Iwi puts the brakes on statue idea for Auckland's Bastion Point, calling it 'an idea in its infancy'

Ngāti Whātua Orākei is putting the brakes on a proposed enormous sculpture at Auckland's Bastion Point, calling discussion of its installation "premature".

Auckland Council has allocated $1 million of funding to explore the possibility of the sculpture, which would depict the Māori earth goddess Papatūānuku.

An animation by Ian Taylor shows a concept statue in place on Auckland's waterfront at Wynyard Quarter.

Chair of the Ngāti Whātua Orākei Trust Deputy Chair Ngarimu Blair said in a statement yesterday that the concept animation for the statue is only a concept, and further discussion is needed on the potential for Māori tourism across the Auckland region in a wider context.

"Our iwi development arm has raised with the Council and local boards the idea of a culturally significant icon for Tāmaki Makaurau, as part of a wider discussion on tourism and future opportunities," Ms Blair said.

"Takaparawhau/Bastion Point is a significant place for our iwi, and for all who visit and live here.

"Any sculpture idea is just that – an idea in its infancy.

"The Trust believes that any potential sculpture or pou would have to be something that we can all be proud of, and that is well thought through.

"We would need to see a full proposal and consider this in a wider context before deciding to take the idea any further."

Discussion around the statue of Papatūānuku – the Earth Mother – are at early stages, but are already proving controversial. Source: 1 NEWS

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Heavy snow set to hit parts of South Island, severe winds forecast for central New Zealand

A cold southerly flow is hitting Canterbury and Marlborough with heavy snow warnings in place, with powerful winds set to hit Wellington, Wairarapa and Auckland today.

MetService says a trough of low pressure in moving east across central and northern New Zealand, spreading a strong cold southerly flow across the country.

Snow is expected to low levels over many parts of central and southern New Zealand, and severe gale southerlies for parts of central New Zealand.

In Marlborough, the snow is expected to accumulate above 500 metres, with lesser amounts down to about 300 metres. The snow is likely to ease gradually through the day.

Strong wind gusts are expected to arrive in Taranaki around 5:00pm and last until tomorrow afternoon.

While in the Kaikoura Coast, Marlborough Sounds and Wellington severe southerly gales are forecast until 11:00pm today.

Periods of rain and showers are expected in Auckland today and tomorrow. The winds are expected to turn strong southerly early tomorrow, then ease out in the evening, and gradually dye out on Sunday.

Snow (file picture).
Source: istock.com

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Fatal crash on State Highway One, near Puhoi north of Auckland, blocks road

State Highway One near Puhoi, north of Auckland, is blocked after a fatal crash involving a truck and a car.

Emergency services were called to the crash involving one truck and two vehicles at approximately 10.06am this morning near Mahurangi West Road.

Police say one person has died at the scene and three other people have been injured, two seriously.

State Highway One is completely blocked and diversions are being put in place at Warkworth and Silverdale.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible or to use State Highway 16.


Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

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Interisland ferry sailings cancelled due to big swells and wind

The Interislander and Bluebridge ferries have both cancelled sailings today due to strong southerly winds and big swells.

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries wrote on their Facebook page that the forecast poor weather has arrived.

"We've cancelled our passenger sailings this afternoon and this evening," they said.

Interislander information available online showed that seven sailings between the Kaiarahi, the Aratere and the Kaitaki ferries had been cancelled today.

Affected travellers should visit the websites of either Bluebridge or Interislander for information.

MetService reports that the southerly wind in Wellington is averaging about 43km/h and gusts of up to 120km/h are expected in exposed places for the rest of the day.

A Severe Weather Warning is in place for the region, as well as for Marlborough.

Cook Strait ferries cross paths.
Cook Strait ferries cross paths. Source: 1 NEWS


New video shows Auckland pub patrons trying to fight off masked shotgun-wielding thugs

CCTV footage has been released of a violent confrontation between shotgun-wielding robbers and pub patrons on Auckland's North Shore.

Birkenhead's Good Home pub was robbed by two masked men on August 25, and police made an appeal on TVNZ1's Police Ten 7 programme for the public's help in finding them.

The show featured newly-released video of the incident, during which the two men entered and fired two warning shots into the ceiling when patrons tried to stop them.

One man can be seen trying to get close to one of the robbers, despite a shotgun being pointed at his face, before the robber fires into the ceiling and kicks the man hard, sending him to the ground.

Another person also tries to intervene with a bar stool, but is subdued.

A third suspect was waiting outside in the car when the two emerged and the pair escaped in a stolen white Subaru Impreza with cash.

Police say that car was found dumped on Roseberry Ave 30 minutes later, and another car is believed to have been used, possibly a light blue or grey sedan.

One of the people from the bar was featured on Ten 7, and said the robbery had caused "a lot of anxiety and nightmares" for staff.

"I didn't realise until I was face-to-face with them ... it all kind of set in when I had to give them the money," she said.

Anyone with information can contact Police Ten 7's hotline on 0800 107 4636, citing case number four, or information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.