QUEENSLAND Cup champions the SP PNG Hunters returned home to a hero’s welcome with hundreds of fans and well-wishers gathered to see captain Ase Boas and his history-making team.
“This cup is for you, the people of Papua New Guinea, after four years we are now the champions,” Boas said of his side’s 12-10 win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons in front of 11,260 fans at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday.
“People thought that it would take more than four years for us to win the competition.
“We did this through the support of the people of Papua New Guinea.”
In a short welcome ceremony organised by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop and the sponsors of the team, the Hunters players and coaching staff were welcomed home by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Deputy PM Charles Abel along with other senior ministers and members of parliament.
Inspirational Hunters skipper Ase Boas thanked the club’s supporters and sponsors for their belief, passion and commitment to the team over the past four years.
“Thank you to the supporters who turned up not only today, but at every home match. And for watching us on TV. Your support has meant a lot to us this season and we really appreciate it. Every time we ran onto the field we feel that we were carrying the eight million people of PNG with us.”
Coach Michael Marum echoed his captain’s sentiments thanking the people of PNG for their support throughout the challenging times, with the highs and lows faced by the team.
“Thank you to the people of PNG for your support over the past four years. Without you we would not have come this far.
“This win is for the whole country,” Marum said.
Governor Powes Parkop spoke of the importance and significance of the Hunters grand final win as a turning point for the country, not only in sporting terms but in the self-belief of the people,” Parkop said.
“Yesterday (Sunday) was a glorious day, a defining moment for rugby league, for the country and the people.
“This has shown the people of PNG that we can be as good as anyone else in the world in rugby league and in anything we set our minds to,” Parkop said.
“The Hunters snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is an example for the people that they can overcome any challenge they face.
“When Willie Minoga scored the match-winning try and we saw the tears of joy streaming down his face, it also made the people of PNG shed tears of joy as well.”
The Hunters met with fans and gave out balls and signed autographs, posed for pictures before taking the Intrust Super Cup premiership trophy on a motorcade around Port Moresby.
The Hunters will play the Penrith Panthers in the interstate championship fixture on Sunday.
The Panthers beat the Wyong Roos 20-12 in the NSW Cup grand final at Leichhart Oval, Sydney on Sunday night.
The game will be the curtain-raiser to the NRL grand final between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys.
Source : The National
PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has defended the reappointment of two ministers before the Manumanu land deal report has been released, saying there is nothing to stop him from making the decision.
He was responding to a question from North Fly MP James Donald on the decision to reappoint to Cabinet William Duma and Fabian Pok.
O’Neill said it was a new parliament.
“And I have not received any reports from either the Ombudsman Commission, police or any other investigating authority to suggest that there is a reason why I should not make those (two) appointments,” he said.
“This matter is now under an inquiry.
“We will wait until the report comes to address the issues that may come to light at the end of the inquiry.”
Kairiku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo asked for a copy of the report on the inquiry. O’Neill said the report was ready to be tabled but a law firm had obtained a court order questioning the legality of the commission of inquiry.
Source : The National
THREE more Pangu Pati MPs have joined the Government, taking their total to 15, and making it the second biggest party in the Government coalition.
Bulolo MP and Pangu Pati leader Sam Basil last night told The National they were happy to be in Government and thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for allowing them in.
“I’d like to thank PM Peter O’Neill, the PNC, coalition partners United Resources Party, People’s Progress Party and others,” Basil said.
Basil and 11 other MPs crossed the floor on Sept 11. The three who have joined them are Finschhafen MP Renbo Paita, Markham MP Koni Iguan and Raicoast MP Peter Sapia.
Basil and the other MPs were sitting on the Government side yesterday in Parliament.
“We were allowed into the caucus meeting today (yesterday) and joined the Government side in Parliament. We are happy to be in Government,” he said.
Basil said seating arrangements were made by Speaker Job Pomat.
“There will be proper seating arrangements made for our MPs in Parliament,” he said.
The 15 Pangu Pati MPs now on the Government side are Basil, deputy party leader William Samb (Goilala), Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu, Central Governor Robert Agarobe, Rigo MP Captain Lekwa Gure, Sohe MP Henry Amuli, Nawae MP Kennedy Wenge, Markham MP Koni Iguan, Lae MP John Rosso, Menyama MP Thomas Pelika, Tewai-Siassi MP Dr Kobby Bomareo, Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi, Lufa MP Moriape Kavori, Finschhafen MP Renbo Paita, and Rai Coast MP Peter Sapia.
There are now 75 MPs in the Government side.
Source : The National
A teacher who married a student who was half her age when they met has been ordered to pay $23,416 in costs to the Education Council.
The teacher, whose name was suppressed to protect her male former student, was struck off the teaching register last month for starting a relationship with the student in an unnamed youth justice residence when she was 32 and he was 16.
The former student was later jailed for two years in 2011 and the couple married last year.
In a groundbreaking decision, the Education Council’s Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that the relationship was inappropriate even though the teacher was no longer teaching the student when they started an intimate relationship.
“Teachers retain a professional responsibility to their students, particularly those who are deemed vulnerable because of their age,” the tribunal said.
“The student was vulnerable, and at the time the intimate relationship commenced Student A would have been in his last year of school or just finished it, had he not been in prison.”
It found that the age difference between them was relevant as it “tends to accentuate the power imbalance”.
The teacher told the tribunal after its decision that she could not afford to pay the standard proportion of half of its costs, which totalled $46,832.
She said her only income was $238 a week in family tax credits and an accommodation supplement of $42 a week.
Her partner, the former student, earned $35,000 a year.
“We have no money to spare and get some support from the church, family and friends,” she told the tribunal.
However tribunal deputy chairman Nicholas Chisnall ruled that he was “not satisfied that the evidence adduced by Teacher C demonstrates the type of financial hardship that requires a reduction in the quantum of the order”, and ordered her to pay half the costs – $23,416.
“It is ultimately a matter for the [Education] Council ton decide whether, and how, to pursue the debt,” he said.
Source : New Zealand Herald
A High Court judge has taken exception to three murder accused flashing gang signs during a video link appearance in court.
Justice Timothy Brewer reacted to the gang signs and hand gestures displayed by Whakapumatanga Clarke, 25, Cody Paul Griffin, 25, and Daniel George Chase, 22, at the conclusion of their video link appearance in the High Court at Rotorua on Wednesday with a stern warning.
He ordered their lawyers to speak with the men, saying their actions were a blatant contempt of the court process.
“Because this hearing is via AVL, nothing can be done about it, but in future I will have the three brought to the court so any repetition can be seen as a contempt of justice,” Justice Brewer said.
The lawyers involved said they had missed the gestures, which appeared to be directed at the public gallery.
The three accused, all of Taupo, are jointly charged with murdering Scott Henry on July 20, along with an associated charge of aggravated robbery. Natasha Telford, 43, is charged with being a party to the aggravated robbery, which alleged Mr Henry was robbed of a bag and its contents by the defendants.
A trial date has been set down for August 6 next year, in Hamilton, although Crown solicitor Amanda Gordon indicated attempts would be made to re-jig trial schedules so it could be dealt with in either Tauranga or Rotorua.
A further case review hearing will take place on November 29.
It is alleged Henry died from a single gunshot wound at his Kinloch home on the outskirts of Taupo, where he was found by a family member.
Source : New Zealand Herald