Body of missing diver found off Wellington coast

The body of a missing diver has been found off the coast of Wellington.

The 24-year-old was reported missing on Monday, and his gear was located on land at Makara. 

"This is an incredibly sad time for the man’s family and friends and we are thankful to be able to find him and bring them some form of closure," says Senior Sergeant David Houston said.

The diver was expected to return around 4pm yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS



Action planned to tackle loan sharks, with Winston Peters on board

The Government plans to take action on loan sharks, and Winston Peters is reportedly on board. 

On TVNZ1's Q+A host Corin Dann asked if there would be a cap introduced on the size of loans. 

"We'll be taking it to Cabinet pretty soon, I hope, given some of the damage that is done to those vulnerable consumers by predatory lenders.

"We're going to take some action there to make sure that can't happen anymore."

He said he "absolutely" has Winston Peters' support. 

The Government announced it intended to crack down on loan sharks in June, with measures including capping interest rates and fees, increased licensing or registration for lenders and strengthening enforcement and penalties for irresponsible lending.

Victims of so-called loan sharks gathered today to speak to Minister of Commerce Kris Faafoi. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Faafoi told 1 NEWS previously in some situations "a $500 loan can become several thousand because people can't pay them back, it takes those consumers far too long to get out of the debt spiral and they need protection". 

Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said Winston Peters is on board in clamping down on predatory lending. Source: Q+A


Foodstuffs halts distribution of Australian strawberries, amid needle scare

Foodstuffs say there are no strawberries in its New Zealand stores affected by the recall of the fruit in Australia.

The company halted distribution of all Australian strawberries as the search for culprits inserting needles into the fruit continued.

"For added reassurance for our customers we have elected to halt distribution of Australian strawberries,” a Foodstuffs spokesperson told 1 NEWS.

"Our customers’ safety is our number one priority."

The spokesperson added that the New Zealand strawberry season kicks off shortly.

Foodstuffs owns the New World, Four Square and Pak'n Save retailers. 

Needles and pins have been found in strawberries across Australia, prompting the federal government to announce it's examining the handling of the problem by state authorities.

The halt comes after needles were found in different brands in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

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Woman charged with murder after man fatally stabbed in Northland on Saturday

A 46-year-old woman accused of stabbing to death a man in the Northland town of Moerewa over the weekend has been charged with murder.

Emergency services were called to the address at about 8.45pm on Saturday, where they found a 57-year-old man who died at the scene.

Authorities ientified the man today as Richard Bristow.

Police said yesterday that a woman was assisting them with a homicide investigation. The two knew each other, they said.

The woman is set to appear in Whangārei District Court today, according to Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston.

A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer.
A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer. Source: 1 NEWS

The case is one of two fatal stabbings that occurred over the weekend.

In the Christchurch suburb of Ilam, a 52-year-old man has been charged with murder for the death of a 28-year-old woman around the same time as the Northland incident Saturday night.

The 52-year-old is also accused of stabbing a 31-year-old man before turning the knife on himself. Both suffered serious injuries, police reported.

"This was a domestic incident," Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Anderson said yesterday. "I just want to reassure the community at large that this is an isolated incident and we don't believe that there is any ongoing risk to the community."

One man has been arrested following one fatal stabbing in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS


Māori killed and charged in police pursuits more than any other group

Police figures show Māori make up more than half of people warned or charged following police pursuits.

And as more Māori die as a result, police pursuits are being called 'Māori death chases'.

In less than four years, police have chased more than 10,000 fleeing cars on our roads.

But when it comes to punishing them - Māori make up 54 percent of those who are warned or charged.

That's despite making up just 15 percent of the population.

It comes as no surprise to former police officer, Hurimoana Dennis.

"Bias within the police, that's well known. It doesn't matter which way you roll the dice, every constable or officer who has the power of arrest, has the power of discretion.

"No one can tell them who to arrest and who not to arrest."

A lawyer, Dr Moana Jackson, is researching the prevalence of Māori involved in police pursuits and why they are being prosecuted more than any other group.

"A number of people actually called it a 'Māori death chase policy'.

"The way in which they arrest Māori, the decision to pursue a Māori, usually young Māori, the police's research itself admits that often those decisions are prompted by what they call unconscious bias."

Unconscious bias, that he said, has had a deathly consequence.

In the last four years nine Māori drivers lost their lives, compared to four European.

Twenty-nine people died in total, but police only record the ethnicity of the driver of the offending vehicle.

Police would not be interviewed and could not offer any reasons why the rates are so disproportionate - apart from saying in a statement Māori drivers who flee from the police are more likely to be on their learner or restricted licences.

John Tamihere, the chief executive of the Waipareira Trust which works with the Waitakere community, had another explanation.

"You've got the issue that is ethnic profiling. We know statistically when discretions are used by police, Māori don't get the same nod as others."

Māori were four times more likely to receive multiple charges and seven times more likely to be incarcerated, Mr Tamihere said.

He also said other important factors as to why Māori choose to flee police were at play too.

"Māori have a higher prevalence of risk taking activities. That's linked to issues of deprivation, status, poverty, poor skills, therefore, poor choices."

Hurimoana Dennis said some Māori who flee police just make bad decisions, but he said other social issues Māori face should not be ignored.

"We are in the news every night so people build these perceptions as they go and it doesn't mean that there's a whole lot more bad Māori out there doing bad things.

"People of New Zealand need to pay a lot more attention to the social issues that are going on in the country and it just doesn't look like what sits inside their fence."

In the last four years 4835 Māori were charged or warned for fleeing the police.

And Moana Jackson said people must remember the human price that has been paid.

"It's too easy to just quote statistics. For every young Māori who dies in a police pursuit, that's a whānau that is affected. I think it's important that we never should lose sight of the basic humanity that's at play."

A review of the police pursuit policy is underway and expected to be released by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, police say they are trying to influence positive change and road safety for Māori by taking a whānau-based approach, and using iwi community panels to repair the harm caused by offending.

- By Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

rnz.co.nz

(Alexander Robertson) Source: rnz.co.nz


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