Man accused of shooting four cops says 'dominant alpha' officers stormed his grandma's house while he was asleep


A man on trial for the shooting of four police officers has told the High Court in Hamilton he had no idea who he was shooting at when he opened fire at armed officers last March. 

Rhys Warren faces six charges, including attempted murder, using a firearm against a police officer and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was arrested after a 22-hour standoff with armed police in the Bay of Plenty.

The 28-year-old, who is representing himself, began giving evidence today, reliving the moment armed officers entered his family's house near Kawerau on March 9 last year.

Rhys Warren, defending himself, said it was never his intention for someone to get hurt. Source: 1 NEWS

"I was asleep in my house not bothering anyone. I woke up to a loudspeaker," he said.

He said he grabbed his grandfather's gun and took cover as windows were smashed and people started entering the house.

Warren said he saw a gun poking its way down the hallway.

"As soon as I saw that gun I shot. I shot at the gun."

Warren told the court he was scared and thought he was going to die and that he is still traumatised.

Rhys Warren was arrested at a rural property near Kawerau following a 22-hour standoff in March last year. Source: 1 NEWS

"There were bullets coming from every direction. I hit the ground and stayed on the ground."

Warren drew parallels between the incident and treatment of Maori by "the armed constabulary" of the 1800s.

"It was never my intention for someone to get hurt. I was scared and threatened. I thought I was going to die.

"I'm on trial for crimes I did not intend to commit."

The trial, now in its third week, continues.

Rhys Warren, accused of attempted murder, says he should have been safe inside his grandmother's home. Source: 1 NEWS



'Eradication, not just a cull' - fierce resistance meets proposed Tahr cull

A proposed cull of South Island tahr is being met with fierce resistance by hunters, with a spokesperson labelling the move nothing short of eradication.

As numbers of tahr continue to swell, the Department of Conservation are taking the steps in order to preserve wildlife and landscapes, although the reason isn't sitting well with hunters, who are now ready to head to the High Court to seek action.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, NZ Tahr Foundation spokesperson Willie Duley came out swinging about the proposed 'Tahrmageddon'.

"What DOC has proposed, what the minister has proposed is eradication, not just a cull," he said.

"The real issue this is highlighted, is that there is no science, they have no science to prove that there is too many tahr.

"What we want to stress, is that there's no need for a knee-jerk reaction such as this."

Instead, Mr Duley proposed a different solution, seeing both groups come together for the good of the region.

"We need to sit down, get all of the stakeholders, do the proper consultation that wasn't done this time by the minister (Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage).

Officials say tahr numbers have to be limited to protect the landscape. Source: 1 NEWS

"She needs to listen to the Game Animal Council, which is her legislation, the statutory body that advises her on game animal issues, and then we'd all be on the same page.

"There is win-win for this, we just want to sit down, and we want a chance to put in a sustainable strategy that looks after the environment, but also looks after this hundred million dollar resource.

"We're talking people's livelihoods on the line.

"Each bull tahr is worth $14,000 alone to the economy. In the first cull, they propose to shoot 3000 tahr, if you do the maths, that's $42m worth of bull tahr left to rot on the hillside.

"That's just wrong."

A crowdfunding campaign by the New Zealand Tahr foundation has raised more than $85,000 in just a few days to fight the proposed move.

A NZ Hunter spokesperson Willie Duley told Breakfast about the damage a proposed cull would inflict. Source: Breakfast


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Jacinda Ardern kicks off her week in New York with child poverty speech

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has kicked off her jam-packed schedule in New York with a focus on child poverty.

Ms Ardern has delivered a keynote speech at UNICEF's social good summit, noting it's been one year since the 2017 election.

“That election ultimately bought me and my government into office and I want to use this one-year anniversary to recommit myself and our government to becoming the best place in the world to be a child,” she said.

The Prime Minister delivered the keynote speech at Unicef’s Good Summit in New York. Source: Breakfast

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Cut up strawberries, Countdown warns amid needle crisis

The hunt for those sabotaging strawberries with needles has gone trans-Tasman, following the first report of a contaminated punnet in New Zealand.

Woolworth's-owned supermarket chain Countdown yesterday announced it was removing Choice brand strawberries, imported from Western Australia, off shelves across NZ after a customer reported discovering needles in their fruit.

Countdown says the strawberries came from Western Australia. Source: 1 NEWS

The company said it had alerted authorities in Australia, while NZ police and government agencies have also launched their own investigations.

More than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across Australia, many of which are thought to be fake or copycat cases, while the federal government has ramped up penalties for so-called "food terrorists".

NSW authorities are investigating more than 20 incidents of needles found in strawberries. Source: Breakfast

Countdown last week announced it had halted imports of Australia strawberries to NZ for the season, while competitor Foodstuffs ceased shipping them to its stores.

The Choice brand strawberries came from Australia, and have since been pulled from shelves. Source: Breakfast


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