Hired activists drag Auckland office workers from chairs, force them outside

Startling video has emerged of an eviction and occupation attempt by hired activists in Auckland where office workers were dragged from their chairs and forcibly removed.

One man was arrested and others trespassed after a group of uniformed men stormed the Tournament Parking office at City Works Depot - a business complex on Cook Street - on Monday afternoon.

The group responsible for the incursion was contracted by self-proclaimed "surrogate king" and conspiracy theorist John Wanoa.

Several staff members are forcibly removed in the video, with some stalling for time while they called police and one male worker refusing to go easily, prompting repeated physical attempts from the group to remove him.

In the full version of the video, which was filmed by a member of the group, men are seen planning their entry outside the address, where they are told to confiscate keys and cards from workers if possible before sending them outside - and barricading themselves inside.

However, police were quickly called by several staff members and after they arrived the group promptly left.

Police confirmed one man associated with the group was arrested in the carpark after he refused to give his details to police.

Trespass notices were served to some of those present and police are currently trying to locate the other people involved.

"Police would ask people who have concerns as to the ownership of property to use the correct legal channels including calling police where required and not take the law into their own hands," a police spokesperson said.

Mr Wanoa confirmed he was responsible for the action, saying he holds a customary title to the land and had hired people to support the eviction of the tenants there.

He said he informed Auckland police's CIB unit that he intended to occupy the premises and said he had acted legally.

A Tournament spokesperson said the company did not want to comment on the incident.

Opposition says new law to quell property speculation won't work

New rules are in force which mean income tax has to be paid on gains made from houses bought and sold within two years.

Today is the start date for the government's "bright line test" - one of its measures to curb residential property speculation, particularly in Auckland.

Labour says it won't work because the speculators will find ways around it.

Tax law itself hasn't changed, it's the way the test is applied.

Until now, Inland Revenue had to determine that a house sold within two years was bought with the intention of selling it.

That was difficult to enforce, so it's been changed to a simple rule covering purchases and sales within two years unless the properties fall into exemption categories.

The exemptions are a person's main home - the one they normally live in - and inherited properties.

Houses under a relationship agreement are also exempt.

The bill enacting the new rule is still to be passed by parliament.

Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson says it's a desperate move to make it look as though the government is doing something about Auckland's overheated housing market.

"It's likely to be easily avoided by the very speculators it is supposed to curtail, and instead hurt homeowners who have been forced to sell within two years," he said on Thursday.

The Greens want it extended to five years.

"That would capture more of the damaging property speculation that has been driving house prices up in Auckland and elsewhere to unaffordable levels," said Julie Anne Genter.

"Reserve Bank mortgage lending data for the year to August shows the extent of New Zealand's housing speculation problem - 45 per cent of all mortgage lending going to property investors compared to just 12 per cent going to first home buyers."

It’s about to get harder for investors to buy up Auckland property with the introduction of new rules aimed a cooling of the city’s housing market. Source: 1 NEWS


Did you see a Heart Foundation Tick on your cereal box this morning? It may not be there much longer

The Heart Foundation is cracking down on the sugar content of Tick-approved foods - starting with breakfast cereals and muesli bars.

The organisation says it is following up on recommendations made by the World Health Organisation earlier this year by tightening its sugar-content criteria for their well-known red Tick recommendation.

This will include stripping some products of the Tick if they are not reformulated, Deb Sue of the Heart Foundation says.

"We're talking to food companies - they're aware that sugar is an issue," she said.

The new limit to sugar content will be 25 per cent.

"It might seem like a lot - but it's a starting point," Ms Sue said.

Research showed consumers still trust the Tick and use it to make choices while shopping, she said, and the Foundation wants to maintain its relevance with consumers by adjusting its criteria.

The blue Tick approval will be harder to get for sugary foods, as the organisation follows new World Health Organisation recommendations. Source: Breakfast