Kiwifruit Wage Complaints Under Investigation
The Kiwifruit Growers Association says the industry should not be marked by wage disputes. The Labour Department is investigating several complaints, made by Bay of Plenty kiwifruit workers over unpaid wages and lack of holiday allowances. It follows the jailing of three men last week for conspiring to aid and abet foreign fruit pickers to remain in the country illegally. Association CEO Mike Chapman says their Governance group meets every second month to discuss complaints, but in every instance they promote compliance with the employment law.
Liquor Shop Sting Nets Two
Two Bay of Plenty alcohol premises have been stung by police for selling to a minor. The joint operation was launched after concern was raised from members of the public of licensed premises selling alcohol to underage teenagers without ID. Sergeant Nigel McGlone says they instructed a 15 year old female to try and buy alcohol from different stores. He says it came up with a massive 94 per cent compliance. The two premises which failed to comply now face temporary closure or may have their licence revoked.
Bail for Alleged Katikati Stabber
A Tongan man who allegedly stabbed another in Katikati, has been released on bail. Huufi Tongia has appeared in the Tauranga District Court on a charge of wounding with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The 42 year old allegedly stabbed the man ten days ago inflicting life threatening injuries. Judge Ingrim has ordered his passport be surrendered to police and has been remanded without plea until August.
Police Appeal for Te Puke Crash Info
Police are still appealing for information from the public following a car crash which crushed a Tauranga teenager to death. 18 year old Judas Witeri was found beneath the car, after it crashed through steel barriers, plunging four meters and landing upside down. Senior Sergeant Ian Campion says no charges have been made yet and enquiries are still continuing. Initial investigations show speed and alcohol were factors for the crash.
Benefit Numbers Released
The number of Bay of Plenty residents on the benefit has increased marginally in the last five years. To June there was nearly twenty eight and a half thousand people living on a main benefit. Of these, nearly sixty percent were female, and over fifty percent were Maori.
‘Te Mahi Kai’ - Maori Language Week
Tauranga residents are being urged to exercise Te Reo catch phrases as the country celebrates Maori Language Week. The theme for this year is ‘Te Mahi Kai’ which means to gather food. Tauranga City Council Maori Educator, Keren Paekau says in honour they'll be putting together a food bank - and running a competition to translate the collected items to Maori.