James creates history for PNG

Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg

Team PNG’s first athlete to compete at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, triathlete Rachel Sapery James, created history for PNG by becoming the first triathlete to finish an elite international triathlon.
Four years ago, James competed at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where she did not finish the course.
“After Glasgow, I went back home and thought I want to have another shot,” James, 34, said.
“A lot of the girls from developing countries got pulled off the course after the swim leg at Glasgow because it was the Olympic distance.
“I knew what I was going up against going into Glasgow, but I was disappointed with the result.
“I spoke to the International Triathlon president and she said ‘you’ve got four years to have another shot’ so I went home, thought about it and prepared for the Pacific Games in 2015 in Port Moresby (PNG).”
After competing at the Pacific Games, James travelled back and forth between Australia’s Sunshine Coast and Papua New Guinea, for her training. She became and maintained her ranking as the No.1 female Pacific Islander from 2016 through to 2017 to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
In an effort to do more regular racing, James participated in her first International Triathlon Union World Series event last year on the Gold Coast as well as her first World Cup event in Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast this year, both times being lapped.
While others may have been disheartened, those experiences left James even more determined. The triathlon, which consists of three events in one, begins with a 750m swim leg. Competitors then transition to a 20km bicycle leg before finishing with a 5km run.
James’ dedication paid off when she crossed the finish line in a time of 70 minutes and 20 seconds, placing her 20th.
James had a great start when she was first into the water for what is traditionally her weakest leg.
Emerging from the water in 21st place, James transitioned to the bicycle leg. She finished the four laps of the course but dropped a place to 22nd going into the final leg.
It was during the run that James dug deep to overtake two competitors, including a strong finish passing the Trinidad and Tobago athlete, and finished 20th in a strong field that saw the top four female triathletes in the world competing.
It was world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda who finished first to claim the Games’ first gold medal.
James’ effort was acknowledged by the vocal supporters in the crowd, including Team PNG chef de mission Tamzin Wardley.


Source  :  The National

First medal for PNG

Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg

Morea Baru celebrating after winning the silver medal yesterday in the men’s 62kg division at the Commonwealth Games weightlifting competition at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre. Baru finished with a total of 286kg, two kilos behind gold medal winner Muhamad Aznil Bidin of Malaysia. The Hanuabada man snatched 127kg and lifted 159kg in the clean and jerk, while Bidin had 126kg (snatch) and 162kg (clean and jerk) to edge out Baru for first place. Pakistan’s Talha Talib finished in third place with a total lift of 283kg. – Gettypic


Source :  The National

Parking warden has facial surgery after attack outside Wellington primary school

Flag of New Zealand.svg

A parking warden was attacked in Newtown on Friday. (File photo)


A parking warden was attacked in Newtown on Friday. (File photo)

 A Wellington parking warden has had facial reconstruction surgery after being punched in the head outside Newtown School.

* Did you see the attack? Email news@dompost.co.nz or call 04 4740 196 

The daylight attack, late on Friday morning, left the warden unconscious, with a fractured eye socket and broken nose, his employer Wellington City Council said.

The attack happened outside 
Newtown School, where construction work is taking place.


The attack happened outside Newtown School, where construction work is taking place.

 A witness said the warden, who is in his 50s, was walking along Riddiford St when the attack happened.

“[The attacker] punched him on the side of the head as [the warden] was walking away.”

Rongotai MP Paul Eagle says he knows the warden, and considers him a friend. He would never provoke confrontation, or ...


Rongotai MP Paul Eagle says he knows the warden, and considers him a friend. He would never provoke confrontation, or retaliate. (File photo)

 The attacker “dropped him to the deck”, the witness said.

“What was great for me was seeing two parking officers there within minutes, along with police and ambulance.”

Acting council chief executive Kane Patena said on Sunday that the warden had since undergone surgery.

Wellington City Council wardens were equipped with body cameras in 2017, but the warden "sucker punched" on Friday never ...


Wellington City Council wardens were equipped with body cameras in 2017, but the warden “sucker punched” on Friday never had time to turn it on.

 “I visited the parking officer this morning. The officer is conscious and will fully recover, but it will take some time.”

The warden passed on his “sincere gratitude” to the members of public who helped, and to those other wardens who rushed to the scene.

“I am utterly appalled and disgusted at what can only be described as an idiotic and gutless act of thuggery,” Patena  said.

Wellington city councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman says the man needed facial surgery, and he wished him a speedy recovery.


Wellington city councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman says the man needed facial surgery, and he wished him a speedy recovery.

 “Our parking officers are good men and women, who are simply trying to do their job.

“Not one of our staff deserves to be treated like this, irrespective of what people think about the profession.”

The council equipped wardens with body cameras in 2017. However, although the warden in Newtown was wearing a camera, he did not have time to activate it, Patena said.

“It appears the parking warden was walking away, and was effectively sucker-punched.”

Rongotai MP Paul Eagle said he knew the warden, who was in his 50s, and considered him a friend. He described him as a humble man who would never provoke confrontation, and would never retaliate.

Parking had long been a problem in Newtown, and it had been exacerbated by having three big hospital-related building works going on: a new children’s hospital, a Mary Potter Hospice development, and work at Wakefield Hospital, Eagle said.

The council and Capital & Coast District Health Board had long known of the issue and now had to take action. “I hope the parking officer is recovering well.”

There was a feeling in Newtown that there was a lack of policing in the suburb, Eagle said.

He was meeting with Wellington area commander Inspector Chris Bensemann on Monday and would raise the issue.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, who holds the transport strategy and operations portfolio, said the warden was out of surgery, which required “some sort of reconstruction” to his face.

“He has had a significant injury to his face, and that has required surgery.”

The warden was now fully conscious and everyone at the council wished him a full and speedy recovery, Calvi-Freeman said.

“An attack on a parking warden simply doing his job is completely and absolutely unacceptable.”

Council human resources director Nicola Brown said WorkSafe was going to be notified, and the council would carry out an internal investigation, which was standard practice in cases such as this.

“We are also actively supporting our parking officers, who will no doubt be shaken by this incident.”

Police spoke to the warden on Sunday afternoon.

The alleged offender, a 39-year-old man, would be charged with wounding with the intent to injure. He was on bail and due to appear in court on Friday, police said.

Source – Stuff

Nurse has car stolen from ‘one of the most monitored car parks in Wellington’

Flag of New Zealand.svg

Registered nurse Allanah Hill spent $170 to leave her Honda Civic at Wellington Airport's long-term park. Just half an ...


Registered nurse Allanah Hill spent $170 to leave her Honda Civic at Wellington Airport’s long-term park. Just half an hour before she returned, it was stolen.

 A trip south to see Ed Sheeran ended in disaster when Allanah Hill had her car stolen from Wellington Airport’s long-term car park just half an hour before she landed.

Hill, a registered nurse, flew to Dunedin on March 30 for a holiday with her partner. The pair, from Lower Hutt, were headed to the last of Sheeran’s concerts, last Sunday.

Before they left, she parked her Honda Civic in the uncovered long-term parking area at the southern end of the airport, at a cost of $170.

Hill later found her car abandoned and burnt-out near the Rimutaka Incline. Wellington Airport says it will refund her ...


Hill later found her car abandoned and burnt-out near the Rimutaka Incline. Wellington Airport says it will refund her parking fee, but she has also had to pay to have the car towed and stored.

 They arrived back on Tuesday, just after 9pm, but couldn’t find the car.

“We were looking around the park. I was saying ‘I’m sure this is where we put it.’

“I always lose my car, I’m famous for it, so I wasn’t too worried at first, but my partner was like, ‘I never lose the car though’.”

They asked to see security footage in the parking attendant’s office, showing the exit and entrance. Whenever a car drives in or out, a snapshot of its licence plate is taken.

It showed that, at 8.25pm, only 40 minutes before Hill landed, her car was driven out of the car park.

“I watched them leave,” she said. “They followed behind another car really closely and went out right behind it.”

Hill, 24, filed a report with police, but heard nothing for several days.

Then a friend shared a post from a Wellington car group, showing two burnt-out cars. One of them was her Honda Civic.

She tracked down the shell of her car to the Rimutaka Incline and had to pay more money to have it towed away and stored while insurers assess it.

She said she wasn’t mad at the airport, and that “it could happen to anyone”, but she could not understand how her car had been stolen from a secure parking lot.

“You’re paying for good safe parking. I mean, I may as well have parked out on the street.”

An airport spokeswoman said it would refund the cost of her parking, and provide any further help it could.

All the airport’s car parks were monitored by CCTV and by parking attendants near the main terminal 24 hours a day. Daily routine checks of all car parks were also conducted, she said.

“This makes the airport’s parking space one of the most monitored car parks in Wellington.

“Incidents involving passenger vehicles are very rare and we take the security of passenger vehicles very seriously, working closely with airport police and the customer.”

Hill had only third-party insurance and was now having to borrow her brother’s car to get to and from work, while saving up for a new one.


Source : The Domininon Post

Greens swing left with Marama Davidson in the co-pilot seat

Flag of New Zealand.svg

OPINION: Marama Davidson was at home on Saturday night when she got the call. She had won the Green Party co-leadership race.

“It then finally became real,” she said on Sunday.

The left of the Green Party have been in a kind of dream-state, ascendant but not quite sure how strong they were before this vote. That feeling of strength is now concrete.

Marama Davidson soon after winning the co-leadership.


Marama Davidson soon after winning the co-leadership.

 With 110 delegate votes to Julie Anne Genter’s 34 Davidson has been handed a strong mandate from the 6500 or so members of the Green Party to keep the party true to its activist roots.

This should finally and completely end the notion that the Green Party could consider going into Government with National. It was never going to happen under James Shaw and it is really never going to happen with Davidson, who took care in her victory speech to trash-talk the former National-led Government for the massive problems at Middlemore Hospital.

Note which of the co-leaders are smiling.


Note which of the co-leaders are smiling.

 Some voices on the right will promote the idea of a right-wing environmentally-focused party to partner with National, or just an exodus of centrist Green Party voters to National. But as much as Simon Bridges might talk up his teal ideals the party’s reflexive defence of cars, oil exploration, and subsidised irrigation in the last month or so show they are hardly going to win over many current Green voters fast.

By supporting Davidson so strongly the membership of the Green Party have shown their desire to make the party more than just a junior partner in Government, pushing Labour to the left in the areas its ministers are responsible for.

There was little real policy difference between Genter and Davidson. Both said they were uncomfortable with how much the Budget Responsibility Rules they had signed up for with Labour were restricting the Government from filling social deficits left by National. This was one of the least popular calls Shaw has made while leader, but also one both Genter and Davidson were complicit in.

In tone, tactics, and perception, however, Davidson was always the left candidate, even if she prefers to say “progressive”. Genter emphasised the need to simply win back the huge number of voters who went for the Greens in 2011 and 2014 but ditched them for Labour in 2017, at least at first.

Davidson has now started to work that line in too, but has focused more actively on outreach to people who have traditionally voted Labour or not voted at all: the working class, Māori and Pasifika.

How this outreach might look in 2020 is still up for debate. Davidson wouldn’t rule out making a real run on a Māori seat in 2020, an idea that might become even more desirable if their polling dips below five per cent. But asking Māori voters to properly ditch their historical relationship with the Labour Party can be a very tall order – just ask the literal Māori Party.

The wider bet is that there is a decent chunk of the electorate keen on more than just the pendulum swing back to the left Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ushered in, keen on stuff the elite commentariat will never see as viable.

Many Green members don’t want to put more women in the boardroom, they want to destroy it. Davidson made clear in her acceptance speech her distaste for the fact that two men held more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of New Zealanders. In our debate she professed support for a new top tax rate on higher earners and free dental care for all Kiwis.

Of course, the Green Party hasn’t lost the more suit-and-tie Shaw as co-leader. There will be plenty of members who voted for Davidson because they want balance at the top, with the environmentally focused climate change minister fighting besides the new co-leader for a holistic Green vision.

But for the next wee while –  at least –  Davidson has the mandate to make some real change to how the Green Party operates in Government. Ardern and Winston Peters should expect some well-publicised disagreements – which will be particularly biting as non-Minister Davidson isn’t bound by Cabinet collective responsibility.

The party now enters into a somewhat strange two-year period, where the Green ministers actually making change arguably represent the wing of the party just rejected by the membership.

But there are over a hundred thousand more Green Party voters than there are members. For that number to keep steady or properly increase both wings of the party will need to rack up some decent wins in the real world, not just the tiny landscape of internal party politics. Everyone in the party will be watching the next poll with a whole lot of interest. It’ll be what makes this whole thing finally real.

Source – Stuff