Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New age Destiny Church in NZ facing further criticism...

The new age Christian fundamentalist Destiny Church is facing further criticism, after hundreds of men pledged to honour its leader - self-appointed Bishop Brian Tamaki and his church.

At the church's annual conference in Auckland at Labour weekend, about 700 men swore a "covenant oath" of loyalty and obedience to Bishop Tamaki.

But some say the oath goes too far, stifling freedom of speech, with church members ordered to speak of Mr Tamaki in a favourable light.

However, Destiny Church spokesman and oath author Richard Lewis says that is not the case.

"We can't make people do anything, the members of Destiny Church are here because they want to be - there is no obligation for them to stay," he says.

"We have seen a lot of people come into this movement who have, under the influence of Bishop Tamaki, turned their lives around, and done great things."

Under the oath members must also fully support what Bishop Tamaki promotes.

Acknowledgements: Radio LIVE

Destiny church

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bosses to get the right to decide when and if workers can have a break...

Bosses will be able to axe workers’ mandatory breaks and compensate them with pay or time off in lieu if a new government bill is passed.

National's proposed law will include “compensatory measures” which include being able to start work late or leave early, and provision for employees to trade accumulated missed breaks for a day off, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Compensatory measures can include staff pay.

Employers will be give the final say over when and how long breaks will be if an agreement cannot be reached through "good faith bargaining" between bosses and employees, according to the bill.

Labour's employment spokesman Trevor Mallard told the New Zealand Herald the bill posed downsides for vulnerable workers whose breaks weren't protected in collective contracts.

"The idea you could be pushed into taking no breaks at all and pushed into having them outside work hours is not a good idea," Mr Mallard said.

"It means the break is worth nothing if it can be replaced with 'time off' at the whim of their employer."

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has said the changes were aimed at assisting businesses by increasing flexibility for employers.

National's bill would dissolve the law passed by Labour last year which gave workers two 10-minute breaks and a half-hour lunch break each day.

Interested parties, including Business NZ and the Council of Trade Unions, have not been consulted about the changes.

Would you be happy to give up your lunch break if you could leave early?

Is this the short end of the stick and a return to an ECA Part 2? Is this part of the pay-off to those who supported the National Party in getting back into power? Whats next - attacks on the Holidays Act?

OSH has already determined that workers should have regular breaks in the interest of health and safety.

Acknowledgements: MSN NZ

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lest I forget - coincidence, happenstance, and a blinking miracle

Lest I forget - coincidence, happenstance and a blinking miracle...

I recalled my grandson's disappearance and reappearance on another site this afternoon.

My grandson’s disappearance on Sunday, May 19 2009, and reappearance this morning suggests too many coincidences.

There is absolutely no comparison to how I felt at 6 am and 7-15 am this morning.

At 6 am I felt deeply concerned and beginning to think of the worst possible scenario in relation to my grandson’s disappearance. I’m not a deeply religious person, but I don’t discount the power of prayer either. I believe a number of prayers were made across the Pacific Ocean to seek a higher power to bring Kellie home to us.

Do you believe in coincidences? How many can possibly go together? Once is a coincidence, twice is a happenstance and thrice is a blinking miracle!

What made Kellie’s grandmother’s niece’s husband decide to go to work this morning after making a decision not to earlier? He became the right person at the right time to drive through that particular roundabout just after 7 am this morning. As he drove through young Kellie was walking through in the other direction. Coincidence? Kellie had apparently been walking back from Wellington City about ten miles away at that time of the morning. Coincidence?

We had all believed that Kellie had gone bush on Sunday afternoon, and was in the eastern hills above Taita, Lower Hutt. Kellie had actually gone into Wellington City on his own for the first time on Sunday and spent the next night and day there, returning to the Hutt Valley early this morning. We don’t know who he met or saw there. He had some money and probably bought something to eat and some Coca Cola, his favourite, to drink. He had also been under cover from the elements somewhere - his clothing was dry but his shoes damp from walking beside the rail line. Another coincidence?

At 7-15 am this more I was a much happier man and grandfather after learning he was on his way home in a police patrol car. The local daily newspaper, the Dominion Post, who will be writing a story about Kellie’s disappearance and reappearance tomorrow, sent a camera-man to take a few shots for tomorrow’s issue. Lance, the niece’s husband is the hero of the hour and was photographed with Kellie and his grandmother. Grandfather stayed in the background because getting photographed for newspapers is not his scene.

Coincidence, happenstance and a blinking miracle

Friday, October 23, 2009

Air New Zealand apologises to victims families 30 years after Erebus air crash in the Antarctic...

Air New Zealand apologises to victims families thirty years after 257 passengers and crew died after Mt Erebus aircraft crash in the Antarctic...

Air New Zealand "undoubtedly let down" those affected by the Mt Erebus crash, the airline's chief executive said in the first apology to families of the dead today.

The apology comes nearly 30 years after an Air New Zealand jet slammed into Mt Erebus in Antarctica, killing all 257 on board.

The Air New Zealand DC-10 was on a sightseeing flight when it hit the mountain November 28, 1979.

Chief executive Rob Fyfe made the apology at the unveiling of a sculpture commemorating the disaster at the airline's head office in Auckland this morning.

"Air New Zealand inevitably made mistakes and undoubtedly let down people directly affected by the tragedy," Mr Fyfe said.

"I can't turn the clock back, I can't undo what has been done but as I look forward I'd like to start the next step of that journey by saying sorry.

"Sorry to all of those who suffered the loss of a loved one or were affected by the Erebus tragedy and did not receive the support and compassion that they should have from Air New Zealand."

Mr Fyfe said he hoped that the airline's response to the Airbus crash in Perpignan last year showed that the airline had learned lessons from Erebus.

Prime Minister John Key said the Erebus tragedy brought "shock, disbelief and mourning to our country".

Mr Key said he was 18 at the time of the crash and everyone "knew someone who knew someone who was on board".

"We cannot bring them back but we can honour these brave and true people and we can learn from our past."

The Erebus memorial sculpture - named 'Momentum' - is by Christchurch sculptor Phil Price. It was blessed by the Very Reverend Peter Beck from Christchurch Cathedral.

A seating area was set aside for the family members of those that died in the Erebus and Perpignan crashes for today's memorial.

Kathryn Carter, whose father Captain Jim Collins piloted the doomed plane, said Air New Zealand handled the situation very badly after the crash.

"It has been a hard 30 years for us. It was a culture of blame back then," she said.

"The crew were blamed for the accident, which wouldn't happen today.

"The sculpture represents forward thinking and moving on in a positive way."

The airline earlier said today's apology would take care of some of the "many of the gaps and failings that occurred in the days, months and years after November 28, 1979".

There was a controversial enquiry during which the Judge claimed there was a litany of lies emanating from Air NZ. He was strongly censured for his comments. Pilot error was the original verdict, but the truth won out eventually. The actual cause of the accident was what is called a "whiteout" where the ground is indistinguishable from the mountain itself.

Acknowledgements: NZPA - Msn NZ

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hundreds of mourners attend Aisling Symes' funeral - "little cutie" laid to rest...

Hundreds of mourners at Aisling Symes' funeral today heard she was a "cutie" with a "loving heart" who loved food, funny noises and raspberries being blown on her stomach.

A large crowd gathered outside Ranui Baptist Church, in west Auckland, as Aisling's close-knit family made their final farewells.

Alan and Angela Symes took Aisling's's flag-draped casket from the church to the waiting white hearse as the hymn Amazing Grace was played on a whistle.

The parents of the two year-old clung to each other as a Kuia farewelled their daughter with a karakia.

Family members released white doves and embraced each other before the hearse drove to a private cremation.

Police found Aisling's body in a stormwater pipe close to her deceased grandparents' home in Longburn Road, Henderson, on Monday night. The discovery followed a week-long search by police, family and members of the public.

Eternal significance

Leading the funeral service, Pastor Russell Watts told mourners of a prayer meeting that was happening at the time Aisling's body was found.

"As we were praying, the truth came to light," Mr Watts said.

He said it was a sign from God.

"A level of compassion is coming into the hearts that was not there before," Mr Watts said.

He said neighbours were talking to neighbours and people are working together. He said these were good things that should continue.

"Don't you dare think that effort was not for nothing," Mr Watts said.

He said what the community did meant something and had "eternal significance".

He thanked the community who "stood up while our hearts bled" as well as police and local politicians. "Life is so fragile and is so full of change".

Mr Watts led a prayer in which he said "accidents happen, Lord."

He said the prayers from the community and family came too late because she was "already enjoying heaven".

"For us left back here and the family, it hurts, there is a big hole left here," Mr Watts said.

He said people were "hurting in ways they can't describe".

The Symes family embraced each other as the congregation sang: Be Thou My Vision.

Mr Watts told the congregation that he was told by Aisling's Irish father, Alan, that the hymn was always sung at Irish funerals

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Child's body in drain confirmed as Aisling Symes...

Child's body in drain confirmed as Aisling Symes...

Auck police describe thorough search of drain where Aisling Symes' body found; "deeply saddened"; famly request privacy

West Auckland police say they did everything they could to find Aisling Symes on the night the toddler went missing and are deeply saddened about the discovery of her body.

Inquiry head Inspector Gary Davey has confirmed the body found in a drain on a property just a few metres away from the Henderson home where Aisling went missing is that of the two-year-old.

Police removed the body early this morning and a post mortem examination is being carried out.

Mr Davey says police carried out a thorough investigation of the drain shortly after being called to Longburn Rd on Monday last week, when Aisling was reported missing.

He says after speaking briefly to a neighbour, two officers searched 5 Longburn Rd shortly before 6pm that night. One of the officers looked in the manhole immediately on arrival at the scene. Mr Davey says it was daylight and the officer saw that nobody was in the drain.

The officer was then asked to search the stream and within 15 minutes returned to the manhole. The officer borrowed a torch, climbed into the manhole, which was about two metres deep and used his torch to examine the drain. Mr Davey says the officer believed he could see five metres into the drain. He called Aisling's name but could hear nothing but running water.

Mr Davey says drain was searched later in the night by search and rescue members and Aisling's father.

He says with the assistance of Watercare Services, a decision was made to use special search techniques in the drain. Cameras which could search metres into the drain failed to locate Aisling at that stage.

Yesterday, a decision was made to dig up the drain because of blockage issues. A digger and concrete cutters were used and the exercise took five hours.

"Unfortunately once we did open the drain, we were able to see Aisling."

Mr Davey says the family is extremely upset and he asked the media to give them some privacy

"My heart goes out to them for losing their little girl and I know it's going to be a very tough few days. It is small solace to know that at least one small thing is that they can grieve and move on and that they have their little girl home.

"I'm extremely proud of my investigation team. They showed tenacity and commitment to finding Aisling."

Mr Davey says at this stage he believes the case is one of misadventure but says police are keeping an open mind.

Mr Davey says police have identified the Asian woman who was the last person seen with Aisling and are trying to track her down.

It has been reported there has been four complaints lodged about drains in the area. This will be revealed in a later enquiry.

Aisling can be returned to her parents and family once any autopsy is performed. At this stage Aisling has died of misadventure.

Only yesterday, Lord Ashroft, the British businessman who put up a $50,000 reward for the missing military medals stolen from the Army Museum in the Waiuru Military camp a few years ago, offered a similar reward of $50,000.

Acknowledgements: 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The global rise in breast cancer due to 'western lifestyles'...

The global rise in breast cancer due to 'Western lifestyles'...

Of all the exports from our modern world, breast cancer ranks as among the most dubious. Once thought to be a disease of the rich, it is now a global epidemic.

The rise of the cancer in Europe and America – cases have jumped 80 per cent in the UK since the 1970s – is being mirrored across the world. And scientists say increasing prosperity and the "Westernisation" of traditional lifestyles is to blame.

A richer diet, smaller families, delayed childbearing and reduced breast-feeding have driven the increase in the West, together with rising obesity and increased alcohol consumption, specialists say. Now these trends are being seen everywhere – with a growing burden of malignant disease in their wake.

An estimated 1.3 million new cases were diagnosed around the world last year. It is the commonest cancer in the UK and across Europe, even though it affects almost only one gender. In 2006, it outranked lung cancer, which affects both sexes, for the first time.

NZ Breast cancer news

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Farewell to New Zealand's clean and green image - very likely "green activists" claim

Farewell to New Zealand's clean and green image - very likely "green activists" claim

A cash starved National Government considers allowing mining in Department of Conservation Estates in both North and South Island national parks. Will it be farewell to New Zealand's clean and green image? Opponents claim it could; the Green Party has actually produced a list of likely sites for potential exploitation. Mining and conservation are not great bedmates. Read further:

Green campaigners are not buying the Government line that there is nothing to fear in mining Department of Conservation (DOC) land.

The Green Party has produced a list of sites at threat of possible exploitation, while Greenpeace says the countryside is under attack, and it too is preparing for battle.

The Waituna Lagoon in Southland, the Aspiring National Park and Paparoa National Park on the West Coast, Kahurangi National Park at the top of the South Island and the whole of the Coromandel are all under threat.

Geoff Keey from Greenpeace is not buying the claim high value conservation land is not at risk - saying the country is under attack.

Greenpeace is concerned the DOC estate will be stripped.

"The very things we use to promote our clean green image - our national parks, our wildlife refuges, all the really important things, are under attack,” Mr Keey says.

Read further

Sunday, October 4, 2009

This week in 1769 - Captain James Cook's ship's boy sights land In NZ...

This week in 1769 - Captain James Cook's "Endeavour" ship's boy sights land - now known as Young Nick's Head in Poverty Bay..

This week in 1769 Young Nick sights land. Ship's boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nick's Head named in his honour for being the first aboard the Endeavour to spot land. One hundred and twenty-seven years had passed since Abel Tasman's Dutch expedition had made the first recorded European sighting of New Zealand.

Captain James Cook noted that ‘at 2 p.m. saw land from the masthead bearing W by N, which we stood directly for, and could but just see it of the deck at sun set.’ When leaving Poverty Bay on 11 October 1769, he confirmed in his journal that the ‘south west point of Poverty Bay … I have named Young Nicks head after the boy who first saw this land.’ Research suggests that the land that young Nick sighted was most likely the mountains to the south of Poverty Bay and not the prominent landmark with which he was famously linked. Little is known of Nicholas Young. He was about 12 years old and was the personal servant of the Endeavour’s surgeon, William Brougham Monkhouse. After this voyage he became the servant of the botanist Joseph Banks, who had also accompanied Cook on his first voyage to New Zealand. In 1772 Young joined Banks on an expedition to Iceland, but no more is known of his later life.

Captain James Cook

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Former contender David Tua proves too much for NZ heavy weight boxing champ last night...

Former contender David Tua proves too much for NZ heavy- weight boxing champ last night...

Former No 1 contender for the world heavyweight boxing crown, Samoan born Kiwi, the "Tuaman" David Tua, returned to the ring last night and ko'd the NZ champion, Kiwi born Shane Cameron, early in the second round. Tua has been involved in legal matters outside of the ring in recent years.

David Tua has been largely forgotten in the boxing world in recent years, but the former No. 1 heavyweight contender returned to the ring after a two-year layoff last night, and he appeared to be in fighting shape as he easily defeated an overmatched Shane Cameron by second-round TKO.

Fighting in his adopted New Zealand for just the fourth time in his professional career, Tua knocked Cameron down quickly and totally overwhelmed him in the first round. After the second knockdown Tua was dangerously close to being disqualified for landing a punch while Cameron was on the ground, but the referee allowed the fight to continue, and Tua finished Cameron off in the second.

"I know I've lost a lot of weight and I think a lot of people have said I lost my speed. Now I believe I have just started my career, if anything," Tua said afterward. "So it was important for me to win this fight and win it well."

It was the proverbial mismatch, but the gallant Cameron proved no real challenge to one of the hardest punchers in the heavy weight ranks.

Tua improved his professional record to 50-3-1, with 43 wins by knockout.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Latest news in Samoa - Saturday 3 October...

Latest news in Samoa: Saturday 3 October

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has arrived in Samoa for a day-long trip touring the tsunami damaged areas.

He is to first visit the village of Poutasi, where he is to have a private meeting with a family friend who has lost people in the tsunami.

He will then head to the are worst affected by the tsumamis generated by Wednesday's magnitude 8.3 earthquake, Lalomanu, where he is to visit the New Zealand Red Cross team assisting in disaster recovery.

Later in the day he will meet his Samoan counterpart, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, before heading home tonight.

Mr Malielegaoi today said many Samoans say they will abandon their seaside homes and build inland.

Eight to nine bodies, mostly children, have so far been recovered today, Radio New Zealand reported.

Fourteen injured New Zealanders arrived home on an Air Force plane this morning as the death toll from the Samoan tsunami mounts.


An Otara grandmother, an Auckland toddler and two Waikato sisters are feared to be among the dead.

As searchers continue the grim task of finding bodies four days after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake and four waves hit the country, hopes are fading for a two-year-old boy swept out to sea and Matamata sisters Petria and Rebecca Martin, missing since Wednesday.

The family of Tauaavaga Tupuola – grandmother of Kiwis rugby league star Matt Utai – are now preparing to bring their matriarch home.

The 84-year-old was swept to her death along with her daughter Bula Okei, 28, and three-year-old granddaughter Sima.

Mrs Tupuola was visiting family at the isolated southern Samoan beach of Aganoa when she died. She had surprised family with her first visit to her homeland since emigrating to New Zealand more than 30 years ago.

Her son-in-law Tautua Eteuati showed The Dominion Post the hollow where the wave wrenched Mrs Tupuola from his grasp.

"We were rolling in the water and I lost her," he said, pointing out the spot behind a tin dinghy where Mrs Tupuola's body was found.

When the earthquake struck, Mr Eteuati yelled at his son and daughter-in-law to take the two children and run to higher ground. He stayed behind to lift his mother-in-law, who could not walk.

They were hit by the wave and he somehow managed to hold on to Mrs Tupuola.

"I had swallowed a lot of salt water. I thought I would die. I opened my eyes and put my hand up and touched a tree branch."

Ad Feedback He told his mother-in-law to "just keep breathing" but another tower of water bore down on them and he could no longer hold on to her.

Utai, who played four tests for the Kiwis and is a winger with NRL team Canterbury Bulldogs, will fly to Samoa on Tuesday to be with his family.

"He's very emotional about it," said his manager, Mark Rowan. "He was very close to his grandmother."

Three New Zealanders are now confirmed dead, including Raglan woman Mary Ann White.

The total death toll last night stood at 189 – 149 in Samoa, 31 in American Samoa and nine in Tonga, but was expected to rise further.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed last night that the toddler – who had been on a beach on the island of Upolu and was carried away while his parents managed to swim to safety – was missing presumed drowned.

Foreign Affairs also had grave fears for the two Matamata sisters, whose parents Kerry and Lynne flew to Samoa early this morning to help in the search for their two middle daughters

Mr Martin admitted hope was dwindling.

"We're going to go and see for ourselves and try and make some sense of it, and we're pretty hopeful that we'll find answers up there," he said. "Our chance of a good story isn't looking too good."

The sisters' family yesterday provided DNA to police.

Rebecca Martin, 24, teaches at Rototuna Primary School and Petria, 22, is team leader at Matamata's sports centre. Their friends Jodi McGlashan and Olivia Loeffen survived the tsunami, Ms Loeffen requiring surgery.

Foreign Affairs today said 18 Kiwis were known to be injured in the tsunami.

The high commission in Apia is still trying to locate 239 New Zealanders who are being urged to come forward.

"I'm hoping that all the unaccounted people are just people who haven't yet shown up," said Acting Prime Minister Bill English. "We can't know for sure."

Foreign Affairs today revised its travel advisory for Samoa, lowering the risk from "high risk" and advising against tourist and non-essential travel to "some risk" in parts of Samoa due to the tsunami.

The Queen last night sent condolences to the Samoan people. "I was saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life," she said.

Many bodies were pulled from the wreckage of Samoa's worst-hit southeastern corner, including five children.

Earth-moving machinery was helping to clear smashed timber and roofing iron stacked at the water's edge.

Acknowledgements: Dominion Post, Waikato Times,