News of Zealand

News of Zealand: Legendary Owner of Kings Arms Has Died

Maureen Gordon ran the beloved Auckland live music venue for 30 years, plus the Hippocratic Oath is amended and pardon sought for Urewera raid charges.
October 15, 2017, 10:45pm
A night at the Kings Arms. Image by Petrs Jane

Everything you need to know about the world today, curated by 95bFM and VICE NZ.


Kings Arms Owner Dies
Only months away from its final performance, the Kings Arms Tavern has lost its matriarch. The announcement that Maureen Gordon, who owned the venue for more than 30 years, had passed away appeared on the venue's Facebook page late last night. Gordon grew up in the hospitality industry and owned multiple bars over her life in New Zealand and Australia. After the death of her husband Peter in the 90s she sold up to concentrate solely on the Kings Arms Tavern—one of Auckland's most infamous live venues. Earlier this year the venue was sold and will host its final performance next February.

NZ Doctor's Amendment to Hippocratic Oath Ratified
A New Zealand doctor's amendment to the modern Hippocratic Oath sworn by all doctors has been ratified unanimously by the World Medical Association. Dr Sam Hazeldine, from Queenstown, opted to amend the Oath to ensure it takes into account the health of doctors themselves, as well as patients. Previously, the declaration contained no such provision relating to personal care. The move followed rising suicide rates among practicing Doctors, Hazeldine says, with a recent survey indicating half of all New Zealand GPs are either burnt-out or approaching it. The amendment was ratified in Chicago on yesterday morning.


Departing Environment Commissioner Warns NZ Needs to Do More
The outgoing Parliamentary Commissioner for the environment has released a report warning New Zealanders that more needs to be done about climate change for future generations. The Emissions Trading Scheme was introduced 10 years ago, showing few results, and with the Paris Agreement obligations ever looming closer there is clear cause for change. The Commissioner, Dr Jan Wright, spoke to 95bFM saying that climate legislation should be consistent throughout parliamentary terms to benefit future generations. "This is the issue for [the current] generation…The great thing about setting it up like the UK law it takes a lot of the politics out because you can't do this in a three-year political term. You need a process that stands generations." Wright has been Commissioner for 10 years and Simon Upton will take over the position shortly.

New Zealand First to Discuss Next Government Today
Members of the New Zealand First party will meet today in Wellington to decide who will form the next government. Proposals from both the National and Labour parties will be deliberated, along with nine different possibilities for the structure of the new government. Formal discussions with the two major parties concluded on Thursday, followed by New Zealand First MPs meeting on Friday with New Zealand First touching base with both major parties over the weekend to clarify some policy details. Party leader Winston Peters has not determined when the decision will be made public as it will depend on the outcome of today's meeting.


Marae Caught in a Nationwide Leadership Crisis
As elders pass away, there are fewer Māori able to whaikōrero—make a formal speech. Māori leaders believe the young generation's disconnection with the culture and language is partly responsible for these dwindling numbers. They insist more effort needs to be put into normalising te reo, and giving more resources to the country's marae. A 2009 report already showed that 30 percent of marae were struggling with insufficient numbers of speakers.

Men Charged for Urewera Terror Raids Seek Pardon
Two men who were sent to prison following the 2007 Urewera terror raids are seeking a pardon by way of royal prerogative of mercy. Tame Iti and Rangiakaiwhiria Kemara were charged with illegal possession of firearms together with allegations of terrorism. The raids were deemed to be unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable by an Independent Police Conduct Authority in 2014. Iti and Kemara are currently discussing the proceedings with their lawyers.

Auckland to Restrict Late-Night Booze Sales, But Keep Breakfast Availability
Changes to Auckland's local alcohol laws don't go far enough, according to the Alcohol Healthwatch group. Auckland Council is changing its provisional Local Alcohol Policy. If enforced, the new law could force bottle shops to close at 9 PM instead of 11 PM. However, the Council decided to maintain the morning's opening hours, with shops still allowed to open from 7 AM. For Alcohol Healthwatch head Nicki Jackson, this early start may result in more temptation for people battling alcohol abuse or dependence. It would also expose children to alcohol marketing and advertising. Finally, Jackson advocates for a ban on selling single cans and bottles.



More than 230 Dead after Somalia's Bomb Attack
At least 230 people died a deadly blast in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday. Another 100 civilians were wounded when a truck with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel. Local residents reported scenes of chaos and said they have never seen anything like the scene. This bomb attack is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since an Islamic insurgency began in 2007 in the country. There is still no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

Up to 10 tropical Cyclones Could hit the Pacific Within Six Months
Climate scientists warn that the Pacific could be hit by up to 10 tropical cyclones before April. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research issued a forecast for November to April next year that predicts 8-10 tropical cyclones anywhere across the Southwest Pacific. Communities are advised to follow forecast information and be vigilant, especially in the peak cyclone period from January to March.

Rex Tillerson Denies 'Castration' from Trump
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is working hard to combat the perception that his relationship with President Donald Trump has collapsed. A Republican senator said this weekend that the President is 'castrating' his Secretary of State. Speaking on American TV, Tillerson denied his relationship is fractured or that he called the President a 'moron', something which has been widely reported. However, he did say Trump is a very 'unique president'. Tillerson said the US wished to remain in the Iran nuclear deal and denied that China was confused about its North Korea policy, saying diplomatic manoeuvres would continue until the first bomb drops.

North Korea Warns Australia of 'Disaster' Over US Support
North Korea has threatened Australia for aligning itself with South Korea and the United States. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met her South Korean counterpart last week, to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes. The Pyongyang regime says Australia has made a dangerous move siding with the US's military, economic and diplomatic pressure. Such a behaviour could even result in a "disaster", according to North Korean officials. Julie Bishop slammed the threats, saying it would only strengthen Australia's desire to find a "peaceful solution" to tensions in the Korean peninsula.

Reporting by Stewart Sowman-Lund, Jean Bell and Lisa Boudet.