Author: Admin

Quinn completes his mission

Waiuku’s Quinn Gardiner-Hall has completed his mission. On Saturday 11 March, Quinn reached his goal of running four half marathons, in four counties, before he turned 12. As he completed the Antarctica Half Marathon, Quinn also set a new record as the youngest ever competitor in the world to run a half marathon in Antarctica. “Man I was tired. I had gone as fast as I could as I wanted to do my best and had stayed out with most of the front pack. It paid off as I was the first male passenger from all the ships to...

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Letter – Karioitahi spelling

One of our keen eyed readers contacted us two weeks ago to let us know that we had three different ways of spelling Karioitahi in our lifeguard story.  We really appreciated Katie contacting us, as this highlighted the fact that there are two ways of spelling Karioitahi.  While the first two spellings of Karioitahi in the article was correct, the last one at the end was a typo, and should have been picked up before we went to print.  The different ways of spelling our local beach and lifeguard service often creates a debate in our office, but here...

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Sharemilker’s successful change of strategy to get somatic cell counts down

Changing dry cow strategy slashes cell counts Tom Carter, a sharemilker at a farm at Ohinewai near Huntly, has discovered a new way to get his 340-cow herd's somatic cell count down. Having a reasonably well producing season, Tom found himself noticing that the milk from his dairy cows had uncomfortably high somatic cell counts, between 250,000 and 280,00. Somatic cells are found in fluids, like milk. The high count indicated a fairly high level of mastitis infection throughout the season. His farm, on low-lying flats with a mixture of sandy and peaty soils, which gets very wet in...

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Allegations of bribery and corruption

In 2013, Auckland Transport began an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption within the road corridor maintenance area and subsequently handed the matter over to the Serious Fraud Office. "Auckland Transport welcomes today’s sentences handed down in a corruption and bribery case against a former Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport manager, Murray Noone and Stephen Borlase, a director of a private company, Projenz," said AT’s chief infrastructure officer, Greg Edmonds. "The case was brought to court by the Serious Fraud Office. Concerns were first raised in 2013 following an internal review of systems and processes by Auckland Transport. As a result, Mr Noone and another staff member were dismissed from their roles and the matter handed over to the SFO." Mr Edmonds noted Justice Fitzgerald’s comments that the actions of Noone and Borlase were in no way a reflection on Auckland Transport generally, or other staff. “At the heart of this issue is a serious breach of trust by two individuals whose actions are in no way an indication of any sort of systemic failure.” He adds that much of the offending occurred before AT was established (in 2010) and it was robust internal processes and procedures at Auckland Transport which brought the allegations to light. Mr Edmonds also acknowledged the exhaustive and “very thorough” work of the SFO in bringing the matter to...

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Auckland Transport opens books

Auckland Transport will be publicly releasing details of all its contracts. Since it was established in 2010 AT routinely publish on its website the details of all contracts valued over $50,000. That threshold has now been dropped to zero. AT Chairman, Dr Lester Levy, says that as a publicly funded body, the organisation wants to be as transparent and accountable as possible. “There is a small extra administrative burden in releasing this sort of information, but we feel that it’s worth it to allow more open scrutiny of our activities,” he says. "This demonstrates a clear commitment to being open and accountable to the public at large." Dr Levy says the nature of some of AT's activities, such as property negotiations, means that sometimes information is commercially sensitive and involves third party businesses or individuals. “In those cases, and to protect the interests of ratepayers and taxpayers, they are dealt with confidentially but when the reason for that confidentiality no longer exists, the material is routinely released and published on AT’s website.” See details of recent contracts below. https://at.govt.nz/about-us/procurement/awarded-contracts/    ...

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No Neighbours Day grants for Franklin

Last week, the Post Newspaper was contacted by a reader who shared concern of local boards in Auckland are spending $27,000 of ratepayers’ money on grants so that residents can ‘get to know their neighbours better.’ We were advised that $200 grants are being offered to 114 residents to host a BBQ for ‘Neighbours Day’. The reader felt that the money could be spent elsewhere, especially when there were ‘so many families struggling to make ends meet on a day to day basis.’  However, upon contacting the Franklin Local Board Chair, Angela Fulljames, she advised us that her board would not be offering grants.  “It is up to individual boards if they wish to support Neighbours Day activities for things they think are important to their community. It would be inappropriate for me to comment any further. The local board does have a local grants programme which provide contestable and community discretionary funding for local community groups and activities including events, environmental projects,  war commemoration projects and school swimming pools for community access.”   Applications for Local Grants close on 7 April.  To find out more and to apply go to...

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