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New Zealand Herald

Mother Grieves - Doctor Reoffends - Doctor’s Name - Free Trade Scrap - Man Crushed - Teacher Resigns - Brain Drain & Act - Robber Gang - Auckland Public Transport - Job Ends - Auckland Tower

MOTHER GRIEVES: The mother of one of two Auckland boys who drowned during a school camp near Thames collapsed in grief yesterday when she saw for the first time the swimming hole where her son died. Nadira Naidoo was one of 25 people who visited the Kauaeranga Valley Christian Camp as part of the coroner's inquest into the deaths of Howick Intermediate School pupils Revan Naidoo and Joshua McNaught

- DOCTOR REOFFENDS: Two years after he was struck off the medical register for a $1 million fraud, Raglan doctor Andrew McNab was back treating patients. While working as a receptionist at his old practice, the Raglan Medical Centre, in 1998, he treated six patients as a doctor.

- DOCTOR’S NAME: A former Whangarei police doctor has lost his battle to keep his name suppressed over a disgraceful conduct charge. Dr Beris Ford was yesterday revealed as the Whangarei general practitioner who will appear before the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal next month on charges relating to the inappropriate touching of a woman patient's breast and legs.

- FREE TRADE SCRAP: A three-way political scrap over a ground-breaking free-trade deal with Singapore threatens to undermine New Zealand's free-trade credentials. The Alliance confirmed yesterday that it would join the Greens in voting against the deal, leaving Labour relying on National to pass it.

- MAN CRUSHED: A man died after he was crushed between a mini crane and a spa bath in the Auckland suburb of Orakei yesterday. Trevor Harvey, aged 67, of New Lynn, was one of three workers, understood to be from Hiab Transport Ltd of West Auckland, delivering the spa to a house in Kupe St in the morning.

- TEACHER RESIGNS: The Kerikeri schoolteacher who resigned after complaints that she sprinkled children with "fairy dust" said she cried for days after a parent accused her of being a witch. Linda Stubbing told the Herald yesterday she had been devastated when the mother complained to the principal of Riverview Primary School about her teaching techniques.

- BRAIN DRAIN & ACT: Act says more than 10,000 professionally qualified people have left New Zealand since the election. Party leader Richard Prebble said it had cost taxpayers $4.2 billion to train and educate them.

- ROBBER GANG?: A gang of security truck robbers, responsible for five violent raids, may have struck again after two guards were robbed of up to $100,000 in Auckland yesterday. Two balaclava-clad robbers, one armed with a rifle or shotgun, robbed the Chubb security van guards in Torbay, on the North Shore, at 11.30 am.

- AUCKLAND PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Auckland could set up a commercially focused body to manage the region's public transport plans, under a new proposal. Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere and Papakura councils are considering a body to manage rail assets they would receive under a $65 million agreement with Tranz Rail for access to rail lines.

- JOB ENDS: When Des Coneglan locked the gate at the Devonport signal station on Mt Victoria yesterday he ended a job continuously performed there for nearly 160 years. The 69-year-old maritime signalman is the last in a long line of people who have staffed a signal station on that spot since the 1840s.

- AUCKLAND TOWER: The Auckland City Council wants to extricate itself from further arguments about the 34-level tower it approved for the harbour waterfront in November last year without consulting the public. In the High Court at Auckland yesterday, Alan Galbraith, QC, for the city council, sought an order to strike out proceedings brought by the Society for the Protection of Auckland City and the Waterfront. The group is seeking a judicial review of the council decision.

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