Brendon McCullum exclusive: It was my moral obligation to testify against Chris Cairns

Former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum has opened up for the first time about his involvement in the Chris Cairns trial, describing it as a "horrible" experience.

Last year Cairns was tried for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He was found not guilty on all charges, after an eight-week trial in London.

In an in interview with TVNZ 1's Seven Sharp, McCullum says he has no regrets about his decision to testify against his former teammate.

"Whether they believed me, whether they didn't. None of that really matters. It wasn't about a guilty or not guilty verdict. It was a matter of fulfilling a moral obligation I felt I had."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  Brendon McCullum arrives at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns on October 15, 2015 in London, England. The former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns appeared in court today on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice. Barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland also faces one count of preventing justice from being served.  (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Brendon McCullum arrives at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns on October 15, 2015 Source: Getty

McCullum and Cairns played together in the Black Caps, where they became friends.

"He was everyone's hero back then," says McCullum, "but it's dangerous when you meet your heroes, I guess".

McCullum claimed that Cairns approached him about match-fixing in 2008. It took three years for him to make a statement to cricket officials.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07:  Chris Cairns, former New Zealand cricketer, leaves Southwark Crown Court on October 7, 2015 in London, England.  The 44-year-old faces charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice while his Barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland denies one count of perverting the course of justice.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
Chris Cairns, former New Zealand cricketer, leaves Southwark Crown Court on October 7, 2015 in London Source: Getty

"I just simply didn't understand that if you weren't to report it, you were just as in the gun as anyone that has actually approached you," says McCullum. "Once I realised that, I straight away went and reported it".

When Cairns was put on trial, McCullum flew to London to testify in front of a jury. Other witnesses included cricketers Lou Vincent and Shane Bond.

I guess I can never forgive him for that - Brendon McCullum

"I didn't have to testify," he told Seven Sharp. "I think that's something that people don't understand. And I'm pretty sure lots of people wouldn't do what I did. But I felt I had an obligation, especially as captain of New Zealand, to go over and tell my side of the story."

McCullum's confidential statement to cricket bosses had been leaked to the press, and he was criticised in the media for being disloyal to Kiwi cricket.

"I was prepared to stand up, even under pressure and under fire from various quarters, and do what I thought was morally right at the time.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns arrives at Southwark Crown Court on November 24, 2015 in London, England. Mr Cairns is currently in court on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice while his Barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland denies one count of the criminal offence in preventing justice from being served.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns arrives at Southwark Crown Court on November 24, 2015 Source: Getty

"The last thing I wanted to do was be in a courtroom testifying against one of my old mates. It's certainly not how I was brought up as well."

Cairns was found not guilty on all charges in 2015. Outside court, he was asked what his message was for Brendon McCullum. Cairns simply said: "Why?"

McCullum says the fact that the court case became "about me versus [Cairns] is something I'll never understand".

"Under pressure, people show their true character. It's not the character I thought I knew, and I guess I can never forgive him for that".

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  Brendon McCullum arrives at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns on October 15, 2015 in London, England. The former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns appeared in court today on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice. Barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland also faces one count of preventing justice from being served.  (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Brendon McCullum arrives at Southwark Crown Court to give evidence in the trial of New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns Source: Getty

Tomorrow, McCullum will release his autobiography, Declared, in which he writes a letter to Cairns, addressing him as "Cairnsy".

He told Seven Sharp that he has moved on from the Cairns case. In terms of how he feels about Cairns now: "I'm sure he'll get on with his life, and I'll get on with mine, and let's hope they never cross paths"
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McCullum says he'd rather be remembered for his achievements on the cricket pitch, including his triple-century at the Basin in 2014.

The former Black Caps captain says he hopes his path doesn't cross again with Chris Cairns. Source: Seven Sharp



Strawberry needle scandal creating a booming trade for one food safety company

The strawberry scandal’s costing the industry millions of dollars, but it’s created a booming trade for one food safety company.

A&D Australasia provides metal detectors to food production companies, and their sales in the last week - including in New Zealand - have skyrocketed.

Spokesperson for the company Julian Horsley says he’s sold a year’s worth of products in just four days.

“There's an element of panic obviously because customers are saying we can't buy your product until this and this are in line - so that's obviously a commercial panic to them” he said.

Each detector costs around $22,000, but Horsley says growers are viewing them as an investment.

"For these guys it's either put my produce in the rubbish bin, or supply it to the customers.”

A&D Australasia provides metal detectors to food production companies, and their sales have gone through the roof. Source: 1 NEWS

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Jacinda Ardern says refugee quota gives NZ strength ahead of UN summit

Yesterday's refugee quota announcement, paired with the ban on oil and gas exploration announced in April, will give Jacinda Ardern more credibility and a stronger hand while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, she said.

"Of course, doing your part adds to your weight that you're able to bring to the debate," she told 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay in a one-on-one interview today.

Climate change, big interviews and baby Neve were all on the agenda for the pair. Source: 1 NEWS

During what will be her first UN General Assembly meeting, the Prime Minister has been chosen to deliver a number of keynote addresses, including for the opening of UN Climate Week. In devising her strategy for the week, Ms Ardern said she turned to our past.

"Nuclear proliferation is a great example," she said. "New Zealand's always been looked to as an exemplar because we've always taken a firm stance and we've acted on it. On climate change I hope we'll be seen in the same way. But yes, the refugee quote is about us doing our bit in response to a humanitarian crisis."

Ms Ardern announced yesterday that starting in 2020 New Zealand will help resettle 1500 refugees here per year, 500 more than the current amount and double what it will have been just five years earlier. The move has been hailed by the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups.

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

Also during her week in New York, Ms Ardern will be appearing on the Today Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and will sit down for an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"It's hard for me really to know whether I'm getting any more or any less (attention) than other New Zealand leaders," she said as Mutch McKay pointed out they're pretty "big gigs".

"They are (big) but I'll be doing my best to make sure that they are in the best interest of New Zealanders as well," she said. "That I use those opportunities to promote New Zealand -- in some cases, as a destination, on others just promote our stance in issues of international significance.

"For me, it's about making sure I'm the best representative for New Zealand I can be while abroad."

The government say the move is to cut rising greenhouse emissions. Source: 1 NEWS

This week’s refugee quota announcement should give the PM a stronger hand in NYC, she told 1 NEWS journalist Jessica Mutch McKay. Source: 1 NEWS

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Man who beat pensioner to death soon after release from mental health unit jailed at least 13 years

A man who stomped a pensioner to death shortly after being discharged from Auckland City Hospital's mental health unit has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

Gabriel Yad-Elohim appeared at the High Court in Auckland today for sentencing for the murder of 69-year-old Michael Mulholland.

Mr Mulholland's daughter told the court that the pain of losing her father was immense.

She said her father was just an old man who enjoyed collecting National Geographic magazines and reading. He treasured gifts and letters from his children like diamonds.

Yad-Elohim had been out of Auckland City Hospital's Te Whetu Tawera for only three days when he killed Mr Mulholland in September last year.

His lawyers argued he had a disease of the mind, was hearing voices at the time and had no way of telling right from wrong.

The Crown said despite having schizophrenia, he knew right from wrong and killed Mr Mulholland for revenge after losing $200 in a methamphetamine deal.

rnz.co.nz

Gabriel Yad-Elohim at the High Court in Auckland today. (Claire Eastham-Farrelly) Source: rnz.co.nz


Tax working group suggests two options for capital gains tax, change to tax brackets

Two ways of taxing capital have been proposed by the Tax Working Group, including extending the current income tax regime.

File image of $50 and $100 notes. Source: 1 NEWS

Tax Working Group has released an interim report proposing two options for taxing capital gain.

The group was established by the government to look at whether there should be any changes to the tax system, including a potential capital gains tax - excluding the family home.

The head of the working group, Sir Michael Cullen, has just presented the interim report.

The group has received about 6700 submissions and spoke with business and community groups in roadshows across the country.

The group is proposing two options for taxing capital gain: any gain from the sale of assets taxed at roughly the marginal income tax rate, and the second a regime under which a portion of the value of certain assets would be subject to tax, for example rental properties, to be paid each year.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

However, Sir Michael said neither of these options were actual recommendations.

The report found there was "significant scope" to use tax to "sustain and enhance" New Zealand's "natural capital", including options like a waste disposal levy, "strengthening" the Emissions Trading Scheme, and congestion charges.

It also proposed removing the tax on employer contributions to superannuation schemes for those earning less than $48,000 a year.

The working group made no final recommendations about income tax rates, but suggested a progressive approach would be to reduce rates for the lower threshold tax brackets.

Public feedback will now be sought before the working group releases its final report in February 2019.


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