Watch: Explosive claims of former Russian spy who says he was harassed by Kiwi police and poisoned in Auckland

There is more to the incredible tale told by a former Russian KGB agent who appeared on UK TV today claiming he was poisoned 10 years ago on Auckland's Queen Street, as an in-depth investigation by TVNZ1's Sunday found out during an exclusive 2007 interview with him.

Boris Karpichkov arrived in Auckland in 2006 on a fake Lithuanian passport. He then claimed he was followed and physically assaulted by the New Zealand police and members of the NZSIS.

Mr Karpichkov admitted being a former Russian spy, but said he wasn't in active service when he came to New Zealand to try and find a safe haven for himself and his family after receiving death threats while living in London.

He told TVNZ1's Sunday that he turned in his fake passport 12 days after arriving in the country in a bid to try and be transparent so he could claim refugee status. The Department of Immigration then returned his knowingly fraudulent document with a stamped work permit on it allowing him to stay.

From there he says things became like something out of a Hollywood spy movie, as he noticed cars began to track his movements.

"You can consider me insane, or obsessed and paranoid but it's an established fact and can be proven," Mr Karpichkov said.

1 NEWS has more interesting details about the double agent's life. Source: 1 NEWS

The ex-spy photographed the vehicles and even confronted a man he believed to be following him which led to an altercation.

"I told him enough is enough and took his picture, the guy then jumped out the car and kicked and punched me yelling 'I will smash your f***ing phone and head'," he told Sunday's Janet McIntyre.

Mr Karpichkov reported the assault to the police but heard nothing back from them until two months later when Detective Seargent Mark Williams called him and admitted it was a police officer that had assaulted him and tried to discourage him from taking the matter further.

His phone conversations with Detective Williams were recorded by Mr Karpichkov for evidence and played back to TVNZ1's Sunday.

One of the calls had the detective reading out a letter which was oddly written as if Mr Karpichkov had authored it himself and accepted an apology from the officer who assaulted him so the matter would go away.

He accepted the apology hoping it would end his surveillance, but says after a brief lull he began to be followed again. Shortly after this Mr Karpichkov said he came down with a mystery illness that doctor's couldn't identify.

Mr Karpichkov says he lost 20kgs and believes he was poisoned by a Russian agent, similar to the claim which he made on British TV today.

He eventually lost his fight to stay in New Zealand in October 2007 due to historical links to organised crime in Russia and Latvia, which he denied, saying he was not an active spook and was never involved in crime.

He once again used his fake passport to leave the country and was given no troubles at customs.

The NZSIS released a statement to 1 NEWS today, with a spokesman saying: "At the time it was confirmed to media that Mr Karpichkov had been in New Zealand, and that his KGB background was known."

The NZ Police told 1 NEWS they're examining what information they hold on Mr Karpichkov but due to the cases historic nature "it's likely to take some time".

TVNZ1's Sunday did an in-depth investigation into Boris Karpichkov's stranger than fiction story in 2007. Source: Sunday

Taranaki man denies killing Waitara teenager in crash

A Taranaki man charged with dangerous driving causing death following an accident that killed a Waitara teenager last month has denied the offence.

The 37-year-old appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today where he also pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of cannabis, possession of utensils to consume methamphetamine, speeding and refusing to give a blood sample.

On 28 August, Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg, 18, died after the man allegedly crashed into her on State Highway 3 between New Plymouth and Waitara.

The court heard that at about 6am the defendant was travelling towards New Plymouth when he crossed double yellow lines while overtaking another vehicle and drove into the path of Ms Keightley-Trigg.

Keightley-Trigg is one of 12 people to have been killed on the stretch of SH3 in the last 10 years.

The defendant was granted interim name suppression until 26 September, pending an appeal being filed over its potential lifting.

Defence counsel Paul Keegan argued that publication of the defendant's name could prejudice his right to a fair trial.

But Crown prosecutor Detective Sergeant Dave MacKenzie disagreed, telling the court that the defendant's right to a fair trial could be protected via other means.

Judge Garry Barkle said he was inclined to lift the name suppression in the interests of open justice but noted Mr Keegan had signalled his intention to appeal any such decision.

Judge Barkle therefore extended interim name suppression until 4pm on 26 September, pending an appeal.

The defendant, who has elected trial by jury, was remanded in custody to reappear on 22 November for a case review.

Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg.
Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg. Source: NZ Police


Christchurch Hospital sees seven people suffering severe affects of synthetic cannabis in 24 hours

Seven people have been treated in the last 24 hours at Christchurch Hospital's Emergency Department who're thought be be severely affected by synthetic cannabis.

In a statement the hospital says the emergency department has seen a number of people suffering from "probable severe synthetic cannabis toxicity, with seven people treated in the past 24 hours and three needing admission to the Intensive Care Unit".

Paul Gee, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Canterbury DHB says there has been a noticeable increase in patient attendances at the Emergency Department for side effects of synthetic cannabis use. 

He says some have minor adverse effects but others are more serious. Last month a man suffered a cardiac arrest after using synthetic cannabis but was successfully resuscitated.

Toxicology analysis has identified the substance taken by the patients as either AMB-FUBINACA or AB-FUBINACA.

AMB-FUBINACA has been linked to numerous deaths in the North Island during the past year.

"There are dangerous synthetic drugs available and taking them could seriously harm or kill you," Dr Gee said.

Drug and addiction help can be accessed at Tuhauora, Christchurch’s Central Coordination Service or call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous.
Source: 1 NEWS


Preparations are underway as more refugees set to make New Zealand home

Preparations are underway to accommodate more refugees in New Zealand after the Government announced it'll increase the quota by 500 people.

This means there will be changes for how and where we welcome refugees. Which starts with six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Centre in Auckland.

Mohamad Hasan’s son was born in an Indonesian refugee camp and Hasan has been stateless since fleeing Somalia in 1990.

"It's like moving from the cage to the world, I feel like that."

Qemajl Murati from the Refugee Resettlement Centre says the centre operates like a small village.

But now it is a growing village after the Government confirmed it is raising the refugee quota to 1500.

"I almost cried because there are so many people who are waiting," Mr Hasan said.

Mr Murati said, "We will have to look at the delivery model at the moment we have six intakes we may need to change to seven intakes."

The centre currently has 196 beds across six blocks, but it’s expanding to meet the demand. New building projects will take up to 250-260 beds.

New Zealand takes on refugees based on referrals from the UN.

In the last decade we've taken on more refugees originally from Myanmar and Bhutan than anywhere else - 1070 from Bhutan and 2434 from Myanmar.

More recently New Zealand have taken refugees from conflict zones like Syria and Afghanistan.  944 from Syria and 935 from Lebanon.

New Zealand ranks 95th in the world for its intake with Australia taking more than 18,000.

Meg de Ronde from Amnesty International New Zealand says, "I do think we need to step up as far as the numbers of people that we bring in, this has been an increase that has been 30 years in the making.”

Refugees are resettled in five regions, but six more are being opened up.

It comes after the Government announced it will increase the quota by 500. Source: 1 NEWS

Opinion: Will getting ahead in New Zealand increasingly become a lottery?

After recent struggles to get into the KiwiBuild ballot, it got me thinking what other things we used to take for granted in New Zealand might one day be left up to a lottery system?

Source: 1 NEWS

As the cost of living continues to race away from wages, it becomes increasingly hard to get on the property market, especially in the hyper-inflated Auckland region where I work and live.

In turn, this has led to the Government's KiwiBuild initiative, a noble one indeed, but something that would have been unimaginable back in my parents' day.

Outdated lending restrictions used by the major banks are not helping matters.

Currently, you can't get finance for a brand new affordable apartment with all the mod-cons if it's under 40 square metres, as most are these days.

However, they are more than happy to lend on a old tired more expensive apartment that is falling apart, which just hits the 40 square metre mark, and often look smaller than new builds due to poor layout.

The Government's "watered down" foreign buyer ban still lets overseas investors snap up these brand new apartments, meaning the status quo remains and there is no relief for the many Kiwis desperate to get into the market on any level.

National MP Judith Collins' comments this week criticising KiwiBuild suggest she is out of touch on the issue and gives little hope of any changes coming from that side of the House.

"Kiwi families deserve a home not a measly studio apartment only big enough for a single person and their cat," Ms Collins said.

What does she have against single people and cats? Are they so sub-human they don't deserve a place to live as well?

So, here we are with the lottery system, put your name in the hat and hope like hell you get selected to be hoisted onto the property ladder.

In the future, will other things once thought of as being part and parcel of living in New Zealand also become part of a lottery system?

It may sound far-fetched, but not many years ago so would a housing lottery too.

* Alan Kenyon is a 1 News Now Producer and would-be apartment owner. He does not own a cat.