Surf's up! MetService issues warning for rips and unusual currents as powerful waves expected to hit New Zealand coastline tomorrow

Powerful long-period swells set to hit the country's cost tomorrow has led to warnings from the MetService.

The MetService says although these waves will not be unusually high, the long period means that they will carry more energy than usual.

The event could lead to unusual rips and currents, and the MetService warns people unfamiliar with the ocean to stay out of the water.

However, for those with the necessary experience to safely assess the situation before venturing out, it will also mean some good surfing according to the MetService.

The period of these waves will be around 15 seconds by midnight tomorrow, and although the size will only be around two metres for the North Island and three metres for the South Island, they will pack a bit more punch than usual.

Click here for more forecasts of the wind and waves from MetService.



More than one gang involved in recent spate of Waikato homicides - police

Police say there is more than one gang involved in the three homicide investigations currently taking place in the Waikato region.

Speaking at a press conference today, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said they were "targeted attacks" and the general community isn't in danger.

While Detective Pitkethley refused to name the gangs connected to the homicides, he assured that police have not heard talk of retaliations in the gang community.

He also ruled out speculation that a police chase beginning in Ngāruawāhia in the early hours of this morning was related to the homicide investigations.

Nissan Terrano police are seeking sightings of in McLaren Falls homicide investigation. Source: NZ Police

Man with rifle leads police on chase for more than an hour in Waikato, cop car rammed

Superintendent Bruce Bird says at this stage police are treating the three murders since June 30 as separate investigations. Source: Breakfast

In an update to the McLaren Falls death of Mitchell Paterson, Detective Pitkethley says a Nissan Terrano being sought by police has been located and they're now seeking any witnesses that may have seen it travelling between Hamilton and McLaren Falls between Wednesday 11 July to Friday 13 July.

Over 60 staff are working on the cases, and other specialists have been called in from around New Zealand.

Robert Nelson was fatally shot early Sunday, with two others, including his girlfriend, seriously hurt. Source: 1 NEWS

On Saturday July 8, 23-year-old Robert Nelson was shot dead at his girlfriend's house. She was injured and another young man badly hurt.

The body of Ngāruawāhia man Mitchell Curtis Rehua Paterson was found in the water at McLaren Falls near Tauranga on Friday.

Late last month Huntly man Wayne Noda was found dead at his home on June 30, and police believe his injuries were inflicted during an assault.

Police say the three homicides in such a short time is unprecedented for the Waikato region.


Three violent deaths in Waikato linked to gang crime, police say public not at risk. Source: 1 NEWS

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Review into death of autistic woman warns of more murders if nothing's done to address needs of adults with disabilities

A sobering report ordered after a Blenheim woman murdered her severely disabled daughter is calling for urgent reform, saying disability services across the country don't have the resources to cope with giving families support.

It's been two years since 20-year-old Ruby Knox was killed when her mother Donella Knox drugged and suffocated her at home on May 16.

Now a report warns there'll be more murders just like it if nothing is done to address the needs of adults with disabilities across all DHBs.

An independent review was commissioned by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board to identify care and service delivery problems that may have contributed to Ruby's death and to make recommendations to prevent similar problems in the future.

The report's author, developmental paediatrician Dr Rosemary Marks, didn't find any shortcomings in the care provided by NMDHB staff and considered that the event could have happened "in any DHB".

However, she identified many gaps at both local and national levels, particularly at the time a person with disability transitions from child to adult care.

Dr Marks said there were signs the situation was deteriorating in the months leading up to Ruby's death; including the family's frequent visits to Wairau Hospital's emergency department, consulting a different GP to the one they were enrolled with and a reduction of respite care.

The report found no single person or agency was aware of all those factors.

THREATS OF HARM

Health professionals had heard Donella threatening to do harm to Ruby on two occasions, including one instance where a threat was made to drive off a cliff and during another, Donella had stated "I don’t know what I would do to her".

Dr Marks said staff concerned in both instances did "take reasonable steps" to follow up on the threats. But that if Ruby had been under the age of 17, "I am confident that health professionals would have notified Child Youth and Family Services of their concerns," she said.

In addressing the issues above, Dr Marks recommended the establishment of an "early warning score system", which would be triggered by concerns from a professional.

A social work assessment would have to be carried out whenever two or more risk factors were identified including observing a rise in ED visits, a change of primary care provider, a drop in school attendance, or escalating behaviour in a person or their care giver.

The author also called for the Government to introduce a mandatory system to protect vulnerable adults, as there is for children under Oranga Tamariki.

Dr Marks said there is a lack of training in New Zealand for those who provide respite care to children and adults with disability. But she hoped that disability support projects currently underway will result in better outcomes for people like Ruby and their families.

MEANINGFUL INVESTMENT

Disability advocates are welcoming the review but say there needs to be a change in attitude toward disability.

Disabled Persons Assembly’s Dr Esther Woodbury says she wants to see meaningful investment in disabled people in New Zealand.

“There are a lot of costs to being disabled which are not supported currently under our support system, under our welfare system and I think that can put so much pressure on individuals and families and I think that is something I'd like to see talked about more,” Dr Woodbury told 1 NEWS.

She agreed with the report’s findings over problems with the transition from child to adult services, describing it as a “crucial point where things often fall over”.

“Where people go from mostly interacting with their peers in the school system to suddenly being quite alone while their non-disabled peers are moving out into the community, moving out of home, moving into education and jobs and that kind of stuff and its often very difficult for young disabled people to be able to have those same opportunities”.

Donella Knox is currently serving a four year sentence for the murder of her daughter in 2016.

Ruby Knox, severely autistic and disabled, was killed by her mother after years battling the health system. Source: 1 NEWS