High Court mistrial declared over man accused of murdering Christchurch father

The High Court trial for the murder of Christchurch father Marcus Tucker has been declared a mistrial and aborted after its third day.

Peter John Carroll, 52, is accused of beating Marcus Tucker to death with the hook of a steering wheel lock, wrapping his body, then dumping him at Lake Ellesmere.

The body was found by fishermen on ANZAC day last year.

Justice David Gendall explained to the High Court this morning that certain issues had arisen, making a mistrial necessary to ensure Mr Carroll receives fair trial.

"In the interest of justice no other option was available here," Justice Gendall said.

The crown says Marcus Tucker was killed after a case of mistaken identity.
Source: 1 NEWS

He's also granted leave to the two defence lawyers of Mr Carroll to be withdrawn from the case.

Marcus Tucker's family were visibly upset when leaving court.

Belinda Ross, Marcus Tucker's sister, told 1NEWS: "We are very disappointed this has been called a mistrial. But we'd like to thank everyone for their support."

A new trial date's been set for July 17.

The trial, set down for two days was adjourned on day three. Source: 1 NEWS

Woman charged with murder after man fatally stabbed in Northland on Saturday

A 46-year-old woman accused of stabbing to death a man in the Northland town of Moerewa over the weekend has been charged with murder.

Emergency services were called to the address at about 8.45pm on Saturday, where they found a 57-year-old man who died at the scene.

Authorities ientified the man today as Richard Bristow.

Police said yesterday that a woman was assisting them with a homicide investigation. The two knew each other, they said.

The woman is set to appear in Whangārei District Court today, according to Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston.

A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer.
A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer. Source: 1 NEWS

The case is one of two fatal stabbings that occurred over the weekend.

In the Christchurch suburb of Ilam, a 52-year-old man has been charged with murder for the death of a 28-year-old woman around the same time as the Northland incident Saturday night.

The 52-year-old is also accused of stabbing a 31-year-old man before turning the knife on himself. Both suffered serious injuries, police reported.

"This was a domestic incident," Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Anderson said yesterday. "I just want to reassure the community at large that this is an isolated incident and we don't believe that there is any ongoing risk to the community."

One man has been arrested following one fatal stabbing in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS


Māori killed and charged in police pursuits more than any other group

Police figures show Māori make up more than half of people warned or charged following police pursuits.

And as more Māori die as a result, police pursuits are being called 'Māori death chases'.

In less than four years, police have chased more than 10,000 fleeing cars on our roads.

But when it comes to punishing them - Māori make up 54 percent of those who are warned or charged.

That's despite making up just 15 percent of the population.

It comes as no surprise to former police officer, Hurimoana Dennis.

"Bias within the police, that's well known. It doesn't matter which way you roll the dice, every constable or officer who has the power of arrest, has the power of discretion.

"No one can tell them who to arrest and who not to arrest."

A lawyer, Dr Moana Jackson, is researching the prevalence of Māori involved in police pursuits and why they are being prosecuted more than any other group.

"A number of people actually called it a 'Māori death chase policy'.

"The way in which they arrest Māori, the decision to pursue a Māori, usually young Māori, the police's research itself admits that often those decisions are prompted by what they call unconscious bias."

Unconscious bias, that he said, has had a deathly consequence.

In the last four years nine Māori drivers lost their lives, compared to four European.

Twenty-nine people died in total, but police only record the ethnicity of the driver of the offending vehicle.

Police would not be interviewed and could not offer any reasons why the rates are so disproportionate - apart from saying in a statement Māori drivers who flee from the police are more likely to be on their learner or restricted licences.

John Tamihere, the chief executive of the Waipareira Trust which works with the Waitakere community, had another explanation.

"You've got the issue that is ethnic profiling. We know statistically when discretions are used by police, Māori don't get the same nod as others."

Māori were four times more likely to receive multiple charges and seven times more likely to be incarcerated, Mr Tamihere said.

He also said other important factors as to why Māori choose to flee police were at play too.

"Māori have a higher prevalence of risk taking activities. That's linked to issues of deprivation, status, poverty, poor skills, therefore, poor choices."

Hurimoana Dennis said some Māori who flee police just make bad decisions, but he said other social issues Māori face should not be ignored.

"We are in the news every night so people build these perceptions as they go and it doesn't mean that there's a whole lot more bad Māori out there doing bad things.

"People of New Zealand need to pay a lot more attention to the social issues that are going on in the country and it just doesn't look like what sits inside their fence."

In the last four years 4835 Māori were charged or warned for fleeing the police.

And Moana Jackson said people must remember the human price that has been paid.

"It's too easy to just quote statistics. For every young Māori who dies in a police pursuit, that's a whānau that is affected. I think it's important that we never should lose sight of the basic humanity that's at play."

A review of the police pursuit policy is underway and expected to be released by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, police say they are trying to influence positive change and road safety for Māori by taking a whānau-based approach, and using iwi community panels to repair the harm caused by offending.

- By Te Aniwa Hurihanganui


(Alexander Robertson) Source: rnz.co.nz



Inaction over banning surgical mesh putting Kiwi women at risk - Christine Rankin

Health advocate Christine Rankin wants the Government to act on surgical mesh, saying the continued use puts New Zealand women at risk. 

Ms Rankin, who has personal experience with surgical mesh, wants to see the end of it being implanted in women. 

It is used for the treatment of stress incontinence, which is a condition common after childbirth, and in some cases on men who are having  hernia repair. 

Surgical mesh has been banned in Britain, a move Ms Rankin believes should be followed in New Zealand. 

On TVNZ1's Q+A, Ms Rankin said it needs to be banned until the right processes are in place to ensure it is safe. 

"I just don't think we should be taking the risk at all, and why are we so slow? This Government, before it was elected was all over it."

"NZ First, the Greens and Labour were all saying this was an appalling situation for women, and we're going to fix it.

"There is a year gone by, and every week thousands of New Zealand women are having this operation."

When asked by host Corin Dann about the women the procedure works for, Ms Rankin said "how can we continue to take the risk when the kind of things that are happening to women are so extreme?"

Surgical mesh has been banned in Britain, but not in New Zealand. Source: Q+A

TVNZ1's Breakfast reported by December last year, ACC had paid out nearly $13 million in injury claims to people who have had issues with mesh over the last decade. Some sufferers had the mesh erode in their bodies or bind with other tissue. 

The Labour Party called for inquiries into surgical mesh in 2014 and 2016, as did NZ First in 2017.

There have been questions raised over its safety, and it's restricted in Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

In July, 2017, Green Party's Julie Anne Genter told Stuff inaction on surgical mesh was a sign the then National Government "do not have the resources they need to look after New Zealanders as they should". 

The Government are looking towards a temporary register to establish the scale of the issue. 

It’s used for the condition of stress incontinence, which is common after childbirth, but has been banned in Britain. Source: Q+A

Jacinda Ardern's major speech was all about harm reduction after NZ First went 'rogue', analyst says

Forget the recent scandals around Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri. Jacinda Ardern's real problem over the past month has been that Deputy PM Winston Peters is undermining her, says political commentator Bryce Edwards.

Her "major" speech yesterday, while it didn't reveal much new information, was a necessary response to that disunity of the coalition Government, he told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"New Zealand First have been going a bit rogue, and it's made people question the unity of this Government," said Dr Edwards, a lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.

"So they really needed something to put them on the front foot, to show that they're united, to give the Prime Minister a chance to be on the stage and perform the way that she does, which is brilliantly," he said. "And it gave a sense of purpose and shored up those supporters that things are united going forward."

The Prime Minister gave details of the Government plan during a speech in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

The speech, at Auckland University of Technology, saw Ms Ardern outline 12 priorities "looking 30 years ahead, not just three".

The goals are: supporting thriving regions; growing New Zealand's prosperity and sharing it more fairly; making New Zealand carbon neutral; responsible government; ensuring everyone is either earning, learning, caring or volunteering; healthier, safer and more connected communities; warm, dry homes for everyone; making New Zealand the best place to raise a child; transparent, transformative and compassionate government; building closer partnerships with Māori: valuing who we are as a country; and creating an international reputation.

"Stylistically it was brilliant but it was fairly hollow in terms of substance," Dr Edwards said. "I don't think there was anything particularly in this roadmap that couldn't have been in a National Party roadmap if they were in Government."

The prime minister laid out her vision for the coming years today alongside her coalition partners. Source: 1 NEWS

But that wasn't really the point, he argued. Shoring up support was.

"We saw the leaders of all the parties together on the stage, which we don't often see, and they did look happy," he said. "They looked united. They wanted that vision...

"If you're a supporter of the Government, that looked brilliant. If you're a cynic, maybe it looked hollow. But supporters are what the Government's worried about at the moment. They just want to shore up those people that are having doubts."

Jacinda Ardern’s speech yesterday setting twelve 30-year priorities was mostly about the visuals, Bryce Edwards tells Breakfast. Source: Breakfast