Classic car seized by police in Bay of Plenty meth operation

A classic car has been seized by police in the Bay of Plenty town of Kawerau that was allegedly acquired through the proceeds of illegal drug activity.

Yesterday police seized the 1955 Ford Customline car as part of an ongoing operation to strip people of assets they have acquired through the sale and supply of methamphetamine.

In a statement Sergeant Al Fenwick says police want to ensure those selling meth in the Kawerau community "aren’t able to build and enjoy nest eggs of assets on the back of the suffering and misery of others".

"As part of our follow up in Kawerau we are looking to strengthen and build resilience in the community and are working with other agencies to support those that have been affected by methamphetamine.  

A 1955 Ford Customline car seized by police in Kawerau.
A 1955 Ford Customline car seized by police in Kawerau. Source: NZ Police.


Net - not blood poisoning - may have killed rare, pregnant dolphin, expert says

A marine mammal expert is casting doubt on a report that says a rare dolphin most likely died from blood poisoning.

The pathology report in to the death of what is believed to be a critically-endangered Māui dolphin, was released just over a week ago by the Department of Conservation.

It said a still-born foetus found inside the mammal most likely resulted in the mother developing blood poisoning.

But Otago University professor Liz Slooten said the report did not delve in to detail on whether the animal could have drowned in a fishing net, something she thought was a distinct possibility.

"We can't be sure that it has been caught in a net but we can't be sure that it has not. Only half of dolphins caught in gill nets have those kinds of markings so we can't rule it out."

Professor Slooten, who had carried out about 120 autopsies on dolphins, noted the mammal was healthy, indicating it had not been hungry or sick in the weeks leading up to its death.

She said Maui dolphins were teetering on the brink of extinction and wanted the government to implement the recommendations of the International Whaling Commission from three years ago.

This asked for fishing nets to be banned less than 20 nautical miles from shore from Northland to Whanagnui.

"It's really sad in this case to have these two deaths because with this very small population of Maui dolphins of only about 55 individuals one year and older only half of those would be expected to be females, so that's about 28...and half of those would be expected to be mature. So we are talking 14 breeding age to lose one, especially one that was pregnant is really really bad."

A Department of Conservation spokesperson said there were no signs the Gibson Beach dolphin was entangled in a net and this was not something it was looking at.

There is an estimated 63 Maui dolphins left in the world.
Source: 1 NEWS


Queensland bikies face trial for drug deal murder

A trial is expected to start for two alleged Bandidos bikies accused of killing a man in the car park of a Brisbane shopping centre.

Bogdan Cuic and Marko Cokara are accused of murdering Jei "Jack" Lee outside an Eight Mile Plains shopping centre in April 2012.

The day after the shooting, Cuic left Australia for Serbia but was arrested in 2016 and extradited back to Australia, despite the two countries not sharing an extradition treaty.

It's alleged Cuic and Cokara killed Mr Lee, 22, "execution-style" after a drug deal involving two ounces of cocaine went wrong.

Cuic, 28, and Cokara, 25, will face the Brisbane Supreme Court today.

Motorbike Bars
Bikie (file picture). Source:


Man who drowned at Hot Water Beach was trying to save child, church group says

A man who drowned yesterday at Hot Water Beach reportedly trying to save a child was a member of a Tauranga Christian organisation.

Couples for Christ New Zealand confirmed on its Facebook page that Angelo Tuyay had died while trying to save a child shortly before 4pm.

“Brothers and Sisters, it is with sadness to inform you that Bro Angelo Tuyay passed away today,” the page wrote.

Source: Facebook/Couples for Christ New Zealand

“Let us all say our prayers for Bro Angelo who died while saving a child drowning in Coromandel area.”

Tuyay, aged in his 50s, was pulled from the water and given CPR but died at the scene.

Shortly before 4pm, the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to reports that a man was struggling in the water.

Hot Water Beach lifeguards were packing up after training on the other side of the beach and were not made aware of the incident for six or seven minutes after Fire and Emergency New Zealand had been notified, NZ Herald reported.

"We need to be there as soon as other people. If we get stood down that is fine, but seven to eight minutes, in a life-saving situation, is crucial,” chairman Gary Hinds said.

Two weeks ago, a similar incident unfolded, with lifeguards only made aware of a near drowning when the fire truck responding called Mr Hinds.

"I've been working on this for four or five years. We are like the poor cousins, we have the same training and assets and we are the ones at the beach and know it well,” he told the NZ Herald.

"It is disappointing, we don't know if we could have changed anything, we have to sort this out, so it doesn't keep happening."

The man's death had been referred to the coroner, a police spokesperson said.

Couples for Christ New Zealand confirmed on its Facebook page that Angelo Tuyay had died while trying to save a child shortly before 4pm.

Transport Minister slams NZTA for 'not properly doing its job' in regards to companies that check heavy vehicles

The Transport Minister has slammed the New Zealand Transport Agency for "not properly doing its job", after it was found to not be adequately checking in on companies that certify heavy vehicles as safe for the road. 

"When problems with these companies were identified there was often no follow up. This was due to process failures and under-resourcing over the last decade," Phil Twyford said this morning. 

"I am disappointed as Transport Minister that the transport agency has failed to carry out its regulatory responsibilities to the standard that I expect."

The Housing NZ board will not be sacked over the methamphetamine contamination “fiasco”, the housing minister said.
Source: 1 NEWS

However, Mr Twyford was pleased at the board's "swift action" and the cases were being urgently reviewed. 

"The NZTA board has acted decisively, calling in independent lawyers to review the cases," he said.

NZTA chief executive Fergus Gammie said major improvements were needed. 

"We know we have to do better and we accept our responsibility to fix it," he said. 

The agency has appointed two additional heavy vehicle engineers and two more auditors had been appointed. Seventeen additional WOF and Certificate of Fitness inspectors were being recruited. 

The external independent review, led by law firm Meredith Connell, began in September.

"Based on preliminary findings, the Transport Agency is immediately strengthening its enforcement regime by increasing suspensions, with other legal actions expected to follow," Mr Twyford said in a statement.

"About 152 files require urgent legal or investigative review and that work is expected to be completed by early November."

It was found NZTA was not properly checking on the companies that certify heavy vehicles as being safe for the road. Source: 1 NEWS