Watch: This is the ex-Auckland local board chairman charged with child sex crime, outside court today

A 74-year-old Justice of the Peace and former Auckland local body community board chairman has been filmed trying to evade journalists outside the North Shore District Court today, after it was alleged he downloaded live sex shows involving young children from overseas.

Martin Henry Lawes has been charged with one count of "dealing in people under the age of 18 for sexual exploitation".

Martin Lawes appeared in the Auckland District Court today accused of downloading live sex shows involving children from overseas (file video) Source: 1 NEWS

It's alleged the offending occurred on multiple occasions in 2015.

Lawes resigned as Chairman of the Takapuna Local Community Board in 2010 and has been a Justice of the Peace since 2005.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

He's been remanded on bail without plea and will reappear in court later this month.

Martin Henry Lawes is alleged to have downloaded live sex shows involving young children from overseas Source: 1 NEWS

Outside court today, 1 NEWS reporter Paul Hobbs asked Mr Lawes about his appearance in court.

"Do children deserve to be not exploited Mr Lawes?"  Hobbs asked.

"What do you think about that?"

Mr Lawes did not reply but instead tried to hide his face with a folder.

Mr Lawes is due to appear before the court again in three weeks' time.

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Winston Peters denies National Party claims he called Wally Haumaha after inquiry launched

The National Party is claiming Winston Peters called Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha to assure him "things would be okay" after an inquiry was launched into the process of his appointment. 

MP Chris Bishop used his Parliamentary privilege to claim links between NZ First and Mr Hauhama "go further" than his unsuccessful bid for NZ First candidacy in 2005.

"Winston Peters rang Wally Haumaha, after the inquiry into his appointment was announced. He gave him assurances, or words to that effect, that things would be okay.

"That is deeply, wildly inappropriate," Mr Bishop said. 

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters denies the claim.

In a statement Mr Peters says: "During Parliament’s General Debate this afternoon the National Party MP Chris Bishop claimed to have made a revelation related to the Haumaha inquiry. He hasn’t made a revelation and I’m swatting-off this midge right now.

"There is no basis to Mr Bishop’s claim that I rang Mr Haumaha after the inquiry into his appointment was announced, nor have provided any assurances on the matter. I have not called nor had any reason to call Mr Haumaha since the controversy.

"My office has checked all my phone records since the inquiry was announced. No such call was made.

"It is a matter of public record that this inquiry was initiated in my capacity as acting Prime Minister.

"The public can have faith in the inquiry. It was initiated by Cabinet, it is being conducted by a highly respected independent QC, and it will report back to Cabinet. The terms of reference have been publicly released. The final report will be made public.

"Regardless, any suggestion that New Zealand First Ministers are seeking to unduly influence this inquiry is baseless nonsense," says Mr Peters.

Background

There is currently an inquiry underway into the processes of the appointment of Wally Haumaha as Deputy Police Commissioner after comments he made defending police officers accused of rape in 2004 came to light.

Mr Haumaha has since apologised for the comments, saying they do not reflect his views.

There have also been accusations of bullying behaviour on a project Mr Haumaha was working on involving two women from the Justice Ministry and one from Corrections.

The incident reportedly led to the policy analysts walking out of Police National Headquarters and completing the project from their own respective offices.

The allegation was made in the House by Chris Bishop under the protection of Parliamentary privilege. Source: 1 NEWS

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Auckland Transport proposes 30km/h zone for city centre

Auckland Transport (AT) is looking at lowering speeds in the city centre, in a move they say will "improve road safety for the large number of people walking, cycling and living in the area."

They have proposed a 30km/h zone around the CBD which will be consulted on as part of a speed bylaw review in November.

AT says the move is part of its work to improve road safety in Auckland, where one person dies and two are seriously injured on the roads each week.

AT's Group Manager Network Management and Safety, Randhir Karma, says many of the crashes in the city centre involve vulnerable road users.

"Eighty-four per cent of all crashes involve vulnerable road users. Nearly half of the crashes involve people walking and this is not acceptable.

"If a person walking is hit by a vehicle travelling at 30km, the chance of dying is 10 per cent. At 50km, the chance of dying is 80 per cent," he says.

AT say they're currently determining the exact locations for the start of the lower speed limit and what physical changes would need to be implemented.  

Auckland CBD Source: Seven Sharp

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Rising jet fuel prices could lower Air New Zealand's profit

High jet fuel prices could be affect Air New Zealand's profits in 2019. 

Recent changes in jet fuel prices have outpaced the $US85 ($NZ127.35) per barrel Air New Zealand had assumed in it's financial year earnings for 2019, chairman Tony Carter said today.

"As we look forward to the year ahead, we are optimistic about market dynamics and demand trends, but note that the current levels of jet fuel price will be a headwind on profitability compared to the prior year," Mr Carter told Reuters.

Airline companies around the globe are expected to be affected financially, with jet fuel prices rising to $US93.81 ($NZ140.57) per barrel.

As a result of higher fuel prices, pretax profit was expected to fall up to 21 per cent from $540 million in 2017 in the current financial year, according to Air New Zealand.

The airline's shares have also fallen 1.6 percent to a seven-month low in the market.

An Air New Zealand plane.


Wellington bus drivers vote for 'ongoing' strike if collective agreement not reached in a month

Hundreds of Wellington region bus drivers have voted for an "ongoing" strike if a collective agreement is not reached by October 23, just under a month away.

Tramways Union Wellington says companies facing industrial action are Tranzurban Wellington and Hutt (Tranzit), Uzabus and NZ Bus.

Drivers have also passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in the Greater Wellington Regional Council and called for a commissioner to take over the region’s public transport.

Tramways Union secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says the strike is a matter of last resort.

"We have been trying to get Tranzit to negotiate for months and still have no offer from them or any indication they are taking the bargaining seriously. This is why we have now had to set a deadline," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"Meanwhile the GWRC has been telling us everything is fine and refusing to hold their contractors to account for their lack of good faith. It’s become clear that the council has no intention of fixing the industrial dispute or the public transport system. They need to have it taken away from them before they make matters worse.

"There is no way that Wellington’s bus system can be fixed without a fair deal for drivers. Until this is settled the driver shortage will continue, the industrial action will continue, and drivers will continue to have no reason to even try to make this broken system work," he said.

"We don’t want to make life harder for Wellington commuters, the council has already done enough of that, but if we don’t take a stand things are only going to get worse for everyone. I think the people of Wellington understand that which is why our members have had so much support."

Mr O’Sullivan said he wanted to wait and see if a collective agreement is reached before commenting on how long drivers were prepared to strike for.

A spokesperson for bus operator Tranzit said negotiations have been underway with Tramways Union Wellington for two weeks, following talks between both parties that started last year.

The spokesperson, who did now want to be named, denied the union comment that Tranzit is not taking negotiations seriously.

"Tranzit is not involved in tit for-tat. Negotiations are just that - dialogue. The onus is on getting it right," he said.

The spokesperson said he didn’t think a strike by Tranzit members, if it were to happen, would have a significant impact.

A Uzabus spokesperson said negotiations were underway between the company and Tramways Union but referred further questions to Greater Wellington Regional Council.

NZ Bus has been contacted for comment.

Many are calling on central Government to fix the capital’s public transport woes.
Source: 1 NEWS