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News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Destiny Church Could Lose Charity Status

Plus house price growth slows, companies banned from hiring migrant workers for breaching employment laws and Golden Dawn is closing, for real.
Brian Tamaki, leader of Destiny Church. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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Destiny Church Charities Face Deregistration
Two of Destiny Church's charities have been warned they could be deregistered by the Department of Internal Affairs. Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings both failed to file financial returns for 2016 and 2017, and consequently have been issued a Notice of Intention to Remove from the Register. The charities could lose their lose their tax-exempt charitable status if they do not file their returns within 20 working days. The news comes after an RNZ Checkpoint investigation discovered The Destiny School had applied for help from KidsCan to feed and clothe its students despite charging $3,000 a year tuition fees.

Migrant Workers Ban
70 companies have been banned from hiring migrant workers since new rules were put in place in April. The new rules allow companies to be banned from hiring migrant workers for up to 18 months for breaches including not having written employment contracts and underpaying workers. Mainfreight, New Zealand's most extensive freight network, is one of the affected companies, having employed people without legal contracts. Sunny Sehgal, who represents migrant workers, says the new powers are welcome but more inspectors need to catch up, and that the Labour inspectorate needs to hire more staff.


Golden Dawn Closing
Much loved Auckland Live Music Venue Golden Dawn Tavern of Power have announced they will close their doors this coming March. Originally intended to be open just three months, the iconic tavern lasted seven years tucked away on the corner of Ponsonby and Richmond Road, playing host to a who's who of Kiwi musical talent. Golden Dawn entertainment manager Matthew Crawley says he's a bit stunned that he's actually putting this out there for real this time, but is excited for the last six months that are sure to bring plenty of closing shows and events.

House Price Growth Stalls
House price growth is stalling as people wait for the formation of a new government. New data from QV shows house price growth around the country slowing, with the national average increasing by 4.3 percent. Growth in Auckland was even lower, only 0.8 percent for the year, with prices dropping in the last few months. QV national spokesperson David Nagel says the market is waiting on a new government, and that the usual surge in spring listings has not occurred yet.


Trump In No Hurry to Address Gun Laws
US President Donald Trump has said he will look at gun laws in time. U.S. Police are still trying to figure out what drove 64 year old Steven Paddock to fire on an open air festival from the 32nd window of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. Paddock killed 59 people and injured 527, in the worst mass shooting in modern US history. Speaking from the White House on his way to the Presidential helicopter, Trump said the attacker was a "sick and demented" man, and also refused to call the attack domestic terrorism

Catalonia Mounts General Strike
Thousands of people in Catalonia have been involved in an anti-police rally following violent clashes between police and protesters during Sunday's independence referendum. The referendum, which the central government says is illegal, was the culmination of desires for independence in the region, and 900 people were hurt as police tried to prevent the vote. Barcelona police say about 300,000 people took to the streets to protest the violence. Local trade unions have also called a strike, meaning businesses, schools, and transport networks are closed or running at decreased capacity. The Spanish King is expected to speak to the nation on the matter soon.

Egypt Authorities Arrest 22 in LGBT Crackdown
Egyptian authorities have arrested at least 22 people in the past four days as part of a campaign against LGBT people, according to Amnesty International. Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised in Egypt, but authorities regularly arrest suspected homosexuals on charges of debauchery, immorality or blasphemy. The latest crackdown on the LGBT community follows a demonstration at a pop concert last month in which rainbow flags were raised. Six people were charged in connection with the flag raising, and sixteen others have been charged for homosexual activities following the demonstration.

Trump Says Puerto Rico Should be "Proud" of Hurricane Death Toll
American President Donald Trump says Puerto Rico officials should be proud that only 16 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria. Trump compared the effects of the hurricane, which has lead to power outages and loss of drinking water in the American territory, to that of Hurricane Katrina, which claimed 1,833 lives. Trump also joked that Puerto Rico has thrown the budget "a little out of whack" in a briefing with federal and local officials. The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, says that the response in Puerto Rico has been below standard, and has repeatedly asked for more federal assistance.

US Defence Chief Contradicts Trump on Iran Nuclear Deal
US Defence Secretary says the States should consider staying in the Iran nuclear deal, despite President Trump's stated opposition to it. Trump has been repeatedly critical of the deal, which was designed to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and he is to decide by October 15 whether Iran is complying. James Mattis, the Secretary of Defence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the deal "is something that the president should consider staying with" if Iran is living by the agreement. Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only, and that it is abiding by its commitments from the deal.

Reporting by Harry Willis and Reilly Hodson