Take a look: New $50 million wharf on Chatham Islands a mammoth logistic effort

The Chatham Islands' economy received a significant boost today with the opening of a $50 million wharf.

The process of building a small port 800km from mainland New Zealand was no easy feat for those involved.

Project manager Hugh Miliiken had to ship cranes across sea, find accommodation for 40 workers and develop a quarry site on the rocks to build a breakwater.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," he said.

"Challenging conditions. We were here eight months before we did anything down here." 

The wharf is vital to the island's fishing and farming economies, and it's also necessary to ship in all their everyday essentials like food and fuel.

A delegation of politicians, including seven New Zealand Government Ministers, visited the island today for the opening ceremony.

But locals have told a government delegation it's not the only lifeline they need.

"Now that we have a wharf it would be great to have a good boat that could service that wharf," Hokotehi Moriori Trust's Maui Solomon said.

An added wish-list includes a cell phone network and a longer runway.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters at least seemed attentive.

"Can I just say, if you've got the crayfish, we're listening," he said to applause.

Locals have told a government delegation that it's not the only lifeline they need. Source: 1 NEWS

Labour Summer Camp debacle: Why weren't cops told of sexual assault perpetrator? Ex-party president Mike Williams defends Andrew Kirton's choices

Former Labour Party president Mike Williams says the initial steps taken after the alleged Summer Camp assaults were taken "appropriately and quickly", however he thought Young Labour would have "almost certainly" tried to protect the party over the recent allegations. 

On TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, Mr Williams said his understanding of the alleged incident of four sexual assaults against teenagers aged 16-18 by a 20-year-old man at last month's Summer Camp was that it was a "very isolated incident, it wasn't some huge drunken orgy, [it was] one drunken idiot".

"It didn't occur to a lot of people just how serious it was." 

He said Labour Party general secretary Andrew Kirton gave the victims the option of what to do, "and all of them chose in the first instance not to do anything, not to go to the police and not to tell their parents, which is a victim's right to do that". 

Host Jack Tame asked why Mr Kirton did not at least alert police to the alleged offender.

"He could have done that... It is the victim's choice. That's what Andrew was told."

He said he thought Young Labour were "almost certainly" trying to protect the party. 

"I don't think they saw the gravity of it, but they probably understood if it came out it would be damaging to the party."

Mr Williams said there had always been a large number of adults present at similar events when he was involved. "These people are very bright, but they are kids." 

Mr Williams also said he did not think anyone should lose their job, "certainly not Andrew Kirton". 

"He responded appropriately and quickly. The only thing he did wrong in my view is that he didn't tell the PM, but that's one oversight."

He said the situation was a "learning curve".  

Mike Williams said he thought “It didn't occur to a lot of people just how serious” the situation was. Source: Breakfast



‘For us at least, he was Stephen’ – Auckland University physicist reflects on loss of Stephen Hawking

Professor Richard Easther says the renowned physicist had a human side, and that his work helped knit humanity’s understanding the cosmos together. Source: Breakfast