Woman Faces Charges after Te Puke Crash
An Auckland woman who crashed her car near Te Puke, throwing five children from the vehicle has been charged. The 35 year old was travelling to Whakatane when she struck a crash barrier, rolled twice, and ploughed through a fence. Tony Rolleston, who arrived moments later says he thought the children lying on the road, including a four month old infant, were dead animals. An eleven year old girl was in a coma for a week following the crash and underwent brain surgery. It was later confirmed the children weren't wearing seatbelts. The woman is to appear in the Tauranga District Court on eight charges, next week.
School Assault Figures ‘Tip of Iceberg’
The Western Bay's PPTA says latest assault figures in secondary schools is the tip of the iceberg. There's been 206 incidents involving assaults in the region's High Schools in the past five years and 32 of these involve weapons. Regional Chairman Jason Smythe says it's a distorted picture of what's really happening - as it's only the 5 per cent of students who have behaviour problems. He says teachers aren't specialists and are acting like GPs in the Education Sector. Mr Smythe says it's going to get a lot worse if the problem isn't addressed by Government.
Possible Swine Flu Death in Bay
There's been a possible death from swine flu in the Bay of Plenty. The region's Medical Health Officer is unsure whether the person had underlying health conditions and the case has been referred to the coroner. Phil Shoemack says it's bizarre the public is interested in swine flu deaths as there's at least 200 a year dying from influenza. And he says this year 90 per cent of patients presenting flu symptoms had been caused the H1N1 strain. Phil Shoemack says the numbers of swine flu cases are now dropping.
Drink Drive Statistics Paint Grim Picture
More devastating drink driving statistics for the Western Bay of Plenty. Police have caught 915 motorists behind the wheel, over the limit this year. Of these, nearly half are under the age of 25. Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Holmes says there's also been nine fatal crashes this year and alcohol has been a factor in more than half.
He says it's about taking responsibility - especially for the younger age group. Mark Holmes says they'll continue with check points on the streets, and several covert operations targeting drink drivers.
All Go for Hospital Redevelopment
A massive redevelopment of Whakatane Hospital is getting closer after the government handed over 65 million dollars to get it underway. Health Minister Tony Ryall says the money gives the Bay of Plenty District Health Board the green light to finalise the design. There will be a new emergency department, two brand new theatres and a procedures room that can be converted to an extra operating theatre. Site preparations are expected to begin this summer and the work will create up to 80 jobs.
TrustPower to Build Dunedin Wind Farm
A Tauranga power company is to begin building a $400 million dollar wind farm near Dunedin. Mahinerangi Wind Farm is expected to inject $12 million dollars into the community. Local Maori will bless the site they've named Puke Kapo Hau or "the hill that catches the wind" on Monday. A TrustPower spokesperson says the company is looking ahead.