New Zealand

Former Mongrel Mob president gives up gang life

Toko Kopu, 57, joined the gang aged 15, and rose to become president of an influential Mob chapter.

Life in the gang involved major drug deals, barking like dogs and using Nazi slogans like "sieg heil", he told Daily Mail Australia.

After a period that included robbing a bank and bashing a cop, Kopu traded in his patch for the controversial Destiny Church through its "Man Up" programme, which aims to raise better fathers, brothers and sons.

Young men often turned to crime and gangs because of absent fathers or abuse they suffered, Kopu said.

NZ school instills leadership skills

Much of this is based on the program variety offered by schools overseas.

This week King’s College from New Zealand was in town for a night of question and answer with interested parents.

It was a good turn-out, as parents and children filled the event venue at Crowne Plaza.

The deputy headmaster in charge of boarding, John Payne and school’s head of admission Graeme Syms delivered an impressive presentation of what the secondary school offers.

NZ College interested in PNG students

The latest is Kings College, in Auckland, New Zealand.

This is a secondary school, with 600 day students, and another 400 as boarders.

In Port Moresby for one night only is Deputy Headmaster in charge of boarding, John Payne and school’s head of admission Graeme Syms.

The two hours event, will be held this evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, from 6pm.

This is the first visit to the country by representatives from King’s College. But it’s not the first relationship with PNG.

NZ Government strengthens ties with Pacific region

Jacinda Ardern last week led the Pacific Mission to Samoa, Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands on her first official visit as Prime Minister.

Aupito William Sio, who travelled with the PM, says there is a definite shift in New Zealand's focus in the Pacific.

"New Zealand is firmly anchored in the Pacific and it was important to transform the relationship from a donor-aid recipient to a one of partnership," he says.

"I think the Pacific governments, the people of the Pacific countries that we visited, certainly felt something different."

 

NZ not competing with China in Pacific

On Monday, Ardern pledged the government would dedicate almost $10 million in aid and support for Samoa.

She told Morning Report that regardless of what other countries were doing, New Zealand should exercise its duties and responsibilities as partners and friends in the Pacific.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson back for third ODI against England

Williamson missed Wednesday's second match of the five-match series, in which the tourists eased to a series-levelling six-wicket win, and was replaced at No 3 by Mark Chapman - winning his first ODI cap for the Kiwis.

A slight hamstring strain kept the captain out, with Tim Southee leading the team instead, while Taylor then suffered a quadriceps injury mid-match and was unable to field.

NZ to increase aid to the Pacific - Peters

He is also hinting at an increase in baseline funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In a speech to the LOWY Institute in Sydney this week, Mr Peters said New Zealand was a Pacific country, linked by history, culture, politics, and demographics.

"In many respects the Pacific is where New Zealand matters more, wields more influence, and can have more positive impact.

"We also see a region challenged by a dizzying array of social and environmental problems and one attracting an increasing number of external actors and interests."

Heavy rain, wind continues to hit NZ

A front is moving northwards over the upper South Island this morning, then onto the lower North Island this afternoon.

Heavy rain has already fallen in Fiordland and southern Westland, and more is expected in the northwest of the South Island and parts of the lower North Island today.

But MetService severe weather forecaster Eric Brenstrum told Morning Report it should only be a "fraction" of the rain seen last week.

He said the front has weakened as it travelled north - while parts of Fiordland saw 300mm of rain fall yesterday.

Storm's deluge begins across central NZ

MetService says former Cyclone Gita is expected to have a significant impact on much of central New Zealand over the next 24 hours.

The official forecaster said heavy rain was already falling from Taranaki southwards to the Marlborough Sounds, and was expected to spread over Buller, Nelson and the rest of Marlborough over the next few hours.

Strong winds were expected for the entire country from early this afternoon into this evening, with the potential for damaging wind gusts from Taranaki and Taihape south to Westland and Banks Peninsula, including Wellington.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain as NZ warned to get ready for Gita

MetService forecasts severe thunderstorms with frequent lightning, and downpours of up to 40 millimetres of rain per hour which may cause flooding.

It said the heavy rain and thunderstorm activity should ease south of Hokitika late morning, and between Hokitika and Westport by about 2pm this afternoon.

MetService has predicted the rest of the weekend to be fairly nice.

However it won't be nice for long as Cyclone Gita is expected to make its way to New Zealand early next week.