Independence fever boosts profits for youths

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A GROUP of unemployed youths in Lae is making some fast cash by selling flags around the city for the Independence Day anniversary celebrations on Saturday.
The group’s spokesman Kaspar Aizue from Eastern Highlands said there were more than 100 people selling flags at different locations in the city.
The youngest is a 10-year-old boy and the oldest is in his 50s.
“We buy the provincial flags and the PNG flag from the Chinese shops and resell them on the streets,” Aizue said.
“The small flags cost K1 and the bigger flags cost K20.
“We sell flags at Eriku, Main Market, Two-Mile, Town and Kamkumung.
“We sell the flags and make small money to buy food and meet our other needs to survive in the city.”
Aizue said the demand for flags was high.
He said the Chinese shops in the city had stocks of flags.


Source  :  The National

O’Neill eyes New Ireland infrastructure development

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government is committed to infrastructure development in New Ireland.
He paid a visit to Kavieng yesterday with Works and Implementation Minister Michael Nali and Secretary David Wereh who will today be touring the Boluminski Highway linking Kavieng and Namatanai, plus other infrastructure in the province.
Also travelling with O’Neill were Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa and Ijivitari MP Richard Masere.
Masere last week defected from the National Alliance to join Government.
They visited East New Britain before flying to New Ireland.
O’Neill spent a few moments with New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, acting provincial administrator Lamiller Pawut and members of the provincial assembly and administration.
He told The National that the Government would rebuild some of the roads, including the West Coast Highway.
“Infrastructure is one of the priorities of our Government,” O’Neill said.
“That’s why we’re visiting the good governor (Sir Julius) to assure him that we’re rebuilding some of the roads in New Ireland.”
Nali used to be a member of Sir Julius’ People’s Progress Party when the latter was prime minister.


Source  :  The National

PM plays it close to chest

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says it is his prerogative who joins Cabinet but cannot confirm yet whether any of the 12 MPs who crossed the floor from the Opposition will be allocated portfolios.
He told The National that “we will see as we go along” on what changes, if any, would be made to his 33-member Cabinet. The 12 MPs, including Pangu Pati leader Sam Basil, joined O’Neill and his People’s National Congress party-led coalition government on Monday.
The other 11 are Basil’s deputy party leader and Goilala MP William Samb, Central Governor Robert Agarobe, Rigo MP Captain Lekwa Gure, Sohe MP Henry Amuli, Nawaeb MP Kennedy Wenge, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, Lae MP John Rosso, Menyamya MP Thomas Pelika, Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobby Bomareo, Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi and Lufa MP Moriape Kavori.
The five Pangu MPs absent on Monday were Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom, Finschhafen MP Renbo Paita, Madang MP Bryan Kramer and Markham MP Koni Iguan.
Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch said the remaining 34 MPs on the Opposition were intact.
He said PNG was now aware of Basil’s and Pangu’s motives.
“We will hold the Government to account for policies which are not in the nation’s interest,” he said.


Source  :  The National

Pike River families give their blessing to Jacinda Ardern as she visits region where Labour started

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Labour leader Jacinda Ardern’s campaign has taken her to the region renowned as the birthplace of the Labour Party where she was given the blessing of the families of those who died in the Pike River Mine explosion.

Ardern met with family members at the Pike River memorial on the West Coast to re-state her commitment to re-enter the mine in which 29 miners died following explosions in 2010.

“After all this time, the least we can do is the right thing,” she told them.

In the rain at the memorial, Ardern told the families of her commitment for a recently of the mine and in the first 100 days of a Labour government to set up a Pike River Recovery Agency and appoint a minister charged with entering the mine.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern talks to Pike River families spokesman Bernie Monk at the Pike River Memorial while West Coast MP Damian O'Connor looks on. Photo / Claire Trevett

Anna Osbourne, whose husband Milton was among those killed, said she was hoping for a change of Government to ensure the re-entry went ahead.

“We’ve had lies, we’ve had broken promises, so I’m hoping for a change of Government,” Osbourne said.

The National Government has refused to attempt a manned re-entry because its expert analysis said it would be too risky. That was disputed by the families who obtained their own expert analysis.

Families spokesman Bernie Monk also said Ardern had his support, saying while he did not expect Ardern to wave a magic wand and fix everything the families believed re-entry was safe.

Ardern was gifted a pounamu pendant titled Ataahua Pou [beautiful pillar].

Earlier in the day Ardern had visited Nelson to speak to the students at Nelson Girls’ College and to a crowd of more than 400 at a Grey Power function.

She began the latter by telling them her own ancestors had first settled in Nelson – and become the town’s first bakers. “I’m told they did a roaring trade in bread and ginger beer.”

She also used that meeting to strike back at the National Party, accusing it of running a “dishonest campaign” by claiming Labour was planning to introduce several new taxes.

Her day ended on a more convivial note with a visit to Blackball to meet the locals at the formerly Blackball Hilton.

Blackball is regarded as the birthplace of the Labour Party – it was the cribtime’ strike at Blackball in 1908 that resulted in the unions Labour was formed from.

After being bailed up by an anti-1080 campaigner, Ardern was feted with applause and a gift of some Blackball salami.

Later that night one of Ardern’s entourage became the centre of attention – Annette King has been travelling with Ardern and Ardern was told late in the day it was a notable birthday for King.

Ardern had given King a promotion to warrant the occasion.

Two weeks ago at Rongomai School in Mangere, Ardern instructed the school children to call King Aunty.

Yesterday at Nelson Girls she was promoted to “Queen.”

As for Ardern’s other regular escort, Trevor Mallard, he was consigned to standing in the rain holding the umbrella over Ardern in weather she described as a “tradional West Coast welcome”.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

‘Fun police’ end haircut drinks practice

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By John Lewis


A police crackdown on Dunedin barbers and hair salons offering complimentary drinks has been labelled an invasion by ”the fun police”.

A number of barbershops have been visited by police and warned it is illegal to give their customers alcohol because they did not hold a liquor licence.

Dunedin alcohol harm prevention officer Sergeant Ian Paulin said he first became aware of the practice in the middle of last month when he found out Barkers Groom Room in George St was offering drinks to customers.

Other Dunedin businesses had also been offering drinks to customers, including a nail salon, which offered a glass of wine to customers as part of a Christmas special last year, Sgt Paulin said.

Rather than prosecuting the businesses, Sgt Paulin told the operators about their legal obligations.

He pointed out that while the drink was offered as complimentary, it was only provided when customers paid for other services, which effectively meant businesses were selling alcohol without a licence.

A spokeswoman for Loft Hair, in Crawford St, Dunedin, disagreed.

She said her salon offered a complimentary small glass of wine to customers, and believed it created a “nice relaxing afternoon experience”.

“Personally, I think as long as you’re serving one drink per person, it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I almost think they’re the fun police rather than the Dunedin Police.

“It’s ruined it for everybody.

“It should be up to the individual.

“I was always under the impression that as long as we weren’t selling a glass of alcohol, then we’d be fine.

“I disagree with the fact that if you’re providing a service, you’re selling a drink. I disagree 100%.”

While she disagreed with the liquor licensing law, she said Loft Hair would no longer be offering alcohol at appointments because she did not want to get in trouble with the police.

Bloke owner Keri O’Connor said she worked in hairdressing in the late 1980s and 1990s, and it was common for customers to be offered an alcoholic beverage.

It was allowed under the former Sale of Liquor Act 1989, and some people have continued to do it under the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, which made it illegal.

Mrs O’Connor said Bloke offered complimentary beer to customers if they were over 18 and not intoxicated, but she had stopped the practice after a visit from Sgt Paulin.

“I do think you should be allowed to give a beer to someone who has finished working for the day and is sitting relaxing.

“But unfortunately, it is the law that you can’t do it.

“So we’re taking it on the chin and stopping because I don’t want to be prosecuted.”

Spokesmen for Barkers Groom Room Dunedin and head office in Auckland declined to comment.

Sgt Paulin said offering one drink to customers was not harmless.

“It’s clearly illegal and that’s the bottom line.

“It doesn’t say anywhere in the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act that harm has to be caused by infringing [the Act].”

Dunedin businesses were among several around the country that had been contacted by police and told to stop the practice.

National prevention manager Inspector Paula Holt said police were aware some service outlets, including hairdressers and barbers, had been advertising complimentary alcoholic drinks.

As a result, police had contacted a number of businesses to let them know the practise was illegal, she said.

Police did not intend to pursue the matter any further than providing guidance to business owners at this stage, she said.

But if businesses ignored calls from police to stop offering alcohol to customers, they faced punishments of up to three months in prison and a $40,000 fine.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald