NZ dollar reaches two-year low against USD after OCR announcement

The New Zealand Dollar has fallen sharply against the Greenback on the heels of yesterday's unchanged Official Cash Rate.

As of 5am this morning, NZ$1 bought just US66.22c after falling more than 1c following the OCR announcement.

The OCR was left unchanged at 1.75 per cent, with indications it would stay that way until 2020.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr yesterday had a positive tone during the announcement, saying it was a good time to invest in businesses, but also acknowledged that confidence was low.

The effects of a dramatic slide in the kiwi are already hitting home, with petrol companies hiking prices. Source: 1 NEWS



Government confidence wavers in deputy police commissioner Wally Haumaha after bullying accusations

Senior government ministers are losing confidence in deputy commissioner of police Wally Haumaha, who is the focus of a stalling government inquiry.

Three government agencies are now tied up in new accusations of bullying behaviour on a project Mr Haumaha was involved with, and contradicting statements aren't making things any clearer.

National's police spokesperson Chris Bishop said there were too many questions around Mr Haumaha and his appointment, and simply not enough answers - and he wants senior government figures and agencies involved to fill the gaps.

"The question really goes to the Prime Minister and Stuart Nash, do they still have confidence in Wally Haumaha?

"The allegations raised [in Parliament] and also the allegations from 2004 are very alarming - and it's time for them to front up and say whether or not they have confidence in him."

Senior government ministers are not falling over themselves to back Mr Haumaha. Police Minister Stuart Nash, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern all gave similar answers to the question of whether they had confidence in him.

"Matters around the process for the appointment of Mr Haumaha are the subject of an inquiry and I won't comment further on those matters at this time," said Mr Robertson.

Mr Nash said we need to let that inquiry process play out, while Ms Ardern called the whole thing frustrating.

"If you're ever appointing someone in a job, you want all of the information rather than having it drip fed out - and that's why we're doing this piece of work."

The statements that followed the allegations made at Parliament yesterday from the three agencies that were involved in the project, which was work towards improving justice outcomes for Māori, don't make things any clearer.

The Ministry of Justice said issues about behaviour and management were raised by its staff in June 2016.

"The issues around behaviour were raised at the highest level between the Acting Chief Executive of the Ministry and a Deputy Commissioner at Police," the statement read.

"The Ministry expected Police to follow up this issue appropriately."

The police said just one complaint was made, and it was by an external person who did not work for the Ministry of Justice, Corrections, or police.

And the Corrections Department said two of its staff worked on the cross-sector project, but neither of them complained.

Mr Bishop said the three public service agencies "seem to be blaming each other for what is clearly a debacle of a process."

"I just really feel for the women involved in this circumstance who allegedly were involved in this process, made complaints through the system, and don't appear to have been listened to," he said.

The accusations made at Parliament yesterday are only the latest in what has from the start been a controversial appointment process.

It was an appalled victims' advocate, Louise Nicholas, who brought Mr Haumaha's comments in 2004 to light, revealing he had defended the three men accused of her rape in the 1990s.

Ministers and top officials were caught unaware and an inquiry was launched into whether the appropriate information had been sought or passed on before he was appointed.

National then made several accusations of family and political ties to the New Zealand First Party, all of which have been denied.

Pauline Kingi was appointed to head the inquiry, then stood down last week, after a conflict of interest was claimed because she had endorsed Mr Haumaha 23 times on the networking website LinkedIn.

The government's now looking for a replacement, which Ms Ardern said was a work in progress.

"We're moving as quickly as we can. Given what happened earlier around the appointment process we've got to get it right.

"I'm expecting - and hoping - to do that within the coming days."

- By Gia Garrick

Wally Haumaha. Source: rnz.co.nz

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Kiwi mum fighting for life in Bali intensive care unit faces $75,000 medical bill after insurer says no

A New Zealand mum is fighting for her life in a Balinese intensive care unit after developing a serious illness - and her insurance company isn't paying out the $75,000 hospital bill.

Abby Hartley of Hamilton was on holiday with husband Richard in Indonesia when she found herself in severe pain, and was rushed to a hospital in Nusa Dua, Denpasar.

According to a Givealittle page set up by her daughter Sophie, Abby's bowel had twisted, cutting off blood flow to a portion of it, which had died.

Emergency surgery was required, which went well, but she then went into a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome, and struggled to get oxygen.

Doctors made the decision to put her into an induced coma and began supplying her oxygen through a respirator.

Abby also developed a severe chest infection leading to one of her lungs collapsing, and she had temperatures higher than 40C.

"Last night we had a big scare as mums blood pressure was dangerously low, heart rate was too high and saturated oxygen levels were low so she required a blood transfusion early hours this morning," Sophie wrote.

"Mum's infection has progressed into Septicemia and she requires very expensive and rare antibiotics.

"After a very long and stressful battle with the insurance company they have made the final decision to not cover any medical costs therefore we have been left with a very expensive medical bill.

The bill is reportedly about NZ$75,000 - so far - and the family have already received donations of nearly $15,000 through the Givealittle page.

"Mum is a fighter and we can all tell she is trying very hard to fight all problems that are thrown her way," Sophie wrote.

"She is showing signs that she aware we are there for her by very small fluttering of eyelids when we talk to her or stroke her hair."

The Givealittle page did not name the insurance company, nor provide details of the insurance policy which was declined.

From left, Sophie, Abby, Richard and Toby Hartley in the intensive care unit in Bali.
From left, Sophie, Abby, Richard and Toby Hartley in the intensive care unit in Bali. Source: Sophie Hartley/Givealittle


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