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The New Zealand Herald

America’s Cup – Murder Fear – Waiuku Gunman – Superyacht Service – Teacher Sex – No Trace – Cup Village- Jewellery Robbers – Movie Glitterati – Tamihere Break – Booze Vote – More Bankfees – Bastion Walkways – Editorial Hauraki Gulf

AMERICA’S CUP: Team New Zealand weather guru Bob Rice keeps getting it right - but that doesn't always make everyone happy. Rice, a laconic 68-year-old American meteorologist, knew last week that it was unlikely there would be an America's Cup race yesterday, when the winds again dodged the Hauraki Gulf.

MURDER FEAR: A woman who went to the police in fear of her estranged husband returned home to her death - with police officers close behind her. Her death, from multiple stab wounds, has sparked a Police Complaints Authority investigation after suggestions that the officers arrived in time to witness the murder in New Lynn on Saturday afternoon.

WAIUKU GUNMAN: Police cut the main roads to Waiuku late last night after receiving a report that a man with a rifle had fired a shot there. More than 20 police went to the town, 65km south of Auckland, and cordoned it off.

SUPERYACHT SERVICE: Auckland's booming marine industry, its sails filled by the America's Cup, wants to set up a facility for servicing superyachts on part of the Hobsonville airbase. Deepwater access is essential for lifting the luxury yachts in and out, while the rich are asking boatbuilders for bigger and bigger craft.

TEACHER SEX: A female teacher who confessed to having sex with a schoolboy is now teaching at another school, and authorities say they cannot do anything about it. Janine Rayner, aged 29, left her job as a relief teacher at Wesley College near Pukekohe after the incident. Neither the Teacher Registration Board nor her new school, James Cook High in Manurewa, was told what had happened.

NO TRACE: Extensive searches of the Whanganui River have failed to find any trace of the two boys believed to have drowned after being knocked off their bikes and into the water. Police and coastguard personnel spent the weekend searching the coastline down-river from Cobham Bridge, on the outskirts of the city, for Colin Morgan, 14, and Zane Cutter, 13.

CUP VILLAGE: A record number of people, almost 127,000, passed through the gates of the American Express NZ Cup Village at the weekend. The public relations manager for the village, Sue Foley, said this meant an average of 7200 people an hour.

JEWELLERY ROBBERS: Steve Nichols had just dropped his wife off at work in central Auckland when his BMW was rammed by jewellery robbers fleeing police. They shunted into his car five times before reversing and being cut off by a police car.

MOVIE GLITTERATI - It was a great way to show New Zealand to Hollywood's movie glitterati. New Zealand's ambassador to the US, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, presided over a bash that included the best of New Zealand food and drink, rousing speeches from two of the country's best-known mayors and a six-minute preview of The Lord of the Rings.

TAMIHERE BREAK: New Hauraki MP John Tamihere broke Labour Party ranks last week over a "pretty tiny" issue of principle, says Prime Minister Helen Clark. She says he should have stuck with the team, and colleagues had given him the same message.

BOOZE VOTE: Last November the voters of Mt Eden and Mt Roskill finally joined the real world and voted to allow the sale of the demon booze in their local shopping centres. This week they begin an even quainter ritual. They have to decide, by secret postal ballot, whether to restrict liquor sales to a locally controlled trust, or throw it open to all comers.

MORE BANKFEES: Already unhappy WestpacTrust customers are about to be hit with a new set of bank fees. From May 1, customers will pay a raft of new charges for services that used to be free: $2 for over-the-counter credit card payments and printout requests, $5 to set up a direct debit and $4 to change a direct debit.

BASTION WALKWAYS: Ngati Whatua are concerned that thousands of Aucklanders will tramp through their backyard if a series of walkways proposed for Bastion Pt go ahead. Public footpaths around the point's perimeter are contained in a management plan commissioned by the Auckland City Council in conjunction with the reserves board that administers the land (made up of tribal members and Auckland City councillors).

EDITORIAL - HAURAKI GULF: The Hauraki Gulf a marine park? As dear as the gulf is to all who live around it - and never more gloriously so than right now - the idea of declaring the nation's busiest waterway a maritime park has always been difficult to grasp. There are splendid parks on many of the islands, headlands, cliff tops and beaches around the gulf. And there are many quiet coves well suited to be marine reserves as most people understand that term. But the entire gulf? Gateway to the port for most of the nation's trade, sea playground for its largest city?

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