Best of TAURANGA

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Website Links Ex-pats with Jobs
Tauranga's economic development agency wants to avoid future skill shortages in the region. A new website campaign called 'Back in the Bay' has been launched, linking returning ex-pats with local job vacancies. Priority One project manager Greg Simmonds says the skill shortage isn't as bad as it was a year ago, but it's about preventing it from happening again. www.backinthebay.co.nz

Commissioners Proposal Turned Down
Concerns have been raised over the future direction being taken by the Tauranga City Council. Councillor Hayden Evans' proposal to replace councillor commissioners with privately funded independent commissioners on hearings panels, was rejected yesterday. He had also proposed applicants get to choose what commissioners they use. The policy will instead be reviewed in August. Councillor Wayne Moultrie said he was concerned at the message of priorities being sent to the public. He says there are a lot bigger issues than this to worry about, including debt levels.

‘One Way’ Door Policy Wanted on the Strand
Tauranga police want to look at introducing a one way door policy to The Strand. A trial, in place since last year, has seen the pedestrian walkway move to the outer footpath from 4pm daily, clear of bar tables. That trial was reviewed yesterday and will continue for another two months. Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair says he also wants to see bars close their doors to new patrons at 1am. He says it would make it easier still if patrons were only allow to sit down while drinking. The council decided against discussing those issues yesterday. A one way door policy has worked successfully in Christchurch for the past few years.

Hunting Death Referred to Coroner
The death of a Tauranga man while out turkey hunting, has been referred to the coroner. The 59 year old was out hunting with relatives on Ridge Road, near Pongakawa on Sunday night, when he was fatally shot. The circumstances of the man's death are unclear. Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner says the matter has now been referred to the coroner to investigate.

Workplace Accident Investigations Underway
Three investigations have been launched following Monday's workplace accident in Wharf Street. A contractor, moving underground cables as part of the Wharf Street upgrade, was taken to hospital after the slab fell on his leg. A council spokeswoman says the council, the contracting company, and the Department of Labour have all launched separate investigations.

Leaky School Repairs Carry On
Repairs on one of Tauranga's worst affected leaky buildings is boxing on, despite a new relief package announced. In the new package, councils will pay 25 percent of the repair costs, with the Government committing a similar amount. Papamoa's Tahatai Coast School is facing a multi million dollar rebuild as it rots away. Dual principal Jenny Griggs says the extensive tower block repairs are nearly finished.

Child Abuse Cases in Spotlight
The number of child abuse cases in the Bay of Plenty has come into question. An Independent Police Conduct Authority report into the handling of child abuse cases has found the Police National Intelligence Application can't be relied upon to accurately reflect case numbers. An initial audit of Bay of Plenty numbers, using the application, showed police were holding nearly 400 child abuse files out of a total of 2,400 files. However, a manual audit showed there were actually 3,100 files, 500 of which were child abuse cases.

Hospice Awareness Week
It's Hospice Awareness Week, and Waipuna Hospice is hoping to raise its profile in Tauranga. Waipuna staff are putting on daily tea and scones for the public while New World and Pak n Save supermarkets have an 'add a dollar' campaign running. Waipuna's CEO Richard Thurlow says the support throughout the year from the community has been fantastic. He says the aim of this week is to tell the public a little more about the hospice.

Posted: Wed 19 May 2010

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