Air NZ staff plan strike

Bay of Plenty Times - - Nation -

More than 40,000 Christ­mas hol­i­day plans are up in the air — or grounded — af­ter Air New Zealand staff an­nounced a strike on the busiest fly­ing day of the year. Al­most a thou­sand en­gi­neers and air­craft lo­gis­tics staff will strike on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 21. Air New Zealand is ac­cus­ing them of us­ing Ki­wis’ hol­i­day plans as a bar­gain­ing chip. The air­line says it will re­book peo­ple closer to the time, if it ap­pears the union will fol­low through. House of Travel’s Brent Thomas says re­book­ing won’t be so easy, with flights ei­ther side al­ready largely booked out.

Miss­ing back­packer Miss­ing Bri­tish back­packer Grace Mil­lane was last seen with a man who has since been ques­tioned, po­lice say. De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Scott Beard and Grace's dis­traught fa­ther, David Mil­lane, spoke to me­dia yes­ter­day af­ter­noon. Beard said po­lice held grave fears for the 22-year-old tourist's safety, and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was pro­gress­ing rapidly. The last known sight­ing of Grace was at 9.41pm on Satur­day at the City Life Ho­tel. She was with a man. Po­lice had iden­ti­fied the man and he had been spo­ken to. An apart­ment at the ho­tel was a place of in­ter­est and is the sub­ject of a scene ex­am­i­na­tion by po­lice.

$9m gift for Star­ship

A fam­ily of life­like med­i­cal manikins that can cry and cough have pulled in the largest ever dona­tion to Auck­land’s Star­ship na­tional chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal — $9 mil­lion. The gift from a fam­ily trust as­so­ci­ated with New Zealand medicines firm Dou­glas Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has been used to set up an en­dow­ment fund for train­ing chil­dren’s health work­ers on the hi-tech manikins. The Star­ship Sim­u­la­tion Pro­gramme has six com­puter-con­trolled manikins rang­ing from a pre­ma­ture baby to a 14-year-old. The manikins can cry, cough, suf­fer a seizure, show symp­toms of a blocked air­way, and go into res­pi­ra­tory or car­diac ar­rest. They help to train chil­dren’s doc­tors, nurses and other staff. The Dou­glas fam­ily have con­tributed to sev­eral Star­ship projects span­ning 23 years.

$60,000 fine over spill

A min­ing com­pany has been fined more than $60,000 for dis­charg­ing thou­sands of litres of diesel into a stream. Lo­cals com­plained in Au­gust last year about con­tam­i­na­tion of a stream at Ta­haroa Iron­sands’ mine site near Kawhia, on Waikato s west coast. One lo­cal says they tracked the rain­bow-coloured diesel fuel in the Wainui Stream ap­prox­i­mately 400 me­tres out to the Tas­man Sea. Te Kuiti Dis­trict Court Judge Melanie Har­land says the com­pany was care­less, and failed to fol­low iso­la­tion pro­ce­dures.

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