Best of TAURANGA

Friday 27 August 2010

Early Childhood Teachers to March Against Funding Cut
Early childhood teachers protesting against a funding slash, are hoping for a Government u-turn. Hundreds in opposition to the $400 million dollar funding cuts are expected at the first of several rallies in New Zealand this Saturday in Tauranga. Spokeswoman Tracy Diacon says centres are having to lay off qualified staff to make up the shortfall, and replace them with unqualified ‘teachers’. She says teachers from 65 centres in Tauranga will be out in force. The march will start in Tauranga's city centre, after lunch.

Court Appearance for Fraud Accused Woman
The wife of a police officer who allegedly defrauded more than 25 thousand dollars off an elderly woman has appeared in court. The former bank worker has been granted interim name suppression by the Court Registrar, until her next appearance in September. It's the second fraud case against a wife of a Tauranga police officer this year. Only a week ago Michelle Campbell the former wife of officer, Steve Campbell was jailed for defrauding more $1.3 million dollars off her employer Ebbett Tauranga.

HQ Shift Saga Not Over
Bay of Plenty Regional Council won't be seeking leave to appeal the Court of Appeal's block to move its head offices, but it doesn't spell the end. The council had planned to shift its headquarters from Whakatane to Tauranga. An appeal by Whakatane District Council of a High Court decision sanctioning the move, was granted earlier this month. The regional council says the window of opportunity to seek leave and appeal the decision to the Supreme Court expires next Tuesday. Any further decisions on the matter will be passed over to the newly formed council, in October.

Jobs Go as Barnardos Closes
Twenty-six jobs are to go from the Bay of Plenty as a family support and counselling service pulls out of the area. Barnardos is closing its offices in Tauranga. CEO Murray Edridge says they can no longer afford to sustain the services in the region. He says they had provided a mix of early childcare, and social and community services. Barnardos has been in the Bay of Plenty for about 16 years.

Bus Riders Hit in Pocket
Bus fares will be going up come October 1st. A 5 per cent hike will be slammed on each fare, to cover the GST increase, and to account for past inflation. It means commuters catching rides around Tauranga, Rotorua, and Whakatane will be paying new fares averaging between $1.60 and $2.30. All bus companies contracted to the Regional Council will be implementing the increase.

Ministerial Praise for District Health Board
The Health Minister is singing praises for the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. According to Tony Ryall, its achieved a financial result nearly half a million better than budget, while managing to treat more patients at Tauranga Hospital. The DHB was boosted an extra $52 million dollars in the last two budgets. In the past year there's been over 62,000 patients in ED - that's three thousand up from the previously. The Minister says staff are doing a good job providing more frontline services for local people.

Whakatane Residents Still Waiting to Go Home
Several Whakatane residents are still waiting to be told when they can return home after severe flooding more than a week ago. Residents from six apartments, and two houses in a prime waterfront location were evacuated because of the risk of slips. The Whakatane District Council is expecting to hear back from geo-technical engineers today. It's still not sure how much it's cost for the massive cleanup from the floods.

Posted: Fri 27 Aug 2010

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