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Sex Offender Register – Child Abuse Hui – Gang Shooting – Golden Handshake – Dead Flowers

- SEX OFFENDER REGISTER: Justice Minister Phill Goff says he supports calls for a register of sex offenders. He says the primary purpose for such a register would be to vet people applying to work with children. Mr Goff said names and addresses should not be made public, as it may lead to vigilantism. The educational institute supports the concept, and says people applying for jobs with children must already pass a police check.

The call comes as waves of histeria and vigilantism followed the publication of names and addresses of convicted paedophiles in Britain’s News Of The World. A register of convicted sex offenders has been published in Britain for three years. Vigilante groups have staked out homes of sex offenders, hurling abuse and missiles. The News Of The world called off its Name and Shame campaign, which published extracts from the register, after political pressure.

CHILD ABUSE HUI: Maori elders have called for an urgent hui to address child abuse, after the death of the Wairarapa toddler. An aunt of the toddler, who is being questioned in relation to the child’s death, appeared in court today for assaulting another child in February.

-GANG SHOOTING: The man shot in an apparent gang dispute in Christchurch is now believed to have been a fully patched Black Power member - not an unpatched associate, as previously thought. He was ambushed while leaving rugby league practice. The killing may have been payback for stolen a Mongrel Mob patch.

- GOLDEN HANDSHAKE: Local Government New Zealand president Louise Rosson will be called to account in a meeting tonight which could decide her fate as president of the organisation. Many claim she’s responsible for the resignation of Carol Stigley and the resulting $140,000 golden handshake pay out. Ms Rosson has been accused of lying over the affair – she denied there was a golden handshake or tension with Local Government Minister Sandra Lee on Monday, before leaked papers indicated otherwise later in the week.

- DEAD FLOWERS: Flowers are wilted and dying on Hamilton traffic islands after the Council mistakenly poisoned them. Herbicide, rather than insecticide, was sprayed on the flowers, which included pansies and poppies. The Council says the mistake was human error, but there have been suggestions of sabotage initiated by the Union the workers belonged to. The Council rejected the idea, saying the workers were upset at the mistake. Traffic islands are expected to be bare for a couple of months.

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