Auckland’s affordable housing price cap up to $650,000

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The price cap for affordable homes built under the Auckland Council’s housing accord is set to rise.

More than 200 homes are to be built at Hobsonville Point’s 7.4ha Sunderland precinct aimed at tackling Auckland’s housing shortage and fast tracking construction of affordable housing.

Hobsonville Land Company (HLC), a fully owned subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, which is spearheading the project, announced today that the price cap for its Axis Series homes will rise to $650,000 from $550,000.

HLC chief executive Chris Aiken said income caps will also be adjusted to align with the KiwiSaver HomeStart grants, and to allow for more two- and three-bedroom homes to be built.

“Rising construction costs has made it harder for our builders to deliver these homes under our current cap, and we risked losing diversity in our new stock as builders reduced home size to deliver within the price cap,” Aiken said.

The change was the second market adjustment made by HLC since launching the homes at Hobsonville Point in 2012.

From July 1, 2017, Income cap for applications for Axis Series homes rise from $120,000 a year to $130,000 for couples, and would come down from $120,000 to $85,000 for individuals, in line with the HomeStart grant criteria.

As at May 31, 422 Axis series homes had been sold at Hobsonville Point.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Violent teen’s ‘spate of misery’ in Auckland crime spree

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A violent teen who “wreaked a spate of misery on many people” and “ground her teeth” into a police officer during an unmitigated crime spree will spend her early adult life in prison.

Lily Pritchard-Davis, 18, appeared at the Auckland District Court this afternoon to face 28 separate charges during her splurge across Auckland from August last year to March, much of which occured while on bail.

The teen, described as “young, immature, but also intelligent” by her lawyer, had dropped out of the education system at 15.

Lily Pritchard-Davis was sentenced to four years and two months in prison. Photo / Facebook

She had attended 11 primary schools and two colleges, but had also been dealt with by the Youth Court on several occasions, many of which were for incidents of assault, threatening behaviour and vehicle theft.

Her youth offending then became her adult offending when, outside a North Shore restaurant last year, she punched a middle-aged woman in the face and bit her on the thigh.

While on bail she then began stealing cars with a gang of offenders in September and targeting several stores for burglaries, including Onehunga’s Cheesecake Shop, the Mangere TAB, and others along Coronation Rd.

When police showed her CCTV footage of the burglaries she admitted it was her.

But her criminal binge continued.

Pritchard-Davis was described as

On September 12 she helped steal another car and ransacked a Grafton pizza store. After fleeing the scene she was soon seen by police on Hillsborough Rd and a 40-minute pursuit ensued.

On September 14 she committed perhaps her most serious of offences.

After stealing petrol from a BP in Mt Wellington, she and another drove to the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Panmure.

The pair parked their car next to the unassuming Nancy Voon.

Voon was waiting for her son but the teenage girls had decided to carjack the 65-year-old.

Pritchard-Davis told police her offending would gain her

Pritchard-Davis’ co-offender threatened Voon with a screwdriver and stole her bag, before the girls dragged the small woman into the car park where she was punched twice to the head and kicked.

“They left her there to die. There was blood everywhere. All her clothes and the hospital sheets were all bloody,” Voon’s son Chee Phua told the Herald after the attack.

Voon suffered a broken nose and teeth, severe concussion, and a black eye. She spent several days in hospital.

While on the run, Pritchard-Davis committed an aggravated robbery and ram-raided a service station using a stolen Mazda. Cigarettes and $200 in cash were stolen.

Nancy Voon suffered a broken nose and teeth, a severe concussion, and black eye from the attack. Photo / Supplied

Nancy Voon suffered a broken nose and teeth, a severe concussion, and black eye from the attack. Photo / Supplied

Judge Ema Aitken said when police finally caught up to the teen, she claimed she had no fear of being sent to prison because it would gain her “notoriety amongst [her] friends, it makes you famous amongst your friends”.

With Pritchard-Davis on bail and failing to show for her court appearances police went looking for her.

During a search on March 31, officers found her at a Manurewa property.

The teen locked herself in a bathroom to avoid arrest, and after a struggle was eventually handcuffed and wrestled into the back of a patrol car.

However, with a female officer sitting next to her on the back seat, Pritchard-Davis leaned over and “latched her teeth on to” the constable’s arm for 20 seconds.

“You bit down with extreme force … the officer says the pain was unbearable and thought you were going to take a chunk out of her arm,” Judge Aitken said.

Police said Pritchard-Davis “ground her teeth deeper and deeper into the officer”.

After the incident Pritchard-Davis was remanded in custody where she remained until today’s sentencing.

During sentencing, Judge Aitken, on more than one occasion, was forced to stop her remarks in an attempt to regain Pritchard-Davis’ attention, who was waving to her mum and family in the public gallery.

Pritchard-Davis and her co-offender fleeing after the attack on Nancy Voon. Photo / NZ Police

Pritchard-Davis and her co-offender fleeing after the attack on Nancy Voon. Photo / NZ Police

“Turn around please, this is not an opportunity to chat,” the judge sternly said. “If you’re going to keep looking back and waving …,” she continued, before the teen interrupted, “they’re my family”.

“Can you just concentrate on what’s being said,” the judge quipped.

As the sentencing continued Pritchard-Davis could also be seen seemingly smirking as the judge outlined the details of her crimes. However, as the proceeding progressed the teen’s expression grew increasingly forlorn, appearing to appreciate the gravity of her offending.

“You do not appear to have support in the community,” Judge Aitken told the teen, while her mother began to cry in the public gallery.

Pritchard-Davis’ mother had also been imprisoned for the manslaughter of her baby daughter, Pritchard-Davis’ sister, a moment in the teen’s life which has had an enormous impact, Judge Aitken said.

Pritchard-Davis was also in and out of CYF care from a young age.

To cope, the court heard how the teen turned to alcohol and had become a daily user. Meth was her “drug of choice”.

As Pritchard-Davis was led away to the cells, flanked by two guards, she turned and made one final wave to her family.

“Love you, bye.”

She will spend four years and two months behind bars.

Pritchard-Davis’ extensive rap sheet

• Two counts of aggravated robbery
• 14 counts of burglary
• Two counts of attempted burglary
• Three counts of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle
• Three counts of unlawful possession of a motor vehicle
• Theft
• Assault
• Aggravated assault against a police officer
• Resisting arrest


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Football: All Whites push Mexico at Confederations Cup

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Mexico 2 All Whites 1

It was hard to sum up the depth of disappointment among the All Whites team after their 2-1 loss to Mexico this morning.

It was a match that New Zealand deserved more – so much more – but ended with just the pride that comes from such a performance.

Everyone, from coach Anthony Hudson and captain Chris Wood, to the junior members of the squad, struggled to find the right words to express themselves in the wake of the game.

In time the New Zealand team will appreciate the performance, but hours after the game the emotion was too raw.

As they filed out of Fisht arena at close to midnight, the realisation was beginning to sink in about how close they had been to a significant upset.

The All Whites dominated the first half, creating several chances while taking one to Wood in the 42nd minute. They had further chances early in the second half to make it 2-0, with Wood going extremely close, which would have completely changed the complexion of the match.

“I’m incredibly disappointed,” said Hudson. “It was a huge performance; we showed quality, we showed spirit and I really believe we should have got more from the game. To be honest I’m absolutely gutted. I have a real feeling of ‘too little too late’ with this tournament.”

Captain Wood echoed those sentiments.

“We should have got a lot more from that game,” said Wood. “We had our chances, we needed to be more clinical and it would have been a different outcome.”

Wood took his goal superbly, after a pinpoint ball from Clayton Lewis bisected the Mexican defence, the Leeds United striker scoring New Zealand’s first goal at a Confederations Cup since 2003.

But Wood was also rueing missed opportunities, which on another day could have seen him grab a hat trick. He was foiled by keeper Alfredo Talavera as he tried to dribble round him minutes into the second half, and midway through the first half hit his shot too close to the keeper with the goal at his mercy.

But the performance was a significant improvement on that Russian defeat, and light years away from the fare tossed up in Belarus. The All Whites exhibited hunger, intensity and passion, as well as plenty of skill.

They also tried to play, abandoning the emphasis on the long ball that had marred their first half display against Russia. Mexico looked disorganised at times, not helped by coach Juan Carlos Osorio making eight chances from the lineup that drew 2-2 with Portugal, and were harried by New Zealand’s pressing strategy.

It meant that the All Whites earned themselves time and space on the ball, and they grew in confidence. Lewis added to the vision and the passing nous on the team, while Marco Rojas looked more comfortable in a more advanced role close to Wood. Ryan Thomas was again superb.

Unfortunately the New Zealand side backed off slightly after halftime, allowing EL Tri to equalize and regain the intiative.

Mexico settled after that, no longer contemplating exiting the tournament at the hands of a team from the bottom of the South Pacific. They piled on the pressure, and a second goal eventually came in the 72nd minute through Oribe Peralta. The All Whites fought to the last – with Thomas blasting the ball against the post late on – but to no avail. The match almost descended into farce late on, as a crude Mexican foul sparked a near all-in brawl on the field and between the benches.

Mexico 2 ( R Jimenez, O Peralta )
New Zealand 1 (C Wood )


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Three things: All Whites v Mexico

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Michael Burgess details three things of note from the All Whites’ 2-1 defeat to Mexico this morning.

1. All Whites devastated

The overriding emotion of the New Zealand team after the 2-1 loss to Mexico was one of intense disappointment. Some players even struggled to find the words to sum up how they felt, as they faced the media just before midnight at Sochi stadium. It was a remarkable performance – it’s hard to remember the last time an All Whites team created so many opportunities against major international opposition – but they have nothing to show for their efforts. The performance will go down as one of the most memorable in New Zealand’s Confederations Cup history, alongside the historic 0-0 draw with Iraq in 2009. But it was oh-so-close to being easily the best ever.

2. The future is bright

Over the course of 90 minutes at the Fisht stadium in Sochi the All Whites showed their true potential, after not doing themselves justice in the first game against Russia. There was intensity, there was desire, there was physicality and most importantly there was no shortage of skill.

The New Zealand side played some lovely intricate football, and youngsters like Marco Rojas, Clayton Lewis and Ryan Thomas were at the centre of it all. Lewis showed vision and passing range beyond his years to pick out Chris Wood with superb passes, one of which set up the All Whites goal. In an advanced role Rojas found much more space than he had enjoyed against Russia, while Thomas continues to be a revelation. He has turned heads here and his list of potential suitors will be growing by the day.

3. Mexican tempers at boiling point

Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio described the All Whites as “gentleman” before the game but he had changed his tune after the match, bemoaning that “the game was really rough, nearly violent and I think that’s unacceptable.”

Mexican ire was raised midway through the first half, when the All Whites played on – and Chris Wood almost scored – despite one of their Mexican players being hunched over on the ground in the penalty area. But Carlos Salcedo had fallen after trying to foul Wood, and given the Mexican team’s propensity for dramatics it was no surprise that New Zealand played on.

Tempers boiled over in injury time, after the All Whites objected to a Mexican player tugging Michael Boxall’s shirt as he made a desperate surge into the opposition half. All 22 players came together with a pushing and shoving match, while the respective benches also had to be separated.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

$38b gaming market lures Kiwi developers

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The global video games market is forecast to break the US$100-billion ($138b) mark this year, driven by a huge appetite for online and mobile content from mainland China’s more than half-a-billion gamers.

Mainland China is predicted to surpass the United States and become the biggest in the world for gaming at $38b according to a new report from research firm Newzoo.

James Everett of the New Zealand Game Developers Association said China was seen as a “key growth area” for NZ studios, but it was a market that came with challenges.

“China’s players represent a massive market, and they are keen to play high quality games like those made by Kiwi developers,” Everett said.

“While there are business and translation challenges, especially for startup studios, it’s an opportunity every game developer is evaluating. So far, we’ve had several NZ-made hit games in English-speaking markets like the US. China, and the rest of Asia, is the next growth market for us,” he said.

Peter Curry, developer and programmer at Dinosaur Polo Club said “most developers our scale have recognised China as the current growth market, and many are developing with Chinese audiences in mind”.

Curry said when they launched their game Mini Metro on the App Store last year they found that China was their single biggest market after the US.

Curry said one of the challenges Dinosaur Polo Club faced in China was getting its game on a major digital store front for desktop players.

“Around 8 or 9 per cent of our [desktop] revenue comes from China,” he said. “Steam [the popular digital store front] is available in China but it doesn’t have the market dominance there like it does elsewhere.”

Mario Wynands, managing director of Wellington-based Mobile game developer PikPok, said China was an important market for the company and usually features in the top 3 countries in terms of revenue and/or downloads.

PikPok currently distributes on iOS in China but was looking to expand onto Android by the end of the year.

“There are some challenges around this with regard to new content licensing laws and requirements around with local partners, but we feel we are making progress and that it will ultimately be worth the investment,” Wynands said.

New Zealand’s biggest gaming export Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile boasts about a million active players a month.

Lead developer Chris Wilson said Grinding Gear Games, which employs 100 staff in New Zealand, was working on a Chinese version of the game that would launch later this year.

“It’s going to be big,” Wilson said.

The studio has partnered with a large Chinese publisher who can help protect the game from intellectual property issues in mainland China.

Due to grey areas in international copyright law mainland China poses intellectual property issues for developers where clones of successful games, including Blizzard’s Overwatch, and Hearthstone are prevalent.

Recent partnerships between developers and publishers in China have helped to curb the knock-off games and intellectual property issues.

Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent Holdings, the world’s largest games company by revenue, was credited by the Newzoo report for opening the door for popular Western games on the mainland, which ensures that “the success of Western intellectual property in China will lead to new truly global franchises”.

Additional reporting from the South China Morning Post


Source  :  New Zealand Herald