Home' Greymouth Star : April 23rd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Thursday, April 23, 2015
Air New Zealand is on the hunt for
hundreds of extra flight attendants as its
growth surges for the rest of the year.
Managers are running mass recruiting
headquarters on weekends to find up to 300
more cabin crew to help staff more domestic
and international flights, Air New Zealand
chief operations officer Bruce Parton said.
About 100 hopefuls at a time were
undergoing screening on Saturdays for
positions, he said.
The airline would normally recruit 200
extra flight attendants a year, but to fill extra
positions 450 to 500 new staff were being
“The growing pains are very real,” Mr
Parton said. “It’s a good issue to have —
growth is good and it’s a matter of making
sure we (recruit) professionally and well.”
The airline will add 12% available seat
kilometres to its network over the remainder
of the year.
International growth is strong into Asia
as a result of the resumption of flying to
Singapore and it will start flights three
times a week to Buenos Aires in December
at the same time as its newly-announced
Houston ser vice of up to five times a week.
On Tuesday it announced extra flights to
Fiji over summer, using a Dreamliner from
November to March, which would add 8000
more seats than last year.
It has also released figures on expanded
domestic plans where it is spending
$1.2 billion in new domestic jet and
Although the airline is pulling out of
some regional routes from next week it said
it would increase its overall total domestic
capacity by more than 650,000 seats in the
coming financial year.
Increased flight frequencies and the
domestic jet fleet transition from Boeing
737s to new larger A320 aircraft were behind
the growth on the Auckland, Wellington,
Christchurch and Queenstown routes.
Mr Parton said that with flight attendants
the size of the pool of recruits was not an
issue. “ We’re not finding a lack of potential
candidates, the key is to keep our standards
up,” he said.
“ We’re going after people who have the
X factor, who we think will continue to
deliver the customer ethos we think is so
important for us.”
The airline is scheduled to add 10 new
aircraft to its fleet this financial year and
he said this provided opportunities for
“ We need more leaders on the plane and
that means those people who joined us three
or four years ago have got opportunities for
Mr Parton said expansion would help the
airline achieve economies of scale. “All of
those things are good at at-cost level. We can
spread infrastructure costs across more flights
so that ’s good for a business. ”
Finding pilots was not an issue yet, Mr
Parton said. The looming closure of Eagle
Air meant some of those pilots were being
retrained for bigger turboprop planes and
others were graduating to jets. “ We have a
plan to bring more regional pilots into the jets.
“Not all pilots want to fly jets and we’re
pleased if they stay and offer longevity in
the regions as well but where we can offer
opportunity to move through we do that.”
The expansion of long-haul routes also
meant a big marketing and sales push
overseas in co-operation with Tourism New
Chief executive Christopher Luxon’s
emphasis on demand-led growth had become
embedded, Mr Parton said. “ What you’re
seeing is a much more professional approach
to markets — one of the things Christopher
has brought to us is a very disciplined
approach to selling in new markets.”
Long-haul routes cost hundreds of millions
of dollars to set up and they could lose money
as quickly as they made it if airlines did not
get the demand equation right, Mr Parton
said. — N ZM E-New Zealand Herald
Drive for Air NZ cabin staff
Airline on the hunt for 450-500 more flight attendants
The landscape of war will be
re-created in an on-line game of
Minecraft this year that will appeal
to all ages.
The Gallipoli in Minecraft
exhibition at Auckland Museum
opens tomorrow and runs until
A virtual world re-creating the
1915 Gallipoli landscape in the
popular game of Minecraft will be
downloadable from Anzac Day.
Auckland Museum school
programmer Wendy Burne said
it would be an inter-generational
“Minecraft, as a lot of parents
know, is a very popular game and
kids react very strongly to it.
“ We’re hoping a meeting of two
worlds will happen. A grandparent
could go through with their young
grandchild who is familiar with
Minecraft but then there’ ll be objects
and photographs the older person
can talk to in the conversation.”
A lot of thought had gone into
keeping the virtual world tasteful so
it was not trivialising the horrors of
war, Ms Burne said.
The game setting was based on the
New Zealand soldier experience and
included Anzac Cove as well as Cape
Helles, Ms Burne said.
“I think it ’s the complete opposite
of taking it lightly. It ’s drawing on
something that ’s popular and using it
as a tool to help teach people.
“It ’s about landmarks and structures
and everything has been informed by
the New Zealand soldier experience.
It ’s always been built with that in
mind, in that way.”
Ms Burne approached Alfriston
College students to help create
the virtual world after seeing kids’
reactions when Minecraft was
mentioned in the museum’s past
The students looked at maps,
photos, diary entries and letters to
create the on-line landscape.
The game’s simplicity will make it
an invaluable tool for schools and
individuals, Ms Burne said.
Resources used to create the
Gallipoli in Minecraft game
setting will feature in the museum
exhibition to make people feel as
if they are within the virtual world
itself, she said.
“It ’s virtual lego. It ’s very simple but
I think that ’s what ’s really appealing.
It allows this freedom. You can build
wherever your imagination goes.”
Go to aucklandmuseum.com/
minecraft for more information.
Gallipoli given Minecraft makeover
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
An Asian radio advert is boasting
that property investors can get New
Zealanders to “go to work for you and
give you hundreds of dollars a week”
in rent in Auckland’s overheated
The advert, aired amid 1960s classic
hits on Singaporean radio station
90.5 Gold, sells Auckland as ‘an
investors’ dream’ with no land tax,
stamp duty or capital gains tax.
And with the added bonus of New
Zealanders paying half their week’s
wages into an investor’s pocket.
It starts by asking listeners: “How
would you like people in New
Zealand to give you around half their
weekly wages?” “Now if you happen
to own an apartment in Auckland,
New Zealand, the high rent returns,
other people’s money — around half
a week’s pay for most people — could
be paid to you as rent every week,” the
New Zealand man’s voice continues.
“ Now many people invest in
Auckland because of the high
demand for rents. There’s no stamp
duty, no land tax, and within New
Zealand, generally no capital gains
tax either. It ’s an investors dream, and
“New apartments in the centre
of Auckland can be purchased for
as little as $390,000 — that ’s right
$390,000. And with as little as $2000
initial deposit you can secure one
today for yourself as an investment.”
It ends by asking interested investors
to call a number “if the idea of having
people in New Zealand going to
work for you, giving you hundreds
of dollars a week, paying for your
apartment appeals to you — and I’m
sure it does”.
A user on Sound Cloud, who
posted the audio of the advert, said
it “encourages investment in to NZ
for bargain basement rates that
others cannot access”.
News of the advert has prompted
opposition parties to hit out at the
Government, blasting an unregulated
property market for creating an “open
invitation to the world’s property
Labour’s housing spokesman Phil
Twyford claimed the Singaporean
advert was also being played in
Malaysia and Queensland.
“ We can’t blame overseas property
companies or investors for Auckland’s
housing crisis. Why shouldn’t they
cash in on our Government ’s open
invitation to the world’s property
speculators?,” he said.
“The Government must take action
in this year’s Budget that will lead
to more houses being built and
c lamp down on property speculators.
Other wise John Key ’s legacy will
be a generation locked out of home
ownership.” Green Party housing
spokesman Kevin Hague said New
Zealand was becoming an ‘easy mark’
for overseas property speculators
hoping to make a quick buck.
“These cashed-up non-resident
buyers must think New Zealand and
the National Government are easy
marks,” Mr Hague said.
“They can come here, score a bunch
of properties, pay no capital gains
tax and charge a premium for rent
and they know John Key and his
Government will do nothing to stop
Zealanders are having to pay those
rapidly rising rents, and they ’re being
completely priced out of ever owning
their own homes.” He called on the
Government to “urgently tighten our
overseas investment laws to prevent
this from continuing for years and
years to come”.
It comes off the back of a new
affordability study which found
Auckland was now 49% less
affordable that the rest of the country
the largest gap in the Massey
Home Affordability Report’s 25 year
While figures from the most
recent quarter — December 2014
to February 2015 — showed an
improvement in affordability across
New Zealand of 6%, Auckland and
three other regions bucked that trend.
“ When you look at the past 12
months, houses in Auckland are now
over 22% less affordable while, for
the country as a whole, the annual
deterioration in affordability is only
10.4%,” report author Professor Paul
“These figures underline the ongoing
two-track housing experience of New
Zealanders.” O ver the past year the
10.4% fall in affordability had been
driven by a modest 3.6% rise in house
prices and a 0.5% rise in interest rates,
which outstripped the 2.3% increase
in the average weekly wage.
“ But the situation in Auckland is
quite different — wages actually rose
at less than the national average while
the median house price rose by a
substantial 14%, or $83,000,” he said.
“The recent improvement in
affordability in many regions
really accentuates the high costs in
Auckland. O ur largest city is now
49% less affordable that the rest of
the country — and that ’s a larger gap
than we’ve had at any other time in
the 25-year history of the Massey
Home Affordability Report.” This
divergence was likely to continue
throughout 2015, he said. — N Z ME
Asian radio advert calls
Auckland ‘an investors’ dream’
The son of Christchurch’s infamous
Black Widow has narrowly avoided jail for
possessing a gun he claimed was to protect
him from his mother.
Adam Kearns, the son of convicted murderer
Helen Milner, appeared in the Christchurch
District Court yesterday afternoon.
He earlier pleaded guilty to a representative
charge of selling the class A drug cannabis,
possession of cannabis, and unlawful
possession of a firearm.
Judge David Saunders accepted his
disturbing upbringing had led him into a life
of crime, but that was no longer a licence to
flout the law.
He sentenced him to eight months of home
detention, 150 hours of community work,
and ordered him to undertake psychological
Kearns, 23, was arrested in an armed raid in
the east of Christchurch in November after
police suspected he was dealing drugs.
He told police he had the gun because his
mother, who is ser ving a life sentence for the
murder of her second husband Phil Nisbet,
had wanted him killed.
“My old lady is paying for a hit to be put on
me,” he said at his first court appearance.
The police summary of facts said Kearns was
at his Southshore home with two friends on
November 21 last year when they caught him
Kearns sold some marijuana to an associate
who was stopped by police soon after leaving
the address about 1.20pm.
Officers found him in possession of 11 large
sandwich bags amounting to about 300g of
Ten minutes later, a female associate walked
out of Kearns’ house and was found with 96g
of cannabis leaf that she admitted buying from
him for $1400.
Another man was caught buying a $20
“tinnie” about 1.50pm.
Kearns left the house with two females 10
minutes later and was swooped on by police.
A warrantless search of his house was
conducted by police under the Search and
Surveillance Act 2012.
A cut down single-barrelled sawn-off
shotgun was found in a black backpack inside
his wardrobe. Kearns does not hold a firearms
Also in the wardrobe was a 20-litre plastic
bucket containing nine sandwich bags of
“good quality dried cannabis head ” weighing
A large supermarket bag was also in the
bucket with a further 174g of similar-quality
cannabis, which had not been packaged for
In explanation, Kearns admitted joint
custody of the firearm, stating he had it for
his own safety. He owned up to selling the
cannabis, the summary said.
In November, Kearns — who testified
against his mother in her murder trial last year
— won $55,000 from Milner after she framed
him and put him behind bars.
Milner admitted per verting the course of
justice and was jailed for two years and eight
months when she sent herself death threats
and claimed they were from her son.
Kearns was arrested and spent 18 days in
custody, including his 19th birthday, while it
is alleged that police took 13 days to carry out
a search warrant which would eventually clear
An appeal to the Supreme Court against her
convictions was recently dismissed.
At the sentencing, Kearns’s lawyer Clare
Hislop told Judge Saunders that Kearns was
selling the drugs “to raise money to get out of
She said he had the unloaded gun for
intimidation while selling drugs, and also as
Police accepted a conversation took place
informing Kearns of alleged threats, but could
not take the matter further because there was
a lack of credible witnesses.
Ms Hislop said his difficult and disturbing
upbringing was well known, which has seen
him become a victim, witness and defendant
against his own mother, but he now had a
supportive partner, family and employer to get
his life back on track.
Judge Saunders told him he now had a
chance to put his past behind him, and use the
support he now has to build a better future.
Black Widow’s son narrowly avoids jail
Two and a half million New
month, it has been revealed for the first
The first statistical breakdown of
how New Zealanders use the social
media service was revealed in Auckland
Called Kiwis on Facebook, the
presentation showed 1.9 million New
Zealanders used Facebook each day, on
an average of 14 times per day.
Head of Facebook New Zealand,
Spencer Bailey, said it was the first piece
of in-market research revealed here.
A Facebook spokeswoman said
insights were typically only given in
larger markets, but the business was
expanding its investment here.
In the past, New Zealand was usually
included with Australian statistic so the
information was a unique snapshot of
New Zealanders’ on-line activity.
About a dozen representatives from
digital media organisations attended
the event in central Auckland.
Globally, 1.4 billion people were on
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
Two and a half million
NZers use Facebook
A Bay of Plenty man has been
sentenced to 10 months’ home detention
after he used backpackers’ and other
tourists’ IRD numbers to file false PAYE
Inland Revenue’s group manager
of investigations and advice, Patrick
Goggin, said Harjinder Singh ripped off
taxpayers for more than $260,000 after
claiming backpackers and other tourists
he hired as temporary workers on his
kiwifruit farm were still employed by
The 36-year-old was sentenced at
Hamilton District Court yesterday after
pleading guilty to 16 charges of PAYE
“The wage figures Singh submitted
to us for the temporary workers were
higher than they should have been,” Mr
“He hired them as temporary workers
but after they had moved jobs or left
New Zealand, Singh continued to use
their IRD numbers to put through
portions of his permanent staff ’s wages.
“Singh’s actions were selfish and
posed a real risk. He logged some of the
permanent staff ’s wages under the IRD
numbers of the temporary workers who
no longer worked for him. This means,
by using the wrong IRD numbers,
Singh could have helped his permanent
staff to defraud the system by effectively
reducing their declared income.
This could have led to staff members
getting more family assistance tax credits
than they were entitled to, or reducing
the amount of child support they may
have had to pay.
“Singh could also have misused the
numbers to employ and pay illegal
immigrants,” he said.
Inland Revenue was contacted by a
handful of backpackers concerned they
had been taxed on money they had not
“ We acted quickly to stop Singh and
help the additional 120 victims we also
identified whose IRD numbers were
likely to have been misused,” Mr Goggin
“ Where applicable, we have refunded
any overpaid tax.
“Inland Revenue takes criminal activity
like this seriously. There’s always a small
minority who will try and cheat honest
taxpayers out of money that pays for
ser vices like our schools and hospitals.
“Some backpackers whose IRD
numbers were ripped off are worried
they won’t be able to return to New
Zealand due to Singh’s actions causing
possible breaches to their work visa.
“Protecting our customers’ identities
from misuse is something Inland
Revenue takes seriously. It’s important
we all protect our IRD number the best
we can and treat it with the same secrecy
as our banking pin number,” he said.
Inland Revenue has recovered the
$262,458 Singh owed.
— NZ ME-Bay of Plenty Times
tourists’ IRD numbers
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