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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 3
New Chief of
Major-general Tim Keating has
been named the new Chief of
Defence Force. Currently vice-chief,
General Keating will be promoted
to Lieutenant-general and take
over from Lieutenant-general
Rhys Jones on February 1 for a
three year term. Defence Minister
Jonathan Coleman said Mr Keating
was a strong leader with 32 years
of military experience ser ving
New Zealand. "He has extensive
leadership, and operational
experience, and is well respected
within the NZDF, and the
international defence community,"
Dr Coleman said. --- APNZ
A former Kaipara District Council
representative says he may sue
Auditor-General Lyn Provost over
a report criticising the council.
Jonathan Larsen intends seeking
council help in pursuing defamation
action following the release last
week of Ms Provost's 420-page
report on her o ce's 20-month
inquiry into council handling of the
Mangawhai sewerage scheme.
Fatal house re
One person died in a house re
north of Wellington overnight
yesterday. Police said emergency
ser vices were called to the blaze in
Trentham, Upper Hutt shortly after
8pm. One person was found dead
inside the burning house. e cause
of the re was still unknown and
a forensic examination was being
carried out yesterday morning.
MP to resign
National list MP Katrina Shanks
will resign from Parliament in
the New Year and be replaced by
Manawatu-based list candidate
Joanne Hayes. Ms Shanks is leaving
Parliament to work as chief executive
of the Funeral Directors' Association
of New Zealand. " e funeral
ser vices sector is facing change ---
legislative, demographic, and societal,
and the association and its members
need to be in front of this change.
I look forward to the opportunities
and challenges the sector has to
face," she said in a statement today.
Ms Shanks has stood in Ohariu
for the past two elections. She has
been a list MP since 2007, lling the
vacancy created by the resignation of
former leader Don Brash. She had
already announced her intention to
stand down at the next election.
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New residential construction
loans will now be exempt from the
loan-to-value (LVR) restrictions
introduced in October, Reserve
Bank Deputy Governor Grant
Spencer said this morning.
Spencer said the bank had
recently consulted with the building
industry and banks on the impact
of LVR restrictions on residential
While high LVR construction
lending is only about 1% of total
residential lending, it nances
around 12% of residential building
" is exemption means that low
deposit lending will fall outside
the 10 per cent speed limit if it is
nancing the construction of a new
house or apartment," he said.
"However, any new low deposit
construction loans will still need to
meet the internal risk requirements
of the lending banks," he said.
e new exemption will apply to
all qualifying construction loans
from October 1, 2013.
Spencer said the exemption would
help to support the supply of new
housing and, in doing so, reduce
some of the pressure arising from
excess demand in the New Zealand
e bank introduced limits earlier
this year because it saw high LVR
lending as putting the nancial
system at risk.
ASB Bank economist Christina
Leung said today's announcement
did not have a material impact on
the monetary policy outlook, and
she continued to expect the Reserve
Bank to rst lift the OCR in March
"We had expected any e ects
of the LVR restrictions on the
construction of new homes would
largely come through in the rst
half of 2014 given project lead
times and consent processing time,"
" e RBNZ's starting point
was that the LVR restrictions
would have little e ect on new
building. However, early evidence
raised question marks about
that assumption. is exemption
removes an unintended consequence
of the LVR restrictions, and may
encourage construction growth
at the margin in the near term.
However, given the new supply of
houses would likely be higher than
otherwise with these exemptions,
there is likely to be less pressure
on the housing market over the
medium term," Leung said.
"Given the amount of new houses
required to be built in Auckland and
Canterbury we continue to expect
these two regions will remain the
key drivers of construction growth
over the coming years."
Registered Master Builders
Federation chief executive War wick
Quinn last month met Reserve
Bank o cials to update them on the
ndings of independent research
into the impact of the policy on
new home builds.
Quinn said the policy --- which
restricts the amount of lending
banks can extend to buyers with
deposits of less than 20% --- could
a ect as many as 3000 new home
builds a year.
at gure was based on data
showing that 15% of the 20,000
new builds each year were for
buyers with low deposits.
e research conducted by
building research group Branz
suggested the impact was likely to
be wider, Quinn said.
It suggested potential buyers with
deposits over 20% were shying away
from new builds because of the risk
they would require a top-up loan
during construction which would
take them below the 20% limit.
e research also indicated some
people who would other wise have
large deposits were unable to
commit to new builds because of
di culties in selling their existing
homes due to the e ect of the loan
limits on would-be buyers.
Reser ve Bank deputy governor
Grant Spencer, in a speech last
month, stressed why the bank has
imposed a limit on high loan-to-
value ratio (LVR) lending, what its
best guess of the impact is and the
indicators it will watch to decide
when to lift the restrictions.
While the bank estimates house
price in ation will be 1 to 4
percentage points lower than it
would otherwise be over the year
ahead, Spencer said house prices
would still remain high relative to
incomes and rents.
"In this sense it is hard to see how
these restrictions will materially
reduce the existing incentives to
develop new residential property.
Provided the red tape, costs and
delays are reduced, there will remain
a strong price incentive to expand
the housing stock, particularly in
Auckland and Christchurch."
From 2000 to 2007 house prices
more than doubled, and household
debt increased from 100 to 150% of
disposable (after-tax) income.
"When the cycle turned in 2007,
house prices fell 10% --- a relatively
benign fall compared with some
countries ... where house prices fell
by 30 to 40%." --- APNZ
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Loans to build new homes will now be exempt from low-deposit loan restrictions introduced by the Reser ve
Bank in October.
New homes exempt
from loan rules
An investigation by Manawatu
police into the disappearance of
Whetu Teaola Hansen has been
upgraded to a homicide inquiry.
"Based on information that we
have received in the past 12 hours
we have upgraded this inquiry to a
homicide investigation," detective
senior sergeant Simon Harrison
said this morning.
"While I am not prepared
to divulge the nature of the
information for investigative
reasons, this is a signi cant turning
point for our investigation and this
information has further con rmed
our serious concerns around Mr
Mr Hansen, 48, has been missing
since November 24, when police
say he was seen driving a grey
primer-coloured 1980 Ford ute.
e vehicle was located at an
Akers Road property in Linton last
ursday. Armed guards have been
posted outside the house where
o cers have been carrying out
a scene examination for some
Police still do not know who
is responsible for Mr Hansen's
disappearance but every e ort is
being made to answers to these
questions, Mr Harrison said.
"We are continuing to make
inquiries and one of our main
focuses is on locating Mr Hansen
so we can return him to his family."
Police have now also spoken with
the other person that resided at
the property. e man aged 56, has
been arrested and charged with the
unlawful possession of explosives.
He will appear in the Palmerston
North District Court today.
"As a result of the search at
the property the explosives were
located and while there were no
immediate risks to police sta or
the public the man did not have
the appropriate licence to possess
To date no-one has been arrested
in relation to Mr Hansen's death
but police are keeping an open
mind as to who is responsible.
"To protect the integrity of our
inquiries I will not be making any
comment on individuals of interest
to this investigation."
Police are making good progress
with the scene examination at the
Linton property and today a team
of 10 o cers supported by ESR
sta will continue the examination.
"O cers working on the
investigation have been encouraged
by the support from the public,
and we are still keen to hear
from anyone that may have any
information about sightings of the
vehicle or any other information
that could assist us with our
investigation," Mr Harrison said.
Missing person inquiry upgraded
to homicide investigation
e Maori Party is seeking talks
with retired boxer David Tua to
discuss the possibility of his standing
for the party at the next election.
But it had better get a hurry on.
While Tua told the Herald he was
more than happy to have talks with
the Maori Party, he was also happy
to sit down with Mana and the
"I'll sit down with anyone. Anyone
and everyone ... I'm not going to
close the door on anyone."
A Mana Party worker had already
made a preliminary approach but the
Conservative Party had not.
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa
Flavell approached Tua after hearing
that he praised the party during a
television interview at the Maori
Sport Awards nine days ago.
e only reason they haven't met
yet, they say, is that they haven't
been able to co-ordinate their
Mr Flavell said he was keen to talk
to Tua before Christmas about the
possibility of standing in a general
seat in Auckland or going high on
the list, "or both".
Tua was born in Samoa but the
Maori Party has elded candidates
of many ethnicities --- including
Paci c Islanders, Pakeha and
Chinese --- in the past for general
seats. ey have not had high
pro les because the party has
tended to concentrate on the seven
Maori electorate seats, of which it
"Our approach for the next
election is going to clearly be
di erent," Mr Flavell said. "Our
kaupapa (de ning issues) should
appeal to all New Zealanders."
Tua retired from professional
boxing after his last ght, against
Alexander Ustinov last month,
but even before the bout, he had
talked about a career in politics and
possibly starting his own party.
Asked last night if he wanted to
meet the Maori Party, Tua said:
"At the end of the day it is about
running for the people. It's about
those who don't have a voice. It's
about the Paci c people. It's about
who are contributing to the country
of New Zealand.
"I've always done the very best
that I can. I just ser ve the people
for the right reason, the right
purpose and the right intention.
It's up to them. If they need
and want me to run, I will run."
Tua lives in Mangere, a seat held
by Labour MP Sua William Sio
with a 15,159-vote majority.
Tua said he had spent time
liaison worker and familiarising
himself with the South Auckland
"To hear about things that happen
in a community is one thing, but
to actually be within, with people
who make decisions, what happens
around the community, it has been
an eye-opener for me."
Conservative Party leader
Colin Craig said he was aware
of Tua's desire to enter politics
but there had been no direct
conversations between him and
the party that he was aware of.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Maori Party wants ex-boxerTua to stand
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira
is making his own arrangements to
get to Nelson Mandela's funeral to
represent anti-apartheid protesters
after being left out of New Zealand's
o cial delegation.
Mr Harawira said he was
disappointed not to be approached
to go to South Africa because he felt
that the ve-person New Zealand
delegation excluded anyone who
took part in protests against the
Springboks rugby tour in 1981.
He said he was determined to
head to the funeral and had made
his own arrangements to travel to
"As a leader of the Patu Squad, and
as one of the key leaders of the anti-
apartheid movement of 1981, I'm
going to carry their best wishes and
their verses to the tangi of Nelson
"I think it's important that
somebody goes who is not
representative of this National
Government, which has never been
supportive of the aspirations of the
black people of South Africa and was
staunchly supportive of apartheid at
He added: "I think the Prime
Minister has the right to choose
whoever he wants, but he has
deliberately not chosen me or Kevin
Hague, who played a key role in the
anti-apartheid movement of 1981."
Dr Sharples said yesterday that
he would represent protesters at the
o cial memorial ser vice for Mandela,
but Mr Harawira did not believe Dr
Sharples was the right person.
"I never saw Pita in the meetings,
certainly never saw him on the street,"
Mr Harawira said.
e Mana leader has booked a
ight to South Africa this afternoon,
but has not yet been given approval
to use his parliamentary funding to
make the trip.
If he was not given approval, he
would delay his trip until he could
raise money for the ight: "I don't
have the money myself."--- APNZ-
New Zealand Herald
Harawira to nd own way to Mandela funeral
A Kaka Point resident saw the men
allegedly involved in a home invasion
moments before "all hell broke loose" at
the South Otago seaside settlement.
A 65-year-old woman su ered facial
injuries after being assaulted by two men
at her home on the Esplanade about
6pm on Sunday.
She was taken to Dunedin Hospital
by helicopter and remains in a stable
condition last night.
e woman and her husband ---
owner-operators of the Point Cafe and
Bar --- were not in a position to talk to
the media yesterday.
Police said nothing was taken in the
home invasion and the men's motive was
e o enders were described as either
Maori or Polynesian, aged between 18
and 20, about 178cm-180cm tall with
Both o enders had their faces
concealed during the incident, with one
man wearing a dark blue hooded top,
blue jeans and black shoes.
Police were not in a position to con rm
whether a weapon was used,but yesterday
distanced themselves from initial police
reports suggesting a wooden plank may
have been used.
Several marked police cars, two
unmarked cars and a police van were
outside the address yesterday, while
o cers conducted a scene examination.
Residents said the incident had
shattered the normally tranquil coastal
town, with people choosing to lock doors
and sleep with phones beside their bed.
"Everyone is talking about it. But it
has given me the willies," a resident said
Another resident, who also declined to
be named, said he was returning to his
home before the incident when he saw
two men tting the description of the
One was sitting on the seat at Wilsher
Bay with his hoodie pulled over his head,
while the other man was over the other
side of the road.
'Seemed to me to be a real odd
situation," he said.
After returning to his home nearby,
he was told by another resident to stay
inside and lock his doors.
"From there on all hell broke loose," he
Detective sergeant Kate Bartlett, of
Balclutha, said police were following a
positive line of inquiry. but wanted to
hear from any members of the public
who may have witnessed the o enders
entering or leaving the property.
Two members of the public, aged
55 and 65, were also assaulted by the
o enders as they left the property.
stressed the incident
was an isolated one, but advised
people to be conscious of their
and personal security.
--- APNZ-Otago Daily Times
A Tauranga security o cer is accused
of trying to arrange for someone to kill
Alan Francis Barlow, 42, faced a charge
of attempting to procure a special
duties police o cer to murder Kevin
James Barlow and Diana Noeleen
Court documents show police allege
that on October 12 this year Barlow
approached an undercover police o cer
in Huntly and attempted to arrange the
murder of his parents.
Tauranga CIB head detective senior-
sergeant Greg Turner said now the
matter was before the courts he would
not comment further, other than to say
the matter came to police's attention
following a tip o from a member of
Barlow was granted bail on strict
terms, including a ban on him
leaving the country, and other
restrictions of his travel movements.
--- APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Man accused of plotting to murder parents
A wallet and keys
belonging to an Australian
tennis coach missing in
Hamilton have been found.
Paul Arber, 38, was last
seen walking on Grey
Street in Hamilton East
about 9pm on Saturday
heading towards Cook
Street and Steele Park.
Mr Arber is a director
and partner in Trademark
Tennis in Melbourne.
e company's website said he had
worked with the Australian Institute
of Sport and e National High
Performance Academy, and coached
elite juniors and professionals including
Monica Seles and Caroline Wozniacki.
Fellow director Asar Nagar told the
Herald Sun newspaper that he had taken
a small group of teenage tennis players
to Hamilton for a tournament. "We're
just hoping for good news," he said.
Another coach and friend, Julian
Arnold, said Mr Arber was among the
top few hundred players in Australia,
and ran tennis tours for young players to
New Zealand the United States. "He's
a great guy, there's nothing bad to say
about him," he told the Herald Sun. "It's
pretty devastating news."
Mr Arber's parents have
arrived in New Zealand
as the search for their son
Hamilton police yesterday
had a caravan in Hamilton
East with a mannequin
wearing clothes similar to
the tracksuit Mr Arber was
wearing when last seen.
Mr Arber's wallet and
keys were found on Cook
Street while his luggage and passport
were left in his accommodation.
Detective Inspector Karl ornton said
yesterday that the coach had been seen
to stop and pat the dog of a couple who
were out walking their pet just before he
He had also stopped to speak to a man
described by witnesses to be a homeless
person who police believed he gave some
Police appealed for the couple and the
man to come for ward.
"We are becoming increasingly
concerned that we have not heard
from Mr Arber. He is not familiar with
the area and does not know anyone in
Hamilton," Mr ornton said.
Helen Milner o ered her son and
his partner a slice of Phil Nisbet's life
insurance cash if they contracted a
hitman to kill him, a court heard today.
Kasey Athena Woodstock was a
teenager when she went out with
Milner's son Adam Kearns.
When they used to hang out at his
family's Christchurch home, Milner
would come out to the garage where
they smoked and played pool to "hate
on Phil", Ms Woodstock told the High
Court at Christchurch today.
Milner made it clear that she wanted
to get rid of Mr Nisbet and claim his
$250,000 life insurance policy, Ms
"We even got o ered some of it, me
and Adam because we were together at
the time," Ms Woodstock told day seven
of Milner's murder trial.
"We were o ered money once his life
insurance would come through. But for
us to get that money we'd have to pay a
hitman ve grand to kill Phil."
Asked by Crown prosecutor Brent
Stanaway how the o er came about, Ms
Woodstock said Milner came straight
out with it, saying, "I want him gone. Do
you know anyone who would kill him."
Ms Woodstock laughed it o , saying
that "we never thought it would happen,
she spoke of it daily".
Her and Mr Kearns would tell her to
simply leave Mr Nisbet, but said Milner
was worried she would lose half of her
house, and get lumped with his alleged
Mr Kearns earlier gave testimony
against his mother, saying he caught her
crushing up a blue-white powder and
putting it into clear capsules on the day
she's accused of twice attempting to kill
Mr Nisbet on April 15, 2009. He went
to police just days after the death with
Milner, 50, denies murdering Mr
Nisbet, 47, on May 4, 2009 by giving
him a fatal overdose of the antihistamine
and sedative Phenergan, and possibly
nishing him o with a pillow over his
Despite family suspicions, police
originally ruled suicide and it was
notuntil a coroner raised doubts over the
death that a homicide investigation was
e Crown said Milner was unhappy
in her marriage and motivated to
murder by the prospect of cashing in the
$250,000 life insurance policy.
She plotted the best ways to kill her
husband; buying drugs under false
names, asking friends for views on
poisoning methods, and even o ering
to pay $20,000 for a hit man to kill Mr
Nisbet, it is alleged.
e trial, before Justice David Gendall,
continues. --- APNZ
Son offered slice of life
insurance to contact hitman
Missing tennis coach's
wallet and keys found
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