Manslaughter Charges For Pilot - Helicopter Crash - Queenstown Mourns - Lucky Japanese Swimmers - John Tamihere - Timberlands Decision - Cannabis Sentences Not Tough Enough - 13 Feared Dead in Avalanche
MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES FOR PILOT: Police have charged the pilot of Ansett flight 703 with manslaughter. The plane crashed into the Tararua ranges several years ago killing six. Police wanted the cockpit voice recorder before they decided to lay charges. Battle over the transcript from the recorder went all the way to the court of Appeal. Police have decided that the pilot a Mr Southeran is responsible and he has now been charged. The pilot was made redundant by Ansett last year.
HELICOPTER CRASH: Crash investigators have completed their scene examination of the helicopter crash at Manapouri. An eye witness says he thinks the copter flew straight into the wires. Two of the passenger victims were on the flight because they had earlier missed a connection to a doubtful sound cruise . Pilots think that wires should be marked. Damage to cables repaired without any disruption to power.
QUEENSTOWN MOURNS FOR PILOT: Queenstown residents have been rocked by the death of the pilot of the helicopter Janey Blair who is described as a local role model. Friend Louisa Patterson wonders if there was a distraction of some sort in the cockpit which caused the accident. Pilot Janey Blair best known as a skier who had been expected to make it all the way to the top if she hadn't been interrupted by cancer. Another friend describes her as a "perfectionist".
LUCKY JAPANESE SWIMMERS: Lucky escape for two Japanese tourists swept 200m out to sea at Karikari beach. They were saved by boogey-boarders who went to their assistance.
JOHN TAMIHERE: Maori MP Johh Tamihere is defended in the house by Trevor Mallard after Richard Prebble again raises accusations in Parliament. Prebble called on Tamihere to apologise for comments concerning drug addicts and thieves made yesterday. The people named yesterday by Tamihere today struck back. One asked him to tell him to his face. Another asked where Tamihere's spiritual person was at when he "spat his words out". Prebble's accusations about mismanagement are denied by the trust's present boss. PM will have to turn her attention to this says political editor.
TIMBERLANDS DECISION: Five sawmill companies have failed in their bid to ask for compensation for cancelled native timber contracts with Timberlands.
CANNABIS APPEAL: Two men given a suspended sentence for cannabis supply should have been jailed says the court of appeal. The court says judges are being inconsistent and dealers should be jailed except in exceptional circumstances.
13 FEARED DEAD IN AVALANCHE: 11
ski-instructors and two snowboarders are feared killed in an
avalanche in Austria. Massive avalanche. 10 dead bodies
recovered so far. Two injured skiers have been recovered
from the snow alive, though one has since died. Seven
helicopters have been searching the mountainside - no sign
of the snowboarders yet and time is running out.