Watch: Alleged Morrinsville gunman Rollie Heke appears in Rotorua District Court via audio visual link

The man who evaded arrest and allegedly shot at officers has been remanded in custody after appearing at the Rotorua District Court today.

Rollie Heke appeared via audio visual link and faces three charges of attempting to murder a police officer, possession of a semi-automatic firearm and possession of ammunition.

A road in Morrinsville has been blocked by police, as they continue their search for Rollie Heke after police were shot at early Sunday. Source: 1 NEWS

The 37-year-old also faces a charge of failing to stop and two charges of possession of equipment to manufacture methamphetamine.

Police say they no longer believe Morrinsville gunman Rollie Heke is still in town, and have extended the search nationwide. Source: 1 NEWS

A man and three women also face charges of assisting Heke to evade arrest. 

Heke had been on the run from police since September last year after he removed his electronic bracelet.

Almost two weeks ago Heke attempted to flee after officers signalled for him to stop in Morrinsville.

He allegedly fired at police.

A number of properties were searched and tear gas was used but Heke managed to avoid police.

This morning armed officers surrounded a property in the Kaingaroa Forest township, 50 kilometres from Rotorua.

Police say Heke was "arrested without incident and without undue risk to the community".

Heke entered no plea and was remanded in custody and will reappear at the High Court in Rotorua next month.

Heke's former partner Irene Scanlon was taken into custody this morning in Te Awamutu.

Four others appeared in court over the incident and have been charged as being accessories after the fact of attempted murder.

Rangimaria Haami, 62, Natasha Dawn Telford, 43, Joseph Manunui Long ,32, and Jane Eggleton, 29, have all been remanded in custody and will reappear at the High Court in Rotorua next month.

Meanwhile Eggleton has also been charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Heke, along with four others charged as being accessories after the fact of attempted murder, appeared before the court. Source: 1 NEWS



Wellington bus network changes to be reviewed after council bombarded with complaints

Wellington's new bus network will be independently reviewed after ongoing complaints of buses being late, too full to board or not showing up at all.

The regional council today voted today to have the system reviewed and the results reported back by December.

Since the system was changed in July the council has been bombarded with complaints.

Councillors have also asked officers to change a route so that it began and ended in Kilbirnie, as it previously did, and for feedback on whether some other routes can be changed.

Regional council chief executive Greg Campbell said he took full responsibility for fixing the network's problems.

He said the review needed to be done quickly.

"Any commuter that is left stranded, or a bus that is late, that is of extreme concern. We have to get a clear view of what is happening. What an independent review can really do - particularly for management and council - is give a view of what has happened and articulate that well."

At the beginning of the meeting several Wellington residents addressed the council to let it know they were still unhappy with the new bus routes.

A Wellington principal said the recent re-jig of the routes was making his students late for class and putting them in danger.

St Patrick's College, Kilbirnie's rector Neal Swindells told this morning's meeting about 100-150 boys were using the new service.

"Currently our two 753 buses from the station in the afternoon are significantly overloaded and are unsafe. On Monday this week, they were both loaded to the gunnels and there were 30-odd students who couldn't get on. So what they do is they cross the road to catch the new 24 bus, which by the time it leaves St Pat's now is also overfull."

rnz.co.nz

Commuters at a bus stop in Newtown. Source: rnz.co.nz



Government reveals details of emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley

Details of the email exchange between former Digital Services Minister Clare Curran and Derek Handley were revealed today during Parliament's Question Time. 

Ms Curran said she was not aware of RNZ's policies surrounding meetings with Minister's at the time.
Source: 1 NEWS

The messages were sent over the role of chief technology officer, with Ms Curran using her private Gmail account to send the emails. 

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

Acting State Services Minister Grant Robertson told the House the following about three exchanges between the pair about the role. 

First exchange

August 11: 

"Derek Handley emails Clare Curran about the chief technology officer position and questions about the role of the CTO, including resourcing for the role and potential conflicts of interest."

August 14

"Clare Curran replies to that email, confirming a call to discuss these matters."

August 15

"Derek Handley replies to that, confirming times for the call."

Second exchange

August 19

"Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding logistics around the next step on the process of appointment, including the content of any public statements that might be made, and refers to contract discussions with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)."

August 20

"Derek Handley responds to that email to Clare Curran about those issues, including the contact he has had with DIA and management of conflicts of interest."

Third exchange

August 21

"Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding issues that would be on the work plan of the chief technology officer and attaches some relevant background documents on those issues.

"On the same day, Derek Handley responds to Clare Curran, acknowledging the material and referring to the discussions that he is having with DIA."

Derek Handley says he’ll donate the compensation but is disappointed at the way the issue was handled. Source: 1 NEWS

The chief technology officer was intended to "drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand", said the then Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran, when the role was announced last December. 

The new Minister for Government Digital Services Megan Woods said the Government have put a "full stop" on the process.

Ms Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.


Over 20 vehicles vandalised overnight in suburb on Auckland's North Shore

More than 20 vehicles have been damaged overnight in an area on Auckland's, North Shore.

Police say a number of vehicles' tyres have been vandalised in Birkdale's, Tiri Tiri Road and Woodhams Street area.

Anyone who has had their car damaged is urged to report it to police if they haven't already done so.

Police are making area enquiries and conducting scene and forensic examinations and are interested to hear from anyone who may have information.


John Healy says people drastically underestimate the risks of leaving kids or pets in their car.
Source: 1 NEWS