https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/72067/eight_col_48623118_m.jpg?1545630595 Christmas trees, clothing, toys and garden supplies – people are spending up, while stocks start to dwindle. Photo: 123RF Retailers say Christmas shoppers are out in force with many opting to get their festivities sorted unusually early. At Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt on Sunday tinsel dripped from shopfronts, children queued for a picture with Santa, pop-carols played and shoppers were there in the thousands. An employee at the Christmas Heirloom Shop said the store had been frantic and was already down to its last items including running out of plastic Christmas trees. “The warehouses have emptied out, we have no more trees to sell.” She put that down to both supply issues and people preparing for Christmas Day much earlier than usual. “They just want to celebrate something; to break free.” A Christmas shopper wanted to downsize her tree this year but missed out. “They have completely sold ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/250755/eight_col_Mock-up.jpg?1607215470 A five-star hotel is worried it will lose a million-dollar guest that takes up the top floor of its southern wing “365 days a year” if a social housing plot next door is developed. An artist’s impression of what the new Kāinga Ora housing complex on Charles St will look like. Photo: Supplied / LDR Chateau Marlborough has opposed plans by Kāinga Ora, the government’s housing provider, to turn four state homes into 10 one-bed units in Blenheim’s inner circle. Chateau Marlborough chief executive and director Brent Marshall told a hearing last week the third floor of the hotel’s southern wing, closest to the proposed housing project, was contracted out to a national company year-round. The company’s identity was confidential, he said, but its employees did shifts that often required them to sleep during the day, when construction was due to take place. Construction noises during the build could ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, has confirmed the Tauranga City Council has been advised of her intention to appoint a Commission in response to significant governance problems among the Council’s elected representatives and the findings of an independent review. “I have been closely watching the conduct of the Council for a number of months. I have grown increasingly concerned at the governance issues, and the impact this has on Tauranga ratepayers and significant investment in the region. The Council was given the opportunity to address the concerns, but has demonstrated that more direct action is needed.” Tauranga City Council has ten working days to respond to the Minister’s letter of intention. The Council’s response will be considered before a final decision is made. “For the ratepayers in Tauranga, I know certainty is important. I am keen to make a decision quickly so that Tauranga can get on ...

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  Benjamin Vere La’Brooy, sad to say, passed away into the Lord’s Realm on 16th.October 2020 and was cremated at the Mt. Lavinia Crematorium two days later.  It was most disappoiinting that there was hardly a soul to farewell Benji due to the restrictions of the pandemic. Benji, as he was popularly known,  enjoyed a most illustrious and colourful sports career whilst serving in the Sri Lanka Navy for 22 long years. His work, which he thoroughly revelled in, was in the sports and physical fitness sectors involving  organising, management, training and the implementation of sports programmes. Prior to retirement he was a senior Physical Training Instructor and served in many ships and shore establishments around the island.. His recruitment to the Navy was at a time when the armed services were bristling with sportsmen and colourful personalities of various skills..The Navy, at this moment in time, was the showpiece ...

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https://www.elanka.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/cricket-player-.png     Come all ye fair young maidens, hearken unto me! Never trust a cricketer, whoever he may be.   Randier than a sailor, who’s been six months at sea, Never let a cricketer’s hand, an inch above your knee.   First let’s take the paceman, pure speed from first to last, My darlings do be careful; his balls are hard and fast.   Then there’s the medium pacer, his balls swing either way; He’s really most persistent, and can keep it up all day!   Watch out for the off-spinner girls, another awkward chap. If you leave him half an opening, he will slip one through the gap!   Then there’s the wily ‘slowy’, pure cunning is his strength; He’ll tempt you, then he’ll trap you, with his very subtle length.   So ladies, do be careful, your mothers would agree. Never trust a cricketer, whoever he may ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/105106/eight_col_200707_Distinction-Quarantine-Hotel_01.jpg?1594096401 A number of Defence Force staff at managed isolation or quarantine facilities have been investigated for alleged misconduct. The alleged incidents happened at the Christchurch, Rotorua and Auckland isolation facilities between August and November. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon The cases upheld include a Defence Force security staff member passing a returnee a note which included their personal phone number. The person involved has been charged under the Armed Forces Discipline Act. In another case, a civilian security guard was shown an explicit image on a phone. The person has been removed from duty and are undertaking corrective training. The alleged incidents happened at the Christchurch, Rotorua and Auckland isolation facilities between August and November. Meanwhile, the head of managed isolation and quarantine is standing down from the job as the operation switches to its next phase. Air Commodore Darryn Webb, 49, took on the position in June. He ...

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https://www.rnz.co.nz/assets/news/50956/eight_col_large_1M1A8876-2.jpg?1445380005 A fresh look at productivity indicates New Zealand’s best and most innovative firms are about half as productive as their counterparts in other small advanced economies. Productivity Commission chair Murray Sherwin. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson Productivity Commission chair Murray Sherwin said this report was different from the many others it had produced over the past 10 years since it established to help lift improve New Zealand’s productivity. “What’s new in this inquiry is that we’ve been able to do some comparisons with other what we call the small advanced economies … and the answer is that we appear to be a long way behind, maybe even half the levels of productivity in terms of labour productivity,” he said. “Our penetration in export markets is about half that of the small advanced economies groups.” The commission also backed a recent report by the Institute of Economic Research, which recommends ...

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-11/beehive-red-og_0.png Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta has announced Pam Dunn as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brian Hewson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Austria and UN Permanent Representative, Vienna. Malaysia “New Zealand and Malaysia enjoy a warm bilateral relationship. We have had diplomatic relations for more than 60 years, and longstanding political, cultural and economic ties including through multilateral forums such as ASEAN, APEC and the Commonwealth,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Malaysia is a significant trading partner as well as a key strategic and security partner.” Ms Dunn has held diplomatic postings across Asia; in Beijing twice and Shanghai, as well as serving as New Zealand’s Ambassador to ASEAN, based in Jakarta. Austria “Austria and New Zealand have many shared interests, including a strong commitment to peace and security, multilateral cooperation, human rights and open trade,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “The European Union-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, currently under negotiation, will provide a ...

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