Body on beach
A man’s body was discovered on a Northland beach yesterday morning. Members of the public found the body at Mangawhai Heads, south of Whangarei. No other details were available.
Capital rail strike today
A 24-hour railway workers’ strike will likely clog Wellington’s road network all of today. Rail Maritime Transport Union workers announced on Tuesday that they would strike over employment conditions after hitting an impasse with train operators Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem. The strikers will stop work for 24 hours, starting from 2am today affecting all commuter services on Johnsonville Hutt, Melling, Wairarapa, and Ka¯piti lines. It would be the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail network for longer than two hours. The strike action comes after Transdev and Hyundai Rotem called for the removal of longstanding terms and conditions in the workers’ collective agreement.
$50m drug haul
Police have seized $50 million worth of methamphetamine in Christchurch, the largest capture of the drugs in the South Island. Police said the 49-kilogram shipment was discovered in 40 separate packages concealed within safety lights. Two men aged 25 and 31 have been arrested and appeared in court charged with importing a class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.
Rise in Legionnaires cases
A Canterbury woman is in an induced coma on life support after being struck down by Legionnaires disease last week. Jillian Wadsworth, 40, was rushed to Christchurch Hospital last Thursday and was put in an induced coma on Friday. On Saturday night she was flown to Auckland Hospital, where she was put on life-support. She is one of 10 Cantabrians struck by the disease in the past week with the spike being blamed on a boost in the use of potting mix for spring gardening. Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey hoped the spike would be a wake-up call for complacent gardeners. ‘‘If you do get this illness it can be very serious. It can kill you and if it doesn’t kill you sometimes you can end up in hospital for a very long time.’’
Bagpiping driver nabbed
A driver was warned after he was caught playing an instrument instead of keeping his hands on the wheel of his car. Officers were stunned to spot a person playing with what appeared to be chanter from a set of bagpipes, while driving in Dunedin yesterday. Acting Sergeant Bryce Johnson said he spotted the man with both hands on the instrument, rather than on his car’s steering wheel. He was pulled over by police a few hundred metres down the road. The sheepish man said he was a bagpipe player, but was merely doing an ‘‘air guitar’’ version. A quick search failed to find the chanter. The piper was given an official warning.