Home' Greymouth Star : May 13th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 5
NZ troops start Iraq mission
New Zealand soldiers have arrived at Camp
Taji in Iraq to begin their deployment, the
Defence Force has confirmed.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General
Tim Keating said yesterday the deployment
was now in place at the military base north
of Baghdad, and was preparing to train Iraqi
Mr Keating said the training would cover a
broad range of individual and organisational
military skills, including basic weapons
“It also includes the planning of operations,
and medical and logistics support to
operations,” he said in a statement.
He said a comprehensive training strategy
was designed ahead of the deployment by a
team of specialists included linguists, security
force assistance, training evaluation and
“ irregular warfare”.
“The New Zealand contingent will
emphasise and model the profession of arms
behaviours, demonstrating how a modern
and professional defence force operates.”
New Zealand is deploying 143 troops to
the region in a non-combat role for the battle
against the Islamic State (Isis), for what is
expected to be a two-year deployment.
It is part of a combined mission with the
Australian Defence Force to help improve
the abilities of the Iraqi military.
Government has been reluctant to reveal the
troops’ movements, and has been criticised
for its lack of transparency about the mission.
Prime Minister John Key revealed two
weeks ago that the soldiers were staying in
Dubai ahead of their deployment.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said
last week said that most of the soldiers were
in Iraq, and the mission was expected to
officially begin this week.
The NZDF said that as well as the main
contingent in Taji, which included force
protection for the trainers, there were several
other Defence Force staff in other locations
“ For reasons of operational security, NZDF
will not be releasing exact numbers or
locations of personnel,” the statement said.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
New streaming services stretch telco networks
Lightbox, Netflix and other
video-on -demand ser vices are
causing network congestion
that could hasten the pick-up of
ser vice True Net says an explosion
of video-on -demand streaming
ser vices has caused isolated
congestion with speeds dropping
and even some buffering. It says
indications are that the problem
was worse in April.
Telcos such as Spark say as
consumers pick up video-on -
demand ser vices like Lightbox,
Neon and Netflix, upgrading
to faster, uncapped broadband
packages, it will put more
demands on broadband speeds.
Figures from Spark yesterday
reveal the huge increase in data
use with the average home going
from 42.5GB in February to
55GB in April — an increase of
29%. The jump coincides with
Spark’s special deal providing
free Lightbox streaming to Spark
Xtra broadband customers and
the arrival of Netflix, which has
shows including Marco Polo,
with both offering free trial deals.
Most in the telecommunications
sector expect the video explosion
to continue as people turn to the
internet for their television.
Spark home mobile and
business chief executive Chris
Quin said there was a big shift
in lifestyle and New Zealanders
were taking up faster and
unlimited broadband plans.
IDC analyst Peter Wise said
ultra-fast broadband, which is
available to 500,000 homes, was
Telecoms commentator Peter
Griffin said video was always
“the killer application” for UFB
Chorus’s Nathan Beaumont
said March had been the second-
biggest month to date for UFB
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
New rules prompt call for courthouse rethink
New earthquake rules deeming Dunedin
a low risk ought to prompt a rethink on
Dunedin’s historic courthouse, city lawyer
Anne Stevens says.
The courthouse is closing indefinitely at
the end of this week amid uncertainty about
when long-signalled strengthening will be
Yesterday was the last judicial sitting in the
courthouse, and Judge Stephen Coyle said
local judges knew no more than anybody else
about the building’s future.
The Stuart Street courthouse had been a
significant part of the local community for
many years, Judge Coyle said.
The fact yesterday ’s court session was the
last in the building was both “significant and
regrettable” for the city.
The Ministry of Justice partially closed
the building in late 2011, and has still not
confirmed when strengthening will start. The
court ’s remaining ser vices, including district
court, are shifting to the temporary facility in
Building and Housing Minister Dr
Nick Smith announced at the weekend
Dunedin has been redesignated as a low-risk
Mrs Stevens said the new quake ratings
showed what “everybody who lived in
Dunedin would know anyway”.
She opposed the move to the “vastly
inferior” temporary courthouse.
“ We’re leaving a building that now doesn’t
need to be done in any hurry.
“ What we’re moving to is just so much
smaller. The facilities are so reduced.”
Mrs Stevens said lawyers did not have access
to the cells in the High Street courthouse to
see clients, and there was just one inter view
room for defendants and lawyers.
The same inter view room had to be shared
with probation, mental health, social workers,
or anyone else requiring a confidential space.
At High Street, there was a single entrance,
and “some of the people don’t get on”.
The public gallery in the number one
courtroom at High Street had only 18 seats
for the public.
“ When have we ever had a (court) list with
just 18 people on it? There’s going to be lots
of defendants who can’t be in the courtroom.”
Mrs Stevens said she dreaded the Stuart
Street courthouse becoming infested with
“rodents and birds”.
Ministry of Justice commercial and
property general manager Fraser Gibbs said
the ministry was looking at the new quake
rules, and it was too early to say what it
meant for the courthouse.
The High Street temporary courthouse, on
which the ministry has spent $6.16 million,
was “functional and cost effective”.
“ We have undertaken significant refurbish-
ment there and, like all our courts, we have
court security officers on hand to ensure the
safety and well-being of all court users.
“At present, lawyers in the (High Street)
courtroom used for list hearings cannot
access the cell area as this would require them
to walk through the dock or the public area
during court hearings.
“This week, we are talking to lawyers and
other interested parties to discuss a workable
solution,” Mr Gibbs said.
— Otago Daily Times
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