Former Hastings Pizza Hut owner fined for illegally employing work
A Hastings Pizza Hut franchise and its former owner have been convicted and fined today for helping an employee breach visa conditions.
A judge rejected Mahipal Reddy Kolan's request that he be discharged without conviction so that his other franchise, a Subway restaurant, wouldn't be put in jeopardy. He was also fined $1500, while the business was fined $2000.
"The fines were really only incidental," Auckland District Court Judge Noel Sainsbury responded, explaining that it wasn't his job to protect Kolan from the consequences of his actions. "It was the convictions that would bite."
The worker who was unlawfully employed left New Zealand one year ago, according to New Zealand Immigration. Kolan sold the pizza business after the offence.
INZ Assistant General Manager Peter Devoy said today he hopes the judge's decision "sends a strong signal" to employers who illegally hire workers.
"Kolan shows a regard only for himself, entering a guilty plea to the charge, and yet swearing and filing an affidavit denying the offending," Mr Devoy said.
Fonterra's interim CEO admits performance must improve as $196 million loss announced today
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has just announced a massive $196 million net loss, after tax.
The Fiscal Year 2018 results come after a tumultuous year for the company that saw CEO Theo Spierings announce his resignation in March and chairman John Wilson step down after a health scare in July.
Interim CEO Miles Hurrell, who was appointed last month, said of the results that the co-operative's business performance must improve.
"There's no two ways about it, these results don't meet the standards we need to live up to," he said in a statement announcing the loss. "We needed to deliver an outstanding third and fourth quarter, after an extremely strong second quarter for sales and earnings - but that didn't happen."
The company's woes over the past year have also included a $232 million payment to French food giant Danone following years of legal wrangling over the 2013 botulism scare. The international arbitration tribunal decision last December first prompted Fonterra to cut its earnings forecast.
The botulism scare stemmed from Fonterra quarantining several batches of whey protein concentrate after there were concerns they could have been contaminated with clostridium bacteria.
Danone, then a buyer of Fonterra products, began a large-scale recall which they said cost about $610 million, and ceased doing business with Fonterra. It was later confirmed there had been no food safety risk to the public.
"We have learned from this experience and as a result have made improvements to our escalation, product traceability and recall processes, and incident management systems," Mr Spierings said in December.
"Fonterra is in a strong financial position and is able to meet the recall costs," he added.
Mr Hurrell said today that there were four other reasons, in addition to the Danone decision, for the gloomy year-end results. The company's forecasting was "too optimistic", butter prices remained higher than anticipated, there were increased operating costs in some parts of the business and the company was hurt by an increase in the forecast Farmgate Milk Price late in the season, he explained.
However, the silver lining of the report today was the business' performance in China, Mr Hurrell said.
"Of particular note, our Consumer business in China broke even this year, two years ahead of schedule," he said. "A big contributor to this success is the popularity of Anchor, which is now the number one brand of imported UHT milk in both online and offline sales in China."
Photos: Sneak peek at the 25 new KiwiBuild homes announced today for Auckland's Onehunga
Construction on 25 new KiwiBuild apartments in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga starts today. And balloting for the highly sought after dwellings begins next week, officials announced this morning.
"This is a unique opportunity for those who have been locked out of the property market to buy a modern, new home in an increasingly popular area that might otherwise have been out of reach for first home buyers," Housing Minister Phil Twyford said in a statement.
The homes, which are expected to take a year to build, include six studio apartments, 12 one-bedroom apartments and seven two-bedroom apartments. They will range in price from $380,000 to $600,000, and include washer/dryers and dishwashers – "high quality fittings" described by Mr Twyford as "often hidden costs for first home buyers".
The Government has set a goal of building 10,000 KiwiBuild homes, targeting first time homebuyers or people deemed
"second chancers", by June 2021.
Earlier this week, the ballot began for the first 18 homes in Auckland – stand-alone dwellings in Papakura selling for $579,000 for three bedrooms and $649,000 for four bedrooms.
"Our Government is opening the door to families locked out of home ownership by building affordable starter homes where the market failed to do so," Prime Minister said earlier this week.
The latest development, named @340 Onehunga, has been praised for its central location and it's proximity to public transportation – including a planned light rail route.
Open days at 340 Onehunga Mall begin this weekend. They will remain open from 11am to 2pm daily until the ballot closes on 15 October.
Those who win the ballot will be required to pay a 10 per cent deposit while the homes are being built. Only those who have an income of less than $120,000 for a single buyer, or no more than $180,000 for more than one purchaser, are eligible.
They must also be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, or a resident visa holder who is "ordinarily resident in New Zealand" and must intend to own and live in the home as their primary place of residence for at least three years.
Water meters likely for all New Zealand households in the future, expert says
New Zealand may be blessed with a plentiful supply of fresh water, but our system for getting it to our taps leaves a lot to be desired.
In places like Wellington, our pipe system has a water leakage rate of roughly 15 to 20 per cent, Water New Zealand CEO John Pfahlert told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.
"It's a fairly aging piping network, quite leaky," he said, adding that the situation isn't any different in "many, many communities" throughout Aotearoa. "You compare that, for example, to places like the Netherlands where you'd probably have less than 3 per cent leakage - a much higher investment in their reticulation network."
And as scientists predict more extreme weather events in coming decades, including extreme drought, that inefficiency paired with our "excessive consumption" throughout the country will have big consequences if we don't prepare for it now, he predicted.
Mr Pfahlert's warnings come as a report in Wellington suggests demand for water there will outstrip supply by 2040 if residents keep consuming at their current rate.
While replacing the piping networks throughout New Zealand is expensive, there is one way to dramatically cut down our consumption, Mr Pfahlert said. Install water meters and charge for it.
The measure is already in place in Auckland, where it costs about $1.80 per cubic metre of water.
"When those meters were introduced, there was an immediate reduction in water consumption by people of about 30 per cent," he said.
"When they did the same thing on the Kapiti Coast a few years ago, they were facing the necessity to build a water treatment plant at a cost of something like $50 million," he added. "They installed water meters, and (there was) an immediate 30 per cent drop in consumption in water by locals.
"It does drive behaviour."
There has been some opposition to installing meters in Wellington, with fears - unfounded, officials say - that it could lead to privatisation of the water supply. But the measure seems inevitable, not just for Wellington but for all of New Zealand, Mr Pfahlert told Breakfast.
"As we approach a world where the weather's going to be drier, I suspect it's going to be something that most communities are forced to do," he said. "It just makes good common sense. It's not only a means of conserving water, it's just a good way to behave in terms of treating the environment."