Christchurch's Student Volunteer Army out in force to help quake affected neighbours in Kaikoura

Christchurch's Student Volunteer Army has been out in force again.

Today lending a hand to their earthquake affected neighbours in Kaikoura.

A hundred volunteers worked with the Department of Conservation on the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway.

Helping to get the track in shape for the town's upcoming tourist season.

The students efforts are part of the group's fourth biannual camp, aimed at helping communities outside of Christchurch City.

A hundred volunteers worked alongside DOC to help get the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway in shape for tourist season. Source: 1 NEWS



Police warn public after Kiwi loses life savings to online Bitcoin scam

A person who lost $320,000 of their life savings to an online scam has prompted police in Canterbury to issue a warning to be wary of sharing their private information.

The scam involved cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, with the company offering extremely good returns from a minimal investment.

The victim’s investment grew as money was invested before declining.

The scammer then contacted the victim to invest more funds, which they did through the website.

Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves warned the public to seek advice on any online investments they’re unsure of, saying that if an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“Scammers are extremely persistent and can seem very credible, as they are highly versed in their trade," Mr Reeves said.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a crime, in person or online, should report the matter to their local authorities. Police also posted this guide to cryptocurrency safety.

Female hands hold credit card, pressing buttons and making online purchase closeup. Anti-fraud and financial security, entering client discount program number, filling personal information concept
Source: istock.com

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Weapons seized, arrests made in police raids of gang properties in Te Kuiti

Police have raided multiple properties in Te Kuiti with gang connections this morning, making arrests and seizing a cache of weapons and drugs.

Four men were arrested in the raids and are facing numerous charges including robbery, assault, and threatening to kill.

Three Armed Offenders Squad teams from Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Waikato assisted police with searches at seven addresses, over recent offending in the area.

Police say the men, aged 41, 46, 49, and 53, are due in Hamilton District Court today.

All four of those arrested have connections to gangs.

Also seized during the warrants were cannabis plants, multiple guns and ammunition.

A police Armed Offenders Squad officer. Source: 1 NEWS

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Timelapse shows demolition of the Kings Arms Tavern after 130 years in operation

Auckland's Kings Arms Tavern has been demolished after 130 years in operation to make way for 102 new apartments.

The demolition was completed on Monday, and a video timelapse of the demolition was posted by new owner Urban Collective last night.

Developer Kelly McEwan said he realised the footage could be a bit nostalgic for some.

"I think it's a shame it's gone, but it does provide opportunities to take its place," Mr McEwan said.

Some of the comments on the post were negative, including one person who wrote: "When all of Auckland's live venues have been knocked down for apartments ... what is there going to be left to do for a night out?"

Mr McEwan said he understood that fans and denizens of the pub would be upset, but the wishes of late owner Maureen Gordon should be respected.

The Kings Arms Tavern has launched the careers of countless Kiwi bands, but it's being destroyed to make way for apartments. Source: 1 NEWS

"Maureen put the pub up for sale and there were no takers," Urban Collective posted on the video.

"People had the opportunity on the open market to 'step up' but the numbers just didn't work anymore.

"She wished to take care of her interests before she passed and this needs to be respected.

"She was a legend and the Kings Arms was a fantastic venue that had its time and place ... all of our team certainly had many a good night there!"

Mr McEwan said Ms Gorden herself, who passed away late last year, aged 86, had actually put a deposit on one of the new apartments herself before she passed.

“The Kings Arms is dead,” Voom singer Buzz Moller said to the crowd after the final song. Source: 1 NEWS

The venue and grounds were sold to Urban Collective for $7.4m in 2016 and the pub closed its doors this year on February 28.

The building had no heritage designation despite being more than a century old, and Mr McEwan said he suspected many parts of the building were in fact un-compliant.

An artist's rendering of how the 59 France Street site will look when completed.
An artist's rendering of how the 59 France Street site will look when completed. Source: Supplied/Urban Collective

The new apartment complex on the site will be extensive, incorporating 102 industrial-themed apartments along with ground-level commercial sites.

Apartments in the building will sell for between $645,000 and $2.39 million and they are due to be completed in mid-2020.

The Auckland stalwart will be replaced with stylish new apartments after more than 130 years in operation. Source: Urban Collective


Auckland hospitals write off $53m in treatment costs for overseas patients

Three Auckland district health boards have written off debts of $53.5 million run up by ineligible overseas patients in the past five years.

Counties Manukau wrote off $31m, having recouped only a third of treatment costs from patients themselves and their insurers.

A spokesperson said it appeared more people were visiting its area with existing health conditions and without medical insurance.

As of last month, 10 patients were receiving dialysis at the Counties Manukau DHB, with a total patient debt of more than $1.7m.

A spokesperson said patients requiring treatment for an acute injury or illness were treated, regardless of their eligibility for funded services, and unrecovered costs were passed to a debt collection agency.

At Auckland DHB, more than 100 ineligible patients are seen each year at its Greenlane eye clinic alone.

The DHB had more than $14.5m of unpaid treatment costs of which $10.9m was paid for by the Ministry of Health and $3.6m by the DHB itself.

Some patients repay money owing, either personally or through insurance policies.

Auckland and Counties Manukau receive partial refunds from the Ministry of Health because of the extent of their debts. The DHBs pay for the rest of the debt out of their general operating budget.

Waitemata DHB, which wrote off $8m, gets no extra from the ministry.

Counties Manukau said it received $3.6 million this year to recognise the unpaid debts.

The health board had a higher proportion of non-eligible patients than other regions, but it wasn't clear why, a spokesperson said in a statement.

"However, many people in our community are in New Zealand on visas and/or on a short-stay basis. This includes a large new-immigrant community, people with extended family visiting from overseas, particularly from the Pacific, and people travelling via Auckland International airport.

"It is possible, (but not provable) that in our district, more people are visiting with already compromised health status, delay seeking early medical care, do not understand where to access healthcare in NZ, are here without travel/medical insurance to cover medical costs during their stay, and/or have immigration sponsors with their own limited financial resources."

By Gill Bonnett

rnz.co.nz

Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata DHBs had $53m in unpaid treatment costs to overseas patients in the last five years. (Dan Cook) Source: rnz.co.nz