ミニヘッドライン 2012/07/18



The sale of Pike River mine to Solid Energy was completed yesterday, with Solid Energy paying the final $5 million instalment of the $7.5 million purchase price and assuming responsibility for the mine and related assets. Pike River Coal was placed in receivership on December 13, 2010, shortly after a series of explosions at its West Coast mine which killed 29 miners. In March this year Solid Energy and the receivers announced a conditional agreement to sell the company's assets to Solid Energy. The main conditions included reaching agreement with the Government on responsibility for the recovery of the miners' bodies and on a contribution to the costs incurred by the police following the explosions. However 70 Greymouth businesses are still owed more than $5 million. Even secured creditor, New Zealand Oil and Gas, is $26 million in the red after receivers sold the mine for well below the expected sale price of over $100 million.




District Court Judge David Harvey claimed the US was "the enemy" at a recent launch of a campaign opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Harvey said the TPP could stop the practice of hacking around DVD region codes, a currently legal technique New Zealanders use to play DVDs from other parts of the world. The TPP would also force New Zealand to recognise software patents, potentially opening local companies up to a series of lawsuits. Last week it was announced Dotcom's extradition hearing would be put off until next year, after being scheduled to start at the North Shore District Court on August 6.



Critics say police are focussing on the wrong ways of tackling drug use after more than 2500 arrests were made in a series of cannabis raids. A six-month crackdown has resulted in a massive dent in New Zealand's cannabis supply, police said, and drugs with a potential value of $130 million have been seized. By targeting cannabis growers and dealers, police estimate $350 million worth of harm has been saved to the New Zealand economy and the children "put in harm's way every day". But the executive director of the Drug Foundation, Ross Bell, said the Government is targeting the wrong end of the trade. "As long as there is demand for this drug, there will be a supply, so it's time I think we started investing more resources into reducing demand," he said.




Thomas Daniel Bickner, 19, was convicted in Taupo District Court today on a representative charge of unlawfully possessing 23 digital photographs knowing they were objectionable under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act. Bickner downloaded the offending images in 2010 when he was 17 years old and showed them to his girlfriend before deleting them 10 days later, the court heard. Several months later his former girlfriend made a complaint to the police who issued a search warrant and forensically recovered copies of the deleted images on the family computer. Bickner told the police he had downloaded the images "for a laugh", the court heard. He admitted they were objectionable and would be disgusting to the normal person, he told police. Bickner was sentenced to 12 months intensive supervision, including psychiatric assessment and counselling, and 200 hours community work.




The Teachers' Council says it has made changes to information-sharing after a convicted sex offender was found teaching in schools in the North Island. Teachers' Council director Peter Lind told a select committee today it now made sure information was being exchanged between court registrars and the council. "We are looking at how we can share that information in a more timely way," he said. Members of the select committee asked the council how Terito Miki, a convicted sex offender, bypassed Teachers' Council registration processes to teach in schools across the North Island.



Tradespeople in Canterbury have formed a new lobby group amid concern the government's management of the $20 billion-plus rebuild is slashing their earnings and favouring big business. Master plumbers, master painters and master builders have rallied together to form Can Trades, a group that chairman Lester Bryant says reflects their need to "create an entity to defend themselves." "A number of members feel as though they have been disadvantaged" by the managers of the rebuild including Fletcher Building," he told BusinessDesk.



A new website is being launched to improve the product recall process and cut down the risk of consumers eating unsafe food or using unsafe products. ProductRecallnz has been designed to give registered companies a faster, more efficient way of notifying trading partners and customers when a product has to be pulled back. When it goes live next Monday, it will offer consumers greater protection in the event that a food product is found to be unsafe, said NZ Food & Grocery Council (FGC) chief executive Katherine Rich. "In any supermarket there will be 20,000 to 40,000 different products to choose from, but sometimes, even with the best production systems in place, products need to be recalled."



Overall 2.99 per cent of Gisborne's total land area, or 28,100 hectares, has been granted consent for sale to overseas buyers since 2005. The largest portion was for the acquisition of 26,200 hectares of rural land, 3.09 per cent of rural land - the largest by land area in the country. Gisborne also had the second-highest percentage of industrial land given consent for sale at almost 20 per cent, or 503ha. Recent figures from Terralink paint a revealing picture of foreign ownership on the East Coast as a popular investment choice. Close behind Gisborne was Canterbury at 2.8 per cent, or 86,200 hectares.




Two Air New Zealand Boeing 777 aircraft are to be turned into "flying billboards" for the Hobbit films, the airline says. Weta Workshop will turn a Boeing 777-300 into a flying billboard for the first movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and a Boeing 777-200 for the second movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Filming will also soon begin on a new inflight safety video for the flights. The aircraft will fly between the UK and North America, and New Zealand. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey premieres in Wellington on November 28.




An estimated $5 million worth of New Zealand export honey has been stopped at overseas borders after failing a test designed to detect adulterated honey. They say manuka makes up the bulk of our $101.6 million per annum honey exports so there are serious implications for overseas markets if the testing method is not modified. The Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) C3/C4 sugars test is routinely used in countries such as the US and China to check the authenticity of honey by indicating whether it has been watered down via the addition of C4 sugars (cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup), a process called "stretching". The Ministry for Primary Industries says it is aware of nine batches of New Zealand honey products that have tested positive overseas for added sugar so far this year. But an MPI spokesperson says re-testing of two batches using a more specific method indicated that at least some of those results were likely to be false positives.



Directors of failed Wellington gas retailer E-Gas are facing $17 million fraud charges, the Serious Fraud Office has announced. Former managing director, Ronald Peter Rosenberg (71) and former general manager, Sydney Lio Hunt (44) each face 41 charges under the Crimes Act relating to the dishonest use of documents. The charges carry a maximum sentence upon conviction of seven years' imprisonment. E-Gas, which had about 7000 customers and sold about 9 per cent of New Zealand's retail gas, was placed in voluntary liquidation in October 2010. According to a statement, the charges allege that E-Gas under-reported its gas consumption by about 950,000 gigajoules worth approximately $8.74m, and penalties were avoided to the value of approximately $8.67m.



NZ Post will launch a free "digital post service", YouPost, this year to let people view, manage and pay bills online and receive some mail electronically. The initiative comes six years after NZ Post pulled the plug on its eBill service which also let people view and pay bills online, because of a lack of uptake. EBill was launched with a fanfare in 1999 and attracted support from 21 utilities and other billers but had only 14,500 users when it closed. NZ Post's digital head, Simone Iles, said YouPost was designed to handle mail-outs as well as bills and she believed it would be different this time round. YouPost would have more bells and whistles, including iPhone and Android app versions, and would better integrate with utilities' existing systems, she said.




Motoring lobbyist the AA has cast doubt on claims by independent fuel retailer Gull that it undercuts rivals on price. In December the AA compared how far 15 litres of regular unleaded petrol would take a 2007 Honda Civic, compared with 15 litres of Gull's E10 petrol, which is 10 per cent ethanol. The Civic travelled 205 kilometres on mineral petrol, or 13.66km a litre, while on the ethanol blend it drove 190km, or 12.66km a litre. Based on an average motorist driving 14,000km a year, the AA said using the biofuel would cost an extra $110 a year. "Not all fuels are created equal and the lowest price is not necessarily the lowest cost in the long run," AA Petrolwatch spokesman Mark Stockdale wrote. Gull managing director Dave Bodger said the test was "unscientific".



Orcon is offering free fibre to consumers, businesses and schools for the rest of the year in a bid to drive customer uptake of the new technology. The internet provider is offering its base Ultra-Fast Broadband service for the rest of the year. After that customers will pay $75 for a monthly plan. For those consumers who sign up to Orcon's free offer, they will be locked-in to contracts. Orcon's home fibre plan has a lock-in period until June 30, 2014 and the business fibre plan has a fixed term until December 31, 2013. Orcon chief executive Scott Bartlett said uptake of fibre was really important for the country and economy, and New Zealand's ability to compete with the rest of the world. Orcon has less than 200 customers on its fibre plan, even though the network is connected to 60,000 premises around the country.



Year 9 students at a Nelson college will be required to bring their own electronic devices to school from next year, in a move the school says will "revolutionise" education. Garin college is making the devices mandatory for students and has suggested four options with price estimates: netbooks at $300 to 500; laptops at $500 to $2000; MacBooks at $1500 to $2500; and iPads at $500 to $800. Principal John Boyce said Garin had been researching the move for about three years, had consulted year-eight parents and was ready to take the plunge. "I believe that if everyone has a computer, the way teachers teach and the way students will learn will be revolutionised."



Insurance major Suncorp has reported a "moderate" increase in the cost of its catastrophe reinsurance cover, which may push household insurance premiums up again after a series of catastrophes pushed up premiums last year. Reinsurers - which effectively underwrite insurance providers against large insurance claims - have continued to tighten the screws after incurring catastrophe-related insured losses of US$76 billion (NZ$95b) worldwide in the first six months of last year. Higher reinsurance rates generally translate into higher premiums for consumers. Suncorp's home insurance premiums rose 13 per cent last financial year, with most other insurers posting similar increases. Suncorp also sells insurance under the Vero, GIO and AAMI brands.



US police have released shocking footage of pedestrians filing past a dead body to get on a bus in Arlington. The video taken from on board a Metrobus bus on July 1 shows bystanders near the bloodied body of a dead or dying man who had been struck by a car minutes earlier. When the bus pulls over at the stop, some of the people file past the man's body to get on board. Though police are on their way, no-one stops to check on the man. One man crosses himself as he gets on the bus, while others look towards the body before paying their fare. Police say they have released the footage as part of a "good faith effort" to get accident witnesses to come forward.



Construction work can start on the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power plant, the government has said, opening the way for a consortium of South Korean companies to build the multi-billion dollar project. In December 2009, the UAE awarded a group led by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) a contract to build four nuclear reactors to meet surging demand for electricity. But Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) has been waiting for the licence before it starts pouring concrete for the first two reactors at the Barakah site. The March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami, prompted countries across the world to reconsider their atomic ambitions. But the UAE's nuclear regulator said its project would avoid mistakes made in Japan.



Clark, who is now head of the United Nations Development Agency, was at the ceremony where India's largest cigarette maker, ITC (formerly Indian Tobacco Company), won the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD) highest prize for improving the environment and removing poverty. The award was supported by her agency. This drew an angry reaction from a leading Indian health advocate who termed it a travesty of justice. In New York, Clark released a statement to explain her position. "I have worked tirelessly throughout my career to achieve a smoke free society in New Zealand, and was, thus, shocked to learn that a World Business Development Award, supported by UNDP, was given to a company which derives a substantial proportion of its profits from tobacco," she said. "Unfortunately the criteria for the World Business Development Awards did not exclude projects implemented by companies from certain sectors like tobacco. This has clearly been a serious oversight." Clark said UNDP would review its rules and regulations and ensure than an incident like it never happened again.



A father's job can increase the risk of his unborn baby having a birth defect, according to new research. Researchers from the University of North Carolina asked more than 10,000 American women what jobs their baby's father held in the three months before conception and during the entire pregnancy. The study found that landscapers and groundskeepers were linked to three types of stomach or intestine defects. Artists were associated with the highest number of defects of the stomach or intestine. Fathers who were exposed to solvents in their line of work, such as artists, pharmacists, electricians, mechanics, nurses, painters and plumbers, were also at greater risk of bearing a child with a birth defect, the study found. These occupations were associated with an increase in birth defects of the eyes, neural tube defects and cleft lip and palate defects. Nearly one third of the occupations, including architects, dentists, entertainers, athletes, firefighters and fishermen, were not linked with any birth defect.



Australian Olympic athletes and officials were taken on a three-hour "Monopoly tour" of London after a bus chartered by Games organisers, with a lost driver behind the wheel, took three hours to travel from Heathrow airport to the Olympic village. Beijing gold medallist Elise Rechichi was among the contingent of Australian sailors on the vehicle that was two hours late to collect the party. It then drove around for hours on what should have been a 45-minute trip, before the driver admitted the East London Games village had not been entered into the GPS navigation system. "The driver just said 'I'm sorry, I'm lost, it's my first day on the job and I'm lost." "We were moving, we were in the Olympic lane and we were going places, we just weren't going where we were supposed to go. "He just said it was his first day in that bus and they hadn't told them how the GPSs worked and that he didn't know how to use it and apparently the Olympic Village hadn't been loaded into the GPS.



A Chinese man who disappeared in Christchurch in 2005 amidst financial problems has been found living in Hawkes Bay under a fake name. Nie, also known as Andrew, was on an expired student visa when he was last seen in Christchurch about May 13, 2005. Detective Sergeant Corey Watts of Wellington CIB said that as a result of an Immigration New Zealand investigation, Nie was taken into custody in Hastings on June 21 under a false name. "His identity has since been confirmed as that of Lei Nie and he is now awaiting deportation to China. Police would like to thank members of the public for their assistance." Nie, who is now aged 32, was understood to have been having financial problems at the time of his disappearance and there had been suggestions he had returned to China.




Today Google launched Street View images of landmarks around the Antarctic, giving people outside the driest continent the ability to view bases that served early explorers. Along with Shackleton's hut, preserved by New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust, the technology shows the exterior of Robert Falcon Scott's hut, the ceremonial South Pole site, the South Pole telescope and the Cape Royds Adelie Penguin Rookery.


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Bankrupt property developer Terry Serepisos' $1.5 million former Roseneath home has been listed for mortgagee sale today. The five-bedroom 1980s house has been listed on TradeMe this morning under the name "King of the castle" to be sold by mortgagee tender. The rateable value of the 420 square metre property at 11 Robieson Street is $1.5m and the rates for the property would cost nearly $7000 a year. Property records show Serepisos paid $840,000 for the property when he bought it in 1997. It has two large living areas, a gym, five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Serepisos was made bankrupt in September owing more than $22m.




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