Home' Greymouth Star : November 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015
The first wave of troops deployed to Iraq
have made significant progress, according
to one of their trainers.
The combat engineer, who cannot be
named for security reasons, is one of 105
soldiers who returned home last night
from their seven-month deployment to
Camp Taji, north of Baghdad.
The troops flew into Ohakea airbase
about 5.30pm and were met by Defence
Minister Gerry Brownlee and Major-
General Tim Gall.
They departed for Iraq in April alongside
Australian forces as part of the building
partner capacity mission.
The trainer who cannot be identified
for security reasons said troops spent
their time teaching Iraqi forces medical
training and weapons and counter-IED
“ We’ve definitely made significant
progress, it was well received by the Iraqi
He said there were no safety threats and
his team had been set up well to cope.
“ We had a lot of contingency plans in
place for any potential situation. We were
prepared well by both the New Zealand
Defence Force and the government.”
The troops have trained over 2000 Iraqi
army personnel and Mr Gall said the
results had exceeded expectations.
“ When you left no one knew what
the conditions would be like, but the
Australian and New Zealand contingent
is well respected.”
Mr Brownlee thanked the soldiers for
their contribution and said it was only
fitting the Government was there to greet
the first contingent.
“The contribution you have made in a
personal way is particularly important and
He said public support for New
Zealand ’s involvement had grown to 70%
and the troops could be proud.
“Thank you for all that you’ve done for
us,” he said.
Mr Gall said the second group deployed
earlier this month had already “settled ” in
and were continuing the training.
After gathering their items, the troops
were bused to Linton Military Camp
to be reunited with family and friends.
— N ZME -Manawatu Guardian
in the red
Party has run at a
deficit for at least
two years, forcing
it to dip into its
cash reser ves and
of the problems the
party faced in last
A copy of the
report shows it
recorded a $71,373
deficit in 2014 and an even
larger $104,915 deficit the year
before, a shortfall party president
Professor Nigel Haworth put
down to the costs of by-elections
and its leadership contests.
That resulted in a $117,410 drop
in its cash reser ves ($612,378)
and the value of its net assets
dropped from $270,000 to
$199,000. Those assets include
about $500,000 in property.
After last year’s election, a
review of Labour’s performance
raised fundraising as a priority,
saying the party risked ongoing
“electoral failure” if it could not
raise more money.
Yesterday, leader Andrew Little
denied it was embarrassing that
Labour was in deficit despite
criticising the Government for
accountable to all the people,
all the time and should conduct
“Political parties are accountable
to their members and should
conduct themselves prudently,
but over the long term.”
However, he said, it “absolutely”
highlighted the need to focus on
“There is no question about
that. A singularly poor point of
our organisation’s performance is
The report shows the party
spent $2.1 million on last year’s
election — $125,000 more than
it raised. It listed
election revenue of
$1.99 million — of
donations — less
than half of its
said the party
expected to be
able to record a
“small surplus” this
year. The deficits
predated his tenure as president.
He said one of the reasons for
the shortfall was the cost of the
leadership contests in 2013 and
2014. The report shows they
cost the party about $60,000
each, although it recouped about
$30,000 in donations each time.
In 2013, it spent $104,000
on the Christchurch East and
Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-elections — a
similar amount as the deficit for
The report also shows the
costs of running the party are
just over $1m a year, of which
about $500,000 was in staff
remuneration. A significant
chunk of its revenue came from
levies on the affiliated unions,
MPs and local
$636,000 last year.
The figures show the party is
still paying off loans from some
of its electorate branches, which
Prof Haworth said dated back
to before 2008. The interest on
the loans is costing $30,400 a
year and it still has more than
$700,000 owing. The practice
of taking loans from local
electorates to fund the campaigns
was halted in 2009 by Mr Little
who was then president.
Last year, Labour raised
$940,000 in donations, a quarter
of National’s $4m. It spent $1.3m
on election advertising — half of
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Police have condemned “copycat
behaviour” after two teenage boys
fell through a skylight in Timaru on
Saturday night — less than 10 days after
a boy died after falling from the same
Jordan Logan McKeown, 14, was
playing with friends on the Caroline
Bay Arcade roof in Timaru when he
fell through a skylight about 7pm on
His family has since remembered him
as a “cheeky and fun loving” boy who
loved to skate.
The latest incident occurred after a
group of teens climbed on to the roof
to see where Jordan fell from, senior
sergeant Mark Offen said.
Three 15-year-old boys and one
13-year-old boy climbed on to the
Caroline Bay Arcade roof on Saturday
night, he said.
In the process, one of the older boys
fell through the skylight and badly
injured his arm.
The 13-year-old boy jumped through
the skylight to help his friend but injured
his legs when he landed, police said.
The apparent “copycat behaviour” was
unacceptable, Mr Offen said.
“This foolish and dangerous behaviour
not only tied up emergency resources
but also caused unnecessary pain and
suffering to the family who lost their son
in tragic circumstances on Guy Fawkes
night,” he said.
Police were working with the Timaru
District Council to prevent anyone else
accessing the roof. — N ZM E
Police condemn ‘copycat behaviour’ after accident
can be better
part of the
were given over
to the “Choice
not Chance Big
day. There were
castles and face
event had its
first outing last
year, of special
year was the inclusion of a
The Salvation Army had
been working with schools to
educate children on financial
realities, including debt and
sustainability. The toy swap had
proven to be a “great way to
teach that ”, he said.
Children had to write out
“tags” for the toys they were
bringing in, explaining why
they were special.
They then had their toys
ranked into one of three value
bands, and received tokens
based on those rankings.
They could then use the
tokens to take home other toys
in the same value band.
As well as teaching children
about the value of their toys, it
was “a great sustainable thing
as well” as it ensured toys were
not sitting unused.
For Dunedin mum Julie
Howard and her two boys Reg,
six, and Ernest, three, Billot,
Saturday ’s event was their first
toy swap experience.
Initially the boys “weren’t so
keen” on the idea of having to
give away their toys, she said.
“But when I said, ‘look, these
are little baby toys, and it
would be nice for another
little baby to have them’, they
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Ernest Billot, three, test drives a toy tractor at
the Choice not Chance Big Value Christmas in
the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday.
Inaugural toy swap proves popular
Student loan defaulters living “across the
ditch” will be tracked down through their taxes,
under a new bill introduced yesterday.
Measures in the bill will allow information about
Australian-based borrowers to be shared between
Inland Revenue and the Australian Taxation
Office, meaning officials in New Zealand will
have access to up-to-date contact details.
The move is the latest in the government ’s
strategy to hunt down borrowers living
overseas and get them to pay up. At the end of
September this year, there were approximately
725,000 student loan borrowers. Fifteen per
cent of those live overseas, with the majority in
Australia. An estimated $3.2 billion is owed by
borrowers living overseas.
The overseas-based borrowers compliance
initiative began in 2010, with about
$227 million in additional repayments received
Previous stages included extending the border
arrest system, and allowing Inland Revenue and
Internal Affairs to collect contact details from
“ We are making steady progress in tracking
down student loan defaulters and getting them
to pay up,” Tertiary Education Minister Steven
Joyce said. “ However there is still too many who
have spent a long time in Australia refusing
to meet their obligations. This new initiative
will give IRD up to date contact details to
track down those deliberately avoiding their
payments and being unfair to other taxpayers.”
The bill also proposes a small number of
technical measures designed to keep the student
loan scheme rules clear and current.
They include streamlining the rules applying
to borrowers who work overseas but are
entitled to interest-free loans because they
work for approved charitable organisations, and
standardising the treatment of over-deductions
from a borrower’s salary or wages.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
New tax bill targets student
loan defaulters in Australia
Police from Timaru and Pleasant Point were
called to assist Waimate officers, after a large
brawl broke out in Waimate.
Constable Paul Alden said police, St John and
the Waimate Volunteer Fire Brigade were called
to High Street just before 3am on Sunday, after
two men were assaulted and a utility vehicle was
driven on a footpath through crowds of people.
“One gentleman has been assaulted with a
weapon, receiving head and arm injuries,” Mr
The other man was assaulted in similar
circumstances, about 50m from the scene of the
Both men, whose ages were not known, were
taken to Timaru Hospital and discharged later
It was not know what weapons were involved.
Mr Alden said some of the people involved
in the altercations then got into a white utility
vehicle, which mounted a kerb and was driven at
a crowd of people on a footpath.
Police were not aware of anyone being struck
by the vehicle.
Investigations were continuing into how the
altercation, involving about 30 to 40 people,
No arrests had been made, but charges were
pending, Mr Alden said.
— Otago Daily Times
Two injured in large Waimate brawl
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