Crime does pay
A volunteer who ripped off the Tauranga Salvation Army is getting out of jail early. Shane Hamlin has spent the last four months in jail for using a BP card 118 times last year, to fill up people's cars in exchange for cash which he used to gamble, totalling more than 8000 dollars.
Salvation Army Major Crump has written to the Tauranga District Court to offer Hamlin another chance and offering him help in his addiction. The 49-year-old will now spend the next five months on home detention. Judge Thomas says it's extremely lucky he's been granted a second chance, and has cancelled his remaining prison term.
Farmers turn to Cannabis growing
Farmers are being told to be aware of possible cannabis growers in their midst.
The onset of the warmer weather also means an increase in illegal cannabis growing activity. It's the most abused controlled drug in New Zealand, with an estimated harm of 340 million dollars a year.Detective Senior Sergeant Lindsay Pilbrow of the Bay of Plenty Organised Crime Squad says often farm bikes and other machinery are stolen at this time of year by growers.
Waihi sends support to West Coast
Gold-mining town Waihi is sending messages of support to loved ones and colleagues of those miners trapped underground. Several miners in the town have colleagues working on the West Coast, and have extended their sympathy to families. One specialist in breathing masks at Newmont Gold has been sent to assist with the recovery. Hauraki District Mayor John Tredgida says it's a horrible situation, and rocked the mining town.
PSA virus is widespread
The number of kiwifruit orchards testing positive for Psa is continuing to climb. 61 have now been confirmed as having the vine disease - with another two in the Hawkes Bay. Zespri says 20 are green kiwifruit orchards.
Fire in Papamoa
There's been a sand and plastic fire the size of three cars, in Papamoa. Firefighters were called to an address along Bell Road at around ten to six this morning. Smoke was seen in the area by residents.
1 in 5 Tauranga Taxis defective
Taxis have been the target in a joint enforcement operation dubbed "double Trouble" over the weekend.25 taxis were pulled over in Tauranga and Mt Maunganui and inspected to ensure they were safe and legal. Four taxis were green stickered and ordered to be driver directly home or to place of repair. A further 13 were Green 2 stickered for broken number plates, oil leaks, and other less critical issues. One taxi was found unroadworthy with severely worn front tyres and ordered off the road immediately - and pink stickered.
Spending Spree ends
A Tauranga man who went on a spending spree with his former employer's fuel card has been ordered to pay reparation plus court costs. Nathan Inu racked up over $17-thousand dollars on 36 occasions around the North Island, purchasing fuel for family and friends.