Man charged over sexually motivated attack on female jogger in Auckland, police say same man linked to other nearby 'incidents'

A man has been charged over a sexually motivated attack in Auckland that took place last Friday, May 11.

Police say a 33-year-old male has been charged with assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

They say a woman was jogging at around 5am on May 11 beside the Northern Motorway heading towards Auckland’s CBD, when she was grabbed by a male and dragged into some bushes near St Mary’s Road.

The man has then allegedly strangled and indecently assaulted her. A passing cyclist heard her screaming and came to her aid.

The female suffered minor injuries and is very shaken up by this incident.

Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin says as a result of enquiries into the incident, they have identified the man as allegedly being linked to two further incidents in the St Marys Bay area earlier this month.

The male has also been charged with offensive behaviour and unlawfully on property relating to an incident on May 3 and has been charged with unlawfully on property relating to another incident on May 4.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS



'Commercial terrorism' has brought strawberry industry to its knees - NZ supermarket chains stop Aussie imports over needle concerns

Nervous growers are weighing up their farming futures as the strawberry contamination crisis forces New Zealand's major supermarkets to stop selling the fruit from Australia.

Fears over needles secreted in strawberries have now spilled across the Tasman, with both of New Zealand's major food distributors taking the fruit off their shelves.

Police are investigating after metal pins were found in punnets of fruit in five Australian states.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has also ordered the food safety watchdog to investigate Queensland's handling of the strawberry spiking saga.

He's directed Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate whether there are supply chain weaknesses or systemic changes needed.

"At the end of the day, the job is very, very clear. Protect the public and keep them safe," he told the ABC today.

Both Foodstuffs and Countdown (owned by Woolworths) - which between them control nearly the entire New Zealand grocery market - today announced they had stopped sending out Australian strawberries to their stores.

In separate statements, both said while none of their products had been affected by a major recall in Australia, they wanted to reassure customers.

Countdown said it had stopped ordering any further imports of Australian strawberries, while Foodstuffs had halted distribution.

New Zealand imports the fruit from Australia when it's out of season, from April to September, and both chains say the Kiwi product will be on shelves shortly instead.

The announcement comes as needles were found inserted into more strawberries in South Australia and New South Wales over the weekend, adding to incidents across the country and prompting fears of copycat behaviour.

Vice-president of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association, Adrian Schultz, says what started with a single act of "commercial terrorism" has brought a multi-million-dollar industry to its knees.

"I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs ... it's far-reaching," he said.

Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne says he understands why New Zealanders are baulking at Australian strawberries.

"I hope we catch them and prosecute them and they spend a lot of time behind bars, because that's what they deserve," Mr Pyne said.

"They have behaved shockingly badly and they are affecting the strawberry industry in Australia but also now the exports to New Zealand."

Nationals frontbencher Andrew Broad has blasted the culprits as "low-life scum".

Coles and Aldi supermarkets have pulled all strawberries from their shelves, except Western Australia, as a precaution.

Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook Berries have recalled their strawberries nationwide.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Sewing needles and pins have been deliberately placed inside strawberries across the ditch.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Extreme weather events sparking insurance companies to look at risk-based pricing

Risk-based pricing is already being talked about by some insurance companies, as the possibility of some disaster-prone areas becoming uninsurable grows. 

It comes as the Government looks at the way insurance is carried out in New Zealand, with Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi saying they would keep a "pretty close eye" on rising insurance premiums.

"There's got to be a flip side to this if we're seeing massive increases in people's premiums in higher risk areas."

Road workers in the area are also continuing to struggle with clearing debris from the roads.
Source: 1 NEWS

When asked by TVNZ1's Q+A host Corin Dann if some coastal areas could become uninsurable, Mr Faafoi said some insurance companies were beginning to talk about risk-based pricing. 

"If you look at Cyclone Gita and Fehi earlier this year some of those coastal towns on the West Coast got hit pretty hard.

"People start talking about the long term future of those places and in amongst that it becomes an insurance debate."

When asked whether there could be a stand-alone insurance regulator, Mr Faafoi said: "There could be but it depends on what comes out of the recommendations during that review."

"The whole system does need a look at."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said last week Kiwis are being priced out of the insurance market, in particular places such as Wellington and places where there could be natural disasters. 

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi was asked if some coastal areas could become uninsurable. Source: Q+A

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Report: Kiwi man in Thailand caught with 2kg of crystal meth tucked in his suitcase

A New Zealand man was arrested in Thailand on Saturday for allegedly receiving more than two kilogrammes of methamphetamine at a hotel in Bangkok.

According to a report in Thailand's The Nation newspaper a Thai woman and a Nigerian man were charged with delivering 2.06kg of meth to New Zealander Isidor Rein, 62.

The drugs were allegedly received by Rein hidden away in a secret compartment of a briefcase.

The Chiang Rai Times reports a source at the Office of the Narcotics Control Board said that John Oimma Emeka and Wararat Chansod, both 42, had reserved the hotel room where the alleged delivery took place.

Thai agencies made the arrests following a tip off that a New Zealand man was planning on smuggling drugs back home.

Police then placed the hotel room where the meeting occurred under surveillance and made the arrests when all three suspects arrived with suitcase in tow.

Dr Chris Wilkins says the Massey University drug report shows meth is widely used, especially outside of urban centres.
Source: 1 NEWS


First look at Wellington's 'fantastic' new social housing units

More than 100 new social housing units have been unveiled in Wellington.

The 104 unit-development, Te Māra apartments in the inner-city suburb of Mount Cook, replaces the 57-unit 1970's Arlington complex demolished in 2016.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said Arlington and Te Māra were worlds apart.

[Arlington] was very old, dated, unfit ... whereas this is brand new, fantastic.

"Everyone's comments are 'it's flash as'," he said.

Mr Lester said he was incredibly proud of the new development, which includes five units for those with accessibility needs.

"This is a fantastic development, this is the newest social housing in New Zealand and certainly some of the best."

The units range from one to four bedrooms, which Mr Lester said would help to decrease Wellington's social housing waiting list.

Interior of Te Mara apartments, Wellington. Source: rnz.co.nz

"We've got 300-odd bedrooms that can house potentially up to 600 people, so if you consider that we've got a social housing waitlist at Wellington City Council of about 400, it's a good chunk of people that will be getting into a home."

Te Māra had the seal of approval from Mount Cook resident Peter Cooke, who said he was delighted with the new development.

"We certainly think that they've been built to a very high standard, which is very good," he said.

"I've lived in the suburb for 34 years so it's nice to see the renewal of it."

Mr Cooke said he looked forward to the residents of Te Māra joining his community.

rnz.co.nz

Te Mara apartments, Wellington. The development has one- to four-bedroom apartments and five are designed for people with accessibility needs. Source: rnz.co.nz