'It was pretty lonely' - young Kiwi bowel cancer sufferers front campaign in bid to save lives

The 'Never too young' campaign is out to create awareness of the disease, which doesn’t just impact older people. Source: Seven Sharp

Christchurch house-hunters warned not to rely on seller's building reports

A warning has gone out to house hunters in Christchurch not to rely on building reports supplied by those selling homes.

For sale sign outside of house. Source: 1 NEWS

In April the Earthquake Commision (EQC) admitted the cost of fixing botched repairs had hit $270 million and was likely to continue increasing as further problems were identified.

Legal experts said the potential hidden damage meant house hunters should get homes thoroughly checked, now more important than ever.

On the day RNZ visited a Harcourts auction in Christchurch, John Stowell was nervously waiting for bidding to start on what could be his family's dream home.

"You're either going to get a house in half an hour, or you're not."

The home he was bidding on had repairs done to its foundations thanks to a payout from EQC.

Mr Stowell had two weeks to get all of the necessary checks done and on this occasion had decided to rely on the building inspection the seller had made available on the property.

"Otherwise we had to go and get our own building reports done which is a cost factor. You know it's up to $500 depending."

Christchurch property lawyer and chair of the Law Society's property law section, Duncan Terris, said Mr Stowell could end up in trouble if he found problems with the house and tried to sue the building inspector.

"If you're buying at auction and you're relying on a building report that was commissioned by that current owner and there's a subsequent problem, you've got limited rights of recourse against the person that did that inspection report because it must be commissioned by you."

Trying to save on the cost of building inspections was a false economy, he said.

"The irony is everyone is out to cost save, understandably, but it needs to be kept in perspective.

"If you miss something and you have to front the repairs yourself, that could be a very expensive oversight."

Prominent earthquake claims lawyer Peter Woods said the sheer number of botched EQC repairs - about 11,000 - meant extra checks to hunt out defective repairs or undiagnosed damage were essential.

He recommended hiring a structural engineer, costing upwards of about $4000.

"And it is very hard for any inspector to look at the house because a purchaser can't have an inspector do some invasive testing, you can't start taking samples out of the house. They can only be as good as a visual inspection. So it's difficult."

The experience with leaky homes showed the risk was not just theoretical, he said.

"There's no end of inspectors that were sued as part of the leaky homes crisis. I think we're now in a creaky homes crisis and the same thing is likely to happen."

Those who had ended up with a lemon and had then found their insurer unwilling to cover the cost of fixing their quake damage, would want to watch out for a Supreme Court test case against the country's largest insurer, IAG in November.

If it finds in favour of the claimant, insurers across the board could be forced to pay out for quake damage discovered by the subsequent purchaser of a home.

- By Conan Young




Parts of South Island to get snow, cold snap moving up country

Rain and snow is expected in the South Island later today, as a cold snap moves up the country.

MetService forecaster Peter Little said snow was expected to start falling this afternoon and evening, and fall to 400m.

Otago and South Canterbury are forecast to get heavy rain which will become snow at high elevations.

Check the forecast in your region on the 1 NEWS NOW weather page

The latest cold snap comes just a week after heavy snowfall in Central Otago shut roads and cut power to hundreds.

Northern parts of the Canterbury high country and the Kaikōura coast are likely to be more affected by the snow.

"Down in the south, it's still going to be bitterly cold, places like Southland, Clutha.

"But perhaps they might not see quite as much snow as we would have been thinking before, just because everything has moved slightly further north."

In the North Island a few showers are expected but the cold weather doesn't arrive until tomorrow.

"It's looking like a windier, sort of showery day tomorrow and also we'll see that snow level come down and likely affect the central North Island, including the Desert Road."

The cold weather and strong winds were expected to remain until Thursday, Mr Little said.

- rnz.co.nz

Bridesdale Queenstown. Source: Kate Tonks


Hamilton high school's students planning protest in response to principal's 'rape victim' speech

Students at Hamilton’s Fraser High School are planning a protest in response to a speech by principal Virginia Crawford where she said being a truant made it highly likely you would become a rape victim, in prison or illiterate.

A student at the school confirmed to 1 NEWS that there was a plan to stage a ‘wagging protest’ outside the front of the school at 10am this morning.

1 NEWS also obtained a poster for the planned protest.

Last week, a recording of a speech by Ms Crawford at a school assembly was posted on YouTube.

READ MORE: Hamilton principal slammed for speech saying truants were highly likely to become rape victims

A flyer for the planned protest.

"Every student who walks out of the gate to truant is already a statistic of the worst kind - highly likely to go to prison, either commit domestic violence or be a victim of domestic violence, be illiterate, be a rape victim, be a suicide victim,” she was heard saying.

In response, the Ministry of Education encouraged parents to complain to the school, if they were concerned about the speech. 

The school has defended the speech. 

A Hamilton high school principal has come under fire for a speech in which she said truants were highly likely to end up in prison, be illiterate, be a rape victim or commit suicide. Source: Dick Tater

'They've got pretty empty lives' - leading criminologist's harsh words for NZ strawberry needle copycats

As a plague of needles being placed in Australian strawberries appears to have crossed the Tasman, with an Auckland supermarket the latest to discover compromised produce, a Kiwi criminologist says that it was inevitable that copycats would eventually show themselves.

With last night's news that a needle was found in a punnet of strawberries was purchased from an Auckland Countdown supermarket, the Choice brand has been removed from shelves.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, criminologist Greg Newbold compared the work of the apparent copycats to that of deviant pyromaniacs.

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

"I think it's people who are fundamentally bored, and haven't got much important in their lives," he said.

"It makes them feel important, that they've created a national scandal, a national panic.

"They'll get some enjoyment out of that, they've got pretty empty lives themselves."

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image
For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Newbold also detailed ways to combat alleged copycats, saying is was important not to give them any credence whatsoever.

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

"If it was me, I'd play it down."

"I wouldn't withdraw those strawberries from the shelves at all, I'd just put a sign up saying 'be careful when you bite these strawberries, there's a one in a million chance there could be a needle in it.

"If you beat it up, you're just throwing petrol on the fire."

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

Greg Newbold told Breakfast that copycat cases were inevitable. Source: Breakfast