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Some of the country’s poorest people seem to be getting poorer according to a report issued by west Auckland’s Waitakere City Council. The report surveyed 30 community service groups and Government departments particularly on issues like health, education and housing. Key findings show many families still do not know healthcare is free for children aged six and under. And 50 percent of people eligible for a community services card do not have one, meaning they miss out on prescription and health subsidies. A lack of affordable housing is seen as a major reason for families having to move often which in turn means many children from low socio-economic areas are continually changing schools.

A 36 year old teacher has been arrested in connection with a kidnapping in the Waikato in June. The Auckland man will appear in the Hamilton District Court today on a series of charges including aggravated robbery and kidnapping. Charges relate to the home invasion where five members of an Asian family were attacked by three people. The family’s 21 year old daughter was taken in the family car and later left bound and gagged near MereMere. Police say inquiries are continuing and further arrests are likely.

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