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News of Zealand

News of Zealand: the First Kiwi Olympic Medal at Rio and the Latest on the Chiefs Rugby Stripper Scandal

Also, David Bain gets nearly a million dollars but the Government won't say he's innocent, Helen Clark might not rule the UN after all and the sad tale of a lost baby orca.
August 8, 2016, 12:00am

Natalie Rooney is New Zealand's first medal winner at Rio. Image via Olympics New Zealand.

Timaru Shooter's Surprise Silver Puts New Zealand on the Medal Table at Rio
New Zealand trap shooter Natalie Rooney has won New Zealand's first medal in Rio, making her the second Kiwi to ever receive a shooting medal. The Timaru athlete was only just beaten by Australia's Catherine Skinner. Despite an early lead that saw Rooney with a two-shot advantage, Rooney struggled to follow through and settled for silver. "I would have liked gold but just to make that gold medal match was amazing," she said.

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A Stripper Has Called out Chiefs Rugby Players Over Bad Behaviour, But so Far She's the Only One Facing Consequences
A stripper speaking out over alleged abuse by members of the Chiefs has ignited a national discussion on consent. Scarlette was hired to perform for the players at end-of-season celebration at Okoroire Hot Pools, near Matamata. She told Radio New Zealand that players touched her inappropriately, chanted lewdly, and threw gravel at her. Chiefs boss Andrew Flexman responded to the claims by blaming Scarlette. "You have got to remember this is one person's accusation and her standing in the community and culpability is not beyond reproach." He later apologised. Margaret Comer from Gallagher Group, a major Chiefs sponsor, also made a highly regrettable response: "If a woman takes her clothes off and walks around in a group of men, what are we supposed to do if one of them tries to touch her."

The Chiefs are conducting an inquiry into the allegations along with the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Players' Association. That inquiry is being widened after a second stripper who performed at the Chiefs' end-of-season party last year came forward with a very similar abuse accusation.

The owner of Auckland agency Strippers R Us told Stuff that Scarlett had been removed from their books because she offered the team "extras," breaching their "no touching" rule.

David Bain after he was proven innocent in 2009. Image via.

No Compensation for David Bain
The murder case that divided the nation has reached a "pragmatic" conclusion with Justice Minister Amy Adams denying David Bain compensation for the 13 years he wrongfully spent in prison. Adams did, however, authorise an ex gratia—or goodwill—payment of $925,000 to Bain "in the interests of bringing closure to the long-running claim."

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Bain has spent the last seven years seeking compensation after he was re-tried for the murders of his parents, brother, and two sisters in 2009 and found not guilty of the slaughter that took place in Every St, Dunedin in 1994. A report by retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge Ian Binnie pointed to David's father Robin as the probable killer and recommended Bain be paid compensation. That wasn't to be after then-Justice Minister Judith Collins ordered a review of the report. The decision to not award compensation is based on a subsequent report by retired Australian Judge Ian Callinan finding that Bain was not innocent "on the balance of probabilities."

Bain has accepted the ex gratia payment, putting an end to the claim, but continues to maintain his innocence.

Helen Clark at the UN last month. Image via.

Helen Clark's Slips Down the Rankings for Top UN Job
The likelihood of the next United Nations Secretary-General being a woman is looking slim, and the chances of that woman being Helen Clark is even slimmer. New Zealand's former Prime Minister slipped down the rankings in the latest straw poll of Security Council members. Clark dropped from sixth to seventh place in the second secret ballot.

The result landed the same week that the Maori Party refused to support Clark's candidacy. Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said Clark had a poor track record when it came to respecting the rights of indigenous people, highlighting the Tuhoe raids and controversial foreshore and seabed legislation.

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Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is leading in the poll, ahead of Serbian candidate Vuk Jeremic. The highest ranked woman is Argentina's Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra. Clark tweeted she was disappointed with the result and would be discussing it over the coming days. We do know for sure that there won't be an Australian leading the organisation either. The Guardian reported Kevin Rudd was in a "cold fury" after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to endorse Rudd's candidacy, saying he was not suitable for the role.

A Young Orca Lost in Tauranga Harbour has Died
An abandoned orca that spent 20 days separated from its pod in Tauranga harbour has died despite the best efforts of Department of Conservation experts and volunteers. Nicknamed Bob, the orca was estimated to be between six months and a year old. The Orca Tactical Response Group made a last-ditch attempt to save the orca by relocating it to a seawater pool and feeding it electrolytes. Rescuers had hoped the young orca would be adopted by a passing pod. "Rescue and release of an orca this young would have been a world first," Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said in a Government press release. "The chances of success were always slim." Orcas are totally reliant on their pods for food during their young years so cannot survive independently. The calf died in the arms of his carers and has been buried on an island overlooking the ocean.

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