Ticket-scalpers targeted by government in effort to quell fans' anger over legalised price-hiking

Ticket-scalpers are being targeted as the Government looks at ways to quell fans' anger over the legalised price-hiking of their favourite gigs.

Concert-goers keen to get their hands on tickets to big-name acts such as Bruno Mars, Pink and Celine Dion have found themselves outbid and outraged by seemingly legitimate websites selling tickets with a huge mark up – sometimes to the tune of hundreds of dollars per seat. 

The biggest culprit – Viagogo – has been subject to dozens of complaints to the Commerce Commission, which is currently investigating the Swiss-based reseller.

And now the Consumer Affairs minister Kris Faafoi has asked his staff to start researching the issue as well.

"We want to make sure that people get a fair go if they’re buying a ticket… when you turn up to the door, you should be able to get in" he said.

The minister has already met with Brent Eccles, head of New Zealand’s biggest promotor Frontier Touring and says work is underway on a solution.

"You know, I'd like to snap my fingers today and do something about it straight away," he said.

"But I think making sure we understand the vagaries of the system is really important if we’re going to design a solution to the problem."

Ticketmaster – owned by the world’s largest promoter, Live Nation – says it hasn’t been asked to meet with the minister yet but would do so if asked.

The company owns a 'primary' selling site – one that sells tickets first-hand, and a secondary site called Ticketmaster Resale.

Like Viagogo, Ticketmaster Resale has also been subject to criticism from customers, who missed out on Celine Dion tickets but found them for sale on the secondary site at enormous mark ups.

The company says the need for ticket reselling sites “is not going to go away”.

In a statement it added that it supports "all efforts made by Government to ensure that consumers are protected when buying and reselling tickets on any platform".

Viagogo was approached for comment and directed Fair Go to its 'Frequently Asked Questions' page on its website.
 

Consumer Affairs minister Kris Faafoi wants to combat seemingly legitimate websites selling tickets with a huge mark up. Source: Fair Go



Private housing tenants evicted over meth contamination should also be compensated, says advocate

Tenants in private housing incorrectly evicted as a result of methamphetamine contamination testing should also be in line for compensation, according to Action Against Poverty.

Ricardo Menendez, from Action Against Poverty, said as many as 2400 evicted tenants should be in line for compensation despite Housing Minister Phil Twyford announcing yesterday that around 800 Housing NZ tenants would be reimbursed for costs related to their evictions.

“These (the 800) would have the Housing NZ tenants that would have fallen into the catchment but I do feel that all tenants should be up for compensation as well even though some (were in) private housing,” Mr Menendez told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

“A lot of these tenants were evicted through the testing as a way to pave for redevelopments or developments for housing so I think it was just an excuse to push people out of their communities."

Housing NZ tenant Kathleen Paraha said she the meth contamination evictions had taken an enormous toll, with WINZ blaming innocent people for being evicted.

"These people have lost their furniture, their clothing, and when they go to WINZ, they’ve been declined of clothing and stuff because they think it’s been contaminated so they’re not offering enough,” she said.

“They’ve been put in debt because they’ve been evicted, because WINZ have been saying that they did this themselves, it’s their fault.”

“For one thing they should clear the debt that the government has put them in the first place.”

“They’ve been told to pay for their motel bills if they put them into motels, they’ve been told to pay for it because it’s their fault.”

Kathleen Paraha said the Housing NZ evictions took an enormous personal toll on those evicted, putting people in debt and often leading to drug use among those left homeless. Source: Breakfast

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Police seeking information over terrifying early morning robbery at Tauranga home involving an axe

Police are seeking public information after a terrifying assault and robbery at a Tauranga home where two offenders broke into the house early this morning armed with an axe and crowbar.

Officers responded to an aggravated burglary on Waterford Park Drive in Papamoa at approximately 4.30am, Detective Sergeant Darryl Brazier said.

Two men had entered the property and assaulted two occupants of the house, a man and woman, before stealing two cars from the property.

The two victims received minor injuries but did not require ambulance treatment though they are receiving continued support from police, Detective Sergeant Brazier said.

Police have recovered the vehicles nearby and are currently examining them while a scene examination is also underway at the property.

If anyone in the area has any information which could assist with the Police investigation we encourage them to ring Tauranga Police on 577 4300.

Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Man with axe
Source: istock.com

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Disturbing new study finds Kiwi teens are fatter and less fit than their parents

Today's teens are more fat and less fit than their parents' generation, according to disturbing new research out of the University of Otago.

The first-of-its-kind study, published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, measured the fitness of 343 15-year-olds whose parents had been tested in the 1980s. Each generation was tested on an exercise cycle.

"We have seen a 25 per cent decline in fitness in girls compared to their mothers and about a 15 per cent decline in fitness compared to their fathers," researcher Helena McAnally told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, explaining that the findings are unlikely to be unique to New Zealand.

"I think there's been a lot of social change over the years between the Dunedin study in the 80s, when they were 15, and now," she explained. "We're looking at increasing levels of physical inactivity in developed countries across the globe."

The downward trend is a concern, she said.

"Historically, we've been seeing health and wellbeing tracking towards more positive outcomes," she said. "This is looking like this generation is going to be less healthy than their parents' generation.

"Poorer fitness now could potentially lead to long term health problems later."

Professor Bob Hancox, who led the study, said in a statement that the findings fit the perception many of us already had of young people being outside less and tethered to screens more than any generation previously.

But Ms McAnally said today she remains optimistic that the situation could change. As happened with smoking, studies about the health implications could help prompt government initiatives that eventually see healthier outcomes.

The $7 million plan to tackle the fat is being deemed too weak. Source: 1 NEWS

She suggested ad campaigns and increased opportunities for people to be active.

"I know in Australia some schools have an afternoon dedicated to physical activity so that people don't have to organise taking their kids to sports outside of school hours," she said. "So there are things like that we could change that would be systematically embedding physical activity in young people's day-to-day routines.

"Investing in the health and wellbeing of our young people now is going to save money in the long term, so I think it's a sensible move."

Researchers tested the 15-year-old children of teens who were studied in the 1980s, researcher Helena McAnally explained to Breakfast. Source: Breakfast


Murder charge laid after man stabbed to death in Upper Hutt

A murder charge has been laid after a man was stabbed to death in Upper Hutt yesterday.

A 37-year-old man will appear in the Hutt Valley District Court this morning, Detective Inspector John van den Heuvel said in a statement.

The incident took place on Golders Rd, Upper Hutt, yesterday afternoon.

Police believe it was an isolated incident and aren't looking for anyone else.

Police car
Police car Source: 1 NEWS

The victim died at the scene.


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