Update – Flaxmere homicide

Source: New Zealand Police –

Headline: Update – Flaxmere homicide



Hawke’s Bay Police are continuing to investigate the death of a man in Flaxmere late on Sunday 4 March. 
A post mortem is being performed today and a formal identification process will take place once that is completed. 
A scene examination continued overnight and Police expect to remain at the scene for the remainder of the day and into tonight. 
Detective Senior Sergeant Marty James is continuing to appeal for people who have information which could assist the investigation to come forward. 

New Zealand pork granted access to Australia

Source: Ministry for Primary Industries – Headline: New Zealand pork granted access to Australia

New Zealand pork and pork products will soon be served up on dining tables in Australia, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced today.

Access and certification for New Zealand pork exports into Australia has been agreed by MPI and Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Department officials visited New Zealand to gain a good understanding of our systems, followed by a series of negotiations and close engagement by officials.

Access has been granted for uncooked New Zealand pork meat and products containing New Zealand pork.  Uncooked pork meat will, however, require further processing once it arrives into Australia.

Pork exports to Australia can start immediately.

“New Zealand has a very strong meat regulatory system, which is held in high regard by our trading partners,” says Jarred Mair, MPI’s deputy director-general policy and trade.

“These have helped towards enabling access to Australia for our pork and pork products.

“We appreciate and would like to acknowledge the support of the New Zealand pork industry in reaching this milestone.”

New Zealand’s pork exports are currently limited to a small number of markets, such as the Pacific Islands and Singapore.  In the year to 30 June 2017, New Zealand exported about 173 tonnes of pork in total valued at around $1 million.

New Zealand Pork Chairman Ian Carter says access to Australia for New Zealand pork will provide a positive boost for New Zealand’s pork industry.

“Commercial pig farmers in New Zealand are passionate about the care and expertise they invest in farming their pigs,” says Ian Carter. 

“We see the granting of access to Australia as an important formative step to explore export markets that value the qualities associated with pork and pork products produced from pigs born and raised in New Zealand, backed by PigCare™ – the industry’s independently managed animal welfare assurance programme – and the sector’s world-leading high health status. 

“We are grateful for MPI’s support in facilitating this first step,” says Mr Carter.

“Australia is already a very important market for New Zealand’s primary products,” says Mr Mair.

“We’re pleased to be able to add pork and pork products to the list.”

For more information, contact:

Ian Carter, New Zealand Pork Chairman 
carteri@xtra.co.nz or 027 420 0026

Wealth tax would be a mistake

Source: Taxpayers Union


The decision by the Tax Working Group, chaired by Sir Michael Cullen, to consider the introduction of a wealth tax is a dangerous step, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. Taxpayers Union Economist Joe Ascroft says “New Zealand is a relatively poor country, with low wages, and limited productivity growth. Lifting wages, which would enable all New Zealanders to live more comfortable and prosperous lives, requires strong levels of investment and economic growth. The problem with a wealth tax is that it encourages people to spend the wages they earn, rather than save, invest and build wealth for themselves and their family.”“A wealth tax is emotively appealing, but when households around the country choose to save less, start fewer businesses, and invest a reduced proportion of their income, long term economic growth will slow, and wages will stagnate.”“Policies like a wealth tax, or indeed any tax which discourages investment, rob from the future paycheques of young New Zealanders to pay for lavish and wasteful social spending today. That’s an unacceptable trade-off.”The Taxpayers’ Union will be presenting more in-depth commentary on the Tax Working Group’s proposals as they emerge.

Insurance contract law review starts

Source: New Zealand Government

Headline: Insurance contract law review starts

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has today released the terms of reference for a review of New Zealand insurance contract law.
 “Insurance plays an important role in the lives of New Zealanders, helping people cope with unforeseen life events and providing businesses with greater certainty.
 “But there are significant problems with New Zealand’s insurance contract law which are undermining the effectiveness of our insurance markets and impacting those who do not receive the support they anticipated from their insurance policies.
 “I have heard, for example, that consumers are sometimes not covered for losses or unable to claim for important needs like health treatment because they innocently did not disclose seemingly unrelated matters to the insurer.
 “This is really tough for people who genuinely believe they have met their requirements and are later unable to rely on benefits of insurance. So onerous disclosure requirements are one of the issues I am keen to look at.”
 Mr Faafoi says the review will also consider whether there is a case for greater regulation and supervision of insurer’s conduct. The International Monetary Fund has identified that New Zealand has room for improvement in this area.
 “Insurance contract law has been significantly updated in comparable markets including Australia and the UK, so this work is long overdue,” Mr Faafoi says.
 “Reform is needed so that all New Zealanders have the protection of a well-functioning insurance market. The sector has been supportive of the need for a review so I am optimistic that stakeholders will be involved in order to make good progress swiftly.”
 The terms of reference outline the review’s scope, process and an indicative timeline.
 “I see this as an important piece of work so I am asking officials to move this forward quickly. With Cabinet approval I hope to release an issues paper for public consultation in mid-2018. If I find that change is warranted I’ll be working towards introducing legislation in the current Parliamentary term,” says Mr Faafoi.
 More information on the review of insurance contract law is available here.

Landscape specialist to give annual photography lecture

Source: Massey University – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Landscape specialist to give annual photography lecture

One of Professor Jem Southam’s most renowned images The Pig, the Lamb and the Goat


Professor Jem Southam

One of the most respected British photographers of the last 25 years, colour landscape specialist Jem Southam, delivers a public talk organised by Massey University’s Wellington College of Creative Arts on Saturday.

Professor Southam will be delivering the annual Peter Turner Memorial Lecture at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre on Saturday March 10 at 6.30pm. His lecture titled Landscape Stories: Encounters, Voices and Pictures will address the complexity of the landscape genre in the light of his own career as a photographer, whose work results from the patient observation of singular sites, usually near where he lives, over long periods of time.

Professor Southam’s work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions dating back to the 1980s at venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum and part of international collections featured in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum Folkswang, Dusseldorf and the Yale Centre for British Art at New Haven.

As Professor of Photography at Plymouth University, Professor Southam has developed a method of slow accrual of images, which are then presented in structured narratives revealing a complexity of personal, political, literary, psychological and cultural associations.

While now working digitally, much of Professor Southam’s work has been made using a large format camera to produce 8 x 10 inch colour negatives. This is a slowed-down time-consuming image making process that requires patience and precision. When the resulting large format negatives are then enlarged to create c-type prints, the images reveal an extraordinary level of detail and degrees of tonal subtlety rarely matched by contemporary digital means.

The annual Peter Turner Memorial Lecture is hosted by Massey University, and each year brings to New Zealand an international photographer, theorist or historian, to discuss their work in the expanded field of contemporary documentary photography. The lecture was established in memory of the late Peter Turner, author, editor, curator and former teacher at the Wellington School of Design. Whiti o Rehua – The School of Art also offers a Masters scholarship in documentary photography in Peter Turner’s name.

Distinguished Professor Anne Noble from the School of Art says Professor Southam is a notable addition to the list of photographers who have previously headlined the lecture.

“In a world where our experience of time is shaped by the traffic of instant photographic images on social media, Jem Southam’s slowly accrued photographic narratives of singular places as us to stop still and reflect on environmental change within much larger and longer time frames.”

Professor Southam’s lecture is part of Wellington’s biennial Photobook New Zealand Festival that showcases artists’ photobooks published by New Zealand and international small presses at a photobook fair at Te Papa on Friday and Saturday March 10-11. The New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards will be announced at the Festival launch on March 10 at 7.30pm.

The Peter Turner Memorial Lecture is on at 6.30pm, Saturday March 10, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, Wellington. Go to www.photobooknz.com for more details


– –

SH4 closed between Whanganui and Raetihi

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: SH4 closed between Whanganui and Raetihi

NZTA Regional Transport Systems Manager Ross I’Anson says the potential slip site was identified today during a regularly scheduled geotechnical inspection, and the road has been closed as a precaution while a more detailed inspection is undertaken.

Mr I’Anson says SH4 through the Paraparas has several bluffs along its length, where the material that makes up these areas (papa) is particularly susceptible to weathering. 

“The Transport Agency regularly monitors these bluffs as part of an ongoing geotechnical inspection regime for the road. While it difficult to predict exactly where or when a specific part of the slope may fail due to the unstable nature of papa, our geotechnical experts have advised that the road should be closed as a precaution until a more detailed inspection can be completed at this site.”

A further update will be provided by mid-morning on Tuesday. The road was closed at approximately 5pm Monday.

Winchester, Timaru

Source: New Zealand Police –

Headline: Winchester, Timaru

Drivers should expect delays on Temuka-Orari Highway (SH1) at Winchester, Timaru this morning after a collision involving a train and a car.

Emergency services were called to the scene at Reilly Rd just after 6am.

Local diversions are in place.

Drivers are asked to be patient while the scene is cleared.

There were no injuries reported.


Police Media Centre



Description of incident:

Delays after train v car

Issued by: 
Police Media Centre

Encouraging signs of more Kiwi women in tech

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Headline: Encouraging signs of more Kiwi women in tech

Auckland – The worm has turned in the tech world as a wave of females are joining the tech community, according to national and global reports. This Thursday is International Women’s Day and executive director of Tech Women New Zealand, Edwina Mistry, says tech has never been more attractive as a career for females. One Auckland…

The post Encouraging signs of more Kiwi women in tech appeared first on Make Lemonade NZ.

Free Press Monday 5 March Overseas Investment Act Disaster

Source: ACT Party

Headline: Free Press Monday 5 March Overseas Investment Act Disaster

The New Government’s Worst Legislation So Far

Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee sat for most of last week, including all day Friday in Auckland. We’re not complaining, but the reason is interesting. The Overseas Investment Amendment Bill has received 220 submissions, mostly very substantial and from the business community, who are outraged at this bill.

What it Does

Currently, any overseas person or organization with more than 25 per cent overseas ownership has to jump through the Overseas Investment Office’s hoops to by more than five (sometimes only 0.4) hectares of land. Six months is considered a good time for getting approval from the OIO. The bill will apply this test to any ‘overseas person’ investing in ‘residential land.’ Treasury predicts the Overseas Investment office will go from processing 150 applications per year to 4700.

Why They’re Doing It

The Government believes they will reduce house prices by reducing foreign investment in housing. That’s bollocks, of course, the housing problem is one of supply, and the Bill will actually make it harder for local and foreign developers to source capital overseas. It is a monumental own goal.

The Fundamental Problem

There are so many possible ways of structuring an organization to shield overseas interests that any effective test must be draconian. Then again, any test that allows people to get on with their lives will have little effect on who has the ultimate interest in a piece of land.

Who’s Objecting

Almost everybody. We’d never realized how many companies and industries have a) overseas investment and b) an interest in owning residential land. Below we list just a sample of the submissions made to the Committee.

Electricity Companies

Roughly every 1,000 homes require a substation. There are a surprising number of these on residential land. Developing electricity infrastructure requires major investment with up to 20 year time horizons. Adding uncertainty at the outset is fatal to building anything. Electricity companies say they support the bill but want to be exempt from it.


Telcos face basically the same problem as electricity companies. They need to have a cell tower in every suburb at least, and then there are data centres and future technology roll outs such as 5G. They are not necessarily opposed to the bill but would like an industry exemption.

The Mega-Rich

Queenstown Mayor Jim Holt and local man Sir Eion Edgar pointed out just how much wealthy foreigners have contributed to conservation in the Otago region. In at least one case investing $100m and putting the land in trust for everybody to enjoy. They are not necessarily opposed to the bill but would like an exemption for properties over, say, $5m.

Retirement Villages

Many of the big developers rely on foreign capital. They are developing residential land by definition, trying to meet the silver tsunami before it drowns us all. They are not necessarily opposed to the bill but would like an exemption for operators of registered retirement villages.

Build-to-Rent Companies

New Ground Capital, who specialize in building homes to rent out, think the bill is a good idea but would like to be given a Standing Consent for their type of business.

Mining Companies

Mining Companies are often required to buy houses near their sites who might be affected by noise and other pollution, in order to gain resource consent. They may find themselves unable to purchase in time to get consent. They would, of course, like this activity to be exempt.

Apartment Developers

Banks generally won’t lend to apartment developments, who often depend on presales to as wide a market of buyers as possible, including foreign ones. Shrinking the retail market to domestic buyers only will stop many developments.  You guessed it, they’d like an exception for overseas buyers who buy off the plan.

Bunnings Warehouse

How do you build more houses without building supply stores in residential areas? We don’t know, but the Aussie company made perhaps the cheekiest submission for a customised carve-out, suggesting ASX listed companies with more than 500 employees should be exempt.

Who Polices the Bill?

Working out whether a person is legitimate or not under the bill is a nightmare. The big banks, the real estate institute, and the lawyers all accept the objective of the bill. However, they would prefer the buck didn’t stop with them for checking whether a person has properly declared their status as an overseas person.

What’s Missing

All of the requests for exemptions should be taken seriously. All these submitters and more have well-grounded fears that this bill will badly affect their business. But hardly any of them are prepared to say ‘this bill is crap,’ it is wrong and needs to be stopped.

The Government’s Problem

They’re stuck between a rock and two hard places. The Rock is the TPP, which forbids this kind of nonsense and will be in force some time this year if all signatories organize their domestic legislation in time. The first hard place is Labour and New Zealand First’s xenophobic campaigns against foreign investment. The second hard place is the impossibility of designing a law that will cut off some foreign investment without accidentally cutting off the New Zealand economy.

National’s Problem

The National Party started this ball rolling when they introduced IRD number and domestic bank account requirements for foreign buyers of residential property in 2016. It took about six months for the industry to come up with work arounds. This legislation is no different in principle from what National did, it’s just far more byzantine.

And ACT?

We stand for a New Zealand that is not afraid of the world but stands proudly as part of it. Foreign investment is essential, and trying to cut us off from it, as every other party has done in the past two years, is offensive to our culture and fatal to our prosperity. The bill should be stopped, and we will repeal it.

Global Online Travel market is growing at a fair pace and is estimated to have a huge demand with a moderate CAGR during 2018-2024

Source: Emailwire Global Press Release Newswire – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Global Online Travel market is growing at a fair pace and is estimated to have a huge demand with a moderate CAGR during 2018-2024

(EMAILWIRE.COM, March 05, 2018 ) The report “Global Online Travel Market:” By Mode of Booking ,By Platform; By Service ,By Age & By Geography – Trends & Forecast (2018-2024). Envision Inteligence estimates that global online travel market is projected to reach $XX billion by the end of 2024 with…