Video: Man apologises after he was filmed burning Tonga flag after Kiwis' RLWC loss, labelling stunt 'a drunken mistake'

A young man filmed burning a Tongan flag after Tonga beat the Kiwis in their Rugby League World Cup game on Saturday has apologised.

The man, who has not identified himself, issued a statement to the NZ Herald and asked for it to be made public.

"To the people of New Zealand and Tonga, I sincerely apologise for my actions that took place regarding the video posted on social media on Saturday 11/11/17," the statement reads.

"In no way did I intend for this to take place, as it was a drunken mistake that has great remorse by myself and those involved.

"I apologise for the way this has offended everyone especially the people of Tonga, and there is no excuse for the actions that I have taken.

"I was unaware that this moment had been recorded and had no ill intentions, following this I have since tried to have this removed off the pages that it has been posted on, and hope this public apology will help with doing so."

Numerous people had shared the Snapchat video online after it emerged, with many condemning his actions.


'UNderage' - world's media spellbound by Jacinda Ardern's history-making appearance at UN with baby Neve

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's history-making appearance at the UN in New York with three-month-old daughter Neve has gripped the world's media which has splashed headlines like "UNderage" and declaring the baby "premieres among world leaders".

Ms Ardern is among world leaders at the UN General Assembly this week and has Neve, born in June, in tow.

While the Prime Minister spoke at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on today, Neve got a front-row seat on father Clarke Gayford's lap, catching the eye of cameras. She earlier watched proceedings with her mum.

"UNderage. Jacinda Ardern makes history with baby Neve at UN general assembly," declared Britain's The Guardian.

The piece noted that last week the rules were tweaked in New Zealand to allow the Prime Minister or ministers to travel with a nanny on overseas assignments, and have this covered by the taxpayer.

However, Ms Ardern had said Gayford’s tickets to New York and expenses would be paid for out of her own pocket, because there were few official spousal engagements Gayford would be required to attend, and most of his time would be taken up caring for Neve, The Guardian reported on its website.

"Ardern has earned a reputation as a frugal leader who recently froze MPs salaries for a year and makes her ministers carpool to events," it said.

BBC News headlined it's story: "New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern's baby premieres among world leaders"

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made her debut speech at the UN in New York - and in another first for the organisation she brought her baby along too, it said, adding that Ms Ardern played with daughter Neve Te Aroha, shortly before addressing the UN's General Assembly.

The BBC quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric telling Reuters: "Prime Minister Ardern is showing that no one is better qualified to represent her country than a working mother. Just five per cent of the world's leaders are women, so we need to make them as welcome here as possible."

Closer to home, Australia's SBS Life carried a comment piece headed: "Jacinda Ardern taking her baby to the UN is #mumgoals"

"If Jacinda Ardern can take her child to the UN General Assembly, I'm not going to feel so guilty about taking my toddler to cafes," Caitlin Chang wrote.

"When you've got a newborn baby, sometimes just having a shower is cause for celebration, so hats off to Jacinda Ardern for heading to a summit of world leaders with three-month-old baby Neve in tow."

Chang said Ms Ardern's openness about her life as a new parent is refreshing. 

"The reality is, working mothers don't stop being parents when they return to work-they're hiding in bathrooms to pump breast milk, juggling child care pick ups and operating zombie-like on months of broken sleep," Chang wrote. 

"Working mothers shouldn't feel embarrassed or guilty about having to sometimes bring their home life to work. So next time you feel sheepish about having to leave work early to pick up a sick child, ask yourself: what would Jacinda do?" the piece concluded.

Singapore's The Straits Times carried copy from news agency AFP that ran: "New Zealand's prime minister, who shot to international fame for giving birth while in office, turned heads on Monday (Sept 24) by bringing her three-month-old daughter into the UN assembly hall."

As other reports also pointed out, The Straits Times reported Jacinda Ardern, 38, is only the second world leader to ever give birth while in the office. The first was the late Benazir Bhutto, who was prime minister of Pakistan when her daughter was born in 1990.

There was a very public appearance for the Prime Minister’s baby in New York.
Source: Reuters


Lifting suppression for men charged over fatal shooting of Mongrel Mob member 'a risk' to police investigation - Crown

Naming the 12 men arrested over the shooting of Mongrel Mob member Kevin Ratana would pose "a significant and real risk" to the police investigation into his death, a court has heard today.

Mr Ratana, a 27-year-old father of two, was shot and killed in Whanganui in August.

Judge Philip Crayton considered the name suppression orders at the Whanganui District Court this morning.

None of the defendants were required to appear.

They face charges ranging from belonging to an organised criminal group, to firearms offences and threatening to kill.

No one has so far been charged with causing Mr Ratana's death.

Judge Crayton told the court that he accepted a Crown instruction that revealing the men's names at this stage "could pose a significant and real risk" to the police investigation and compromise their "fair trial rights".

"This is more than a speculative risk - this is a real risk," Judge Clayton said.

He also feared release of the men's names at this stage could affect the ability of the court to hold any eventual trial in Whanganui.

Defence counsel Jamie Waugh supported the move to retain interim name suppression.

At an earlier hearing, Mr Waugh had argued that some of the defendants had expressed concerns about the safety of their families and reported heightened activity from rival gang members in Whanganui.

Some had already shifted family members out of town.

Judge Clayton said in light of the Crown submission arguments over the risk to the defendants and their families did not need to be advanced further.

He remanded the men on current bail conditions to reappear on 30 November when interim name suppression would lapse.

By Robin Martin

Mongrel Mob members in Whanganui for Kevin Ratana's funeral.
Mongrel Mob members in Whanganui for Kevin Ratana's funeral. Source:


Fears for missing Auckland 13-year-old not seen since yesterday afternoon

There are fears for a 13-year-old Auckland boy, missing since yesterday afternoon.

Police say Paulo Junior Te Raroa was last seen Monday, around 3.30pm at an address on Kahu Road, Panmure.

He is known to leave his home address, but his family and Police are concerned as he has yet to return.

Paulo goes by the name "Boonie" and may avoid Police for fear of getting into trouble.

He is happy to speak to members of the public but may not ask for help.

Anyone who has seen Paulo Te Raroa is urged to contact Auckland City Police on 09 302 6400.

Paulo Te Raroa. Source: NZ Police

Peters says Bridges 'probably only gets one call a month' as he defends PM over Derek Handley saga

Winston Peters says Simon Bridges "probably only gets one call a month" as he defended the Prime Minister over the Derek Handley saga in Parliament today.

Mr Handley this morning released a statement and redacted email and text correspondence between himself and Jacinda Ardern, and then Minister Clare Curran about the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role and his move back to New Zealand.

Ms Ardern sent Mr Handley her private email address but says she never responded to an email from him about the CTO role.

Mr Handley was paid $100,000 of taxpayers' money after he was pulled from his job as chief technology officer. Source: Breakfast

Today in Parliament's Question Time Mr Bridges grilled Mr Peters, who was answering on behalf of the Prime Minister, about the issue.

"Why did the Prime Minister text Derek Handley her personal email address rather than her work one when Mr Handley's text clearly show he wanted to contact her in the capacity of Prime Minister about how he could quote, 'best serve you in New Zealand and about the CTO role,'" the National Party leader asked.

Mr Peters argued that part of the question was "demonstrably false".

"The member was going fine in the framework for that question until he said about the CTO role, that part of the question is demonstrably false and the transcripts show that.

"So to go back to my primary point, the Prime Minister was clearly asked from someone who is interested in rejoining New Zealand's economy, can I possibly get in contact with you and being the friendly honest person that she is she sent him her private information, we're doing it all the time.

"I don't know what he does (Simon Bridges) but then again, he probably only gets a call once a month," Mr Peters said.

An offer to Mr Handley for the CTO role was retracted by the Government earlier in the month, resulting in a $100,000 pay out to the entrepreneur.

Jacinda Ardern sent Derek Handley her private email address but says she never responded to an email from him about the CTO role. Source: Parliament TV