Updated 12:17 PM Friday May 23, 2014
National Party MP Maurice Williamson talks to media outside his office in Pakuranga, after resigning as a minister. Details of new contact he had with police have been revealed. Photo / NZ Herald
Maurice Williamson called a senior police officer in Counties Manukau on a separate criminal case in which he “merely wished to pass on” that a complainant in a fraud case was “unhappy” that police were not going to lay charges.
On the day that Mr Williamson resigned from his ministerial posts, the Detective Inspector Dave Lynch wrote to Superintendent John Tims because of the publicity surrounding the MP and said that he had been contacted by the MP in late 2013.
The phone call from Mr Williamson in October or November 2013 was about a complex financial case where the complainant was advised that it was unlikely the police would lay criminal charges, said Mr Lynch, according to the memo released today under the Official Information Act.
“When Mr Williamson phoned me he reiterated at the start of the conversation that he was not seeking to interfere in any police investigation but merely wished to pass on what [redacted] had advised him that he was unhappy that [redacted] would probably not face charges.”
Mr Lynch was unaware of the details of the case and spoke with a colleague who said “the matter was quite complex but his current view was that police would be unable to reach the required level of evidential sufficiency to bring charges.”
There was no further contact from Mr Williamson, said Mr Lynch.
When Mr Tims referred the memo to Police National Headquarters on May 1, he said he had not had any conversations or dealings with the MP for Pakuranga about the matter.
Mr Williamson has not returned phone messages from the Herald today.
Earlier today the Herald revealed Mr Williamson asked a senior police officer to call him soon after learning the Herald was about to break a story that would ultimately lead to his resignation as a Minister.
Mr Williamson resigned from his ministerial portfolios this month after it was revealed that he twice called Superintendent John Tims, the Counties Manukau district commander, in January about the prosecution of wealthy businessman Donghua Liu for domestic violence offences.
Prime Minister John Key said the MP for Pakuranga had “crossed the line”, despite assuring him he did not intend to influence the prosecution.
A timeline of events released under the Official Information Act this morning shows that Mr Williamson’s office was provided with a copy of the emails that police planned to release to the Herald, which had also been given to the Prime Minister’s office under the ‘no surprises’ policy.
The note for the evening of April 29 states “Mr Williamson attempts to contact District Commander Tims”.
A spokesman for Police National Headquarters said Mr Williamson sent a text message to Mr Tims asking him to call.
“Superintendent Tims did not call or respond to the text.”
The emails released to the Herald on May 1 showed that Mr Williamson rang Mr Tims about the family violence allegations again Liu. Mr Tims referred the inquiry to his Auckland counterpart, Superintendent Mike Clement, on January 20.
A week later, Mr Williamson rang Mr Tims again, who again asked Auckland City to respond.
Mr Clement tasked Inspector Gary Davey to follow up the request and “determine how we respond to MP Williamson”.
“He [Mr Williamson] started by saying that in no way was he looking to interfere with the process,” Mr Davey reported back to his superiors.
“He just wanted to make sure somebody had reviewed the matter to ensure we were on solid ground as Mr Liu is investing a lot of money in New Zealand.”
Mr Davey said he told Mr Williamson the criminal case was reviewed by the senior sergeant in charge of family violence cases, as well as the police prosecution team.
In the emails Mr Davey said he told the MP the police would carry on with the prosecution.
“I also explained the wider responsibility of police to pursue these matters [redacted]. I told Mr Williamson that the best advice he can give Mr Liu is to have him seek good legal advice. The conversation was polite and professional on both sides and he appeared to be accepting of the police position. I will leave the matter there unless I hear otherwise.”
Liu has since pleaded guilty to male assaults female and assault with intent to injure and will reappear in the Auckland District Court next month.
After his resignation, Mr Williamson said he made five or six calls to police each year on behalf of people who approached him.
In Mr Liu’s case he said: “There was no intention to do anything about screwing the outcome, but just to work out the focus of it.
“When I hung up I literally did not see that that was anything other than what amember of parliament would normally do on behalf of somebody who had asked.
“However it has become clear that the police believe that it does cross a line, the Prime Minister thinks that it was inappropriate for me to have made the call.”
He said he was told of the December incident by a friend of Liu and was told by Liu’s interpreter there was confusion over the incident.
“I said I would find out from the police what the status of all this is and has it come to an end.”
Mr Williamson said he was not “friends” with Liu.
“It is pretty hard to have a friend that you cannot speak a word of their language and they of yours.”
Mr Williamson also lobbied a ministerial colleague to grant citizenship to Liu against official advice and performed the ceremony himself in his electorate office.
He also lobbied another National minister to relax the criteria for rich immigrants under the investment rules, which Liu also wanted changed before he goes ahead with a proposed $70 million property development which has stalled for three years.
Source : The New Zealand Herald
5:00 AM Friday May 23, 2014
Photo / file
An Air New Zealand flight was delayed after a woman walked on to the plane without a ticket.
Passenger Chris Murray’s flight home from Auckland to Wellington was delayed for about 30 minutes after the woman “walked right past staff at the gate” and on to his plane.
The woman had no boarding pass and walked past cabin crew at the door to sit down in the front row.
“She did not speak and sat down in the front row with her eyes closed refusing to communicate.”
Security were called to remove the woman, and members of the cabin crew and captain explained what was happening, Mr Murray said.
“They either need to review their [security] protocols or if their protocols actually do say that no one can get on the plane without scanning their barcode, or at least their boarding pass … then they need to be actually using that policy or enforcing their policy.”
Mr Murray, who travels with Air New Zealand about once a month, also said the door of the cockpit was left open while the captain dealt with the situation.
The woman had taken a seat in the front row, he said.
“If you know you’ve got someone on the plane, who you know is not meant to be there, and she’s sitting three feet from the cockpit – it just seems kind of weird to me.”
Staff who dealt with the woman were professional and handled the situation well, he said.
The flight departed once all security checks, including whether the woman had any baggage, were completed .
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said in a statement that the flight was delayed “when it was identified that a person who did not hold a boarding pass for that flight had boarded the aircraft”.
“The person was uncommunicative and refused to respond to crew questioning, which resulted in Aviation Security staff being called to remove her.”
The woman went through “all normal security screening procedures in order to pass into the departures area of the terminal, including having any luggage x-rayed”, she said.
Air New Zealand did not respond to further questions about how the woman boarded the aircraft without presenting a boarding pass.
An Aviation Security Service spokesman said the woman was arrested by police and issued with a trespass notice.
“We did everything we needed to do in terms of screening her. She got through that fine.”
Auckland Airport referred all queries on the incident to Aviation Security.
Source : The New Zealand Herald
May 23, 2014 – 12:01AM
Median house prices in Cairns have increased 5.6 per cent in three months.
Brisbane’s median house price slipped in the first quarter of this year, but coastal and regional markets are well into recovery mode, property analysts say.
The median house price fell 0.4 per cent to $560,000 in Brisbane, according to the Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s latest quarterly report.
But other Queensland cities produced strong results.
Cairns topped the list, with the median house price increasing 5.6 per cent in three months to $375,000.
“Cairns is performing strongly as investors return to the market, buoyed by growing confidence in Queensland’s tourism regions,” REIQ chief executive Anton Kardsah said.
After four consecutive quarters of increased sales activity, the Gold Coast posted an increase of 4.2 per cent in its median house price to $500,000 over the March quarter.
The median house price on the Sunshine Coast was up 2 per cent to $465,000 in the same period.
“Median prices are on the rise and properties are selling quicker … as buyers take advantage of more favourable market conditions,” Mr Kardsah said.
Total house sales across Queensland recorded their fourth consecutive quarterly increase, up 8.3 per cent over the March quarter.
However, property analyst Michael Matusik said Brisbane City was well into a residential recovery overall.
Despite the negative result in the last quarter, the year to March has seen Brisbane’s median house price actually increase by 5.9 per cent.
“This recovery started late last year,” he said.
“It followed a long stagnation period, which was needed, as the market had overheated during the 2001 to 2008 upturn. Brisbane values appreciated something in the order of 230 per cent over that seven year period.
“This time around, values are expected to lift, but mildly in comparison.”
Mr Matusik said detatched house values could rise by another 11 per cent in the next financial year.
He said he expected townhouses and units to perform even better, with those in the middle-ring suburbs set to increase as much as 19 per cent in value.
“Yet this recovery is more about being able to sell your property, rather than how much will it appreciate,” he said.
“Like many areas across the country, Brisbane’s current recovery and pending upturn is likely to be short in duration this cycle, with the market peaking in late 2015/early 2016, depending on interest rate movements, employment trends and dwelling supply.”
Source : The Brisbane Times
A 21 dias do início da Copa do Mundo da FIFA 2014™ em São Paulo, cambistas inescrupulosos em todo o planeta continuam se aproveitando dos torcedores ansiosos por conseguir ingressos para os jogos do torneio. Empresas, sites e pessoas físicas vêm, cada vez mais, oferecendo entradas a torcedores inocentes por meio de revendas não autorizadas a preços exorbitantes.
Portanto, a FIFA e a MATCH Enforcement, divisão da MATCH Services encarregada pela FIFA de detectar e deter a venda não autorizada de ingressos, estão incrementando seus esforços e a cooperação com as autoridades para coibir tais atividades em todos os níveis. É importante reiterar que a única fonte legítima de ingressos é o www.fifa.com. Mais nenhum site ou terceiro tem qualquer direito de vender legitimamente entradas para aCopa do Mundo da FIFA Brasil 2014.
“Para a FIFA, é fundamental proteger os torcedores dos riscos das vendas ilegais de ingressos”, explicou o diretor de
da FIFA, Thierry Weil. “Nas últimas semanas, infelizmente estamos vendo cada vez mais pessoas saindo decepcionadas de nossos centros de venda por não conseguir retirar os ingressos comprados em sites não oficiais. A FIFA cancela todos os ingressos que forem descobertos como fruto de venda ou revenda ilegal, e os portadores correm o risco de não ser autorizados a entrar nas partidas da Copa do Mundo da FIFA 2014™”.
“Assim como no futebol, combater o flagelo da venda não autorizada de ingressos requer um esforço em equipe”, continuou Weil. “Além da FIFA, são os torcedores quem decideonde comprar seus ingressos, enquanto as autoridades de todos os níveis e jurisdições possuem a capacidade e as ferramentas jurídicas para intervir e punir eficientemente tais atividades”.
Desde 2012, um ano antes do lançamento das vendas de ingressos, uma equipe especializada da FIFA e da MATCH Enforcement começou seus trabalhos na luta contra a venda não autorizada de ingressos. Essas vendas são supervisionadas de perto – o processo inclui novas técnicas usadas pelos cambistas para conseguir as entradas ilegalmente – para que possam ser efetivamente neutralizadas com o cancelamento dos ingressos e sua devolução ao estoque quando sua ilegalidade é identificada. Todos os esforços estão sendo feitos para assegurar de forma eficiente as interfaces do processo de pagamento. Ao mesmo tempo, foram tomadas ações preventivas contra o phishing e ataques semelhantes de criminosos cibernéticos.
Para completar, o Brasil tem uma lei consagrada, o Estatuto do Torcedor, que reforça as medidas contra a venda ilegal de ingressos. Entre elas está o Artigo 41º do estatuto, que afirma que é um crime vender ou fornecer um ingresso por um valor superior ao de face. As cláusulas em vigor no Brasil permitem às autoridades pôr fim a tais atividades e punir as pessoas e empresas envolvidas. A FIFA e a MATCH Enforcement vêm regularmente dando informações às autoridades brasileiras para ajudá-las no cumprimento do estatuto e a processar quem viola a lei.
Os esforços, porém, não se limitam ao Brasil e se aplicam em escala internacional com o envolvimento das autoridades locais em suas respectivas jurisdições e, particularmente, com a colaboração íntima das autoridades de proteção ao consumidor, que têm amplos recursos legais. Se, em qualquer momento, um torcedor tiver dúvidas a respeito da legitimidade de uma suposta fonte de ingressos, pode entrar em contato com o Escritório de Emissão de Ingressos da FIFA pelo email email@example.com.
May 23, 2014 – 6:10AM
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he did not call the people of Logan “bogans”. Photo: Andrew Meares
Premier Campbell Newman does not think “the people of Queensland, in any electorate, are bogans”.
Mr Newman took to the floor of parliament in the first minutes of Friday morning to make the unusual claim, after Labor MPs and political opponents did their best to have part of a Hansard transcript from Wednesday’s question time hit the social media outrage sphere.
Following a sitting day that included a dissenting MP and topics which swung wildly from boot camps to concentration camps to electoral reforms and left no side of politics unscathed, Mr Newman moved to correct the record as quickly as possible.
“On examining the footage, it is evident that what I said was different to what was recorded in Hansard,” he said.
“Let me be clear, the interjection I made was in reference to Mr Palmer and the member for Gaven’s comments on what he thinks about his constituents.
“…I do not think the people of Queensland, in any electorate are bogans.
“I understand the mayor of Logan, Pam Parker, has taken offence to what was reported in Hansard and again, I would like to set the record straight.
“My interjection was not correctly reported.
“My government has worked hard for the people and city of Logan since coming to government.
“I look forward to continuing working with the mayor in the future and for the people of Logan.
“I would like to remind the house, professional members of the parliamentary media gallery were in the house at the time of the interjection and no one reported anything untoward in my comments at that time.
“I reiterate, my interjection was not to cause anyone offence, nor did it when it was made and Hansard has since been corrected to correctly reflect my comments at the time.”
Hansard, the official and historical record of the Queensland parliament, now records Mr Newman as interjecting with “in Logan”, followed by a line from Mr Nicholls, and then “the bogans”, which Mr Nicholls accepts as a reminder of the original “Logan bogans” controversy.
Parliament will not resume until early next month, when the budget is handed down.
Source : The Brisbane Times
May 23, 2014 – 9:13AM
The runway starts to take shape at the Wellcamp airport at Toowoomba. Photo: Supplied
The operators of Australia’s first privately-built major public airport say passenger airlines will be flying in and out of Toowoomba as soon as construction is finished in October.
And the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, under construction about 17 kilometres west of Toowoomba, could also operate as a landing strip for diverted international flights, according to project chairman John Wagner.
That would potentially see Boeing 747s and Airbus A380s landing at the Darling Downs airport.
Bosses of Wellcamp airport at Toowoomba expect to be open for business this year. Photo: Supplied
“Typically, when Brisbane goes out so does the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast – the Gold Coast is very marginal with weather, they’ve got a short runway so they can’t take a jumbo or an A380, but we can,” Mr Wagner told a Rural Press Club lunch in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“… If we’re going to take international flights in, we’re going to need to have people like AQIS, Customs and Immigration ready to move to be able to accommodate that, rather than sending everyone to Sydney and putting those people a good day out of their way.”
Discussions had been held with Toowoomba-based bus company Stonestreets about transporting passengers from Wellcamp to Brisbane.
“If we do take a diversion from Brisbane, we’ll be able to get them off, process them and get them to Brisbane in a reasonable timeframe,” Mr Wagner said.
Mr Wagner said his family was spending “north of $100 million” on the airport, which will be the first privately funded major public airport in Australia.
Mr Wagner told the lunch he expected up to 500,000 passengers to go through the airport in its first year of operation, which could grow to 1½ million passengers within five years.
“We’re in final discussions with two of the major airlines and one of the secondary airlines and I believe we’ll have at least two – maybe three – airlines running out of Wellcamp in October this year,” he said.
An announcement is understood to be imminent.
But Mr Wagner conceded the 2.87-kilometre runway – which would allow it to accommodate the larger passenger jets – was not necessarily required in the region.
“The reason we took on that decision making process and agreed to do it was that we had one
from a town planning perspective, and particularly a federal government perspective, to get this through the system,” he said.
“Our view is that Toowoomba really only needed an 1800-metre- long runway, which is similar to the Sunshine Coast, however what (the longer runway) gave us was a piece of infrastructure that will see my children and my grandchildren out without having to go through any more approval processes.
“At the end of the day, it’s really only more gravel, more concrete and a few more lights and what it allows us to do is take a 747, fully loaded, direct to Asia.”
The Wagners have identified Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Canberra, Adelaide, Roma, Mackay and Emerald as potential regular destinations from Brisbane West Wellcamp.
Mr Wagner said the runway was on track to be completed next month, while the passenger terminal was expected to be finished in September.
Work on the airport started in April last year.
The Wagner family, with its background in cement, has owned the airport site since 1994, when it bought it for use as a quarry.
Along with the airport, the company is building a large business park.
Source : The Brisbane Times