Meth worth $50 million seized in massive Christchurch operation

Two Christchurch men have been arrested after a two-week joint police and customs operation saw 49 kilograms of methamphetamine seized in Christchurch, the largest seizure of meth in the South Island.

The drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1, police said in a statement this afternoon.

Detailed examination located the methamphetamine concealed within the shipment of safety lights. 

It consisted of 40 separate packages of around 1 to 1.2kg each, which has yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.

Around 49kg of P was seized earlier this month. Source: 1 NEWS

This amount of the drug had a potential street value of $50 million, and the seizure has prevented $60.71 million of additional community harm, police said.

Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and Auckland.

Two Christchurch men aged 25 and 31 have been arrested and appeared in Christchurch District Court today on charges of importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply. 

They have both been remanded in custody to reappear in Christchurch next Monday.

Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell, district manager criminal investigations, says this is a significant result for police and customs staff, and will go a long way to help keep communities safe.

“These drugs, should they have made it to the streets, would have caused significant harm to people and communities, not just in Canterbury, but across the country,” he said.

“Methamphetamine is a destructive drug that wrecks lives, breaks down whanau and negatively impacts on our community."

Customs manager central and southern ports Joe Cannon says this operation shows the close-knit relationship between customs and police, as both agencies work together to disrupt meth supply in the communities and regions.

"This seizure was the result of risk-profiling and targeting work that customs carries out for all goods, people and craft coming into New Zealand - whatever the region or method of import," he said. 

"We maintain a national perspective to protect our border, and will do everything possible to keep this hideous drug away from our communities."


Methamphetamine seized in the joint Police and Customs operation in Christchurch. Source: Supplied



Day care owner accused of tying kids to car seats for up to seven hours, fastening shoe laces around their necks

The owner of an in-home day care accused of keeping infants and toddlers tied to their car seats for hours has been jailed in the United States on child endangerment charges.

An affidavit says Rebecca Anderson also yanked a six-month-old child by the bib around his neck, tied laces around the children's necks to limit their movement and gave them the painkiller acetaminophen to quiet them.

The 60-year-old is accused of having kept the small children tied up in car seats for at least seven hours a day at Becky's Home Child Care, her day care near Dallas, Texas.

When police executed a search warrant on her home, they found three children in a dark bedroom closet strapped to car seats, according to CBS 11 News in Dallas. Some of the children had to have shoelaces cut off their necks, police also said.

"It just kind of concerned me the way the kids sounded when the parents dropped them off," neighbour Susan Geldmeier told the news station, explaining that she would sometimes hear children wail when dropped off at the facility.

"It alarmed me to where I was like, 'Why are they sounding like that?'"

Anderson was booked Monday into the Dallas County jail on nine counts of child endangerment with bonds totalling NZ $68,000.

Rebecca Anderson Source: Dallas County Jail


Person in critical condition after being hit by bus in Christchurch

One person’s been hospitalised in a critical condition after being hit by a bus in Christchurch this morning.

Emergency services were called to Main North Road in Redwood around 8am.

A police spokesperson says the road has been closed and motorists are being asked to follow the direction of emergency services.

A bus driver at the wheel.

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

'We were really excited' - hear the voices of some of the first New Zealand women to vote 125 years ago

Today marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, which made our small island the first self-governing nation to grant women the right to vote.

It wasn’t a smooth road, however, and although not as long or violent as other campaigns for the vote in the UK and US years later, Kiwi women faced their share of opposition.

A strong push for the vote began in the late 1870s when electoral bills were being put forward to Parliament which had clauses saying it gave women the right to vote, not just men.

But it was much earlier that a handful of women began advocating for voting rights for women.

“It was just a few maverick voices at that point, but it was being discussed,” says Victoria University's Professor Charlotte Macdonald.

The movement picked up steam when the Women’s Christian Temperance formed nationwide in New Zealand.

That’s when women started saying, “we want to change the politics in the places that we live”, says Professor Macdonald.

It wasn’t just for political equality, but for moral reform to protect women, she says.

“They were saying ‘we need to organise to get the vote because without that no matter what we do we’re just going to get cast aside’.”

From there, women began a much larger campaign which involved petitioning, public meetings, writing letters to the editor and working with sympathetic MPs.

A lot of their efforts failed, but the women tirelessly continued to work for equality in voting rights.

From 1886 to 1892, a series of petitions were presented to Parliament.

“Petitioning was the only way in which women, and people outside Parliament, could have their voice heard and the British suffrage campaign was petitioning at the same time so it’s a well-known technique,” says Otago University's Professor Barbara Brookes.

“It was also a really important educationally technique because if you’re going to sign a petition people usually explain to you what it’s about.”

Nearly 32,000 signatures were obtained from women across the country including many Māori women.

It was on September 19, 1893, following another petition and electoral bill passed in the House when Governor Lord Glasgow signed the bill into law and women granted the right to vote.

When election day finally comes in November 28, 1893, 82 per cent of women over the age of 21 turn out to vote.

This changed the course of women’s lives in New Zealand leading to many policy changes for women, female MP being elected to Parliament 40 years later and eventually three female prime ministers.

And take a brief look at the journey Kiwi women took to be granted the right to vote in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


Jacinda Ardern’s GDP gaffe is understandable, and not of much consequence, economist says

Shortly after Jacinda Ardern misspoke about economic data during a radio interview yesterday, the Kiwi dollar briefly rose.

It resulted in widespread media coverage and gave Opposition leader Simon Bridges an opening to throw another jab in their perpetual political joust, calling her "distracted".

But even if the Prime Minister's statement did cause the dollar to quiver, does it matter in the scheme of things?

"Not really," said Christina Leung, principal economist for the NZ Institute of Economic Research, as she discussed the issue on TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"The miscommunication is understandable," she said of the interview, in which Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking asked a question about tomorrow's release of gross-domestic product (GDP) figures and Ms Ardern replied, "I am very pleased with the way we are tracking".

The Prime Minister later clarified that she wasn't talking about GDP figures, which she isn't given advanced access to, but instead to the Government's balance sheet.

The Opposition says it shows the Prime Minister is distracted. Source: 1 NEWS

"Financial markets do tend to focus on the glamour stats...like GDP," Ms Leung said today. "And then the Prime Minister would be more focused, of course, about what implications of growth are on tax revenue and what it means for the Government's balance sheet."

Ms Leung said she didn't find the misstatement concerning. The GDP figures released tomorrow will look back to the June quarter, so they won't be affected in any way by a statement after the fact, she said.

And she's also not convinced the PM's statement caused the brief rise in the Kiwi dollar's value, from 65.78 to 65.84 US cents.

"It's always hard to link up what's driving the New Zealand dollar," she said. "A lot of financial markets are driven by a lot of different factors.

The Kiwi dollar rose slightly this morning following a radio interview in which some thought the PM had a sneak peek of Thursday’s figures. Source: 1 NEWS

"Ultimately, what effects the longer-term influence on the New Zealand dollar would be the interest rate differentials between New Zealand and the other major economies - particularly what's going on in the US."

With retail activity and construction "looking quite strong" in New Zealand, Ms Leung said she expects to see "fairly solid growth for the June quarter" - of up to one per cent - when the GDP stats are released tomorrow morning.

Christina Leung, principal economist for the NZ Institute of Economic Research, also tells Breakfast the outlook for tomorrow’s GDP announcement is good. Source: Breakfast