Murder Accused Named
The 21 year old Opotiki man accused of killing Regional Councillor Hawea Vercoe, has been identified as Isaiah Tai. He was denied name suppression when he appeared in the Whakatane District Court yesterday, and will be back in court, December 9th. Mr Vercoe, a 36 year old father of six died early Sunday after being allegedly punched outside a bar in downtown Whakatane. Pictured: Hawea Vercoe
Man’s Death ‘Not Suspicious’
Tauranga police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a local man, whose body was found early yesterday, lying on rocks near the Mount Maunganui end of the Matapihi rail bridge. A jogger found 48 year old's body near a push bike, but he had been dead for several hours. His death has been referred to the coroner. Pictured: Matapihi
Raft of Charges Following Te Puke Incident
Police will be meeting with local kaumatua in Te Puke after a policeman was injured and six people arrested after an incident on Sunday night. It began when a vehicle was pursued to an address in Manoeka Road. The officer was immediately set upon in the driveway by the two occupants of the vehicle. Another officer was also assaulted by family members and neighbours who had come out onto the street. It's also alleged that a pot of soup was poured over one of the officers, and that a rock was thrown at a police vehicle. Those arrested face a raft of charges including assaulting police, disorderly behaviour, and possession of offensive weapons.
The Strand ‘a Crime Hot Spot’
Tauranga City Council has been told that 68 percent of all public place violence, disorder and breaches of the liquor ban occurs on The Strand. The Strand also accounts for eight percent of all crime committed in the Western Bay. Area commander, Inspector Mike Clement told Councillors that recent changes to parking and footpaths have made some impact, so those numbers should improve. He also suggests that the licensees have their security staff wear uniforms, as opposed to having plain clothed bouncers. He says uniforms have more of an impact for wayward bar patrons. Pictured: The Strand
D-Day for Transport Centre
It's decision day for the city's proposed transport centre project. Council meets this afternoon to either revoke its earlier decision and review all the options once more, or to stick with the original recommendation to site the transport centre in Willow Street.
DHB Comparison Report Released
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board ranks in the middle of the pack, in a quarterly comparison of the 21 DHB's, which was released yesterday. Spokesperson Carol Wollaston says they do have areas to improve on, namely the immunisation rate, which at 72 percent, is right near the bottom. But she points out that even though we're comparing DHB’s, it's not always 'apples to apples'. Every DHB has a different population base and a different set of challenges, so sometimes the comparisons aren't as clear cut as they appear to be.