This story is over 5 years old.

News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Police Send Friendly Texts to Meth Users and Protests Welcome the New H&M

Plus the mystery of a forbidden New Zealand plane at a North Korean airshow.

Beep beep. "It's the police." Image by Jason Devaun via Flickr.


Auckland police are using phone numbers they uncover through meth busts to contact drug users—to offer them help. And a surprising amount of people are taking them up on it. Of the 140 texts police sent out to numbers found in a recent raid, 20 people got directly back to police. Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown told Newshub the scheme is about cutting the number of meth users they may have to deal with in the future, while also gathering intel on dealers.

"It's quite surprising the high percentage of those people actually hadn't had anything to do with the police until they received our e-text, and so I think it was a bit of a wakeup call," said Det Snr Sgnt Brown.


The New Zealand-made plane at Wosan Air Festival in North Korea, image via YouTube.

New Zealand Plane Puts on a Surprise Display at a North Korean Airshow

A New Zealand plane manufacturer is trying to figure out what one of its planes was painted up in military colours at the first ever North Korean airshow. There are strict UN sanctions against exports to North Korea. Damian Camp, chief executive of Hamilton-based Pacific Aerospace told the New Zealand Herald the 10-seater plane, which is used for skydiving, was sold to a Chinese company several months ago. "I'm interested to find out more detail on it," said Camp. "We're going to find out what the detail is there. It's certainly nothing to do with us we've got no involvement with it. We're well aware of the restrictions into that part of the world—we're not interested in cutting across any of those."

H&M opens it doors in Auckland. Image via Facebook.

H&M is Welcomed to New Zealand by Crowds and Protest

Swedish retailer first New Zealand store opened at Auckland's Sylvia Park mall on Saturday, greeted by hundreds of shoppers and a group of sit-in protesters demonstrating against the fast fashion company's exploitative employment practices. Last month, a report by the Washington-based Workers Rights Consortium revealed hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi workers were making H&M garments in dangerous conditions. Demonstrators sat in front of the store with tape across their mouths holding signs saying "We are here to represent the silenced voices of the workers". Protest organiser and university student Julie Cleaver told ONE News that they "want to educate people that H&M's practices aren't aligned with New Zealand values". Sylvia Park reported visitor numbers were up 20 percent on an average Saturday.


New "One People" Campaign Launched Against "Maori Favouritism"

Don Brash (remember him?), former Governor of the Reserve Bank, former Leader of the National Party and former leader of ACT, has launched an "anti-separatist" campaign against "Maori favouritism" in the lead up to the 2017 election. The campaign, backed by a group of academics, businesspeople and activists is designed to put pressure on politicians to oppose policies that gives preferential treatment to Maori. It is named Hobson's Pledge, after the first governor of New Zealand Captain William Hobson, and his statement upon signing the Treaty of Waitangi that "we are now one people". Just to clear it up if it sounds a bit racist, there is a disclaimer on the pledge's website declaring: "We are not in any sense anti-Maori". Brash told Stuff the catalyst for the campaign was a number of government policies which would "create a constitutional preference for those with a Maori ancestor", such as proposed changes to the Resource Management Act to require iwi involvement. Neither Labour, National, nor Act, supported the campaign. Maori broadcaster Hone Harawira described the lobbying as "racist" saying a scan of "Maori privileges" shows exactly how Maori are getting on. "Housing, badly. Employment, badly. Health, badly. Education, badly. Prison, badly. Need I carry on?"

New GST on digital products means New Zealanders are paying more for watching shows like The Get Down on Netflix. Image Netflix.

The "Netflix Tax" Just Came In

New Zealanders are now paying a little more for online movies, music and e-books, with the introduction of GST on digital items. The 15 percent tax applies to products from overseas companies like Apple, Netflix and Adobe. Hopes that the companies would absorb the extra cost look unlikely. Netflix has announced it will increase it's pricing from the end of the month. Deloitte tax specialist Allan Bullot told the NZ Herald the change brought New Zealand up to speed with the rest of the world and would mean extra income for the Government. "That's something where back in 1986 when [GST] came in, no one would have dreamed that you would be waling around with a phone in your pocket that you could download songs and movies on."

A 17-year-old has been charged for a brutal attack on Nancy Voon, 65. Image supplied.

Youth Offending is Getting So Much More Violent

Five 16 year olds were charged with armed robbery after brandishing axes and metal bars during a raid on an electronic store on the North Shore. A 17-year-old charged with aggravated robbery after a brutal attack on a 65-year-old woman. A 14-year-old charged after a 62-year-old woman suffered a serious head injury during a carjacking attack. Police are concerned at the growing trend of violent offences carried out by young people. While overall youth offending rates have fallen, the number of 14 to 16-year-olds committing medium to high-level violent offending has increased to 29 percent from 25 percent in 2010. National Youth Manager Inspector Ross Lienert told RNZ, "It's important that we acknowledge youth offending has dropped something like 50 percent in the last five years—but the sector has been struggling with the more serious ends of crimes—it is concerning." Inspector Lienert said the offenders often came from "shocking backgrounds" brought up with family violence, drugs and alcohol.

And here's some of what's been going on at VICE NZ.


Is Rugby A 'Get Out of Jail Free Card' In New Zealand?

Just how many more times are we going to hear of rugby players like Wellington winger Losi Filipo getting off serious charges because a conviction "would be a significant barrier to a professional sporting career"?


There's only one week left to get your voting forms in so we've put together all youneed to know.

'I Thought My Baby Was a Little Horse": Kiwi Women Who Tripped After Giving Birth

Hallucinations and delirium caused by hospital-administered drugs after childbirth are rare, but can happen.

Kiwis Try to Convince Australians They Should Give a Shit About the TPPA

"Australians don't give a shit about anything other than AFL, NRL, beer, and being righteously angry about subjects they don't understand."

The White Lady is Where Burger Heaven and History Collide

It seems like every Aucklander has a story about The White Lady, the family owned, late-night street food icon now in its third generation.