Junior Doctor Makes Drunken Night Time Rounds
A patient at Waikato Hospital was woken at 4am on Saturday morning by a doctor drunkenly coming into his room, calling him a "faggot" and saying he thought about hanging himself over the stress of his job. Robert Pere Williams, 22, recorded the encounter with the junior doctor on his phone because, he told Stuff, he thought no one would believe him if he didn't. "First I wanted to punch this c… in the head. Then I was a bit concerned for myself and then for him," said Williams, who has the progressive genetic disease cystic fibrosis and is regularly in hospital for treatment. "He was super pissed," he said. "And crying and telling me all about my case and how he had been thinking about it all day."
Lower Hutt Woman Gets a Measly $6500 for Butt Tattoo
In market news, the value of butt tattoo advertising space has plunged in the last four years. Bailey Price, a 20-year-old surf shop worker from Lower Hutt put a 9cm by 9cm patch of her skin on TradeMe to raise funds to "clear debts". "Sir" Ivan Wilzig, a 60-year-old covers singer from Miami, who specialises in dance remakes of 60s and 70s hits, won the bidding at $6,500. Bailey said she was "super happy" with the sale price, but it was significantly lower than the last time a New Zealand woman – also from Lower Hutt – auctioned butt space online. Strip chain Calendar Girls paid $12,000 to have their logo tattooed on Tina "Butt from the Hutt" Beznec in 2012. Bailey does get a five-day trip to Miami in January to get the tattoo, all expenses paid by Wilzig.
Slavery is happening 'right in our backyards'
A new report has revealed widespread exploitation right here in New Zealand. The study, Worker exploitation in New Zealand: a troubling landscape, found that both migrant and New Zealand-born workers in key industries such as construction, hospitality and horticulture were working excessive hours (up to 18-hour shifts and 80-90 hour weeks), while receiving no pay or severe under-payment. Some temporary migrants were earning as little as $4-$5 an hour and the report also found that workers weren't receiving entitlements such as employment contracts and holiday pay.
Dr Christina Stringer, a researcher from the University of Auckland Business School said that the industries involved formed the lifeblood of New Zealand's economy. She interviewed 105 people over two years, the majority of whom were men aged in their 20s to 40s, and said that as well as being a serious human rights issue, findings of worker exploitation puts New Zealand's reputation at risk.
Peter Mihaere, CEO of NGO Stand Against Slavery, said that the research was just the beginning, but it was clear that solutions need to be put in place as soon as possible. "This shows that slavery isn't something that's happening 'over there'—it's right in our backyards. For our economy and international reputation's sake—and the sake of all the vulnerable people caught up in this—we need to act now."
Earthquake Damaged Roads to Kaikoura Finally Reopen This Week
The main road to Kaikoura is due to open on Wednesday, just in time for some much needed Christmas holiday traffic to the tourist town. State Highway 1 between Kaikoura and Cheviot has been cut off since November's 7.8 magnitude earthquake buried the road under 29 slips. The only way into the town was by once-a-day convoys along the inland route via Mount Lyford. That road has also been cleared, and fully reopens today. The coastal railway line remain closed for much longer, taking an estimated 12 months and up to $2 billion to rebuild.
Bill English Announces His New Cabinet
Bill English finished off his first week as New Zealand's Prime Minister with a cabinet reshuffle. Judith Collins, English's most vocal challenger for the country's leadership who used the opportunity to lobby for more police officers, has had the Police and Corrections portfolios taken off her. English insists it's not a demotion to replace them with the Revenue, Energy and Resources, and Ethnic Affairs but it's been seen as a move to keep her out of the limelight and make it more difficult to build a public following.
The reshuffle was made easier for English by ministers Craig Foss and Sam Lotu-Iiga following John Key's lead and already announcing plans to resign.
Simon Bridges didn't suffer any penalty from challenging Paula Bennett for the deputy leadership. He rises to number four in cabinet and becomes Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Communication as well as retaining his existing role as Minister of Transport.