'This is not New Zealand' - victims of sexual abuse while in state care demand Royal Commission

Victims of physical and sexual abuse while in New Zealand state care have presented petitions on the steps of Parliament this morning calling for a full inquiry into historical abuse.

The Human Rights Commission is now backing the calls, and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy told the crowd of around 200 this morning: "This is not New Zealand".

In the past, the Government has ruled out an inquiry, arguing New Zealand is different to other countries that have issued Royal Commissions into sexual abuse because apologies and compensation have been paid out here.

However, the Labour and Green parties have backed this latest call for an inquiry with MPs from both parties accepting this morning's petitions.

Last year, Judge Carolyn Henwood recommended an inquiry after chairing the Confidential Listening and Advice Service, which heard stories from more than 1100 victims.

Victim and support groups say the full extent of the abuse suffered historically by children in New Zealand state care isn't known because a full investigation has never occurred.

It's not the first time a petition has been taken to parliament calling on an inquiry.

Earlier this year state care sexual abuse victim Grant West travelled around New Zealand collecting signatures for a petition, calling for a Royal Commission.

Abuse petition presented at Parliament
Abuse petition presented at Parliament Source: 1 NEWS

Customer shocked to find large sum of cash hidden inside block of chocolate bought from Auckland store

In what sounds like a scene from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one Auckland consumer got a surprise when they found a 'significant amount' of cash after opening a block of chocolate purchased from an Auckland store.

Police say they received a call last night from a member of the public who had bought a block of chocolate from a store on Auckland's North Shore.

When he opened it, rather than finding chocolate, he found a significant amount of cash.

Police went to the store where the chocolate was bought and found a further two blocks with money inside of them.

They are now making a number of enquiries including carrying out forensic examination of the chocolate and money to try and get to the bottom of the unusual situation. 

Breakfast's political panel get their teeth into the issue of whether this fundraising source should be put on the chopping block.
Source: 1 NEWS


NZ's whitebait species will be totally extinct by 2034, warn environmental scientists

Environmental scientists are warning the government that all five native whitebait species will become extinct by 2034 if action isn't taken immediately.

Massey University's Kyleisha Foote and Pierce McNie presented a petition with more than 3000 signatures to the Primary Production Select Committee this morning.

They say commercial whitebait fishing, declining water quality, and a reduction in habitat are behind the falling number of whitebait.

According to the scientists, without immediate action one of the five whitebait species could be extinct within three years and all five will be extinct in 2034.

"We have known about the decline for a long time yet there has been no change in the management of the fishery in the last 20 years," said Foote.

"We’re thinking if we don’t do anything now there’s going to be no whitebait left for recreation whitebaiters to go and be able to catch a feed."

They made a raft of recommendations including ending commercial whitebaiting, introducing catch allowances for recreational whitebaiters and an independent review of the long-term sustainability of the fishery.

The future of New Zealand’s native fish looks very bleak as scientists presented findings at a parliamentary select committee today. Source: 1 NEWS