Government figures which show foreigners bought five times as much precious New Zealand land last year are not an accurate guide to foreign ownership, Land Information Minister Mark Mitchell says.
Mitchell rejected any claims that there was “a big buy-up of New Zealand land” today and ruled out calls for a detailed register which showed every foreign purchase, not just the sensitive or large purchases approved by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).
The OIO said 466,000 hectares of land was sold to offshore buyers in 2016 - five times more than the previous year. Read the rest of this entry »
A public pool is being partially closed one night a week to give Muslim women the opportunity to enjoy some uninterrupted time in the water while they learn to swim.
WaterSafe Auckland is behind the initiative which sees a dedicated teaching pool at Cameron Pool and Leisure Centre managed by YMCA in Mt Roskill closed for two hours every Thursday night for Muslim women-only swimming lessons.
The programme, born of an identified need for a culturally appropriate programme delivered in a culturally appropriate space, has attracted a lengthy waiting list of mainly migrant women in addition to the almost 50 already participating in the classes. Read the rest of this entry »
Just a few years ago, it was hard to find students willing to admit to being National Front cardholders. When a journalist went looking for members of the FNJ youth movement during the last presidential election campaign, most would agree to speak only if their names were withheld.
Five years on, young activists supporting Marine Le Pen’s election bid say they no longer have anything to hide, as she cruises to an expected first place showing in the first round next month. Read the rest of this entry »
Frightened teachers at a Sydney primary school have revealed students are showing signs of extreme radicalisation at a young age, saying they have been traumatised by threats of beheading and other violent behaviour.
Students as young as in Year 5 are making the threats and pressuring peers into reading the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney’s southwest, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
Documents given to the newspaper reportedly reveal that at least three staff members have taken stress leave, received counselling and been paid compensation after bullying from Islamic students.
One woman reportedly claimed it all got too much for her and she eventually had to quit her job.
She said the final straw was when she received death threats to her family from her year 5 and 6 students, with some saying they would behead her.
Prior to that she claimed she made a number of complaints in 2014 about some of the behaviour in her classroom.
She said she was abused by students when she stopped them from hanging a Syrian flag in the classroom.
The woman also said she was pushed into a corner by several students who then began marching around her chanting the Koran.
Many of the students also reportedly spoke of family members fighting in the war in Syria and pupils would walk out mid-way through a lesson to go and pray. Read the rest of this entry »
Police say they’ve uncovered a new way methamphetamine is being smuggled into NewZealand - the addictive drug is being “masked” at the source country, then chemically altered to turn into P once it arrives here.
Four men aged 59, 47, 38 and 54, face charges in the Auckland District Court today after a joint police and Customs investigation disrupted a new form of methamphetamine importation.
The men are charged with a range of offences relating to the supply of methamphetamine and the possession of equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled drug (methamphetamine).
The first two defendants appeared in the District Court at Auckland this afternoon.
Yuen Chueng Chan, 42, a salesman, was remanded in custody and will reappear via video-link in court, also on April 6.
Shui Tong Wong, 60, a former chef and takeaway business operator who was currently unemployed, was also remanded in custody to the same date. Read the rest of this entry »
A man has admitted faking psychiatrist qualifications to get a job with the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) worth more than $165,000.
The eight-day trial of Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui, 55, was due to kick off in the Hamilton District Court today, but he had a change of heart minutes before it was to start.
He admitted stealing the credentials of another doctor in America with a similar name, but Siddiqui’s lawyer Jonathan Temm said the Crown accepted that Siddiqui is a qualified doctor - just not one with psychiatric qualifications.
Siddiqui originally faced 13 charges of forging documents, altering documents and obtaining by deception.
Concerns about hisbehaviour were raised by his supervisor and an investigation led to the police charging him with obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, relating to his employment between January and July 2015. Read the rest of this entry »
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