Gas leak – Rongotai, Wellington

Source: New Zealand Police

Police and emergency services are currently in attendance at a gas leak on Lonsdale Crescent in Rongotai, Wellington.

Motorists and pedestrians are asked to avoid the area while services work to rectify it.

It appears that a gas main was ruptured while contractors were working in the area.


Issued by Police Media Centre


Public vigilance alerts police to suspicious behaviour

Source: New Zealand Police

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush

As a result of information from the public a search warrant was executed at a St Martins property late yesterday where police discovered a number of firearms.

The 54-year-old man sought in relation to these firearms has died following a serious incident in Christchurch this morning.

The man was located by Police in a stopped vehicle in the Richmond Park area at around 12:30am this morning. 

The Police Negotiation Team spoke with the man over a number of hours. The Police helicopter and Armed Offenders Squad were in support during the negotiations. 

At around 3.40am police approached the vehicle and discovered the man critically injured with what appeared to be a stab wound. A knife was located in the vehicle.

Immediate first aid was provided however the man was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The man’s vehicle was examined by the NZDF Explosive Ordnance Squad as a precaution and has been deemed safe. There were no firearms in the vehicle.

Members of the public who heard what they thought were explosions were hearing Police deploying gas at the scene. 

A high priority investigation is underway to determine whether or not the deceased man posed a threat to the community. This will include further searches of Christchurch properties and interviews with family and associates.

At this time there is no evidence to suggest this person had any involvement in the attacks of 15 March, however this forms an important part of the investigation.

We are grateful to those who alerted police on this occasion and encourage people to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something. Call 111 immediately if you see anything of any concern.

There will be a continued Police presence in the Richmond Park and St Martins areas, as scene examinations continue. Police would like to thank residents in those areas for their cooperation. 

The IPCA has been notified.


Issued by Police Media Centre


West Coast highways update – 10.45am Wednesday

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

A number of highways on the West Coast remain closed today after torrential rain and rock-filled rivers took out the Waiho River Bridge Tuesday afternoon on State Highway 6 near Franz Josef.

The Bailey bridge over the river, fed by the Franz Josef Glacier, will be replaced in coming days. “We are aiming to reconnect State Highway 6 across the Waiho within the next week to ten days,” says Pete Connors, System Manager, NZ Transport Agency.

Transport Agency crews and engineers are getting a closer look at the Waiho Bridge piers and abutments (where the bridge joins the bank) today as river levels drop.

State Highway 6 – Hokitika to Makarora remains closed, but crews working hard to restore access to north and south

Slips between Makarora and Haast are being cleared today and other parts of the highway on either side of the Waiho River, south of Franz Josef, are likely to open today as crews clear debris, giving people a way south and north from the glacier towns.

Please check these West Coast and Otago links for updates and changes:

North of Greymouth, SH6 Barrytown to Westport – now open

Slips and surface flooding closed the highway north of Greymouth yesterday from Barrytown. It has now reopened.

State Highway 73, Arthur’s Pass route – closed today

This highway has slips around Candys and Kellys Creeks. It is unlikely to reopen today but crews are aiming to have it open tomorrow, Thursday 28 March. Check the web link to confirm.

Kellys Creek washout on SH73 earlier today

Lewis Pass, SH7 via Waipara and Reefton – open

The Lewis Pass is the link between Canterbury and the West Coast today.

Driving advice

“Anyone on other roads on the West Coast, please keep your speeds down, there will be surface flooding. Watch out for speed restrictions, debris and road crews,” says Mr Hey.

Westland District Council Civil Defence updates: link)

Facebook: link)

West Coast Regional Council rainfall and river data: link) link)

MetService: link)

 Keep up to date with:


Henderson-Massey connections plan now open for feedback

Source: Auckland Council

A plan that would see the Henderson-Massey Local Board area fully connected through walking and cycling paths has opened for consultation today.

The draft Henderson-Massey Connections Plan will connect neighbourhoods to key destinations including public transport hubs, schools, local shops, libraries and parks in a bid to help more people ditch the car and embrace walking and cycling where possible.


Henderson-Massey Local Board Chair Shane Henderson says the Plan will be a very important tool in prioritising routes for development.

“We currently have the draft Plan which we think is a good start, but we really want to hear from the community about if there are alternative routes we should be looking at, which paths and trails are popular, and where we should be prioritising our investment in walking and cycling in our area.

“Making it easier to get people out of their cars would improve the health of our community and environment, and make it a more social, enjoyable place to live and work.

“So I really hope people take the time to look at the draft Plan and let us know what we have got right and what we need to improve on.

“Together we can make Henderson-Massey an even better place to live, and this plan will play a vital role in helping us to achieve that aim.”

Consultation on the plan is open now until 14 April.

Ways to have your say


Visit and fill in the online form.

In person

At our drop-in session at the Te Manawa open day on 6 April.


Acute hospital admissions grow despite increased use of GP services

Source: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists

Acute hospital admissions are increasing well above the population growth rate despite increased use of general practice (GP) services, says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

This is one of the findings of an ASMS Research Brief looking at whether access to primary care, with a greater focus on health promotion and illness prevention, reduces pressure on hospitals, available online at:

“Evidence from New Zealand and overseas shows this approach has frequently not achieved what its advocates and governments hope and expect,” says Mr Keene.

He says primary care plays a vital role preventing illness and death, but it generally falls short of expectations in respect of keeping people out of hospitals. Reasons for this include a lack of clear evidence to determine the most effective approaches, lack of clinical time, lack of patient compliance, practitioner attitudes, and financial disincentives.

In New Zealand, barriers to accessing primary health care means the patients most likely to derive benefit often miss out on timely interventions, so recent moves to reduce cost barriers to accessing it are welcome. But it must be recognised this will identify previously unmet needs, which in turn will lead to more pressure on hospital services.

“With continuing tight funding, attempts to strengthen primary care at the expense of hospital care will lead to a greater bottle-neck to accessing hospital services which in turn will increase pressures on primary care.”

Mr Keene says reducing pressure on hospitals requires strong integration between hospitals, GPs, and social services and a cross-party political commitment to a long-term strategy. This not only requires a well-functioning and accessible primary health care system but also a well-functioning, accessible hospital system.

He says the evidence shows integration succeeds when it’s approached from the “bottom up”, and health practitioners are given adequate time to develop innovative practices. This cannot happen while hospitals, as well as primary care services, are struggling to cope from one day to the next.

Mr Keene argues the most effective measures for keeping people out of hospital lie outside the health system, in the form of taxes on unhealthy food, alcohol, and tobacco.

Housing and poverty are also big factors in health. “Without addressing the social and economic causes of poor health, it’s very difficult to improve the effectiveness of the health care system,” Mr Keene says.


NZ can do better on digital privacy


Wellington – New Zealand can do better than to accept that just two percent of people trust social media to look after their information, when 75 percent of Kiwis go ahead anyway, Digital Identity NZ executive director Andrew Weaver says.

He was commenting on Symantec’s latest Insights Report which shines a light on the challenge Kiwis face in an increasingly online world.

“We have a real paradox as just two percent of people believe social media players keep their data private, but three quarters of people go ahead anyway,” Weaver says.

“This makes more sense when we see that 85 percent of people want to do more to protect their privacy, but less than half have any idea how to do it.

“We would go further and suggest that a large number of companies with an online presence do not offer their customers meaningful and accessible options when it comes to doing business with them – a my way or the highway approach. Surely we can do better.

Digital Identity NZ is an organisation committed to improving access, security and privacy for anyone interacting online.

“We have commissioned our partner, Yabble, to undertake further research in this area. In particular, focusing on the emerging concept of self-sovereign identity. At its core, self-sovereign identity is about giving individuals, who are the true owners of personal data, secure and simple to use ways of ‘doing business’ online, without sacrificing their privacy.

“We want to find a better way; bringing together government, iwi, businesses, technology providers, innovators, educators and academics to put people at the centre of the discussion and to give them the choice and the means to protect themselves.

“We want to bridge the gap and empower the 54 percent of Kiwis who currently don’t know what to do to protect their privacy,” he says.

Digital Identity NZ is part of the NZ Tech Alliance.

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on275030188

Photo: Andrew Weaver


Last chance to have your say on safer speeds

Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Transport’s consultation on its draft Speed Limit Bylaw closes this Sunday 31 March.

Chief Executive Shane Ellison says the amount of feedback received so far is impressive.

“Slower speeds are definitely something that Aucklanders care about and have strong views on, and we’re very pleased with the amount of feedback we’ve received so far.

“You still have a few days to submit feedback and I encourage you to have your say. This is one of the most important consultations AT is holding this year and we want to hear from Aucklanders.”

AT is proposing to lower speed limits on approximately 700km of Auckland’s roads.

90 per cent of the roads are in rural areas, where speeds are proposed to reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h or 60km/h.

In the city centre and some town centres, speed limits are proposed to be lowered to 30km/h to keep people walking, cycling and riding scooters safely.

Find out more about the draft Speed Limit Bylaw and have your say here.


Graduate Keeps Tauranga’s Brows On Fleek

Source: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

‘Eyebrows on fleek’ has become a popular look on the beauty front over the past few years. And for Tauranga locals and tourists, Kayla Jans is the go-to person to visit for that beautifully structured, full-brow look.

Kayla is the owner of Bay Brows, a booming microblading business that she built single-handedly from the ground up.

After completing the New Zealand Certificate in Beauty Therapy (Level 4), Kayla went on to work for an award-winning local salon before deciding to take the leap and start her own business.   

“I extended my studies to cosmetic tattooing while I was working, and then started my own business. I now work from home full-time,” says Kayla.

“I loved studying at Toi Ohomai – everything from my tutors, to the campus and my classmates were amazing.”

“I would recommend this course to anyone. It really helped set me up for my dream career of owning a business in an industry I’m truly passionate about,” says Kayla. 


New Zealand Retail Sector – Night Noodle Markets named NZ’s Best Sustainable Event

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Night Noodle Markets

Hot from events in Auckland and Christchurch, and soon to land in Wellington’s Basin Reserve from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 April, the Night Noodle Markets event series took out the Best Sustainable Event category at the New Zealand Event Association (NZEA) Awards last night held at Shed 10 in Auckland.

Stuff Events & Sponsorship Director David Blackwell is thrilled with the win, which recognises the ever-popular travelling food festival’s achievements across a number of sustainability initiatives.

“It’s fantastic to receive this accolade and to celebrate the amazing work of the team. I hope we can inspire more events to prioritise sustainability practices like we have, and reduce the carbon footprint of events across New Zealand.”

The award commends the exceptional results of the 2017/18 Night Noodle Markets series, which saw over 380,000 people attend the events in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Simple initiatives such as introducing eco packaging and efficient waste management systems saw 73.67 per cent of the 58 tonnes of waste generated from the three events diverted from landfill.

“Ensuring our events are as kind to the environment as possible is a big priority and we’re continuously looking for new ideas and initiatives to help us reach our zero-waste targets,” says Blackwell.

“In this season’s round of events, our stallholders all use approved compostable packaging, drinks are served in recyclable cans and bottles, and all event waste is hand-sorted into the correct waste stream.

“At the Auckland Night Noodle Markets last December, we composted, recycled or re-used a massive 95 per cent of event waste, up from 77.9 per cent in 2017!”

Blackwell and the team are working with Clean Event waste management and supply partner Innocent Packaging to achieve another great outcome at the upcoming Wellington event, which is taking place for the first time at the capital’s iconic Basin Reserve next month.

Visit for more information and follow Night Noodle Markets NZ on Facebook to keep up with the latest.

About Night Noodle Markets

The Night Noodle Markets brings communities together to celebrate and eat delicious Asian food over the summer months in New Zealand and attracts all kinds of people, including keen foodies, families, young professionals and friends for a fun night out. A replica of the ever-popular Australian Night Noodle Markets (run for more than 20 years), the New Zealand Night Noodle Markets has been operated by Stuff Events since 2016. Stuff is committed to running sustainable and environmentally-friendly events, with a portfolio including some of New Zealand’s most iconic events, such as Ports of Auckland Round the Bays, NZ House & Garden Tours, Central Districts Field Days, and the Women of Influence Awards.


Fatal crash – Awarua Plains, Southland

Source: New Zealand Police

Police are investigating a crash which occurred on Tiwai Road, around midnight last night.

It is understood that this was a single vehicle car crash.  

The driver of the vehicle died at the scene.

The passenger was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but is now in a moderate, stable condition.

An investigation is underway into the cause of the crash.


Issued by the Police Media Centre