Great win

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PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has congratulated the Kumuls on their 50-6 World Cup victory over Wales, saying they have done the nation proud.
“This is the first time we have ever beaten Wales in the history of the Rugby League World Cup, and the highest points scored by our Kumuls in the history of the competition,” he said.
“The team performed strongly against a solid team from Wales.”
More than 14,000 people watched the match at the National Football Stadium on Saturday as the first matches of the 2017 World Cup got underway.
O’Neill reminded the team not to be complacent as there were some more strong teams to meet.
“Maintain your focus, stick to your training regime, and carry the heart of our nation on your jerseys,” he said.
He was also relieved to hear that coach Michael Marum was in good spirits after being given medical care during the game for cramps.
“Michael has put his mind and soul into the Kumuls, and he is a great leader of his team,” he sa


Source  :  The National

Refugees plan to stay at processing centre, detainee says

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REFUGEES plan to continue staying at the Manus regional processing centre even if it is closed tomorrow, a detainee says.
Kurdish Iran journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is among about 700 men remaining at the centre, told The National yesterday that they did not come to Manus on their own will.
Boochani said the Australian government forcibly put them on Manus Island.
He said the Australian government were now pushing them to live in the small community in Lorengau where locals were unlikely to welcome them.
“Both the local people and refugees are victims of this (Australian government) policy. And definitely if the Australian government keeps pushing (the asylum seekers), there will be some kind of violence,” Boochani said.
“It’s clear that Australia is violating human rights.”
He said officials at the centre were still providing food to the asylum seekers but they had advised that food, electricity and water would be disconnected tomorrow.
“The pressure is too much on Manus,” Behrouz said.
“The police and soldiers are walking around the centre.”
Broadspectrum, the company contracted by the Australian government to run its facility, will cease its operations tomorrow.
The PNG Supreme Court on April 26 last year ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus was unconstitutional and illegal.
It advised the Australian and PNG governments to take necessary steps to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of the asylum seekers on Manus. Tomorrow is the deadline for its closure.


Source  :  The National


Crime syndicate active in PNG, says minister

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IMMIGRATION and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas says a foreign syndicate and some senior public servants are involved in transnational criminal activities.
Thomas said the activities included human trafficking, money laundering and prostitution.
“I want to thank the officers in the government team for exposing these illegal activities in the past two weeks of operations,” Thomas said.
“It is just a tip of the iceberg.
“I also appreciate that the work you have done is quite risky because the organisations that you are dealing with have already grown roots and have grown syndicates and we cannot deny that.
“They have been in the country for too long.
“And you are tapping into their territories.
“You are intruding into their safe haven.
“So, of course, you will be expecting some threats, intimidation and negative comments from these people and their local facilitators. But the local citizens are with you.”
Thomas thanked the Immigration Department for leading the team of officers from Labour, PNG Customs, National Capital District Commission, Bank of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Censorship office and police.
“There is a lot of illegal activities going on in the country,” Thomas said.
“All have been brought to the surfaces in the past two weeks of operation.”


Source  :  The National

Barry Soper: Changes afoot at top of Labour, NZ First

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The rubber’s hit the road in the Parliamentary precincts and the stench is overpowering, particularly for those who a fortnight ago were clinging on to hope, and that’s not just the politicians.

They’re outnumbered by bureaucrats and those who were hired from civvy street.

The Beehive has arguably one of the biggest newsrooms in the country, former journalists all spinning on behalf of their ministers.

National’s ministerial press secretaries have been given their marching orders while the new lot shoulder tap others to take their place.

Meanwhile the new Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Neale Jones, who took the role under Andrew Little, plans to leave his current job but says he is still considering a new post in the administration.

Also, Winston Peters’ chief of staff David Broome has moved on.

Peters has now moved into the Deputy Prime Minister’s suite on the seventh floor of the Beehive.

The cleaners, after the rip roaring dance party thrown by the Westie Paula Bennett on the night Peters turned his back on the Nats, must have worked overtime to get it back in shape for his occupation.

Today amid the chaos Labour MPs will meet for the first time in National’s old caucus room before Ardern’s new Cabinet meets formally on the Beehive’s tenth floor for their first down-to-business meeting, and there’s plenty of that confronting her Government as the requests to make good on the promises made over the past few months flood in.

The Nats seem to have given their MPs another week off, or maybe it’s too raw to be meeting in the Labour caucus room that they haven’t seen for almost a decade.

Other than Bennett’s office, the unsafety of the Beehive referred to by Peters has nothing to do with sudden changes of fortune for those who occupy it.

More than 30 years ago Legionnaires’ disease lurked in the water tank in the bowels of the building.

When David Lange occupied the ninth floor he thought he may have contracted it but as usual made light of the disease actually being in the building saying, that apart from a few of his caucus wets, he presumed that few would spend much time in the water tank in the basement.

Risk factors include being over 50 and being a smoker – so clearly Peters has moved in at his own peril.

Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Landmark house demolished in Tauranga’s downtown

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The last grand old house in Tauranga’s downtown has been demolished to make way for an undisclosed development.

Purchased in February for $1.6 million, the 808sq m property at 93 Durham St sat next to the university campus now under construction.

The sale ended a 75-year link by the Cassidy family with the landmark house – the last occupied residential house left in the heart of the CBD.

The house, which was in original condition with beautiful wood-panel interiors, was a throwback to another era in the city’s history. The property sold for 64 per cent more than its 2015 capital rating valuation of $974,000.

Only the garage and steps remain of the Durham St house that dated back to the early decades of last century. Photo/John Borren

Tauranga Historical Society president Stephanie Smith said it was a shame to see the house demolished, and she suspected it would not be the city’s last old house to be swallowed by development.

”One more bit of the past has been knocked down.”

She put the loss of the house down to the commercial value of the land. ”The city centre has become so valuable.”

The sale was the last reminder of the days when Grey St and Durham St were a mix of residential houses and businesses. At one time, Durham St was on the outskirts of the main commercial streets of The Strand and Devonport Rd, Ms Smith said.

”We forget how small the downtown really was in the 1920s and ’30s.”

David Baker of Focus on Property declined to comment on what plans the owners had for the property.

A council property search showed 93 Durham St was owned by Albazz Properties. Its registered office was Focus on Property at 266 Maunganui Rd.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Two injured in crash on Auckland’s Southern Motorway

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Two people have been rushed to hospital with moderate injuries after a crash on Auckland’s Southern Motorway.

Several cars were involved in the crash on the Lambie Drive onramp to the Southwestern Motorway in Manukau.

The crash blocked the left lane of the motorway, but lanes are now clear.

Motorists are being warned to expect delays.


Traffic was also being held up on the Northern Motorway after a truck lost its load on the Silverdale onramp.

The right lane is blocked.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

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