'It a bombsite' - Wellington restaurant owner allowed back inside building months after quake

Owners of an upmarket Wellington restaurant have been allowed back inside their building for the first time today, after being forced to close in the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake.

More than three months after the Kaikoura quake hit the capital, restaurant owners were able today to return to their business. Source: 1 NEWS

Many buildings in Courtenay Central were evacuated days after the November 14 quake because of their proximity to the Reading Cinemas car park, which was at risk of collapsing.

Asian-fusion restaurant Dragonfly co-owner Tania Siladi guesses they had "two minutes" to vacate the premises at the time.

"We had people in high-vis vest telling us, 'you have to get out, you have to get out, it's not safe"," she told 1 NEWS.

Staff were told they'd be out of their building for 48 hours.  

"Then we were told two weeks, now it's been three months," she said.

While there's no damage to the building Dragonfly is in, the courtyard has been pelted with concrete chunks from demolition work nearby.

"Oh my god, it looks like a bombsite," Ms Siladi exclaimed when she laid eyes on the fallout.

Dragonfly is currently relocated at pop up store across the road in the St James Theatre Mojo Cafe.

Ms Siladi doesn't know when they'll be able to open their doors to the public at their permanent address, but is hopeful it'll be in the next week or so.

For now, the clean up begins.

New Plymouth's mayor says baby boomers the 'most selfish generation we've known'

The mayor of New Plymouth has risked the wrath of the keenest voters in New Zealand by declaring baby boomers the "most selfish generation we’ve known".

In an interview with Live magazine, Neil Holdom said those born between 1946 and 1964 were the first generation that will be richer than their children.

They had gained on the back of housing inflation, he said.

Experts say restrictions on the amount banks can lend are kicking in and slowing down the hot housing market.
Source: 1 NEWS

"But who's going to buy all your property, because none of our kids can afford it?" he said.

"Your grandchildren are going to be the first generation poorer than their parents."

His comments were part of a discussion about making New Plymouth an age-friendly city and demographics.

He conceded that the population break down could dictate council policy to some degree, but he wanted the older generation to consider others when making their demands.

"How much of our children's future are we going to sell off to sate a greedy and aging population that wants everything for themselves?" he said.

"When they talk about the aging population in the same sentence as 'don’t let the rates go up', what they are really saying is 'take something from someone else'.

"Because for every new thing here, I either have to put the rates up or I cut something somewhere else."

Lance Girling-Butcher, a government-appointed SuperSenior Champion, called his comments "pensioner bashing".

"The last thing we need is the mayor setting an appalling example by pensioner bashing," he told the Taranaki Daily News. 

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom
New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom Source: New Plymouth District Council


Northern Districts cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn found not guilty of rape

Scott Kuggeleijn is a free man after a jury took less than an hour to acquit him of raping a 22-year-old Waikato University student in May 2015.

Kuggeleijn, 25, was tried on the same charge last year where a jury of eight men and four women were unable to reach a verdict following 24 hours of deliberation.

The Northern Knights cricket player when asked how he was feeling as he left the court responded only with "good".

The prosecution had alleged Kuggeleijn had forced himself on the woman who brought him home to her Hamilton East flat where they had engaged in acts of sexual intimacy.

She claimed she never gave him consent at any stage and that he had forced himself on her despite repeatedly telling him no.

Defence counsel Philip Morgan QC said the complainant relented because after two initial refusals to have sex and partaking in foreplay, she could not turn him down.

"She couldn't turn this man down yet again because she would then be thought of as a tease," he said.

"My client respected the complainant's wishes at night when he could've had her so easily when she was drunk,"

"That's not the behaviour of a rapist, is it?" Morgan said.

In a statement released by the Northern Districts Cricket Association, chief executive Peter Roach said his organisation fully respected the court process and the decision handed down.

"This has been a terribly difficult situation for all concerned," Roach said.

"Northern Districts is an organisation which embraces inclusivity and promotes respect towards women. As such, the charges against Scott were a grave concern."

Scott Kuggeleijn
Scott Kuggeleijn Source: Photosport