Police track down man involved in Morrinsville creek accident

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Waikato police have managed to track down the driver of a vehicle that was found in a creek this morning.

They were called just after 6.30am to reports of a car going into the water in the Chepmell Road area near Morrinsville.

The vehicle was recovered but when officers searched the water they didn’t find anybody.

A police spokeswoman says the driver has now been located and is uninjured.

She says inquiries are continuing.

The man is a 47-year-old from Matamata.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Drink drivers’ plethora of excuses don’t wash with cops

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Police have taken a novel approach to pushing the road safety message – sharing the excuses of motorists pulled over last night and found to be under the influence of alcohol.

Waikato police were out breath testing drivers last night during and after the All Blacks v Lions game at Eden Park.

“I just want to share a few comments made by people stopped last night drink driving,” a Waikato police officer posted on Facebook today.

“I find the comments really interesting because it’s all too common that we hear the blame being passed on to others.

“But if YOU choose to drink alcohol, and then YOU decide to get behind the wheel and drive, the responsibility for this action and any consequences that follow is on YOU, seems pretty simple to me but some of these people think otherwise.”

The excuses drivers had included:

•You can’t put your checkpoint on this road anyway – it’s illegal.

•You’re only stopping me because of my car otherwise I would be sweet.

•You’re racist you’re only doing this because I’m white.

•Can you hurry up I have things to do.

•Can I buy you a donut?

•Could you just give me 30 demerits instead of 50 I know you can do that.

•Thank you, would you like a Crunchie Bar.

•Well how am I supposed to get to work tomorrow now? if I lose my job it’s your fault.

•It’s cause I’m black aye.

•I needed to get a burger on the way home from the pub.

“Fortunately all of these people were removed from the road before they caused any harm to anyone,” the officer said.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

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