialist advises against cold turkey method for those trying to quit smoking

The long-heralded cold turkey method of giving up smoking may not be as good as once believed, with less than 10 per cent of those managing to stay smoke free after quitting.

Around half of those who quit - or attempt to quit - smoking attempt to do so cold turkey, but only three to five per cent of those are successful, says medical specialist Hayden McRobbie.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, Mr McRobbie spoke about the difficulties in going cold turkey, and although it does work for some smokers, better and more reliable options are there.

"Most people who try in that way don't succeed long term," he said.

"If you want my advice, the best way to quit smoking is to get some support.

"There are more options these days, but quitting can still be as hard today as it was 20 years ago."

Asked about the prospect of a smoke free New Zealand, Mr McRobbie said that the proposed target of 2025 would be a big ask.

"I think 2025 is going to be a big challenge, it's not far away of course.

"We can do better, I think we can provide better help for people."

Meanwhile, the escalating cost of smoking is proving to be the driving factor behind many deciding to give up cigarettes once and for all.

"When the price goes up and you're addicted to something, the addiction is often prioritised."

"Many of my patients are saying 'I have to quit because of the price'. It is a real driver, and I think we need to be there to support them."

Less than 10 per cent of those who try cold turkey are successful. Source: Breakfast