A quick round up of this morning’s headlines from New Zealand.
A man who vowed to fight to the “bitter end” charges of wilfully damaging Jewish graves at an Auckland cemetery has had his case dropped.
The celebrations of an Australian couple on their honeymoon in New Zealand turned into commiserations when their wedding dress and suit and rings were stolen near the Milford road.
The couple severely injured in a horrific axe attack in Bluff 10 days ago are recovering in hospital in Dunedin and say despite the horror and pain they have suffered they will not let it change their lives.
A father who forced his children to cover up their injuries after he beat, slapped, whipped and strangled them has been imprisoned for four years.
Details of the top 10 recidivist criminals have been released by the Justice Ministry under the Official Information Act, including the number of convictions, the category of offence and the time period in
which the crimes were committed.
Crooked prison guards have been smuggling contraband to inmates, with seven losing their jobs in three years.
A man was last night in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital after an assault outside a Temuka hotel on Saturday night.
Police are hunting four people after an armed robbery this afternoon at a commercial cleaning premises in central Wellington.
The body of a young man has been discovered in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.
The collapse of a major methamphetamine trial has led to a call for a high-level review of how drugs cases are dealt with and their effects on stressed jurors.
A police pursuit of a stolen car in the Waikato this morning ended when the driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid a tyre deflation device laid in its path and crashed into a bank.
A mother who admitted she was an alcoholic who smoked P and marijuana around her two year old son, blew cannabis smoke in his face and waited for days to take him to hospital with a broken arm, has denied any role in his death.
The ODT is carrying a report about the resignation of the Clinical Leader of its emergency care facility. He’s resigning in protest at proposed staffing levels:
“Dr Tim Kerruish resigned as clinical leader yesterday morning after about 15 months in the role, effective immediately, but will stay on as a specialist.
His position was “untenable” because of a disagreement with management over doctor numbers. Senior medical staff had “serious doubts” about providing a safe level of cover, he said.
The $2.7 million, 10-bed ED observation unit opening in June or July might not be able to open on weekends because of inadequate staffing, he said…” read more: ED boss resigns over staffing frustrations
The New Zealand health service has been struggling for years with a lack of resources, low moral and a high turnover of staff – many of them leaving to take up position in neighbouring Australia. It is to his credit that’s he’s staying on at the hospital for the near future.
Putting our patients first
In 2009 Dr Kerruish criticised Dunedin’s emergency department’s “Putting our patients first” project, saying although it had made some gains it may not get much further without a change of culture at the hospital.
“He said he had tried to find a philosophy statement on the board’s website and was not sure he ever did.
Dr Kerruish is one of the members of the team for the pilot project, which was designed to introduce the Toyota vehicle manufacturer’s lean thinking methods to reduce waste, increase efficiency and improve patient flow.
The pilot is part of a national programme called “Optimising the Patient Journey” being tested in various hospital departments in several locations…” read more: Specialist urges lift in hospital culture
Dr Kerruish, 45, has only been the clinical leader of the emergency department since January 2011, taking over from his predecessor Dr John Chambers who’d been in the post for 17 years. In the months leading up to his appointment. Dr Kerruish and his colleagues had been “increasingly outspoken about the hospital’s poor performance nationally in ED length-of-stay statistics and the lack of progress in this area.”
Then in April of last year Dr Kerruish voiced his concern that both senior and junior staff were worried that staffing levels were unsafe. The ODT obtained a letter showing that staff had written to Chief operating officer, Vivian Blake, in December detailing their concerns about staffing levels:
“Only one registrar and one house surgeon were on duty between 1am and 7am during the week and midnight and 7am at weekends.
The doctors gave the example of a night in October, when the number of patients in the department at one time peaked at 35 and 41 patients were seen by the night shift doctor team during its shift…. read more ED staff express concerns for safety
His departure as department head is likely to keenly felt by many colleagues who were very supportive of him. One may only hope that patient care isn’t compromised, either by his resignation, or the level of staffing cover he was protesting about.
Dr Kerruish, an old boy of the Castle Rushen High School in the Isle of Man, studied at the University of Liverpool and has lived in Dunedin for 11 years.
You may also be interested in:
Migrant’s Tale: “The Health Care System is Second Rate“
“…This story was written by a nurse with over 30 years of experience. In it she tells of prejudice and how difficult it was to find a job. She also talks about how thousands and thousands of health care dollars are being wasted because there is no incentive to change and of how people wait so long for some tests and treatments that permanent damage is done to their health. She is minded to stay and work through this but her Kiwi partner is starting to look toward Australia to make some money…
“…Another negative here – they are resistant to change moreso than anywhere I’ve ever seen. I worked in the health insurance industry for 10 years before I came here, and one of the things I looked for were areas where money was wasted. Here, I can see thousands and thousands of health care dollars wasted because there is no incentive to change things. And they do some things here the same way we did them in US hospitals when I was a student nurse. And since residents here see health care as “free”, they really don’t care. And they don’t realize the health care system is second rate. Yep, I said it and I really believe it. I see things every day that scare the hell out of me. People have to wait days for some tests and treatments that would be done in a matter of hours in the US. By then, permanent damage has been done. But, oh well, that’s just the way it is...” more here
For an overview of the NZ health service go to the Health Service section of this page.
Continuing our series of Migrant’s Tales, first hand accounts of the immigrant experience of New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.
Today’s tale is from a blog written by a teacher, a Canadian expat who lived in Dunedin for three years.
Dec 18, 2009
New Zealand- Final Thoughts
Well, here we are. A time long talked, planned, and prepared for. Only now it is actually here. I’m leaving New Zealand after 3 rather eventful years this weekend.
Like any other period in my life it has had its ups and its downs. This past year it has been becoming clear though I’ve overstayed the place. Which is just fine. I had many great times, and admittedly some really miserable ones. This is just life. I leave with many fantastic memories and have lots of good friends staying behind as an excuse to return one day.
I thought I try to summarize for both myself and everyone else my New Zealand experience with a BALANCED tally of my experiences of the country… I will do this through a list of for everything thing I will miss countering it with something I will not (currently if I were to just do this without balance in mind the will NOTs would win by a clear majority)
I will miss all the great friends I’ve made over here. In particular C****, P*** and L*, the T*****, and my horde of Germans (who are too plentiful to list individually!).
I will not miss driving on New Zealand roads. Mostly due to Kiwis absolute inability to drive properly. They are hands down the worst drivers on the the planet (and I’m taking into account the stereotypical Asian)!
I will miss the actual truly “Beautiful Green New Zealand” with its many awesome beaches, forests, mountains, and natural parks.
I will not miss the propaganda and lying about “Beautiful Green New Zealand”, a country that doesn’t recycle, pumps its sewage into the ocean, has litter and garbage scattered on the street of even its smallest villages.
I will miss New Zealand winters, as it never dropped below zero for very long and only snowed one or two days of the year.
I will not miss New Zealand winters. Despite the aforementioned warmth of winter compared to the Great White North, the Kiwis don’t insulate their homes, and as of such your living or bed room is only 1 or 2 degrees warmer then outside. This can be quite unpleasant when sitting down and trying to relax.
I will miss our current house. Especially the fact that the roof is just a giant glass covered balcony
I will not miss our house in the winter. Again it was the same temperature as outside OR colder!
I will miss living by the ocean and the many beautiful beaches of Dunedin
I will not miss being taunted by the ocean, in that you couldn’t really go swimming as it was too cold, and despite buying a wet suit, having to still avoid it due to the cities sewage washing back into shore often throughout the year!
I will miss the road trips around Dunedin. 60% of all the coolest stuff in New Zealand was within a days drive (granted this could be a full on 14 hours round trip) of my house.
I will not miss the Kiwi drivers I’d have to watch out for on these road trips. Yes a repeat, but I really can not emphasis how bad at driving these people are.
I will miss how friendly and awesome the world travellers I encountered were. Be they from outside of NZ or be it a travelled Kiwi.
I will not miss the hostility and xenophobia of the none travelled Kiwis. They seriously put Americans to the test for most insular and nationalistic western country.
I will miss the food, at least the fresh ingredient foods like diary products and seafood.
I will not miss the Kiwi food. As a culture the Kiwis don’t believe in spices, and eat very bland meat and potatoes style dishes.
I will miss my work. Especially the self employed system of substitute teaching down here. I was an educational mercenary and had to carve out my living amongst the dozens of independent skools in town (NZ did away with centralized skool boards in the 1980′s, so they are all self contained entities for my purposes).
I will not miss my work, in how during slow times I was not guaranteed work and had to endure not getting paid for long stretches…
I will miss all the exotic wildlife down here
I will not miss the locals none caring or outright hostility to the wild. Not all Kiwis were like this mind you, but many who lived in the rural areas were the animals were to be found were shocking.
I will miss New Zealand, for the reasons above.
I will not miss New Zealand, again for all the reasons above.
So with this list done and out of the way, I leap into the heart of moving on the eve of the X-Mas holidays. As a result posts from me here and elsewhere (Traumador in particular) may be slow for a little while.
All the best to you this season (be it winter or summer), and we’ll catch you on the flip side…
The Mexican Wave is going to be banned at all RWC matches at Dunedin’s soon to be completed 30,000 seat stadium.
Parts of the new arena are only six metres from the playing surface, making it easy to throw things onto the field, police said.
“Fans often get the urge to do this during Mexican waves,” said Inspector Al Dickie of Dunedin police.
“If there is any nonsense we plan to deal with it quickly and firmly and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand,” Mr Dickie said in the latest issue of the police magazine Ten One. source
Fans are reminded that they are not there to enjoy themselves. Rugby isn’t a matter of life or death to New Zealanders, it’s far more important than that. If fans want to keep warm we advise them to pack their thermals. That’s if the stadium is finished on time.
England opens its world cup bid by playing Argentina at the venue on 10 Sept, Georgia on the 18th and Romania on 24th. Ireland plays Italy on 2 October
We’re waiting to see what the penalty is for blowing a Vuvuzela.
Just days after two policemen were shot and a police dog killed in Christchurch, there’s been a similar shoot out on a suburban street in New Zealand, this time in New Lynn, West Auckland; plus an armed police operation in Dunedin.
in the New Lynn incident a man was taken from the scene with a gunshot wound to the stomach. The shooting occurred during the execution of a search warrant in connection with an arson incident:
“Late last night, police said they had gone to the Nikau St address about 6pm to arrest the man over an alleged arson. Asked if police were armed on arrival, police spokesman Kev Loughlin said police did have guns. “But I am not going to make a statement about when the officers were armed,” Mr Loughlin said.
A fight broke out and the man fired at officers. They fired back, hitting him in the stomach. The man, aged in his 30s, is understood to have lived in a caravan alongside six blocks of two units down a right-of-way…”
The Police Union say that an attempt use a taser to subdue the offender had failed and they emphasised again the importance of firearms being available to front line officers.
As the day progressed news was released about an armed police operation in Dunedin this afternoon. Witnesses said a number of armed officers and police cars converged in the city and had cordoned off Dundas St, near Logan Park, at Clyde St, Forth St and Harbour Terrace; near Otago Polytechnic. Reports of shots being fired would not be confirmed by police but a number of witnesses said they thought they heard shots.
Neighbour Brylie Meng said police first arrived around 1pm, and ordered the man, who she believed was in his early twenties, to surrender, while armed police trained their guns on the house. “All we could hear was ‘If you come out now, we won’t hurt you, come out with your hands in the air’.”
Eventually, about 15 armed police went around the side of the house before about five shots were fired. A man was lead outside a short time later, she said. Ms Meng said she was not sure whether they were gunshots but “it was really, really loud”
Smoke was seen coming from the house on Dundas St at around the same time…”source
The incident was talked about on the Trademe forum as the event unfolded, with one person giving a possible explanation for the panic:
I thought it was in Dundas Street, some guy was obsessed with a girl and had been snooping around her for ages then decided to turn up with knife today and hide in the bushes near her flat? That’s the word at uni
A little over a week ago a party of tourists on quad bikes near Ahipara, Northland were caught up in the aftermath of an armed “squabble” between two brothers.
The group was stopped by fully kitted out Armed Offender Squad officers looking for the offenders, no doubt scaring the wits out of the visitors looking forward to a quiet day at the beach.
Elsewhere, police are still looking for a breakthrough in their hunt for the killers of Feilding farmer and family man Scott Guy who was shot to death on his driveway a week last Thursday.
Gun crime is shockingly frequent in New Zealand where there are thought to be at least 1.1 million legally owned firearms in circulation. Hand guns, rifles and shotguns are frequently used in armed robberies.
See also: Posts tagged Gun Crime