Maharey Takes The Stand
The government took the stand today, and under oath, put its side of the Rankin case. Social Services Minister, Steve Maharey, told the employment court the WINZ boss was resistant to change, and sensitive to criticism.
Maharey said Rankin had to go, because she simply wasn't the right person for the job. Today was the Government's turn to answer Christine Rankin's claims, and a smiling Steve Maharey turned up to do just that. Yes Labour had used Rankin and her department as pre-election fodder.
But today he told the court.... "We did not set out to destroy Ms Rankin" - Yet within days the new Government tried to sack her - "The advice was received that Ms Rankin could not be removed on the basis of the "face does not fit the job" clause in her contract.
Another Northland Murder
A teenage boy has been charged with the murder of a 36 year old Northland man. The 14 year old appeared in court today, where a legal order was made preventing the identity of either himself or the victim from being revealed. The shooting took place at Awanui, 10 kilometres north of Kaitaia. The boy, who was stopped with a firearm in his possession, surrendered without a struggle.
An historic building facade may have been damaged beyond repair when a construction crane collapsed in inner city Wellington this morning. Witnesses say it's a miracle no-one was killed or injured in the accident. The crane was moving debris from a building site at the time. The remote controlled crane was removing rubble from the building site when it collapsed on to Cambridge Terrace...
On The Mend
A 32 year old man has admitted stabbing a Gisborne police dog in the eye. David John Clarke also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon. Meanwhile Woolf, the dog he attacked, got some good news from the vet. Woolf was back walking with his handler today, even if it was only for a few minutes.
The Minister responsible for New Zealand Post is committed to what he calls "a clear course of action" to resolve the board crisis by Thursday. If the axe is being sharpened though, it's still not clear whose heads are on the block. But our political staff say that should be known tomorrow. All in a spin - State Owned Enterprise New Zealand Post is apparently still in turmoil after the breakout...